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September 17

Saint of the day:

Saint Sophia

Mother Wisdom of Saints Faith, Hope & Charity 

Today is Saint Sophia of Milan feast date 

Other feast dates are:
 August 1
September 30

Patron Saint of Widows

Saint Sophia's Story

Saints Faith, Hope and Charity 
are a group of Christian martyred saints, venerated together with their mother, Sophia ("Wisdom").

Although earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology commemorated Saints Faith, Hope and Charity on 1 August and their mother Sophia on 30 September, the present text of this official but professedly incomplete catalogue of saints of the Roman Catholic Church has no feast dedicated to the three saints or their mother: the only Sophia included is an early Christian virgin martyr of Picenum in Italy, commemorated with her companion Vissia on 12 April; another early Christian martyr, Saint Faith (Fides), of Aquitania (southern France), is celebrated on 6 October, a Saint Hope (Spes), an abbot of Nursia who died in about 517, is commemorated on 23 May, and no saint Charity (Caritas) is included, although saints with somewhat similar names, Carissa and Carissima, are given, respectively under 16 April and 7 September. Their feast day of August 1 was not entered in the General Roman Calendar, and they have since been removed from the Roman Martyrology.

References of the time of Gregory the Great suggest two groups of martyrs, mother and daughters, one buried on the Aurelian Way and the other on the Via Appia. According to the Passio, Sophia was a widow of Milan who gave away her possessions and moved to Rome with her daughters. Her daughters were martyred before her and she buried them at Via Appia. She died a natural death three days later while praying at the grave of her daughters. The oldest version of the Passio is BHL 2966. Caesar Baronius introduced the saints to the Roman Martyrology in the late 16th century.

Their tomb in a crypt beneath the church afterwards erected to Saint Pancratius was long a place of resort for pilgrims, as detailed in various documents of the seventh century, such as an Itinerarium (or guide to the holy places of Rome compiled for the use of pilgrims) still preserved at Salzburg, the list, preserved in the cathedral archives of Monza, of the oils gathered from the tombs of the martyrs and sent to Queen Theodelinda in the time of Gregory the Great, etc.

Saxer (2000) notes that early Christians from the 4th century indeed often took in baptism mystical names indicative of Christian virtues, and Sophia, Sapientia, Fides are attested as names of Christian women in Catacomb inscriptions. The veneration of the three saints named for the three theological virtues probably arose in the 6th century based on such inscriptions. Critical scholarship is unanimous in assuming that the hagiographical tradition is spurious, likely inspired by Latin inscriptions referring to the theological either to concepts of Holy Wisdom, Faith, Hope and Charity. Her veneration is first recorded in the late 6th century, her being mentioned in the inventory of holy chrisms collected on behalf of Theodelinda, queen of the Lombards.

The veneration of Sophia of Milan became indistinguishable from that of Sophia of Rome in the medieval period. Relics either of her or of Sophia of Rome were transferred to to the women's convent at Eschau in Alsace in 778 from where her cult spread to Germany. She is the patron saint of widows. A 14th-century fresco of the saints is in St. Agnes chapel in Cologne Cathedral.,_Hope_and_Charity






Saint Sophia Cathedral
1324 S. Normandie Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-2424

Saint Sophia Cathedral is patterned after Saint Sophia of Constantinople (now Istanbul),

the great and ancient church of Eastern Christendom, Byzantine / Orthodox

Hagia Sophia

Istanbul (historically Constantinople), Turkey
Church, Mosque, Museum...the many faces, the complexity, of this location is just amazing

Angels watch over


Call to Prayer






We are celebrating with Mediterranean/Middle Eastern recipes because our saints had ties to these places.





  • 1 lb. beets, trimmed

  • 1⁄2 cup tahini

  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3 ice cubes

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish

  • 1 pine nuts, toasted, to garnish

  • pita to serve


  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.

  2. Add beets and cook until tender, about 1 hour.

  3. Drain and peel the beets, then transfer to a blender along
    with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and ice cubes.

  4. Season with salt and pepper and purée until smooth.

  5. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and pine nuts.






  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • ½ lb lean ground beef

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted

Meat Dough:

  • 1½ cups fine bulgur wheat

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 large onion, quartered

  • ½ cup mint leaves

  • 1½ lbs lean ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • ½ teaspoon all spice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil for frying



  1. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, sauté onions until soft, about 5 min. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 more minutes. Once browned, season with salt and pepper, allspice and cinnamon and continue cooking until tender, 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the pine nuts. Reserve.

Meat dough:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, cover the bulgur wheat with 2 cups of warm water. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then drain the excess water in a strainer, squeezing the wheat to get rid of excess water.

