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August 11

Saint of the day:

Saint Clare 

Patron Saint of Eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, television, 

embroiderers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, Santa Clara Pueblo

St. Clare of Assisi's Story

St. Clare of Assisi was born in Assisi on July 16, 1194, as Chiara Offreduccio, the beautiful eldest daughter of Favorino Sciffi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana. Tradition says her father was a wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family and her mother was a very devout woman belonging to the noble family of Fiumi.

As a young girl, Clare dedicated herself to prayer. At 18-years-old, she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach during a Lenten service in the church of San Giorgio and asked him to help her live according to the Gospel. On Palm Sunday in 1212, Clare left her father's home and went to the chapel of the Porziuncula to meet with Francis. While there, Clare's hair was cut off and she was given a plain robe and veil in exchange for her rich gown.

Clare joined the convent of the Benedictine nuns of San Paulo, near Bastia, under Francis' orders. When her father found her and attempted to force her back into his home, she refused and professed that she would have no other husband than Jesus Christ. In order to give her the greater solitude she desired, Francis sent Clare to Sant' Angelo in Panzo, another Benedictine nuns monastery.

Clare's sister Catarina, who took the name Agnes, joined her at this monastery. The two remained there until a separate dwelling was built for them next to the church of San Damiano.

Overtime, other women joined them, wanting to also be brides of Jesus and live with no money. They became known as the "Poor Ladies of San Damiano." They all lived a simple life of austerity, seclusion from the world, and poverty, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order. St. Clare and her sisters wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house, and kept silent most of the time. Their lives consisted of manual labor and prayer. Yet, they were very happy, because Our Lord was close to them all the time.

San Damiano became the center of Clare's new order, which was then known as the "Order of Poor Ladies of San Damiano." For a brief period of time, the order was directed by St. Francis himself and by 1216, Clare became the abbess of San Damiano. Ten years after Clare's death, the order became known as the Order of Saint Clare.

While serving as the leader of her order, Clare defended them from the attempts of prelates to impose a rule on them that more closely followed the Rule of Saint Benedict than Francis. Clare was so devoted and dedicated to Francis that she was often referred to as "alter Franciscus," or another Francis. She encouraged and aided the man she saw as a spiritual father figure, and took care of him as he grew old.

Following Francis' death, Clare continued to promote her order, fighting off every attempt from each pope trying to impose a rule on her order that would water down their "radical commitment to corporate poverty."

In 1224, an army of rough soldiers from Frederick II came to attack Assisi. Although very sick, Clare went out to meet them with the Blessed Sacrament on her hands. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed at the wall where the enemies could see it. Then on her knees, she begged God to save the Sisters.

"O Lord, protect these Sisters whom I cannot protect now," she prayed. A voice seemed to answer: "I will keep them always in My care." In that moment, a sudden fright struck the attackers and they fled as fast as they could without harming anyone in Assisi.

St. Clare became sick and suffered great pains for many years, but she expressed that no pain could trouble her. So great was her joy in serving the Lord that she once exclaimed: "They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?"

On August 9, 1253, Pope Innocent IV declared Clare's rule would serve as the governing rule for Clare's Order of Poor Ladies. Two days later, Clare died at 59-years-old. Her remains were placed in the chapel of San Giorgio while the church dedicated to her remains was being built. At Pope Innocent's request, the canonization process for Clare began immediately, and two years later in 1255, Pope Alexander IV canonized Clare as Saint Clare of Assisi.

The construction of the Basilica of Saint Clare was finished in 1260, and on October 3, 1260 Clare's remains were transferred there and buried beneath the high altar. Nearly 600 years later, her remains were transferred once again to a newly constructed shrine in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Clare. Her body is no longer claimed to be incorrupt.

The Order of Poor Ladies was officially changed to the Order of Saint Clare in 1263 by Pope Urban IV.

St. Clare was designated as the patron saint of television in 1958 by Pope Pius XII, because when St. Clare was very ill, she could not attend mass and was reportedly able to see and hear it on the wall in her room.

She is also the patroness of eye disease, goldsmiths, and laundry.

Clare is often pictured carrying a monstrance or pyx, to commemorate the time she warded off the soldiers at the gates of her convent with the Blessed Sacrament. St. Clare's feast day is celebrated on August 11.






Basilica di Santa Chiara

(Basilica of Saint Clare)

Piazza Santa Chiara

06081 Assisi, Italy

*The remains of St Clare are enshrined within the crypt of this church.

*Also within the large chapel on the right side of this church is the San Damiano Crucifix that spoke to St Francis of Assisi.

(This is the chapel where Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are prayed.)

More pictures of Saint Clare on Saint Amata of Assisi (Amy) Feast Day February 20




Pasteis de Santa Clara
St. Clare's Turnovers


St. Clare, a 13th century Franciscan nun, is known as the feminine counterpart of St. Francis of Assisi. She was born into nobility but vowed a monastic life of poverty. We honor St. Clare on her feast day with an adaptation of a recipe for pasteis de Santa Clara (St. Clare turnovers) from a monastery in Portugal.




