Saint of the day:
Saint Victor of Marseilles
Patron Saint of cabinetmakers, millers, torture victims, sick children; invoked against lightning
Saint Victor is the patron saint of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
His life and martyrdom are celebrated in the scenes depicted on the high altar of St. Nicholas' Church, Tallinn.
The Story of St. Victor of Marseilles
St. Victor of Marseilles (d. 290 A.D.) was a Christian soldier serving in the Roman imperial army in Marseilles, France. Christianity was thriving there, until Emperor Maximian arrived with the intention of putting the Christians to death. This caused the Christians to fear, and St. Victor would go from house to house under the cover of night to admonish them to stand strong in their faith. This behavior drew attention, and during one of his nightly rounds he was arrested. The Roman prefects tried to dissuade him from following a "dead man" (Jesus), but St. Victor testified boldly for the truth of the Christian faith. Enraged, the prefects had him bound and dragged through the streets. Victor was undeterred and continued to denounce the Roman gods. His tortures were renewed until his torturers grew tired, after which he was thrown into a dungeon. That night he was visited by angels, and his three guards were converted and baptized that same night. The next morning the Emperor had the guards beheaded, while St. Victor was kept alive for fresh torments. After three days of abuse, the Emperor commanded Victor to burn incense to the gods. Instead, St. Victor walked up to the altar and kicked it over with his foot. In retaliation, his foot was cut off. Seeing that his efforts to cause Victor to apostatize were useless, the Emperor finally had him crushed to death on a grindstone. His body was thrown into the sea before being recovered and buried by Christians. His tomb became a place where many miracles occurred.
Place Saint-Victor, 13007 Marseille, France
St. Victor in Marseilles was founded two monasteries - male and female, were both established by the founder John Cassian in the early fifth century.
Victor of Marseilles lived in the III century and was executed by order of Emperor Maximian for refusing to participate in pagan sacrifices. The monasteries were built on the burial place of Victor and a few martyrs for the faith. The monastery of Saint-Victor in Marseille is one of the oldest on the territory of modern France.
Eggplant Caviar Dip (Caviar d’Aubergine)
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 shallots, halved
2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs
(a combination of mint, parsley and basil)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper or freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Halved the eggplant lengthwise then transfer to the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Using a sharp point knife, prick the flesh all over. Drizzle each eggplant with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, quickly rubbing it over the flesh (the oil will absorb quickly). Top the eggplant with the garlic and shallots. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft.
Remove from the oven and loosely wrap the aluminium foil over the eggplant to create a “steam room”. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Transfer the shallots to a food processor (I used a vitamix, see link below). Squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins and into the food processor. Scoop out the eggplant flesh into the food processor, discarding the skins. Add the herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and red pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple of times along the way.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Optional: for serving sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with olive oil.