My Nameday--Come for Desert

Author: Helen McLoughlin



Nihil obstat: John Eidenschink, O.S.B., J.C.D., Censor deputatus. Imprimi potest: +Baldwin Dvorschak, O.S.B., D.D., Abbot of St. John's Abbey.

Imprimatur: +Peter W. Bartholome, D.D., Bishop of St. Cloud. August 24, 1962.

Copyright 1962 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc., Collegeville, Minnesota.



My Nameday--Come for Dessert

How to Observe a Nameday

Program for a Nameday


St. Joseph

Most Popular Boys' Names

Most Popular Girls' Names

Apostles and Saints who Bear Their Names

The Saints of the Canon of the Mass

Other Popular Names

Virgin Saints



Doctors of the Church

Founders of Religious Orders

Holy Women

Scriptural Saints

Special Patrons for Children and Youth

Martyrs and Saints of Great Britain

Gaelic Names and Irish Saints

Index of Recipes

Day by Day Calendar of Patrons

Index of Names, Patrons, Namedays

Nameday prayers in honor of patron saints for whom no special prayers are given in this book. If your patron saint was a

MARTYR-BISHOP, see Martyr-Bishops.

MARTYR who was not a bishop, see Martyr-Bishops.

WOMAN-MARTYR, see Women Martyrs.

VIRGIN, see Virgin Saints.

VIRGIN-MARTYR, see Virgin-Martyrs.

CONFESSOR-BISHOP, see Confessor-Bishops.

CONFESSOR, see Confessors.

POPE, see Popes.

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, see Doctors of the Church.

ABBOT, see Abbots.

SAINT mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, see The Saints of the Canon of the Mass.

HOLY WOMAN who was not a martyr or virgin, see Holy Women.

If in doubt, use the prayer in Program for a Nameday (or Scriptural Saints).


{We have retained this listing of addresses and companies, even though almost all are out of date. If you find some the products listed in this book or a good substitute, please let our subscribers know, and we can update the references.}

In this book references are frequently made to stores or companies from which various items may be purchased for the nameday celebration. In order to avoid repetition only the initial letters are given with a direction to this page. Here follow the full addresses:

AL Alinari Via Nazionale 6 Firenze--Florence Italy

AMS Ave Maria Shop 11 Barclay St. New York, N.Y.

BER Berliner & McGinnis Nevada City, Cal.

BM Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1720 E. 38th St. Indianapolis, Ind.

BMA Birmingham Museum of Art Birmingham, Ala.

BR Bruce Publishing Co. 400 North Broadway Milwaukee 1, Wis.

CAB Mother Cabrini Shrine 701 Fort Washington Ave. New York, N.Y.

CCA Contemporary Christian Art 1053 Lexington Ave. New York, N.Y.

CR Thomas Crowell Co. 432 Park Ave. South New York 16, N.Y.

DA Devin-Adair Co. 23 E. 26 Street New York, N.Y.

FC The Frick Collection 1 East 70 Street New York 21, N.Y.

FL Frederick Leighton Mexican Imports 15 E. 8 Street New York, N.Y.

FLB Family Life Bureau 1312 N.W. Massachusetts Ave. Washington 5, D.C.

FP Frederick Pustet Co. 14 Barclay St. New York 8, N.Y.

FSC Farrar, Straus and Cudahy 19 Union Square W. New York, N.Y.

GI Gregorian Institute of America 2130 Jefferson Ave. Toledo 2, Ohio

GO Gourmet Magazine Plaza Hotel New York, N.Y.

GR The Grail Grailville Loveland, Ohio

HNA Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 6 W. 57th Street New York 19, N.Y.

IR Irish Industries Depot 831A Lexington Ave. New York, N.Y.

JU Jubilee 168 E. 91st Street New York 28, N.Y.

LAS The Little Art Shop Regina Laudis Monastery Bethlehem, Conn.

LP The Liturgical Press St. John's Abbey Collegeville, Minn.

MA Manganaro Foods Inc. 488-9th Ave. New York, N.Y.

MB Morehouse Barlow Co. 14 E. 41st St. New York 17, N.Y.

MF Montfort Book Shop 40 South Saxon Ave. Bay Shore, L.I. New York

MG Mary's Gardens 124-c West Chestnut Hill Ave. Philadelphia 18, PA

MMA Metropolitan Museum of Art 5th Avenue at 82nd St. New York 28, N.Y.

MR Maryknoll Sisters Maryknoll, N.Y.

MS Maid of Scandinavia 3245 Raleigh Ave., South Minneapolis, Minn.

NB Newman Bookshop Westminster, Md.

NCRLC National Catholic Rural Life Conference 8301 Grand Ave. Des Moines, Iowa

NGA The National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C.

PA Pantheon Books 22 East 51st St. New York, N.Y.

PB Party Bazaar 390-5th Ave. New York, N.Y.

PC Patronscraft % Little Art Shop Regina Laudis Monastery Bethlehem, Conn.

PJK P. J. Kenedy and Sons 12 Barclay Street New York 8, N.Y.

PP Paulist Press 180 Varick St. New York 14, N.Y.

RC Regina Coeli Center 80-17 37th Ave. Jackson Heights, N.Y.

SF Salesian Fathers Mission Office--Box 30 New Rochelle, N.Y.

FL St. Leo Shop Newport, R.I.

SMC Sister Mary of the Compassion, O.P. Dominican Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Blue Chapel Union City, N.J.

SMG St. Martin de Porres Guild 160 5th Ave. New York, N.Y.

SP Scapular Press 329 E. 28th St. New York 16, N.Y.

SS Simon and Schuster 136 W. 52nd St. New York, N.Y.

SSJ The Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood, L.I. New York

SW Sheed and Ward 64 University Place New York, N.Y.

WRN William R. Nelson Museum Kansas City, Mo.

YCW Young Christian Workers 1700 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, Ill.

YOHS Ye Olde Herb Shoppe 46 Dey St. New York, N.Y.


Photo credits: Oudin designs: Hurvault, Phot., 9 rue de Metz, Saint Germain-en-lay, France, pp. 29, 37, 82, 170, 183, 187, 202, 212, 217, 218, 228; Daniel McManamy, pp. 15, 109; John Harrington, pp. 26, 27, 90; Kevin McKiernan, p. 40; General Foods Kitchens, 250 North Street, White Plains, New York (Baker's Angel Flake Coconut), pp. 32, 80, 108, 154-161 (cf. "Baker's Coconut Cut-Up Cakes" booklet); Maid of Scandinavia, 3245 Raleigh Ave. South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, pp. 35, 73, 191, 222; The Nestle Company, pp. 58, 112, 140, 214; Knox Gelatine, Inc., pp. 69, 76, 88, 123, 145, 210, 226; Richard Snyder School of Bakery, pp. 67, 84; Norton and Peel, 1004 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis, Minnesota, p. 73; Florida Citrus Commission, p. 114; Borden Milk Company, Ice Cream Division, p. 167; Fluffo, 36 Central Park South, New York 19, New York, p. 87; Rev. Hugh Witzmann, O.S.B., p. 105

Hymns: Hymns given on pp. 56, 93, 144, 200 are under copyright by McLaughlin and Reilly Company, Boston, Massachusetts; used with permission. Hymns given on pp. 148, 194, 245, 248 are under copyright by The Gregorian Institute of America, Toledo, Ohio; used with permission.

Quotations from: "Meditations Before Mass," The Newman Press, Westminster, Maryland, p. 15, 16; "Liturgical Piety," Notre Dame University Press, pp. 30, 103; "Butler's Lives of the Saints," P. J. Kenedy and Sons, p. 63; "Ancient Irish Poetry," Constable and Company, p. 113; prayers from the "Raccolta," pp. 79, 107, 184.

There! it is finished, the cake for your nameday: Brown, with red raisins, pink icing and candles, Frilly fine paper with podgy gilt puppies To ribbon the rim like a wrist with its bangles.

Tomorrow your quick little heart will start pounding, Your quick little laugh tinkle over the table. As yet you're too young to suspect love abounding Went to that baking--later on you'll be able.

They'll heap you with names in the dear Irish fashion: "Paistin,"1 "little thrush," "peteen-o," and "heart's treasure," Kind love will float round you, a pool of hushed passion; You dear little soul, you'll be loved without measure.

Beginning the third of the years you are with us The Father fulfil you, the Christ and the Spirit; The Mother of Jesus be vigilant for us Nunc et in hora...and keep you, and cherish.2


is an invitation to parents to celebrate the family's namedays. It contains the names, feasts, and symbols of our Blessed Mother and the saints, prayers of the liturgy, and appropriate desserts for the celebration of the sanctoral cycle of the Church year in the home.

A nameday commemorates the feast of the saint whose name we received at baptism. To the Church's mind, the day of the saint's death is his real feastday, and that is the day usually assigned as his feast--his birthday into heaven. In some countries and in most religious orders it is customary to observe name-days instead of birthdays.

On a child's nameday, "Come for Dessert" is a popular way to entertain. It is economical, festive and meaningful, and permits the family to splurge on a fabulous dessert without inflicting lasting wounds on the budget. It can be a "little evening"--a time for a party and a prayer for the child in the company of friends, a time for pleasant conversation for the grown-ups to accompany them.

Namedays are a means of strengthening the faith of our children, of drawing them closer to the Communion of Saints. The extra work on the parents' part will be amply rewarded. "A little more and how much it is; a little less and what miles away."

In the thirteen years from kindergarten through high school, children spend 13,000 hours in school (five hours a day); 37,960 hours asleep (eight hours a day); and 62,920 hours awake at home or elsewhere. The chief problems parents face are how to make a Christian home in which the children may pass their waking hours, how to teach the lessons of the faith over and beyond the catechism, how to counteract the secular influences of television and radio.

The Sisters, Brothers and teachers in our schools teach Christian doctrine, it is true; but parents must teach "religion." And the bulk of the work should be done before the child is six years old. Our Catholic educators can only build upon the foundations of Catholic training inculcated in the home. One of the ways to create a supernatural atmosphere in the home and to train our children in the faith is by the celebration of namedays.

Namedays enrich a child's thinking and create feelings of security, reverence and love of tradition which come from links with the past. They bind the members of the family closer to each other, to God. and to the saints; they are a means of sanctifying the home, fulfilling the command of the bishops of the United States: "Christians must make their homes holy."

The nameday dessert may be served as formally as you like. It is most attractive at the dining room table, covered in its Sunday best with linen, polished silver, good china, and candles. A low centerpiece decorated with a symbol of the patron saint will provide beautiful decor. The table may be set with placemats, nameday napkins (available at $.50 a package from MS; see Abbreviations), and place-cards marked with an attribute of the saint or a verse from the Bible easily taken from the Mass of the patron.

At a gathering too large to be seated, let the table be set as a buffet with a taller and more imposing centerpiece, perhaps built around a statue or paper cut-out of the-child's patron saint.

Serve the most beautiful cake or pie in your repertoire, or a dessert frozen in a symbolic mold, nameday punch for the children, and coffee (perhaps Irish coffee, p. 264) for the grown-ups. Just before the dessert is served, the family and guests pray the Collect of the day for the nameday child. A copy of the prayer may be typed or printed by hand for each guest.


The impetus for keeping namedays must ordinarily begin with mother. She can stage a nameday celebration just as successfully as she whips up a cake. Nothing happens on a nameday unless she makes it happen. The triduum beforehand, the vigil prayers, family attendance at Mass on nameday morning, the fun of the dessert party are the result of conscious planning born of a love for the traditions of the Church.

Family observance of namedays adds to the richness and completeness of life. Namedays like holidays give variety to our years; furthermore, they are a stabilizing influence, bringing the family together and uniting it to the Church Triumphant. So let's have namedays, even if they do make another job for mother.

"How do you find the time?" mothers ask. "Something less important must go undone," is the answer. Namedays need not be all work and no fun. The solution lies in systematic planning. Like all other household activities, advanced planning relieves the pressure. It is easy to work out a nameday routine that will become a family tradition. Change the routine here, change it there, but keep the same outline from year to year. Done in this way, the celebrations are easier to manage, and children will love the program the more for its familiarity. They will feel a part of it. As they grow older, they will take the whole thing out of mother's hands.

Establish a nameday closet. As namedays roll around, acquire permanent fixings which can be tucked away in labeled boxes or in a drawer. Here can be stored special nameday symbols and table decorations, crowns, gummed seals, ribbons of appropriate colors, odds and ends that are needed for dramatizing the life of the saints and a nameday wreath for feasts (MS, see Abbreviations).

A special party pantry, or at least a shelf, is also a good idea. In a short time its resources can turn any dessert period into a nameday celebration. Such a shelf should hold colored straws, marshmallows, gum drops to make a crown for Elizabeth, Margaret, Henry, Kenelm, or Louis; perhaps a gummed alphabet; "Cake-mate" in colors to write the patron's name on a cake; silver dragees to make a rosary on a cake for Catherine, Dominic, or any Dominican saint; chocolate bits to form musical notes for a David, Vivian, or Gregory; paper napkins to be crayoned; and even such things as animal crackers.

For instance, for a small Daniel or Mark, lions in cookie form or gummed-seal lions may be used to decorate cupcakes. Put a candle on the top, with the lions encircling it (this is also for Leo, Marciana, Jerome, Natalie)--and you will have a nameday celebration in no time at all. It is well to have party balloons and paper plates on which the symbols of saints may be painted with nail polish. With such materials on hand, it is possible to celebrate namedays without trouble or expense.

Chart the Church year for namedays. Your religious calendar will serve as a reminder if you circle the dates of your family's patrons. We cannot stress enough the importance of such activities; in themselves they may seem to be of no consequence, but seen in a broader perspective they have great spiritual value. Anything which unites our children more closely to the Communion of Saints is worth the effort it costs a mother. It is an ordinary household chore which can have supernatural significance.

In organizing a successful nameday party, one which your children will enjoy and remember, there are a few rules to be observed. First, invite no more children than can be comfortably managed; second, keep the party short and snappy. Plan the time so that a few games may be played before refreshments--always a quiet one to end with. It is best to give prizes to the winner of each game at a small child's party; crayons, soap bubbles, modeling clay, yo-yos, or candy are suitable.

The table is the center of attraction at these parties; the child's patron and his symbols will dictate the party theme.

The nameday vigil: a period of quiet. The preceding suggestions were meant to give the assurance that the celebration of your child's nameday need not involve much feverish preparation. In fact, a spirit of quiet and calmness should pervade the household on the vigil. Romano Guardini in "Meditation before Mass" (Newman Press, Westminster; Maryland) stresses that such a period of composure is the "prerequisite of a liturgical holy act"--in this case, holy Mass on the nameday feast of your child. This period of quiet may be devoted to a reading and explanation of the Mass of the day, or at least of the Collect. Often the Mass text in honor of the child's patron--pope, bishop, abbot, martyr, holy woman or virgin--will suggest symbols and verses for the place- cards to be used at your party the next day.

We have found that the period of quiet is best maintained by having the children work in silence at a table where they can cut silhouettes or name shields, make paper sculptures of the patron saint, draw and paste up symbols. Their work is used on the family altar, over the mantel, or on the kitchen bulletin board.

Helping to create a nameday decor provides children with a period of stillness in which the Holy Spirit may work upon their hearts and minds and hands. Sometimes the drawing or cut-out is a simple mitre for a bishop; at other times they may work out more elaborate designs. Like most children, ours are most often noisy, so this period of absolute quiet always impresses them.

Then they were small, decorating paper napkins with crayoned symbols was a sure guarantee of a quiet period. They also enjoyed gummed seals on place-cards (3x5 file cards), such as a goose for Martinmas, St. Martin's day; a horse for Irene; a rooster for Guy or Peter. Now that they are older they use nail polish to outline the symbols on paper plates. These exercises are not for pedagogical value. For example, in drawing a crosier for a bishop they learn that the straight staff denotes righteous rule; his mitre designates his authority.

Sometimes the children rule paper napkins with borders and color them in keeping with the feast: blue border and monogram for our Blessed Mother; black and white with a shield for Dominicans; brown for Franciscans, etc. For St. John the Baptist green is used as a symbol of spiritual initiation. Red is the color for the many martyrs who suffered in times of persecution. Yellow or gold symbolizes sacredness; both St. Joseph and St. Peter are pictured in art wearing this color. A helpful book, "Paper Sculptures" by Mary Grace Johnston, will give ideas on making a paper sculpture of a patron (available from RC, see Abbreviations).

"The image is a reality; the mind can only attempt to plumb it. The image is richer than the thought; hence the act by which we comprehend an image, gazing, is richer, more profound, vital and storied than the thought. People today are over-conceptualistic. We have lost the art of reading images and parables, of enacting and understanding symbols. We could relearn some of this by encouraging and practicing the power of vision, a power which has been neglected for too long" (Romano Guardini, ibid.).

For teen-agers this period of quiet should be devoted to reading the life of the saint or studying the missal for the Mass of the feast. It is also a time to help the younger children with artwork. Parents too must become aware of the mystery of the feast. They must revere and pray to their children's patrons daily, must express love for the heavenly protectors after whom they have named their children by a joyful celebration of the heavenly birthdays of the family patrons.

Again Guardini gives the clue: "From the liturgy it is clear that the (name) day does not begin with the morning, nor with midnight, but on the evening before with a vigil. (It need by only a period of quietness, a decade of the Rosary to ask our Lady and the child's patron for his needs, and, if possible, a prayer in the child's own words.) There is a profound insight into this. It is not a question of the astronomical, but of the living day. The one is mathematically exact fraction of time which begins with a certain second, regardless of what takes place in it; whereas the other, the living day, is a continuously renewed form.

"Then when does the nameday begin? One could say at the moment of deepest sleep, when life is at its stillest, on condition that sleep itself begins and moves and ends properly. Sleep is profoundly influenced by the hours that immediately precedes it. Therefore the problem of a happy nameday begins on the vigil, the evening before" (Guardini, ibid.)

It is for parents to find how to meet this challenge, to find time in schedules already overcrowded. (This obviously means curtailing TV.)

Family participation in Mass is the most important part of the nameday--a miniature of the Mystical Body at the Lord's table. Early in the Mass, at the Collect, the family seeks God's graces for the nameday child through the intercession of his patron. They receive God's word, glorify Him, and place the child's particular needs at the feet of Providence. At holy Communion they see God the Father's hand proffering sacred nourishment which all readily accept that they may "have life."

The Lord received in holy Communion lingers to hear your desires for your nameday child, to pour out the love of His Heart, to bless him or her in a special manner, and to give life everlasting. "If anyone eats of this Bread, he shall live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world" (John 6:33-57)--ideal for nameday vigil reading and meditation. It is most important that parents understand the significance of Christ's coming in the liturgy. It is not the dessert or the baubles or the party, but Christ's coming to yourselves and your nameday child that makes a feast.

What are the Christian implications of this word, feast? The dictionary says a feast is "a religious festival or celebration." Before accepting that definition, however, we must remember that our society has lost touch with certain ultimate mysteries. "We are rationalists and psychologists, and reduce everything to the intellect or moral plane, or to the subjective level of experience," Guardini says (ibid.). Then he proceeds to give his definition of a Christian feast. "To wait for our Lord, to invite Him, to go to receive and honor and praise Him, to be with Him, drawn into the intimacy of communion with Him (and through Him into communion with the nameday saint)--that is the Christian feast," and the true meaning of a nameday.

The celebration at home, the agape, or nameday party which highlights the child's patron and his attributes by special desserts and decorations, the Collect prayer at the party--all are dependent for their effectiveness upon understanding the meaning of a Christian feast. What good is a feast to children surfeited with sweets? To get the full effect of a nameday feast, give youngsters the opportunity to fast from desserts on the vigil, or better still, during a triduum before the nameday. After a day or two without a dessert, the nameday cake looms twice as beautiful and tasty.


"I will give him a white pebble, and upon the pebble a new name written" (Apoc. 2:17).

A name is a badge of individuality. As long as an infant is nameless, he is amorphous. When he receives a name by which he can be identified, he enters upon a subjective existence. To the ancient Israelites a person's name was an expression of his personality. Throughout Old Testament history the significance of names passed as an accepted principle. Thus the conversion of Abram to Abraham ("father of many nations," Gen. 17:5) was proper to the covenant of circumcision and ratified God's benediction. "And it came to pass on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him by his father's name, Zachary" (Luke 1:59)--this verse recalls the Hebrew custom of naming the male child eight days after birth.

The conferring of a baptismal name has profound significance. The new name indicates the deep transformation and renovation of the soul through the waters of baptism, the sacrament of supernatural rebirth. A person receives a new name because he is new creature reborn in Christ. A name may be given casually from sheer circumstances or with some thought. But once given, it stands for the depths of a child's being.

Patrons. Canon law admonishes the priest that "a Christian name must be chosen for the one to be baptized, and if he cannot secure this being done, then he himself must add the name of some saint to that given by the parents, and enter both into the baptismal register." The Roman Ritual also urges that in baptism "no improper, fabulous, or ridiculous names be given, nor those of false deities or godless heathens, but as far as possible only those of saints by whose example and under whose protection the faithful may be inspired to lead holy lives." As early as 400 A.D. St. John Chrysostom urged parents to adopt the names of saints for their children, not those of ancient heroes, reminding parents of the great spiritual benefits that would accrue to their offspring from the example and intercession of their heavenly patron.

When a child is placed under the protection of a saint, that saint becomes the child's patron or patroness. The words are derived from the Latin "pater" (father) through the word "patronus." Patron is a generic term embracing sponsor, benefactor, advocate. In ancient Rome, when a slave was liberated by an aristocrat, the slave became a client of his master. In this new state the slave gained a protector, and the master a right-hand man who could be trusted. This new father-son relationship gave rise to the term "patrons."

Today the word is in quite common use. Top-flight television artists have their patrons who help them to get started toward stardom. The baker, the grocer, the dry-cleaner--all need our support, or as they sometimes put it, "your esteemed patronage." It is reasonable that creatures of eternity should need patrons superior to the patrons of earth. Born in the slavery of original sin, we Christians, made freemen and sons of God by baptism, need heavenly patrons to protect and care for us.

Holy Mother Church realizes our need for such heavenly patronage; the liturgy abounds with prayer-formulas invoking their intercession. Pope Pius XII wrote in "Mediator Dei":

"There is further reason why the cult of the saints in heaven is valued by Christian people, that is, so that they may employ their help, and that they may be raised up by the protection of those in whose praises we delight. And from this, it may be easy to understand why the holy liturgy offers us many formulas of prayers in which it invokes the assistance of the saints in heaven.

"In some of our heroes, His apostolic zeal is resplendent; in others, His fortitude even to the shedding of blood, in some that constant watchfulness is conspicuous with which they awaited their divine Redeemer; and in others glowed a virginal radiance of soul and the modest sweetness of Christian humility. Finally, in all the saints burned a fervent love of God and their neighbors.

"All these beauties of holiness the holy liturgy places before our eyes in order that we may gaze upon them for the good of our souls, and in order that we may be inflamed by the example of those in whose merits we rejoice. Therefore, we should conserve innocence in simplicity, union of heart in charity, modesty in humility, diligence in administration, watchfulness in helping those who are laboring, mercy in cherishing the poor, constancy in defending the truth, justice in the severity of discipline, that there may be no lack of any virtue which is proposed to us as an example. For these are the footprints which the saints, going back to their heavenly homeland, have left for us, so that following always closely in their footsteps, we may follow them to their blessedness."

This belief in the desirability of modeling one's life on that of the saints, and the belief that one may invoke their aid and be heard is sometimes difficult even for Catholics to understand. Often it is heatedly denied by strangers to Christian tradition. Some ask where in holy Scripture can be found the slightest justification for naming a child after a patron saint, for believing that the saint will protect the child.

Nowhere in Scripture will be found one word to condemn the practice of asking the saints' protection. On the contrary, the Bible states that saints do pray for us and that, by the doctrine of the Communion of Saints and the duty of praying for another, the Catholic position is justified.

Already Genesis (18:18) tells of God speaking about the mutual blessings of Abraham's children; further we read how God predicted that Abraham would "pray for you, and you shall live" (Gen. 20:7). The Israelites implored Moses to be their mediator with God (Ex. 20:19). Friends of Job bade him: "Call now! Will anyone respond to you? To which of the holy ones will you appeal?" (Job 5:1). These were spirits other than God. God said to Eliphaz: "Let my servant Job pray for you; for his prayer I will accept not to punish you severely" (Job 42:8). In Jeremiah (15:1) God tells the prophet that He is too disgusted with the people even to hear the prayers of Moses and Samuel for them. Of Jeremiah himself Onias said: "This is he who prays much for the people and for all the holy city, Jeremiah, the prophet of God" (2 Mach. 15:14).

Christ Himself described the rich man condemned to suffering in the next life as interceding for his relatives on earth (Luke 16:27-28). In Acts (12:5) we read how the Christians poured out prayers that St. Peter might be released from prison. In his epistles St. Paul speaks constantly of his prayers for those to whom he writes and asks for their prayers in return. And St. James tells us: "The unceasing prayer of a just man is of great avail" (James 5:16). St. John declares that in his vision of heaven he saw "the prayers of the saints ascending before God from the hands of an angel" (Apoc. 8:4).

Among the Church Fathers, St. Augustine offers this testimony:

"Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian? Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so."

St. Thomas Aquinas justifies the practice as follows:

"Prayer may be offered to a person in two ways, either so that he himself may grant it or that he may obtain the favor from another. In the first way, we pray only to God because all prayers should be directed to obtaining grace and glory which God alone gives, according to the psalmist: 'The Lord will give grace and glory' (Ps. 83). But in the second way, we pray to the angels and saints, not that through them God may know our petitions, but that through their prayers and merits our petitions may be effective."

Devotions to the saints in other faiths. Not only Roman Catholics but their Eastern Orthodox neighbors also invoke the saints. In "The Orthodox Church" Bulgakov writes:

"The saints, in constant relation with us, pray for us and aid us in all our life. They are in mysterious relations of love with the glorified Church and with the earthly militant Church. This is the Communion of Saints. It is loving aid and assistance, and intercession by prayer.

"The cult of the saints occupies a considerable place in Orthodox piety. The saints are our intercessors and our protectors in heaven, and, in consequence, living and active members of the Church Militant. Their blessed presence in the Church manifests itself by their pictures and relics. They surround us with a cloud of prayer, a cloud of glory of God. This cloud of witnesses does not separate us from Christ, but brings us nearer, unites us to Him.

"Those who reject this cult suffer great spiritual loss; while remaining near to Christ, they lose true relationship to Him. They are destined to remain spiritually without a family, without race, without home, without fathers and brothers and sisters in Christ. They traverse the way of salvation all alone, each one for himself, without looking for examples and without knowing communion with others."

Anglicans, too, believe in direct invocation of the saints. In their English Hymnal is the verse:

O saint of God, beloved, And placed on His right hand Thy prayers be like a rampart As 'gainst the foe we stand.

The archbishops of Canterbury and York drew up a report on Christian doctrine in the Church of England containing these words: "It is impossible to declare that the departed saints cannot hear our prayers; and we, therefore, must not condemn as impossible direct address to them as a private practice, provided this be to ask for their prayers whether for ourselves or others."

In his book, "The Faith of England," Canon A. H. Reeves writes:

"The lives of the saints on earth are the supreme achievement of divine grace. So close is their union with Christ that in them He lives and prays, suffers and dies in self-offering to the Father. That life which He re-enacts in every one of the baptized, He lives to the full in the saints. For this reason, the Church honors the saints as the most glorious handiwork of God's grace and asks their prayers before God's throne as of those who are especially pleasing to God."

A Presbyterian minister who lived in the apartment above us used to wear a Celtic cross. When we challenged him, he said that it was the symbol of St. Colmcille of Iona, patron saint of Presbyterians. Upon checking we found many instances of public pilgrimages by Protestants to saints' shrines in England, including one to St. Alban, protomartyr of England. On pilgrimages to the shrine of St. Aidan on the island of Lindisfarne, Protestants made the final steps barefoot, like the monks of old. The bishops of Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Jarrow led the processions in cope and mitre. Thousands of pilgrims received St. Aidan medals. St. Christopher-tide blessings are imparted to travelers and vehicles by the Church of England.

English newsmen observe the feast of their patron, St. Francis de Sales, with the celebration of the Eucharist in London's Church of St. Mary-Le Strand. And not long ago we read that the Anglican Boys' and Girls' Club of Holy Trinity, Charlton, was "placed under the patronage of St. John Bosco." We mention these devotions of Protestants in order to encourage those in mixed marriages to celebrate their children's namedays in the home. It is to be regretted that so many children grow up in a puritan atmosphere which stifles any knowledge and love of their patron saints, depriving youngsters of this precious heritage.

Home shrines. From the day of his baptism the Catholic child should be prepared for full participation in the life of the Church. This involves much more than learning by heart a few truths from the catechism; it is a life in itself.

The home is the place where religious sentiment should be nurtured, where children are free in the expression of their religious instincts. Ideally each child should have a good medal of his patron, and, if possible, a statue or picture to be placed on an altar at his level; in this way he can bring flowers and candles to the shrine. Some of my happiest memories are of the religious processions in our home in which we carried flowers to a patron saint's altar. Tiles of the ten most popular patrons have been made by an American artist and sell for about $4.50 (from CCA; see Abbreviations). An exceptionally beautiful Madonna which looks like carved pressed wood costs but $.50 and is unbreakable (from FP, see Abbreviations). Medals of any saint may be ordered from LAS (see Abbreviations).

The Collect: telegram to God. Patron saints should be prayed to. Any formula that springs from a child's heart will do. We use the Collect of the Mass for our nameday family prayers. Many of the Collects are included in this book; others may be found in your daily missal.

The Collects, especially the ancient ones, are masterpieces of prayer if one considers their structure, the harmonious cadence of their phrases, and the profound doctrine which they express. They are usually composed of three parts: praise, petition, and conclusion. The first part invokes God and offers Him praise, or gives a short exposition of the mystery of the day. In the second part we ask for our needs through the merits of Jesus Christ, our divine Head, and the intercession of a patron saint.

The mark of a saint. It is the mark of a saint that he fulfills the highest ideal given to man and is at the same time a friend and an inspiration. Saints tell their namesakes what is possible for them, whether one has one talent or ten, whether one lives in sorrow or in joy, in days of menace, or in time of hope. They combine almost impossible weakness with strength, darkness with joy, self-denial with profound humanity and affection. Regardless of the era in which they lived, saints remain ever contemporary in that they reveal the everlasting Source of happiness, the secret of how to turn the commonplace into something perfect and unique. Each saint somehow manages to find the true cross, the emblem of life and hope.

The saints are waiting to welcome and guide the faithful through the Church year. Dr. Pius Parsch tells us in "The Church's Year of Grace" (available from LP; see Abbreviations):

"Let us lovingly take their hand and retain their company during the Church year. How will the saints benefit us? By their lives and example they become our teachers and models, stars in the night skies of life by which we may sail a straight course to God. Moreover, they plead and intercede for us in heaven, a mediation we ask for again and again in the liturgy. Nevertheless their greatest function is to act as mediators of grace. By reason of the Communion of Saints, they supply the graces we still lack. They are the chosen vessels of divine grace; not their virtues but God's love makes them great. When we go to meet the Bridegroom at the holy Sacrifice, they lend us their wedding garments to cover our nakedness. It is with their merits, and even in their stead, that we appear before God at Mass and in prayer.... As the eagle coaxes her young toward the sun, so the saints must draw us upward from the hollows of earthly life toward the divine Sun reigning in heaven" (Vol. 1, p. 381).

Little-known saints. Our names tell a story. Perhaps it is the story of some well-known saint like Augustine, Dominic, Catherine, or Therese. Saints are the hardest people to write about because they are saints; few writers have succeeded in making their lives come to life.

Of many saints after whom our children are named, very little is known. Over the centuries a thick mist has spread between Christians and these men and women who sanctified their time and won for themselves the crown of eternal life. The lives of many are shrouded in legend, much of which we find hard to believe. Toward such hagiography we might apply the Italian saying: "Se non e vero, e ben trovato--If not true, it is at least very apt."

What shall we tell our children about saints of whom little is known or who have only sugar-coated lives? We might do best to say something like this: Your patron saint loved God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. He cherished our Lord, meditated on His words in the gospel, ate His Body at the altar, and counted on Christ's merits to be saved. He let the Holy Spirit guide his actions. He was humble, sought the last place, obeyed his superiors, was merciful, practiced mortification and patience He prayed without ceasing, restrained his passions, considered himself unworthy of the graces received, and believed that he could never do enough in response to God's goodness or to merit heaven. Far from seeking in his supernatural virtues a pretext for eluding the natural law, your patron avoided lying, double-dealing deceit, stealing, and flattery. He was always straightforward and regarded all his brothers as having been created for God and not for himself.

It is true, some of the miracles ascribed to the saints are hard to believe. Yet are not the miracles performed by our Lord and the apostles sometimes regarded as "hard to believe"? Just before His ascension, Jesus predicted of His followers: "They shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18).

Supernatural power abides in the earthly remains of the saints "They cast the body into the sepulcher of Eliseus. When it had touched the bones of Eliseus the man came to life and stood upon his feet" (4 Kings 13:21). Wonders like this take place in the twentieth century even as they did in past ages and justify the veneration which the Church teaches her children to pay to the relics of the saints.


Before dealing with specific saints and offering suggestions for the celebration of their individual feastdays, we would like to describe how we keep the feast of St. Joan of Arc in honor of our Joanie's nameday. This will perhaps give you some ideas as to how to adapt different practices for your own nameday observances.

To keep the nameday of St. Joan of Arc, we begin on the eve of the feast. The children are busy making symbols for decorations and writing verses from her Mass on place-cards. Because St. Joan has a number of attributes, we select a different one each year and so have opportunity to vary the decorations. One year it is the fleur-de-lis which she bore on her banner as she went into battle; another year it is fire to commemorate her death at a burning stake. Then again it might be her motto, "Jesus, Maria," which we use to decorate place-mats, napkins, and even the cake.

