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February 6

Saint of the day:
St. Vedast

Patron Saint of invoked on behalf of children who walk with difficulty, for diseases of the eyes,

diocese of Arras, Boulogne and Saint-Omer, France; France


The Story of Saint Vedast

As a young man, Vedast left his own country (which seems to have been in the west of France) and led a holy life concealed from the world in the diocese of Toul. The bishop, taking notice of him, ordained him to the priesthood. Clovis, King of Franks, while returning from his victory over the Alemanni, hastened to Rheims to receive baptism and stopped at Toul to request some priest to instruct him on the way. Vedast was assigned to accompany the king. Extraordinary healings are also attributed to his intercession. The traditional account says that while on the road to Reims, they encountered a blind beggar at the bridge over the river Aisne. The man besought Vedast's assistance. The priest was inspired to pray and blessed the beggar, at which point the man immediately recovered his sight. The miracle convinced the king to adopt his wife's religion. Vedast became an advisor to King Clovis. A Vita of Vedast by Alcuin recounts a story that on one occasion, having spent the day in instructing a nobleman, his host would see him on his way with a glass of wine to sustain him, but found the cask empty. Vedast bid the servant to bring whatever he should find in the vessel. The servant then found the barrel overflowing with excellent wine. In 499, Remigius named him the first bishop of Arras, France; around 510, he was also given oversight over Cambrai.

He died on February 6, 539 at Arras; that night the locals saw a luminous cloud ascend from his house, apparently carrying away Vedast’s soul. The Abbey of St. Vaast was later founded in his honour in Arras. Vedast was venerated in Belgium as well as England (from the 10th century) where he was known as Saint Foster. The spread of his cult was aided by the presence of Augustinians from Arras in England in the 12th century. Three ancient churches in England – St Vedast Foster Lane in London, and in Norwich and Tathwell in Lincolnshire – were dedicated to him.









St. Vedast Fosters Lane, London





Hot Chocolate Soufflé


For the crème pâtissière chocolate

  • butter, for greasing

  • 6 oz plain chocolate (minimum 36% cocoa solids)

  • 10 fl oz milk

  • 1 oz cocoa powder

  • 4 large free-range egg yolks

  • 2 oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

  • 1½ oz ap flour

For the meringue

  • 6 large free-range egg whites

  • 1½ oz caster sugar, fine granulated sugar 


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Place a heavy baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven.

  2. Grease a 14x8cm (1.2 litre/2 pint) soufflé dish with butter and dust with caster sugar. Make a collar for the soufflé dish by folding a 50x30cm/20x12in piece of baking parchment 4 times lengthways (to make a 7½cm/3in deep collar). Wrap it around the top of the dish and secure with string.

  3. For the crème pâtissière chocolate, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

  4. Pour the milk and cocoa powder into a heavy-based pan and bring gradually to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale, then whisk in the plain flour. Pour the chocolate milk onto the eggs, whisking continuously, then pour back into the pan.

  5. Bring back to the boil, whisking continuously over a medium heat and cook for 1 minute until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted chocolate. Spoon the crème pâtissière chocolate into a bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool to room temperature.

  6. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue whisking to a stiff and glossy meringue.

  7. Whisk one third of the meringue mixture into the crème patissiere chocolate, then fold in the remaining two-thirds using a large metal spoon. The mixture should be fairly loose.

  8. Pour the mixture into the souffle dish. Run your thumb around the interior rim of the dish to ensure a good rise. Bake on the preheated baking tray for 40-50 minutes, or until well risen and springy to touch.

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