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July 2


Saint of the day:
Saint Bernardino Realino

Patron Saint of Lecce, Italy

The Story of St. Bernardino Realino

St. Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy in 1530. After receiving a thorough and devout Christian education at the hands of his mother, he went on to study medicine at the University of Bologna, but after three years he switched to law and received his doctorate in 1563. Word of his learning, dedication, and legal brilliance spread rapidly, and in 1554 he was summoned to Naples to assume the position of auditor and lieutenant general.

Shortly afterward, his exemplary young man came to the realization that he had a religious vocation and, aided by our Lady's appearance to him, joined the Society of Jesus, being ordained in 1567. For three years he labored unstintingly at Naples, devoting himself wholeheartedly to the service of the poor and the youth, and then he was sent to Lecce where he remained for the last forty-two years of his life.

St. Bernardino won widespread recognition as a result of his ceaseless apostolic labors. He was a model confessor, a powerful preacher, a diligent teacher of the Faith to the young, a dedicated shepherd of souls, as well as Rector of the Jesuit college in Lecce and Superior of the Community there. His charity to the poor and the sick knew no bounds and his kindness brought about the end of vendettas and public scandals that cropped up from time to time.

So great was this saint loved and appreciated by his people that in 1616, as he lay on his death bed the city's magistrates formally requested that he should take the city under his protection. Unable to speak, St. Bernardino bowed his head. He died with the names of Jesus and Mary on his lips.










Church of the Gesù (Lecce)

(Baroque Architecture)

Piazzetta Castromediano, 0, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy 

Church of honor which holds his name
(This is a small simple white church)

Church of Saint Bernardino Realino

Via degli Oropellai, 10, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy



Pasticciotto Leccese 


  • 1 single crust pastry dough (or pasta frolla)

  • 2 large eggs, separated (yolks for the cream and whites for brushing the pastry)

  • 1 cup milk

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 lemon, grated zest

  • butter and flour, for greasing & dusting tins


Prepare equipment:

  1. Grease your pastry tins or muffin forms with butter, and dust them with a bit of flour.

Prepare the Italian pastry cream:

  1. Heat milk on a small or medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.

  2. While waiting for the milk, use a medium mixing bowl and combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest; then mix with a whisk.

  3. Slowly pour the heated milk on the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Make sure you don't pour the milk all at once, or you might end up cooking the eggs.

  4. Pour the pastry cream back into the saucepan and bring to a slow boil and until it has thickened to your desired consistency.

  5. Set Italian pastry cream aside to cool.

Assembling & preparing pasticciotto Leccese:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

  2. Roll your pastry dough using a rolling pin and arrange them on your greased pastry/muffin tins.

  3. Leave some dough hanging on the side of the tins; you need this later for sealing the pastry.

  4. Prepare (or cut out) the pastry dough for covering the top of each tin as well.

  5. Spoon some pastry cream into each tin — do not fill to the rim. 

  6. Cover each tin with the rest of the prepared pastry dough.  Fold the top pastry under the lower pastry to seal the sides and to keep the cream intact.

  7. Brush top with egg whites.

  8. Place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until they turned golden.

  9. Serve and dust your Italian cream filled pastry with powdered sugar, if preferred.


Pasta Frolla Recipe (Italian Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)


  • 2 cups flour, (264 grams)

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 stick butter, (113 grams), unsalted, cubed and chilled

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl.

  2. Mix with a fork.

  3. Add butter and continue mixing until you see pea-sized crumbs in the mixture.

  4. Make a dent in the center of the mixture and add the egg and yolk.

  5. Continue mixing, just enough to combine the eggs with the rest.

  6. Transfer the mixture on top of a flat surface and gather (knead) it a bit to start forming a dough.

  7. Form the dough into a disc and wrap it with plastic.

  8. Refrigerate and let your pasta frolla chill for at least 30 minutes before using. 

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