- THE RECIPE
Contrary to what many people think, St Francis of Assisi was not a vegetarian and invited his friars to use “all foods people eat”. But his favourite dish was shrimp pie, and he also loved some sweets such as almond ‘mostaccioli’.
- THE RECIPE: SAINT FRANCIS’ SHRIMP AND PIKE PIE
Saint Hildegard of Bingen, who lived in the 12th century, was one of the most complex and eclectic figures in history, not only of the Church. She was also a herbalist and naturalist and left a large number of recipes based on herbs, grains, spices, seeds, capable of restoring the balance between soul and body.
- THE RECIPE: CINNAMON BISCUITS
The secret of a healthy and tasty cuisine that avoids the cardinal sin of gluttony was already found in the Rule of St Benedict and also features in the work of St Hildegard of Bingen. Hundreds of recipes created in European monasteries have now become commonplace: vegetables, charcuterie, cheese, but also sweets and beers and liqueurs. The monastic culinary tradition is still very much alive and hundreds of monasteries in Europe and the USA sell their products online.
- THE RECIPE: LEFTOVER BREAD CAKE
On August 31, 1870, 150 years ago, Maria Montessori was born in a little town in Central Italy. She was a doctor, a pedagogist, a child neuropsychiatrist, educator and philosopher, a committed feminist, and is universally known for the educative method based on spontaneity that bears her name. There are more than 20,000 schools named after her throughout the world, above all in the United States, Germany, and Great Britain. The author of numerous essays, she nearly won the Nobel Peace Prize. But in reality the Montessori approach is destructive for the education.
The Cerasi Chapel, the most famous chapel of the Augustinian church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, is also called the Chapel “of the Assunta” or “of Saints Peter and Paul” in virtue of the expressive force of the works of art contained there: conversion, martyrdom and homage to the Virgin. It is the foundation of Christian doctrine. Carracci's Assunta opens her arms wide, demonstrating the desire to quickly reach the destination to which she is headed. The impetus of the momentum seems to project it into real space, from which the faithful observe the scene. Carracci's truth is measured by Caravaggio's naturalism.
Ennio Morricone has died “with the comfort of his faith”. A Catholic composer known for his “spaghetti” Westerns soundtracks, Once Upon A Time In America and The Mission, he was above all a man of faith who expressed his own spirituality in his music. Although snubbed by many critics, he also composed many works of contemporary music, which was his true passion and which he called “absolute.”
Under the pretext of anti-racist protests, vandals destroyed a statue of St. Junipero Serra (1713-1784) in San Francisco. Serra was a Franciscan who evangelized California and travelled hundreds of miles to baptize and evangelize native American Indians. He knew how "to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life," as Pope Francis said when canonizing him a saint.
Terrorist attack in England: the media strive to quell any alarm. Coronavirus: the media stoke a permanent state of fear. This sort of panic by command which works to keep the population at the mercy of Power, can only be resisted by clinging to the One who has already defeated this worldly Power.
Among the studies researching the psychological impact of Covid-19, there is the study presented by the University of Chicago. The American media has interpreted it in dramatic tones. However, the only way to find out whether one is happy or not is to draw a simply graphic revealing how much gap there is between our vocation (adherence to a project we are called by God to steward) and our current state of life. Let's take look at it and maybe we'll discover that neither the quarantine nor COVID-19 have anything to do with our happiness.