top of page

March 25

Saint of the day:

Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Annunciation of the Lord

The story of the feast of the Annunciation

now recognized as a solemnity, was first celebrated in the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. Now, as Luke 1:26-38 tells us, the decision is being realized. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one great act of love. Because human beings have rejected God, Jesus will accept a life of suffering and an agonizing death: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Mary has an important role to play in God’s plan. From all eternity, God destined her to be the mother of Jesus and closely related to him in the creation and redemption of the world. We could say that God’s decrees of creation and redemption are joined in the decree of Incarnation. Because Mary is God’s instrument in the Incarnation, she has a role to play with Jesus in creation and redemption. It is a God-given role. It is God’s grace from beginning to end. Mary becomes the eminent figure she is only by God’s grace. She is the empty space where God could act. Everything she is she owes to the Trinity.

Mary is the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7:14 in a way that Isaiah could not have imagined. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38).

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Mary.

This one hangs in my house.





Prayer Being Sung

Fun or serious prayer is powerful!

A funny little note...


Me as a Southern Baptist sitting in Mass....
My catholic husband is always so proper & all I want to do is hear

amazing music that is healing for the soul.  
It moves one to cry, to wiggle, to smile, to think....
One of the most powerful tools of the church is Music!

Song: Sister Act - Hail Holy Queen 

Immaculate Mary

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing,

Thou reignst now in Heaven with Jesus our King.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

In Heaven the Blessed thy glory proclaim,

On earth we thy children invoke thy fair name.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth

And bless, dearest Lady, the land of our birth.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

Salve Regina or Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star.....

Hail, Queen of heaven, the ocean star, Guide of the wanderer here below, Thrown on life's surge, we claim thy care, Save us from peril and from woe.


Mother of Christ, Star of the sea Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.


O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid, We sinners make our prayers through thee; Remind thy Son that He has paid The price of our iniquity.


Virgin most pure, Star of the sea, Pray for the sinner, pray for me.


Sojourners in this vale of tears, Blest advocate, to thee we cry, Assuage our sorrows, calm our fears, And soothe with hope our misery.

Refuge in grief, Star of the sea Pray for the mourner, pray for me.


And while to Him Who reigns above In Godhead one, in Persons three, The Source of life, of grace, of love, Homage we pay on bended knee:


Do thou, bright Queen, Star of the sea, Pray for thy children, pray for me.



The Story

The Annunciation

A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin.

The angel of light; see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve; and how respectfully he bows himself down before her: 'Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!'

Such language is evidently of heaven: none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.


In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, "Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said."  Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on the 25th of December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on the 25th of March.

Ave Maria lyrics English translation:

Hail Mary, full of grace, Mary, full of grace, Mary, full of grace, Hail, Hail, the Lord. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed, Blessed is the fruit of thy womb,Thy womb, Jesus. Hail Mary! Hail Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Pray, pray for us; Pray, pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death, The hour of our death, The hour of our death,The hour of our death, Hail Mary.

Hand-picked by God

The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary is the moment, the angel Gabriel, gave a message from God to Mary that she is with child and the angel’s announcement is met with Mary’s willing consent. The angel Gabriel also gave the message to Mary that her cousin Elisabeth, mother of John the Baptist, was filled with the Holy Spirit and would have a child too. In this passage, you can read the Hail Mary Prayer: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus... This is amazing story with many connections.

(Verses for reference)
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the word was God.

John 1:14 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 2:1-5 Jesus honors his mother at the wedding at Cana.

Hebrews 1:5-8 speaks of this divinity.


Things to think about while reading this passage:


Mary is called blessed; God venerates her by asking her to bear His Divine Son; God chose Mary above all women; Mary gave birth to the divine 'Incarnate Word'; Jesus Christ honors His mother; And Jesus Christ will defend His mother as any good son would.

The Birth of Jesus is Foretold (Luke 1:26-45, 57-60)

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” 35 And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

36 And behold, your cousin Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechari′ah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” 


The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari′ah after his father, 60 but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” 

As an adult, John became a prophet who devoted his life to preparing the way for Jesus. He told those who followed him: "I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11-12)

Inter-Religious Dialogue

…Love Thy Neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)

*Interesting note: Mary, her Annunciation, is spoken about in the 19th chapter (Maryam) of the Quran. It is a story that unites the Christian faith with the Muslim faith. Both speak of Mary with the highest respect and shared admiration. Her story, is one of an outstanding role model for the two biggest faiths in the world today. Walking in her footsteps anyone may be inspired to give love, to spread peace, to promote unity and inclusion, one love…a universal love.

