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September 11 or 16


Saint of the day:
Saint Cyprian

Patron Saint of North Africa

Saint Cyprian's Story

Cyprian is important in the development of Christian thought and practice in the third century, especially in northern Africa.

Highly educated, a famous orator, he became a Christian as an adult. He distributed his goods to the poor, and amazed his fellow citizens by making a vow of chastity before his baptism. Within two years he had been ordained a priest and was chosen, against his will, as Bishop of Carthage.

Cyprian complained that the peace the Church had enjoyed had weakened the spirit of many Christians and had opened the door to converts who did not have the true spirit of faith. When the Decian persecution began, many Christians easily abandoned the Church. It was their reinstatement that caused the great controversies of the third century, and helped the Church progress in its understanding of the Sacrament of Penance.

Novatus, a priest who had opposed Cyprian’s election, set himself up in Cyprian’s absence (he had fled to a hiding place from which to direct the Church—bringing criticism on himself) and received back all apostates without imposing any canonical penance. Ultimately he was condemned. Cyprian held a middle course, holding that those who had actually sacrificed to idols could receive Communion only at death, whereas those who had only bought certificates saying they had sacrificed could be admitted after a more or less lengthy period of penance. Even this was relaxed during a new persecution.

During a plague in Carthage, Cyprian urged Christians to help everyone, including their enemies and persecutors.

A friend of Pope Cornelius, Cyprian opposed the following pope, Stephen. He and the other African bishops would not recognize the validity of baptism conferred by heretics and schismatics. This was not the universal view of the Church, but Cyprian was not intimidated even by Stephen’s threat of excommunication.

He was exiled by the emperor and then recalled for trial. He refused to leave the city, insisting that his people should have the witness of his martyrdom.

Cyprian was a mixture of kindness and courage, vigor and steadiness. He was cheerful and serious, so that people did not know whether to love or respect him more. He waxed warm during the baptismal controversy; his feelings must have concerned him, for it was at this time that he wrote his treatise on patience. Saint Augustine remarks that Cyprian atoned for his anger by his glorious martyrdom.






Churches were afterward erected over his tomb and over the place of his death, In later centuries, however, these churches were destroyed by the Vandals. The graves of such saints as Cyprian and Martin of Tours came to be regarded as "contact points between Heaven and Earth", and they became the centers of new, redefined, Christian urban communities. A surviving homily from St. Augustine on Cyprian's feast day indicates that his following was fairly widespread throughout Africa by the fourth century.
Died in Carthage (present-day Tunisia)

Relic of Cyprian in Kornelimünster Abbey
The abbey is located in Aachen (in the district of Kornelimünster/Walheim) in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.




We are celebrating with a Tunisian recipe because our Saint was from Tunisia.


Khobz El-Tunis Recipe (Sweet Tunisian Bread)


Khobz El-tunis translates to “The Bread of Tunis”. This is an Algerian variation of a common recipe of a sweet cake enjoyed in Tunis. 


  • 2 cups ground almonds (use almonds with skin)

  • 2 cups dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 7 eggs

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • Zest of 1 lemon or lime

  • Ingredients for Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 3 tbs. orange blossom water



Process for Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

  2. Ground almonds in a food processor

  3. Combine ground almonds, breadcrumbs, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl

  4. Melt butter. When butter is cooled, but not solidified, add to the above ingredients

  5. Add eggs and lemon zest

  6. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl together

  7. Pour into a baking tray preferably 9″ x 13″

  8. Place in oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown


Process for Simple Syrup:

  1. Bring 2 cups water & 2 cups sugar with 3 tablespoons orange blossom water to a boil. Stir often. 

  2. Combining Simple Syrup and Cake:

  3.  When cake is golden brown, remove from oven 

  4. Pour half of the simple syrup onto the cake. The cake will immediately absorb the simple syrup

  5. Let cake sit for another 20 minutes and add remainder of simple syrup

  6. After another 20 minutes you are free to cut your cake and voila!

  7. Enjoy your little piece of Tunisian sweetness!





Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba



  • 2 cups pistachios

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tsp rose water

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 4 Tbsp butter

  • powdered sugar for dusting

  • whole pistachios to top cookies

  • parchment paper or silpat


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.

  2. In a food processor, blend the pistachios until they are broken down to almost a powder.

  3. In a large bowl combine pistachio flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder.

  4. Add to the dry ingredients the rosewater and egg yolks.

  5. Break up the butter with your hands or a pastry cutter and begin working into the dough.

  6. Using your hands or pastry cutter mix all of the ingredients until everything has been combined, the dough will feel slightly sticky.

  7. From small balls with your hands, about 1″ in diameter.

  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat sheet.

  9. Coat the balls with powdered sugar and place onto a cookie sheet or plate.

  10. Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes, or place in freezer for 10 minutes.

  11. Arrange cookies on baking sheet and gently press a pistachio into the top of each. Do not flatten the cookies, they will naturally shape.

  12. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. The cookies should still be a pale color.

  13. Leave on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to allow the cookies to finish setting, then transfer to a cooling rack.

  14. When the cookies are completely cool, transfer to an air tight container.

  15. Cookies can be stored on the counter for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, remove from the freezer and allow to warm up before serving.





Harissa Chicken and Rice


  • harissa

  • cumin

  • salt

  • onion (chopped)

  • garlic

  • tumeric

  • Italian parsley (fresh, chopped)

  • lemon juice

  • olive oil

  • 2 lbs of chicken pieces with the skin on


  1. Mix all of the spices, onion, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice together, and drizzle in enough olive oil to make a medium thin paste.  

  2. In a large bowl add the washed chicken and pour the spice mixture on top.  

  3. Massage the chicken and refrigerate covered for 1 hour up to 24 hours.  

  4. When ready to cook, preheat an oven to 375F, and place chicken in a pan large enough to lay each piece flat.  

  5. Cook for 45 minutes and check to see if the chicken has cooked through.  

  6. When it is finished, turn the oven onto broil and broil the chicken 5-10 minutes to crisp the outside skin.  

  7. Serve over rice.

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