Saint of the day:
Gabriel the Archangel
Gabriel: “God is Great”
Angel of the Lord
Saint Gabriel's feast day used to be on March 24th,
the day before the feast of the Annunciation.
However, following the revision of the Calendar following Vatican II,
he now shares a feast day with St Michael and St Raphael which is called Michaelmas on 29th of September.
Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Patron Saint of messengers, telecommunication workers, postal workers, horses and horsemen,
North American police officers, Michaelmas may also be a Blue Mass,
United States military & children
Names: "Who is like God,”
is the warrior, the defender of the good, protector and one to call upon for defense against evil.
Saint Michael Mission: Protects
Colors: orange or gold
Patron Saint of Broadcasters
Saint Gabriel Mission: Announces
Name: "God is my strength"
Colors: silver or blue
Patron Saint of The Blind & Travelers
Saint Raphael Mission: Guides
Name: “Medicine of God”
Colors: gray or yellow
"Raphael: announces his presence through
his glowing green light, you’ll immediately relax and start to feel better
Is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his visions. Gabriel is described as, "one who looked like man," as he interprets Daniel's visions. He speaks to Daniel while he is sleeping. After Gabriel's first visit, Daniel becomes tired and sick for days. Gabriel later visits Daniel again providing him with more insight and understanding in an answered prayer.
In the New Testament, Gabriel, described as "an angel of the Lord," first appears to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. He tells him, "Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth." Luke 1:13.
After Elizabeth conceived and was six months pregnant, Gabriel appears again. The Book of Luke states he was sent from God to Nazareth to visit the virgin married to a man named Joseph. Gabriel said to Mary, The angel came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” ...blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28 & 42 (NCB)
"Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. Luke 1:30-33
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
Gabriel told Mary she would conceive from The Holy Ghost and the baby will be the Son of God.
After the Annunciation of Mary, Gabriel is not spoken of again.
Gabriel's attributes as the Archangel; he is clothed in blue or white; and is seen carrying a lily, a trumpet, a shining lantern, a branch from Paradise, a scroll or a scepter. In art, Gabriel is most commonly represented in the scene of the Annunciation.
He is occasionally cited as the one who blows God's trumpet to indicate the Lord's return to Earth. However, the person designated with this task varies; different passages cite different people. The earliest known identification of Gabriel as the trumpet holder comes in 1455 represented in Byzantine art.
Gabriel is recognized as the patron saint of messengers, telecommunication workers, and postal workers. His feast day is celebrated on September 29, along with St. Michael and St. Raphael.
In the United Kingdom, the United States and Ireland, a Red Mass is traditionally convened on the Sunday closest to Michaelmas, in honor of and to bless lawyers and judges.
A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for judges, lawyers, law school professors, law students, and government officials. The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.
One of the better-known Red Masses is the one celebrated each fall at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. on the Sunday before the first Monday in October
(the Supreme Court convenes on the first Monday in October). It is sponsored by the John Carroll Society and attended by some Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, the diplomatic corps, the Cabinet and other government departments and sometimes the President of the United States. Each year, at the Brunch following the Red Mass, the Society confers its Pro Bono Legal Service Awards to thank lawyers and law firms that have provided outstanding service.
In the United States, the liturgical custom of holding a Red Mass has more recently led to annual Masses for at least two other occupational groups; "Blue" Masses for police officers and others engaged in public safety, as well as "White" or "Rose" Masses for doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals.
Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael’s Story
Angels—messengers from God—
appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.
Michael appears in Daniel’s vision as “the great prince” who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God’s armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.
Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel’s visions, announcing Michael’s role in God’s plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah.
Raphael’s activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit.
There he appears to guide Tobit’s son Tobiah through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending:
Tobiah’s marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit’s blindness, and the restoration of the family fortune.
The memorials of Gabriel and Raphael were added to the Roman calendar in 1921.
The 1970 revision of the calendar joined their individual feasts to Michael’s.
