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November 10


Saint of the day:
Saint Leo the Great

A Doctor of the Church

"the Great," was perhaps best known for having met Attila the Hun in 452 and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy.

Saint Leo the Great's Story

St. Leo the Great was born in Tuscany. As deacon, he was dispatched to Gaul as a mediator by Emperor Valentinian III. He reigned as Pope between 440 and 461. He persuaded Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in an edict in 445. The doctrine of the Incarnation was formed by him in a letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople, who had already condemned Eutyches. At the Council of Chalcedon this same letter was confirmed as the expression of Catholic Faith concerning the Person of Christ. 

All secular historical treatises eulogize his efforts during the upheaval of the fifth century barbarian invasion. His encounter with Attila the Hun, at the very gates of Rome persuading him to turn back, remains a historical memorial to his great eloquence. When the Vandals under Genseric occupied the city of Rome, he persuaded the invaders to desist from pillaging the city and harming its inhabitants. He died in 461, leaving many letters and writings of great historical value. His feast day is November 10th.

The Pope Who Rode Out to Confront Attila the Hun




Raphael's The Meeting between Leo the Great and Attila depicts Leo, escorted by Saint Peter and Saint Paul, meeting near Rome.



St Leo the Great

(d. 461, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)


St Peter’s Basilica

Rome, Italy

Altar of St Leo the Great

*Located in the far left corner of the left transept.

*The remains of St Leo the Great rest under this altar.

*St Leo was known both for his exemplar defense of orthodox theology and for his efforts in halting the advance of the Barbarian tribes.
A marble relief of his important meeting with Attila the Hun is placed above this altar.



Creamy Tuscan Tomato Soup 


For the Soup

  • Two 28-ounce cans San Marzano plum tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 6 oz onion, finely chopped

  • 3 oz carrots, finely chopped

  • 3 oz celery, finely chopped

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped 

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 oz white wine

  • 2 c chicken stock

  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, torn

  • 16 ounces chicken stock, warm

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tsp thyme 

  • 1/2 tsp whoshire sauce

  • 1 c cream, warmed

For the Croutons

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 cups dry Italian bread, cut into cubes


  1. For the soup, empty the tomatoes into a large bowl and crush them with your hands. Set aside.

  2. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, shallot, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook until they begin to soften—you do not want them to color.  Deglaze with the white wine.
    Stir in the tomatoes and two-thirds of the basil leaves and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chicken stock and return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, whoshire sauce, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 60 minutes.

  3. Puree the soup. Stir in warmed cream.

  4. For the croutons, in a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, fry the bread cubes until golden brown, setting them aside as you go. When they’re all done, drizzle them with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.

  5. Serve the finished soup topped with the croutons and garnish with basil. Place the leftover croutons in a serving dish on the table for replenishing.
    Paired with a fresh mozzarella and american grilled yummy!!


The crunchy Schiaccia alla Campigliese cake

The traditional medieval cake of Campiglia Marittima in Tuscany.


  • 3 eggs

  • 3cup cake flour

  • 2 sticks lard or butter

  • 1 1/4cup sugar

  • 10 walnut kelners

  • 1 lemon

  • 1.8oz pine nuts

  •  butter and flour to prepare the baked dish


  1. Pour the flour on working surface and make a fountain with a hole in the middle of the flour.

  2. Zest the lemon with a grater in a cup. And mince the walnuts kernels in another bowl.

  3. Add the lard, the sugar, the three eggs, the walnut kernels and the lemon zest.

  4. Let the dough rest for about one hour.

  5. Pre heat the oven to 170°C (325°F) ten minutes before baking.

  6. Spread the dough out in a round baked dish and bite it with your fingers.

  7. Scatter the mixture with pine nuts and white sugar.

  8. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden.

  9. Serve with a glass of Tuscan Vinsanto or with a glass of sweet dessert wine.

Recipe Notes

If you do not want to use the lard, change the ingredient with butter, even if the taste won’t be the same. In the past, locals used to add other dried fruits, so feel free to customize the recipe to your taste. In case you do not have sweet liquor, serve with a glass of white wine as used by ancient inhabitants of Campiglia Marittima.

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