Children love repetition and ceremonial. Nothing touches a child's heart quite so deeply as a fitting celebration of the feast of the saint whose name he bears. This need not be a costly affair. You may be able to do no more than attend holy Mass on the feast, pray the Collect of the day, and have a nameday cake. From these simple delights a child learns to love and imitate his or her patron.

Our Joanie bears the Irish form of her name--Siobhan (pronounced she-vawn), which means "white spirit." For one nameday we found place-mats and napkins decorated with white doves. For a centerpiece we used a pinata, a Mexican pottery basket covered with papier-mache to resemble a dove, the symbol of Siobhan. A baptismal candle with symbolic designs on it heightened the significance of the nameday party.

Our special nameday punch was called "Licking Punch" by the children when they were small. To six small bottles of 7-Up, a pint of sherbet (raspberry is best) is added. The punch is stirred and served before the sherbet melts. A mixing bowl can be used instead of a punch bowl, or the punch can be poured from a chilled pitcher.

We have a mold with a fleur-de-lis design (from MS, see Abbreviations) which we use for the feast of St. Joan of Arc, for French saints, and for feasts of Our Lady. Tin-lined, the mold can be used to bake a small cake to top a larger one, or to make frozen desserts.

A crown made of gold paper is used for a saint's day version of "pin the tail on the donkey." Blindfolded, the children try to pin St. Joan's crown on her head in a print of the saint. The one who comes closest wins a prize.

A special Irish dance, for which the prize in Ireland was a cake garlanded with flowers, is popularly supposed to have given rise to the saying "take the cake," in the sense of beating out all comers. Since dancing contests are not feasible in a city apartment, we devised a quieter contest. Our children and their friends compete by singing to decide who will "take the cake."

Fire is another symbol that children love. We float tiny flames on salad oil in a platter bearing a statue of the saint. Called Halo Wicks, these tiny wicks in cork bases can be bought for about $1.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations). The pinata swings from the ceiling, and each child is blindfolded and given a chance to strike it with a stick in the hope that the favors and gifts for the nameday guests will come tumbling down when the dove is broken. A pinata may be ordered from FL (see Abbreviations).

The Collect from the missal is said as a prayer with the grace before dessert. The children sing "Happy Nameday to You" as the nameday cake, topped by a symbol and lighted candle, is brought to the table. Here are the prayers we say for St. Joan's feast:

Father: Alleluia, alleluia. You have played a man's part and kept your courage high. The Lord gave you firmness of resolve and your name shall be ever blessed, alleluia (Jud. 15:11).

All: Pray for us, St. Joan, holy woman that you are, and the Lord's true worshipper, alleluia.

Father: What though I walk with the shadow of death all around me?

All: I will not be afraid of any harm, for You are with me, Lord Jesus.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who in a marvelous manner inspired Joan the maid to defend her faith and her country, grant at her intercession that Your Church may vanquish all her enemies and enjoy abiding peace. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

In "Liturgical Piety" (Notre Dame University Press), Father Louis Bouyer gives a pattern of praising God that is suitable for nameday prayers. It consists of a psalm, a Collect, and a brief pause for the personal needs of the nameday child. (St. Benedict warns that personal prayers should be short in order to bring the mind to God and not leave it exposed to the danger of idle thoughts.)

Psalm 150

Father: Praise the Lord in His sanctuary, praise Him for His firmament of strength. All: Praise Him for His mighty deeds, praise Him for His sovereign majesty.

Father: Praise Him with the blast of trumpet, praise Him with lyre and harp. All: Praise Him with timbrel and dance, praise Him with strings and pipe.

Father: Praise Him with sounding cymbals, praise Him with clanging cymbals. All: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, You are the loveliest melody of our choir. You have commanded that the songs of our heart should be rendered now by wind instruments, now by strings: grant that while we are singing with spiritual desire, we may be admitted among the everlasting choirs and praise You together with all Your saints.

All: Amen.

A personal prayer for the nameday child is said aloud if he or she is small; for an older child the prayer may be mental. To this is added the prayer to the nameday child's patron saint. Some of these specific prayers are given throughout this book; others will be found in the "Common" for bishops, popes, martyrs, bishop-martyrs, virgins, virgin-martyrs, and confessors. When no prayer can be found, the following may be said:

Father: Let us pray. Dear heavenly patron, whose name N.... is proud to bear, always pray to God for him (her) Confirm him (her), in the faith. Strengthen him (her) in virtue. Defend him (her) in the fight that he (she) may deserve to conquer the malignant foe and obtain eternal glory.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Girls who keep this feastday are Joan; Jeanne, Jehanne, and Jeannette (French); Juanita and Nita (Spanish); Johanne and Hanne (German); Giovanna, from which Yvonne is derived (Italian); Jovanna (Portuguese); Ivanne (Russian); Jenny and Jesse (Scottish); and Siobhan (Irish).

St. Joan of Arc's shield, which a child may make for her home shrine or family altar, has a white field, gold fleur-de-lis, and the words, "Jesus, Mary." The fleur-de-lis, emblem of the kings of France, may be cut from gold paper or foil. The arrow which pierced our saint's breast and thigh in the two battles which she led is also suggested as a symbol.

The nameday dessert might appropriately be the lamb cake (see Lamb Cake) decorated with the fleur-de-lis or with the motto from her shield. To accomplish this we suggest "Cake-Mate," a gel that writes like a pencil on frosting (available in supermarkets or from MS, see Abbreviations); or you may use gummed letters available at most stationery stores. The flambe dessert (see Cherries Jubliee) could also be used, or the crown cake given below.

We found a picture of St. Joan of Arc in a back issue of "Realite," a French magazine. Later, after the picture had been punctured by pinholes in a game of "pin the symbol on the saint," we found a ceramic wall decoration of St. Joan by Oudin imported from France for $20.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations); this is an object of art as well as devotion. A miniature figure (not a statue) of Joan of Arc for about $6.00, a charming nameday gift, comes from RC (see Abbreviations).

The Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations) carries Roualt's Joan of Arc, a reproduction of modern art, and medals by Fernand Py ranging from $1.50 to $8.00. CCA (see Abbreviations) has a handsome statue which is fairly costly but a treasure to last a lifetime. Bastien LePage's Joan of Arc can be obtained for $.50 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA, see Abbreviations).


This is the ideal nameday dessert. The crown is considered a mark of victory or distinction for all those who have attained heaven. In this sense the Crown Cake can be used on the feast of any saint or blessed, for, according to the vision of St. John, the saints in glory wear crowns upon their heads (Apoc. 2:10; 4:4).

To make a Crown Cake you will need:

cake flour milk* baking powder orange extract salt almond extract sugar eggs shortening

*With vegetable shortening use 3/4 cup of milk; with butter or margarine, use 1/2 cup of milk.

Measure into a sifter 3 cups of sifted cake flour, 2 teaspoons of double-acting baking powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1-3/4 cups of sugar.

Measure into a mixing bowl 1 cup of shortening. Measure into a cup the milk, which will vary according to the shortening. To it add 3/4 teaspoon of orange extract and 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract. Have ready 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk unbeaten.

Mix by hand or with an electric mixer. Count only the actual beating time or strokes. Scrape the bowl and beaters or spoon often. Stir the shortening just to soften. Sift in the dry ingredients. Add milk and mix until all the flour is dampened. Then beat for 2 minutes at low speed with your mixer, or 300 vigorous strokes by hand. Add the eggs and 1 yolk and beat 1 minute longer with the mixer or 150 strokes by hand.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased and floured 9-inch tube pan. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for 1 hour or until done. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then loosen from the sides of the pan with a spatula or knife. Turn right side up on a cake rack to cool before frosting. Place the cooled cake on a large plate with the wide base upright.

This is a basic recipe and may be used to bake a nameday cake in any tin you have available.


To make a crown, cut 2 strips of thin cardboard about 20 inches long and 7/8 inch wide. We use yellow cardboard. Bend each strip downward in the middle. Around the sides of the cake cut 4 narrow slits, equidistant from each other and about 1-1/2 inches up from the base. Place 1 strip of cardboard across the cake, bend the ends securely inward, and insert the ends in the slits in the opposite side of the cake to fasten securely. Place the second strip at right angles to the first, and insert the ends in the cake in the same manner. If necessary, tie the strips together in the center with a fine thread. Cut a circle from cardboard and place over the center hole in the top of the cake. Make a seven- minute frosting (recipe follows), using 2 egg whites. Spread over the top of the cake and down the sides to within 1-1/2 inches from the bottom.

Make a half recipe of seven-minute frosting, using 1 egg white and beating only 4 minutes. Tint with a few drops of yellow food coloring. Use this yellow frosting to cover the upper and underside of the cardboard strips and to frost around the base. Reserve a small amount for decorations. At the base, bring the yellow frosting up in the form of triangles, making 3 triangles in each of the four sections formed by the cardboard strips. Have the center triangle in each section extend to the top of the cake. Outline the edges of the cardboard strips and the triangles with silver dragees. Place a square, clear, bright-colored candy (we use "Charms") on each triangle and at the base of the cardboard strips to resemble jewels. Then place a silver dragee at the four corners of every candy. Place 4 more candies on each cardboard strip.

For the center of the crown use a flat red lollypop which has been removed from its stick. Make a Maltese cross on each flat side with some of the reserved yellow frosting and decorate with pieces of silver dragees. With a small amount of frosting, fasten 2 long silver dragees to the side edges of the lollypop and a large dragee at the top to resemble pearls. Then fasten the lollypop to the intersection of the cardboard strips with more frosting.

Sprinkle shredded coconut over the white frosted areas of and around the base of the cake. Scatter chocolate chips in coconut at the base at 2-inch intervals to resemble ermine.

The "Crown Cake" requires a good deal of time. If a mother is in a hurry, it is better to make a crown cake by adding a gold-paper crown to an ordinary store cake, or to bake a cake mix and add a crown of gumdrops. A little child will enjoy these too.


The Crown Cake recipe on may be doubled for a Cross Cake. The Seven-Minute Frosting is used on it.


egg whites cream of tartar sugar light corn syrup water vanilla

Place in the top of a double boiler and beat until thoroughly blended 2 egg whites, 1-1/2 cups of sugar, 5 tablespoons of cold water teaspoon of cream of tartar, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of light corn syrup. Put these ingredients over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly with a rotary beater or with a wire whisk for 7 minutes. Remove the icing from the fire. Add 1-1/4 teaspoons of vanilla and continue beating until the frosting is of the right consistency to spread.


For this traditional German nameday cake you will need:

milk flour water raisins sugar lemon rind salt eggs butter or margarine

For pan:

butter or margarine bread crumbs or finely blanched almonds ground almonds

Pour into a mixing bowl 1/2 cup of scalded milk and cool until warm. While the milk cools, sprinkle 1 package of active or 1 cake of compressed dry yeast into some warm water in a cup. (Crumble compressed yeast into lukewarm water.) Stir until dissolved. To the milk in the bowl add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1-1/2 cups of sifted flour. Mix well. Add the dissolved yeast and beat until smooth. Add 2 eggs and beat thoroughly. If you prefer, beat the eggs first in a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup of melted and cooled butter or margarine. Stir in 1-1/4 cups more of flour. Then beat the batter for about 5 minutes (an electric mixer set at a moderate speed is good for this).

With a rubber scraper scrape the batter down from the side of the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1- 1/2 hours). While the batter rises, prepare the baking pan. Use either a Kugelhupf mold (from MS, see Abbreviations) or two one- pint molds, or a 7-inch angel food cake pan. Rub the inside of the pan generously with 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine. Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of fine bread crumbs or finely ground almonds into the pan. Shake it to coat the whole inside of the pan with crumbs. Arrange 15 or 16 almonds in a design in the bottom of the pan.

When the batter has doubled, stir it down. Mix in 1/2 cup of chopped raisins and 1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind. Carefully spoon the batter on top of the almonds so as not to spoil your design. When all the batter is in the pan, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1-1/4 hours). Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 45 to 50 minutes. Look at the cake after it has baked for 15 minutes; if it is turning brown, lay a piece of clean brown wrapping paper over the top for the rest of the baking period. This is a rich batter and browns easily. When done, turn out of the pan onto a wire cake rack. If you wish, dust lightly with confectioner's sugar. To make a design on the top of the cake, lay a scalloped lace doily on the cake and sift confectioner's sugar over it. Lift the doily carefully and pour the extra sugar back into the container


Thou art God's sky, in which the Sun arose: Thou art His moon the window of His light.

Thou art God's earth God in thee taking root; God's seed: He was thy tree; God's tree...thy fruit.

Thou art God's spring jetting out Life; God's river-bed through which His torrent rushed; God's sea in which He spawned His sacred Fish; God's oyster secreting the pearl of Christ. God's lake His cloud rose from to rain on earth; God's cloud: by Him from thee was lightning struck; God's lightning blazing the encumbered heaven; God's heaven, for heaven's where's God.3

The name Mary. Loved in a hundred forms in song, poetry and the history of earth and heaven, Mary is the name of the Mother of God, of saints and of queens. Mary is a form of Miriam, who was the sister of the great biblical leader Moses. The Irish form is Maire or Moira (often spelled Maura), and the diminutives Moreen and Maureen. The Polish form is Marya; Bavarian, Marla; French, Marie and Manon. In Latin, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, and German the name is Maria (the Spanish also have Marita and Mariquita). Other variations include Muriel, an Irish form used for "Star of the Sea," Marietta, Marilla, Mamie, Marion, Molly, May, Minnie, and Marelle. Marianne and Marian are from the Italian form Marianna, honoring both our Lady and her mother St. Anne.

Of course, many of the saints and beatified, both men and women, bore some form of the name Mary, e.g., Mary Rose, Mary Frances, Mary Cleophas, Mary Bartholmea, Mary Magdalen, Maria Goretti, and Miriana de Parides, the "Lily of Quito."

Among the men saints are Louis Mary of Montfort, Alphonsus Mary Liguori, Peter Mary Chanel, the Marist martyr, Clement Mary Hofbauer, second founder of the Redemptorists, and Gabriel Mary (Friar Gol). Other male derivatives include Gilmary, Gilmore, Melmore or Myles, all meaning "servant of Mary."

Other Mary names. Because of Mary's unique dignity, Catholic parents are fond of naming their children after her. In our family it is customary to give some form of the name to each girl: Immaculata in honor of the Immaculate Conception; Carmel for the Madonna de Carmine; and Myles for the Virgin of the Assumption. Even the feasts and mysteries and shrines in her honor are used as names. Once in a beauty parlor we heard one of the beauticians called Monsy. Knowing that she was of Spanish extraction, we asked what her name meant. "Montserrat, in honor of the Virgin of Montserrat," she replied. Montserrat, a Benedictine abbey in Spain, is the home of Spain's most celebrated shrine, La Morenta or the "Little Black Madonna." An expensive but exceptional statue of the Black Madonna is available from JU (see Abbreviations).

We also know of a Puerto Rican girl called Sara. When she signed her name she wrote Saragossa. This is the name of the city where the shrine of Our Lady of Saragossa, called Our Lady of the Pillar, is located. Legend claims that the Blessed Mother appeared to the Apostle James here. Under the title Nuestra Senora del Pilar, Mary is honored by girls called Pilar.

Girls named Loretta keep their nameday on the feast of Our Lady of Loreto and of the translation of the holy house of Nazareth to Italy. Mabel and Amy honor Mary as Mater Amabilis; Alma, as Alma Redemptoris Mater. In our great cities we also hear Spanish names which are derived from the liturgical titles and attributes of Blessed Mary. Girls called Cary (for Caridad) honor Our Lady of Charity; Luz, Our Lady of Light; Concetta, Concepcion, and Concha, the Immaculate Conception, Pura, Virgin Most Pure; Consuelo, Our Lady of Consolation; Victoria, Our Lady of Victory; and Stella, Star of the Sea. Sometimes these children bear American first names, but their baptismal names are bestowed for feasts of Our Lady, such as Natividad for her birth as a Jewish child and lineal descendant of the royal family of David; or Anunciacion, Visitacion, and Assunta, for events in her life. Because of the devotion of these people to patron saints, a wide variety of nameday greeting cards are available in the greeting- card stores of big cities.

We have a friend called Farida, whose name, according to the Syrian custom, expresses an attribute of the Mother of God. Farida refers to Mary's "uniqueness" or Immaculate Conception. Thus Farida (or even Frida) keeps December 8 as her nameday. In the Maronite rite of Farida's people, the names Kamala and Jamala are also given, the first in honor of Mary's perfection, and the second in honor of her beauty.

Events connected with Mary's patronage over the Church prompt various names also. Thus in honor of the Virgin of Mount Carmel we have the Italian name Carmine or Carmelo, Imogene, we were told, is given in honor of Our Lady of Limoge in France, Nieves honors Our Lady of the Snow; Mercedes, the apparition of Our Lady of Ransom.

Children called Rosario and Rosemary keep the feast of the Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary. Lourdes and Mary Bernadette commemorate the miraculous apparitions of the Immaculate Conception to Bernadette Soubirous. "The Immaculate Conception had a youthful appearance and was clothed in a pure white gown and mantle with an azure blue girdle. A golden rose adorned each of her feet"-- these were Bernadette's words describing Our Lady.

Her patronage may be extended to many girls with unusual names. For instance, the Franciscan feast of the Joys of Mary gives rise to the names Joy, Joyce, Letitia, and Lettice. The Mother of Sorrows Mater Dolorosa, protects not only Dolores and Adolorata, but also Pieta and Pia. The birthday of Mother Mary, "Lily of Israel," is the nameday for Lily and Lillian. As Our Lady of Hope she is the patron of girls named Hope, Spes, Nada, and Nadine. Mary Star of the Sea is a patroness of Stella, Muriel, Astrid, Astra, Esther, and Estelle. Cara or Caritas celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Charity; Vickie, Victory, and Victorine, Our Lady of Victory; Neva and Nieves, Our Lady of the Snow, whose feast is a commemoration of the apparition and invitation by the Virgin to a Roman to build a church on a site indicated by snow in August. There are girls' names meaning "white" in every language--Alba, Gwen, Bianca, Blanche, Candida; their nameday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Donna may choose the "Lady Day," March 25, as her nameday, for the name means "lady."


"There is nothing which gives more joy to my heart, yet nothing which inspires me with more fear than to treat of the glory of the Virgin Mother." Whoever attempts the theme of the Mother of God must feel as St. Bernard did when he wrote these lines.

Catholics pay to Mary the highest homage bestowed upon a creature because she is the Mother of God. "Hyperdulia" is the technical name for the homage paid her; of course, it is infinitely below that paid to God. As Mother of His Son, she has been raised to the fullness of grace.

To study the lessons in the life of Mary, to praise God for the graces conferred upon her and the blessings which He has bestowed upon the world through her, to recommend our needs to so powerful an advocate--for these reasons are festivals celebrated in her honor. Some of them should be kept by families even when they do not have a nameday to celebrate on the feast. Very beautiful icons and devotional statues of Our Lady are available from St. Leo's Shop (SL, see Abbreviations). Many of these are reproductions of renowned art, while others are original works by the noted liturgical artist, Ade Bethune.


December 8

The singular privilege of Mother Mary's Immaculate Conception stands out as a splendid light at the beginning of her earthly journey. On this day is celebrated the grace by which she, alone of human creatures, was exempt from original sin and filled with grace from the first moment of her existence.

"The Blessed Virgin Mary by an unique grace and privilege of almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, was in the first instant of conception preserved exempt from all stain of original sin," Pope Pius IX declared on December 8, 1854. In the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer" December 8 is listed as the "Conception of the Virgin Mary." Byzantine Catholics call the feast "The Child-begetting of the holy Anne, mother of the Mother of God." Many people erroneously believe that the feast refers to the virginal conception of our Lord by Mary, whereas it is Mary's own conception that is the object of this feast.

The veneration of Mary as immaculately conceived is one of the most popular Marian devotions. She was declared patroness of the United States under this title by the First Council of Baltimore, eight years before the doctrine was defined.

The poet Wordsworth's words come to mind when treating of this feast:

Mother whose virgin bosom was uncrossed By any shade of thought to sin allied, Woman above all women glorified, Our tainted nature's solitary boast.

Desserts and decorations. A crown cake with twelve stars (Apoc. 12:1) makes an appropriate nameday dessert today. The lily of the valley is the flower of the feast because of the whiteness of its flowers and the sweetness of its scent, a meaning based on the Canticle of Canticles (2:1): "I am a rose of Sharon and a lily of the valleys." Thus the feast becomes a nameday for Sharon, Lillian, and Rosemary if you wish, who honor Mary as the Lily of Israel, as well as for Mary Immaculate, Maria Immaculata, Alba, Farida, Concha, Concepcion, Gwen, Candida, Blanche, Bianca.

We in the city force lily of the valley pips in order to have the flowers bloom for the feast. Lily of the valley symbols come in gummed seals to decorate nameday place-cards, paper plates, or even white frosting on cakes or cupcakes. An artistic mother or the local baker can add the symbol to the nameday cake with frosting. "Sixty-five Buttercream Flowers," a book by Richard Snyder, tells how to portray lilies of the valley in icing (available from MS, see Abbreviations). Ready-made lilies of the valley in icing are also available by mail (from MS; see Abbreviations). However, it's a great satisfaction to make one's own and gives a mother a chance to use her talents.

Family Prayers. For today's nameday, families may pray the following from the breviary and missal:

Father: Let us celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

All: Let us adore Christ the Lord, her Son.

Father: This day a rod came forth out of the root of Jesse; this day Mary was conceived without any stain of sin; this day the head of the serpent was crushed by her.

All: Alleluia.

Father: From a homily of St. Jerome:

The nature and greatness of the glorious and blessed Mary ever Virgin were revealed by God in the message of the angel: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women." It was fitting that the Virgin should be endowed with such gifts as to be full of grace, for she it is who has given to heaven glory, to the earth the Lord to the world peace, to the nations faith; she it is who has put an end to vice, brought harmony into life and purity into morals. All the holy patriarchs received grace, yet it was not in its fullness; to Mary was infused the plenitude of grace which is Christ. This is the reason the angel said: "Blessed art thou among women." Thus the curse incurred by Eve was totally removed by Mary's blessing. It is in praise of her that Solomon says in the Song of Songs: "Come, my gentle one, come, my pure one."

All: Thanks be to God.


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1. Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing. You reign now in splendor with Jesus our King. (Refrain)

Refrain: Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave Maria!

2. In heaven the blessed your glory proclaim, On earth we your children invoke your sweet name. (Refrain)

3. We pray for the Church, our true Mother on earth, And beg you to watch o'er the land of our birth. (Refrain)

Mother: Let us pray. Through the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, O Lord, You prepared a worthy dwelling-place for Your Son; You preserved the Virgin from all stain by letting her benefit in advance, from the sacrifice of the Cross. We entreat You: may her intercession purify our souls and help us to come into Your presence. Through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Small walnut plaques of the Immaculate Conception, handmade by the Carmelite nuns of Japan; can be bought for $3.50; also available is Tiepolo's Immaculate Virgin for $4.00 (from LAS; see Abbreviations).


December 10

Nameday of Loretta, Lorinda, and Lori.

Father: Alleluia, alleluia! How blessed, Lord, are those who dwell in Your house.

All: They will be ever praising You, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, in Your mercy You sanctified the Blessed Virgin Mary's house by the mystery of the Word-made-flesh and miraculously placed it in the heart of Christendom; grant that we may shun places that are the occasion of sin and become worthy to dwell in Your own holy house. Through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert. In honor of the Holy House of Loreto, a house cake-mold can be purchased in family size for about $1.50 (from MS; see Abbreviations). To avoid leakage, we line the roof with aluminum foil when we use this mold. A ready to assemble honey-cake house with instructions for decorating costs about $2.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations). One can also buy a house-cake booklet for $.25, and a green grass mat, tissue cut to resemble grass, for $.35; neither is necessary, but fun to have (available from MS, see Abbreviations).

Other suggestions. Medals of Our Lady of Loreto are available at prices ranging from $1.50 to $10.00; they are inscribed: "Pray for us who fly" (from LAS; see Abbreviations). A fine print that can be framed comes in the book "Il Caravaggio" by Aldo Martello Editore, Milan (available from RC; see Abbreviations).


December 12

Nameday for Guadalupe, Lupe, or a Mary born on this day.

Father: Alleluia, alleluia. The flowers have appeared in our land.

All: The time of pruning has come, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You have placed us under the special patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary and through her You have favored us with endless blessings. May we who joyfully honor her this day on earth enjoy her company forever in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Suggestions. The symbol for this feast is the rose to commemorate the appearance of Our Lady of the Americas at Guadalupe, Mexico in 1531, to a poor Indian peasant called Juan Diego. It was by means of roses growing in winter that our Lady indicated the site where she wished a church to be built. Delicate white edible roses an inch in diameter may be procured for about $.55 a dozen to decorate candy, cupcakes, or a nameday cake for this feast; larger yellow roses cost $.65 a dozen (available from MS; see Abbreviations). The rose cake is also appropriate (see Rose Petal Coconut Cake). The Liturgical Press offers 6 x 9 prints of Our Lady of Guadalupe for $.30 apiece, and also a pack of 100 holy cards for $1.25 (LP, see Abbreviations).


February 2

Nameday of Pura, Maria or Mary born or baptized on this feast, which commemorates the presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple and the purification of our Lady.

Family Prayers. Since this feast is also called Candlemas Day, the day on which the Church blesses the candles used at home, it would be fitting to hold them lighted during today's prayers.

Father: Behold, the Lord and Ruler is come to His holy temple.

All: Rejoice and be glad in meeting your God, Sion.

Father: An aged man carried the Child, but the Child guided he aged man.

All: The Virgin who had given birth to Him remained a Virgin after childbearing. Him whom she bore she adored.

Father: Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, we humbly beseech You that as Your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so too You would grant us to be presented to You with purified souls. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: A recording of the Magnificat and Canticle of Simeon can be bought for $2.50 from GI, see Abbreviations.

Dessert. Tradition tells us that the burning bush which Moses saw ("the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed"--Ex. 3:2) was a symbol of Mary's virginity and motherhood--because the bush remained inviolate even though bearing the flames. In her honor today prepare a flambe dessert (see Cherries Jubliee), perhaps in a chafing dish, although a frying pan does equally well. A candle in a cupcake is an effective dessert, provided mother reminds her children that they, like Jesus, are born and baptized to be a light to the world.

A pair of doves brings out the symbolism of Joseph's offering in the temple. Icing doves an inch in size cost about $.75 for 20 (from MS; see Abbreviations). These tiny white birds will enhance a child's nameday cake, cupcakes, or petits fours.


February 11

Nameday for Marian, Marion, Lourdes, and Mary Bernadette, on the anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

Father: Let us celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

All: Let us adore Christ the Lord, her Son.

Father: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come, my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall.

All: Show me but your face, let me but hear your word.

Father: Let us pray. O God, by the Virgin's Immaculate Conception You prepared a fitting dwelling-place for Your Son. We humbly pray that we who are celebrating her apparition at Lourdes may obtain health of mind and body. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: IMMACULATE MARY, Lourdes Hymn, see Immaculate Conception.

Dessert. A cake decorated with a rosary made of silver dragees on the frosting, or a frosted crown cake with twelve gold stars or gummed star seals is suggested. A reading of Apocalypse (12:1) tells your child why twelve stars crown the dessert.

The Mass of today's feast provides suitable texts for place- cards. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (Epistle). The Gradual verse recalls the grotto of the apparition: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come, my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall."

Suggestions. You may purchase a small hand-painting of Our Lady of Lourdes done on Japanese walnut by the Carmelite nuns of Japan for about $3.50 (from LAS; see Abbreviations). A medal of Our Lady of Lourdes by Fernand Py comes in two sizes for $1.50 and $8.00 (from RC; see Abbreviations). Under this title Our Lady is invoked against bodily ills. "Bernadette and the Lady" by H. Pauli is a book that would make a good nameday gift for a Mary or Bernadette (about $2.00 from FSC; see Abbreviations). Beautiful statues of the Virgin and Bernadette come from CCA (see Abbreviations); they are expensive but worth it. The Lourdes Hymn is included in the album "Hymns through the Centuries," available at $4.75 (from GI, see Abbreviations).


March 25

This is the nameday of Maria Annunciata, Mary, Anunciacion Donna, and Ancilla, names for girls born around this feast. Ancilla means "handmaid" and commemorates Our Lady's words: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord."

The Divine Office for the feast of the Annunciation commemorates Mary's "fiat":

"In that instant the Word of God became forever united to manhood; produced from nothing, the soul joined to Christ Jesus begins to enjoy God and to know all things past, present and to come. At that moment God begins to have a Worshipper who is infinite, and the world a Mediator who is omnipotent; while to the working of this great mystery Mary alone is chosen to cooperate by her free assent."

Her "fiat," "Be it done unto me according to Your word," expresses perfect cooperation of a human will with the divine, and sums up the whole content of a life in union with God.

Nameday prayers may well begin with the hymn: HAIL, THOU STAR OF OCEAN.

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1. Hail, thou Star of ocean, God's own Mother blest; Ever stainless Virgin, Gate of heav'nly rest! Taking that sweet Ave, Gabriel spoke of yore, Eva's name reversing, Peace for us implore.

2. Break the bonds of sinners, Lend us light to see; All our guilt expelling, Plead our ev'ry plea; Show thyself our Mother; May thy Son divine, born for our salvation, Grant our prayers through thine.

Father: Be not afraid, Mary.

All: God has selected you and chosen you.

Father: The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, Mary.

All: And the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.

Father: The Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, saying:

All: Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Father: Blessed art thou among women.

All: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to Your word.

Mother: From a homily of St. Ambrose.

Into her presence the angel came. That she was a virgin, learn from her behavior, learn from her modesty, learn from the announcement made to her, learn from the very mystery itself. Would that girls would imitate this example of modesty. And the angel greeted her. For it was fitting that an angel and no man should utter the mystery of so sublime a message. Today for the first time are heard the words: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you." They are heard and believed. Then Mary answers: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to Your Word." Mark her humility. Mark her piety.

All: Thanks be to God.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You willed that at the message of an angel Your Word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant to Your suppliants that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God may be aided by her intercession before You. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: THERE WAS A MAIDEN (Grail recording available from GR, see Abbreviations).

Recipes and decorations. There are two symbols associated with this feast. The first, the lily, is well known, the second, the stork Christians have long forgotten to associate with Our Lady. This is the time to hunt up the stork used for your last baby shower. Place it atop a nameday cake and explain the symbolism. the stork denotes piety and chastity. It is associated with the Annunciation because as the stork announces the coming of spring, so the annunciation to Mary indicates the coming of Christ. The northern European tradition that newborn babies are carried to their mothers by the stork is a late derivation from its association with the Annunciation.

The lily is the flower of the Annunciation. In Renaissance paintings the Angel Gabriel holds a lily, or a lily is placed in a vase between him and the Virgin Mary. A box of ten lilies to make a spray for the nameday cake should be at hand (available from MS, see Abbreviations). Gummed seals in a lily design are used to decorate place-mats, napkins, and candy or nut cups; such seals are available in stationery stores

To carry out the lily theme for this feastday we suggest Lily Sandwiches for lunch or for the nameday party.


cream cheese bread cream salt and paprika carrot green pepper

Combine and work into a paste three 3-oz. packages of cream cheese with two to four tablespoons of cream, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of paprika. Remove crusts from 20 slices of bread. Roll into cornucopia shapes by bringing two straight edges together and letting them overlap. Hold the edges together with additional cheese. Press them gently. Roll and chill before filling with cream cheese mixture. Insert into each lily formed a thin strip of carrot. Cut into leaf shape a green pepper. Attach a leaf or two with cheese to sides of the lily. Chill sandwiches before serving.

The Annunciation and Mary's virginity. We tell our children the firm and constant belief of the Church that Our Lady remained a spotless Virgin. As the special Preface provided for Mary's feasts puts it: "The glory of virginity still abiding with her, she shed upon the world the everlasting Light." Children understand Our Lady's virginity when we explain to them that as light passes through crystal without harming it, so did Jesus, the Light of the world, who is from eternity, shine upon His creation when He visited the earth. His Virgin Mother did not suffer harm or pain in her childbearing when Emmanuel passed from the resting-place He had chosen to dwell in before bestowing His visible presence upon His own. Mary was His way to earth from heaven when He came to us, "skipping over the hills, leaping over the mountains."

Art suggestions. The National Gallery of Art (NGA, see Abbreviations) has reproductions of the "Annunciation" from the Master of the Barber Panels for $.25. There are also originals painted on Japanese walnut by the Carmelite nuns of Japan available for about $3.50 and $6.50 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). Other reproductions include Benedetto Bonfigli's "Virgin of the Annunciation," a fifteenth-century Italian, painting for about $4.00, and Angelico's "The Annunciation."


Friday after Passion Sunday

Nameday of Dolores, Maria Adolorata, Dolorita, Dolora, Pieta, and Pia.

Father: As we recall the sorrows of the glorious Virgin.

All: Come, let us adore the Lord who suffered for us.

Hymn: STABAT MATER (this hymn is included in "Hymns through the Centuries," a $4.75 recording available from GI, see Abbreviations).

Father: From a homily of St. Bernard:

Do not be surprised that Mary is said to have been a martyr in spirit. Why are you more surprised to see Mary suffering with her Son than to see Mary's Son suffering? He, it is true, was able to die in body; could not she die with Him in spirit?

All: It was for our sins that He was wounded, it was guilt of ours that crushed Him down. By His bruises we were healed (Is. 53:5).

Father: Let us pray. O God, at whose passion, as Simeon foretold, a sword of sorrow pierced the sweet soul of Mary Your Virgin Mother, grant that we who revere her by calling to mind her anguish and sufferings may through the pleading of all the saints who stand loyally beside Your Cross secure the happiness which Your own sufferings have gained for us. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and decorations. The heart pierced with a sword is a symbol of devotion under conditions of extreme trial. In reading about Marian symbols, we discovered that our favorite winged heart pierced by a sword, in St. Vincent Ferrer Church, New York, is also one of the best representations of its kind.