Prayer & Invoking:
“Progeny and prosperity of family, Mystery of Michael, Protection of the Trinity”
Gabriel's horn announcing the Return of the Lord,
Just as Gabriel announced the Lord's first coming, so he will announce the Lord’s second coming
Gabriel's Dreams & Announcements
Archangel Gabriel is known as the angel of revelation or announcement.
He plays a significant role in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and many other faiths, acting as the messenger from God.
In the Bible, Gabriel can be found in the books of Luke and Daniel.
He is also called the "Christmas Angel" because he announced to Mary and the shepherds of the upcoming birth of Jesus.
It is believed that Gabriel can be recognized by a white or copper light and that he often delivers his messages to people in dreams.
Archangel Gabriel and Guidance for the Future
When you get sudden insights that give you valuable guidance for the future, it may be Gabriel sending you a message.
As the angel of water, one of Gabriel's specialties is sending clarity.
It has been written:
"Gabriel, as the archangel of communication, often announces what's on the horizon, and acts like a manager or agent in orchestrating new ventures related to one’s soul purpose."
"Gabriel: Communicating with the Archangel for Inspiration and Reconciliation," that, "Gabriel aids visions, and can also help you get glimpses of the future."
"If you feel trapped, locked in, or are simply in a rut, call on Gabriel to help you change and start moving ahead again...The gift of prophecy can be yours, if you ask Gabriel to help."
Help Solving Problems
If an idea about how to solve a challenging problem comes to your mind (especially after praying for a solution), it may be a sign that Gabriel is with you.
Gabriel sometimes offers ideas for solutions while people are meditating and asking Gabriel what to do about their problems.
"The most usual form of communication is for thoughts and insights to come into your conscious mind.
Ask Gabriel to clarify anything you do not understand. By the end of the conversation, you should know exactly what to do."
Gabriel Sends Messages Through Dreams
Gabriel often visits people while they're dreaming.
Example: Gabriel is the angel in the Bible story about an angel telling Joseph in a dream that he would serve as the father of Jesus Christ on Earth.
Archangel Gabriel and other archangels may work during your dreams to help you solve problems if you invite them to do so before going to sleep.
"You should awaken with a dream-world memory that contains the solution (or a seed to the solution) to your problem.
Sometimes you will not remember having a dream at all. Yet the answer to the problem will come to your conscious awareness later in the day."
Gabriel often hopes that his appearances in people's dreams will inspire them to pursue greater purity in their lives.
"Purification of the self builds strength and opens the channels of communication between you and the beings on the higher planes. The wisdom of your guardian angel, the archangels, and your spirit guides is more easily understood and integrated by those who devote themselves to the purification of their heart and mind."
Feeling Challenged When Receiving a Message
Many people say that they feel challenged to take on a great responsibility when Gabriel communicates with them.
Historically, the messages that Gabriel delivers often ask people to do something for God.
Religious texts record that the people whom Gabriel visits have felt troubled when they ponder his message to them.
The Qur'an says that it was Gabriel who miraculously revealed its entire content to the prophet Muhammad.
He wrote that Gabriel's visits to him were stressful and challenging.
Gabriel's challenging visits to Muhammad.
"The angel Gabriel appeared to him several times. The prophet was later to report that the angel sometimes appeared to him in his angelic persona and sometimes as a human being. At other times, the prophet would hear a bell-like sound and revelation would come suddenly, requiring of him such extreme concentration that he came close to asphyxiation."
When Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce that she would serve as Jesus Christ's mother on Earth, the Bible records that Mary was troubled at first. "Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be" (Luke 1:29).
"The angel Gabriel appears unexpectedly...After greeting Mary, the angel begins the message from God, saying 'Do not be afraid.' The attitude of awe or reverence, expressed as fear, is typical for those who experience an epiphany. ...Mary is troubled at hearing the greeting of the angel. Her confusion is based on both the appearance of the angel and on what the angel has said."