  2. Add the bulgur wheat, the onion and the mint leaves to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until the onion and the mint leaves are almost pureed. Add the spices and the ground beef, in batches if necessary, and process again to a smooth paste.

  3. To form the croquettes, with wet hands, shape the meat-bulgur mixture into egg-sized balls. Using your index finger, poke a hole in the center of each ball, rotating the dough to shape the ball into a thin-walled oval (1/3 inch thick walls). Fill the hole with 1 tablespoon of the filling (or more if you have room!) and then gather the edges together to seal, shaping it into a football. Repeat until you have about 24 kibbeh, wetting your hands if necessary.

  4. In a large saucepan, or dutch oven, heat enough oil over medium heat to cover the kibbeh until a deep fry thermometer reads 360F degrees. Working in batches, fry the kibbeh until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer the fried kibbeh to a plate lined with paper towels, to soak the excess grease.

  5. Serve hot or at room temperature!




Persian Savory Saffron Cake - Tahchin


Saffron Rice Cake

  • 6 cup Water

  • 2 cups Basmati rice washed

  • 2 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1 cup Plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 Eggs

  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 4 tbsp Bloomed Saffron


  • 2 tbsp Butter

  • 3/4 Cup Dried Barberries

  • 1/2 tbsp Sugar

  • 1 tsp Rose Water

To Top:

  • 2 tbsp Slivered Almonds

  • 2 tbsp Slivered Pistachios


  1. Pour water in a large pot, bring to boil.

  2. Add rice to the boiling water, cook for 10 minutes until
    the rice is soft on the outside but firm on the inside. 

  3. Drain the rice, set aside in a bowl. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat an oven safe dish (8X8) with nonstick spray. 

  5. Place yogurt, oil and eggs and salt in a large bowl whisk until combined. 

  6. Add in par cooked rice. mix well. 

    Add in bloomed saffron. Mix well. 

  7. Pour into the oven safe dish, cover with aluminum foil and poke holes into the aluminum foil using a fork.  

  8. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The dish is ready once it's fully cooked and stuck together. 

Meanwhile, prepare the barberries.

  1. Heat a small pan over medium low heat. Melt the butter in the pan. 

  2. Add in barberries, stir until coated with butter. 

  3. Add in sugar and rose water. Stir well. 

  4. Barberries are ready once they're shiny. 

To Serve:

  1. Once the Tahchin in ready, flip it into a plate and top it with barberries, slivered almond and slivered pistachios. 

  2. Serve plain or with chicken in tomato rice.




For the syrup

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1⁄2 tsp. saffron

  • For the filling and dough

  • 2 1⁄4 cups whole almonds,
    plus more whole or blanched almonds for decorating

  • 1 tbsp. plus 1⁄2 tsp. whole cardamom pods

  • 1 1⁄4 cups sugar

  • 1 cup melted clarified butter

  • One 16-oz. box phyllo dough, thawed overnight in the fridge,
    sheets cut in half to fit a 9x13-inch baking dish



  1. Make the syrup: In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, saffron, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove and let cool. (Syrup can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, at room temperature. Skim away any crystals that form.)

  2. Make the filling: In a food processor, pulse the almonds and cardamom until finely ground. Add the sugar and pulse a few times to incorporate evenly.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375° and set a rack at its center. Meanwhile, brush a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with some of the melted butter. Place a sheet of dough in the bottom of the dish. Brush the top with melted butter. Repeat 7 times to yield 8 buttered layers. Sprinkle the buttered dough with a third of the prepared almond filling, distributing it evenly. Add another 4 sheets of dough, brushing each with melted butter, then cover the top with half of the remaining filling. Repeat with 4 more sheets of dough, more melted butter, and the remaining filling. Finally, add 8 sheets of dough, brushing each with melted butter. (You will have some leftover dough; freeze and store for another use.) Using a sharp knife and leaving a 1⁄2-inch solid border around the sides of the pan, slice the dough lengthwise into four 1 1⁄2-inch-thick columns. Then make diagonal cuts every 1 1⁄2 inches across the columns to create a pattern of diamond shapes. Brush the top layer generously with melted butter, and top each diamond of dough with a blanched or whole almond. Transfer to the oven and bake 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the baking dish from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°. Brush with more melted butter. Bake again until lightly golden, 30–35 minutes more.

  5. Remove the dish from the oven. If needed, using a sharp knife, cut along the creases again, then pour 2 cups of the saffron syrup evenly over the pahklava (it will sizzle dramatically). Let cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the baking dish overnight before serving.

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