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August 3

Saint of the day:

Saint Lydia

Lydia of Thyatira

Saint Lydia the Purpuraria

Patron Saint of dyers

Saint Lydia's Story

Lydia Purpuraria (1st century) was born at Thyatira (Ak-Hissar), a town in Asia Minor, famous for its dye works, (hence, her name which means purple seller). She became Paul's first convert at Philippi. She was baptized with her household, and Paul stayed at her home there. Her feast date is August 3.

As described in the Acts, Lydia was a “seller of purple”, a person who traded in purple dyes and fabrics for which the city of Thyatira was noted. Purple goods were part of a high value industry and were used by emperors, high government officials, and priests of the pagan religions.

Tradition relates that she and her husband may have been involved in this business. At some point Lydia and her household moved from Asia Minor to the city of Philippi in Macedonia. The reasons she moved may have been business related as Philippi was a Roman colony on the major east-west trade route, the Egnation Highway, between Rome and Asia. Also, she may have been a Jewish convert who no longer could worship in the custom of the Thyatirans.

The words of The Acts quoted below describe Lydia’s meeting with the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey about the year 50. Paul and his companions started their journey visiting the established churches in western Asia Minor when he answered a vision in which he saw a man dressed in a Macedonian manner calling upon him to “Come over to Macedonia and help us.“

Paul’s custom was to find local synagogues in which he would preach. But, apparently the Jewish population in Philippi was not sufficient to allow holding Sabbath Services for the Jewish men. Thus, Paul’s party walked out of the city following the Gangites River (now called the Angista River) when they came upon a group of women praying in the manner of Jews, along flowing water. After greeting the women, Paul and his companions sat down and shared the good news of Christ’s salvation with them. Lydia, among the women, had listened attentively and took the message to heart. She and her family were then baptized in the Gangites River along which they had been praying. Thus, Lydia became the first person in Europe to become a follower of Christ.

As Acts notes, Paul and his companions were well received by Lydia as they stay at her house after their release from the Philippi prison. Surely, during their imprisonment, Lydia and those who assembled in her home spent the night in prayer for the release of Paul and Silas, making her home the first Christian Church in Europe. When Paul departed from Philippi he left Luke behind to preach the Gospel and to establish firmly the church in Philippi, using as its core Lydia, the jailer, and their households.

Paul speaks fondly, in his letter to the Philippians, of the brethren who were members of the church of Philippi, calling them ”…my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown…”. (Philippians 4:1)





The Baptistery of St Lydia

Foot Steps of Apostle Paul: Full Day Kavala – Philippi
Read more:

A modern Greek Orthodox outdoor chapel on what is said to be the site where Lydia was baptized.

St Lydia was baptized exactly where the cross is located, between the bridges.


Kavala, Greece

The place where St Paul first stepped onto European soil

Located 15 km from the city of Kavala and next to the archaeological site of Philippi. There, in the river Zygakti is the point where the Apostle Paul baptized the first Christians of Europe, Lydia. Today baptistery is open and operated marriages and baptisms. Every year in celebration of St. Lydia of Philippisias (on May 20) Cristians are baptized at the same place. Info: +302510516251.


Song of the Day!

Zorba's Dance





On this day, I can just imagine a bunch of ladies hanging out with their friends laughing and enjoying life with an amazing afternoon tea themed purple… Earl Grey Lavender Cupcakes and all things purple like maybe purple sangria, purple sweet potato cheesecake or maybe roasted purple cauliflower! Have fun with whatever you do!


Earl Grey Lavender Cupcakes

Makes 18 cupcakes

  • 2 ½ cups flour, sifted

  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder, sifted

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 8 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 ¾ cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk

  • ½ cup extra-strong lavender earl grey tea, cooled

  • 2 teaspoon lavender sugar (optional)


  • 16 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup extra-strong lavender earl grey tea, cooled

  • ¼ teaspoon purple food color

Directions for the cupcake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Line 2 cupcake pans with 18 baking cups.

  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl (dry mixture).

  4. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.

  5. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

  6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

  7. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

  8. Reduce the speed to low.

  9. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated.

  10. Add another one-third of the dry mixture, followed by one-third of the wet.

  11. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.

  12. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.

  13. Mix in the cooled lavender earl grey tea (and lavender sugar) until fully incorporated. Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
    Directions for the frosting

  14. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, milk, salt, tea, and purple food color, and beat on high speed until light and airy.



More Recipes....

We are celebrating with Purple Colored recipes because our Saint is the Patron Saint of dyers and it is her signature color!




Purple Country Bread made with Red Cabbage


  • 100grams Red cabbage fresh juice

  • 150grams 100% hydration sourdough starter

  • 150grams Water ( filtered) or spring

  • 25grams Olive oil

  • 15grams Sea salt

  • 485grams Bread flour


  1. Mix all the ingredients but the sea salt in a bowl cover and let it rest for 35 mins

  2. Add salt and knead the dough until smooth let it rest for 45 mins

  3. Stretch and fold ( envelope fold) and let it rest for 30 mins
    Repeat this step 3 more times (2 hours every 30 mins)
    let the dough rest until doubled in size

  4. Divide the dough and pre shape to a round loafs,
    let it rest on the counter for 15 mins cover with plastic wrap

  5. Reshape to a nice smooth tight loafs place in proof baskets for 2 hrs covered.

  6. Heat oven 465f. Place loaf in a Dutch oven.
    Score the top of the loaf and bake for 20 mins covered.
    Uncover the pot and bake for another 20-25 mins.
    Let it fool completely before cutting




Purple Calamari Salad


  • 1 lb Atlantic Calamari

  • ⅓ cup Kosher Salt (for boiling water)

  • 1-2 cloves Garlic Minced

  • ½ cup Red Onion, Chopped

  • ½ cup Kalamata Olives, Sliced

  • ½ cup Italian Parsley Chopped

  • 6 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 2 oz Red Wine Vinegar

  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Boil 3 quarts water with ⅓ cup salt.