A heart-shaped dessert with red roses is suitable for the nameday party. The cake may be baked in a heart-shaped tin (from MS, see Abbreviations) or cut out of an oval cake (see Heart Cake). In Christian symbolism the red rose signifies martyrdom. Inch-sized red roses of sugar icing may be ordered by mail, twelve for $1.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations).

Decorations for this feast are the heart pierced by a sword (or arrow), red roses, and a spring flower, the iris. The name "iris" means "sword-lily," an allusion to Mother Mary's sorrows; the flower is used as her symbol by Flemish painters. Another plant for Dolores is the cyclamen, early dedicated to Mary's sorrowing heart because of the red spot at the heart of the flower. (Burpee Seeds have cyclamen house-plants that can be grown by a Dolores for her nameday. It takes a year for the plant to flower.)

The medal for today's nameday child is Our Lady of Sorrows, invoked for courage against adversity (about $2.00 from LAS, see Abbreviations). Sassaferrato's "Mater Dolorosa" is reproduced on a wooden plaque costing about $2.00 and makes an exceptional little nameday gift (from CCA, see Abbreviations).


April 4

Nameday of Grace, Maria Gracia, and the Gaelic, Grania.

Father: Alleluia, alleluia. Jesse's rod has blossomed; a maiden has borne the incarnate God.

All: God has restored peace, in His own person reconciling the lowest with the highest, alleluia (Num. 17:8).

Father: Let us pray. O God, who conferred upon mankind, through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary, the grace of regeneration, grant that we who claim her on earth as Mother of grace may ever enjoy the happiness of fellowship with her in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

An original large statue of Mary, Mother of Grace, imported from Ireland, may be specially ordered from CCA (see Abbreviations); they also carry statues of Our Lady of Grace, imported from Germany ($6.00).


Say, did his sisters wonder what could Joseph see In a mild, silent little Maid like thee? And was it awful, in that narrow house With God for Babe and Spouse? Nay like thy simple, female sort, each one Nothing to thee came strange in this Thy wonder was but wondrous bliss: Wondrous, for, though True Virgin lives not but does know (Howbeit none ever yet confess'd) That God lies really in her breast Of thine He made His special nest! And so All mothers worship little feet, And kiss the very ground they've trod; But, ah, thy little Baby sweet Who was indeed thy God! --Coventry Patmore


May 31

Nameday of Regina, Gina, Reine, Virginia.

Father: Come, let us adore Mary's Son, alleluia.

All: O Virgin now our Queen, O'er all creation thou dost tower, And every form of loveliness In rich abundance is thy dower.

Adorned with merits numberless Give heed to us as now we sing, And in thy gladness, pray, accept The humble homage we would bring.

Father: From the encyclical of Pope Pius XII:

From the monuments of Christian antiquity and prayers of the liturgy in short, from all sides, we have gathered evidence affirming the pre-eminence of the Virgin Mother of God in her royal dignity. By our apostolic authority we have therefore decided to institute a feast of Mary the Queen which is to be celebrated throughout the world each year on the thirty-first day of May.

All: Thanks be to God.


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1. Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, Salve Regina! Hail Queen of mercy, Queen of love, Salve Regina! (Refrain)

Refrain: Sing her praise, ye Cherubim! Join our song, ye Seraphim! Heav'n and earth resound the hymn: Salve, Salve, Salve Regina!

2. Our life, our sweetness here below, Salve Regina! From you all grace and comfort flow, Salve Regina! (Refrain)

3. Our Advocate with God on high, Salve Regina! To you our pleading voices cry, Salve Regina! (Refrain)

Father: Let us pray. Grant, O Lord, to us who keep the festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Queen, that under the shelter of her protection we may become worthy to enjoy peace in this life and glory in the life to come. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and decorations. If a mother has time, the crown cake is ideal. However, a small child will enjoy building a gumdrop crown or cutting a gold paper crown for any cake baked in a tube pan. Small gold crowns to be used on napkins, place-mats, or even on the cake can be purchased, ten for about $1.00, from Party Bazaar (PB, see Abbreviations). Crowns are easy to draw and children should be encouraged to produce their own art work. If you have an inexpensive picture of the Virgin, perhaps from a calendar, blindfolded children will enjoy "pinning the crown" on their Queen during a nameday party. "Queen" napkins for $.35 are available from MS (see Abbreviations); the same company also carries a crown topped by a cross for the nameday child ($1.00) and gold foil crowns for guests (12 for $.75).

Filippo Lippi's "The Coronation of the Virgin" may be obtained in two sizes ($.25 and $4.50) from the National Gallery of Art (NGA, see Abbreviations). Your local museum might have a reproduction for your purpose.

The "fleur de lis," a variety of lily and an emblem of royalty, is the particular symbol for this feast. Mother Mary's altar- shrine can be decorated as a throne to signify her Queenship. We use gold paper or gold corduroy in place of velvet.

Medals appropriate for this feast are Queen of the Stars and Queen of Peace (from LAS, see Abbreviations). The same source has a fifteenth-century "Madonna Enthroned and Saints" by Mantegna for about $4.00, as well as "The Coronation of the Virgin" by Angelico.

An idea for a nameday gift is the record "Our Mother Mary" narrated by Janet of the Lennon Sisters ($1.49 from SSJ, see Abbreviations). The hymn "Hail, Holy Queen" is included in the album "Hymns Through the Centuries" ($4.75 from GI, see Abbreviations).


July 2

Nameday for Marybeth, Betty Marie, Marie Violette, Mary Elizabeth, Mary Viola, Moreen Eilese (Irish), Visitacion (Spanish), Marie Giselle and Marie Isabelle (French), Mary Ishbel (Scottish), and Maria Elizabetta (Italian).

Father: Let us celebrate the Virgin Mary's visit to Elizabeth.

All: Let us adore her Son, Christ the Lord.


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1. O Mary of graces And Mother of God, May I tread in the paths That the righteous have trod. And mayest thou save me from Evil's control, And mayest thou save me In body and soul.

2. And mayest thou save me By land and by sea, And mayest thou save me from tortures to be. May the guard of the Angels above me abide, May God be before me and God be at my side.

Father: This day the Blessed Virgin Mary of the family of David visited her cousin Elizabeth.

All: Most devoutly let us celebrate the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Father: Let us pray. Bestow on Your servants, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that as the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, so the solemn festival of her Visitation may bring us an increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Holy Scripture (Luke 1:39-47) tells how Our Lady, bearing the God-man within her, hurried to meet her cousin Elizabeth. Hearing her praise, Mary answered in that wonderful song we call the Magnificat, the most perfect thanksgiving and praise for the incarnation of the Son of God and a most precious monument of Mary's humility. She praises God with all the powers of her soul and gives glory to Him alone.

This hymn should have a place in all nameday prayers on Mary's feasts. A parent trying to paraphrase it for a child might say: "I am thankful to God and I rejoice with a holy joy for the great favors which God has granted me, His humble servant. By reason of His goodness to me, I shall be admired and honored forever. I rejoice because of the wondrous miracle wrought in me by the Almighty, who is all-holy."

Dessert and decorations. This nameday suggests a heart-shaped dessert (see Heart Cake) because of Mother Mary's charity and because the heart in art is considered to be the source of understanding, love, courage, devotion and joy. Its deep religious meaning is expressed in 1 Sam. 16:7.

"The Visitation" in blue and white by Lauren Ford comes in a small 4-1/2 x 6 pyraglass plaque (about $3.25), an ideal nameday gift for a godparent to give (available from LAS, see Abbreviations). Your local museum may have a print of the Visitation for under a dollar. Contemporary Christian Art has a small Grunewald reproduction on a plaque for about $2.00 (CCA, see Abbreviations). The National Gallery of Art has Fra Angelico's "Madonna of Humility" as an 8 x 10 print laminated with clear plastic for $1.25 (NGA, see Abbreviations).

"Our Lady of the Violet" by Stephan Lochner (a picture for Viola or Violet) may be seen in Volume IX, p. 320 of the "Catholic Encyclopedia." The print can be specially ordered (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

This feast recalls Mary's great humility. In honor of her Magnificat musical symbols would be appropriate on a cake. Candied violets for a nameday cake can be found in the gourmet shops of large department stores. The violet is a symbol of humility; St. Bernard referred to Our Lady as the "violet of humility."


Frost a cake baked in a round pan. Dot top of cake with chocolate morsels, points in, for base of musical notes. Melt 1/4 cup semi- sweet chocolate morsels over hot (not boiling) water. Force melted chocolate through decorating tube to make stems of notes.


July 16

Nameday of Carmel, Sharon, Althea, Carmen, Carmelita, Lita, Carmella, Carmine, and Carmelo.

This patronal feast of the Carmelite Order is a nameday of our daughter. We had invoked Blessed Mary under this title for a baby girl by adoption and promised to name her Carmel. After the favor had been granted, we called the Carmelite Fathers in New York to find out the Gaelic form for Carmel. A soft Irish voice replied: "Wisha, you can't say Carmel in Gaelic. 'Tis a mount in the Holy Land, Ma'am." So Sheila Carmel became our daughter's name. On this day our family prayers are as follows:

Father: All the majesty of Lebanon is bestowed on her.

All: All the grace of Carmel and of Sharon, alleluia.

Father: Your head is as erect as Carmel.

All: Bright as royal purple the ripples of your hair, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. You were pleased, O God, to honor the Order of Carmel with the particular title of Mary ever Virgin and Mother; grant that we who this day celebrate her commemoration by a solemn nameday may be shielded by her protection and attain eternal joys. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The Vigil of Mount Carmel in Little Italy. Because our daughter bears the name Carmel and is part Italian, we celebrate the vigil in Little Italy, where half a million people from far and near keep festival like a country fair for a week each year. In the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the fringe of Harlem lights arch the streets and festoon lamp-posts like diamond necklaces.

Families move large tables to the city streets and sit out to enjoy the music, dancing and food. Behind the chairs, city buses creep cautiously, close enough to scrape off the varnish, it seems. All along the tenemented streets vendors sell their wares. In booths stoves steam with oysters. The night is permeated with the pungent aromas of sizzling sausage and spicy pepper. From vats of bubbling fat pop golden zeppoles, fried doughballs, hot, sugared and tempting. Hawkers fly whistling birds and giant balloons. Others call out, "Tortoni, spumoni, nougats!" Torrone is stacked by the pound beside S-shaped gingerbread and pasta, the sweet cake of Pallo, on carts at street corners.

With the peddlers' cries are mingled the music of Verdi from the bandstand, the squeals of children swaying on ferris wheels high above parking lots taken over for the feast, and the screech of a careening fire engine. In stalls along the streets are displayed tawdry medals and religious wares, bracelets, earrings, cuff- links marked with the emblem of the Virgin of Mount Carmel.

In the street stalls near the church, candles four feet high, some symbolically decorated, are sold. Penitents bear them lighted in the ten-block parade on July 16. Inside the church we hear the praises of the Virgin in the liquid peasant accent of southern Italy. Great crowds walk slowly in line to the altars for scapulars, which are worn publicly during the feastdays. An offering is made at the altar. Beneath a picture of the Virgin are streamers, green with dollar bills pinned there by the faithful seeking favors from Our Lady and by penitents who crowd the church on the vigil.

The Virgin of Mount Carmel stands on a throne of white and gold marble high above the altar with its sea of three-hundred vigil lights. She wears a white silk robe embroidered with real gold lace and sparkling gems; her Infant is dressed to match. Her hair is shoulder length, jet black and straight. Their crowns are gold and bear large emeralds set in diamonds, gifts of St. Pius X, who gave consent to the Virgin's coronation as an endorsement of her miracles. Once every twenty-five years the Virgin and Child are carried in the streets in a public celebration. White pigeons sprung from a cage precede the procession.

The feastday itself. On the feastday proper we take our child (also part Irish) downtown to the Scapular Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to attend solemn Vespers and Compline. Services over, the church gates are closed to the public and the street is barricaded to prepare for the procession. Toward evening the parade of Our Lady of Mount Carmel begins. Carmelite priests, their brown and white habits flying, head the procession up First Avenue, followed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and bagpipers, whose stirring hymn, Faith of Our Fathers, gives the step. A giant drummer twirls and swirls his drumsticks as he leads the children of Carmel from 23rd Street up to 30th on First Avenue, then down Second Avenue to 28th Street.

The Women's Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars prays in procession as it carries a gigantic rosary. Every bead is baseball size, each decade a half a block long. Irish cultural societies parade with accordion bands. Pipers lead Hibernians who have come to the sweltering city from Long Island and Connecticut to march in honor of the Virgin of Mount Carmel. Irish county associations bear the banners of little-known patron saints of Ireland.

Last to parade are Third Order Carmelites, who wear wide brown badges, part of their habit. For seven hundred years the Gaels have followed Our Lady of Mount Carmel and their steadfast devotion to her is a tribute to the Carmelite Fathers.

When the procession reaches East 28th Street, the bands strike their grandest airs. Waiting on the steps of the priory are a mitred bishop, resplendent in gold, and monsignori, sweltering in crimson as the broiling sun slants on the tenements and crowds. It is a thrilling sight to watch. "Let Erin remember the days of old e'er her faithless sons betrayed her," comes clear and strong from the bagpipes of one band. The next skirls an ancient Marian hymn as it proceeds to the church.

Fourth-degree Knights of Columbus in plumed tricorns, crimson- lined capes and gleaming sabres prepare to follow the bands. Altar boys, cassocked in gold, swing lanterns uneasily in the oppressive heat as Carmelites, monsignori and the bishop enter the crowded East Side church.

The sermon is short, for the night is hot. The choir could be better still, this is a tribute which the Virgin of Mount Carmel will most certainly accept.

In the vestibule of the church, Knights, flag-bearers, kilted Irishmen and a motley congregation prepare to leave. On a pedestal Elias, the prophet, his arm outstretched with a torch, looks wild-eyed at this group who have honored his Lady of Mount Carmel.

We take our daughter home. The antiphon of Mother Mary's feast keeps running through the mind: "All the majesty of Lebanon is bestowed on her, all the grace of Carmel and Sharon, alleluia!" Our dessert is a simple gold cake with a chocolate frosting, or a molded dessert (see "Bombe Carmen"), or a panettoni cake bought from hawkers at the vigil.

Suggestions. Small reproductions of a modern Virgin of Mount Carmel, depicted with effective symbolism by a contemporary Irish artist, Richard King, are available by mail for $.15 from Scapular Press (SP, see Abbreviations). A godmother or parent could easily put a blue mat and a 5x7 frame around this print to use for the home shrine. The same Press carries an 8x10 Murillo reproduction of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for only $.50.


August 5

Nameday for Nieves and Neva.

Father: Let us pray. Grant to Your servants, O Lord, lasting health of mind and body. At the intercession of glorious Mary, ever Virgin, may we be delivered from the sorrows of this life and enjoy the happiness of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert. For little girls born on this feastday we offer a simple recipe.


lemon-flavored gelatine egg whites egg yolks

Make up lemon-flavored gelatine according to the directions on the package. Chill swiftly until slightly thickened. Add two egg whites. Set in a pan of ice cubes and water and whip with a rotary beater until the chilled gelatine and egg white is fluffy and thick like whipped cream. Chilled jello has a way of whipping magically. Pour the mixture into a large heart-shaped mold or into small heart-shaped molds to harden.

At serving time, serve with a thin custard sauce made from the two egg yolks.

This Snow Hearts recipe is used at a famous New York hotel and is called a "Floating Heart." It is made by molding Snow Hearts into a large heart shape, chilling it, and then unmolding it upon a wine-flavored custard sauce into which sliced strawberries or other fruit has been added.

Decoration. A plaque of Our Lady of the Snow is available from the Maryknoll Sisters (MR, see Abbreviations).


August 15

Nameday of Mary, Maire, Marie, Maria, Mamie, Miriam, Marita Moira, Maura, Maureen, Molly, May, Marilyn, Marianne, Marya, Marelle, Mimie, Marla, Marleen, Muriel, Asuncion, Assunta, and Mariquita. This is a feast in honor of Mother Mary's death and glorification.

"The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is St. Mary's Day par excellence, the greatest of all the festivals which the Church celebrates in her honor. It is the nameday of children dedicated under her name without any special invocation. It is the consummation of all other great mysteries by which Mary's life was made wonderful; it is the birthday of her greatness and glory, and the crowning of all the virtues of her whole life which we admire singly in her other festivals.

"Mary is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is God. Therefore she is the mother of God. That she remained absolutely sinless for her whole life is affirmed by the Council of Trent. As the second Eve, Mary is spiritual mother of all living. Veneration is due to her with an honor above that accorded to all other saints. But to give divine worship to her would be idolatry for Mary is a creature like the rest of human kind, and her dignity comes from God."

--Butler's Lives of the Saints

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us:

"The Blessed Virgin, because she is the mother of God, has a certain infinite dignity from infinite good, which is God."

Another distinguished writer develops and explains the thought that "the Blessed the Mother of God. Therefore, she is the purest and most holy, so that under God a greater purity cannot be understood."

In the encyclical "Fulgens Corona," Pope Pius XII proclaimed:

The radiant crown of glory with which the most pure brow of the Virgin Mother was encircled by God seems to us to shine more brilliantly. By divine Providence, it fell to our lot to define that the Mother of God was assumed body and soul into heaven. These two very singular privileges of her Immaculate Conception and her Assumption stand out in a most splendid light as the beginning and as the end of her earthly journey; for the greatest possible glorification of her virgin body is the complement, at once appropriate and marvelous, of the absolute innocence of her soul, which was free from all stains; and just as she took part in the struggle of her only-begotten Son with the wicked serpent of hell, so she shares in His glorious triumph over sin and its sad consequences.

Father: Come, let us adore the King of kings, for today His Virgin Mother has been taken up into heaven.

All: Alleluia.

Hymn: HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, ENTHRONED ABOVE, see Queenship of Mary.

Father: From a homily of St. John Damascene.

My dear children, to the Temple of the Lord not made by hands, there today has come blessed Mary, a holy tabernacle, re- enlivened by the living God. David her father rejoices, and with him choirs of Angels and of Archangels, choirs of Virtues and of Principalities are glorifying her; choirs of Powers and of Dominations and of Thrones sing exultingly to her; the Cherubim and Seraphim are praising and chanting her glory.

All: You are the glory of Jerusalem (Jud. 15:10).

Mother: You are the joy of Israel, you are the honor of our people.

All: Come, let us adore the King of kings, for today His Virgin Mother has been taken up into heaven.

Father: Let us pray. Almighty and eternal God, You have taken up into heavenly glory the body and soul of the immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of Your Son. May we always look upward to heaven and come to be worthy of sharing her glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

We sing the Magnificat (see Purification of Our Lady). Our children like to select for night prayers an additional hymn to Our Lady from the book, "Around the Year With the Trapp Family" (about $4.50 from RC, see Abbreviations). The Benedictine nuns of Stanbrook Abbey sing "Regina Coeli," "Ave Regina" and a number of other hymns to Mother Mary on a record available for $4.75 from GI (see Abbreviations).

In "Cooking for Christ" (from NCRLC, see Abbreviations) Florence Berger tells a delightful story of her family in the country collecting their finest flowers and mixing them with the green of herbs on the eve of the Assumption. These were taken to church and blessed by the priest. A father or mother may sprinkle holy water on flowers and herbs and lead the family in the following blessing proper to August 15:

Father: Almighty, everlasting God, by Your Word alone You have made heaven, earth, sea, all things visible and invisible, and have adorned the earth with plants and trees for the use of men and animals. You appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only to serve as food for living creatures, but also as medicine to sick bodies. With mind and word we earnestly implore Your unspeakable goodness to bless these various herbs and fruits, and add to their natural powers the grace of Your new blessing. May they ward off disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in Your Name. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Alleluia.

Polish Americans honor Mary this day as Our Lady of the Flowers. The children sing hymns in English and Polish at church services or at home, and later with the grown-ups swing into their native dances to the lively music of the polonaise.

When we lived in Greenwich Village, Portuguese neighbors surrounded Mother Mary's statue with angels and crowned her Queen of the Angels in a family celebration resounding with the music of their bagpipes. A friend in Massachusetts bakes Portuguese bread, a great favorite with our children, who receive it a day or two after the feast.

In Italy the statue of the Virgin of the Assumption is carried in public procession through the streets to the cathedral or church. The blessing of grapes takes place at Mass on this day in Armenia; these are the first grapes of the season to be eaten. Brittany calls this the "Feast of the Soul of Mary" and on this day betrothals are made in the churches.

Herbs for city families may be found at green grocers, procured packaged in the spice section of your supermarket, or ordered by mail from Ye Olde Herb Shoppe, an old-fashioned emporium bursting with three thousand boxes that hold herbs and spices (YOHS, see Abbreviations). This shop supplies us with spices like sweet cinnamon from Ceylon, other sweet-smelling herbs for sachets, mint, and even frankincense and myrrh to carry with medicines for the poor at Epiphany family processions, an idea we culled from "The Church's Year of Grace" (from LP, see Abbreviations).

The connection between the Assumption and the blessing of herbs is a legend. All the flowers and herbs of the earth had lost their scent after Adam and Eve had sinned in the Garden of Eden. On the Assumption, the flowers were given back their scent and the herbs their power to heal. Flowers of Our Lady and Mary Gardens is a $.25 booklet which tell about seeds, bulbs, and plants named in honor of the Virgin that are available for planting (from MG, see Abbreviations).

Desserts and decorations. To carry out the theme of fruits and flowers on Assumption Day, mothers or godmothers may order ready- made tiny fruits such as pineapples, bananas, peaches and grapes as decorations for cookies, cupcakes, or sheet-cake squares. Half an inch in size, assorted fruits come 75 for $1.00 in a candy- fruit mixture (from MS, see Abbreviations). Another jiffy decoration to top cupcakes, tea cakes or petits fours is an assortment of miniature icing flowers, 50 for $.75, from MS (see Abbreviations).

We have made a wreath out of fresh fruit leaves and flowers surrounding a "jeweled" gold-paper crown as a centerpiece to symbolize honor, sovereignty and victory for the Virgin of the Assumption. To dramatize this theme, we sometimes hang a cloud of "angel hair" and a miniature statue of Mary from the dining room chandelier.

One year for this Marian feast our children made a crown of gold cardboard with twelve stars; this was placed around a statue of Our Lady and used as a centerpiece for the table. Other years they have made an altar poster. The idea comes from "Rhythmic Designs," a book rich in ideas on the liturgical year for the mother interested in training her children in visual art expression (available for $3.00 from LAS, see Abbreviations). In this altar panel Mother Mary is ascending to heaven above a cedar, a cyprus, a palm and an olive tree and a rose plant, all so simple in design that children can draw them. CCA (see Abbreviations) carries an import, "Virgin of the Assumption," by Oudin, some of whose works are reproduced in this book.

"The Assumption of the Virgin" by Valdes Leal is available as a 2x2 color slide for $.35 (from NGA, see Abbreviations). Here also one can purchase a framed print of "Mary, Queen of Heaven" by the Master of the St. Lucy Legend for $5.00, and Memling's "Madonna with Angels," framed, for $26.00.

For Assumption-day, place-cards decorated with a crown are placed at each child's place. The cards bear verses from the Mass of the Assumption. For instance, one card has lines from the Entrance Hymn: "Sing to the Lord a new canticle, for He has done wondrous deeds." Other suitable verses can be found throughout the Mass.

For Mary's altar our children pick a handful of wild flowers along the Hudson River (there's no dearth of wild flowers even in a big city). Mostly, however, our flowers come from our window boxes or a Broadway florist shop.

To make amends for all the fattening desserts listed above, the following one is low-caloried and may be used on any feastday. It can be served by itself or with a gelatine dessert. Each wedge of cake contains only about 54 calories.


eggs lemon juice water cream of tartar Sucaryl solution cake flour vanilla salt

Beat 7 egg yolks until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup cold water, 3 tablespoons Sucaryl solution, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Add to egg yolks and continue beating until thick and very fluffy, about 10 minutes. Beat 7 egg whites until foamy; add 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form. Fold carefully into yolk mixture. Combine 1-1/2 cups sifted flour and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Sift a small amount at a time over the egg mixture, folding in gently until all flour disappears. Pour batter into an ungreased ten-inch tube pan. Bake in a moderate oven, 325 degrees F., for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Makes a ten-inch cake.

Icing orange blossoms, symbols of purity, may be procured for $1.15 to top the cake (from MS, see Abbreviations).

Keeping a holy day well in a time of heat and humidity such as August often brings is not easy. And additional time at home on the range turns knees to jelly. To avoid this we use gelatine desserts since they require a minimum of heating, can be made on a cool day in advance, require no last-minute fussing, and are enhanced by the interesting forms of various copper molds.


We have carried out the symbolism of Our Lady clothed in the glory of the sun by making a nameday sunburst mold (about $.98 from MS, see Abbreviations) of fresh fruit with mint which has been given the blessing of herbs; when brought to the table it is almost too pretty to eat. The shimmering goodness of fresh fruit and the mint molded in gelatine provide a dessert which is far less complicated to make than it looks. The trick to gelatine molds is to place the mold over a bowl of ice. Cover the bottom with a thin layer of gelatine and chill until firm. The fruit is used to form a design in the mold. Each layer of fruit must be carefully covered over with a layer of cool gelatine and chilled. Continue filling the mold to the top with alternate layers of fruit and slightly thickened gelatine, ending with gelatine. Chill until firm. To serve, gently loosen the gelatine with a paring knife.

Then place a chilled serving dish upside down on top of the mold; invert. Cover with a towel wrung out of hot water. Carefully lift off the mold and you have a sunburst to enthrall your nameday guests and to perk up appetites that have waned with the summer heat. A sunburst mold may also be used to bake a cake for Our Lady's feasts in wintertime.


Unflavored gelatine is congenial to any fruit combination for a summer nameday dessert. Melon balls, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries, grapefruit and orange sections, bananas--any or all may be used. One envelope of gelatine and two cups of liquid will jell up to two cups of diced fruits. (Sugar is counted as part of the liquid since it goes into solution.)

To form an artistic motif that will show on top of the dessert when unmolded, arrange a design of fruit in the bottom of the mold. Spoon just enough of the gelatine liquid over the fruit to cover the bottom of the mold. Carefully place in the refrigerator and chill until firm before adding the rest of the gelatine and fruit layer by layer.

1 envelope unflavored gelatine 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 cups water, divided 1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix together gelatine, sugar and slat in saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup of the water. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatine and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1 cup water and lemon juice. Chill until the consistency of unbeaten egg white. Fold in desired combination of fruits. Turn into large or individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold to serve.

1 cup sliced strawberries 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup halved white grapes


1 cup grapefruit sections 1/2 cup diced canteloupe 1/2 cup orange sections


1 cup raspberries 1 cup diced peaches 1/2 cup sliced bananas

Yield: 6 servings.

Father: From a homily of St. Bernardine of Siena:

What mortal man, were he not on the sure ground of divine revelation, would dare to speak even the slightest thing with his impure and polluted lips concerning her who is truly the Mother of the God-man, her whom the Father, God before time was, predestined to remain ever a virgin, whom the Son chose to be His Mother, whom the Holy Spirit prepared as the dwelling-place of all graces? With what words can I, a mere man, proclaim the sublime thoughts of that virginal heart, which were uttered by her most holy lips, seeing that the tongues of all the angles fail therein! What greater treasure is there than that divine love wherewith the heart of the Virgin was afire?

All: Thanks be to God.


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1. Heart of Mary, Heart all pure, Sinless Heart of Mary! Heart most tender, refuge sure, Spotless Heart of Mary! Chosen vessel undefiled, Lily chalice holy! Through the merits of thy Child, Make us pure and holy.

2. Temple of the Trinity, Throne of God all holy, Ark of His divinity, Tabernacle holy! Cradle of the Word divine, Show us Christ our Brother, Heart of Mary, mystic shrine, show thyself our Mother.

3. Source of Christ's most precious blood, Virgin Heart of Mary! Cleanse us in that saving flood, Victim Heart of Mary! May thy love our hearts refine, Bless our consecration; May our hearts be one with thine, Making reparation.

Mother: Let us pray. Almighty, everlasting God, who prepared a worthy dwelling-place for the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Virgin Mary, grant us this grace, that keeping the feast of her Immaculate Heart, we may have strength to live according to Your Heart's desire. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. For a child keeping this nameday, shimmering vanilla ice cream and firm pineapple jello in equal parts, blended together and refrozen in a heart-shaped mold, give mother an easy dessert to prepare. The heart-shaped cake (see Heart Cake) lends itself to today's symbolism.


September 8

Nameday of Maria Lily and Lillian.

Father: From a homily of St. Augustine:

Dearly beloved: the much-desired feast of Blessed Mary ever Virgin has come; so let the earth made bright by her birth rejoice with exceeding great joy. For she is the wild rose on the lowland plain from whom bloomed the precious Lily of the valley. Now let Mary play upon musical instruments and let timbrels reverberate under the fleet fingers of this young Mother. Let joyous choirs sing together harmoniously and let sweet songs be blended together now with one melody and now with another. Hear how our timbrel player has sung. For she has said: "My soul magnifies the Lord because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid. For behold, all generations shall call me blessed, because He who is mighty has done great things to me."

All: This is the birthday of the glorious Virgin Mary, sprung from the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Juda, of the renowned family of David.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, grant to Your servants the gift of Your heavenly grace, that as the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, so the joyful feast of her birthday may bring us an increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: Any of the Marian hymns on the preceding pages.

Dessert and decorations. The first fancy nameday cake in our house was decorated by our youngsters. A cake decorating set had been given to us, but it seemed too complicated to use. Somehow the children had caught the mystery of holiness in so great a feast which the Church celebrates with praise and thanksgiving, for the birthday of Blessed Mary announces joy and the near approach of salvation to a sin-lost world.

The rose petal cake (see Rose Petal Coconut Cake) is appropriate today. It ought to be a pure white cake, and the reason for its whiteness should be explained to children so that they will relate it to Mary's sanctity. Another choice might be the dessert with musical notation (see Musical Cake) to symbolize the homily read in today's prayers.


September 12

The feast of the Holy Name of Mary began in Spain, spread through the Church, and now is kept on this day as an act of thanksgiving for the defeat of the Turks in 1683 by John Sobieski, King of Poland. Today we celebrate the glory of the Virgin's name.

The name of Mary is derived from Maria and Mariam, later forms of Miryam, which was Our Lady's name in Hebrew. Various etymologies have been proposed, for example, "wished-for child," "bitterness," the "sea," "star," etc.

The marked sense of Mary's unique dignity is shown in the New Testament Greek texts where her name has the Old Testament form Mariam, not Maria as do the other Marys of Scripture. The Irish, too, have this custom: the Mother of God is Muire, a name reserved for her alone and never given in baptism. Instead, Moira, Maura, or Maire, from which are derived Moreen and Maureen, are used.

For this feastday the family prayers for Stella Maris, Estelle, Astrid, Astra, Muriel or Mary follow:

Father: From a homily of St. Bernard:

"And the Virgin's name was Mary." Let us say a few words about this name. Most fittingly Mother Mary is likened to a star, for as a star sends forth its rays without any loss to itself, so she brought forth her Son without any loss to her virginity. Mother Mary is a brilliant and splendid star, of necessity set above this great and vast sea, shining with merit and shedding light by her example.

All: Thanks be to God.

Father: Let us pray. Grant, we pray, almighty God, that Your faithful people who enjoy the protection of Your most holy Mother Mary and delight in her name may by her dear intercession be delivered from all ills on earth and be made worthy to attain everlasting bliss in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: HAIL, THOU STAR OF OCEAN (see The Annunciation).

Dessert. Today's nameday cake may be decorated with chocolate stars (see Confessors' Light Chocolate Cake; Chocolate Symbols for Cake Decoration) or even gold gummed ones. It may be baked in a star-shaped tin (from your local houseware store) or in the six-pointed star of David tin, which is ideal for the nameday of Mary the "noble star which rose out of Jacob," and for the saints of the Bible (available from MS, see Abbreviations). A Bavarian cream dessert molded in a star tin or a bowl makes an interesting and refreshing late-summer feastday delicacy.


raspberries lemon juice sugar heavy cream gelatine water

Crush 1 quart of hulled raspberries, add 1 cup of sugar and let them stand for 30 minutes. Soak 2 teaspoons of gelatine in 3 tablespoons of water. Dissolve in 3 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir this into the berries and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cool the gelatine mixture.

When it is about to set, fold in lightly 2 cups of whipped heavy cream. Pour the mixture into a wet mold. Chill until firm.

Serve with a raspberry sauce made of 2 cups of raspberries, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Let these ingredients stand for 2 hours. Put them through a ricer or sieve.


The star, lighting the darkness of the heavens at night, is a symbol of divine guidance or favor. Our Blessed Lady is represented by twelve stars. One large single star is a symbol for her under the title Star of the Sea. A single star is used also for St. Dominic and St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Seven stars are used on St. Hugh's and St. John Nepomuk's feastdays, nine on St. Donald's day.

The star is used as a symbol for St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Peter Alcantara, St. Humbert of Moralles, St. Fidelis, St. Bruno, and St. Athanasia, who is shown in art weaving cloth with a star above her.

Gummed stars in gold, silver, and many other colors come in different sizes from Party Bazaar (PB, see Abbreviations). These are suitable for pasting on a cake, tablecloths, place-mats and napkins to carry out the theme of a star when it is the symbol of a child's patron or patroness; the children can help with this part of the decoration.

A nameday star pie is one of those feathery-light, delicately flavored desserts made of unflavored gelatine and other pantry staples. To make this easy but impressive chiffon pie, you will need:

unflavored gelatine salt cold water vanilla eggs coconut sugar pastry shell or cookie crust milk

Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatine in 1/4 cup of cold water. Sprinkle on the water to soften. Beat 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar, add 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over hot water until the mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Add softened gelatine, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 cup of coconut. Cool. Beat 4 egg whites until stiff, gradually beating in another 1/4 cup of sugar. Fold into the gelatine mixture. Turn into a baked pastry shell or cookie crust and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of coconut. Chill until firm.

