Michael De Sapio

Michael De Sapio is a writer and classical musician from the Washington, DC area. He writes about religion, music, and vintage popular culture for such print and online outlets as Fanfare Magazine, The Papist, Conservative Book Club, The Twilight Zone Museum, and Imaginative Conservative, among others. Mr. De Sapio is a graduate of The Catholic University of America and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

recent articles

Newman and Neri: A Spiritual Kinship

As rewarding as it is to study the life of a great saint, it is doubly rewarding to study the influences and connections among saints. Take, for example, Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890): his journey toward the Catholic priesthood in Victorian England was lit by the fire of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), the exuberant Italian … Read more

Revisiting Jim Bishop’s The Day Christ Died

The Day Christ Died is an unjustly neglected book about the Passion of Our Lord, written in 1957 by the American Catholic journalist Jim Bishop. Coming across a copy of this gem in a thrift store, where I’ve found many a forgotten treasure, I noted that it was first published sixty years ago this May. … Read more

Remembering Monte Cassino

February 15 marks the date of one of the most regrettable episodes in the history of World War II, the bombing and destruction of the abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy in 1944. The Battle of Monte Cassino has been described as one of the longest and bloodiest engagements in the war, and the destruction … Read more

The Miracle of the Bells: A Forgotten Catholic Novel & Film

Back in 1947 it was possible for a Catholic novel to shoot to the top of the national bestseller list in the U.S.A. That’s exactly what happened to Russell Janney’s The Miracle of the Bells. Janney (1884-1963), a theatrical producer by trade, produced Miracle as his first novel at the mature age of 62 and … Read more

Reminiscences of a Catholic Girl in Wartime Holland

In honor of Thanksgiving and in anticipation of the Christmas season, I offer this story of gratitude and faith concerning the experiences of a Catholic girl in Amsterdam during World War II. The girl, now enjoying her golden age ensconced on a quiet suburban street in northern Virginia, is my neighbor Mrs. Stien van Egmond. … Read more

A Catholic Satirist at Work: Evelyn Waugh’s Helena

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), Catholic convert and novelist. I had never read anything by Waugh and thought it was time I gave him a go, especially since I love English Catholic literary figures. Problem is, Waugh specialized in fiction and I don’t. So I decided to … Read more

The Sacred Music of Stravinsky

“Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church in all its decoration; it is the church’s greatest ornament.”  ∼ Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Igor Stravinsky is everyone’s idea of a “modern composer.” The riot that accompanied the premiere of his 1913 ballet The Rite of Spring has … Read more

Putting the “Roman” Back in “Roman Catholic”

O, the glories of a classical education! I spent part of this past summer attempting to supplement my classical deficiencies (what I received in college was partial and patchy) by perusing Cicero’s philosophical essays in English and plodding through parts of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy in the original Latin, dictionary in hand. In doing so, … Read more

Beethoven and the Catholic Church

Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart form the great trinity of Western classical composers. Of the three, it is Beethoven whose religious beliefs have proven the most elusive. We know all about the devout Lutheranism of Bach, who wrote his music “for the glory of God and the refreshment of the … Read more

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