  2. Cut Calamari bodies into rings and split tentacles, if necessary.

  3. Prepare an ice water bath to shock cooked calamari.

  4. When water is at a rapid boil add calamari and stir.

  5. Cover pot and bring back to a boil.

  6. After coming back to boil, cook one more minute.

  7. Drain calamari and plunge into ice water bath. Stir and allow to cool.

  8. Combine cooled & drained calamari with olives, onions, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

  9. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning.

  10. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

  11. You may choose to refrigerate for about an hour to allow the flavors to marry.

  12. Serve as an appetizer as is or over a bed of salad greens as a light meal.



Purple Potato Salad


  • 2 lb purple fingerling potatoes organic

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more as needed

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste

  • 2 leaves bay

  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill snipped

  • 1/2 bunch fresh chives or 3 scallions snipped

  • 4 eggs organic

  • 1/4 c pepitas or pine nuts toasted

  • Freshly cracked peppercorn medley to taste

  • Red pepper flakes to taste


  1. Drain the purple potatoes in a colander and allow them to dry off in their own steam for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.

  2. Meanwhile in a salad bowl mix together the olive oil, sea salt, dill and chives. Cut the purple potatoes in halves or thirds depending on their size and add them on top of the olive oil dressing. Gently toss to coat all over.

  3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the eggs. Cook for 6 minutes and drain under some cold water. Gently peel them and cut them in half. Place the eggs cut side up on top of the purple potato salad, and season all over with the cracked peppercorns, red pepper flakes and more sea salt to taste.

  4. Garnish with some fresh dill, chives and the toasted pine nuts. Finish with a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve warm.





Creamy Purple Carrot Soup

Serves: 4

  • 1 kgBlack Carrots

  • 2Red onions

  • 2tablespoons Olive oil

  • 1teaspoon Caraway seeds

  • 1teaspoon Ground coriander

  • 250milliliters Beef stock(or water)

  • 200milliliters Double cream

  • 20milliliters Brandy

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Fresh coriander leaves( or Parsley)


  1. Wash and peel the black carrots. Cut in equal pieces. Cover with water and cook until they are soft.

  2. Add olive oil in a pan and sweat the diced red onions. When soft deglaze with brandy (or red wine 40 ml). Add lightly toasted caraway seeds and ground coriander.

  3. Blend the cooked purple carrots by adding hot beef stock. If necessary sieve through a fine sieve.

  4. Pour the mixture in a pot, adjust seasoning. Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with a spoon of whipped cream and fresh coriander leaves.





Purple Blackberry Pudding


  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Unsalted butter, for the dish

  • 1 loaf (about 1 pound) sliced white sandwich bread

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  • 8 cups blackberries (about 6 half-pints), plus more for serving

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup


  1. Toss 4 cups blackberries with the granulated sugar, honey and lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the berries burst, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 4 cups berries. Let cool.

  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart souffle dish and line with plastic wrap. Trim off the bread crusts, then line the bottom and sides of the dish with a single layer of bread, trimming the slices as needed to cover the dish completely.  
    *use whatever mold you feel comfortable using, small mold, angel food...).

  3. Spoon half of the berries and juice into the dish. Cover with a single layer of bread slices. Top with the remaining berries and finish with another layer of bread to completely seal the pudding. Pour any remaining juices over the top layer and cover with plastic wrap. Set a small flat plate on top and weigh it down with a large heavy can. Refrigerate the pudding at least 6 hours or overnight.

  4. Before serving, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a chilled bowl. Add the cream and confectioners' sugar and beat with a mixer until it holds soft peaks.

  5. Remove the plate and plastic wrap and set the souffle dish in a sink filled with 1 inch of warm water to loosen the pudding. Place a serving plate on top, invert the pudding onto the plate and remove the plastic wrap. Serve with the whipped cream and more blackberries.





Purple Sangria with Blackberries and Blueberries


  • 1 cup of sugar

  • A 750 ml bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or other full-bodied red wine

  • 1 cup of black raspberry liqueur, type Chambord

  • 1 cup of vodka with berries

  • 1 cup of sparkling water

  • ½ cup of fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

  • 2 packs of 170g of blackberries

  • 2 packs of 170g of blueberries


  1. Bring the sugar and ½ cup of water to a boil in a small pan, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Boil the syrup for another minute, then remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool, then transfer the syrup into a 3 quart gallon jug.

  2. Add the wine, the liqueur, the vodka, the sparkling water and the lemon juice in the jug and mix. Add the blackberries and blueberries and cover the jug with plastic wrap. Deposit the sangria in the fridge to rest, at least 4 hours or one night.

  3. To serve, take 8 blueberries and 8 blackberries and cut them in half. Garnish the edge of 8 glasses with 1 blackberry and 1 blueberry for each and fill them with ice for half. Pour the sangria and the remaining fruits into each glass.


Watercolour and ink portrait of Lydia by Sarah Beth Baca.

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