Top the pie with a garnish of stars. (See Chocolate Symbols for Cake Decorations for making hearts or stars of melted chocolate.) Cut the stars with a star cookie-cutter from slices of canned cranberry jelly or other fruit jelly. The crust may be lined with crushed jelly if desired.

This dessert can be made in a star-shaped mold ($1.25) or in the Star of David mold (available from MS, see Abbreviations). We have used many gelatine desserts because they lend themselves to molding in many shapes to signify the symbols of various saints.


September 15

Nameday for Dolores, Dolais, Deloris, Dolorita, Maria Dolorosa, Pia, and Pieta.

Twice during the Church year do we commemorate the Sorrows of our Blessed Mother--once on the Friday in Passion Week and again today, with a feast instituted by the Servites, who have an especial devotion to the sufferings of Mary.

Father: Let us stand by the Cross with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

All: A sword of sorrow pierced her heart.

Father: The iron of the soldier's lance pierced not only the side of our Savior but also the soul of the Virgin.

All: Through you, O Virgin Mary, let us draw salvation.

Father: Let us pray. O God, at whose passion, as Simeon foretold, a sword of sorrow pierced the soul of Your glorious Virgin Mother, mercifully grant that we who revere her by calling to mind her anguish may secure the happiness which Your own sufferings have gained for us. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. As a centerpiece a crown of thorns and the heart-cake with seven red roses (see Heart Cake) are appropriate. Seven red roses or anemones or cyclamens are all fitting flowers for the feast. Red roses of sugar icing may be purchased by mail, 12 for $1.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations). It's more fun to make them. Your local library may have Richard Snyder's "65 Buttercream Flowers" or his "Decorating Cakes for Fun and Profit" (or from MS, see Abbreviations).

The great devotion of the Franciscans to the Mother of Sorrows, to which Jacopo da Todi has given immortal expression in his "Stabat Mater," arose in medieval Ireland. In the ages of faith, the statue of the Mother of Sorrows at Muckrose Abbey was a miraculous one. At home when we were children father used to recite to us a moving Irish poem called "Aisling Muire"; it binds together the childhood and passion of Christ, and casts over Mary's joy in motherhood the shadows of her Child's suffering and crucifixion.

Our father told us that in parts of Ireland where the Gael still preserved the old ways of prayer in his native tongue, versions of Mary's lament for her crucified Son are found. Once Patrick Pearse heard an old woman sing it in a cottage in Iar-Chonnacht. "What a precious thing it is for the world that in the homes of Ireland there are still men and women who can shed tears for the sorrows of Mary and her Son," he wrote. We mention this because Dolores or Dolais is seldom thought of as an Irish name.

A small Mater Dolorosa for a child's home shrine costs only $2.00 at CCA (see Abbreviations); they also have a Beuronese statue, "Pieta," for about $12.00.


September 24

Nameday for Mercedes and its lovely English equivalents, Mercy and Clemency.

This feast had its origin in the appearance of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond Pennafort to urge them to found a religious order for the liberation of Christians enslaved by the Saracens.

Father: Let us pray. O God, for the deliverance of Christians from the power of the heathen You were pleased through the glorious Mother of Your Son to enrich the Church with a new family, the Mercedarians, founded by St. Peter Nolasco; we pray that we who devoutly venerate her as the foundress of this great work may likewise be delivered by her great merits and intercession from all our sins and from bondage to the power of hell. Through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

On this feast families will want to include a decade of the rosary to Our Lady of Ransom for unsung heroes of the faith in bondage behind the iron and bamboo curtains.


October 7

Nameday for Rosario, Virginia Rose, Rosemary, Maria Rose, Rosemarie, and Rosaleen Maire.

This feast was instituted to commemorate the overthrow of the Turks at Lepanto, a victory attributed to the intercession of Our Lady.

The symbolism of a rose in connection with Our Lady comes from the Bible: "In me is all grace of the way and of the truth; in me is all hope of life and of virtue. I have budded forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters" (Ecclus. 24:25; 39:17). In Dominican churches a special blessing for roses is given, after which they are distributed to the faithful.

The Blessing of Roses. This blessing may be given only by a Dominican priest, but a father may lead the prayer while the children sprinkle holy water on the roses.

Father: Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

Father: Lord, hear my prayer.

All: And let my cry come unto You.

Father: Let us pray. O God, the creator and upholder of the human race, author of grace and beautiful giver of life everlasting, bless with Your holy blessing the roses we offer unto You this day and crave to be blessed, as a token of thanksgiving to You, of love and reverence for the ever-blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary. Do You, who have bestowed them as an odor of sweetness for our use and the easing of our ills, pour forth upon them heavenly blessing, through the merits of Your holy Cross; and by the sign of the same holy Cross may they be so blessed that to whomsoever they may be brought in sickness may be healed. And from the homes within may evil spirits and their ministers whom we fear trembling depart and no more dare to disturb Your servants. Through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

The family prayers for this nameday are as follows:

Father: Let us celebrate this Rosary feast in honor of the Virgin Mary.

All: Let us adore her Son, Christ the Lord.

Mother: This day let us devoutly celebrate the solemnity of the most holy Rosary of Mary, the Mother of God, so that she may intercede for us with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father: Let us pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the reward of eternal salvation, grant that meditating on these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: Psalm 44 from the Gelineau Psalms (a 33-1/3 rpm record is about $5.00 from JU, see Abbreviations).

Dessert and decorations. The rose cake (see Rose Petal Coconut Cake) is suitable today. Children may draw roses on nameday place-cards. The smaller ones can stick gummed rose seals from a local stationery store on paper plates and cups and even on cupcakes. The rosary is represented on the nameday cake by a wreath of edible roses (about $.55 from MS, see Abbreviations).

In the story of Christian symbolism the rose, next to the lily, is the flower of the Mother of God. Renaissance art often adds a garland of roses to Madonna paintings. A white rose, emblem of purity, honors her joyful mysteries, and a yellow rose, token of joy, honors the glorious mysteries; a red rose, symbol of martyrdom, honors the sorrowful mysteries.

St. Ambrose tells the legend of how the rose came to have thorns. Before it became one of the flowers of earth, the rose grew in paradise without thorns. Only after Adam had sinned did the rose take on its thorns to remind man of the sins he had committed and of his fall from grace. However, the fragrance and beauty continued to remind him of the splendor of paradise. It is most likely in reference to this legend that Mother Mary is called "the rose without thorns," because she was exempt from the consequences of original sin. The Song of Solomon (2:1) gives another source for this symbolism: "I am the rose of Sharon."


Empty one package of instant white cake mix into a bowl. Prepare as directed on package.

Pour batter into two round eight-inch layer pans, 1-1/2 inches deep and lined on the bottom with paper. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F., 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes.

Spread seven-minute frosting (see Seven-Minute Frosting) between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle lightly-tinted pink coconut on the sides of the cake while the frosting is still soft. Decorate the top of the cake with a full-blown red rose made of crystallized rose petals, with an icing rose, or even an artificial one.

To tint coconut, place 1 teaspoon of milk or water in a bowl. Add a drop or two of red vegetable coloring (or yellow if you wish to make a yellow rose cake) and mix well. Add 1-1/2 cups of coconut and toss with a fork until coconut is lightly tinted throughout. (You may prefer to put coconut into a jar with a tight cover and shake it vigorously.)


Select a highly scented fresh rose, preferably dark red. Wash well. Remove petals and drain. Then remove the white pulpy base of the petals.

Beat egg white until slightly foamy. Dip small pastry brush or fingers in egg white, and brush both sides of the petals well. Be sure that no egg white remains on the petals, but that both sides are moist. Sift granulated sugar on both sides of the petals. Place petals on a tray and store in the refrigerator until dry. Assemble the crystallized petals to form a rose on the top of the cake.

Busy mothers may prefer to top this cake with a fresh rose, an artificial one, or an edible wafer rose. Yellow or white, two inches in size, this rose costs about $.65 for a dozen (from MS, see Abbreviations).

A rose stencil is also available to help one draw a rose on a cake and frost in the design. It costs about $2.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations).

In our living room we have a handsome "Regina Sancti Rosarii," a Beuronese import which includes Sts. Dominic and Catherine of Siena. A small plaque of this reproduction may be obtained for about $1.00 and is good liturgical art (both from CCA, see Abbreviations). We also like Cignani's "Madonna and Child with a Rosary," a delightful reproduction to hang above a child's home shrine (under $5.00 from LAS, see Abbreviations).


October 11

Nameday for Alma, Mabel, and Amy (derived from Mater Amabilis, Mother Most Amiable) and for Marys born or baptized around this time.

This feast was instituted to commemorate the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.), at which the divine motherhood of Mary--the basis of all her privileges--was solemnly defined in opposition to the Nestorian heresy.

Father: Let us celebrate the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

All: Let us adore her Son, Christ the Lord.

Father: With peaceful joy let us celebrate the motherhood of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin.

All: Your motherhood, O Virgin Mother of God, has heralded joy to all the world; for from you has arisen the Sun of justice, Christ our God.

Father: From a homily of Pope St. Leo:

A royal virgin of David's race, destined to bear a holy offspring, is chosen to conceive the God-man in her soul before conceiving Him in her body. The angel Gabriel assures her that what is to be wrought in her is of the Holy Spirit, and that when she becomes the Mother of God, she will preserve her virginity intact. And so the Word, the Son of God, who was abiding with God, through whom all things came into being, is made man in order to deliver man from everlasting death.

All: Thanks be to God.

Father: Let us pray. O God, it was Your will that Your Word should take flesh at the message of an angel in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God may be aided by her intercession. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: Any of the preceding Marian hymns.

In passing it might be well to mention that in mixed marriages it is often difficult for the non-Catholic partner to see Mary as the Catholic does. The differences, far deeper than a problem in Mariology, have their roots in the real significance of the incarnation. Since Protestants hold that human nature is corrupt in its very substance, they cannot accept Mother Mary's role in the redemptive work of the incarnation. The poet has said:

But scornful men have coldly said Thy love was leading me from God; And yet in this I did but tread The very path which Jesus trod.

Too often we Catholics portray Christ as the stern and distant judge and His Mother as the hope-inspiring avenue of mercy. This by no means accords with the teaching of the New Testament. Rather, we should, in the words of the poet:

Speak with their sister, and confiding, wait Till she goes in before and intercedes.

The Catholic partner needs to pray that his or her spouse by God's grace will learn to look upon the things Christ did and suffered on earth not as a morally inspiring event, but as the real cause of redemption. Then in viewing the incarnation as a prerequisite, the Protestant partner in marriage will more readily understand the role of Mother Mary in the redemption.

We keep in our kitchen (though we lament the steam and grease) a terra cotta plaque of the "Madonna de la Route," Our Lady of the Way, to prevent us from always seeing Mary in our mind's eye in her glorified state. In this work of art by Felix Oudin (available from CCA, see Abbreviations), we are constantly reminded that the Queen of heaven once lived a simple day-by-day life like ourselves. Unlike the graceful, delicate ladies of Botticelli or the prosperous bourgeoisie of Raphael, our Madonna reminds us that on earth Mother Mary was the wife of Joseph the carpenter. Her bare feet knew the dust of Nazareth's roads. Her hands, scarred by labor, hold her staff and her Child. So she must have looked as she trudged the streets to the well, to the synagogue, and to the Garden of Olives.

This Madonna brings graphically to our mind the truth so often lost to us mothers: the Queen of the universe, Lily of Israel, daughter of the Prince of Judah was also a peasant woman, wife of a working man. Her role as Mother of the God-man, her road to heaven, was not perfumed and flowery as the artists would have us believe. Her life as a mother, like ours, was parceled out between three loves and three duties whose integration, though possible, is difficult to achieve: as a wife, as a mother, and as a servant of God. The pain of childbirth was spared her at the birth of Jesus; but she was destined to share in the great childbirth, the redemption, the birth of all of us redeemed by the death of her Son.


November 21

Today we commemorate the presentation of the Virgin in the temple that she might be consecrated to the service of God.

On this feastday the family prays:

Father: O Mary, blessed Mother of God, ever Virgin, temple of the Lord, tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, you alone without peer did please our Lord Jesus Christ.

All: Alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, by whose will the Blessed Virgin Mary, dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit, was on this day presented in the temple, grant that through her pleading we may be found worthy to be ourselves presented in the temple of Your glory. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: any of the preceding Marian hymns.

This is a feast of great joy. When St. Anne prayed for a child, like Anna of the Old Testament, she promised that if her prayers were answered she would dedicate her child to the service of God. The apocryphal writings added embellishment: in keeping with her promise, Anne and Joachim took Mary, a child of three or four, to the temple to begin her service to the Lord. We read in the "Protoevangelium of James": "And being placed before the altar, Mary danced with her feet, so that all the house of Israel rejoiced with her and loved her." The story goes on to tell how the priest of the temple blessed Mary, saying: "In thee the Lord will manifest His redemption to the sons of Israel."

Il Tintoretto's "Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple" is a suitable nameday gift; reproductions may be bought for about $4.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

Desserts. The crown cake (see Crown Cake) or the cake with musical notes (see Musical Cake) may be used for this nameday. A rose cake would also be appropriate. From MS (see Abbreviations) you may order calla lilies, symbols of purity, at ten for $1.00. These make lovely lily sprays for a cake on any feast of our Blessed Mother.

"Mary" by Sister Mary Jean Dorcy, O.P., is a nameday book for the eight-year-olds to read aloud (about $2.00 from RC, see Abbreviations).


Austrian cooks are famous for their rich tortes, which often are honey-cakes served with whipped cream.

To make Almond Torte you will need:

eggs grated chocolate confectioner's sugar almonds baking powder cracker crumbs heavy cream vanilla almond extract

Beat together 4 egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, usually about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of confectioner's sugar gradually. Carefully fold in 4 egg whites beaten dry and stiff. Add 1/4 cup of grated chocolate. Combine with 1/2 cup of almonds, chopped very fine, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 3/4 cup of cracker crumbs. Spread in buttered nine-inch round pans. Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 30 minutes. Cool.

When ready to serve, put layers together with 1/2 pint of heavy cream whipped with 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1/3 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/3 teaspoon of almond extract. Spread some of the cream on top of the cake. Top with a tiny statue of Mother Mary.


Honey is a symbol of purity and sweetness, and as such is used especially for Our Lady and for virgin-saints. Paradise, the reward of the faithful for their labors for Christ, is known as the "land of milk and honey." Honey desserts are used for saints who have a beehive symbol: Benedict, Deborah, Abina, Gail, Ambrose, Bernard and John Chrysostom.

Since honey is the oldest sweetening agent, it is not surprising that this nectar is a favorite ingredient in hundreds of desserts, ranging from the many-layered honey-drenched "Baklava" to the light, delicately textured Honey Chiffon Pie. The filling of the latter is smooth as velvet and it is served in a golden pastry shell which is equally delicious. Crisp and tender, the crust is made with golden shortening to give a special golden flakiness.

For a golden pie shell you will need:

enriched flour 2 tablespoons water salt shortening

In a mixing bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of sifted enriched flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in 1/2 cup of solid shortening until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal. Sprinkle water over the mixture, a tablespoonful at a time, and mix lightly with a fork until all the flour is moist. With your hands gather the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured board, roll out pastry in a circle 1/8 inch thick and about 1-1/2 inches larger in diameter than your pie plate. Fit the pastry loosely into a nine-inch plate and trim off the edge, leaving 1/2 inch overhanging. Fold the overhanging edge back and under. Build up a fluted edge; place your left forefinger against the inside of the pastry rim and pinch the outside with the right thumb and forefinger. Repeat all around the rim. Prick the bottom and sides of the pastry generously with a fork. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes.


gelatine eggs water mandarin oranges milk salt honey cream

Soften 2 tablespoons of gelatine in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes. In a saucepan combine 1-1/4 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of honey and bring to a boil. Beat 3 eggs with a little of the hot milk until blended; stir egg mixture into the hot milk and cook over low heat, stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add gelatine, and stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Stir in the juice drained from one ten-ounce jar of mandarin oranges (it should measure about 1/2 cup) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Refrigerate the custard, stirring occasionally until it mounds from a spoon. Beat the custard until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of whipped cream and the mandarin oranges.

Spoon about two-thirds of the filling into the golden pie shell and chill until set. Chill the remaining filling until set; then heap by teaspoonfuls on top of the pie. Top with additional whipped cream if desired. Garnish with mandarin orange slices or strawberries and refrigerate until serving time.


"Music is the language of praise. One of the most essential preparations for eternity is the delight in praising God." Chalmers' words should help us to realize that the Church, the bride of Christ, spends a great deal of her time praising the Mother of God. Indeed, Mary herself must have spent a great deal of time in singing, for music is the child of prayer and the companion of religion.

Too many Catholics like ourselves were brought up on pseudo- religious words superimposed on sentimental ballads and gay waltzes. One, for instance, entitled "Mother at Thy Feet Is Kneeling," is taken from a popular sentimental ballad of the Civil War, "Take Me Back to Home and Mother." While Catholics have been singing trashy, sentimental hymns, Protestants were singing good Catholic hymns handed down to them in tradition, but belonging, of course, to the great treasury of Church music.

It takes very little effort to teach simple melodies to our children--the "Salve Regina," for instance, or "Mary the Dawn," or the hymns of the liturgy. Recordings offer an easy method of teaching; "Jubilee" (JU, see Abbreviations) has "Chants for the Virgin," twenty-six Marian hymns of purest Gregorian chant for all seasons of the liturgical year for about $8.00. "Hymns in Honor of Our Lady of Fatima" is available for about $10.00 (from GI, see Abbreviations); from the same place you can get "Songs of the Centuries" by the Roger Wagner Chorale, a single ten-inch LP record for about $4.00. This record includes "Ave Maria," "Alma Redemptoris Mater," "Ave Regina," "Regina Coeli," and "Salve Regina."

Ave Maria is an LP recording (from GI, see Abbreviations) which includes "Ave Maria" by Gounod, Schubert, Cesar Franck, and modern ones by Russel Woollen and a Trappistine of St. Mary's Abbey, Wrentham, Massachusetts.

Gregorian chant is sacred music surpassed by no other as an expression of prayer that is simple and fervent, springing from the human soul in search of God. It is the Church's own chant, the sung prayer of Christian unity: one voice, one sound, one soul expressing the mind of the whole Church. Gregorian chant is marked by gravity, peace and majesty, although its wonderful effect is achieved by simple, unelaborate means.

A friend of ours who was having difficulty in getting her children to sing the liturgy had a recording made in a convent in Amityville. At prayers she explained the singing of the "Salve Regina"; then her children, armed with holy water for sprinkling, were perfectly happy to have a procession while the Sisters sang.

The Gregorian Institute of America (GI, see Abbreviations) publishes a catalog of long-playing records of Gregorian chant, polyphony and hymns, and also lists distinctive records from other sources. This liturgical and sacred concert music is a wonderful help in developing musical taste in children right in the home. "Jubilee" (JU, see Abbreviations) also has a catalog of recordings.

The Trapp Family Singers have recorded in their Yuletide songs "Ave Maria" by Mozart and a traditional early English carol, "I Sing of a Maiden" (available from GI, see Abbreviations). The Grail (GR, see Abbreviations) has published in its Advent records one of the best-loved of the hundreds of German Lady Songs under the title "The Flowering Thorn." Also from The Grail comes "There Was a Maiden," a Flemish folk song which is not only an Advent song but a perfect hymn for the Annunciation. Their Lent and Easter disc includes a Martha and Mary Magdalen song for girls of these names.

"Our Parish Prays and Sings" (from LP, see Abbreviations) contains a number of hymns and English responsories that might be sung on the nameday of girls named after Our Lady. Among these is a hymn for Dolores, "Hymn to the Sorrowful Mother"; for Stella, "Hail, Thou Star of Ocean and Mary Immaculate, Star of the Morning"; for Regina, "Hail, Holy Queen" and "May Crowning Hymn." For children born around the feast of the Annunciation there is the responsory "The Lord Has Done Great Things." "Be Joyful, Mary" is an Easter song suitable for a girl called Joy or Joyce, while "Regina Caeli" is a hymn for girls named in honor of the Queen of heaven. It is not the hymn for the feast of the Crowning of Mary.

When one hears children singing the beautiful hymns of the Church, one is reminded of Carlyle's words: "Music is well said to be the speech of angels." Try one or two hymns at your nameday party on Mary's feasts.


Joseph, the husband and guardian of the Virgin Mary, was the foster-father of Jesus. What we know of him is found in the first two chapters of the Gospels by Sts. Matthew and Luke. Matthew (1:19) describes him in the all-embracing phrase, "a just man," that is, a godly, holy man.

St. Joseph is liturgically honored as patron of the universal Church on March 19, and as patron of workmen on May 1. During his earthly life he worked as a carpenter in Nazareth and in Egypt; his genealogy by the evangelists Matthew and Luke indicates his royal lineage through King David.

The name Joseph remains about the same in most modern languages except Italian (Giuseppe) and Spanish (Jose). The feminine form of the name takes the following variances: English Josepha; French, Josephine; Spanish, Josefa; and Italian, Giuseppa.

Father Walter Farrell's writings on St. Joseph make excellent family reading and bring out St. Joseph's great love for Mary. Love marked their marriage and was the basis for that model Christian family, the Holy Family of Nazareth. "Mary brought trouble to Joseph, plenty of it, and he loved every instant of it. He rejoiced that he had been chosen to protect her, to give her unselfish devotion. In other words, Joseph was in love."

When Joseph was a young man, A young man was he, He married Virgin Mary, The Queen of Galilee.4

In art Joseph is often shown with a budding staff of lily in his hand. Legend has it that the high priest Zacharias told the Virgin Mary that he had received a revelation from an angel to assemble marriageable men and have each bring his staff to be left in the temple overnight. A sign would be given to indicate which suitor for the Virgin's hand was favored by the Lord. In the morning it was found that the staff of Joseph the carpenter had blossomed, so he was chosen to be her husband. For this reason is he pictured with the lily--how uncomfortable he looks with it!

The National Gallery of Art (NGA, see Abbreviations) has reproductions of Bernart Van Orley's "Marriage of the Virgin" for sale. (To be sure that you will enjoy a reproduction of any painting, first buy it in postcard size from the museum; then, if you like the work, buy a larger copy. Excellent Christian art costs as little as a dollar, so there is no reason for having reproductions which are unsuitable.)

When Bill and I were newly married, we found a statue of St. Joseph in a secondhand store, took it home and made an altar at the head of the stairs in our Greenwich Village apartment. Under this statue we placed all our bills. Our married life has been marked with sickness, and St. Joseph has had to manage for us. One Christmas a small fedora came with a gift certificate and happened to fit the statue. We kept the hat on Joseph because we felt that as an orthodox Jew, he was entitled to wear a hat in the house. (Actually, a felt hat is a long way from a "jamelke," or skull cap.)

One night our cousin, Father Charles Crowley, a Josephite, accidentally knocked the statue over while putting on his coat. It smashed to smithereens. My first thought was, "What will we tell Bill? He is so fond of that St. Joseph." "Tell him that he died a grand death," Father said, "and the priest was with him at the end." St. Joseph is a patron of a happy death.

Prayers to St. Joseph. Most probably the Holy Family recited the traditional Hebrew night prayers: the singing of Psalm 90, a reading of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. and a prayer to the guardian angels. Most likely they ended their prayers in Hebrew with Psalm 127, the family psalm. Included in the Divine Office for Wednesday Vespers, it is a psalm to be memorized by boys and girls named after St. Joseph.

Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be and favored. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord shall bless you from Sion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. May you see your children's children. Peace upon Israel!

Nameday Prayers. Hymn: O SAINTLY JOSEPH!

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1. O saintly Joseph! thou whom God Ordained the Virgin's spouse, To shield from harm her Saviour Son, And keep the Holy House.

2. On thee a weighty burden fell, To held God's treasures pure; And thou didst willingly and well, The heavy task endure.

3. Through thee the Universal Church Directs its ceaseless pray'rs. Thy patronage has eased its course Throughout the flight of years.

4. O Joseph! faithful, chaste and just; Our intercessor be In that dread hour when life is lost, O plead with God for me.

Father: Christ the Son of God, who deigned to be considered the son of Joseph, come let us adore.

All: He made him master of His house and ruler over all His possessions.

Father: From a homily of St. Bernard:

From the great honor of being privileged to be called and considered the father of God (though of course he was only the foster-father), we may judge the character and spirit of Joseph. Here we must not forget that great patriarch Joseph who in ancient days was sold into Egypt and of whom St. Joseph was heir not only in name, but also in purity, innocence and grace. To the former was given the gift of knowing the mysteries of dreams; the latter was graced not only with the knowledge of, but even participation in, the mysteries of heaven. We dare not doubt that Joseph, to whom the Mother of the Savior was espoused, was a prudent and faithful servant, for the Lord appointed him guardian and consoler of His Mother, nourisher of His own body, and coadjutor on earth in the incomprehensible designs of heaven.

All: Thanks be to God.

Father: Let us pray. We beseech You, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of the spouse of Your most holy Mother, so that what we cannot obtain by ourselves may be given to us through his intercession. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

In the last four hundred years devotion to St. Joseph has been steadily increasing. It was St. Teresa of Avila who said:

"I took for my patron and lord the glorious Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that he rendered me greater service than I knew how to ask for. I have never asked him for anything at any time which he has not granted."

For families who wish to vary or increase the prayers for St. Joseph's feasts, the following may be said.


by Father Olier

Hail, Joseph, image of God the Father. Hail, Joseph, foster-father of God the Son. Hail, Joseph, temple of the Holy Spirit. Hail, Joseph, beloved of the most holy Trinity. Hail, Joseph, most faithful helper of the great council. Hail, Joseph, guardian of holy virgins. Hail, Joseph, great lover of poverty. Hail, Joseph, exemplar of meekness and patience. Hail, Joseph, model of humility and obedience. Blessed are you among all men, And blessed are your eyes which have seen the things you saw. Blessed are your ears which have heard the things you heard. And blessed are your hands which have fondled the Word-made- flesh. And blessed are your arms which have carried Him who keeps all things in existence. Blessed is your bosom on which the Son of God fondly rested. And blessed is your heart aflame with most ardent love. Blessed is the eternal Father who chose you, And blessed is the Son who loved you. Blessed is the Holy Spirit who sanctified you. And blessed is Mary, your spouse, who loved you as her spouse and brother. Blessed is the angel who guarded you. And blessed be forever all who bless and love you.


All: To all who would holily live, To all who would happily die St. Joseph is ready to give Sure guidance and help from on high.

Father: Of Mary, the spouse undefiled, Just, holy, and pure of all stain, He asks of his own foster Child And needs but to ask to obtain.

All repeat the first stanza.

Father: In the manger that Child he adored And nursed Him in exile and flight; Him, lost in His boyhood, deplored, And found with amaze and delight.

All repeat the first stanza.

Father: The Maker of heaven and earth By the labor of Joseph was fed; The Son of an infinite birth Submissive to Joseph was made.

All repeat the first stanza.

Father: And when the last hour drew nigh, Oh, full of joy was his breast, Seeing Mary and Jesus close by, And he tranquilly slumbered to rest.

All repeat the first stanza.

Father: All praise to the Father above, And praise to His glorious Son, And praise to the Spirit of love, While the days of eternity run.

All: Amen.

Father: Let us pray. O God, in Your ineffable Providence You chose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother. Grant that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen.

Desserts and Decorations for St. Joseph's Feasts. The many themes applicable to St. Joseph lend themselves to a wide variety of desserts and decorations. The crown dessert (see Crown Cake) is especially suited to this feast because this cake indicates Joseph's royal lineage as a descendant of King David. A nameday child may draw crowns on paper plates and napkins with crayons. Crowns of gold paper to use on a cake, favors, or place-cards may be obtained (about $.50 for 10, from PS, see Abbreviations); these crowns may be used with pins and a print of St. Joseph, perhaps from a calendar, to play a "pin the crown on Joseph" game, using a blindfold and the rules for "pin the tail on the donkey."

Also in connection with Joseph's lineage, a Star of David theme is appropriate. A six-pointed star cutter for cookies or melted chocolate costs as little as $.15, while a Star of David thirteen-inch pan costs $8.25, both from MS (see Abbreviations). A six-pointed star may be added to any iced cake by piping the star on with a "readiwhip" cream after the star has been outlined on the cake.

The fleur-de-lis is a symbol signifying Joseph's royalty. We have found the design on napkins and place-mats at the party sections of department stores. The symbol is easily cut from gold paper for homemade place-mats and may be stenciled so that children can trace and fill in the fleur-de-lis on napkins and place-cards. Fleur-de-lis molds for chocolate candy can be ordered from Maid of Scandinavia; a form with twenty molds and the recipe costs about $5.55 (MS, see Abbreviations).

In art St. Joseph's shield is traditionally light blue with a carpenter's square or a lily. The saw and hatchet, also his emblems, recall his trade. This theme may be carried out by baking cookies in a hatchet shape, or by adding chocolate hatchets cut out of melted chocolate to top a cake. The hatchet cookie-cutter comes in an all-season cookie-cutter set for about $1.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations).

To recall the legend of Joseph's blossoming staff you can use two-inch calla lilies made of gum paste to place in a spray atop the nameday cake (10 for $1.00, from MS, see Abbreviations). Another suggestion is tiny icing doves to top cupcakes or petits fours as a jiffy dessert (20 for $.75, also from MS). We have also enjoyed another of their specialties, ready-to-use cake tops made of edible wafers, 6-1/2 inches in diameter. Placed on a homemade cake or on a bakeshop one and bordered with a piping of whipped cream, this cake top is a blessing to have on hand (3 for $1.00 from MS). For St. Joseph's feast we suggest a Hebrew cake top; with this may be ordered a baptism cake top and a birthday cake top. In this way three feasts of a child can be commemorated inexpensively.

Often in art St. Joseph carries two doves in a basket, the offering of the poor (Lev. 12:7-8), in the scene of the presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple. The dove is a symbol of purity. To carry out this theme, one might use the icing doves mentioned above, or a dove-shaped cake with almond pin feathers, which can be ordered in advance in a price range from $1.50 to $12.00 from Manganaro (MA, see Abbreviations) or from Italian importers in large cities. This feastday dessert, called the "Columba," is imported by La Motta from Milan and appeals greatly to children accustomed to Italian baking.

Because of St. Joseph's great love for Our Lady, the heart cake with red roses (see Heart Cake) is also appropriate.


An Italian dessert indispensable at our house on St. Joseph's feasts is "St. Joseph's Sfinge." A round cream puff is filled with ricotta (Italian cottage cheese) and topped with a cherry. We sometimes use cream cheese, whipped cream, or vanilla pudding as a filling for our cream puffs. (A ready-mix cream puff is available in most supermarkets.)

To make cream puffs you will need:

butter sugar salt glazed lemon rind flour glazed orange rind eggs water

Boil together 1/2 cup of butter or margarine and 1 cup of water. Add 1 cup of sifted flour and 1/3 teaspoon of salt, stirring until the mixture parts from, the side of the pan. Remove from the stove and cool. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each is added. Combine with 2 tablespoons of sugar; 1 tablespoon of glazed lemon rind, grated; 1 tablespoon of glazed orange rind, grated. Blend thoroughly. Drop a tablespoon at a time, about 3 inches apart, on a cookie sheet. Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees) for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees and finish baking, approximately 30 minutes. After removing puffs from the oven, open immediately to allow the steam to escape.

To serve, fill the 16 puffs with ricotta cheese filling or custard or whipped cream. Top with a cherry.

St. Joseph in art. Parents and godparents will find Lauren Ford's "St. Joseph and the Christ Child" a treasure for a small child. Fosterfather and Son are surrounded by sheep and lambs in a barn. The reproduction can be had for about $4.50 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). This same shop offers a Py medal showing Joseph and Jesus, with saw and lily symbols, ranging from $2.00 to $30.00 for a gold one.

The National Gallery of Art sells reproductions of Fra Angelico's "Adoration of the Magi," which includes Joseph in a yellow mantle. An eight-inch statue of Joseph and the Child with work tools, a Beuronese product from Germany, costs about $6.50 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).

A nameday book gift would be "Joseph, A Patron Saint" by Wilfrid Sheed, about $2.00 (from SW, see Abbreviations).

Customs for St. Joseph's Day. St. Joseph is one of Italy's most beloved saints. Symbol of humility, protector of families, patron of fathers, of the poor, the unfortunate and the dying, of carpenters and craftsmen, Joseph is especially honored there on "Festa di San Giuseppe." On the eve of his feast bonfires illuminate the squares and streets of many towns. A "banchetto" begins after midday Mass on his feast, usually out of doors. Set on the piazza or large open square is a table, "tavola di San Giuseppe," covered in white and decorated with flowers. A man, woman and child, representing the Holy Family, are led in solemn procession and seated upon a decorated platform as guests of honor. The poor cheer for the table of St. Joseph because after the feast they are given something to take home with them. There are processions led by the Holy Family and, later, singing and dancing around the bonfires lasting well into the night.

In Sicilian families an altar with a statue of St. Joseph is erected in the dining room against a background of white satin and flowers. A table the length of the room is laden with food. Children, depicting the Holy Family and angels, take their places at the table, followed by a priest, who blesses the food and the guests. Then the feast begins. This is a custom which could well be adapted by families on St. Joseph's Day.

Patron saints named after St. Joseph. In addition to keeping March 19 or May 1, some of his namesakes may have been born on feasts of other patrons named after St. Joseph. There is St. Joseph the Hymnographer, liturgical poet of the Byzantine Church, whose symbol is music; St. Joseph Calasanctius, founder of the Piarists, whose symbol is a book; the Franciscan St. Joseph Cupertino, patron of aviators, whose symbol is an airplane; and the Capuchin Joseph of Leonessa, missioner to galley slaves, on whose feast a "pirate" party is suitable.

