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May 5
The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Saint of the day:

St. Hilary of Arles



Saint Hilary of Arles’ Story

It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint.

Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles.

The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing.

That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope Saint Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers.

Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.









Saint-Trophime Primatial Catholic Church

 6 Pl. de la République, 13200 Arles, France





Arles, France

There is so much to do here but one of the town's claim to fame is Van Gogh Heritage!

Vincent van Gogh came to Arles in 1888 and lived here for a year, at a time when his mental health was deteriorating . As we’ll see, he completed some of his most acclaimed paintings in the city, like The Night Café, Café Terrace at Night and Van Gogh’s Chair, but it was also where he mutilated his left ear!





Arles, France

Enjoy the elegance of this city....and its breathtaking architecture!





Gardiane de Boeuf au Riz

Beef Gardiane with Rice

Sometimes referred to as the Rancher's Stew

Traditionally this dish is made with Bull meat but now the bull meat is replaced with beef, as sourcing bull is complicated.


Guardiane is a dish typical of Camargue, the Rhone delta, a wonderful swamp where flamingos, local horses and bulls live roam.


The dish called Gardiane as it was gardians' pack lunch. Gardians are horsemen who tended to bull herds, in another words a cow-boys and gardiane is a sophisticated boeuf bourguignon.


The meat needs to marinate over night. This is a dish with strong flavors which requires rice and/or wild rice to soak up the lovely juices.

Beef Gardiane with Rice

Ingredients for 4 servings 


  • 1 kg beef – Traditionally, the Gardiane is made with meat from the bulls of the Camargue.
    Look for lean but streaked meat taken from the neck, cheek, flank...

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 branches of thyme

  • 1 zest of an orange 

  • salt, pepper and vinegar (for the marinade)

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, left whole (set aside for the next day)

  • 300g onions

  • 2  anchovy fillets (optional) 

  • green olives as many as you like

  • Olive oil or butter

  • 4 Tablespoons brandy

  • 1 bottle of full-bodied wine (Corbières or Costières de Nîmes or Côtes du Rhône from the Gard, for example). If you use bull's meat, the choice of wine is important because bull is quite firm, strong in taste but not excessively so and full of flavor.



  1. Peel and slice the onions. Peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole. Place in a bowl with herbs and a little olive oil. Marinate overnight.

  2. The next day, Heat a pan with a little olive oil. Add beef pieces, mix and allow to color slightly, retrieve the meat and replace with  the onions and garlic for 5 minutes.

  3.  Rinse, peel and cut the carrots into thick slices. Add them to the pan, stir.

  4. Add the orange peel, anchovies, salt, pepper, olives, brandy and cover with red wine.

  5. Simmer with a lead on for 3 hours.

  6. When cooked, taste to check the seasoning. Increase heat to reduce the juices

  7. Remove the orange peel and bay leaves.

  8. Serve Camarguaise rice, a delicious French rice, firm and rather plain in flavor often mixed with black wild rice.

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