If You See a White or Copper Light
You may see either white or copper light around you when Gabriel is nearby. Believers say that Gabriel's electromagnetic energy corresponds to the white angel light ray and his aura is a copper color.
"Archangel Gabriel is associated with a beautiful white light and this color brings purification to wherever it is needed. Imagine this white light enfolding and surrounding you and your child and ask that it help dissolve any stress or worries that may be affecting either of you."
Gabriel is typically portrayed with a large copper trumpet, signifying his delivery of messages. He is often identified by a copper-colored halo or flashes of copper light. Some people also believe that a sudden and unusual attraction to objects made of copper is another sign that they're working with Archangel Gabriel.
Saint Michael: Protects
Saint Gabriel: Announces
Saint Raphael: Guides
Raphael the Healer and Matchmaker:
The name of the angel Raphael appears in the Biblical Book of Tobit. The Book of Tobit is considered deuterocanonical by Catholics, Orthodox, and some Anglicans. Raphael first appears disguised in human form as the traveling companion of Tobit's son, Tobiah, calling himself "Azarias the son of the great Ananias". During the course of the journey the archangel's protective influence is shown in many ways including the binding of a demon in the desert of upper Egypt. After returning and healing the blind Tobit, Azarias makes himself known as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord" Tobit 12:15. He is venerated as Saint Raphael the Archangel.
Regarding the healing powers attributed to Raphael, there is his declaration to Tobit (Tobit, 12) that he was sent by the Lord to heal him of his blindness and to deliver Sarah, his future daughter-in-law, from the demon Asmodeus, who kills every man she marries on their wedding night before the marriage can be consummated.
In the New Testament, only the archangels Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name (Luke 1:9–26; Jude 1:9). Later manuscripts of John 5:1–4 refer to the pool of Bethesda, where the multitude of the infirm lay awaiting the moving of the water, for "an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under". Because of the healing role assigned to Raphael, this particular angel is generally associated with the archangel.
Archangel Michael is the only angel who is mentioned by name in all three of the major sacred texts of the world's religions that place the most emphasis on angels:
the Torah (Judaism)
the Bible (Christianity)
and the Qur'an (Islam)
In all of those faiths, believers consider Michael a leading angel who fights evil with the power of good.
Michael is an exceptionally strong angel who protects and defends people who love God.
He is powerfully concerned about truth and justice.
Believers say that Michael communicates boldly with people when he helps and guides them.
Here's how to recognize signs of Michael's possible presence with you:
Archangel Michael Sent to Help During a Crisis
God often sends Michael to help people who are facing urgent needs during a crisis, believers say. "You can call on Michael in an emergency and receive instant help," writes Richard Webster in his book "Michael: Communicating With The Archangel For Guidance and Protection." "No matter what type of protection you need, Michael is ready and willing to provide it. ... No matter what sort of situation you find yourself in, Michael will give you the necessary courage and strength to deal with it."
In her book, "The Miracles of Archangel Michael," Doreen Virtue writes that people may see Michael's aura nearby or hear his voice audibly speaking to them during a crisis: "Archangel Michael's aura color is a royal purple that's so bright, it looks like cobalt blue.
... Many people report seeing Michael's blue lights in a crisis. ... During crises, people hear Michael's voice as loudly and clearly as if another person were talking."
But no matter how Michael chooses to manifest, he usually announces his presence clearly, writes Virtue: "More than seeing the actual angel, most people see evidence of Michael's presence.
He's a very clear communicator, and you're likely to hear his guidance in your mind or sense it as a gut feeling."
Reassurance That God and the Angels Are Caring for You
Michael may visit you when you need encouragement to make faithful decisions, to reassure you that God and the angels are really watching over you, say believers.
"Michael is concerned chiefly with protection, truth, integrity, courage, and strength. If you are having difficulty in any of these areas, Michael is the angel to summon," writes Webster in, "Michael: Communicating With The Archangel For Guidance and Protection." He writes that when Michael is close to you, "you may get a clear picture of Michael in your mind" or "you might experience a sense of comfort or warmth."
