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October 1

Saint of the day:
Saint Bavo of Ghent

Patron Saint of falcon, falconry, Ghent; Haarlem; Lauwe in the Netherlands.


​Saint Bavo’s Story

Bavo was born near Liège, to a Frankish noble family that gave him the name Allowin. His father was Pippin of Landen, the Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, and his mother Itta of Metz. A wild, young aristocrat of Brabant, he contracted a beneficial marriage, and had a daughter. He was a soldier who led an undisciplined and disorderly life. Shortly after the death of his wife, Bavo decided to reform after hearing a sermon preached by Saint Amand on the emptiness of material things. On returning to his house he distributed his wealth to the poor, and then received the tonsure from Amand. For some time thereafter, Bavo joined Amand in the latter's missionary travels throughout France and Flanders. On one occasion, Bavo met a man whom he had sold into slavery years before. Wishing to atone for his earlier deed, Bavo had the man lead him by a chain to the town jail. Bavo built an abbey on his grounds and became a monk. He distributed his belongings to the poor and lived as a recluse, first in a hollow tree and later in a cell in the forest by the Abbey. He died at the Abbey in Ghent, in what is today Belgium.

Bavo is the patron saint of Ghent, Zellik, and Lauwe in Belgium, and Haarlem in the Netherlands. His feast in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church is October 1. He is most often shown in Christian art as a knight with a sword and falcon. The most popular scene is the moment of his conversion, which has many stories attached to it. Because he is so often shown with a falcon, he came to be considered the patron saint of falconry. In medieval Ghent, taxes were paid on Bavo's feast day, and it is for this reason he is often shown holding a purse or money bag. According to Rodulfus Glaber, the city of Bamberg is named after him, with Bamberg meaning "Mount of Bavo".




our father prayer_edited.jpg



St Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent

Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Gent, Belgium




Rabbit Stew (with Prunes and Dark Abbey Ale)


  • 1 rabbit, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds,
    cut into 6 to 7 pieces (hoppers, legs, saddle portions)

  • 3 tbsp flour

  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3-4 slices thick-cut bacon

  • 2 onions, large

  • 12 oz dark abbey ale (ex. Chimay Premiere)*

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 clove

  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or a few sprigs fresh)


Prep Work

  1. Soak the prunes into the water. Set aside.

  2. Roughly chop the bacon and the onions.

  3. Make a bouquet garni with the bay leaf, clove and thyme.

  4. Mix the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the rabbit pieces, shake off excess and reserve the extra flour.


  1. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed stew pot over medium-high. Add the butter and olive oil and sear the rabbit pieces until golden brown on each side. Work in batches. Set aside.

  2. Lower the heat to medium and sauté the bacon until it renders most of its fat. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

  3. Sauté the onions in the bacon fat until translucent. Add back the rabbit pieces and sprinkle the reserved flour. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

  4. Gradually add the abbey ale, about 2 oz at a time and stir after each addition in order to thicken the sauce.

  5. Bring to boil, add the garlic, vinegar and the bouquet garni.

  6. Cover, reduce the heat to low/medium-low and let simmer for 60 minutes.

  7. Stir, add the prunes and the water they were in, add the bacon, stir again and cover. Gently simmer over low/medium-low heat for another 30 to 50 minutes, until the rabbit meat is really tender.**

  8. Remove the bouquet garni, garnish with fresh thyme (optional) and serve.



*Feel free to increase the quantity of beer or add chicken or vegetable stock if you would like to prepare the stew with more sauce.

**If the liquids are reducing too fast, add a bit of stock as needed.

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