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August 11

Saint of the day:

Saint Philomena

Patron Saint of Children, youth, babies, infants, priests, lost causes, sterility, virgins, 

Children of Mary, The Universal Living Rosary Association, Sibonga, Cebu, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental

St. Philomena's Story

Little is known about the life of St. Philomena. However, it is believed she was a Greek princess who became a virgin martyr and died at 13-years-old.

Remains of a young lady were discovered in May 1802 at the Catacombs of Priscilla on the Via Salaria Nova with three tiles reading "Peace be to you, Philomena."

All that is known about St. Philomena's life comes from a Neapolitan nun's vision. Sister Maria Luisa di Gesu claims St. Philomena came to her and told her she was the daughter of a Greek king who converted to Christianity. When Philomena was 13-years-old, she took a vow of consecrated virginity.

After her father took his family to Rome to make peace, Emperor Diocletian fell in love with Philomena. When she refused to marry him, she was subjected to torture.

St. Philomena was scourged, drowned with an anchor attached to her, and shot with arrows. Each time she was attacked angels took to her side and healed her through prayer.

Finally, the Emperor had Philomena decapitated. According to the story, her death came on a Friday at three in the afternoon, the same as Jesus.

Two anchors, three arrows, a palm symbol of martyrdom, and a flower were found on the tiles in her tomb, interpreted as symbols of her martyrdom.

The nun's account states Philomena was born on January 10 and was killed on August 10.

Devotion for Philomena began to spread once her bones were exhumed and miracles began to occur. Canon Francesco De Lucia of Mugnano del Cardinale received relics of St. Philomena and had them placed in the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Mugnano, Italy.

Soon after her relics were enshrined, cancers were cured, wounds were healed and the Miracle of Mugnano, when Venerable Pauline Jaricot was cured of a severe heart issue overnight, were all attributed to St. Philomena.

Other Saints began to venerate Philomena and attributing miracles in their lives to the young martyr, including St. John Marie Vianney and St. Peter Louis Marie Chanel.

Although controversy sometimes surrounds the truth behind St. Philomena's life and sainthood, many believers all around the world continue to see her as a miraculous saint, canonized in 1837.

St. Philomena is the patron saint of infants, babies, and youth. She is often depicted in her youth with a flower crown, a palm of martyrdom, arrows, or an anchor.

Her feast day is celebrated on August 11.





Our Lady of Grace

Catacombs of Priscilla 


Her Feast:



We are celebrating with Mediterranean recipes because our Saint was a Greek princess who was martyred in Rome.


Lamb Chops with Herb & Garlic Sauce, Tomato & Onion Salad

Yield: 6‑8 servings



the herb and garlic sauce

  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed

  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Salt Freshly ground black pepper


the lamb chops

  • 20 lamb chops

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


the tomato salad

  • A variety of cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Red onion, sliced

  • 3 parts extra virgin olive oil 1 part red‑wine vinegar

  • Sea salt flakes (I used Maldon)

  • Freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment: small food processor or blender, grill (you can use either a stovetop grill or a barbecue grill ‑ this is the one I use)


the herb and garlic sauce

  1. Add parsley and mint leaves to your food processor or blender, followed by the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.

  2. Process until you have a slightly coarse sauce, you don’t want a puree, and add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Mix again and give it a taste. Adjust seasoning. You may find that it needs a bit more acidity in which case you can add more lemon juice.

  4. Put sauce in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.

the lamb chops

  1. Trim extra fat from the lamb chops with a sharp knife. They are small and cook very quickly so there’s no time for the extra fat to render. You don’t want to be chewing on uncooked fat.

  2. Dry them on paper towels and pour olive oil over them.

  3. Rub it onto the chops and season generously with salt and pepper.

  4. Heat your grill or outdoor barbecue. If you’re using a stovetop grill, make sure to heat it up really well before adding the lamb chops.

  5. Add chops to your grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side, for medium. Adjust cooking time depending on the thickness of the lamb chops and your personal preference.

the tomato salad

  1. Add all the salad ingredients into a big salad plate and toss well with your hands or two spoons.

  2. Check the seasoning before serving.

  3. Serve with the the lamb chops 
    Top each chop with the herb sauce 



Flourless Orange and Almond Cake


  • 3 large sweet oranges

  • 4 large free range eggs

  • 8 (150g) large medjool dates, pitted & chopped*

  • 3 cups (330g) almond meal 

  • 2 tsp (5g) baking powder 

  • 1 tsp (2g) organic vanilla bean powder


  1. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 175ºC.

  2. Place 2 oranges (unpeeled) in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
    Bring to the boil then simmer covered for 45 minutes.
    (Make sure oranges remain covered with water). Drain and cool. 

  3. Meanwhile, thinly slice remaining orange.
    Cover the bottom of a lined large round cake tin with the orange slices.
    Set aside. 

  4. Cut cooled boiled oranges into quarters (discard any seeds). 

  5. Place boiled oranges, eggs, dates, baking powder and vanilla powder into a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and puree until smooth. 

  6. In a medium bowl mix together orange puree with almond meal. 

  7. Pour batter on top of orange slices in your cake tin and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes. 

  8. Allow to slightly cool for 15 minutes then turn out so the orange slices at the bottom become the top of your cake. 


  • This recipe is suitable to freeze.

  • Boiling the oranges brings out the natural fragrant oils in the skin and adds a gorgeous real orange flavour to the cake. 

  • I love using my Vitamix to make this cake. 

  • Instead of lining your cake with orange slices you can also top your batter with almond flakes before baking. 

  • *If you like your cake extra sweet you can add a few more dates or serve drizzled with maple syrup.

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