Other interesting facts from the Quran:

  • Mary is the only woman named in the Quran.

  • Mary is one of the four spiritually perfected women of the world.

  • Mary was a pious girl dwelling in the Temple and the mother of Jesus.

  • Mary was given by god palm dates and water while giving birth to Jesus.

  • The Quran also states the conception of Jesus by Mary was miraculous.

  • Mary was a strong woman who raised Jesus on her own.

  • Mary and Jesus once helped save the lives of refugees.

The Quran tells stories of many of the people and events told in the Jewish Tanakh and the Holy Bible, but many details do differ. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Eber, Shelah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jethro, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Aaron, Moses, Zechariah, John the Baptist and Jesus are mentioned in the Quran as prophets of God. Moses is mentioned more in the Quran than any other individual, and Jesus is mentioned by name more than Muhammad, while Mary is mentioned more in the Quran than in the New Testament. All three faiths are Abrahamic Faiths: meaning they believe that Abraham was one of the great patriarchs.






The Order:
Order of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary



Saint Joan of France (1464-1505). Daughter of King Louis XI and Queen Charlotte of Savoy, Jeanne lived at a time marked by great concern for reform and by the emblematic figure of St. Francis of Assisi. Married to Louis of Orleans in 1476, he became King Louis XII in 1498, divorced for reasons of state. Became Duchess of Berry, she founded, with the help of her Franciscan confessor, Blessed Gabriel-Maria, the Order of the Virgin Mary which she had had the intuition in her childhood, while she was praying to the Virgin who would have said: "Before your death, you will found a religious order in my honor ..." His kindness, his concern for the poor, his great love for the Virgin Mary have marked those who have rubbed shoulders with him. She dies saintly in Bourges on February 4, 1505. Soon her cult spreads. Beatified in 1742,


The Order of the Virgin Mary - or the Annunciade - was founded in 1502 by Saint Joan of France (1464-1505)
and by the Franciscan, Blessed Gabriel Maria (1460-1532).


Basilica of the Annunciation
Nazareth, Israel
Phone: +972 4-656-0001

Mary's Cave




When I think of a Jewish mom (Ima) or grandmother (Bubbe) I think of amazing food for the heart, soul, and tummy...
Imas and Bubbes always push their children to be the best. They do this with comfort and support, just like a warm blanket. They never letting them fall. 
My Bubbes (reformed Jewish grandmothers at my hair salon who took me under their wings) would always make so many amazing things but they were known for a few totally jewish comfort foods! 
Brisket, Kugel or Jewish Noodle Pudding (with cream cheese), & Matzo Ball Soup! Total Imas comfort foods!
When I think of the Blessed Mother I think she had to be an amazing Bubbe! I mean think about it, she has all of us in heart and she watches over us, doesn't that sound like most Bubbes. So in honor of all the Bubbes today I will share recipes that would make a Jewish Grandmother proud!


German Rose Cake Rosenkuchen


  • 400 g flour

  • 40 g sugar

  • 1 package vanilla sugar 0.3oz 

  • 1 package dry yeast 

  • 125 ml milk

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 egg

  • 100 g butter


  • 125 ml milk

  • 1 egg

  • 100 sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 300 g hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts, ground


  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds

  • 1 tbsp apricot jam

  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar


  1. add flour, 30 g sugar, vanilla sugar and 1 dash salt into a mixing bowl, make a mold in the middle where you place the yeast with 1 tbsp sugar. Add 1/8 l milk to the yeast and with some flour stir it until you have a pre-dough.

  2. let the pre-dough raise for 10 min ( it will get bubbly).

  3. add 1 egg and the soft butter, then with the kneading hooks of the hand mixer knead the dough for 3 minutes.

  4. cover it and let it raise for another 30 min.

  5. Bring 1/8 l milk and 100 g sugar with cinnamon and cocoa powder to  aboil, take off the heat and add the ground hazelnuts or walnuts.

  6. Let it cool off a bit, then add 1 egg.

  7. on a baking board that is dusted with some flour roll the dough to a rectangle (12 x 16 inches, 30x40cm).

  8. spread the filling on top but not around the edges for about 1 inch.

  9. Roll it from the longer side and cut in 10-12 slices.

  10. Place the rolls with the cutting edge down in a greased spring form (26 cm or 10 inches)

  11. cover it and let it raise for another 20 min.

  12. mix egg yolk with water and brush it over the cake; sprinkle with almond slices

  13. bake in pre-heated oven on 200 C or 375 F for 30-40 min.

