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October 6


Saint of the day:
St. Bruno

Patron Saint of Germany, Calabria, monastic fraternities, Carthusians, trade marks, Ruthenia, possessed people

Saint Bruno’s Story


Bruno was born in Cologne of the prominent Hartenfaust family. He studied at the Cathedral school at Rheims, and on his return to Cologne about 1055, was ordained and became a Canon at St. Cunibert's. He returned to Rheims in 1056 as professor of theology, became head of the school the following year, and remained there until 1074, when he was appointed chancellor of Rheims by its archbishop, Manasses. Bruno was forced to flee Rheims when he and several other priests denounced Manasses in 1076 as unfit for the office of Papal Legate. Bruno later returned to Cologne but went back to Rheims in 1080 when Manasses was deposed, and though the people of Rheims wanted to make Bruno archbishop, he decided to pursue an eremitical life. He became a hermit under Abbot St. Robert of Molesmes (who later founded Citeaux) but then moved on to Grenoble with six companions in 1084. They were assigned a place for their hermitages in a desolate, mountainous, alpine area called La Grande Chartreuse, by Bishop St. Hugh of Grenoble, whose confessor Bruno became. They built an oratory and individual cells, roughly followed the rule of
St. Benedict, and thus began the Carthusian Order. They embraced a life of poverty, manual work, prayer, and transcribing manuscripts, though as yet they had no written rule. The fame of the group and their founder spread, and in 1090, Bruno was brought to Rome, against his wishes, by Pope Urban II (whom he had taught at Rheims) as Papal Adviser in the reformation of the clergy. Bruno persuaded Urban to allow him to resume his eremitical state, founded St. Mary's at La Torre in Calabria, declined the Pope's offer of the archbishopric of Reggio, became a close friend of Count Robert of Sicily, and remained there until his death on October 6. He wrote several commentaries on the psalms and on St. Paul's epistles. He was never formally canonized because of the Carthusians' aversion to public honors but Pope Leo X granted the Carthusians permission to celebrate his feast in 1514, and his name was placed on the Roman calendar in 1623.






Würzburg Cathedral, German

Double crypt. The eastern part dates from 1040 and contains the tomb of Bruno. The western one (12th century) was demolished around 1700 but rebuilt after 1962. It features an old well, the tomb of Conrad of Querfurt and the oldest piece of art of the cathedral: a bearded face which may be Carolingean or even Merovingian in origin.

Chiesa di Santa Maria nel Bosco (St. Mary in the Woods Church)

Chiesa di Santa Maria nel Bosco (St. Mary in the Woods Church)



Pumpkin Italian Gnocchi


  • 500 gr / 1 lb sweet potato or pumpkin/squash, cooked,
    well-drained and mashed (about 4 potatoes or 800 gr / 1.8 lbs raw squash/potato)

  • 100 gr / 1⅓ cup / 3.5 oz Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese finely grated

  • 200 gr / 1½ cup / 7.0 oz all-purpose flour (preferably pastry flour)

  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • a pinch of salt


  1. Rinse, peel and cut the vegetables into little pieces and steam them
    in a microwave for about 15-20 minutes.

  2. Put steamed/cooked vegetables in a big bowl and mash them
    with a fork of potato masher.

  3. Mix in Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon,
    salt and ¾ flour (150gr). Do not over mix.

  4. Knead gently until a nice pliable ball is formed, do not over knead.
    Add the remainder flour only if necessary and the dough is still sticky.
    It has to be soft and just a bit tacky. If it’s still a bit damp add some
    more flour, not too much though!

  5. Immediately dust with flour your working area, take a piece of the dough
    at a time and gently roll each out to form ¾ inch – 2 cm in diameter ropes.

  6. Cut the ropes into about 1 inch / 2,5 cm pieces (it depends on what size you want your Gnocchi), and if you want you can lightly press and roll each pieces into the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board with the tip of your thumb to make a small indentation - I like to skip this passage and leave gnocchi as is.

  7. Put Gnocchi, divided from each other, over a well floured plate to avoid from sticking together.

  8. If you want you can freeze them with the plate and once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag to leave more space in the freezer.

  9. To cook Sweet Potato or Pumpkin/Squash Gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil and add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to avoid them from sticking while cooking.

  10. Drop Gnocchi (both fresh or frozen), a few at a time, into the boiling water, make a little stir.

  11. When they rise to the surface, immediately remove and drain them with a slotted spoon and put onto the serving dish.

  12. Put your favourite sauce over them, give a little stir and serve immediately.


If you don’t serve them immediately, remember to sprinkle Gnocchi with a little bit of olive oil and give a little stir. When you want to serve Gnocchi just put your favourite sauce in a pan, heat up and put them in to combine for less than 30 seconds.

These are best served with melted butter and sage sauce (put butter in a pan, add sage, let simmer a bit and add cooked Gnocchi). I love to sprinkle some poppy seeds over for a little crunchy taste and for a lovely presentation.






Fall Sausage Ragù 



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup prediced yellow onions

  • 1/2 cup prediced bell peppers

  • 1 lb mild Italian chicken (or pork) sausage, casing removed

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin (or apple) pie spice*

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 (14.5-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock (or broth)


  1. Preheat large stockpot on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place oil, onions, and peppers in pot; cook 2 minutes. Meanwhile, remove sausage casing by cutting almost in half lengthwise (butterfly); turn sausage over and peel casing away (wash hands).

  2. Add sausage, seasonings, red pepper, and salt; brown 3–4 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, and until no pink remains. Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin, stock, and gnocchi, then cover; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot and gnocchi are tender. Serve.

*NOTE: These spice blends are readily available during the fall months. Other times of the year, you can substitute with garam masala.



St. Bruno, the Carthusians, and the Carthusian Order
The Latin motto “stat crux dum volvitur orbis” basically says, “The Cross remains firm as the earth turns”. 

The seven stars represent the first seven Carthusian monks who founded the order in 1084.

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