Joseph of Arimathea, in whose new tomb our Lord was buried, is commemorated on March 17. Legends connect him with Joseph of Glastonbury, and, in Genoa, with the Sacro Catino, in which Joseph is said to have caught the blood of Christ at the crucifixion. Joseph of Arimathea makes a strong new patron for Joseph Patrick and Patricia Josephine.

For girls called Josephine there are St. Josepha Rossello, foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Pity, whose emblems are a lily and a book; Blessed Josepha Maria (or Ines) of Beniganim, an Augustinian whose symbol is also the lily; and Blessed Josephine Leroux, an Ursuline nun who died gloriously in the French Revolution. The crown and palm are her symbols.


What splendid names for boys there are-- There's Carol like in rolling car, And Martin like a flying bird, And Adam like the Lord's first word, And Raymond like the harvest moon, And Peter like a piper's tune, And Alan like the flowing on Of water. And there's John, like John.5


Indeed there is John, like John, to the number of six million boys born in the last decade who bear the beloved name which dates earliest as a popular name. Ranking next are Michael, James, Robert, William, David, Thomas, Stephen, Richard and Joseph. Also high on the list of favorite boys' names are Gary, Ronald, Loren, and Gerald.

Over two hundred saints are called John. Three of them bear the name John the Baptist, in honor of the last prophet of the Old Testament and first saint of the New: John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, patron of parish priests; John Baptist Rossi; and John Baptist de la Salle, whose lifework was the foundation of the Brothers of Christian Schools. Like their namesake, they have a lamb cake (see Lamb Cake) as their nameday dessert.

At least seventy-three of the post-Reformation English martyrs were called John. The name in Irish is Sean (pronounced Shawn); Scotch, Ian; Italian, Giovanni; French, Jean; Spanish, Juan; Portuguese, Xuan; Dutch, Jan; German, Johann and Hans; Russian, Ivan. Another Irish form of the name is Eoin (pronounced o-en); the Welsh is Evan.

Patron for girls named Beverley is the Benedictine John of Beverley, who founded Beverley Abbey in England. His symbol is a cross or a shrine. John the Dwarf is described as having been "short-tempered and conceited by nature but gentle and humble by grace." John Bread-and-Water (Pan y Agua) acquired his nickname by a lifelong fast on bread and water. There is a John of Poland, John the Obedient, and, for the Joneses, Blessed John Jones, a Welsh Franciscan martyred for his priesthood.

Among the great founders is St. John Bosco, who placed his Institute under the protection of Our Lady Help of Christians. Don Bosco, with St. Mary Mazzarello, formed the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians for the education of girls. John of Matha, whose symbol is a chain or cross, founded the Trinitarians for the redemption of captives; John of God, the Order of Brothers Hospitallers; John Eudes, the Sisterhood of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge and the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) for the education of priests; and John Leonardi, the Institute of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God.

St. John Chrysostom, surnamed the "golden-mouthed" for his great eloquence, is famous for his contribution to the Greek Liturgy. His symbol is a beehive. St. John Damascene, author of numerous liturgical hymns and last of the Greek Fathers, has music as his symbol. St. John of the Cross ranks as a Doctor of the Church because of the fame of his mystical writings: "The Ascent of Mount Carmel," "The Dark Night of the Soul," and "The Spiritual Canticle," superb masterpieces of Spanish literature.

Blessed John Mzek, a Negro of Uganda who baptized many in the hour of death, was beheaded in January, 1887. Among the North American martyrs are two Jesuit saints, John de Brebeuf, a priest who worked among the Hurons for twenty-four years until his martyrdom by the Iroquois in 1649, and John Lalande, his helper who was martyred in 1646. John de Brebeuf wrote the first American Christmas carol (included in "Christmas to Candlemas," $.20 from LP, see Abbreviations).

Among the English martyrs called John are the Franciscan John Forest, burned to death under conditions of revolting cruelty; John Fenwick, John Gavan and John Ogilvie, Jesuits executed for their priesthood; and John Roberts, a Benedictine. The latter's resourcefulness and courage made him an outstanding figure among the priests of the English mission. Imprisoned and released six or seven times, he was finally captured in his priestly vestments while saying Mass and was executed. John Fisher, most faithful of the English bishops, upheld the cause of the Queen against the adulterous Henry VIII and was beheaded on Tower Hill. He died with the "Te Deum" on his lips.

St. John Berchmans is patron of young Mass servers. In his short life he kept the minutest points of the Jesuit rule with heroic fidelity and died in Rome during his novitiate.


Louis Bouyer in "Liturgical Piety" (University of Notre Dame Press) makes the following observation on the importance of St. John the Baptist:

"Few facts in the history of piety are more startling than that of the great place which the cult of St. John the Baptist enjoyed in the devotion of Christians up to the Middle Ages, and yet the virtual oblivion into which this cult has fallen ever since. Obviously there is nothing to recommend him to a piety which feeds on tender feelings and delicate sentiments. A man who eats locusts and wears a camel's hair tunic and a leather girdle does not make a nice figure in a sweet painting of the Nativity. Nonetheless St. John the Baptist is a central figure in the whole economy of the mystery, as is still shown by the place he has retained in the liturgy, and if we leave him out, we are in danger of losing the whole meaning of the Mystery itself."

Patristic tradition maintains that John the Baptist was freed from original sin and sanctified in his mother's womb. From earliest times the Church has celebrated the birthday of St. John, herald of the Son of God. After Elizabeth gave birth to John, his father Zachary, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke prophetic words about his son, a prayer for all his namesakes (Luke 1:68-79):


Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and wrought redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant, As He promised through the mouths of His holy ones, the prophets from of old: Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes. He has fulfilled His kindness to our fathers, and been mindful of His holy covenant In the oath to Abraham our father, by which He swore to grant us That, delivered from the hands of our enemies, we should serve Him without fear In holiness and justice before Him all our days. And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; For you shall go before the Lord to prepare His ways, To give His people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins, Because of the compassionate kindness of our God with which the Orient from on high will visit us, To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

John eminently excelled in graces. He is honored as a teacher, virgin, martyr, and the greatest of prophets because he pointed out Him whom the ancient prophets foretold obscurely.

Bonfires on St. John's day. The use of fire on the eve of St. John's feast dates back to a pagan rite for a mid-summer night hill-top festival which the Church later christianized. We celebrate by taking a small charcoal pit to the roof, eleven stories above the Hudson overlooking Harlem, for a barbecued supper, thus continuing in modern fashion the folklore associated with this midsummer night. Our children heard their grandfather tell of singing and dancing around an Irish bonfire to the music of fiddles or an accordion on St. John's eve in County Cork. He recounted how, as the blaze subsided, men, women and children would leap through the flames; trails of sparks like comets went through the air as they plucked live brands from the fire and threw them into the air. Sometimes the fire would be so splendid that no horse would pass the crossroads.

Why is St. John honored by bonfires? His feast, coming on the day the sun begins to diminish, was set to commemorate the words of the Baptist which showed his unique greatness: "He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). These words could serve as a motto for every Christian.

In New York the Fiesta di San Juan is kept solemnly on Randall's Island between Manhattan and Long Island in the East River. Cardinal Spellman usually officiates; in attendance are state and city officials, dignitaries from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the hierarchy. Seventy thousand Puerto Ricans flock to honor St. John the Baptist, patron saint of their homeland, at an outdoor Mass on the Island and at the fiesta that follows.

Celebrations we have attended have been on golden summer afternoons, noisy and gala as whole families troop in pilgrimage across the Triboro Bridge from 125th Street to the stadium. Children are dressed in finery; baby carriages are decorated with balloons; banners are sold by hawkers along the bridge. Chartered buses bring the faithful to the fiesta from three neighboring states; buses bring children and bands to play in the great procession that precedes the Mass in honor of San Juan.

On the grassy fringes of Randall's Island, picnic tables are set up by young mothers and old people who cannot withstand the surge of the crowds. Children are flying kites. Everyone seems to be swaying to the thump of bongo drums. Inside the stadium every seat is filled. Leaflet missals, a small Spanish hymnal, and souvenir "missionary" booklets are distributed gratis. Out on the athletic field a twenty-five-foot gilded cross towers above a huge canvas painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe near the Cardinal's throne.

Just before three o'clock, school bands strike up Spanish marching airs as the Cardinal, hierarchy, dignitaries, Holy Name Societies, and Daughters of Mary Societies are led in procession to the filed. The girls of the Society form a gigantic cross on the filed. Religious floats, tugged onto the filed, represent various aspects of the Mystical Body and are met with applause and shouts of "Vivo Christo Rey!" (Long love Christ the King!). The Mass commentary is in Spanish and English, and the great stadium reverberates with responses to the Mass by this great throng. It is sad, we note, how few of the youngsters are able to sing the hymns that are their heritage of faith, but the older people are radiant as they enjoy one of the few opportunities they have to sing publicly the songs of their childhood. The sermon by a Puerto Rican prelate urges the people to cherish and retain their common religious heritage.

Holy Mass is followed by another procession to the end of the playing field, where a mammoth pinata is broken to mark the beginning of the secular celebration.

Blessing of a bonfire. This blessing may be conferred by the priest outside of the church on the vigil of St. John's feast. A parent may lead the prayer after lighting a family bonfire.

Father: O Lord God, Father almighty, unfailing ray and source of all light, sanctify this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may come unsullied to You who are Light eternal. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Family prayers on the vigil.

Father: I summoned you from your father's house, says the Lord, and made you shepherd of My people

All: I granted you such renown as comes only to the greatest on earth, and no longer did your enemies trouble you.

Father: From the writings of St. Ambrose:

Holy Scripture teaches us to praise not only the lives of those whom we honor, but also the lives of their parents. Then that flawless purity which has been handed down to them as an inheritance will stand out even more clearly in those whom we would praise. What other intention can the evangelist have had in the passage of the Gospel read today, save that of making John the Baptist renowned for his parents as well as for his miracles, his way of life, his mission and his death?

All: Our hearts must wait in readiness on the Lord and serve Him only. Then will He deliver us from our enemies' power.

Father: Let us pray. Grant, almighty God, that Your household may tread the path of salvation, and by following the counsel of John the Precursor, come safely to Him whose coming he foretold, Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Family prayers on the feast itself.

Father: This child is great before God for the hand of the Lord is with him.

All: The Lord has called me from the womb; from my mother's breasts He has been mindful of my name.

Father: From the writings of St. Augustine:

After that most holy day of our Lord's nativity and of our Lady's, we read of no other birthday which is celebrated by the Church save that of John the Baptist. For all other saints and elect of God we keep that day as a feast upon which, their trials completed and the world triumphantly overcome, they were borne from this present life to everlasting eternity. In their case it is the sum of their merits on their last day we honor. With John the Baptist the first day and the very beginnings of his existence were honored. The reason for this was that the Lord wished him to proclaim His coming, lest if He came suddenly and unawares, men might not recognize Him.

Mother: He will usher in the advent of the Lord in the spirit and power of an Elias, preparing for Him a people fit to receive Him.

All: John is his name; many will rejoice at his birth.

Father: Let us pray. O God, this day you have made honorable to us by the birth of John the Baptist. Call forth upon Your people the grace of spiritual joys and direct the souls of all Your faithful into the way of eternal salvation. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and decorations. The lamb cake is particularly appropriate on St. John's day, June 24, since the lamb is the special mark of St. John the Baptist; it is also the symbol for St. Agnes and for all the saints who were shepherds such as Genevieve, Germaine, Patrick, David, Joan of Arc, and Bernadette. It may be used also for patron saints who were bishops because of our Lord's words: "Feed my lambs."


To make a lamb cake you will need a lamb mold (about $1.98 from MS, see Abbreviations), plus the following:

four-minute frosting instant white cake mix flaked coconut

Empty 1 package of instant white cake mix into a bowl. Prepare according to directions on package.

Spoon 1 cup of the batter into three greased and floured custard cups, filling them half full. Pour the remaining batter into the front half of a well greased and floured lamb mold. (Before covering with the back of the mold, we place a toothpick in each ear so that it will not burn and will be stronger for frosting.) Cover with the back of the mold and wire the mold together. Place the mold face down on a baking sheet. Place custard cups on the same baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees), baking the cupcakes 20 to 25 minutes, and the lamb mold 40 to 45 minutes.

Open the mold, removing the back of the mold first. Allow the lamb to cool in the mold for about 5 minutes. Then loosen the cake from the sides of the mold and remove carefully. Stand the lamb cake on the cake-rack until cool. We have found that even if a lamb does not come out in one piece, the parts may be held together very easily with frosting.

Frost the cake with four-minute frosting. Cover with coconut, reserving some to be tinted green and arranged around the mold to represent grass. Use raisins for eyes and nose, and a slice of maraschino cherry for the mouth.


egg water white corn syrup sugar vanilla salt

Combine in the top of a double boiler 1 unbeaten egg white, 3/4 cup of sugar, a dash of salt, 3 tablespoons of water, and 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup. Beat about 1 minute or until thoroughly mixed. Cook over boiling water, beating constantly with egg beater, or at high speed with electric beater for 4 minutes, or until the frosting will stand in peaks. Stir the frosting up from the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally with a rubber scraper, spatula or spoon. Remove from boiling water. Add vanilla and beat 1 minute, or until thick enough to spread.

A lamb cookie-cutter ($.15 from MS, see Abbreviations) may be used to outline the figure on a frosted, round cake. Fill in the outline with white frosting mixed with coconut. For a small child a lamb from the nativity set is placed on top of the nameday cake.

St. John the Baptist is often represented with a banner, the symbol of victory, inscribed with either a cross or the words "Ecce Agnus Dei" (Behold the Lamb of God). This banner may be used on top of the nameday cake, on place-cards, or with the lamb cake.

Also appropriate for this feast would be the crown cake. The crown betokens the martyr's victory over death and sin. Yet another symbol for this nameday is fire. We darken the dining room and light sparklers in balls of ice cream (see Snowballs-On- Fire). A lump of sugar, dipped in some lemon extract, may be put on a marshmallow atop a cupcake for a blazing dessert. Set the lump of sugar afire and it will toast the marshmallow to the child's delight. A flambe dessert (see Cherries Jubilee) is appropriate for grownups.

Suggestions in art. The Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has a painting of the adoration of the Child Jesus by St. John, clothed, as St. Mark tells us, "with camel's hair, and with a leathern girdle about his loins." Gozzoli's painting, "The Dance of Salome and Beheading of St. John the Baptist," hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


September 29

One morning we were grieved to hear television's Captain Kangaroo sing, "A very merry unbirthday to you," for all the children whose birthday it was not! How very sad, we thought, for all the Michaels--Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish--not to know their patron. How unfortunate that they cannot rejoice with the Church on the feast of St. Michael.

The name Michael is usually thought of as an Irish name. In Ireland it rivals the name Patrick in popularity, although it was rarely found until a few hundred years ago. It is the second most popular name for boys in the United States.

Holy Scripture describes Michael as "one of the chief princes" (Dan. 10:13), and as the leader of the heavenly armies in their battle against hell (Apoc. 13:7-8). Angel of the last Judgment, Michael balances the good and the evil on his scales and will sound the trumpet for judgment. The first symbol, the scale, is derived from Daniel 5:27: "Thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting." The reference to the trumpet we find in 1 Cor. 15:52. A coat of armor, emblem of chivalry, may be purchased in a toy kit and used as the top of a nameday cake or as a table centerpiece. A brass scale can be procured with stamps given away at supermarkets.

Nameday prayers. Today the family prays the following:

Father: The Lord, King of archangels.

All: Come, let us adore, alleluia.

Father: I looked up and saw a man standing there clad all in linen and his girdle was of fine gold. Clear as a topaz his body was, like the play of lightning shone his face; and like burning crossets his eyes; arms and legs of him had the sheen of bronze, and when he spoke, it was like the murmur of a throng.

All: He bestows favors on those nations who honor him, and his prayer leads them to the kingdom of heaven, alleluia.

Father: The angel Michael, chief in paradise, to whom the angelic citizens pay honor.

All: Most glorious prince, archangel Michael, be mindful of us here and everywhere; pray ever for us to the Son of God, alleluia, alleluia.

Father: From the writings of Pope St. Gregory the Great:

Michael means "Who is like God!" When any work of remarkable power is to be done, we are told it is Michael who is sent, that from both his action and his name we may understand that none can accomplish what God in His might accomplishes.

All: Salvation belongs to our God, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who ordained the services of angels and men in wonderful order, be pleased to grant that our life on earth may be guarded by those who stand always ready to serve You in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and decorations. In "Cooking for Christ," Florence Berger says that waffles baked in a Gaufrette Iron are traditional for Michaelmas Day. The Scotch bake St. Michael's Bread. Our own specialty is angel food cake from a mix, with chocolate frosting, topped by a knight representing St. Michael. He is not to be confused with a Dior model with long hair, a night dress, and wings.


This cake may be made from your favorite angel food recipe, or as we have it here from a cake mix. The candy-like flavor of the chocolate morsels makes a quick frosting to match the speed of a cake made with angel cake mix. To make this cake you will need:

angel food cake mix corn syrup semi-sweet chocolate morsels milk shortening

Prepare and bake 1 package of angel food cake mix according to the directions on the package. Cool. Melt 1 package (1 cup) of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and 1 tablespoon of shortening over hot (not boiling) water. Stir in 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of milk. Spread as a thin glaze over the top and sides of the angel cake.

Suggestions. Pietro Perugino's "St. Michael" for a boy's home altar may be procured from The Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations). Also available there are medals on chains or key rings at prices ranging from under $2.00 to $10.00. A handsome tile of St. Michael is only $4.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). A very early Michael from Mount Athos is reproduced by Maria Laach for $2.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).

"Stunts and Games for Parties" by Edith Feldhake and Rev. G. Neil may be had for $.25 from the Family Life Bureau (FLB, see Abbreviations) which also carries "Party Planning for Young Adults" ($1.25) by Rev. L. P. Wobids, S.J.

Weary of rock and roll music, we were delighted to hear the children playing a United Artists' recording by the Highwaymen entitled "Michael"; it costs about $1.00 at record shops. The Young Christian Workers' Song Book has numerous verses (from YCW, see Abbreviations).

Michael row the boat ashore, alleluia. Michael row the boat ashore, alleluia.

Sister help to trim the sail, alleluia. Sister help to trim the sail, alleluia.

River Jordan is chilly and cold, alleluia. Chills the body but not the soul, alleluia.

River is deep and the river is wide, alleluia. Milk and honey on the other side, alleluia.

Michael row the boat ashore, alleluia. Michael row the boat ashore, alleluia.


To make a nameday punch for fall feasts of older children you will need:

sugar stick cinnamon water orange juice cloves sweet cider

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 12 whole cloves, and 2 two-inch pieces of cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Simmer 10 minutes; strain. Add two quarts of orange juice and one quart of sweet cider. Re-heat and serve hot from a punch bowl. Float orange "mums" on top. To make mums, cut two-inch rounds from an orange. Press 4 or 5 cloves in the center of each round. Cut one- eighth inch strips with scissors from edge of clove center. Float on top of punch. The yield to this punch is 26 half-cup servings.


Occasionally children do not want traditional nameday cakes. Teen-agers particularly will settle for doughnuts and punch. Would it be excessive ingenuity to regard the doughnut itself as a symbol of immortality, because a ring or circle is without end? To make orange doughnuts you will need:

yeast flour sugar egg orange juice salt orange rind butter or margarine

Add 1 package or cake of dry or compressed yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar to 1-1/4 cups of lukewarm orange juice. Let stand for 5 minutes; stir until the yeast is thoroughly dissolved. Be careful not to overheat the orange juice or it will lose its vitamins. Add 2 tablespoons of grated orange rind and 1-1/2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour; beat well. Cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 degrees F.) about 1 hour. Beat 1 egg, add 1/2 cup of sugar gradually, and beat until light. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of melted margarine or butter that has been slightly cooled. Add to the yeast mixture; beat until smooth. Add about 3 cups of sifted flour, enough to make a soft dough. Turn the dough on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place into on oiled bowl; turn once to bring the greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.

Roll on a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with three-inch floured doughnut cutter. Let rise until double in bulk (about 1 hour). Fry in deep fat (350 degrees) until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on absorbent paper. Roll in granulated sugar.

This will yield about 3 dozen doughnuts for a nameday party. The punch and doughnuts would make good fare for a nameday party after a football game. The slight heating which you give the orange juice does not harm its natural vitamin C goodness to any great extent. The floating mums made from fresh orange add a gala touch.

Frequently parents who begin family religious customs only after their children become "pre-teeners" find lukewarm response. We have yet to see a boy or girl who will not "eat" a feast and enjoy it. And when his or her own nameday is celebrated, just watch the interest mount.


Gabriel, its feminine, Gabrielle, and Raphael, as well as Michael, are names of archangels given to children. For St. Gabriel's day the prayer is:

Father: O God, from among all the angels, You chose the archangel Gabriel as the messenger of the mystery of Your Incarnation. May his intercession in heaven help us as we celebrate his feast on earth. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers; Christ reigns!

On St. Raphael's day the prayer for the nameday is:

Father: O God, who sent the blessed archangel Raphael to accompany Your servant Tobias on his journey, grant that we, Your servants may be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

An angel cake can also be used on the feast of St. Gabriel, whose symbol is a lily; or on the feast of St. Raphael, whose symbols are loaves and fishes, or an ointment jar; Raphael is the guardian of travelers and patron of apothecaries. The cake may be topped with a paper angel (this is used also for Sts. Frances of Rome, Ladislaus, Valerian, and Bl. Augustine Novello). For recipe, see Chocolate Angel Cake.


James the Greater, son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the Evangelist, was called with him to the apostolate by our Lord. The Gospels frequently mention that he was taken aside with Peter and John by Jesus. James was the first of the Twelve to be martyred (Acts 12:2). Our Lord called him "son of thunder" because of his fiery temper. Legend makes him the apostle of Spain; his shrine at Compostela is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Christendom.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. Lord, keep and sanctify Your people that, strengthened by the help of Your apostle James, they may please You by their conduct and serve You with a quiet mind. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

In Spanish the name is Santiago, Iago, Diego, Jayme, or Jaime, a name which the Irish use. James, one of the most popular of men's names. is the English form of Jacob. There are 415 churches in England named after St. James. In Italian the name is Giacomo; in French, Jacques; in Portuguese, Iago, Diogo; in Catalan, Jaume. The Irish form is Seumas (pronounced Sham-us). Jacqueline and Jacquette are feminine forms of the name.

Dessert and decorations. We have a shell mold (from a local hardware store) for baked and frozen desserts for St. James' day. The traditional dessert is the "Coupe St. Jacques" (see Coupe St. Jacques). The lamb cake would designate that St. James was a bishop.

St. James' shield is red with three gold cockle or scallop shells, two above and one below, narrow end upward. The shell in Christian art signifies pilgrimage. A white horse with a white banner and cross and sword for martyrdom are additional symbols that might be used.

Martini's "St. James the Great" hangs in the National Gallery of Art, while Rembrandt's "Praying Pilgrim" is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Reproductions can be purchased from the museums.


On May 11 the Church celebrates the joint feast of Sts. James and Philip, to whom Jesus said, "Follow Me" (Luke 9:60). It is important to read John 14:6-9 to know more about the patron saint of boys called Philip.

St. James the Less (the "younger"), surnamed "the Just," was a cousin of our Lord and the first bishop of Jerusalem, where he was martyred. He is the author of one canonical epistle. Matthew 10:3 and Acts 1:13 designate him as the "son of Alpheus." He is a "brother (i.e., cousin) of the Lord" (Matt. 13:55; Gal. 1:19), and is probably the James of Acts 15:13; 21:18 .

The prayer for the feast of Sts. Philip and James is as follows:

Father: O holy and just ones, rejoice in the Lord, alleluia.

All: God has chosen you to be His own, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You gladden us by the yearly festival of Your apostles Philip and James; grant that we who rejoice in their merits may be taught by their example. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn (sung to the melody of: "Come, Holy Ghost")

All: Now let the earth with joy resound And heaven the chant re-echo round; Nor heaven nor earth too high can raise The great Apostles' glorious praise!

Sickness and health your voice obey, At your command they go or stay; From sin's disease our souls restore, In good confirm us more and more.

So when the world is at its end And Christ to judgment shall descend, May we be called those joys to see Prepared from all eternity.

Praise to the Father, with the Son And Paraclete forever one: To Thee, O holy Trinity, Be praise for all eternity. Amen.

Dessert and decorations. For St. James, the dessert might be a star cake, a martyr's cake, a lamb cake, or a loaf of feastday bread. He has a red shield with a silver star and a halberd or hatchet. The saw is another symbol for him. At ninety-six years of age, it is said, his body was sawn asunder.

The book cake (see A Genoise Book Cake) with a tall slender cross is used for St. Philip; the cross cake or the crown cake are also suitable. Philip's symbols are a vertical gold spear, possible instrument of martyrdom, on a red shield, or, much better, a tall slender cross and two loaves of bread on a red shield (John 6:7). An excellent marble relief of St. Philip by Bregno may be seen at the W. R. Nelson Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri. You may inquire about reproductions (WRN, see Abbreviations).

St. Philip Benizi is the best-known Servite saint. Others by this name are Blessed Philip Powell, a Benedictine martyred at Tyburn, and Blessed Philip Howard, earl of Arundel and Surrey, who died in the tower after ten years of imprisonment. Philip of Jesus, a Carmelite from Mexico, was the first martyr of Japan.

Our favorite saint of this name is St. Philip Neri, founder of the Congregation of the Oratory and "second apostle" of Rome. Of him Phyllis McGinley has written:


When Philip Neri walked abroad, Beside Tiber, praising God, They say he was attended home By half the younger set of Rome. Knight, novice, scholar, boisterous boy, They followed after him with joy, To nurse his poor and break his bread And hear the funny things he said. For Philip Neri (by his birth A Florentine) believed in mirth, Holding that virtue took no harm, Which went with laughter arm in arm. Two books he read with most affection-- The Gospels and a joke collection-- And sang hosannas set to fiddles, And fed the sick on soup and riddles.6

A rosary of silver dragees is an appropriate decoration for St. Philip Neri's day. So is the book cake with an angel (see Genoise Book Cake).

In French, Philip is Phillipe; in Greek, Phillipos; in German, Philipp; in Italian, Filippo; in Polish and Swiss, Filip; and in Hungarian, Filep.

Statues of Sts. James the Less and Philip cost $8.50 (from RC, see Abbreviations).


Robert is a name used in eight languages and in twenty different forms. Fourth most popular name for boys today, its diminutives are Rob, Bob, Bobby, and Robin, made famous by the outlaw hero of British folklore, Robin Hood, and Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh fame.

The name Robert was borne by three saintly abbots, by Robert Flower, hermit, and by eleven beatified martyrs of England. The most notable of the beati was the Jesuit Robert Southwell, who shares the laurels of the English Jesuit province with Gerard Manley Hopkins. "The Burning Babe" and "Triumph over Death" are Southwell's best known works. A plaque of Blessed Robert costs $3.50 (from AMS, see Abbreviations).


As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow, Surprised was I with sudden heat which made my heart to glow; And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near, A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear; Who, scorched with excessive heat, such flood of tears did shed, As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed. "Alas," quoth he, "but newly born in fiery hearts I fry, Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I. My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns, Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns; The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals; The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls: For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good, So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood." With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away, And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

Most illustrious of saints by this name is the Jesuit Robert Bellarmine, cardinal, confessor, Doctor of the Church, whose career included teaching theology at Louvain, teaching and preaching in Rome, working on the Vulgate Bible, and presiding as rector of the Roman College. Immense audiences flocked to hear the lectures from which originated his four-volume Discourses. "We elect him cardinal," said Pope Clement VIII in bestowing the red hat, "because in learning there is none who equals him in the Church of God." Later St. Robert headed the Vatican Library. He was an eminent polemicist and the foremost teacher against the erroneous doctrines of the sixteenth-century reformers.

Dessert and decorations. A book cake on St. Robert Bellarmine's feast denotes that he is a Doctor of the Church as well as the author of the Catechism of Christian Doctrine still used in Italy and published in sixty languages. The crown on the cake recalls the psalmist's words: "O Lord, You welcomed him with goodly blessings; You set upon his head a crown of pure gold" (Ps. 20:5).

The chief badge of a cardinal, the red hat with fifteen tassels to a side, may be drawn on place-cards or enlarged as a symbol for a shield at a child's shrine. We have dressed boy dolls as Jesuit saints and cut others from paper sculpture for our children's altar.

A beautifully hand-carved Italian statue of St. Robert Bellarmine costs about $15.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations). A tiny wooden statue for a nameday cake top costs about $1.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations). A small plaque of St. Robert may be ordered from BER (see Abbreviations) for $2.50. A handsome sterling and enamel medal costs $10.00 (LAS, see Abbreviations).

"The Face of the Saints" by Wilhelm Schamoni, translated by Anne Fremantle, contains a portrait of Robert Bellarmine by Passerotti (Jesuit College of Chamartin de la Rosa, Madrid). Your local library or bookshop may have a copy. "St. Robert Bellarmine" by James Brodrick is a biography for parents to read (from RC, see Abbreviations).

Prayer for Robert, Roberta, and Robin.

Father: Let us pray. O God, Your bishop and Doctor of the Church, Robert Bellarmine, You adorned with admirable learning and courage to expose the snares of error and uphold the right of the Apostolic See; let his merits plead with You and grant that we may grow in love of truth and that the hearts of those who stray may find their way back to the unity of Your Church. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


David, king and prophet, psalmist and ancestor of our Lord, was "the beloved," and "the man after God's own heart" a type of Christ in the Old Testament and one of the most lovable characters in history.

Father: Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel, blessed from the beginning to the end of time.

All: Yours, Lord, the magnificence, Yours the power; splendor and glory and majesty are Yours.

Father: To You all that is in heaven, all that is on earth belongs; to You the kingdom, and the prince that is without peer.

All: Riches and honor come from You; all things obey Your will.

Father: From You power comes and dominion. Only Your hand exalts, only Your hand makes strong.

All: To You, then, we pay homage this day; to Your glorious Name we bring renown.

Father: Praise the Lord, ye gentiles.

All: Amen. St. David, pray for us.

A crown cake , a musical notation cake, a book cake (see A Genoise Book Cake), or the Star of David cream pie may be used on this feast. David's attribute is a harp. A six-pointed star design reminds the namesake of our Lord, who said: "I, Jesus, am the root and stock of David, the bright morning star" (Apoc. 22:16).

If you look for cookie cutters in the houseware departments of large stores, you will sometimes find a six-pointed star. They can be ordered by mail from MS (see Abbreviations). They can be used to cut cranberry sauce or pie crusts into a six-pointed star to place atop a pie, or to make cookies. Six-pointed stars can be cut from gold paper to carry out the theme. A cake pan with six points is available for about $8.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations). This tin can be used for molded desserts or for the Scripture Cake.

Andrew Verrocchio's "David" in terra cotta is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Events in David's life are commonly depicted in Renaissance art. These include: the anointing of David (1 Sam. 16:12, 13); David playing the harp (1 Sam. 16:23); David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17); and David dancing before the ark of the covenant (2 Sam. 6:12f). A reproduction of Verrocchio's sculpture can be obtained from LAS (see Abbreviations); "King David Adoring" by Fra Eustachio is also available there. Your local museum may have color prints for a David for his nameday, the Sunday before Christmas.

St. David of Wales has a dove for a symbol; his feastday prayer is under Confessor-Bishops.


This is a recipe which may be used for any of the saints of the Old Testament. We begin with custard ingredients--eggs, milk, and sugar. To these is added unflavored gelatine. No baking is necessary. Whipped cream and beaten egg whites folded into the filling give smoothness and height, which the gelatine captures and holds safe for taste enjoyment. To make this pie you will need:

gelatine eggs sugar vanilla salt heavy cream milk pie shell strawberries

Mix 1 envelope of unflavored gelatine with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in the top of a double boiler. Stir in 1-1/4 cups of milk. Place over boiling water and stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Beat 2 egg yolks slightly. Slowly pour a small amount of the hot mixture over egg yolks, stirring rapidly. Return egg mixture to the double boiler and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the spoon--about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Chill until the mixture is slightly thicker than the consistency of unbeaten egg white. Beat 2 egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in another 1/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the gelatine mixture and 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped. Turn into a baked pie shell. Chill until firm. At serving time garnish the top of the pie with sliced strawberries to form a star of David.


Father calls me William, Sister calls me Will, Mother calls me Willie, But the fellers call me Bill!

The American poet Eugene Field has explained this popular name. Its English forms include Wilmot, Willie, and Billy; German, Wilhelm; French, Guillaume; Dutch, Willem; Latin, Gulielmus; Italian, Guglielmo; Spanish, Guillermo; Swedish, Wille; and Scottish, Wullie. The Irish form of the name is Liam (pronounced lee-am), making St. William a patron of boys called Lee.

Among the English martyrs we find Blessed William Howard, who serves as patron for both William and Howard, and Blessed William Ireland, a Jesuit hung, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. St. William of Bourges, whose symbol is a monstrance, was a Cistercian archbishop of Bourges; William of Eskill was a Benedictine who labored in Denmark; his symbol is a torch. St. William of Maleval has as his symbol a coat of armor because he had spent many years on pilgrimages before founding his monasteries. St. William of Gellone, regarded as an ideal Christian knight, is represented by armor, a book and staff.

Prayers for the feastday of St. William of Vercelli would be:

Father: God's honor devolved upon him, and the Lord strengthened him with fearful powers;

All: God wrought swift miracles at his words and sustained him in the king's presence. He gave him the commandments for his people, and revealed to him His glory.

Father: For his trustworthiness and meekness God selected him from all mankind.

All: He permitted him to hear His voice, and led him into the cloud, where, face to face, He gave him the commandments, the law of life and understanding.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who to help our weakness has given us Your saints for our pattern and protection as we tread the path to salvation, grant that we may so revere the merits of the blessed abbot William of Vercelli as to secure his advocacy and to follow in his footsteps. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. We celebrate St. William's day with flambe desserts such as Cherries Jubilee, Sundaes-on-Fire, or Snowballs-on-Fire. St. William's symbols are a wolf, a lily, fire, and the passion flower.