For the pastry dough

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled

  • 1 ¾ cups flour

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten



  1. In a mixing bowl, cut in the butter with the flour and water.
    Knead until a pliable dough is formed.
    Cover with a plastic film wrap and refrigerate while making the filling.


For the filling

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • ½ cup almonds, ground

  • 4 egg yolks



  1. In a saucepan, melt the sugar with the water and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil until thickened. Add the ground almonds and egg yolks, stirring constantly until the filling is thick and well blended.

  2. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Use a round cutter to cut a three-inch diameter. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the circle. Fold over and seal the edges with water. Continue making the rest of the turnovers.

  3. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven. While they are still hot, dredge in sugar. Cool over a wire rack. Yield: 24 turnovers.



  • We used almond meal/flour for the filling ingredient in this recipe. Thanks to Lisa L., our generous friend in Germany, for sending us the package of pulverized nuts for the pasteis de Santa Clara.




Puebla Recipes show honor to our Saint too!


#1 Mole of Santa Clara (INGREDIENTS Only) 

  • 250g chile mulatos

  • 250g chile pasilla

  • 300g chile ancho

  • 6 chile chipotles (3 mecos and 3 mora grandes)

  • 250 g sesame seeds

  • 250g almonds

  • ½ kg tomatos

  • 2 large onions

  • 1 head garlic

  • 8 allspice

  • 8 cloves

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1 tb cilantro seeds

  • 1 tb anis seeds

  • a pinch of cumin seeds

  • 2 tortillas, fried golden

  • 100g peanuts

  • 50g pumpkin seeds

  • 1 piloncillo (cone of brown suger)

  • 4 tablets chocolate

  • ¼ kg raisins

  • 1 plantain, not very ripe

  • 1 bolillo (roll)

  • ½ kg manteca (lard)


  1. *All these ingredients are fried or roasted, then ground and incorporated into the sauce, which is then cooked for hours. 

  2. *The state of Oaxaca has more varieties of moles, but Puebla’s mole poblano is by far the most celebrated.

  3. *Legend has it that nuns of the convent of Santa Clara in Puebla, were called upon to feed a visiting archbishop. Finding their larder bare, they put together a sauce made of everything they had, cooked it for hours, and threw it over an old turkey, the only creature available. One version even has them praying for a recipe – an angel swoops down and provides. These stories are certainly apocryphal, as similar sauces existed since pre-Hispanic times. In the 16th century, Franciscan monk Bernardo de Sahagún describes an Aztec wedding at which a dish he calls “molli” is served to the bride by her mother-in-law – the newlyweds disappear into the bedroom shortly thereafter.

  4. *All Mexican markets sell prepared moles, either in paste or dry ground form. They are easy to prepare – just make a “sofrito” of onion, garlic and tomato in the blender with a little water or broth. Sauté this mixture in some oil, then add the mole paste, turning and mixing the ingredients with the back of a spoon. Then, little by little, very slowly, add the hot stock, mixing and turning. The trick is to stop when the sauce reaches the consistency of heavy cream – it’s easy to add too much liquid, so be careful. Pour over previously braised chicken, or heated tortillas. A good vegetarian option is to serve mole over cauliflower –sounds odd, but the flavors combine well. And be sure to decorate with sesame seeds, sliced white onion and, if you are feeling celebratory, crema.


#2 Mole of Santa Clara (Full Recipe)


    • 4 pounds chicken pieces, skin on

    • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

    • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish

    • white rice

  1. Mole Poblano

    • Makes 9 cups.

    • 9 mulato chiles*

    • 7 pasilla chiles*

    • 6 ancho chiles*

    • 1 cup plus 9 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard plus additional as needed

    • 4 or 5 tomatillos,** husked and cooked until soft

    • 5 whole cloves

    • 20 whole black peppercorns

    • 1-inch piece of a Mexican cinnamon stick***

    • 1 tablespoon seeds from the chiles, toasted

    • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted

    • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted

    • 8 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

    • 4 garlic cloves, roasted

    • 3 tablespoons raisins

    • 20 whole almonds, blanched

    • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds****

    • 2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces

    • 3 stale French rolls, cut into 1-inch slices

    • 6 to 7 cups reserved chicken broth as needed

    • 1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped

    • *Mulato, pasilla, and ancho chiles are three varieties of dried chiles often used in Mexican cooking. The ancho chile (a poblano that has ripened to a dark red color and dried) is rust-colored, broad at the stem and narrowing to a triangular tip. The mulato, a relative to the poblano, is dark brown and triangular. The shiny black pasilla chile, a dried chilaca chile, is narrow and five to six inches long. Good quality chiles should be fragrant and pliable. Wipe them carefully with a damp cloth or a paper towel to remove any dust.

    • **Tomatillos are often referred to as "green tomatoes," but are members of the gooseberry family. To prepare tomatillos for the salsa, remove their papery husks and rinse away their sticky outer coating. Or, canned whole tomatillos are available under the San Marcos brand.

