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July 5


Saint of the day:
Saint Zeo of Rome

The Story of St. Zeo of Rome

St. Zoe of Rome (d. 286 A.D.) was a noblewoman married to a Roman court official during the reign of the infamous Emperor Diocletian. For six years she suffered from a condition that left her unable to speak; when she met St. Sebastian she fell at his feet so that he would heal her. St. Sebastian made the Sign of the Cross over her, and from that moment her speech miraculously returned. As she was being healed she had a vision of an angel standing next to St. Sebastian holding a book in which was written everything that St. Sebastian preached. Her first words were ones of thanks and praise to God, and many witnesses of the miracle were brought to faith in Christ. Zoe and her husband then received baptism at the hands of St. Polycarp, along with many others who had come to believe in Christ through St. Sebastian's miracles. Of this new group of Christians, St. Zoe was the first to be martyred for her faith. She was greatly devoted to St. Peter the Apostle, and was arrested while praying at his tomb. She was martyred by being hung from a tree by her hair, with a fire lit under her feet. After her death her body was thrown into the Tiber River. She then appeared in a vision to St. Sebastian, who was in prison awaiting his execution, to tell him of her martyrdom and subsequent glory. 

Hymns of Saint Zoe

Saint Zoe, along with Saint Sebastian and the rest of his companions, share a series of hymns that are sung on their feast day, which is on December 18th. The hymns are sung in many languages and here is the version that is translated from the original Greek:

Apolytikion of Martyrs Sebastian & Companions – Fourth Tone

Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion of Martyrs Sebastian & Companions – Fourth Tone

Since thou wast great in zeal for godly religion, thou didst assemble an alliance of Martyrs, and in their midst, thou shonest like a flashing star. With the arrows that did pierce thy much-suffering body, thou didst slay the enemy, O Great Martyr Sebastian; and thou thyself didst fly as from a bow into the Heavens, where Christ hath received thy soul.

Greeks celebrate her feast day on December 18th. She is remembered on the same day as Saint Sebastian.[auto_group1]/29/









River Tiber, Italy

Saint Zoe lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian and his early persecution of Christians. She was greatly devoted to Saint Peter, and was praying by his tomb when she was arrested for her faith. She died, stifled by smoke, hung over a fire. Her body then was thrown into the River Tiber. The Tiber River flows through the city of Rome and enters the Tyrrhenian Sea. 

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy.

Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City, Italy

Since Saint Zoe was praying at the tomb of Saint Peter that is why we are showing St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Italy.

There are three layers and most people are not permitted to visit below the main floor, below are the 3 layers of Saint Peter's tomb.







Hazelnut Nutella Chocolate Cake



  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder best quality available

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 3/4 cup whole milk or use skim milk and add a little cream

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup very hot water or hot coffee


  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 cup powdered sugar divided

  • 8 oz cream cheese 1 package

  • 3/4 cup Sprouts Organic Hazelnut Spread

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips

  • 3 tablespoons Sprouts Organic Hazelnut Spread

  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

  • 12-15 whole hazelnuts additional



  1. Heat oven to 350*F.

  2. Prepare cake pans by rubbing the sides of the pans with a little oil or butter and dusting with flour.  Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.

  3. In a large mixing bowl (the bowl of an electric mixer), stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  4. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for one minute.

  5. Stir in hot water or coffee (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).

  6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

  7. Bake until the top of the cake is smooth and has a slight dome and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I baked the cake shown in three 7" pans and baked them about 30 minutes.  You will need to adjust the bake time based on the pans you choose.

  8. Cool completely before frosting.  I like to cool the cakes at room temperature a bit, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until cold and firm (30 minutes or up to a couple days).


  1.  Chill your mixing bowl and beater(s) in the freezer for 5 minutes.  This will help the whipping cream whip up nice and quickly.

  2.  Pour the heavy cream into the chilled bowl, then beat until it begins to thicken.  Slowly add half (1/2 cup) of the powdered sugar, while mixing.  Continue to beat until the cream has almost doubled in volume and is nice and fluffy.

  3. Remove whipped cream from mixing bowl (into another bowl), and set in the fridge.

  4. In the mixing bowl (empty, but no need to clean fully), add the cream cheese.  Beat until smooth.

  5. Add the remaining (1/2 cup) powdered sugar and mix until fully combined.

  6. Add the hazelnut spread to the smooth cream cheese, and blend until fully combined.  Add vanilla and blend.

  7. Retrieve the whipped cream from the fridge and add one large scoop (about a cup) of whipped cream into the mixing bowl with the hazelnut spread/cream cheese mixture.  Blend slowly (using the whisk attachment), until combined.

  8. Add the remaining whipped cream to the bowl and use a spatula to gently fold/stir the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture.

  9. Fill and frost your prepared (cooled) cake as desired.  You should have plenty of frosting to cover the cake and some remaining for decorative touches (to be added later).  Move frosted cake to the freezer if you plan to add chocolate glaze (recipe follows).


  1. Once the cake is frosted, if desired, add a chocolate hazelnut glaze by combining 2 T. chocolate chip and 3 T. hazelnut spread in a small bowl and microwave (at 50% power) 30 seconds at a time until mostly melted.  Stir to combine.  Cool slightly, then pour onto the top of the frosted (and chilled) cake.  Spread almost (but not quite) to the edge.  Top chocolate layer with chopped hazelnuts.

  2. If desired, add remaining hazelnut whipped cream frosting to a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and add decorative swirls (as pictured) around the top edge of the cake.  Top each swirl with a whole hazelnut.

  3. Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to serve.  Keep any remaining cake in the fridge.

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