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January 27 

Saint of the day:

Saint Angela Merica

Patron Saint of the sick, disabled and physically challenged people and those grieving the loss of parents

Saint Angela Merici’s Story

Angela has the double distinction of founding the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women.

As a young woman, she became a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like Saint Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed. Early in life she was appalled at the ignorance among poorer children, whose parents could not or would not teach them the elements of religion. Angela’s charming manner and good looks complemented her natural qualities of leadership. Others joined her in giving regular instruction to the little girls of their neighborhood.

She was invited to live with a family in Brescia (where, she had been told in a vision, she would one day found a religious community). Her work continued and became well known. She became the center of a group of people with similar ideals.

She eagerly took the opportunity for a trip to the Holy Land. When they had gotten as far as Crete, she was struck with blindness. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going through with the pilgrimage, and visited the sacred shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way back, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost.

At 57, she organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of Saint Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. The members continued to live at home, had no special habit and took no formal vows, though the early Rule prescribed the practice of virginity, poverty, and obedience. The idea of a teaching congregation of women was new and took time to develop. The community thus existed as a “secular institute” until some years after Angela’s death.,_Brescia






the Church of Saint Afra & Church of Saint Angela in Brescia




  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 6 ounces pancetta or 6 slices bacon, finely chopped

  • 1/4 pound ground pork (not lean)

  • 1/4 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)

  • 1/4 pound ground veal

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound small pasta such as orecchiette or rotini

  • Garnish: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. If using whole tomatoes, in blender or food processor, purée tomatoes with juice. Set aside.

  2. In large, heavy pot over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add pancetta and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beef, pork, and veal and sauté, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add onion and carrot and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

  3. Stir in red wine and simmer, scraping up browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and brick-red in color, approximately 30 minutes.

  4. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until almost tender. Drain well and toss with sauce. Serve with grated cheese.


  • 4 Yolks 

  • 45 g Corn starch 

  • 1 Vanilla bean 

  • 140 g Sugar 

  • 400 ml Whole milk 

  • 100 ml Fresh liquid cream 



To make the custard

  1. first cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and extract the seeds that are inside with the blade of a knife. 

  2. The pod will serve to flavor the milk, while the seeds will add them to the mixture of egg yolks and sugar. 

  3. In a pan with a thick bottom, pour the milk and cream  (if you prefer 400 ml of milk instead of 100 ml of cream, you can use 500 g of milk).

  4. Add the vanilla pod emptied of the seeds and bring everything to simmer. 

  5. Separate the yolks in a bowl, add the seeds of the vanilla pod. 

  6. Beat the egg yolks quickly with the whisk along with the sugar. 
    (It is important to do it quickly because if you leave the sugar in contact with the egg yolks it absorbs the watery part,
    crystallizing the proteins and making them insoluble).

  7. When the mixture is mixed add the sifted cornstarch directly into the bowl. 

  8. Stir to incorporate starch well.

  9. Now remove the vanilla pod from the pan with the milk and cream,

  10. take a ladle of liquid and add it to the mixture of eggs, sugar and starch to dilute with the whisk. 

  11. Once diluted pour the mixture into the pan,

  12. let it thicken over a gentle flame, stirring constantly with the whisk.
    Continue cooking, without stopping stirring, until the cream has thickened,
     at this point pour it immediately into a pan. 

  13. The ideal would be to have a large bowl with ice in which to place a smaller bowl and pour the cream inside to cool it quickly bringing it to a temperature below 50 °, mixing with the whisk. This allows to maintain the consistency of the intact cream; moreover, if you can cool it to less than 10 ° you will also get egg pasteurization (all measurable with a kitchen thermometer). The custard would be ready to be used; otherwise cover with transparent film in contact, let the cooling finish finish first at room temperature and then in the fridge.

Custard filled Dove Puff Pastries 

  1. Cut the sheet of puff pastry in a dove shape

  2. Once cut the doves, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and brush them with a beaten egg with
    a spoonful of cream (or milk)

  3. After brushing them, sprinkle the dove with powder sugar 

  4. Bake until golden about 20 minutes

  5. Remove from the oven and let it cool

  6. Once cold, cut your doves gently in half 

  7. Fill the doves with the custard

  8. Serve and enjoy!


Her Art:

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