    • ***Mexican cinnamon, known as canela, is the bark of the true cinnamon tree, native to Sri Lanka. It is sold in very thin and somewhat flaky curled sticks and is much softer than the more common variant of cinnamon, which comes from the bark of the cassia tree.

    • ****Also known as pepitas, the pumpkin seeds used in Mexican cooking are hulled. When frying or toasting pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet, keep a cover handy, as they will pop like popcorn.


  1. In a large stock pot, parboil the chicken in water seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Drain, reserving cooking broth, and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dish.
  2. Prepare the Mole Poblano. Clean the chiles by removing stems, veins, and seeds; reserve 1 tablespoon of the seeds. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a heavy skillet until it shimmers. Fry the chiles until crisp, about 10 to 15 seconds, turning once; make sure they do not burn. Drain on paper towels. Put the chiles in a nonreactive bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain the chiles, reserving the soaking water. Puree the chiles in a blender with enough of the soaking water to make a smooth paste. It may be necessary to scrape down the sides and blend several times to obtain a smooth paste. In a heavy Dutch oven heat an additional 1/2 cup oil over medium heat and add the chile puree (be careful — it will splatter). Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Puree the tomatillos in a blender. In a coffee or spice grinder, grind the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, and toasted seeds. Add the seed mixture and the garlic to the pureed tomatillos and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  4. Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy frying pan. Fry each of the following ingredients and then remove with a slotted spoon: the raisins until they puff up; the almonds to a golden brown; the pumpkin seeds until they pop. If necessary, add enough oil to make 4 tablespoons and fry the tortilla pieces and bread slices until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side; remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Add raisins, almonds, pumpkins seeds, tortillas, and bread to the tomatillo puree and blend, using 1 to 2 cups of the reserved chicken broth, as needed, to make a smooth sauce. This may have to be done in batches. In a heavy Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the chile puree, the tomatillo puree, and the Mexican chocolate (be careful — it will splatter). Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining 5 cups of chicken broth, cook over low heat for an additional 45 minutes, stirring often enough to prevent the mixture from scorching on the bottom. During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, add the parboiled chicken and heat through. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve with white rice.

Chef Ravago tips:

  1. To seed dried chiles, use a sharp paring knife to make a slit down the side and carefully scrape out the seeds. It's a good idea to wear gloves when handling chiles. According to Ravago, you can vary the number of each chile you use, so long as the total number equals 22, but only use pasilla, mulato, or ancho chiles. Do not substitute another type.·

  2. Making mole is a time-consuming process, but Chef Ravago warns against taking shortcuts; otherwise, the mole will have an off taste. For instance, the recipe calls for toasting each type of seed individually. This is done to intensify and lock in the flavor of each, as the heating process brings the oils to the surface. If you heat all types of seeds together, the flavors will become mixed, resulting in a muddy-tasting mole.

  3. To make the most of your efforts, prepare a double batch of mole, serving a portion and keeping the rest to freeze. According to Ravago, the mole will keep frozen for up to a month. Simply thaw and reheat. If the texture is grainy after reheating, simply reblend the sauce.

  4. For easier serving, chunks of boneless, skinless chicken can be used. The recipe calls for parboiling, but you can prepare the chicken in any number of ways, Ravago says, either baked, roasted, or grilled. You can even use a purchased rotisserie chicken. Or, Ravago says, you can substitute duck, quail, turkey, or any kind of poultry for the chicken.



Tortitas Santa Clara


  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup icing sugar (125 g)

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1 and 1/2 cup shortening (380 g)

  • 6 cups flour

  • 5 Sheets of waxed paper or brown paper

For the cookie dough:

  •  1 lb. pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon tequesquite or salt

  •  2 and 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup milk


  1. In a bowl, dissolve the baking soda and powdered sugar in 1/2 cup water; add butter and beat with a wooden spoon until you get a creamy texture. Stir in flour and mix well with hands to form a paste. 

  2. Place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface; sprinkle some flour over it and place over it a little bit of dough, cover with another sheet of paper, also covered with flour and carefully press on the top sheet until the dough is a bit less thick then 1/2 inch.

  3. Remove the top waxed paper sheet, cut the dough with a 2 and 1/2" round cutter and carefully detach it to place it on a baking sheet covered by a sheet of waxed paper. On the edge of each tortilla, place a strip of the same dough to form a small rim; use this strip of dough to mark the outer edge with a fork to make the typical design of these cookies.

  4. Let the uncooked dough for these cookies rest for 24 hours, then place in preheated oven at 400 °F and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Let them cool down while we prepare the filling...

  5. To make the filling put the pumpkin seeds to soak the day before in two cups of water mixed with tequesquite or salt. The next day wash the seeds to remove the green flakes, dry with a cloth then grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.

  6. Cook the sugar in half a cup of water until it reaches hard ball stage or 260 degrees, which can be recognized when putting a little drop of this syrup in a glass of cold water forms a ball with a hard consistency. Add the crushed pumpkin seeds, boil a little then remove from the heat and whisk. When the syrup has cooled down a bit add the milk; continue beating until cool and then spread this icing syrup over the cookies. 

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