A statue of St. William comes from Morehouse-Barlow for about $15.00 (MB, see Abbreviations); a suitable medal is available from the Little Art Shop in a wide range of prices beginning at $1.50 (LAS, see Abbreviations).


St. Thomas the Apostle is called "Didymus," meaning "twin." All we know about him is derived from the Gospel narrative (John 20:24f). Patron of builders, he has as his emblem in art a red shield with a carpenter's square and a vertical spear, the instrument of his martyrdom. A fine example of this shield can be seen at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in New York City. In Spanish the name is Tomas; in Polish, Tomasz; in Italian, Tommasso. St. Thomas is also the patron of girls called Tammie and Thomasina.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: You have learned to believe, Thomas, because you have seen Me.

All: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have learned to believe, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. Grant us, O Lord, to glory in the solemn festival of Your apostle Thomas. May his patronage ever help us and may we at all times imitate his faith with suitable devotion. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: see James the Less and Philip

Dessert and decorations. The lamb, ship, or crown cake are all suitable for St. Thomas' feast. A cake decorated with arrows is also meaningful.

A 45 rpm. record narrated by Janet Lennon and entitled "St. Thomas the Apostle" is sold for $1.49 by the Sisters of St. Joseph (SSJ, see Abbreviations). A statue of the saint is also available for $8.50 (from RC, see Abbreviations).

Among the saints who bear this name is St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican, Doctor of the Church, and patron of students. Surnamed the "Angelic Doctor," he is known for his work, the "Summa Theologica." His wonderful learning was due less to his genius than to the effectiveness of his prayer. He derived more light from the crucifix than from books.

On his feast Dominicans sing a rhymed office which his namesakes might learn by heart. It can also be used for the family's prayers on his feast.

Father: This is St. Thomas' festal day, Celestial doctor of the King; Let Mother Church in prayerful lay Devoutly all his praises sing.

All: While all the Church enjoys the aid The Angelic Doctor doth bestow, St. Dominic's fold by him is made To share with glory's special glow.

Father: O Doctor of the faithful here below, Fair blossom of virginity unstained, St. Thomas, grant that we may come to know The joys which thy triumphant state hath gained.

All: St. Thomas, Doctor of the Church divine, Italia's star, to all the world a light, A virgin with chaste lily shining bright, The twofold crown of glory now is thine.7

Father: Let us pray. O God, You enlightened Your Church with the wonderful learning of blessed Thomas, Your confessor, and made it fruitful by his holy works; grant us, we pray, both to understand what he taught and to follow the example of his life. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The star, St. Thomas Aquinas' symbol, signifies the divine guidance given him in his work. A chalice and host are also used as symbols. A star cake-tin and a star cookie-cutter, or a sunburst dessert mold are a delight to a child who likes to help prepare nameday dessert; small children may cut out stars or stick gummed stars on place-mats or paper plates.

For dessert you might make a book cake inscribed with our Lord's words: "You have written well of Me, Thomas" (this can be done with "Cake-Mate"). A dove on a book cake, a rosary cake, or a crown cake are other suggestions.

A handsome statue of St. Thomas Aquinas is supplied by Contemporary Christian Art (CCA, see Abbreviations); the price range is from $12.00 to $20.00. It is a lifetime gift and an object of true devotion.

St. Thomas More was an ideal Christian, a model husband and father. He was devout and cheerful, a scholar and a humanist, having been Lord Chancellor of England. He was beheaded in the Tower Hill. The Frick Collection (FC, see Abbreviations) exhibits a painting, "St. Thomas More," by Holbein. It shows what a saint really looks like--not the sugar-coated figures we are accustomed to. For lawyer-fathers who claim this patron and for children named after him, a slide of Holbein's "Thomas More" may be obtained from the Frick Collection for about $1.25. Reproductions of the painting are also available, from postcard to twenty-inch sizes.

St. Thomas of Canterbury, bishop and martyr at the hands of King Henry II's knights, was canonized by the people at once, and formally canonized by the Holy See three years later. His shrine has made Canterbury one of the most famous cities in Christendom. His symbol is a church or a sword.

St. Thomas of Villanova, an Augustinian bishop, is particularly remembered for his love of the poor. He has left a number of theological writings. The book cake is his dessert; a bag of foil-covered chocolate discs (coins) is his symbol.


"Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people" (Acts 6:8). A deacon at Jerusalem, the first martyr for Christ died praying: "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60). His feast, the day after Christmas, makes him a bright star in the galaxy of saints surrounding the newborn King.

Father: Christ the Newborn today crowned Stephen.

All: Come, let us adore Him.

Father: Let us pray. Grant us, O Lord, to imitate what we revere that we may learn to love even our enemies, for we celebrate the birthday to immortality of him who could even plead on behalf of his persecutors with Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns.

The crown cake or a dessert for martyrs is appropriate. Francia has painted the martyr St. Stephen, a color print of which is available (from LAS, see Abbreviations). Other forms of the name are Steven, Istvan, Etienne, Estevan, and Stefan.


Richard of Chichester studied at Oxford and at Bologna, and later became chancellor of Oxford University and diocesan chancellor to St. Edmund Rich, Archbishop of Canterbury. When Edmund retired to a Cistercian monastery in France, Richard accompanied him and nursed him until his death. Two years later Richard was ordained in Orleans and returned to England as a parish priest. He was appointed bishop of Chichester but was prevented by Henry III from taking possession of the see for two years. In his eight- year episcopate Richard won the hearts of his people, was a stern reformer of the clergy, and a great almsgiver.

The crosier, regarded as the mark of mercy, firmness and correction, and the mitre, symbol of authority, are used for Richard's feastday decorations. "Belgian gold," foil-covered disks of chocolate, can be used to signify his almsgiving. A store cake with a gold paper chalice, another favorite symbol for St. Richard, a crown cake or a lamb cake can be used on this nameday.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, graciously hear the prayers we offer on the feast of Your confessor-bishop Richard. Forgive us all our sins through the merits of this saint who served You so well upon earth. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns.

Another St. Richard, father of Sts. Walburga, Willibald, and Winebald, is revered as "King" Richard at Lucca and Heidenham. Since the crown is his attribute, the crown cake would be an appropriate dessert. His nameday prayer is under Confessors.

Suggestions. An interesting tile of St. Richard of Chichester may be ordered for about $5.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). The Little Art Shop carries a St. Richard medal (LAS, see Abbreviations). Ave Maria Shop has a King St. Richard prayer on a card for about $.15 (AMS, see Abbreviations). A little statue from Germany to delight a Richard or Richardine costs only $1.00 and is ideal to top a nameday cake (from RC, see Abbreviations). "Richard" by M. K. Richardson is an excellent book for eight- year-olds (from SW, see Abbreviations).


Ranking among the most popular names is Gerald. for whom there is a choice of patrons. Gerald of Aurillac founded a Benedictine abbey on his estate and lived a holy life "in the world." His nameday crown-cake denotes that he was crowned a count on earth and a saint in heaven. A castle cut-out may be used as a decorative table piece; the prayer said would be that of a confessor.

Our favorite is Gerald of Mayo, a monk of Lindisfarne who with thirty English novices accompanied St. Colman to Ireland after the Synod of Whitby. Things were no different then--the English and Irish monks did not agree in Colman's foundation. Gerald founded and ruled a house for English monks in Ireland called "Mayo of Saxons," which flourished exceedingly. His nameday is kept by putting a little church on a cake, or letting Gerald or Geraldine construct a cake church in his honor. A tiny church costs $2.50, a honey cake to decorate as a church, $2.00 (from MS, see Abbreviations).

An original watercolor, expensive but worth it, may be procured by special order from Patronscraft (see PC, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. May the intercession of Your abbot Gerald gain us Your favor, we pray, O Lord, and may his advocacy win for us that which we do not ourselves deserve. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Boys called Gary were usually named for the movie idol, convert to Catholicism, Gary Cooper, who died with the words "Thy will be done" on his lips. He selected his screen name, to replace his baptismal name Frank, from the name of the city Gary in Indiana, he once revealed. A saint whose name is pronounced the same is Gery, who for thirty years was bishop of Cambrai. Attwater says that St. Magnericus was "much delighted with St. Gery's sanctity and talents and ordained him deacon (but not till he knew the whole psalter by heart); from that moment on the saint redoubled his fervor in good works, and applied himself with zeal to the functions of the sacred ministry, especially the instruction of the faithful." The beginnings of the city of Brussels are attributed to him, for he built a chapel on an island in the Senne (now Place Saint-Gery) around which a village grew up.

His symbols of ecclesiastical authority are a mitre and sceptre. A lamb cake or a church atop a nameday cake, or perhaps a lighted church ($2.50 from MS, see Abbreviations) are fitting remembrances on his feastday. A child might use a village from a Nativity scene to represent Brussels as a nameday table decoration.

A watercolor original of St. Gery is available at Patronscraft (PC, see Abbreviations). It is expensive because it is an original and beautiful.


Ronald is the Scotch equivalent of Reginald but is derived from the Norse version of the name, Rognvalder. The patron is Blessed Reginald of Orleans, who met St. Dominic at Rome and immediately joined his new order of friars. Tradition holds that it was to Reginald that Our Lady appeared and made known the wish that the Dominicans wear the white wool scapular. Reginald organized the priory in connection with the University of Bologna and had immense success preaching and recruiting new members into the order.

His symbol is a fountain, an allusion to a vision of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, who saw a crystal-clear fountain spring forth in the Dominican church of St. James, and as suddenly fail. A rosary of silver or gold "shot" may be used on his nameday cake. Or the name can be written on the cake with Cake-Mate, a gel available from MS (see Abbreviations) or at supermarkets.

Sister Mary of the Compassion does original drawings of Blessed Reginald for boys called Ronald and Reginald and of other Dominican saints (SMC, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, once You gifted Your confessor Reginald with the singular protection of Your most holy Mother; now grant us by his merits and prayers to be strengthened by the perpetual aid of the same ever-glorious Virgin. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Laurence ranks very high as a popular name for boys. St. Ambrose gives an account of the saint. "Holder of the ecclesiastical purse, guardian of the account books and keys, Laurence found himself, after the pope, the chief personage in the Christian community. The prefect of Rome sent for him and enjoined him to deliver up his treasure. Having foreseen confiscation, Laurence had changed the property he administered into cash and passed it out as alms." Ambrose praises him for having acted in this way. "It is a breach of trust," he wrote, "for the riches of the Church to be put to one's own use; but it is an act of charity to use them in ransoming captives and helping the poor."

Laurence asked for time to inventory his treasures. He came back the next day followed by a crowd of beggars. "Behold the treasures of the Church," he said. Furious, the magistrate condemned the archdeacon to be roasted over a slow fire. He had him stretched on a gridiron, believing that this long frightful torture would make the sufferer reveal the whereabouts of the riches he was hiding. Laurence showed admirable courage, and even a sense of humor in these painful moments. "My flesh is well cooked on one side," he said to his tormentor: "turn the other and eat." He died praying for Rome.

Forms of the name include Lawrence, Loren, Lorcan, Laurens Lawrie, Laurent, Laurenz, and Lauritz. He is also the patron of girls named Laure, Laura, Laurie, Lauretta, Laurinda, and Laurice. Other saints by this name are the Capuchin Laurence of Brindisi; Laurence Justinian, mystical writer, bishop, and first patriarch of Venice; and the Irish archbishop of Dublin, Laurence O'Toole. Blessed Laurence Humphrey, an English martyr, was only twenty when he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Winchester for his conversion to the Catholic faith. Blessed Laurence Rukeimon, a Japanese sailor, was beheaded for the faith at Nagasaki, as was Blessed Laurence Jamada, a Dominican tertiary and a son of a martyr, Blessed Michael.

"St. Laurence Distributing the Treasures of the Church" by Fra Angelico, a famous reproduction, may be obtained from the Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations), which also has medals of St. Laurence ranging from $1.50 to $12.50.

Flaming desserts make a dramatic nameday treat for children named after St. Laurence. Fire or flames are symbols of both martyrdom and religious fervor. In connection with the apostles, fire signifies the coming of the Holy Spirit to them. Fire is the special attribute of Sts. Patrick, Anthony of Padua, and Laurence.

Many saints extinguished fire by prayer: Aidan, Florian, Germain, and Lambert of Maastricht. Others suffered ordeals by fire: Francis of Assisi, Peter Gonzales, Peter Igneus, Rose of Viterbo, and Agatha. Supernatural fire is featured in the lives of others; Spiridion, Patrick, Dominic, Kentigern, and Basil the Great.

A jiffy dessert "on fire" for a small child consists of cupcakes, sugar cubes, marshmallows, and fresh lemon extract. Place a marshmallow on each cupcake. Saturate a sugar cube with lemon extract and place on the marshmallow. Light the sugar cubes. They will flame and toast the marshmallow, giving the children an exciting dessert.


A really festive meal is one with "fireworks." Coconut snowballs, for instance. These are brought into a darkened dining room with Fourth-of-July sparklers afire in the coconut balls. This is a dish which a busy mother can put together hours or even weeks ahead of time and keep in the freezer for spur-of-the-moment festivities.

Use scoops or balls of ice cream. Roll them in coconut. Thin, tender flakes are better than shreds because they are more moist and have a fresher flavor. The coconut balls are placed in the freezer for at least an hour, but, as we say, they may be left for weeks. At serving time cover the bottom of a sherbet glass about one-half inch deep with your favorite chocolate sauce. Place the coconut-crusted ice cream ball on top of the sauce, and insert Fourth-of-July sparklers into each ball. Turn out the lights in the dining room and bring in the sparkling dessert.


Bing cherries kirsch corn starch ice cream

Pour the juice from a pint jar of pitted Bing cherries into the top pan of a chafing dish or double boiler. Bring the juice to a boil. Thicken it with 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch dissolved in a tablespoon of cold water. Then add the cherries. Stir them in the sauce until they are heated through. Pour over the cherries 2 ounces of kirsch and blaze. Serve the flaming cherries over 1 pint vanilla ice cream. Makes 4 servings.


Pour a "fifth" of red table wine, such as claret, into a heavy saucepan, along with 1/4 cup of sugar, 8 cloves, 1 stick of cinnamon, and the peel of a lemon sliced thin and cut into slivers. Cover, and bring almost, but not quite, to a boil.

At serving time, ladle the hot glow wine into heated mugs and garnish each with a slice of orange. On the rim of the mug rest a teaspoon which has been warmed in hot liquid; into it place a lump of sugar and pour over the sugar a little brandy which has been warmed. This lump of sugar is set afire on each mug. Dramatically the glowing wine is brought to the table to honor the nameday child.


We are starred from baptism--though the taints Of infidelities divert us, Patrons shall convert us. We are called after the saints; We shall find, having left the years, That untouched of tiredness, tears, And flesh, Illumined Region.8

If you want to win a bet from your best friends, ask them to tell you the most popular name for girls in America today. You can be generous. In fact, you can give them five guesses and they probably will not come up with the right answer. They will probably guess Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, or Ann. They will be wrong because the most popular name for girls in the last ten years is Linda, according to the American Institute of Public Opinion. This name is followed by Mary, which dropped from first to second place for the second time in eighty years. Deborah, Susan, Carol, Patricia, Catherine, Margaret, Barbara, and Karen follow in that order. High, but not among the first ten, are Sharon, Nancy, Elizabeth, Anne, Judith, Carolyn, and Janice. In the coming decade Carolyn will in all probability become Caroline because of President John F. Kennedy's daughter, and the name will become more popular. Fads in girls' names are more common than among boys' names.

Compilation of the list of most popular names represents the first attempt to do this job on a nation-wide basis. Results are based on an accurate cross-section of all people of all ages from Maine to California. First names of each member of the family were recorded, and the popularity of names was recorded decade by decade from the turn of the century. Each section of the country, each racial, religious, and income group was properly represented.


Rosalinda, "pretty rose," was her family's name for the Dominican mystic of Spanish birth, St. Rose of Lima, the first flower of sanctity in the New World, and its first canonized saint. Linda by itself is a Spanish adjective meaning "beautiful" or "pretty." Rosalinda is patron of girls called Rosalind, Lynd, Linda, Roslyn, Lynn, and Rosamund.

St. Rose of Lima was a contemplative living in the world who de- voted herself to works of charity while living a life of extreme austerity in her native Peru. Her name in the Third Order of St. Dominic was Sister Mary Rose. A marvelous gardener, she lived in a hut in her garden; here the poor and sick among the Indians, Negroes and Spaniards came for help, for free medicine, for advice and prayers. Our Lord called her "Rose of My Heart." At her canonization Rose of Lima was proclaimed patroness of South America and the Philippines.

Dessert and decorations. The crown-cake for St. Rose recalls the psalmist's words: "You have set on her head a crown of precious stones" (Ps. 20). Roses of icing or a rosary of silver dragees may be used to top the cake; edible rosebuds of icing for petits fours or cupcakes are available (from MS, see Abbreviations). The lily is a symbol of virginity and chastity. Combined with roses, the lily is the attribute of the virgin-saint. The rose cake (see Rose Petal Coconut Cake) is another suggestion.

"Linda" by M. K. Richardson is a patron-saint book about Rose of Lima for a small girl's nameday (about $2.00, from RC, see Abbreviations). "The Face of the Saints" by Wilhelm Schamoni, translated by Anne Fremantle, includes a reproduction of a portrait of the saint by Angelino Medora, an Italian artist living in Peru during her lifetime (available from RC, see Abbreviations). The only documented likeness of St. Rose of Lima, it was painted posthumously. The artist had studied her face and could have executed the painting during her lifetime, but in her humility she forbade him. When she lay dead, crowned with a gar- land of roses taken from the statue of St. Catherine of Siena, her favorite model, Medora painted the portrait, which is now in the Santuario de Santa Rosa in Lima. The only reproduction of fine art that we know to be available for Linda's home shrine is a delightful "St. Rosa" by Tiepolo ($4.00; from LAS, see Abbreviations). Sister Mary of the Compassion does original drawings of St. Rose of Lima on special order (SMC, see Abbreviations).


(can be sung to the melody of: Come, Holy Ghost)

Let all the dwellers of the earth Keep Rose's feast with holy mirth, And chant her praises with the sun From early morn till day is done.

Her unoffending flesh she bruised In wondrous ways, and sore abused. With thorny crown she crowned her head With bitter gall she mixed her bread.

Rejoicing now for penance done-- For thus the great reward she won-- She follows in the Lamb's fair train And sings the virgins' new refrain.

Be praise and honor all the time To Him who gave these gifts sublime; Blest Three in One, and One in Three, Our God who reigns eternally.9

Father: The Lord, King of virgins.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. Almighty God, from You comes every good gift. It pleased You that blessed Rosalinda should blossom as a flower of purity and patience in the Indies under the shower of Your heavenly grace; may we, Your servants, follow the fragrance of her sweetness so that we too may become a pleasing offering to Christ, who lives and reigns with You forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The prayer for a virgin's feast is said on the namedays of St. Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo; St. Rose of Viterbo, a Fran- ciscan tertiary to whom many marvels are attributed; Blessed Roseline, a Carthusian nun who had the gift of reading hearts; and Blessed Rose Veneri, who organized schools, recruited and trained teachers, who after her death were formed into a religious congregation by her friend, St. Lucy Filippini. Their symbol is the rose.


Deborah, the third most popular name given to American girls in the last decade, ranks next to Mary in popularity. Sorry to say, most of the girls with this name were no doubt named after a movie star; they have probably never heard of the biblical prophetess and judge Deborah, whose hymn of thanksgiving, the famous "Canticle of Deborah" (Judg. 5), concludes the story of this ancient "Joan of Arc" who led her people to victory in a battle at Thabar.

God endowed Deborah with prophetic gifts which secured for her the veneration of the divided tribes of Israel and gave her such authority over them that she led them to war and victory. A judge in the ordinary sense of the word, "she sat under a palm tree, which was called by her name, between Rama and Bethel, in Mount Ephraim, and the children of Israel came up to her for all judgment" (Judg. 4:5).

In Hebrew, Deborah signifies "honey bee," itself a symbol of regal power and tireless activity. The feastday of this prophetess is the Sunday before Christmas. The prayer is that to a patron saint (see Ruth). The dessert with honey (see Honey Chiffon Pie) or the crown cake is used.

A tile of Deborah costs about $5.00 at Contemporary Christian Art (CCA, see Abbreviations). Another Deborah, the Celtic equivalent of Gobnait (name of an Irish abbess), is given under Abina, Deborah, Abigail, Gail.


Chaste Susanna is the heroine of the Judgment of Daniel, as set forth in the book of Daniel (ch. 13). She was saved by this inspired youth, whose superior wisdom put to shame her false accusers and secured their punishment. Another Susanna is mentioned in Luke 8:1-3: "And it came to pass afterwards that he was journeying through towns and villages.... And with him were the Twelve, and certain women: Mary...and Joanna,...and Susanna, and many others, who used to provide for them out of their means."

Most famous of the patrons for Susan is the virgin-martyr St. Susanna, daughter of the learned St. Gabinius and niece of St. Caius, Pope. According to "Butler's Lives of the Saints," "she was as beautiful as she was charming and so highly educated that her scholarship matched that of her learned father. Sought in marriage by the emperor's son, she declared herself the bride of Christ and would take no earthly husband." Messengers of the emperor, Claudius and Maximus, were converted to Christianity by Susanna,, as was her father. All three were martyred before Susanna, who was beheaded. Claudius and Maximus are honored on February 18, and Gabinius the following day.

Blessed Susanna Cobroje, wife of Blessed Asaki, was beheaded in the Japanese martyrdom of Nagasaki. Her nameday prayer is given under Women Martyrs, her nameday dessert is Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert.

Father: The Lord, King of virgins.

All: Come, let us adore.

Mother: Son of a Virgin, Maker of Thy Mother, Thou rod and blossom from a stem unstained, Now while a virgin fair of fame we honor, Hear our devotion.

Death nor the rending pains of death appalled her; Bondage and torment found her undefeated: So by the shedding of her blood she attained Heavenly guerdon.

Fountain of mercy, hear the prayer she offers, Purge our offenses, pardon our transgression, So that hereafter we to Thee may render Praise with all thanksgiving.10

Father: Let us pray. O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood; may the example of Your virgin-martyr Susanna, whose heavenly birthday we celebrate today, draw us close to You. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

One can get a little wooden statue of St. Susanna made in Germany (from RC, see Abbreviations). This import will delight a child when centered on a nameday cake. Medals and booklets of this patron come from the Paulist Fathers, St. Susanna Church, Rome, Italy ($1.00). A fine tile of St. Susanna for $5.00 is available from CCA (see Abbreviations).

Since the word Susan in Hebrew means "lily," this flower might provide the theme for today's dessert and decorations: icing lilies for the cake (from MS, see Abbreviations); calla lily sandwiches for the nameday luncheon (see Lily Sandwiches); a lily with a crown of martyrdom and the sword on a shield for a home shrine.


Ranking fifth in popularity as a girl's name is Carol or Carole and its diminutives Caroline, Carey, Carolyn, Cheryl, and Carolina--all feminine forms of Charles. Attwater also lists an Irish bishop Carroll as a patron saint's name. Carol, as a boy's name, is Slavonic for Charles.

However, there is a more likely patron for children of the name Carol--Our Lady of the Carol, whose feast is kept in Paris. Chil- dren bearing the name will be happy to find their nameday in the Queen of Hearts Calendar, available for an offering of $1.00 (from MF, see Abbreviations). There is a lovely nameday tile for $5.00 from CCA (see Abbreviations), and a medal from LAS (see Abbreviations).

Father: With heart and mind let us sing praise to Christ on the feast of Our Lady of the Carol, Mother of God.

All: With joy let us celebrate this feast that Mary, Our Lady of the Carol, may intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Father: Let us pray. O God, whose Mother is honored today under the title of Our Lady of the Carol, grant that we may be shielded by her devotion and attain eternal joys. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A small statue of our Blessed Mother may be set atop a cake with musical symbols in keeping this feastday.


Frost loaf cake with white frosting. Melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels over hot (not boiling) water. Force melted chocolate through decorating tube to make a musical staff on top of cake. Dot staff and sides of cake with additional morsels, points in, to form bases of musical notes. With decorating tube make stems of notes. Place row of chocolate morsels around base of cake.

If you have no decorating tube, you can make one by cutting out a triangle of stiff white paper or folded wax paper, rolling it into a hollow cone, secured with scotch tape, and snipping off the pointed end.


Sixth in popularity among the names for girls is Patricia, whose patrons are an almost unknown virgin-martyr St. Patricia and the national apostle of Ireland, St. Patrick.

According to legend, Patricia was a maiden of noble birth who fled from Constantinople to Rome, where she took vows consecrating herself to God. Returning to Constantinople, she distributed her goods among the poor. She died in Naples while returning to Rome. She is honored as a patroness of Naples, and what is believed to be a relic of her blood liquefies there, like that of St. Januarius.

Icing lilies and roses (from MS, see Abbreviations) are the cake decorations for her feast. A lily, symbol of purity, and a crown, her reward, may be used on her nameday shield. The prayer for the day is that of a virgin (see Virgin Saints).

St. Patrick was both an able administrator and a mystic. A little bit of his writings included on p. 143 shows the doctrine he taught. A point always omitted in his biographies, it seems to us, is that the Gaels' love for God's Mother is a lesson from St. Patrick's lips. A year before Patrick was ordered to his mission in Ireland, the Council of Ephesus vindicated Mary's title as Mother of God. The Council defined her unique dignity, an event greeted with extraordinary outbursts of popular enthusiasm. Such memories were fresh in the mind of Patrick when he returned to Ireland, where he had once been a shepherd, to begin his apostolate. His people have called her Mother Mary in their native tongue ever since.


Mention of St. Patrick's Day brings to mind the parade on that day up Fifth Avenue. It may surprise some to learn that there are Patricians who attend Mass at which sermons and the final prayers are in Gaelic. Most memorable of the customs on this day is the blessing of shamrocks which is given in several large cities, at the airport chapel in Boston and in the Scapular Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New York, where we attend with our Myles, born in Cork.

The altar is flanked by two gold harps, which are accompanied by a Stradivarius violin in playing Irish hymns. Symbol of the Book of Psalms and of all songs in God's honor, the harp makes heaven touch earth for us in the crowded church on the East Side.

The service opens in Gaelic. We translate as best we can for Myles the words of the priest, who will summarize his talk in English. As the Gaelic Society Choir, in saffron and white robes with green scroll work, sings Gaelic hymns to the harp accompaniment, who could but recall the verse: "David and all played before God with all their might and with singing and with harps" (1 Chron. 13:8).

A cross-bearer with a copy of the Cross of Cong leads acolytes swinging green lanterns, Carmelite priests, and altar boys, bearing baskets of shamrocks to be blessed, in procession through the church to the shrine of St. Patrick. A priest recites the Act of Faith in Gaelic and blesses the shamrocks. Then the procession goes to the shrine of Our Lady of Knock, where prayers are said before a penal altar stone, a reminder of the time when Mass was forbidden in Ireland.

Flown in by Irish Air Lines, the trefoil plant is still moist when worn with fierce pride at Mass and in the parade as a reminder that Patrick taught the doctrine of the Trinity with the aid of the shamrock to illustrate the mystery.

In New York thousands of non-Irish join in the parade. This is as it should be, don't you think, for the conversion of Ireland was not a local event but ultimately a European one. Christopher Dawson has pointed out that only when the Church was forced from the Greek and Roman organization of Christianity was she able to handle the barbarians. Patrick's mission to Ireland was to a land with no urban life. He organized the Irish Church much differently than the Romanized one on the continent, and as a result his missionaries, centuries after, reached the hunters, fishers, and tillers of Europe by being able to think, speak, and act like them.

Families on pilgrimage will want to visit two well-known shrines to St. Patrick. The cathedral that bears his name in New York is a spacious old building whose lacy twin spires point to God amid the glass and steel of Radio City. On St. Patrick's Day thousands without number honor his relic enshrined on the main altar. Referred to as the "housemaids' cathedral," it was built in great part with the offerings made by cooks and maids from their tips and wages.

Another shrine is St. Patrick's Church in Montreal, which dates back to 1841. Set amid stately elms in the heart of the city, this church of purest twelfth-century Gothic, with its soaring interior and delicately carved stone, is widely admired.

"St. Patrick" by Tiepolo is considered the best art work, according to the director of the National Museum of Ireland, to whom we wrote in connection with the iconography for this nameday (from LAS, see Abbreviations). A handsome St. Patrick, looking like a patriarch and not like a "stage" Irishman, is available from Contemporary Christian Art ($8.00 and up; CCA, see Abbreviations). There is an especially lovely French medal ranging from $1.50 to $30.00, depending on the finish (from LAS, see Abbreviations). A tiny wooden German import of St. Patrick costs about $1.00 and will delight a child when it is placed atop a cake (from RC, see Abbreviations). Morehouse Barlow has a handsome St. Patrick for $10.00 (MS, see Abbreviations).


I arise today Through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's Host to save me. I arise today Through a mighty strength in the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession in the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.11

Father: Go forth out of thy country and from thy kindred, and out of thy father's house, and come to the land that I shall show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation.

All: Give glory to the Lord and call upon His Name; declare His deeds among the Gentiles.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who deigned to send Patrick, con- fessor and bishop, to teach Your glory to a pagan people, mercifully grant that through his merits and intercession we may be able to accomplish the tasks which You have laid upon us. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


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1. Patrick! saintly father, Erin's gift from God. Faithful children gather Where thy feet have trod. Fires of faith were lighted By thine ardent plea; Men, too long benighted, Learned of God through thee.

2. Patrick! by thy teaching, Souls untold were saved; Souls with hope of reaching Christ, beyond the grave. Thou hadst shown the beauty, Men of old had sought; Serving God is duty, They have not forgot.

3. Patrick! aid our praying; Pray'r from the we learned; Pray that souls now straying Unto God beturned. May the light thou gavest Ever brighter grow; May it guide and save us By its holy glow.

Dessert and decorations. A lamb cake, or the lamb from the Na- tivity set atop a cake, recalls that Patrick was a shepherd; a flambe dessert (see Cherries Jubliee), that he lit the Easter vigil fire on the hill of Slane, breaking the law of the pagan Druids; the shamrock molded dessert, that he utilized the plant to teach the mystery of the Trinity. Such molds are found in local houseware stores or at Maid of Scandinavia (MS, see Abbreviations).


1 envelope unflavored gelatine 2/3 cup milk 1/2 cup pineapple syrup 1 cup crushed pineapple, 2 egg yolks well drained 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup heavy cream, whipped 1/3 cup vinegar or 1/2 cup sugar 2/3 cup ice cold evaporated 1/4 teaspoon paprika milk, whipped

Sprinkle 1 envelope of unflavored gelatine on 1/2 cup of pineapple syrup in top of double boiler to soften. Add 2 egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika and 2/3 cup of milk. Beat until blended. Place over hot water and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly.

Remove from heat, then chill until mixture is the consistency of unbeaten egg white; fold in pineapple. Fold gelatine mixture into whipped cream or whipped evaporated milk. Turn into 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Chill. To serve, unmold on salad greens and garnish with shamrock cut from green pepper. Serve with shamrock-shaped sandwiches.

Yield: 8 servings.


Among the ten most popular names for girls are two forms of the same name, the English Catherine and the shortened Danish form Karen. The first St. Catherine was a virgin-martyr whose alleged relics have been enshrined for a thousand years in the Orthodox monastery of Mount Sinai. Her reputation for learning has made her the patron of philosophers, although not a single fact about her has been established. She is called Catherine of Alexandria.

Many saints have felt a special attraction to St. Catherine. Ger- trude the Great saw her in a vision seated on a throne so lofty and magnificent that it seemed her glory was sufficient to have filled the courts of heaven had she been its sole queen; from her crown a marvelous brightness was reflected on her clients. St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, was entrusted by St. Michael to the guidance of St. Catherine and St. Margaret. A chapel dedicated to St. Catherine is contained in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

In art St. Catherine's symbols are a broken wheel on which she was racked, the sword by which she was beheaded, a book to signify her learning, and a crown for her martyrdom; any of these may be used as nameday decorations or on a shield for the home shrine. A reproduction and a slide may be procured from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA, see Abbreviations); the slide, costing about $1.00, can be shown on a home screen or enjoyed through a small slide-viewer. A small Beuronese plaque costs $1.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). Il Correggio's "The Marriage of St. Catherine of Alexandria" can be obtained from The Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations). The nameday prayers for St. Catherine of Alexandria appear under Virgin-Martyrs.

The prayer of a virgin is said for the following Catherines (see Virgin Saints). Catherine Laboure, a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, had the first miraculous medal struck at Our Lady's request; she is commemorated in paintings in Mary's Central Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, Germantown, Pennsylvania. "The Song of the Dove" by M. F. Todd makes a fine nameday gift for a young Catherine (about $3.00, from RC, see Abbreviations).

St. Catherine of Bologna, baker, novice mistress, and then superior of the Poor Clares, had unusual powers of healing the bodies as well as the souls of sinners. Catherine Dei Ricci, a Dominican marked by the stigmata, had ecstasies and the gift of miracles, which brought her to the attention of St. Philip Neri.

The prayer for a holy woman (see Holy Women) is said on the feast of St. Catherine of Vadstena, the daughter of Bridget of Sweden, and a distinguished, beautiful widow. She devoted her later life to charitable works, pilgrimages and the welfare of the Bridgittine Order, of which she became a member. The same prayer is said on the feast of St. Catherine of Genoa, who, despite much unhappiness in her marriage, lived a most intense spiritual life combined with unwearying activity. Her two important documents of mysticism are a treatise on purgatory and "A Dialogue of Soul and Body." The book cake is the special dessert on the feasts of these St. Catherines. A 15-cent pamphlet, "St. Catherine of Genoa" by Rev. James Walsh, C.S.P., is available from the Paulist Press (see PP, see Abbreviations).