Michael will be glad to give you comforting signs of his protection that you can recognize, writes Virtue in "The Miracles of Archangel Michael:" "Since Archangel Michael is a protector, his signs are designed to comfort and reassure. He wants you to know that he’s with you and that he hears your prayers and questions. If you don’t trust or notice the signs that he sends, he’ll communicate his message in different ways ... The archangel appreciates your candor with him, and he’s happy to help you recognize the signs.
The comfort that Michael provides is especially helpful for dying people, and some people (such as Catholics) believe that Michael is the angel of death who escorts the souls of faithful people into the afterlife.
Help Fulfilling God's Purposes for Your Life
Michael wants to motivate you to become more organized and productive to fulfill God's good purposes for your life, writes Ambika Wauters in her book , "The Healing Power of Angels: How They Guide and Protect Us," so such guidance that you receive in your mind may be signs of Michael's presence with you. "Michael helps us develop the skills and talents we need that will support us, and benefit our communities and the world," Wauters writes. "Michael asks that we be organized, find a simple, rhythmic, orderly routine in our everyday life.
He encourages us to create constancy, dependability and trust in order to thrive. He is the spiritual force that helps us create a healthy foundation that gives stability and strength."
Relationship Rather Than Spectacle
Like other angels, Michael may choose to show you flashes of light when he's around, but Michael will combine that spectacle with substantial guidance that he gives you (such as through your dreams), writes Chantel Lysette in her book, "The Angel Code: Your Interactive Guide to Angelic Communication." She writes that a "way to discern whether unexplained phenomena somehow indicates an angelic presence is the question of consistency. Michael, for example, will give off small flashes of light to let you know he’s around, but he will also let you know by using connections that you’ve already established with him, be it clairaudience, dreams, etc. It is much better to foster this kind of relationship with your angels, seeking out connection through personal, intimate experiences every day, rather than relying on spectacle."
Lysette cautions readers to "make sure you’re grounded before you form any conclusions about what you saw" and to approach signs from Michael (and other any other angel) with an open mind: "... look for signs casually, with an open mind, and not become obsessed with trying to find them and dissect what they mean. At the very foundation, they really only mean one thing—that your angels are walking beside you every step of the way as you journey through life."
The Michaelmas Daisy
The Michaelmas Daisy, which flowers late in the growing season between late August and early October,
provides color and warmth to gardens at a time when the majority of flowers are coming to an end. As suggested by the saying below, the daisy is probably associated with this celebration because, as mentioned previously, St Michael is celebrated as a protector from darkness and evil, just as the daisy fights against the advancing gloom of Autumn and Winter.
“The Michaelmas Daisies, among dede weeds,
Bloom for St Michael’s valorous deeds.
And seems the last of flowers that stood,
Till the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.”
(The Feast of St. Simon and Jude is 28 October)
The act of giving a Michaelmas Daisy symbolises saying farewell, perhaps in the same way as
Michaelmas Day is seen to say farewell to the productive year and welcome in the new cycle.
Michaelmas Day Hymn
Lord God, to Thee We Give All Praise
THE LEGENDS OF MONT SAINT MICHEL
Mont Saint Michel Abbey lies at the peak of a rocky islet less than half a mile off the coast of Normandy. One of France's most recognizable landmarks, it receives more than 3 million visitors each year. Both Mont Saint Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Interestingly, this islet was not always called Mont Saint Michel. Prior to the construction of the first church there in the 8th century, the island was called Mont Tombe. There are various legends relating to St. Michael and Mont Saint Michel which may explain the name-change. Here, we share some of these, and hope that it will inspire you to travel to Mont Saint Michel and find out more!
ST. MICHAEL AND THE DRAGON
Apparently, it is no coincidence that St. Michael chose this location for the church. Some believe that it was on this mount that
St. Michael won his mighty victory over the dragon, described in the New Testament’s Book of Revelations (12:7-9):
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon;
and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not… the great dragon was cast out,
that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him".
