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October 9

Saint of the day:

Saint Pope Pius XII 

Saint Pope Pius XII’s Story

Pope Pius XII on the perfect wife and mother of Proverbs 31 whom the Pope calls the radiant sun that brings happiness to the family.

The family is illuminated by its own radiant sun, which is the wife.  

Of her Scripture says, with feeling:

The grace of a wife will charm her husband, her accomplishments will make him the stronger.

A silent wife is a gift from the Lord, no price can be put on a well-trained character.

A modest wife is a boon twice over, a chaste character cannot be weighed on scales.

Like the sun rising over the mountains of the Lord is the beauty of a good wife in a well-kept house.

The wife and mother is indeed like the sun shining in the family. She shines by her generosity and the way she gives herself to others. She shines by her alertness and watchfulness and by her wise and gentle providing of all that can give joy to her husband and children. She radiates light and warmth.

A marriage will prosper if each partner goes into it not for his own happiness but the other’s happiness – but although it belongs to both partners, this emotion, this goal is particularly a quality of the woman. Her very nature as a mother entails it. Her wisdom and prudence mean that even if she encounters troubles she will respond to them with joy; if she is belittled, she will respond with unaltered dignity and respect. She is like the sun that brightens a cloudy morning with the dawn; the sun that illuminates the shower-clouds at dusk.

The wife is like the sun shining in the family with the brightness of her glance and the ardour of her speech. Her looks and words enter into the souls of her family, softening them, touching them, raising them up from the tumult of emotion. They recall her husband to joy in good things and delight in family life after his uninterrupted and often heavy work of the day, whether in an office, in the fields, in trade or in industry.

The wife is like the sun shining in the family by her unforced, transparent sincerity, by her simple dignity, by her decent Christian behavior; by her inward thoughts and her upright heart; and also by the appropriateness of her dress and bearing, adorned by her open and honest way of life. Subtle signs of feeling, shades of expression, silences and unmalicious smiles, little nods of approval – all these give her the grace of an exquisite but simple flower opening its petals to reflect the colors of sunlight.

If only you could know the full depth of the feelings of love and gratitude that such a perfect wife and mother inspires in her husband and children!

This post from Pope Pius XII (d. 1958) calling the famous Proverbs 31 wife the radiant sun of the family is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Saturday in the sixth (6th) week of Ordinary time with the accompanying biblical reading taken from Proverbs 31:10-31.






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Roman-Style Gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Romana) with Semolina Flour


  • 250 gr / 8.8 oz/ 1½ cup semolina flour
    (or semola rimacinata di grano duro)

  • 1 lt / 4 cups whole milk

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 100 gr / 3.5 oz / ¾ cup butter (at fridge temperature)

  • 140 gr / 5 oz / 1¾ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated
    + more for baking

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • a pinch of nutmeg


  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a lightly simmer, then

  2. add salt, nutmeg and semolina flour then stir well with a whisk to avoid lumps.

  3. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon and cook for at least 10 minutes,
    or until it begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan.
    The mixture should be like some thick and firm mashed potatoes.

  4. Remove from heat and add cold butter.

  5. Add Parmigiano cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until all the butter is melted and absorbed.

  6. Quickly add the egg and yolks and stir until all is well mixed.

  7. Put the dough over a silpat or a baking paper, cover with a cling film or
    plastic wrap or another silpat and roll with a rolling-pin until it's flattened to about 1-2 cm / 0.40-0.80 inches.

  8. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  9. Once cooled in the fridge, you can cut the dough in circles with a round pastry cutter (5-8 cm / 2-3 inches Ø) or in squares or rhombus with a knife. It the dough has not cooled enough and it's sticky, plunge the cutter into some water to help you (or brush it with some extra virgin olive oil).

  10. If you choose the classic form (circle) you can put the remaining pieces of dough under the circle ones in the baking pan. If the dough is still soft and mixable you can re-knead what is left and roll out again to make other Gnocchi.

  11. Spread butter onto one or more casserole (to make some single serving dishes) or onto a baking pan.

  12. Line up Gnocchi into the pan and, if you like, overlap them a bit.

  13. Sprinkle some more Parmigiano Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano cheese over Gnocchi.

  14. Pour some melted butter on.

  15. Bake at 200°C / 425°F / gas mark 7 for about 20-30 minutes.

  16. At the end, if Gnocchi don't have a golden crust, just switch to the broil/grill setting for a couple of minutes.







Pumpkin Tiramisu


  • 1 1/2 Cups Cold Heavy Cream

  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

  • 1 (8 Ounce) Container Mascarpone Cheese

  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can Pureed Pumpkin

  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 2 (3 Ounce) Packages Savoiardi Cookies (Lady Fingers)

  • 1/3 Cup Bourbon

  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

  • 1 Cup Crumbled Ginger Snap Cookies

  • 1/3 Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds


  1. For easier removal, lightly oil a 9-inch spring-form pan.

  2. Cut 4 strips of parchment paper 12 inches long by about 2 1/2 inches
    wide and lay these intersecting across the bottom of the pan.

  3. Mix together the bourbon and maple syrup.

  4. Beat the whipping cream until you get stiff peaks, adding the powdered sugar in
    little by little as you whip the cream.

  5. Add the mascarpone, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice and beat until blended.

  6. Cut the lady fingers to a height of about 2 3/4 inches long and lightly dip each side in the borbon mixture.

  7. Stand the cut lady fingers upright to line the sides of the pan.

  8. Dip more lady fingers into the bourbon mixture, and line the bottom of the pan, cutting to fit as needed.

  9. Spoon half the filling over the lady fingers, then sprinkle 3/4 of the ginger snap cookie crumbs on top.

  10. Make another layer of dipped lady fingers on top of the pumpkin mixture, pressing in lightly as you go.

  11. Spoon the rest of the spumpkin mixture on top of the lady fingers, smoothing the top.

  12. Decorate the top with the remaining ginger snap cookie crumbs and sliced almonds.

  13. Refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.

  14. To unmold, first run a knife around the inside of the pan and remove the side.

  15. Carefully move the tiramisu off the spring-form bottom onto a platter using the parchment papper strips.

  16. Carefully pull the parchment strips off the bottom and serve.



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