There are many forms of the names Catherine and Karen: Kathryn, Caron, Cathy, Katharine, Katrina, Kassia, Kati, Katerina, Catarine, and Kateri. No people loved the name more than the Irish; among them the form Cathleen or Kathleen was made popular by the Dominicans in honor of their patroness, St. Catherine of Siena.

She was one of the truly great women of Christendom. The youngest of twenty-five children, she dedicated herself to a religious life and prayed to her patroness, St. Catherine of Alexandria, that she might have Christ as her heavenly Bridegroom. She was a Dominican tertiary.

Catherine's early life was favored by celestial visions and consolations and was devoted to the care of the poor and the sick. She was radiantly happy, despite continual persecution by friars and sisters of her community, and was full of practical wisdom as well as deepest spiritual insight. It was her devotion to Christ's Church that makes her such a noble figure. Her fame was such that as a result of her persuasions Pope Gregory XI left Avignon to return to Rome. She left over four hundred letters, remarkable for their beauty of diction, and a great mystical work, her "Dialogues."

Two of St. Catherine's favorite maxims, taught to her by our Lord, are pertinent for her namesakes. "You must not love Me, or your neighbor, or yourself, but you must love all for Me alone." And the second: "Make in your soul, as it were, a little spiritual cell closed in with the material of My will, which must so encompass every faculty of your body and soul that you shall never do anything but what you deem pleasing to Me, nor think of anything but what you believe to be agreeable to Me."


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"My daughter, choose!" Christ's dear voice said, "This jewel-bright crown to grace your head, Or this thorny crown instead." Catherine cried out eagerly: "Lord, give Thy thorny crown to me, That I, by suffering grow like Thee!"

Father: Let us pray. Almighty God, we celebrate today the birthday of Your virgin, Catherine of Siena. May her feast fill us with joy and may we profit from the example of her great faith. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

There are so many attributes for this saint that a namesake could grow up celebrating the feast a different way each year. The book cake commemorates her writings; a gold wedding ring on her cake symbolizes her spiritual betrothal to our Lord; white icing doves (from MS, see Abbreviations) signify the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; icing roses and lilies (MS, see Abbreviations) in a wreath stand for a virgin-saint. A heart cake with the letters IHS on it refers to the legend that in response to St. Catherine's prayers, our Savior appeared to her and replaced her heart with His own Sacred Heart. A cross cake might be used, or gummed-paper gold crosses (from MS, see Abbreviations) might be placed on a ready-made cake.

Religious goods stores carry statues, pictures and medals of St. Catherine of Siena. The Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations) has medals of sterling silver for $1.50, enameled ones for about $12.50, and key rings with medals. Hand painted original pictures by the Carmelite nuns of Japan are also available there. Regina Coeli Center (RC, see Abbreviations) specializes in tiny wooden statues for nameday cakes. Our favorite painting is the sixteenth-century Italian "Trance of St. Catherine," a detail of a larger work by Il Sodoma, which depicts the saint after she had received the stigmata (from LAS, see Abbreviations). A handsome statue of carved wood is an import costing about $25.00, but it will last for many years (from FP, see Abbreviations). Sister Mary of the Compassion does a magnificent St. Catherine on special order (SMC, see Abbreviations).

Sigrid Undset's "Catherine of Siena" has a general appeal for parents who wish to read a biography in order to make their storytelling more interesting to their nameday child. "St. Catherine of Siena" by Mary Reed Newland is excellent (both books from RC, see Abbreviations). The Paulist Press puts out a fifteen-cent pamphlet on "St. Catherine of Siena" (PP, see Abbreviations).


Eighth favorite name for girls is the much-loved Margaret. Be- cause great saints have borne the name, it is a world-wide favorite with many variants: Marjory, Peggy, Maggie, Margo, Greta, Meg, Margherita, Margarita, Margot, Marguerite, Marjorie, Maisie, Maret, Marjorita, the German Margarethe with its diminutives, Gretchen and Gretel, and the Gaelic diminutive, Megan. St. Margaret is also the patroness of Pearl and Daisy. In the East she is called Marina.

Margaret was one of the most popular child martyr-saints of the Middle Ages; but nothing is really known about her. Legend says she was beheaded in Antioch. Symbols for her nameday shield include the crown, sword and palm, or a wreath of marguerites (daisies). For dessert we suggest the crown cake decorated with a wreath of roses and lilies of icing (MS, see Abbreviations).

"St. Margaret with Mary Magdalen," a reproduction of Hugo van der Goes' work, is available from the Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations); they also carry a beautiful medal from Paris marked St. Marguerite ($2.00).

The prayer for a virgin-martyr (see Virgin-Martyrs) is said on her feastday.

Most famous of the saints with this name is Margaret Mary Alacoque, saint of the Sacred Heart, the "symbol of that boundless love which moved the Word to take flesh, to institute the holy Eucharist, to take our sins upon Himself, and dying upon the Cross, to offer Himself as a victim and a sacrifice to His eternal Father." A Visitation nun, she learned from a vision of our Blessed Lord that it was His divine will that a liturgical feast be kept in honor of His Sacred Heart and in reparation for man's ingratitude.

A heart-shaped dessert is used on Margaret Mary's day. The Little Art Shop has medals of St. Margaret Mary (LAS, see Abbreviations). Regina Coeli Center (RC, see Abbreviations) carries a miniature figure of Margaret Mary, a German import, to be used atop the nameday cake. The Paulists publish a fifteen-cent pamphlet entitled "St. Margaret Mary" (from PP, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, You wondrously revealed all of the deep treasures of Your Heart to Margaret Mary. May her merits and example win us the grace to love You above all things and in all things so that we may make our abode in Your own Sacred Heart. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Queen Margaret of Scotland, wife of Malcolm, was renowned for her love of the poor. She is the secondary patroness of Scotland. Her nameday dessert, a crown cake, denotes her rank; a book cake would recall the love she had for Sacred Scripture. Margaret's copy of the Gospels is preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Chocolate "coins" wrapped in gold foil are distributed to nameday guests in memory of her generosity.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who filled Queen Margaret with singular and admirable love for the poor, grant that her pleading and example may continually increase divine love in our hearts. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

St. Margaret of Cortona's prayer is that of a holy woman, (see Holy Women); she is the Magdalen of the Seraphic Order. St. Margaret of Hungary lived an extraordinary life of self-denial as a Dominican nun. Her nameday prayer is that of a virgin (see Virgin Saints); her dessert, a crown cake or a Nun's Lemon Layer Cake with a rosary of dragees on the frosting.

There are many Margarets in the lists of the saints. Our favorites are the martyr Blessed Margaret Clitherow, put to death during the English Reformation, and Blessed Margaret of Citta-di-Castello, a foundling, who spent her life looking after children for their mothers. Her feastday dessert is a crown cake or heart mold; her prayer is that of a virgin (see Virgin- Saints).


"In the time that Maximus reigned there was a rich man Diascorus who had a young daughter named Barbara, for whom he made a strong two-windowed tower in which he did keep and close her so that no man should see her because of her-great beauty." So begins in Caxton's version of the "Golden Legend" the story of a virgin- martyr, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, whose name is the ninth most popular for girls today. Though "Butler's Lives of the Saints" says the legend is in all probability spurious, the life of the saint is continued. "Barbara's father made a trip and during his absence she had a third window made in the tower. To his questioning later she announced, 'Three windows be taken clearly for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, three Persons and one God, whom we ought to believe and worship.' Barbara was imprisoned, scourged and tortured, but stood firm in her belief. Her father, carrying out her death sentence, beheaded her himself, and in turn, legend says, was consumed by a fire from heaven."

Father: Maidens follow in her retinue into the King's presence, all rejoicing.

All: In all majesty, in all beauty make ready; ride on in triumph and take your crown.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who among other marvels of Your power has given even to weak women the triumph of martyrdom, grant us this grace, that we who are celebrating the birthday of the virgin-martyr Barbara may be led nearer to You by her example. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

In art the distinctive emblems of St. Barbara are her tower, and the chalice and host, which may be used with a sword on her name- day shield or on the family bulletin board or home altar. She is invoked against fire and lightning because of the fate that overtook her father. Barbara's prayer before her execution accounts for the belief that she is a protectress of those in danger of dying without the sacraments.

Desserts and decorations. On this nameday a crown cake signifies the crown of martyrdom and the crown of glory Barbara received in heaven. For a busy mother a gold-paper crown on a cake or a gumdrop crown is appropriate. Another "quickie" is a wreath of roses and lilies made of icing (from MS, see Abbreviations) which can be put atop a cake. A molded strawberry dessert is another suggestion for a martyr's feast.


instant white cake mix strawberry frosting

Prepare a cake mix with 1 package of instant white cake mix according to the directions on the package. For a pale pink cake, add 2 or 3 drops of red food coloring and 1 teaspoon of rose extract (optional). Bake in two round nine-inch layer pans. Cool and spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of the cake.


margarine or butter confectioner's sugar salt crushed strawberries

Cream 1/2 cup of margarine or butter with a dash of salt. Then add 3 cups of sifted confectioner's sugar gradually, blending after each addition. Add 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar alternately with 1/3 cup of crushed strawberries and juice (fresh strawberries or thawed quick-frozen strawberries) and beat until of light consistency to spread, beating vigorously after each addition until smooth and creamy. Fill and frost cake layers.

A nameday child in the vicinity of Santa Barbara, California, will enjoy a visit to the Mission of Santa Barbara, a great stone church with fine cloisters, fragrant with flowers, with a tinkling fountain in the plaza. This place of pilgrimage is the only one in the chain of Franciscan missions which has always been in their hands.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA, see Abbreviations) offers a reproduction of "Madonna and Child in the Enclosed Garden" showing Barbara with her tower. A slide from the same source can be obtained to show on a home screen (about $1.00).

More expensive are the fifteenth-century Italian reproduction of "St. Barbara," a detail from an altar piece in the church of St. Dominic, Siena, by Matteo di Giovanni, and the sixteenth-century reproduction of "St. Barbara" by Palma Il Vecchio (both from LAS, see Abbreviations). "Virgin and Child with St. Barbara and Elizabeth," a color print for home framing, can be procured from the Frick Collection for $.50 (see FC, see Abbreviations).

Nameday medals range from $2.00 to $10.00 at the Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations). Regina Coeli Center (RC, see Abbreviations) offers statues imported from France for about $12.00, and also a wooden statue from Germany to top a cake. Spanish-speaking sections of large cities have a great devotion to St. Barbara and import statues of her from Spain.

"Barbara" by M. K. Richardson is a $2.00 book that would make a splendid nameday gift for a small namesake of the virgin-martyr (from RC, see Abbreviations). St. Barbara is available in a plaque or on a holy card from Berliner & McGinnis (BER, see Abbreviations).


Nameday Cakes without Special Pans

Cut-up cakes are a way to make nameday cakes without special pans. You simply bake your favorite cake recipe or cake mixes in standard-size pans. The trick is in the cutting, which is simple and fun to do. The beauty of these cakes is the flaky coconut which decorates them and the symbolism which is so intriguing to children of all ages. Our children never tire of these cakes; in fact, they enjoy looking at them so much that they sometimes do not like to see them eaten. Among the cakes made by this method are:

Eaglet for John the Evangelist; John of the Cross; Augustine of Hippo; Priscilla, an early Christian martyr; the Benedictines Cuthbert, Bertolph, and Thierry (or Theodoric); Leopold; and Wenceslaus, who is shown in art with an eagle on a shield.

Ship for Peter, Parnel, Andrew, Kieran, Nicholas of Myra, Nicholas of Tolentino, Paula, Boniface, Cordelia (patroness of Cora and Corinne), Ursula, Wilfrid, Devota (patron of Monaco), Brendan, Brenda, Adelaide, Bertin, Restituta, Amalburga, Anselm, Selma, Otto, Elmo (patron of sailors), Marcella, Jude, Mother Cabrini, Raymond, Francis Xavier, and Victoria.

Dog for Dominic; Donato (Gaelic, Dennis or Donough); Godfrey, Roch, Vitus or Guy; Rochelle; Margaret of Cortona; King Ferdinand III; Donnan; Bernard of Clairvaux.

Lion for Mark the Evangelist; Jerome; Adrian and Natalie, husband and wife martyrs; Ignatius of Antioch; Leota and Leo.

Horse for Thomas of Canterbury; Martin of Tours; Irene; Ivan; Leonard; Aidan; Columba; Gregory of Tours; James Major (horse with white banner).

Fish for Peter, Andrew, Simon, Clement, Raphael, Peter Gonzales, Jude Thaddeus, Walter of Hereford, Zeno, Petronilla or Parnel, Kentigern, Gregory of Tours, Ulrich, Brendan the Voyager, Bertold, Anthony of Padua, Arnulf, Christopher, and Egwin.

Goose for Brigid, Melbride or Bride of Kildare, Martin, Ambrose.

Heart for a symbol of Christian charity on any saint's day. It is particularly the attribute of Anthony of Padua, Augustine of Hippo, Cajetan (Gaetano), Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Osanna, Margaret Mary Alacoque, John Houghton, John Eudes, Irmina, Ignatius of Antioch, Erentrude, Francis de Sales, Gertrude, Ignatius Loyola, Jane Frances de Chantal, Peter Thomas, and Alonzo Rodriguez.

A booklet of "Cut-up Cakes" costs $.15 from P.O. Box 103 Kankakee, Illinois (include payment, but not in stamps).


1) You will need a 9-inch square cake. Bake it from a cake mix or from your best-liked recipe. When cool, cut a strip diagonally across the center of the cake, 3 inches wide to use for the body. Cut the corner off one end to make a beak.

2) Place the cake strip so that the pointed end is the head; use the cut-off piece for the beak. Use remaining cake pieces as spread-out wings. Frost with white seven-minute frosting.

3) When the fluffy frosting is swirled on the eaglet, add coconut for feathers. Make a red gumdrop eye and a glistening beak of tiny yellow candies. For the feet and wing tips use split pieces of licorice "shoelaces."


1) Bake a 9-inch square cake from a mix or favorite recipe. When cool, cut diagonally in half to make two triangles. One is the large sail. From the other cut off a strip 2 1/4 inches wide to use for the hull.

2) Arrange the cake pieces on a tray, using the small triangle as a second sail. Spread white buttercream frosting on the sails. Cover the hull with chocolate frosting.

3) Put a line of chocolate frosting between the sails for the mast. Then sprinkle coconut flakes on the sails. White "Lifesaver" candies make neat portholes; gumdrops are easily cut into anchors. The saint's name may be added with "Cake-Mate" (MS, see Abbreviations).


You will need a 9-inch square cake from a mix or favorite recipe. Cool. Cut a 3-1/2 x 5 inch rectangle for the lion's body. The remaining large piece will form the head and chest of the lion.

Arrange the pieces on a tray as shown. Frost the cake with fluffy mocha-colored frosting, swirling it freely for a "furry" effect. Use toasted flake coconut for a thick mane.

The legs are made of bent licorice sticks. The tail is stick candy, with a pom-pom of marshmallow, frosted and coated with toasted flake coconut. Make the ears, eye and mouth with candy, and the nose with a cherry. To toast coconut place it on a pie plate or cookie tray and place in oven at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes.


1) Bake a 9 x 13 x 2 inch cake. Cool. Cut a curve across a long side to both corners. Now cut a 1-1/2 inch wide strip from the opposite long side and divide into three sections.

2) Cut a small triangle for the ear. Cut 2-inch strips from the remaining cake for the legs. Place the pieces as shown, using the large piece for the body. Make a fluffy white frosting.

3) Add a square of melted chocolate to 1 cup of frosting for the saddle. Spread the remaining frosting over the cake. Swirl on coconut flakes. Decorate with candies, gumdrops, licorice, and silver dragees.


1) No heart-shaped pan is needed. Instead, bake two round 8 or 9-inch layers from favorite recipe or cake mix. Spread a fluffy pink frosting between the layers; then cut a wedge from one side, about 3-1/2 inches wide by 3 inches deep.

2) The cut-out wedge goes on the opposite side of the cake to make the point of the heart. Now frost the entire cake, swirling pink frosting over the top and sides.

3) Sprinkle white coconut flakes over the top and around the sides of the cake. Pat the coconut on while the frosting is still soft so that the coconut will stick. Red cinnamon candies make a pretty heart center, as do roses of icing (available from MS, see Abbreviations).


1) Start with a cooled 9-inch square cake. From one corner mark 5 inches along one side, and 5-1/2 inches along the other. Cut on curve through the points.

2) Divide this in half, cutting on a curve to make two fins. From the opposite corner measure 6 inches along the sides and cut on a curve for the tail. Place the pieces to form a fish.

3) Spread on fluffy seven-minute frosting, tinted pale green. Sprinkle with flake coconut. Use gumdrop for the eye, mouth, and slivers of licorice for eyelash. Add candy scales and bubbles (we use "Lifesavers").


1) Bake a 9 x 13 x 2 cake. Cool it. Cut out a 3 x 10 rectangle. Then cut off a 4-inch piece and divide the remaining strip in half. Cut a narrow strip from the L-shaped piece for the tail.

2) Assemble the pieces on a tray as shown. Spread a fluffy seven- minute frosting generously over the cake. Pat toasted coconut flakes on part of the head and back to look like spots.

3) Now sprinkle on white flaked coconut for the dog's coat. Gumdrops are used for his eyes and nose, licorice for his mouth, and a sculptured cookie for his ear. His collar is made from licorice, silver dragees and cut green gumdrops.


Over the years we have assembled a collection of different molds: a rooster for St. Peter; a shell for St. James; a lamb for Sts. Agnes, John and Patrick; a crown for Sts. Helen, Edward, Elizabeth and Richard; a fleur-de-lis for Sts. Louis, Genevieve, and Joan of Arc; a horse for Sts. Martin and Aidan; and a fish for the Apostles. Into these we pour gelatin and whipped egg white or whipped cream desserts which unmold beautifully onto ice-cold platters, garnished at serving time with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, chocolate bits, nuts, or maraschino cherries. "Cake-Mate," a gel that writes like a pencil, is handy for writing names on desserts (MS, see Abbreviations).

Symbolic molds can be purchased at local houseware stores or at Maid of Scandinavia in Minneapolis (see MS, see Abbreviations). Auctions are good places to find molds for little money; so are second-hand stores, restaurant supply houses, and grandmother's attic.

In time we acquired a taste for "mousse" dessert, a mixture of sweetened whipped cream and other ingredients, frozen without stirring. Then we added a "bombe" dessert made in a mold with a tight lid for iced desserts containing two or three flavors of ice, ice cream, mousse, or pudding. If you are interested in frozen desserts, don't let the lack of a mold stop you. A coffee can or any tin receptacle that will close tightly can be used. Or you can freeze the "bombe" recipe in two refrigerator trays, being careful to moisten the outside bottom of the trays before putting them into the refrigerator.

Once we had acquired a repertoire of these desserts, we began to make up our own. For Irish saints, for instance, we use a melon "bombe" lined with 1-1/2 inches of vanilla ice cream; then we add pistachio ice cream and fill the center with orange ice or sherbet to give the dessert the colors of Ireland--green, white and gold. Later we discovered that classical desserts bearing special names are known around the world. To our amazement we also discovered that the great chefs throughout Europe and even in New York follow a culinary calendar that includes desserts for many big feastdays (see Classical Recipes).


heavy cream vanilla extract granulated sugar eggs pulp of vanilla bean salt

Partially whip 1 pint of heavy cream, adding 1/2 cup of fine granulated sugar, and continue to beat until the cream will hold shape. Scrape the pulp from a 1/2-inch piece of vanilla bean and moisten with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir this into the whipped cream. Fold in the stiffly beaten whites of 2 eggs, mixed with 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Freeze, without stirring, in individual molds or a large mold.


ice cream or sherbet vanilla mousse

Chill a conical bombe mold or a tightly covered coffee tin thoroughly and line it with a layer of orange sherbet or ice cream 1-1/2 inches thick. Fill the mold or can with the mousse preparation above, cover it with buttered paper, and seal with the lid of the mold. Freeze by packing the mold in ice and salt. Allow from 2 to 6 portions of ice to 1 portion of salt, and cover the mold completely. A bucket or pail that will allow for about a 3-inch packing is best. Freeze the cream from 4 to 6 hours.


chocolate ice cream whipped cream vanilla ice cream Angelica leaves (optional)

Line the inside of a melon bombe or coffee tin with chocolate ice cream 2 inches thick and refreeze in the freezing unit of the refrigerator if necessary to harden. Fill the interior bombe with vanilla ice cream. Chill. Unmold. Garnish with whipped cream and angelica, if available, with maraschino cherries or any other fruit desired.


The vogue of naming a dish of food in honor of a celebrity or mythical god was well known already among the Greeks and Romans. When all the world was Catholic, special dishes were made to honor the saints. "St. Joseph's Sfinge" as made by the Italians is an example. When men ceased to keep saints' days they concocted such things as the Fool's Day Cake or the Arbor Day Cake seen on the women's page of our daily papers. Another example we noticed recommended for January 27, Lewis Carroll's birthday, was Mock Turtle Soup and Hare Salad to recall two character's of "Alice in Wonderland"!

The following are classical recipes known across the world. Many of these desserts contain items not readily available. You may substitute similar ingredients that you have. The original recipe is included here so that you will know the dessert as it is served in exclusive restaurants of New York, London, Paris, or Rome, and what it should contain, even though you have to change the recipe to suit the material on hand.

Glace Alexandra (May 3)

A bombe mold lined with vanilla ice cream and filled with a layer of raspberry ice and then a layer of peach ice cream.

Alexandra, feminine form of Alexander, is the source of the name Sandra. Pope Alexander's prayer is under Popes.

Coupe Alexandra (May 3)

A coupe is nothing more than a dressed-up sundae served in a stemmed glass. Although the combination of ice creams with various flavors is common in America, the idea and, of course, the name are of French origin. In France coupes are almost invariably served in champagne glasses. In this country, however, tall, narrow parfait glasses, wine or sherbet glasses are commonly used for this dessert. Before serving time arrange ice cream by spoonfuls vertically in a serving glass.

This time it's an Irish dessert--iced fruit salad flavored with Irish Mist liqueur. Cover with half vanilla ice cream and half raspberry ice decorated with whipped cream.

Alice Bavarian Cream (June 15)

Bavarian Cream (see Raspberry Bavarian Cream) with roasted chopped almonds. Cover with whipped cream and streak with red currant jelly. The whole is set off on a cake base.

Attwater and Thurston give Alice or Aleydis, a Cistercian nun, as the saint of this name.

Glace Beatrice (July 29)

Vanilla ice cream sweetened with honey and flavored with lemon juice and brandy.

St. Beatrice was martyred with her brother. There are two Blessed Beatrices, both members of the Benedictine Order.

Pears Helene (August 18)

Fresh pears stewed in vanilla syrup. Allow to get very cold. Place on ice cream and cover with rich, glossy chocolate sauce. Garnish with whipped cream, or use "Cake-Mate" to write the name Helen on the sauce.

St. Helen, an Asiatic by birth, was the empress who discovered the true Cross in a rock-cistern near Mount Calvary. This is a dessert for Elinor, Eleanor, Eileen, Helena, Aileen, Elena, Evelyn, Elaine, Lorna, Lena, and Leonore. The cross-cake on p. 34 may be used on St. Helen's day. Others of this name are: Blessed Helen of Arcella (Nov. 7); Blessed Helen of Bologna (Sept. 23); St. Helen of Skovde (July 31), and Blessed Helen of Udine (April 23). Blessed Jolenta of Hungary is called Helena by the Poles. She is the patron of Yolande and Iolanthe.

Glace Benedictine

Strawberry ice cream flavored with Benedictine, a famous aromatic liqueur first made by a monk called Dom Bernardo Vincelli. This is a dessert that could be used on the namedays of Benedictine saints, such as Sts. Gertrude, Benedict, Scholastica, and Maurus.

Strawberries Capucine

A ring mold of jello filled with strawberries dipped in liqueur, and the whole coated with whipped vanilla cream.

This is a dessert for Capuchin saints, such as Fidelis, Veronica Giuliani, and Conrad.

Fruit Cardinal

Strawberries, peaches or raspberries stewed in syrup and placed on strawberry or raspberry ice cream, with strawberry or raspberry sauce, and sprinkled with sliced roasted almonds and a little pistachio nut. The sauces come in jars at the ice cream counter of a supermarket. This is a dessert for all the saints who were cardinals, such as Robert Bellarmine, Charles Borromeo, Peter Damian, and Raymond Nonnatus.

Bombe Cardinal

Line bombe mold or covered coffee tin with raspberry ice and raspberries, interior of vanilla ice cream. When unmolded, decorate with crystallized rose petals, which may be made at home (see Crystallized Rose Petals) or bought at the fancy grocery department of large stores at a fancy price.

Charlotte Carmen (July 16)

Charlotte mold or fluted round cake-tin lined with overlapping ladyfingers and filled with whipped strawberry cream, stiffened with a little gelatine and flavored with chopped ginger.

Bombe Carmen (July 16)

Bombe mold lined with strawberry ice cream, then a layer of vanilla, with the center filled with coffee ice cream.

These are desserts not only for Carmen, Carmelo, Carmel and Carmelita, but also for Marys who keep Our Lady of Mount Carmel's feast, for Sharon and Althea.

Catherine Cakes (November 25)

This is a traditional recipe supposedly named by Catherine of Aragon, the queen who kept her nameday on the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Sweet bread dough or ready-mix for rolls into which is kneaded butter, sugar, eggs, and caraway seeds is baked in small flat cakes. This recipe might also be used for St. Catherine Dei Ricci (Feb. 13); St. Catherine of Sweden (Mar. 24); St. Catherine of Siena (Apr. 30); and St. Catherine of Genoa (Sept. 15).

Coupe Eugenie (December 25)

Vanilla ice cream to which is added broken candied chestnuts. At serving time garnish with whipped cream and more chestnuts and top with a maraschino cherry.

This is a dessert for children who bear the Gaelic name Owen (Eugene), Eugenia, Eugenio, and Gene. St. Eugenia was a virgin- martyr. St. Eugene was bishop of Ardstraw in Ireland. There was also a Pope St. Eugene.

Bombe Florence (November 24)

Bombe mold lined with pecan ice cream and the center filled with strawberry-flavored whipped cream.

St. Flora was a virgin martyred by the Moors.

Bombe Georgette (April 23)

Bombe mold lined with praline ice cream and the center filled with kirsch-flavored vanilla ice cream.

St. George the Great, patron of Georgette, Georgine, Georgeann and George, has for his symbols a coat of armor, a white banner with a red cross, or a sword. He is a patron of Russia, England and Greece. The cross cake on p. 34 could be used on his day, or his own Melachrino cake, p. 191.

Fruit Irene (October 20)

Apple, pear, peach or apricot halves stewed in syrup. Fill cavity with ice cream and cover with a puree made of the corresponding fruit.

St. Irene was a Portuguese nun who suffered death in defense of her chastity. Her shrine is Santarem (Sancta Irenes). Her symbols are a horse and a tower.

Bombe Glace Tullamore (for Irish saints)

A traditional Irish dessert. Coffee ice cream lines a bombe; the center is filled with almond-flavored mousse and Irish Mist liqueur.

Coupe St. Jacques (July 25)

Two or three kinds of fruit with two or three kinds of ice cream neatly arranged in deep glasses, flavored with liqueur and garnished with whipped cream. This is a dessert for James, Jacqueline, Jacquette, Jaime, Seumas or Shamus.

The symbol of St. James the Great, the Apostle of Spain, is a scalloped shell. or a white horse with a white banner.

Bombe Josephine (October 17)

A bombe mold lined with coffee ice cream, and the center filled with pistachio ice cream. This dessert is for girls named in honor of St. Joseph.

Blessed Josephine, an Ursuline martyr of Valenciennes, was guil- lotined during the French Revolution.

Bombe Leopold (November 15)

Bombe mold lined with vanilla ice cream and the center filled with wild cherries flavored with kirsch.

St. Leopold the Good, Emperor of Austria, has as his symbols a rosary and a crown.

Fruit Louise (March 15)

Stewed or canned fruit with vanilla ice cream on sponge cake, coated with liqueur-flavored fruit sauce.

St. Louise de Marillac was the foundress of the Sisters of Charity. In her honor the cake might be baked in a heart-shaped cake pan, or a store sponge cake might be cut in a heart shape. This dessert is for Louise, Lois, Aloisa, Heloise, Ludovika, Lulu, Luisa, Lisette and Eloise.

Madeline Cakes

Small cakes baked in fluted cups called Madeline molds. A fluted cupcake tin will do as well. A genoise cake from a favorite cookbook is given under A Genoise Book Cake, but a cake-mix will do. When baked, dip Madelines in hot apricot jam. cover with coconut flakes, and decorate with a blob of white fondant or marshmallow.

This is a dessert for Madelene Sophie Barat (May 25), foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; for Mary Magdalen Postel (July 16); and for the Magdalen (July 22).

Bombe Margot (July 20)

Bombe mold lined with almond ice cream with inside layers of pistachio and vanilla.

This is a dessert for the feasts of St. Margaret, virgin and martyr; St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland, who made the foundation of the Benedictine Abbey of Dunfermline, where she is buried (June 10); for St. Margaret of England (Feb. 3); St. Margaret of Hungary (Jan. 26); and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (Oct. 17). Their namesakes are Maria Marguerite, Margaret, Gretchen, Margo, Margie, Marjory, Margharita, Greta, Megan, Meg, Daisy and Pearl.

Bombe Odile (December 13)

Mold lined with vanilla ice cream and the interior filled with praline ice cream. Since praline ice cream is hard to find, the recipe for Glace Benedictine can be used.

St. Odile, born blind, was rejected by her family. She was adopted by a convent and eventually became the foundress of Odilienberg, under Benedictine rule.

Bombe Parisienne

Mold lined with strawberry ice cream and the center filled with walnut cream. This is a dessert used on the feasts of French saints, especially St. Genevieve, patroness of Paris, on January 3.

Pudding Reine (September 7)

Mold lined with vanilla ice cream and center filled with sweetened vanilla cream and crushed preserved chestnuts.

St. Reine or Regina, a virgin-martyr, is venerated at Autun. There are no particulars of her life known. Her symbols are a dove, a lamb, and a torch. This dessert may be used for the feast of Mary's Queenship, May 31.

Crepes Suzette (August 11)

Make sweet pancakes as thin as possible. Cream 8 ounces of butter with 8 ounces of sugar and add the grated peel of 1-1/2 oranges and a dash of brandy. Mix thoroughly. Spread some of the cream over each pancake and then fold. Place them in a chafing dish or open frying pan and pour some warm brandy over them. Darken the room and dramatically light the suzettes just before serving.

St. Susanna, a Roman virgin, died for the faith for refusing to marry the emperor's son. Her symbols are a crown and a sword.

Bombe Victoria (December 23)

Mold lined with cherry ice cream and the center filled with vanilla ice cream and chopped candied fruit.

St. Victoria and her sister Anatolia were martyred at Rome for refusing to marry pagan men. St. Victoria's symbols are an angel, a dagger, sword, or arrows.


The apostles were called by our Lord to be witnesses of Him and to preach the gospel. They are Sts. Peter and his brother Andrew; James the Greater, and his brother John; Thomas; James the Less and his brother Jude (Thaddeus), cousins of Jesus; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Simon Zelotes; and Matthias, who took the place of Judas. The New Testament includes Paul, Barnabas and others, and these with St. Luke are celebrated as apostles liturgically (but Luke is not mentioned in the Canon of the Mass).

Donald Attwater in "A Catholic Dictionary"12 says: "The apostles were the first bishops of the Christian Church. Through them the bishops have ever since had the divine commission to teach all men and govern the Church in union with the representative of their chief, St. Peter, and the God-given power to confer the sacraments necessary to the salvation of souls and the continuance of the Church."

Each apostle has a traditional symbol of ancient origin which is recognized all over the world. Examples of the shields of the apostles with their symbols may be seen in the great Catholic cathedrals and even in non-Catholic churches. An excellent example of modern symbolism is "The Twelve Apostles" in the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, South Orange, New Jersey. Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, has a set of apostolic shields in stone which are among the best in America. Those carved over the main door of the First Baptist Church in Pittsburgh and in the Presbyterian Church in lndianapolis are also excellent. These are mentioned to assist Catholics in mixed marriages to answer objections to the symbolism connected with the saints.

Thomas, James the Greater, Philip, and James the Less are in- cluded under the most popular names for boys.


When our Pete was still a baby, we began the nameday dessert custom quite simply. On a dish of green jello we froze a quarter of a canned peach. Into it we stuck a toothpick (for the mast) with a tiny paper sail marked "St. Peter." Later as Pete grew we used the sail idea on a sandwich cut like a ship. Then we began to make walnut sailboats as place-cards and found that Pete could also sail his "walnut ship." We put some clay into an empty half shell to hold the mast, cut a triangle of paper 1-1/2 inches high, and stuck a toothpick through it. At nameday games we raced the sailboats. A boating set to top a cake can be had for $.95 (from MS, see Abbreviations).

Desserts and decorations. Children named in honor of St. Peter have much interesting symbolism to choose from. Peter's shield is red and bears two large keys, one gold and one silver. They are saltire, crossed like an X, in reference to the words of Jesus given in St. Matthew 16:15f: "I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven."

In a rooster mold we make gelatin desserts. Dennison has seals in rooster shapes to use on a cake, place-cards, or invitations (see MS, see Abbreviations). A toy rooster may be set atop a cake to remind the nameday child of St. Peter's denial of Jesus and his subsequent repentance.

Sometimes on St. Peter's day we use "Snowballs-on-Fire" or a flambe dessert as a reminder of the flames of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Fire symbolizes the power, light and grace of a saint. We make a cover of fish net cut from a single package of blue crepe paper (directions under Andrew); regular fish net, available in marine stores, may be used. We add as a centerpiece a large fish of gummed orange crepe paper. Place-cards refer to our Lord's calling of Peter and Andrew (Matt. 4:18).

