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September 8


Saint of the day:
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nativity means birth

The Story of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. A September birth was chosen because the Eastern Church begins its Church year with September. The September 8 date helped determine the date for the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s birth. However, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James fills in the gap. This work has no historical value, but it does reflect the development of Christian piety. According to this account, Anna and Joachim are infertile but pray for a child. They receive the promise of a child who will advance God’s plan of salvation for the world. Such a story, like many biblical counterparts, stresses the special presence of God in Mary’s life from the beginning.

Saint Augustine connects Mary’s birth with Jesus’ saving work. He tells the earth to rejoice and shine forth in the light of her birth. “She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley. Through her birth the nature inherited from our first parents is changed.” The opening prayer at Mass speaks of the birth of Mary’s Son as the dawn of our salvation, and asks for an increase of peace.

Special Reading would be of the Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James (Good News of James). It is the earliest surviving assertion of the perpetual virginity of Mary, meaning her virginity not just prior to the birth of Jesus, but during and afterwards.

Mary is presented as an extraordinary child destined for great things from the moment of her conception. Her parents, the wealthy Joachim and his wife Anna (or Anne), are distressed that they have no children. Anna dedicates the child to God and vows that it shall be raised in the Temple. Joachim and Anna name the child Mary, and when she is three years old they send her to the Temple, where she is fed each day by an angel.


When Mary approaches her twelfth year the priests decide that she can no longer stay in the Temple lest her menstrual blood render it unclean, and God finds a widower, Joseph, to act as her guardian: Joseph is depicted as elderly and the father of grown sons; he has no desire for sexual relations with Mary. He leaves on business, and Mary is called to the Temple to help weave the temple curtain, where one day an angel appears and tells her that she has been chosen to conceive Jesus the Savior, but that she will not give birth as other women do. Joseph returns and finds Mary six months pregnant, and rebukes her, fearing that the priests will assume that he is the guilty party. They do, but the chastity of both is proven through the "test of bitter waters".









Church of Saint Anne, Jerusalem

Beyond the tranquil gardens sits St. Anne's Church, a Roman Catholic Romanesque edifice completed in 1138 by the Crusaders.

The church is built over the grotto thought by the Crusaders to be the birthplace of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

According to tradition, Mary's mother's name was Anne or Anna, and her father was Joachim.




All over the world the Blessed mother is celebrated. 
This being a national holiday in my house because it is my son's birthday...haha, well it feels like it is how we celebrate his birth.

But this year we will head up to my inlaw's house for the The Festival of the Felittese which celebrates Our Lady of Constantinople
(Old Forge, PA)

The Felittese Association of Old Forge invites the community to its annual festival. For more than 20 years, the festival has been held annually on the second Sunday of September in commemoration of Our Lady of Constantinople. On Saturday, entertainment will be provided by "Gold Dust" beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sunday is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Constantinople. A Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at Prince of Peace Parish, 127 West Grace Street, Old Forge. The Very Reverend Joseph Cipriano will celebrate the mass.  Following the mass, the traditional Procession of carrying the statue of Our Lady of Constantinople will begin at the church and commence on the grounds of Our Lady's Chapel, Third Street in Old Forge. The festival grounds open at noon. Entertainment will be provided by "The Poets" at 6:30 p.m. For more information call (570) 457-3499.


Hoboken Italian Festival

Feast of the Madonna Dei Martiri

Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, N.J.

Sept. 8 -11

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Cusumano's Pizza...well hoping it will be like Cusumano's lol!



White Pizza (Old Forge style)
1 double-crust rectangular pie,
about 10" x 16" (six slices about 4" x 5")



  • 4 tsp instant yeast

  • 4.5 c flour (00 Flour)

  • 2 tsp salt

    1-3/4 C  warm water (about 105º)

    2 T olive oil


  • 2 C fontina cheese, shredded

  • 2 C aged provolone cheese, shredded

  • 2 C Cooper sharp American cheese, shredded 

  • 1 T fresh rosemary
    (whole leaves, removed from stems, placed on top )

  • kosher salt

  • olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. 

  2. Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade and process until the dough clumps together and starts to ride around on the blade. Place dough in a bowl, coat it with 1 tablespoon olive oil, cover with clear plastic and allow to rise 'til doubled, about an hour and a half. 

  3. Punch down the dough, knead it for a few seconds and then cut in half. Wrap one half tightly in plastic wrap. Roll the other half into a thin rectangular sheet, about the same size as the pan, with edges the same thickness as the center. (Use a dark-colored metal jelly roll pan.) Oil the pan with about 1-1/2 tablespoon olive oil and lay the crust in the pan. Roll out the other piece of dough to about the same size and shape. Cover the dough sheets with clean towels and allow to rise 30 minutes. 

  4. Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil over the bottom crust, stopping half an inch from the pan edge. Mix the three cheeses and spread over the crust, again stopping half an inch from the pan edge. Salt lightly and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the cheese. Lay the top crust over the bottom crust and filling. Stretch the edges of the lower crust up and over the upper crust and crimp together to form a seal. 

  5. Brush the top of the pizza liberally with water, then bake 15 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Brush the top liberally with olive oil and scatter on the rosemary.  Bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow the pizza to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.




Old Forge style Red Pizza (open face)


  • For the dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour

  • 1 cup warm (100-110 degrees) water

  • 1/2 ounce active dry yeast (two packets)

  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus additional for coating bowl and pizza

For the topping:

  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes

  • 1 large sweet yellow onion ,sliced into very thin strips about 2 inches long

  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

  • 6 ounces freshly shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 6 ounces freshly shredded Cheddar cheese

  • dried oregano

  • black pepper


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the warm water, then mix remaining 1/2 cup water with the yeast until foamy; stir into the flour mixture. Stir the flour mixture until moistened, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed to keep the dough from becoming sticky. Lightly oil the bowl you mixed the flour in, then place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 1 hour.

  2. While the dough rises, prepare the sauce. Put the undrained tomatoes in a bowl and crush with your hands, then add the very thinly sliced onions and sugar and stir. Set aside.

  3. Coat a 17x11 inch or slightly larger baking sheet with the olive oil, adding more if necessary to thickly coat the sides and bottom.

  4. Punch the dough down and hand stretch it as much as possible. Place on the baking sheet and continue to press the dough down until it covers the sheet. The olive oil should have spilled over the top and covered the entire top of the dough, if it doesn't brush with additional. Let rise again for 15 minutes.

  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  6. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top of the dough, then spoon the sauce/onion mixture on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, oregano, and black pepper.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.



Old Forge Pizza:

Pizza Dough 12x17 pan                          9x9 pan

Flour              | 100%  | 409g                  164g
Water             |   67%  |  274g                 114g
Salt                 |  1.5% |    8g                    5g
IDY                 |  2.0%  |      8g                  3g
Sugar             |  2.0%  |   6-8g                2g

Flour is a 50/50 blend of bread flour & self rising flour

Updated recipe

Pizza dough 12x17 pan - High Altitude

Flour        | 100% | 430g
Water      |  70%  | 301g
Salt         |  2.0% | 9g
IDY         |  2.3% | 10g
Sugar      |  2.0% | 9g

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