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November 6

Saint of the day:
Saint Hugh of Lincoln


Patron Saint of sick children, sick people, shoemakers and swans 


​Saint Hugh of Lincoln's Story​Saint Hugh of Lincoln's Story

Carthusian bishop and missionary to England. Born in Avalon Castle in Burgundy, France, the son of William, Lord of Burgundy, Hugh was raised by monks at Villard Benoit after his mother died when he was eight. While groomed to enter the Augustinian Canons, he was instead drawn to the contemplative life and became a Carthusian in 1160, while visiting the Grande Chartreuse. In 1175, he was invited by King Henry II to found the first English Charterhouse of the Order at Witham, in Somerset. This foundation was part of the king' pen­ances for the murder of St. Thomas Becket. Hugh then became bishop of Lincoln in 1181 at the command of the king, accepting the office only after he was duly and freely elected. Renowned for his goodness and deep learning, Hugh disagreed with Henry and King Richard the Lionhearted on many occasions, but he never lost their respect nor ceased attempting to wield his saintly influence for the good of the Church and the English people. He was also a fervent defender of the English Jews, Protecting them from armed mobs. At his funeral, his bier was carried by notables, including the kings of England and Scotland. Hugh died in Lincoln on November 16, after a journey to France, and his tomb was a popular pilgrim site until its despoilment at the command of King Henry VIII in the sixteenth century. Canonized in 1220 by Pope Honorius III, he became the first Carthusian saint.

Legend of the Swan

St. Hugh’s gentleness and innocence attracted animals to him. A day or so after he was welcomed and enthroned at Lincoln, a new swan not seen there before flew in at the bishop’s manor near Stow. It was larger in size and stronger than other swans, and had slightly different markings.

When the bishop first visited Stow, the bird, which had been tamed, was brought to him. Immediately, the swan took and ate bread from his hand and stayed with him like a pet. The bird let himself be touched by the saint, and was not fazed by the commotion surround him. Sometimes when the bishop fed him, the bird would stretch its head and its whole neck into his large, roomy sleeve, and rest its head on his chest.

If St. Hugh was away for a few days, the swan would move about as if looking for or waiting for its master to return. Only with the bishop was it friendly, and it would stand next to the saint as if to defend him against the approach of others.

On his last visit to Stow before his death, the saint found that the swan would not come to meet him as usual. He ordered it brought to him, but it took several days to capture the swan; and when it was finally brought to the bishop, the swan hung its head in grief. No one could understand this behavior, but when the saint died six months later, his people perceived that the swan had been bidding farewell to its friend. The swan lived on at Stow for a long time after St. Hugh’s death, and eventually became the iconographic emblem of the saint.




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Lincoln Cathedral

Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PX, United Kingdom

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Cream Puff Swans

Elegant and adorable, homemade Cream Puff Swans with pate a choux paste, fluffy pastry cream, wings, peak and all are a must-try home baking project. 



  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 large eggs

Egg Wash 

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon water

Pastry Cream

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3 egg yolks beaten

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

  • ½ cup whipping cream



  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place templates on baking sheets; line with parchment paper. Measure flour and set aside.

  2. In a large saucepan, bring butter, water, salt, and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir quickly until all the flour is incorporated, about a minute. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or two.

  3. Transfer dough to the bowl of an electric mixer, and let cool for 5 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat until the dough loses its “slimy” look, and each egg is incorporated. (You may only need 3 eggs, depending on your climate.) The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl.

  5. Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a coupler. Attach a #10 tip (½-inch) to coupler. Pipe dough to make 12 swan necks on a baking sheet, using template as a guide. Smooth out peaks and round tops with a moistened finger; remove template. (You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky.)

  6. Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 12 swan bodies on a second baking sheet, using template as a guide. These will be about 3” long, and about 2” wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other. Smooth out peaks and round tops with a moistened finger; remove template.

  7. Egg wash: Whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush tops of dough with egg mixture. Place swan necks on baking sheet in the freezer.

  8. Bake swan bodies at 425° for 5 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375°, and bake 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to a wire rack, and cool completely.

  9. Bake swan necks at 375° for 15 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to a wire rack, and cool completely.


Pastry Cream

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture starts to boil. Cook for 2 minutes until thickened.

  2. Remove from the stove. Slowly whisk ¼ cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add the egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in the saucepan. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour or overnight.

  3. When pudding is chilled, whip cream to form soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding until evenly mixed. Cover and chill until ready to use.



  1. Cut swan bodies in half horizontally.  Cut the top halves in half to create two wings.

  2. Dollop or pipe a small amount of pastry cream onto the widest part of the bottom halves. Fix the swan necks in the cream. After you’ve put the neck in place, fill the bottom halves with additional pastry cream. Place wings on each side.

  3. Chill until ready to serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving if desired.

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