The month of Mary: A Marian Month
Saint of the day:
Saint Bobo of Provence
Patron Saint of Vogerea, Italy and cattle
St. Bobo's Story
Crusader and hermit, also called Beuvon. Bobo was a knight of Provence, France, who fought against the invading Saracens and then became a hermit. He died at Pavia, in Lombardy, Italy, while on a pilgrimage to Rome.
Bobo was born around 940 of two nobles, Adelfrido and Odelinda. It is said that Bobo was nobilissimis et christianis parentibus natus, that is, born of the most noble and most Christian parents. They had a castle at Noyers-sur-Jabron in the southeastern region of France, which is where Bobo was born.
That castle is gone, but each year there is some kind of celebration with cattle on his feast day about where it stood, on account of Bobo’s being the patron saint of cattle.
Bobo was a knight of Provence who helped to conquer Saracen pirates who were invading and raiding the coast. He is also believed to have fought in the Battle of Tourtour in 973. At some point during his military career, he experienced the truth of the horror of war and renounced his former life to become a pilgrim and a hermit, devoted to the care of orphans and widows. He responded to the inner call of the Gospel, leaving behind his family’s wealth for a life of poverty. Thereafter, he did his best fighting with the Gospel, converting a good number of the Saracens. He responded to violence by means of charity.
After the loss of his brother, he went on a Pilgrimage to Rome and died at Voghera in Lombardy. He was buried in Voghera, his grave becoming a site of many miracles. His relics were enshrined in Voghera in 1469.
St Bobo, pray for us, that we might fight evil in our day as you did in yours.
Bovo, in French Beuvon, in Latin Bobo and in vulgar Latin Bobone, was born in Noyers sur Jabron in 940 and died in Voghera on May 22, 986. According to an ancient biography, partly legendary, he was the son of the Provençal nobles Adelfrido and Odelinda; he distinguished himself in numerous battles in particular against the Moors. Later he changed his life, dedicating himself to meditation, penance and pilgrimages, forgave his brother's killers and had a reputation as a miracle worker.
During one of his pilgrimages to Rome he fell ill and died in Voghera. The body was buried outside the city walls and his tomb was soon forgotten; found following miraculous events, in 1212 the body was brought to Pavia and in 1467 it returned to Voghera of which it is its patron.
In Basaluzzo the feast of San Bovo is very old.
In the 1751 report on the Parish of Basaluzzo, in the chapter relating to the practices of the church of Sant'Andrea in Basaluzzo it is said that on the day of San Bobone, a feast in the Oratory of the Confratelli, the parish priest sings the Masses and on the occasion of the feast the same confreres "put a leader or a sendale in public, make a lot of tickets and then cast lots for the aforementioned things". Vernetti in the history of Basaluzzo speaking of the Oratory tells us that the chapel on the right side is dedicated to San Bovo and contains a painting of the Saint. In the regulation of the Confraternity of Sant'Antonio Abate erected in the Oratory, printed around 1890, it is said that the most solemn functions that are celebrated in the oratory are those of Sant'Antonio Abate, Santa Lucia, dell'Assunta and San Bovo.
The wooden statue, which is carried in procession, represents the saint riding a horse, with knight's armor, sword and spear.
The old Basaluz people used to say that when the pony comes out it brings the good season and the religious event was accompanied by the tambourine game, the dance in the evening and the fair on Tuesdays.
In recent years, however, the feast of San Bovo has been associated with the gathering of the Basaluz Alpine troops who carry the statue and the Arts and Crafts Fair in procession.
Beef Daube with Wild Mushrooms
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (1 ounce)
1 cup boiling water, plus 2 cups at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine
3/4 cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a heatproof bowl, soak the dried porcini in the 1 cup of boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Rub the mushrooms together to loosen any grit, then remove them from the water and coarsely chop. Let the soaking liquid stand for 5 minutes to settle, then pour it into a clean bowl, leaving any grit behind.
Heat the olive oil in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole. Add one-third of the meat at a time, season with salt and brown well on all sides over moderate heat, about 6 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meat.
Add the carrots and onions to the casserole and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Discard any fat in the casserole. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook until it browns lightly, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in the wine and the 2 cups of water, scraping up the browned pan juices. Return the meat to the casserole. Add the tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme and the porcini and their soaking liquid. Bring to a boil.
Cover the casserole tightly and bake for 3 hours, or until the cubes of beef are very tender. Discard the bay leaves and the thyme sprig and skim the fat from the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve with polenta or gnocchi.