Saint of the day:
St. Jeanne Jugan
Patron Saint of the destitute elderly
St. Jeanne Jugan's Story
Who is Jeanne Jugan?
Jeanne Jugan is the foundress and first Little Sister of the Poor. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.
A Saint for old age and every age
Jeanne Jugan gave herself entirely to God and the elderly poor. As our aging population continues to grow and dignity at the end of life is increasingly threatened, Jeanne Jugan offers herself as a friend and patron of the elderly. She is a Saint for old age.
But she is more than that! Jeanne is a Saint for every age as she challenges young people to give themselves to God and neighbour. She is a role model for those who care for the poor, the sick and the aging. To those who feel anxious in these tough economic times, she offers an invitation to live the Beatitudes, trusting that God will provide. She challenges all of us to do everything through love. A friend of the poor — a Gospel witness for our time — a Saint for old age and every age!
Prayer to Saint Jeanne Jugan
Jesus, you rejoiced and praised your Father for having revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. We thank you for the graces granted to your humble servant, Saint Jeanne Jugan, to whom we confide our petitions and needs. (pause to voice your personal needs and intentions) Father of the poor, you have never refused the prayer of the lowly. We ask you, therefore, to hear the petitions that she presents to you on our behalf. Jesus, through Mary, your Mother and ours, we ask this of you, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.
Saint Jeanne Jugan, Pray for us.
La Tour Saint-Joseph,
Saint-Pern, Ille-et-Vilaine, France
Les Palets de Dames
(French Lady Cookies)
For the cookies:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the icing:
2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
About 1-1/2 tablespoons milk
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
To make the cookies:
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and salt and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is again smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Don’t be discouraged if the mixture curdles; it will be fine as soon as you add the flour. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour in
3 additions, mixing only until it disappears after each addition. You’ll have a very soft dough that might look more like a cake batter than a cookie dough. Scrape the dough into a bowl, press a piece of plastic film against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or until it is firm.
The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
When you’re ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
You need about 2 teaspoons of dough for each cookie. You can use a small (2-teaspoon capacity) cookie scoop — my favorite tool for this job — or you can use a spoon to scoop out rounded teaspoonfuls of dough, in which case it’s best to roll the dough gently between your palms to form balls. Place the scoops or balls of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cookies are set and just slightly brown around the edges. Carefully transfer the cookies to a rack and allow them to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheet between batches.
To make the icing: Put the confectioners’ sugar in a wide bowl and add 1 tablespoon milk and a squirt of lemon juice. Using a small whisk or a fork, stir until you have a smooth icing that forms a ribbon when the whisk or fork is lifted. If the icing is too thick to flow smoothly, add more milk; you might need even more than 1-1/2 tablespoons milk total, in which case it’s best to add the additional milk in nano-driplets.
One by one, pick up the cookies and dip the flat side into the icing, then lift the cookie up and give it a little twirl, so that the excess icing falls back into the bowl. Put the cookie icing side up on a rack and let the icing dry and firm at room temperature.
Storing: Once the icing is dry, the cookies can be put in a covered container; they’ll keep for up to 3 days at room temperature. Because of the icing, the finished cookies can’t be frozen. However, if you’d like, you can pack the undipped cookies airtight and freeze them for up to 2 months; defrost and then ice.