Le Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France.
It is located about one kilometre off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 100 hectares in size.
Traditions & Recipes:
“Eat a goose on Michaelmas Day,
Want not for money all the year”.
“Goose Day” or Michaelmas
Devil's Spit Day
In England it was the custom to eat goose on Michaelmas, which was supposed to protect against financial need for the next year.
In Ireland, finding a ring hidden in a Michaelmas pie meant that one would soon be married.
According to an English folklore, Michaelmas day is also known as "devil's spit day" and is the last day blackberries should be picked to be eaten
It was said that after this day, the devil scorched blackberries on bushes with his fiery breath or even urinated on them
Make devil's spit day dumplings with blackberries
The Whole Wheat & Honey Bread
Makes 2 loaves.
3 TBSP rapid rise yeast
4 cups warm water
2/3 cup honey
1 TBSP salt
9-10 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of quick oats or flaxseed (or a combination of the two)
Sprinkle the yeast in the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer.
Slowly add 4 cups of warm water and 2/3 cups of honey, and mix gently until the yeast dissolves. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 5 minutes until you see that the yeast is starting to foam.
With the regular paddle attachment on your mixer, slowly add in 4 cups of the flour, the salt, and the oats/flaxseed as you mix the dough on the lowest setting of your mixer. Mix until combined, scraping the edges of the bowl if needed.
Switch to the dough hook attachment. Add in the rest of the flour as you knead it with the dough hook. I usually use the full 10 cups, but you may use less depending on the type of whole wheat flour you are using. The dough should release from the sides of the mixing bowl, but it should still be sticky.
Place some plastic wrap over the mixing bowl, and let it rise in a warm place until it’s about doubled. I use the “proof” setting on my oven to rise my dough in.
After the dough has risen, punch it down to get rid of any air pockets. Cut the dough in half, and squish and press it into two prepared 9″ x 5″ loaf pans. I spray mine with cooking spray.
Cover the loaf pans with the plastic wrap, and let the dough rise again for about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and bake the bread for 35-40 minutes. It’s done when the tops are slightly brown, and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
Let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before you cut it. Store it in a bag for up to 5 days and it will stay moist and fresh tasting.
* dragon bread is served with “fire jam”.
To make fire jam: fill one side of a bowel with red jam (raspberry, strawberry, cherry, etc)
and the other side with an yellow or orange jam (apricot, peach, marmalade), use a spoon to swirl them together. Voila! Fire Jam.
ST. MICHAEL'S BANNOCK
2⁄3 cup barley meal
2⁄3 cup oat meal
2⁄3 cup rye meal
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 1⁄2-3 cups milk
3 tablespoons honey or 3 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄4 cup raisins (optional) or 1⁄4 cup sultana(optional)
1 cup cream
4 tablespoons melted butter
Mix barley meal, oatmeal, rye meal, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together well in a large bowl.
Stir in the milk, honey or sugar, and the fruit.
Turn the mixture out onto a well-floured board and knead just long enough to make a soft dough. Add more flour or milk, if required to get the consistency right.
Roll the dough into a circle about 20-23cm in diameter (8-9) and 1-2cm (½-¾) thick. ( They can be made smaller to be handled better) Wrap lightly in waxed paper and leave to rise for about 20 minutes in a warm place.
Mix together the eggs, cream, and melted butter. Heat a griddle or a large frying pan and grease it lightly.
Unwrap the dough. Paint one surface of the bannock with the egg mixture, and place the bannock with the painted side on the griddle.
Cook over a moderate heat until brown.
Paint the upper surface of the bannock with the egg mixture. Flip over and cook the other side.
Keep turning it over and painting the bannock until each side has been painted and cooked three times, when it is ready to serve.
St Michael's Bannock is good either served plain or spread with butter and honey.
