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February 19

Saint of the day:

Saint Odran

St. Odran was the first Christian martyr in Irish history and the only martyr during the time of St Patrick.

Saint Odran Story

The death of St Odran

According to the Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick (Vita tripartita Sancti Patricii) St Odran’s death, in simpler terms, was a case of mistaken identity but  gave up his life to save St Patrick.

When St Patrick arrived in Ireland he went about destroying pagan idols with one of them being Crom Cruach, the chief idol in the Plain of Adoration. Although not much is known about Crom Cruach he was the favourite deity for an Irish chieftain called Foilge Berrad.

The threat to St Patrick

When Foilge learned about the destruction of Crom Cruach he became angry and vowed to seek revenge by killing St Patrick. St Odran learned about the threat from Foilge but decided not to warn St Patrick of the immediate danger.

The Killing of St Odran

As St Patrick and St Odran traveled throughout the country tiredness set in for St Odran. He requested that his master takes his place so that he could rest before taking back the reins of the chariot, Patrick agreed. They both continued on their journey until Foilge ambushed the chariot. Foilge threw his spear at St Odran, thinking he was St Patrick, pierced his heart and killed him on the spot. Soon after the killing of St Odran, Foilge dropped dead and it was believed he was sent to hell by the almighty God.

A different version of St Odran’s death

Another version of St Odran’s death appears in the Pseudo-Historical Prologue to the Senchas Már which describes a test of St Patrick’s faith. It would also be the earliest judgement that conflicted with Christian and pagan laws in Ireland.

The High King of Ireland,  Lóegaire mac Néill, was known for his jealousy of St. Patrick’s power. He ordered his people to kill one of St Patrick’s disciples to test if Patrick himself would grant forgiveness. The High King announced, whoever would take up the request would be greatly awarded.

Mac Néill’s nephew, Nuada Derg, was being held in captivity by the King but agreed to kill a disciple if he was released and given the awards as promised. The High-King agreed and ordered his immediate release.

When Nuada Derg was released from captivity he approached the clerics of St Patrick and hurled his lance towards them, striking St Ordan and killing him.

After the slaying St Patrick approached the Chief Ollam of Ireland, Dubhthach moccu Lughair, and requested Nuada Derg be trailed for the murder of Odran. Dubhthach agreed, he found Nuada guilty of murder and had him executed. The problem with this sentencing was that it went against Brehon laws widely respected in Ireland at the time. Brehon laws shunned capital punishment and murders would usually result in hefty fine.




Lord, amid the things of this world,

let us be wholeheartedly committed to heavenly things in imitation of the example of evangelical perfection

You have given us in St. Odran the Abbot. Amen.




Irish Seafood Chowder



  • 50g Butter

  • 200g Onions

  • 2kg White Fish Bones

  • (Preferably sole or turbot)

  • Juice of ½ Lemon

  • 6 Pepper Corns

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • Parsley Stalks

  • 5 Lt Water


  1. Melt butter in a thick bottomed pan

  2. Add the sliced onion, the well washed fish bones and remainder of the ingredients except water

  3. Cover with greaseproof paper and a lid and sweat ( cook gently without colouring) for about 5 minutes

  4. Add the water, bring to boil, skim and simmer for 20 minutes, then strain.



  • 2 large tablespoons butter

  • 2 medium Onions – finely diced

  • 2 large Carrots – finely diced

  • 4 sticks Celery – finely diced

  • 1 Leek – finely diced

  • 1 ½ Lt Fish Stock

  • Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

  • Juice 1 ½ Lemons

  • 750g Fresh Salmon – diced

  • 500g Mussel Meat

  • 500g Smoked Haddock

  • 1Kg Cod or similar white fish

  • 400ml Double Cream

  • Chopped Dill


  1. In a large pot heat the butter and sauté the onions, carrots, celery & leeks for about 5 – 6 minutes.

  2. Add the fish stock, salt & pepper, gentle simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Add the haddock, salmon, cod and mussels, gentle simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Add cream and simmer for 5- 6 minutes

  5. Garnish with chopped dill and serve.



  • 600G Plain White Floor

  • 135g Butter

  • 350g Mature Cheddar

  • ¾ pt Butter Milk

  • 3 Tbls Baking Powder

  • 3 Tbls English Mustard Powder

  • 2 pinches Salt



  1. Mix all dry ingredients

  2. Add butter & grated Cheese

  3. Add buttermilk and mix well

  4. Knead well and cut to size

  5. Brush with egg wash and cook for 12/15 minutes at 220* (about 425 F)




  • 3 C. Flour

  • 2 t. Baking Powder

  • ⅛ t. Salt

  • ¼ t. Cloves, ground

  • ¼ t. Nutmeg, ground

  • 6 oz. Butter, (cold is fine)

  • ¾ C. Sugar

  • 4 large Granny Smith apples(I used golden delicious to great effect)

  • 2 Eggs

  • ¾ C. Milk

  • 2 T. Sugar(for sprinkling on top of cake)



  • 6 large Egg Yolks

  • 6 T. Sugar

  • 1½ C. Whole Milk

  • 1½ t. Vanilla




  1. Grease and flour an 8" or 9" round springform pan. Using an 8" pan will give you a taller cake.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Make sure the bowl is very large to allow room for the apples to be folded in.

  4. Cut the butter into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

  5. Add the ¾ C. sugar to the flour mixture and mix in.

  6. Peel the apples and slice them into uniform pieces. This cake works best and gets that 'chunky apple look' if the slices are about ¼" wide and then cut into 3 pieces.

  7. Toss the apples into the flour mixture and combine them thoroughly.

  8. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Add to the apples and flour and mix in with a large spatula until just combined. Batter will be thick and dough-like.

  9. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of your spatula.

  10. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cake.

  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Test the center for doneness. The top of the cake should be golden brown. Serve slices with custard sauce.


*note that this sauce is not a thick, pudding like sauce. It should have a pour-able, just thickened consistency when done.

  1. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and stir over medium heat until custard thickens, about 4 minutes. Custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Mix in the vanilla. Transfer to bowl or serving saucer.

  2. Serve warm or cold over apple cake.

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