Saint of the day:
Saint Beatrice of Silva
Patron Saint of Prisoners
Saint Beatrice of Silva Story
Beatrice of Silva, O.I.C., also known (in Spanish) as Beatriz da Silva y de Menezes and (in Portuguese) as Beatriz de Menezes da Silva, (Campo Maior, Portugal ca. 1424 – Toledo, Castile, 16 August 1492) was a noblewoman of Portugal, who became the foundress of the monastic Order of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady in Spain. She is honored as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
Foundress of the Conceptionist Nuns: 1424-1492
+ Beatrice was born in Campo Major, Spain, and was the daughter of the Count of Viana. Her brother was Blessed Amadeus of Portugal.
+ As a young woman, Beatrice served as lady-in-waiting to Princess—and later Queen—Isabel of Portugal. Although they were close friends, Beatrice was considered very beautiful and the queen grew jealous. In an outburst, she ordered Beatrice to be imprisoned in a tiny cell.
+ During her time as a prisoner, Beatrice had a vision of the Virgin Mary during which she was told to found a new community in Mary’s honor.
+ Beatrice eventually left life at court to become a Cistercian nun (some sources say she was a Dominican nun). Around 1484, Beatrice left the Cistercians and founded a new religious community: the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Conceptionist Nuns).
+ With the help of Queen Isabel, Beatrice built a new house for the nuns and served as abbess until her death on August 17, 1492.
+ Devotion to Saint Beatrice was confirmed by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and she was formally canonized by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1976.
+ In 1501, Pope Alexander VI placed the Conceptionist nuns under the Rule of St. Clare, uniting them with the Franciscans. In 1511 and 1516, the order was given its own rule of life.
Saint Beatrice’s brother, Blessed Amadeus, was a Franciscan friar who founded a short-lived reform movement of the Franciscan Order, known as they Amadeistene. Honored as a mystic and prophet, his memory is celebrated on August 10.
“I despised the kingdom of the world and all worldly finery for love of my Lord, Jesus Christ, whom I have seen, whom I have loved, in whom I have believed, in whom has been my delight.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of the Common of a Nun in the Roman Missal
O God, who called your handmaid blessed Beatrice to seek you before all else, grant that, serving you, through her example and intercession, with a pure and humble heart, we may come at last to your eternal glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Nun)
Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, Toledo, Spain
Convento de la Purísima Concepción, Toledo
Plaza Capuchinas, 10, 45002 Toledo, Spain
Portuguese Garlic Açorda Soup
A garlic soup that will make you do a little dance. You will probably be a little confused at first at how something so simple could be so damn delicious! Crispy, buttery chunks of sourdough swim in hot chicken broth and garlicky chimichurri. A poached egg brings the whole dish together for a satisfying dish.
½ loaf sourdough baguette
1 carton of good chicken/veggie stock
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
7 large cloves of garlic (about half a head)
¼ cup cilantro (packed)
¼ Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ghee/butter/oil
Salt & Pepper
Aleppo Pepper OR Red Pepper Flakes
Prep: Slice bread into 2 inch cubes (about 4-5 per serving), set aside. Place a paper towel on a plate and set next to the stove. Peel garlic cloves and set aside.
Set a small sauce pot on the stove filled halfway to the top with water, to boil. While water is boiling, crack an egg into a small ramekin/bowl. (Notes on making multiple eggs at once in blog post).
Once water is boiling, add ½ tablespoon vinegar to the water. Create a “water tornado” by stirring the middle of water with a wooden spoon, counter clockwise to create a vortex. Be careful, as the water is hot.
Remove spoon and carefully dump the egg into the middle of the vortex. Let the yolk spin, and let cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towel plate. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Repeat 3 more times for remaining eggs. Adding the other ½ of tablespoon of vinegar after the second egg is finished.
Once the eggs are done, dump out the water, and add in the chicken broth, set on the stove but do not heat yet (wait until the end right before you put together).
Add 2 tablespoons of ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, or butter to a medium hot cast iron skillet. Let melt, add 1-2 (depending on size) crushed garlic clove to the pan. Toast for until golden brown, remove. Add in bread pieces. Turn throughout until all bread is nice and golden/toasted. About 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
In a mortar pestle/molcajete, add the remaining 5-6 garlic cloves, cilantro, and a large pinch of salt. Smash manually until pretty roughly smashed, then drizzle in the ¼ cup olive oil. Smash and grind all three ingredients until a nice, silky paste as developed. A glistening chimichurri. Should take about 3 minutes. If you want to use a food processor, add all three ingredients and pulse until it reaches the right consistency.
Heat the chicken broth. Adjust with salt, pepper, and add a little Aleppo pepper, or red pepper flakes.
Place 4-5 bread cubes into a bowl, along with a poached egg, a heavy tablespoon of the chimichurri, then pour about 1 cup of hot chicken broth over the items. Let sit for a minute. The bread will soak up the broth, the poached egg will reheat, and the chimichurri will spread in the broth. Devour!