6 c flour (white whole wheat)
2 c warm milk
1 tsp. raw sugar
5 tsp. dry yeast
1/4 c melted butter
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 c raw sugar
1/2 c golden raisins (or more! you could use dried apricots or even cheddar cheese for a savory bread)
1 egg yolk
1/4 c sunflower seeds (or more! also, you can use pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, or sesame)
Measure the flour into a big mixing bowl. Set this aside.
Dissolve the teaspoon of sugar and the yeast into the cup of warm milk. When it is frothy, stir the butter in as well. Set this aside.
Place the sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the raisins, egg yolk and seeds each in their own small bowl. Set these aside.
Arrange all the small bowls near the big mixing bowl of flour, light a candle and begin the story.
At the end of the story, the dough is ready for its first rising...cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour.
Punch it down, shape it (on a baking sheet) and leave it to rise again (about 30 minutes)
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how you divided up the dough (several small loaves or one huge one?) Bread is done when you tap the underside and hear a hollow sound.
Devil's Spit Day Dumplings with Blackberries
This is a comforting recipe with fluffy little dumplings for Michaelmas, or when the blackberries are in season, but before Devil Spits Day of course! This is a wonderful way to end an autumn meal, whether it be for the family during the week or a celebratory dinner party. Serve these dumplings with fresh pouring cream or home-made custard. This recipe serves 4.
4 ozs (100g) freshly picked blackberries
1 medium sized cooking apple, Bramley apples are best
4 ozs (100g) Self Raising flour
1 oz (25g) butter or margarine
White granulated sugar
½-pint (300 ml) water
1. Wash the blackberries and then peel, core and quarter the cooking apple.
Place the flour and the salt in a mixing bowl and with your fingertips; rub the butter
or margarine into the flour. Stir in 3 level teaspoons of white sugar and then mix to a
soft dough with about 4 tablespoons of cold milk.
2. Divide the dumpling dough into 4 pieces on a floured board and carefully mould a
piece around each quarter of an apple, making sure that the apple is completely covered.
3. Dissolve about 1 tablespoon of sugar in the water in a medium sized saucepan and add
the blackberries. Bring them to a gentle boil and then place the apple dumplings on top of
the blackberries, cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes, do NOT take the lid off for the
first 15 minutes! Serve one apple dumpling per person with some of the blackberries
spooned over the top; fresh pouring cream or custard makes a nice accompaniment.
English Roasted Goose
4-5½ kg fresh goose
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
small handful each of parsley sprigs,
thyme and sage, plus extra for garnishing
a little olive oil, for browning, optional
3 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp thyme leaf
Calculate the cooking time (see tips, below). If the goose is ready-trussed, then loosen the string and pull out the legs and wings a little – this helps the bird cook better. Check the inside of the bird and remove any giblets or pads of fat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, lightly score the breast and leg skin in a criss-cross. This helps the fat to render down more quickly during roasting.
Grate the zest from the lemons and limes. Mix with 2 tsp fine sea salt, the five-spice powder and pepper to taste. Season the cavity of the goose generously with salt, then rub the citrus mix well into the skin and sprinkle some inside the cavity.
Stuff the zested fruit and the herb sprigs inside the bird and set aside for at least 15 mins. Can be done up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated.
Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. If you want to give the bird a nice golden skin, brown in a large frying pan (or a heavy-based roasting tin), using a couple of tbsp of oil. Holding the bird by the legs (you may like to use an oven glove), press it down on the breasts to brown.
Once browned, place the bird in the roasting tin. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roast for the calculated time, turning the heat down after 10 mins to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Cover the goose with foil if it is starting to brown too much.
Every 30 mins or so, baste the bird with the pan juices, then pour off the fat through a sieve into a large heatproof bowl . You will end up with at least a liter of luscious fat – save this for the potatoes and other veg. At the end of the cooking time, leave to rest for at least 30 mins, covered loosely with foil. The bird will not go cold, but will be moist and much easier to carve.
*Serve with roasted root vegetables