Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of headaches, hydrophobia, against frenzy, strife, possessed people, Paris, France.
Saint Denis and Companions’ Story
The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around 258 A.D. comes in the sixth century in the writings of Saint Gregory of Tours.
Denis (or Dionysius as he is also called) is the most famous of the three. Born and raised in Italy, he was sent as a missionary to Gaul (now France) circa 250 A.D. by Pope St. Clement along with five other bishops.
Denis made his base of missionary activity an island in the Seine near the city of Lutetia Parisorium -- what would become Paris. For this reason he is know as the first bishop of Paris and the Apostle of France. There he was captured by the Parisians along with Rusticus and Eleutherius. Later writers have referred to these as Denis' priest and deacon, or his deacon and subdeacon, but we have no further information on them.
After a long imprisonment and several aborted executions, the three martyrs were beheaded with a sword and their bodies were thrown into the river. Denis' body was retrieved from the Seine by his converts and buried. The chapel that was built over his tomb grew into the abbey of Saint-Denis.
In the ninth century, Denis' story and identity became fused and confused with Dionysius the Areopagite and Pseudo-Dionysius, but later scholarship has re-established his identity as a separate saint.
Denis is pictured as he was martyred -- headless (with a vine growing over the neck) and carrying his own mitred head.
Recognized since the time of St. Gregory as a special saint of Paris, Denis is the patron saint of France.
Basilica of St Denis
Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin
1 sugar pumpkin, about 2-3 pounds
canola or olive oil
salt and pepper
3-4 slices (about 1/4 pound) stale bread, torn into chunks
1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated or chunked cheese, such as Gruyère,
Emmenthal, aged cheddar, or a combination
2–4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. fresh thyme (optional)
1/3 cup (ish) half & half or whipping cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the top off the sugar pumpkin, like you would if you were carving a Jack-o-lantern, and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the inside with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put it on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and put it into the oven while you prepare the stuffing.
In a bowl, toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, thyme, half & half, some salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove the pumpkin from the oven (if you put it in) and stuff the bread mixture into it, letting it overflow a bit, drizzling any cream in the bottom of the bowl over top. Put the lid on and put the pumpkin back into the oven for about an hour.
Remove the lid and bake for another half hour, until the pumpkin is soft and slumped over, and the top is golden and crispy. To serve, scoop out the soft pumpkin with the filling.
Make jack o lanterns!
The Tale Of Stingy Jack
The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow's Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits.
The Tale of Stingy Jack and the Jack O' Lantern
Jack O'Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. Many of the stories, center round Stingy Jack. Here's the most popular story:
Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who took pleasure in playing tricks on just about everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. After the Devil climbed up the tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. Unable to touch a cross, the Devil was stuck in the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses, and the Devil climbed down out of the apple tree.
Many years later, Jack died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was mean and cruel, and had led a miserable, worthless life on earth. Stingy Jack was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack was scared . He had nowhere to go, but to wander about forever in the dark Netherworld between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave, as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell, to help Stingy Jack light his way. Jack had a Turnip with him. It was one of his favorite foods, and he always carried one with him. Jack hollowed out the Turnip, and placed the ember the Devil had given him, inside the turnip. From that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his "Jack O'Lantern".
On all Hallow's eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O'Lanterns. In the 1800's a couple of waves of Irish immigrants came to America. The Irish immigrants quickly discovered that Pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve out. So they used pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns.