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October 27

Bl. Bartholomew of Vicenza

The Story of Bl. Bartholomew of Vicenza

Bl. Bartholomew of Vicenza (1201-1270), also known as Bartholomew of Braganca or Breganza, was born to a noble family in Vicenza, Italy. While studying in Padua he entered the newly established Dominican Order as one of their first friars, receiving the habit from St. Dominic himself. Bartholomew quickly advanced to positions of prominence within the Order, becoming prior and then overseeing several convents. He was sent to preach against the heretics in Lombardy, and was so successful that in 1235 the Holy Father made him Master of the Sacred Palace (an office known as "The Pope's Theologian") a position which was first held by St. Dominic. In this role he also founded a military order of knights for the purpose of maintaining civil order and peace throughout Italy called the Order of the Knights of the Mother of God (or the Knights of St. Mary). He was later made bishop of Cyprus, and also served as papal legate and confessor to St. Louis King of France, who was then leading a crusade in the Holy Land. From this friendship Bartholomew received the gift of a relic of the True Cross and a thorn from the Crown of Thorns. When Bartholomew returned to his native Vicenza as the city's bishop he built a church to house the precious relics called the Church of the Holy Crown. Bl. Bartholomew of Vicenza was an effective mediator between the factions and feuds of his day, even converting the leader of a heretical party back to the Catholic faith.








 Vicenza (Breganze), Italy




Bigoli con Anatra (Pasta and Duck Ragu)

A delicious traditional pasta dish from Veneto, Italy made with slow cooked duck.


  • 1 duck cut into quarters or duck pieces (I used 2 legs and a breast)

  • 2 celery stalks peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 small onion finely chopped

  • 2 carrots finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 cup chicken broth I used 1 stock cube

  • 3 tbsp tomato concentrate

  • 1 tbsp fresh sage chopped

  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped

  • 1 fresh bay leaf or 1/2 tsp dried

  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 500 g fresh bigoli (1.1 lbs) or thick spaghetti

  • Freshly grated parmigiano or grana cheese for serving

  • salt for pasta, to season duck and to taste

  • black pepper to season duck and to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-duty pot or deep frying pan.

  2. Season the duck pieces with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in the pot.

  3. Sear until the skin is browned and crisp.

  4. Turn the pieces over and brown the other sides

  5. Remove the duck and pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat and discard

  6. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the celery, onion, and carrot.

  7. Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables are softened.

  8. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

  9. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to high.

  10. Boil until wine is reduced by 1/2, then reduce the heat to medium.

  11. Add the broth, tomato concentrate, sage, rosemary and bay leaf, stirring to combine.

  12. Return the duck to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.

  13. Reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain a gentle simmer.

  14. Cover the pot and simmer until the meat is tender, approx 1.5 to 2 hours. Be careful not to let the duck dry out.

  15. If the sauce starts to dry out add more white wine or chicken broth.

  16. Remove the duck from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle.

  17. Skim the excess fat from the top of the sauce with a large spoon.

  18. If the sauce seems thin, continue simmering until thickened to desired consistency.

  19. Discard the duck skin and cut the meat off the leg bones.

  20. Mince all the duck meat into very small pieces.

  21. Add the meat to the sauce.

  22. Let the sauce simmer gently for 10 minutes.

  23. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  24. When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

  25. Cook the bigoli al dente according to the instructions on the packet if store bought. 6-8 minutes if homemade

  26. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

  27. Return the pasta to the pot and toss it with some of the ragù, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if it seems dry.

  28. Serve the pasta with more ragù spooned over the top, sprinkled with the grated cheese.

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