  14. When the cake is done, glaze it right away with the apricot jam. Before serving dust it with powdered sugar.

  15. NOTE: The filling is not sweet, if you like it sweet add some sugar to it.


  1. add raisins and/or marzipan

  2. vary it with a poppy seed filling

Matzo Ball Soup

Tip #1. Start with cold water, ALWAYS.
Tip #2. Add only Kosher Salt to the water, it clarifies the stock and makes it less cloudy.

Tip#3. Use a good chicken. Always use the best products you can in cooking, it makes a big difference. Try and get an Organic, Amish or Free Range chicken. They even look different, you will notice they have a more yellow tint to them, due to the difference in their diet.

Tip#4.  The water to meat ratio is important.  Otherwise you just end up with a watery broth.  Yuck.  Pour in enough water to cover the chicken.

That’s it.
Tip#5. Patience!


For the Soup

  • 1 whole Amish chicken or cut up chicken pieces with skin-on

  • 6 or 7 medium carrots peeled and cut in half

  • 2 large onions peeled and cut in half

  • 1 bunch dill washed

  • 1 bunch parsley washed

  • 3-4 parsley roots peeled and cut in half if large

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • Kosher Salt

For the matzoballs

  • 1 cup matzomeal

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/3 tsp pepper

  • 3 tbsp melted shmaltz or vegetable oil chicken fat

  • 1 tsp minced fresh dill



  1. Wash out your chicken and place it in the stockpot and cover it completely with COLD water. And let it simmer.

  2. You are going to notice the scum start to come up. It's really just coagulated blood. I let it simmer away for about 25 more minutes.

  3. In the meantime, prep your gorgeous carrots. I like to get the ones with the greenery still attached to them. It somehow makes everything seem better in life.

  4. Same with your parsley root. What's that? You never used a parsley root? Well it's magnificent! It is sweet and gloriously parsley like! Plus you get to use the actual leaves attached to the parsley root as...PARSLEY! 

  5. Don't forget to clean two onions as well!

  6. And then I use an unorthodox approach. I dump (and save) the broth out into a large colander so that we can start fresh with a new broth. This is how Asian broths are so nice and clear.

  7. Make sure to rinse the chicken and the pot of all the scum.

  8. And now we place all the veggies, parsley, dill, chicken, salt and pepper into the pot. Cover it again with cold water and let it simmer on medium-low for about 2 hours.

  9. In the meantime let's make our matzoballs.

  10. Combine all the ingredients for your matzoballs in a large bowl. I like to add dill to mine to increase the flavor and the color.

  11. Mix it all up with a spoon until it's nice smooth. Place this mixture into the fridge for 20 minutes. Remember the pit of chick broth we strianed before, us this strained broth to cook the matzoballs in. Bring up to boil.

  12. I like to use a little ice cream scooper to scoop them into my hand and then roll the balls out.

  13. Then place them on a plate.

  14.  The secret to fluffy matzoballs also has a lot to do with how long you cook them. If you want a dense and heavy matzoball, cook it for 25 minutes. If you are going for airy and light floaters, you are going to want to boil them for 35-40 minutes.

  15. Drop them into the simmering pot of broth carefully, one by one.

  16. Turn it down to a simmer. Cover it. And let them cook for 35-40 minutes. Once they are finished, you can serve them immediately with the soup or you can cool them completely then place them in another container in the refrigerator.

  17. Now back to our chicken soup. Taste it. Make sure it's as sweet as you want it and add salt if needed.

  18. There we go...golden. Beautiful and delicious. If you want to skim the fat off some, the easiest way is to place it in the fridge and let the fat solidify over night. Then you can go ahead and just remove the fat solids. I like to leave the fat in.

  19. Serve the soup with a matzoball or two, some of the veggies, some meat on the side and a nice sprinkling of dill


The technique is one of the most important aspects.  Go low and slow.  Low temperature, slow cooking.  This will allow the connective tissue to break down and the fat to melt slowly, leaving you with that ultimate melt in your mouth brisket.


There must also always be an acidic component.  I use both tomato acid (ketchup) and wine to allow for a deeper and richer flavor in the meat and the sauce.

The best thing about this brisket is that it is one pan and FREEZER ENCOURAGED.  Make it ahead of time.  Freeze it.  And let it warm up in a 350-degree oven the day of service.  It will be perfection.  Something magical happens when you  freeze foods like brisket.

When you purchase your brisket.  Do not purchase it cleaned.  Purchase it whole with the fat still on it.  And place the fat side UP when roasting.  NOT DOWN.

Now combine your ketchup, dehydrated onion, garlic, chicken base and water in a bowl.  Mix it all up to combine.


Now slather it onto EVERY nook and cranny.  Massage your brisket.  Making sure to cover it all over.  Then cover it and place in the fridge for 24 hours or at the very least overnight.

The next day, roughly chop your carrots and onions.  You want nice, large chunks.  I had some gorgeous multicolored carrots leftover so I used that.

Pour in the wine, throw the veggies on top and also nestle them in between for good measure.  You want the liquid to cover almost all the way to the top.

Cover with foil tightly and place into a 275-degree oven for the next 6-7 hours or so.  The ultimate test of course is the fork test.  You want it to be nice and tender.  I know it is perfect when the ends are easily falling off.  That means the center has a more meaty texture.  


I always make mine ahead of time.  So these next few steps are crucial.  Take the whole pan and place it into the fridge over night or for a few hours until it cools completely and fat solidifies.

See all that orange looking goup around the meat?  That’s fat.  And you do not need it.  It will make your sauce greasy.

Just take a spoon and lift up the fat.  It will come off easily.  

Now we slice.  This is a VERY important step.  If you slice the brisket with the grain, you can forget about that gorgeous melt in your mouth brisket.  You need to cut AGAINST the grain.  That way you will get perfectly beautiful slices.  This is also why we chilled it first.  Not only is it easier to remove the fat, but it is much easier to cut the meat when it is cold.

Using a sharp knife we are going to be cutting AGAINST the grain.  Make you use the length of the knife instead of sawing through the meat with short motions.


And now we place it into the pan…FAT SIDE DOWN.  Because when you reheat your brisket…it is better fat side down.

At this point, I cover my brisket back up…and stick it in the freezer until it’s time to cook it!

Reheat it in a 350-degree oven, covered for about 40-45 minutes.  And serve.



  • 7-8 pounds of brisket

  • 1 bottle of ketchup

  • 1 1/2 cups of dry red wine

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1.5 tbsp chicken base I find it milder than beef base

  • 1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes

  • 6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

  • 2 onions roughly chopped

  • 6 large carrots cut into large chunks

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine ketchup, water, dehydrated onion, garlic and chicken base and mix to combine.

  2. Slather this beautiful mixture onto the brisket sneaking it into each nook and cranny.

  3. Let stand in refrigerator for 24 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 275-degrees and place remaining ingredients over brisket in a tightly sealed roasting pan into the oven.

  5. Cook for 6-8 hours. Typically the rule of thumb is an hour a pound. But the true test is when it pulls apart with two forks..

  6. Place in refrigerator over night to cool.

  7. Remove fat and cut against the grain NOT with the grain.

  8. Place sauce over sliced meat and put into 350- degree oven to warm the meat and sauce.



  • 2 cups milk or coconut milk

  • 5 tablespoons corn starch

  • 1/2 tablespoons rose water

  • 1/2 cup cream

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • For serving: Chopped almonds, pistachios, and/or strawberry syrup


  1. Put ½ cup of the milk in a bowl with the corn starch and rose water
    until you have a smooth, even mixture.

  2. In a pot, cook the remaining 1½ cups milk with the cream and sugar until boiling.
    Add the corn starch mixture and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes,
    stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

  3. Pour into serving bowls and cool to room temperature.
    Transfer to the fridge to chill for 4 hours, or overnight.

  4. Drizzle with strawberry syrup and sprinkle with nuts just before serving.


Kugel or Jewish Noodle Pudding with Cream Cheese

Kugel is a baked pudding or casserole most commonly made from egg noodles or potato.  The word “kugel” means “sphere, globe, or ball”, the Yiddish name originated as a reference to the round, puffed-up shape of the original dishes. 

Although most kugels I’ve eaten have been baked in shallow square pans, we’ve baked ours in a deeper, oval baking dish which allows more of the noodles to stay creamier than baking in a shallow, flatter pan.  This noodle kugel gets its delicious, sweet flavor and creamy consistency from a decadent combination of cream cheese, evaporated milk, whole milk, sugar, eggs, and golden raisins which are all mixed with buttered egg noodles before baking.


  • 8 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 10 ounces evaporated milk

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup golden raisins



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Cook egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and toss with butter.

  3. While noodles are cooking, in a large bowl with a mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar and eggs until smooth.

  4. Add cooked, buttered noodles to the cream cheese mixture and by hand, gently stir to combine.

  5. Add both milks and raisins and gently stir again.

  6. Pour mixture into a large casserole dish like we show in our photo, or in a 13×9-inch pan.

  7. Bake for 1 hour until custard is set and lightly golden on top.

  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Optional for a topping:


  • 1 cup crushed corn flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

bottom of page