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March 8 

Saint of the day:

Saint John of God

Patron Saint of Booksellers,  hospitals, nurses, the mentally ill and the dying

Women's Day (Italy)

Saint John of God’s Story

Having given up active Christian belief while a soldier, John was 40 before the depth of his sinfulness began to dawn on him. He decided to give the rest of his life to God’s service, and headed at once for Africa where he hoped to free captive Christians and, possibly, be martyred.

He was soon advised that his desire for martyrdom was not spiritually well based, and returned to Spain and the relatively prosaic activity of a religious goods store. Yet he was still not settled. Moved initially by a sermon of Saint John of Avila, he one day engaged in a public beating of himself, begging mercy and wildly repenting for his past life.

Committed to a mental hospital for these actions, John was visited by Saint John, who advised him to be more actively involved in tending to the needs of others rather than in enduring personal hardships. John gained peace of heart, and shortly after left the hospital to begin work among the poor.

He established a house where he wisely tended to the needs of the sick poor, at first doing his own begging. But, excited by the saint’s great work and inspired by his devotion, many people began to back him up with money and provisions. Among them were the archbishop and marquis of Tarifa.

Behind John’s outward acts of total concern and love for Christ’s sick poor was a deep interior prayer life which was reflected in his spirit of humility. These qualities attracted helpers who, 20 years after John’s death, formed the Brothers Hospitallers, now a worldwide religious order.

John became ill after 10 years of service, but tried to disguise his ill health. He began to put the hospital’s administrative work into order and appointed a leader for his helpers. He died under the care of a spiritual friend and admirer, Lady Ana Ossorio.







Basílica de San Juan de Dios

(Basilica of St John of God)

Calle San Juan de Dios 23

18001 Granada, Spain

*The remains of St John of God rest within a silver urn within the gilded Baroque altarpiece above the main altar. At the age of forty-two St John of God experienced a profound conversion which inspired him to dedicate himself totally to serving and caring for the hospitalized and the poor.


Churches of Honor in Rome


San Giovanni Calibita (Saint John Calibytes)

Isola Tiberina 39

Rome, Italy

*This church is located on Tiber Island just across from San Bartolomeo all’ Isola.

*St John of God was the patron saint of the community that founded this church and the hospital adjacent to it. Several works within this church depict various events from his life. Also placed upon a small obelisk in the piazza just outside of this church is a small statue of the saint.



Saint John of God was from Portugal
These little seashells are from there and are one of their signature delicacies! 

Ovos moles de Aveiro


We are going to show you how to make Ovos Moles de Aveiro, which are Portuguese egg yolk sweets. These are one of the most identifiable treats unique to Portuguese dessert making. They are seen at any dessert shop or any event and are perfect for those with a sweet tooth like myself. The smooth texture and sweet flavor of the yolk in the crunchy shell makes for quite an enjoyable treat. This dessert is sure to impress and quite simple and easy to make.


Making the Shell:

  • 1 pound flour

  • 2 cups cold water

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

Making the Filling:

  • 8 egg yolks

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup rice flour

For the Shell:

  1. Pour the ingredients in a bowl and knead them well until they reach a dough like consistency..

  2. With the help of a rolling pin, roll the dough very thin, place it in a lightly greased form and with the tip of a knife, make the shape you wish to mold the filling in. The dough should be very thin, almost transparent.

  3. Mold the dough into whichever shape you please, or if you have a specific baking mold, use that.

For the Filling:

  1. Pour the sugar in a saucepan on the stove with a glass of water and let it boil until 245 degrees fanrenheit or the sugar has become a syrup with an even consistency.

  2. In another saucepan, dissolve the rice flour in 1/2 cup of cold water. Add the boiled sugar syrup to this mixture let it cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

  3. Turn off the heat and let it cool slightly and begin adding in the egg yolks.

  4. Keep stirring them together and let them cool for another 5 minutes on low heat in the saucepan.

  5. Pour the filling into the molded shells.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

  7. *If you wish to add a bit of crunch to the treats you can place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees fahrenheit for about 3-4 minutes until they reach a crunchy shell.*




In Italy this day is also Women's Day or La Festa della Donna, which means.....

Mimosa Cake and Champagne!

This is a day enjoyed having fun with your best girl friends!! 

For the Pan di Spagna:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour or 00

  • 1 1/2 cups corn starch

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 12 large eggs (room temperature)

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

For the Cream:

  • 4 1/4 cups milk

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 3/4 cups corn starch

  • 10 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 lemon, peel only

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups champagne, prosecco or spumante

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced


Make the Pan di Spagna:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a stand mixer mix the eggs, sugar and salt together until ribbons form. This will take about 15-20 minutes minimum.

  3. In a bowl sift together flour and corn starch 3 times. Sift the dry ingredients on top of the egg and sugar mixture little by little folding it in very carefully. Make sure you do this carefully so you don't deflate the egg mixture. Fold in the vanilla and Pour into two greased 9 inch spring form pans and bake for 40 minutes or until the center is firm.

  4. Cool completely.

  5. Once cooled trim the dark crusts from the top and sides of the cakes.

  6. Slice one cake into 3 layers about 1/2 inch thick. Slice the other cake into thin strips and slice the strips into small cubes. These will be used to decorate the cake.

Make the French Cream:

  1. In a bowl, mix the milk, beaten egg yolks and vanilla.

  2. In a pot, whisk together all the dry Ingredients.

  3. Put the pot on the stove at medium heat and add the milk mixture. With a wooden spoon start mixing continuously.

  4. Add the lemon peel and stir continuously.

  5. After about 5-7 minutes the mixture will begin to thicken and form a custard.

  6. Once thickened remove the pot from the flame, remove the lemon peel and continue to stir for another 30 seconds.

  7. Cool off the custard by spreading it in a shallow baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic against the cream. This will prevent a skin from forming. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator or freezer until cooled.

  8. In a bowl add the heavy cream and powdered sugar and whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

  9. Once cooled, add the whipped cream to the custard, reserving about 6 tablespoons. Whip the custard and whipped cream with an electric mixer for a smoother consistency.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Line a glass bowl with plastic wrap. Press the first layer into the bowl and moisten with Champagne.

  2. Spread a layer of the reserved whipped cream and follow with a layer of French cream. Top with strawberry slices.

  3. Add the next layer of cake and moisten with Champagne. Spread a layer of French cream and follow with strawberries.

  4. Add the final layer of cake and moisten with Champagne. Wrap the top of the bowl in plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours.

  5. Place a plate over the bowl and invert the cake. Unwrap and frost the cake with the remaining French cream.

  6. Stick the cake cubes all over the cake. Top with sifted confectioners sugar. Chill before serving.


Or you  can form in a rectangle pan!

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