A child named after St. Peter will be delighted with the ship cake. The lamb cake is also suitable for Peter, "shepherd of the flock." West Bend Aluminum makes a chanticleer mold (from MS, see Abbreviations). An unlined copper mold may be used only for frozen desserts; a tin-lined mold is suitable for baking (about $2.00 from MS, see Abbreviations).

To celebrate the feasts of the apostles we acquired a huge red candle made in Germany from an ancient Swedish mold. It bears the image and the symbol of each apostle. We light the candle on our dining room table on their feasts. The candle is expensive but will last for years (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

An excellent medal of St. Peter in a boat costs anywhere from $1.50 to $10.00, depending on the finish (from LAS, see Abbreviations). An imported statue is also available for about $8.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations). A key chain for Peter's nameday gift costs about $3.25; for $5.00 you can get one which depicts St. Peter with a large key (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

On the feast of St. Peter's Chair, February 22, the prayers are as follows:

Father: You are the shepherd of the sheep, the prince of the apostles.

Ail: God gave to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Father: From a homily of St. Augustine:

The feast we are keeping today was called St. Peter's Chair by our forefathers because there is a tradition that it was on this day that Peter, chief of the apostles, took possession of his episcopal chair. Rightly do we celebrate the first beginnings of that See which the Apostles occupied according to our Lord's words: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church." Our Lord named Peter as the foundation of His Church. For this reason the Church honors Peter, the foundation upon which her lofty edifice is reared.

All: Thanks be to God.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You bestowed the keys of the heavenly kingdom upon Your apostle Peter, conferring on him pontifical authority to bind and loose; grant that by the help of his intercession we may be released from our sins. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Among the great saints named after St. Peter are the Dominican Peter Martyr, shown in art bearing a sword; Peter Baptist, a Franciscan, with a cross for his symbol because he was crucified at Nagasaki; Peter Canisius, originator of the Catholic Press, whose symbol is a book; Peter Chanel, a Marist and the first martyr of Oceania; Peter Thomas, a Carmelite; Peter Damian, a Doctor of the Church, whose symbol is also the cross; Peter Claver, patron of enterprises for Negroes; Blessed Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, whose symbols are a book and a bell; and Peter of Alcantara, a Franciscan mystic, having a dove as his symbol, as does Peter of Tarentaise, a Cistercian.


St. Paul is the most widely known of the first-century followers of Christ because of the fourteen epistles which he wrote to the Christian communities and because of St. Luke's Acts of the Apostles.

On the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul the prayers are:

Father: The Lord, King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: This day Simon Peter ascended the gibbet of the cross.

All: This day Peter, keybearer of the kingdom, journeyed generously to Christ; this day the apostle Paul, light of the whole world, bent his head for the name of Christ and was crowned with martyrdom.

Father: Let us pray. O God, this day You made holy with the martyrdom of Your apostles Peter and Paul; grant that Your Church may in all things follow the precepts of those from whom it first received the faith. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: NOW LET THE EARTH WITH JOY RESOUND (see James the Less and Philip).

On June 30, the Commemoration of St. Paul, the prayers are as follows:

Father: The Lord, King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: From a homily of St. Augustine:

The apostle Paul, when we first meet him, is a man with many demerits, but he received the grace of God, who repays injury with kindness. Paul, writing to Timothy shortly before his martyrdom, says: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." It is his good merits that he mentions here, hoping they will be followed by a prize as his demerits were followed by grace. "I look forward," he says, "to the prize that is waiting for me, the prize I have earned. The Lord, the Judge whose award never goes amiss, will grant it to me when that day comes." To whom would the Lord as a just Judge give the prize, if He, as a merciful father, had not first given His grace? And how could that prize have been earned if that grace which makes a just man of the sinner had not gone before? How could it have been earned if the power to earn it had not been freely given?

All: O peerless teacher Paul, do thou direct our ways. Draw unto heaven hearts that put their trust in thee. Till faith, now veiled, be dazzled in the noonday rays And love alone reign like the sun triumphantly.

Father: Let us pray. O God, by the teaching of Your apostle Paul You instructed a multitude of nations; grant that we may feel the power of his advocacy whose memory we are honoring. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. In art St. Paul is identified by the sword with which he was beheaded, by the book of his epistles, and by a fountain which, according to tradition, sprang up where he was beheaded. His shield is red with two crossed silver swords or a palm tree, symbol of the resurrection--a truth he constantly stressed. This shield may be used for a child's home shrine or on the family bulletin board on his feasts.

The book cake decorated with a sword is used on St. Paul's feast, or the crown cake to honor the crown of victory of which he writes in his epistles.

Our favorite painting of St. Paul is that by Rubens; it hangs in the Spanish Museum at 155th Street and Broadway, New York. Foppa's "St. Paul" hangs in the Delgado Museum in New Orleans. Many museums throughout the country have paintings of St. Paul and reproductions for sale. A statue for a child's shrine costs about $8.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations). A Byzantine reproduction in full color is available for $4.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

In addition to the apostle Paul, there is St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists, who was endowed with the gift of prophecy. The cross cake, or the book cake with a cross decoration, is used on his feast and on the feast of Blessed Paul Miki, S.J., a Japanese crucified at Nagasaki.

For girls there is a St. Paula, who helped St. Jerome with his biblical work and settled near him in Bethlehem. Blessed Paula Frassinetti founded the Congregation of St. Dorothy. Their symbol is the book cake.


St. Andrew, brother of St. Peter, patron of Scotland, Greece, and Russia, was the first of Christ's apostles in the order of time. He is mentioned in John 6:8-9 and John 12:22; his name occurs in the Canon of the Mass and in the embolism upon the Lord's Prayer in the Ordinary of the Mass.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Blessed Andrew, seeing this cross shouted joyfully: "I have ever been your lover, desiring to embrace you, O good Cross!"

All: Take me away from men and return me to my Master, so that through you He may receive me who through you redeemed me, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, as Andrew the apostle was both a preacher and a ruler of Your Church, so may he unceasingly intercede for us with You. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: NOW LET THE EARTH WITH JOY RESOUND (see James the Less and Philip).

Dessert and decorations. St. Andrew's emblem is the traditional cross of his martyrdom, shaped like an X. A red shield bears this cross (saltire) with the ends reaching to the border. Another shield bears crossed fish, recalling Andrew's original occupation and his call to become a "fisher of men" (Mark 1:17).

For a favorite Andrew of our acquaintance we made a "fisherman's net" tablecloth. A package of blue crepe paper, left folded and cut alternately in half-inch strips to within one inch of the fold on either side, opens to a fish-net table covering, if the folded paper is opened carefully. With this we used a large gold fish of gummed crepe paper for a centerpiece. Each child's place-card was in the shape of a fish. We used the ship cake for the dessert. Another easy dessert would be gelatine in a fish mold, which can be bought in hardware stores.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art is El Greco's "St. Andrew," reproductions of which are available by mail for about $1.00 (see MMA, see Abbreviations). An imported French statue costs about $8.00 at Regina Coeli Center (RC, see Abbreviations). CCA (see Abbreviations) will also special order handsome plaques of St. Andrew by Felix Oudin. "The Calling of Andrew and Peter" by Duccio, a laminated reproduction ready for hanging, comes from the National Gallery of Art ($1.25, see NGA, see Abbreviations).

Other saints of this name are St. Andrew Fournet, whose nameday symbol is a book; he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross; St. Andrew Avellino, whose symbol is an altar; christened Lancelot, he is the patron of boys called Lance. Blessed Andrew Chakichi was an eight-year-old Japanese boy beheaded at Nagasaki together with his parents and his brother. Blessed Andrew Kagwa of Uganda, a Negro military officer, was condemned to death after his baptism. His right arm was severed from his body before he was beheaded in 1886. Our favorite is the martyr Andrew Bobola, S.J., called by schismatics "Duszuchwat" (robber of souls). For these Andrews the cross cake or the crown cake is an appropriate dessert.


A Gaelic given name in our family is Bartelmy, derived from Bartholomew. St. Bartholomew's symbol in art is a huge silver scimitar on a red shield; or a silver shield with a fig branch (cf. John 1:48). The Nathaniel mentioned in John 21:2 is believed to have been Bartholomew.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who has given us this day a reverent and holy joy in the feast of the apostle Bartholomew, grant Your Church ever to love that which he believed and to preach that which he taught. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Hymn: NOW LET THE EARTH WITH JOY RESOUND (see James the Less and Philip).

Dessert and decorations. The cross cake or the book cake with a knife made of frosting would be appropriate for this feast.

From the Birmingham Museum of Art you can obtain a copy of a painting by Pietro Perugino showing St. Bartholomew with the instrument of his martyrdom and a book (see BMA, see Abbreviations).

For girls there is also a St. Bartholomea, who founded the Sisters of Charity of Lovere together with St. Vincentia Gerosa.


Sts. Simon and Jude are jointly commemorated on October 28. The only mention of Simon in the Bible is that he was one of the twelve apostles. Jude Thaddeus, brother of James the Less, is the author of one of the New Testament epistles.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. O God, through Your apostles Simon and Jude, You have brought us knowledge of Your Name; grant us both to celebrate their eternal glory by making progress in virtues and by celebrating their glories to advance in virtue. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. In art St. Simon is represented by a red shield bearing two oars and a hatchet. St. Jude's symbol is a sailboat with a cross on the mast on a red shield. The book cake and the ship cake are suitable for children called Jude, Thad- deus, or Judy.

A sterling silver medal of St. Jude on a chain can be had for about $3.25 (from RC, see Abbreviations). The National Gallery of Art (NGA, see Abbreviations) has a painting of St. Simon, and the William R. Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, has an excellent marble relief of St. Jude by Andrew Bregno (see WRN, see Abbreviations). A good statue of St. Jude, with the appearance of pressed wood, is a worthwhile buy at $1.50 (from FP, see Abbreviations).

Greatest of the saints named after the apostle Simon is St. Simon Stock. According to Carmelite tradition, Our Lady appeared to him and gave him the privilege of the brown Carmelite scapular. His symbol is the book cake. A small plaque of great beauty may be obtained for $2.00 (CCA, see Abbreviations).


The symbol of St. Matthias is a doubleheaded axe or a hatchet on a red shield. A cookie-cutter in a hatchet shape can be ordered ($.15 from MS, see Abbreviations). A statue of this saint is available for $8.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations).

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father Let us pray. O God, who added Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant that through his intercession we may constantly feel the tenderness of Your enfolding love. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Barnabas (Barnaby) merited the title of apostle because of his association with St. Paul and later missionary work. He "was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith" (see Acts 11:24). Barnabas is said to have been martyred in Cyprus.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who gladdens us by the intercession of Blessed Barnabas, Your Apostle, grant that we who ask Your blessings through him may obtain them by the gift of Your grace. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen. Christ conquers! Christ reigns!


Symbols of the four evangelists can be traced to the beginning of the Christian era. The symbols most frequently met with are the four winged creatures mentioned in the Book of Ezechiel, as well as in the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse: a man, lion, bull, and eagle.

In the vision of Ezechiel these four living creatures formed the chariot upon which God rode at will over the earth; similarly Christ and His gospel are borne throughout the world by the four evangelists. Each of the chariot-bearers represented the acme of an attribute: wisdom, awe-inspiring fear, might, swiftness. But He who sat in the chariot borne by such creatures, He Himself must possess these attributes in an infinitely perfect degree. The gospel of Jesus is consummate wisdom, power, awe-inspiring and swift to accomplish its purpose of judgment unto good and evil. The traditional symbols for the evangelists retain their genuine significance when understood in this Biblical context.


St. Matthew, or Levi, as he was called by our Lord, was a tax- gatherer at Capharnaum. On St. Matthew's day the prayers are:

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. We beseech You, Lord, with the prayers of Matthew, Your apostle and evangelist, to assist us that those things which by ourselves we cannot obtain may be granted to us through his intercession. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. The traditional book cake inscribed with the words "Verbum Dei manet in aeternum" (God's Word lasts forever) would teach children that the Gospel of the inspired evangelist will continue forever upon the earth. Gold coins are suitable for Matthew's feast or for his cake decoration. The coins are really discs of chocolate wrapped in gold foil; they can be found at almost any candy store.

Simone Martini's painting of St. Matthew in the National Gallery of Art is a reproduction for a boy's room (from NGA, see Abbreviations). An $8.00 statue of the saint is available (from RC, see Abbreviations).


St. Luke, a Greek physician and a Gentile (Col. 4:1-2), became a fellow-worker of St. Paul and remained with him until the great Apostle's martyrdom. Author of the third Gospel, Luke wrote the full account of the incarnation; he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. We beseech You, O Lord, grant us to be aided by the prayers of St. Luke, Your evangelist, who for the glory of Your Name ever bore in his body the mortification of the Cross. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The winged ox is St. Luke's attribute because of his emphasis upon the sacrificial aspects of our Lord's atonement, as well as upon His divine priesthood. The ox was a sacrificial animal of the Jews.

A statue of St. Luke imported from France can be had for $8.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations); a small early painting on a plaque costs about $2.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).


From the Gospel of St. Mark we have the resurrection account on Easter Sunday and he proclaims well the royal dignity of Christ. Mark himself was probably the young man who ran away after the arrest of Jesus (14:51-52). He was with Paul on some of his jour- neys and was "the disciple and interpreter of Peter," who calls him "my son Mark" (1 Pet. 5:13). Bishop of Alexandria, he was martyred there in 74 A.D., according to a tradition.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. O God, by Your grace You raised up Mark, Your evangelist, to be a preacher of the gospel; grant, we beseech You, that we may ever profit by his teaching and be defended by his prayers. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

On this nameday the book cake is marked "Peace be to you" with "Cake-Mate" or with frosting piped from a tube. A small toy lion atop the cake and gummed seals in lion shapes stress Mark's emphasis on the royal dignity of Christ, the Lion of Judah. The lion cake is a cake for lads called Mark and for girls called Marcia. It is fun to make. A nameday statue for a child's altar costs about $8.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations).

St. John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved," is called the "Divine" or the "Theologian." He was a fisherman, the younger brother of St. James the Greater (Luke 9:54). To John our Lord committed the care of His Mother after His death (John 19:26-27). Tradition tells us that she lived with him until her death. John is the author of the Gospel which bears his name, of three canonical epistles, and of the Apocalypse.

Father: The Lord and King of apostles.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: (1 John 2:1-5). Little children, the purpose of this letter is to keep you clear of sin. Meanwhile, if any of us does fall into sin, we have an advocate to plead our cause before the Father, Jesus Christ the just. He in His own person is the atonement made for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world.

All: Thanks be to God.

Mother: From a homily of St. Jerome:

The evangelist John lived on in Ephesus until extreme old age. In the end he could just get to the church, supported by his disciples. Whenever he addressed the faithful, he never said anything other than, "Little children, love one another." At length his congregation, weary of ever hearing the same thing, asked him: "Master, why do you always say that?" The answer he gave was well worthy of John: "Because it is the Lord's commandment, and if that alone be kept, it is enough." This charity reigns in all his writings.

All: Greatly to be honored is blessed John, who leaned back on the Lord's breast at the Last Supper.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, in Your goodness shine upon Your Church that, being enlightened by the doctrine of John, apostle and evangelist, she may attain to everlasting gifts. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. The heart cake brings to mind St. John's constant admonition, "Love one another." Excellent too would be the eagle symbol for his feastday dessert (see Eaglet Cake). Of the many paintings of St. John that are extant, that by Holbein in the Frick Collection (FC, see Abbreviations) shows the apostle with flowing white hair and a beard and wearing a scarlet robe. Copies of the painting are available in a 2 x2 slide for $1.25, and in 11 x 14 reproductions for framing for about $.50. A statue for a home shrine costs about $8.00 (from RC, see Abbreviations).

Blessing of St. John's Wine. Some churches have the traditional blessing of wine for the feast of St. John the Evangelist. The blessed wine is used for the feastday, and a portion is kept for sickness during the year. If wine is not blessed at church, the father of the family may read the blessing in the presence of his family:

Father: Lord, You called Yourself the vine and the apostles branches; and out of all those who love You, You desired to make a good vineyard. Bless this wine and pour into it the might of Your benediction so that everyone who drinks or takes of it may, through the intercession of Your beloved disciple, the holy apostle and evangelist John, be freed from every disease or attack of illness and obtain health of body and soul. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen.

At the nameday party in honor of St. John, the blessed wine can be added to grape juice and given to the children in goblets. The nameday child, John or Jeanne, touches his or her goblet to a guest's and says: "I give you the love of St. John." Each child in turn touches a glass and gives the same greeting. This custom children love dearly; it goes deep into their hearts and minds and memories, particularly when they understand the homily on St. John.


Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Bless the bed that I lie on. Before I lay me down to sleep, I give my soul to Christ to keep. Four corners to my bed, Four angels there aspread, Two to foot and two to head, And four to carry me when I'm dead. I go by sea, I go by land; The Lord made me with His right hand.


Ignatius was added to our third child's name because his brother and sister had as patrons Peter and Cecilia. In this way the children claimed patrons whose names are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass daily. The Canon contains the names of forty saints; many are mentioned more than once. Yet how seldom do we think of them, how seldom do we review their lives.

Children who have these saints for patrons should feel especially honored, for in every Mass holy Mother Church invokes their in- tercession. Andy, Jude, and Judy will find their patrons, Andrew and Jude respectively, mentioned in the prayer called the "Communicantes." Comelia, Connie, Corney and Neil will find their patron Cornelius listed there too, as will Lawrence, Loren, Laureen, and Laura.

St. Andrew's symbols are a fish, a fisherman's net, or a cross saltire (X); St. Jude's is a ship, and St. Cornelius', a sword. For St. Lawrence the symbol is fire, suggesting a flaming dessert. St. Clement has an anchor as his symbol.

In the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" we find listed St. Bartholomew, patron of Bartley and Nathaniel; Alexander, patron of Sandra. There is also a patron for Lucille, St. Lucy; for Sheila, St. Cecilia; and for Stacey, St. Anastasia, "into whose company, we pray You, admit us, not weighing our merits but bestowing on us Your free pardon." St. Michael the Archangel is mentioned, as well as St. John the Baptist.

The cross cake is for Bartholomew; a blazing dessert for Alexander, Sandra, Lucinda, Lucille, and Lucy; a harp or a wreath of roses on a cake for Cecilia, Cecil and Sheila (or the musical cake; and the ship cake for Stacey and Ansty.

At Mass we honor many patrons, "reverencing the memory first of glorious Mary, ever Virgin, St. Joseph...likewise of the blessed apostles and martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Thaddeus; of Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all the saints, by whose merits and prayers grant that we may be guarded...." Of these saints, twelve are martyrs, five were popes, one a bishop, one a deacon, one a cleric, and four were laymen.

In the "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" we also invoke Sts. Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, and Anastasia. Of the first seven, most are well known. Marcellinus, patron of Marcel and Marcella, was a priest, Peter an exorcist. Of the women saints mentioned in this prayer, two were married, four were virgins, and one was a widow.

A pamphlet entitled "Saints of the Canon of the Mass" by Rev. E. P. Graham is published by the Paulist Press for $.15 (see PP, see Abbreviations). It includes a reproduction of the saints of the Canon, the original of which hangs in St. John the Baptist Church, Canton, Ohio.

The martyr-saints have been honored by our Lord in a special way: "Thou hast set upon his head a crown of precious stones." For their feasts we suggest a cake topped by a crown of jeweled gumdrops, a crown cake, or a frozen gelatine dessert in a crown mold.


Father: O Madonna and saints of the Mass, who are so marvelously enshrined in the sacred rite to be with our Lord when He returns to offer Himself anew for us, thus recalling the holy group who accompanied Him in His journeys on earth, we, your clients, humbly pray that through your intercession we may understand better and honor and love more profoundly the mystery of the holy Sacrifice which He established on the eve of His death. Amen.

All: O Madonna and saints of the Mass, pray that assistance at the daily Sacrifice may increase.



Anthony was an Augustinian canon regular, when in 1220 the remains of the first Franciscan martyrs were brought back from Morocco to be buried in his church. Burning to follow in the footsteps of these heroes, he left his Order to enter that of the Friars Minor. Anthony lived in a cave at a hermitage, leaving it only to attend Divine Office and to sweep the monastery; only at his ordination were his theological knowledge and rhetorical talents revealed. When an expected preacher failed to show up, Anthony's confreres obliged him to speak impromptu. From then on he was in constant demand as a preacher. He died at Padua in his thirty-sixth year, at the height of his fame. He was canonized less than a year after his death.

St. Anthony of Padua, wonder-worker of the Latin Church, is invoked in every need. St. Francis de Sales asserted that he had the power of finding lost articles. Pope Pius XII declared him a Doctor of the Church.

His nameday dessert is the fish cake, or a cake decorated with icing lilies (from MS, see Abbreviations). Lily sandwiches might also be used.

Blessing of Lilies on St. Anthony's feast. A parent may read the Church's official prayer while the children sprinkle holy water on the lilies.

Father: O God, Creator and Preserver of mankind, You are the lover of holy purity, the giver of spiritual grace, the dispenser of eternal salvation. Bless these lilies which we bring on this day in thanksgiving to You and in honor of St. Anthony, Your confessor. Pour out on them heavenly dew by the saving sign of the most holy Cross. O God of love, You have endowed these lilies with delicious fragrance to be a comfort and help to those on their sickbeds. Wherefore, imbue them with so great strength that when they are used in a home in a sickroom, in honor of St. Anthony, they may drive out evil spirits, safeguard chastity, turn away illness, and bestow on Your servants peace and grace. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

Anthony has several forms: Antonio, Anton, Antony, and Antoine. There is a St. Antonia, a martyr, but many girls called Antoinette are named in St. Anthony's honor. Other saints of this name are St. Anthony, abbot and patriarch of all monks, who is shown in art with a T-shaped cross, a bell, and a pig, St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, founder of the Barnabites, who died as a result of his unceasing apostolic zeal; and Anthony Mary Claret, founder of the Claretians, who had the gifts of prophecy and miracles. Blessed Anthony Ixida and Blessed Anthony Kuin, both Jesuits, were burned alive at Nagasaki.

Van Dyck's "Madonna and Child with St. Anthony" for a child's shrine costs only $4.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). They also carry a thirteenth-century "St. Anthony" by Maestro di S. Francesco for the same price.


St. Helen, mother of Constantine the Great, has numberless name- sakes in Ellen, Helene, Helena, Elaine, Elena, Elinor, Eleanor, Lena, and Lenore. The south of Ireland pronounces the Gaelic Eiblin as Eileen or Aileen, and the northern part pronounces it Evelyn; both are forms of Helen.

St. Helen is credited with finding the true Cross. In art she is shown with a crown, an open book, or supporting a cross. These symbols can be carried out in the cross, crown or book cakes.

Father: God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All: Through whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world.

Father: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, You were pleased to re- veal to blessed Helen the place where Your Cross was hidden in order to enrich Your Church with this inestimable treasure through her; grant through her intercession that the ransom paid on that life-giving wood may win us the rewards of everlasting life. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns.

St. Helen's Cross. It is customary for our children to make a St. Helen's Cross for her feastday and to keep it displayed until the feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross. On the cross are written the names of the members of the family. The children are told the story of the appearance of the cross in the sky shortly before St. Helen's son Constantine won the battle at the Milvian Bridge. Special stress is laid on the words that were written in fire around the cross: "In this sign you shall conquer" and on its significance to the family.

A St. Helen's Cross with family names inscribed may be ordered from Contemporary Christian Art for about $3.50 (see CCA, see Abbreviations). This studio also has an excellent small plaque of St. Helen, a German import, for only $1.00. Patronscraft (see PC, see Abbreviations) Will do an original watercolor on special order.

"St. Helena and the True Cross" by Louis de Wohl is a nameday gift in the $2.00 range (from RC, see Abbreviations).


King Edward, who rebuilt Westminster Abbey and is buried there, was canonized in 1161. Butler's "Lives of the Saints" gives an excellent description of him (this is a set of four volumes which mothers' clubs will want to donate to school and parish libraries so that all families will have the opportunity to look up and become acquainted with their patrons--order from RC, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O God, You gave the blessed confessor King Edward a crown of everlasting glory. May we who honor him on earth be worthy to rule with him in heaven. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Another Edward, King St. Edward the Martyr, has a cult but in all likelihood he was not a martyr. There are a number of beati bear- ing this name among the post-Reformation martyrs, e.g., Edward Oldcorne, S.J., and Edward Jones, who were executed for their priesthood.

Dessert and decorations. The crown cake is used for St. Edward's feastday. His symbols are the crown, a scepter surmounted by a dove, and a ring.

Medals of St. Edward the Confessor range in price from $1.50 to $10.00 (LAS, see Abbreviations). Berliner and McGinnis have a small plaque of St. Edward the Confessor for a child's home shrine (BER, see Abbreviations).


St. George, a martyr, suffered in Palestine before Constantine's time. Subject of numerous legends, including the one that he killed a dragon, St. George has been revered as patron of soldiers in the East since early times and was declared the protector of England by Pope Benedict XIV. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries his feast was a holy day of obligation in England.

Father: Let us pray. O God, the merits and prayers of Your blessed martyr George are a source of happiness for us. Grant us as a gift of grace the blessings we seek through him. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. We were happy to see the Melachrino Cake recommended in an English cookbook as the traditional name-day cake for St. George's feast. We first discovered this recipe in Florence Berger's "Cooking for Christ" (NCRLC, see Abbreviations), and it has remained our children's favorite recipe. Because we bake it at Christmas with a tiny Infant in wax paper tucked away in the batter, the children call it "Hidden Jesus Bread." The cross cake can also be used on St. George's feast.


butter mace sugar cinnamon eggs ground cloves milk baking soda flour lemon juice salt

Cream 3/4 cup of butter and 1-2/3 cups of sugar. Beat in 3 eggs. Sift 1/4 teaspoon of mace, 1-1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon of salt with 1-2/3 cups of flour. Add 3/4 cup of milk alternately with sifted dry ingredients. Stir in 1-1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 14 loaf pan. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 45 minutes. While the cake is still warm, glaze with a mixture of 2 cups of confectioner's sugar, 5 or 6 tablespoons of water and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.

The National Gallery of Art has Memling's "St. George and the Dragon" in postcard size for $.05, and in a color print for $.50. There is a "St. George" by Raphael, laminated in plastic with a hanging device attached to the back for $1.25, and framed for $5.00 (see NGA, see Abbreviations). Felix Oudin's "St. George," a terra cotta piece, costs about $20.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). A handsome medal is sold by the Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations). St. George comes in a plaque for a home shrine, about $2.50 (BER, see Abbreviations).

Another patron for George, Georgette, Georgia, or Georgeann might be Blessed George Gervase, who served on Drake's last expedition to the West Indies, became a Benedictine at Douay, was hung, drawn and quartered in England for his priesthood. He is proto-martyr of Downside Abbey.


St. Charles Borromeo was a cardinal of the Church and one of the four outstanding public figures of the counter-Reformation. It was he who instituted the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

Father: O God, keep Your Church under the protection of Your holy confessor-bishop Charles, who was distinguished by his vigilant care of his flock. Enkindle in us a burning love of You through his intercession. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and decorations. Boys and girls named after St. Charles Borromeo--Carl, Karl, Carlos, Carlo, Carla, Carol, Cheryl, Car- lotta, Caroline, Carolyn, and Lottie--have a bishop's symbol for their nameday. Other symbols of this saint include a rope, an altar, a cardinal's hat, or a chalice and host. A plaque of St. Charles Borromeo is available for about $2.50 (from BER, see Abbreviations).

St. Charles Garnier, Jesuit missionary from France, was martyred by the Iroquois; his feast is a fine opportunity to have Indian-style parties to commemorate his heroism. See Shari Lewis' "Fun with the Kids" for ideas on an Indian party (from MS, see Abbreviations).

Blessed Charles Spinola, also a Jesuit, was burned to death in the great Japanese martyrdom at Nagasaki. "Charles Spinola" was the name of a white mouse bought by our Pete on Blessed Charles' feastday to be fed to a snake known as "Satan." All of our children's pets are named for the saint on whose day they arrive. Thus our black cocker spaniel is called Kiara for an Irish abbess who, we discovered, lived at a place called Kilkeary near my husband's home in Tipperary.

But to get back to Satan and Charles Spinola. Pete, like most boys, wanted a garter snake. In the heart of a big city these are hard to come by, so we sent him downtown to a store carrying unusual pets. The phone rang and it was Pete. "There are no garter snakes, Mother, but there is a baby boa constrictor. May I have it? The store attendant says it won't bite." We were not convinced.

Pete put the attendant on the phone. "It wouldn't bite a baby, ma'am," he assured me, "and it is safe for the boy." The fact that the snake would soon be able to strangle a baby was something we were to find out. So was the snake's diet--live white mice which Pete brought along home.

A family council voted that the boa could not have a saint's name; so the name "Satan" was agreed upon. And a tricky, wily creature he was, a real lesson in devilish scheming. He did not appreciate the wired fifteen-gallon tank that was his home and too often escaped to wind himself around the radiator in Grandma's room (she was away). He ate all the white mice, each having a saint's name, except "Charles Spinola," who never did get eaten. Instead, Satan learned to like aging hash, and Charles Spinola became a family pet.


High on the list of popular names but no longer among the top ten is Elizabeth, the name of the mother of St. John the Baptist. All we know of her is limited to the first chapter of St. Luke's Gospel. Elizabeth gave first utterance to the words which ever since have been addressed to the Mother of God: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." Her feast, along with her husband Zachary's, is kept on November 5.

Two Queen Elizabeths are saints. Elizabeth of Portugal, called Isabella, was married to King Denis and became a Poor Clare tertiary after his death. Her feast is July 8. Her niece, Elizabeth of Hungary, was married to Louis, landgrave of Thuringia, at the age of fourteen; she was an exemplary wife and mother, and after Louis died on a crusade, she became a Franciscan tertiary, devoting herself to the relief of the destitute and living a life of voluntary poverty until her death at 24 years of age. Her feastday is November 9.

Legend says that on one occasion in the middle of winter she left her castle with her apron filled with bread for the poor. On the way she met her husband. He opened her cape to see what she carried and found her apron full of roses, not bread. When he bent to kiss Elizabeth he found her face transfigured with the radiance of heaven. In addition to the rose, she has as her symbol three crowns to indicate her royal birth, her married state, and her glorification in heaven.

Elizabeth of Hungary is the patroness of Bette, Beth, Eliza, Eiles, Isabel, Ishbel, Elsie, Bessie, Bettina, Elise, and Ilse. Her nameday prayer is:

Father: Let us pray. O God of mercy, enlighten the hearts of Your faithful and grant us the grace that through the prayers of the glorious and blessed Elizabeth we may scorn the wealth of the world and see heaven as our joy and consolation. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

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Good St. Elizabeth carried away Fresh little loaves for the poor each day. One wintry day, Louis saw her go Heavily burdened and walking slow; "My Lady," he cried, "What do you bear So heavy beneath your mantle there?" "Roses!" Amazed, he saw most fair, Blossoms that perfumed the frosty air! Smiling, he closed her mantle and said: "Go, my dear, give the poor the bread."

Dessert and decorations. The rose cake or the crown cake is suitable on the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. If you have a punch bowl, freeze a wreath of roses to decorate it. In a ring mold, fill half way with water and partially freeze. Add unsprayed roses and leaves, evenly spaced. Add water to fill the mold and freeze. Unmold at serving time and use in a bowl of fruit punch.

Saints Plaits (see Heilige Kapfe) are also appropriate on this nameday. Bake small loaves or biscuits in a muffin tin to honor St. Elizabeth's charity to the poor. Frost and top each with a tiny rose. A baker (or an artistic mother with plenty of time) will find the basket cake interesting to make on this feastday.

"Elizabeth" by Mary Harris is a book for eight or nine-year-olds to read (about $2.50; from RC, see Abbreviations). "Virgin and Child with St. Elizabeth and St. Barbara" by Van Dyck comes from the Frick Collection in an 8 x 10 color print for $.35; it also comes in a 2 x 2 slide for about $1.25 (FC, see Abbreviations). A small liturgical plaque of Elizabeth Of Hungary costs only $1.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).


Symbolic cookies cut with sharp cookie cutters are ideal for namedays. Cutters may be found in local department stores or at the Maid of Scandinavia (MS, see Abbreviations), which carries the widest selection we know. Cross-shaped cookies can be used for any saint because each followed in his own way the commandment: "Take up your cross and follow Me." Crown-shaped cookies likewise can be made for any saint's day. Most of the saints have particular emblems; thus for St. Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Frances and Ladislaus--an angel cookie; for Sts. Germaine, Isabel, Serafina (Fina), Hugh, Flora, Dorothy and Elizabeth--a flower-shaped cookie; for Sts. David, Devota, Dominic, Scholastica, Benedict, Regina, Remy, Hilary, Gregory, Fabian, Clare, Celestine and Emily--a dove-shaped cookie; for saints of the Old Testament--a six-pointed star cookie; for Sts. Thomas, Nicholas, Fidelis and Bruno--a five-pointed star cookie.

A few tips may be helpful. Avoid the use of flour in rolling the dough by rolling it between sheets of waxed paper. Chilled dough is more easily handled than warm dough. If there is time, chill it for an hour. Better still, make the dough on the eve of the feast. It is wise to bake a trial cookie. If the batter is thin, add a bit of flour; if too thick, add a little liquid. Use a spatula to remove hot cookies from the pan. Place them on a cake rack to cool. For this recipe you will need:

1/2 cup butter 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 1/3 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg 1/3 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/3 cup commercial sour cream

Cream butter. Gradually add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, soda, salt and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Chill dough overnight. Roll out half the dough 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to be rolled. Cut the dough into symbolic designs. Sprinkle with colored granulated sugar. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 5 to 8 minutes.


Anne ranks fourteenth among the most popular names for girls; its diminutive form, Nancy, ranks twelfth. The name goes back to biblical times. In Hebrew it is Hannah, which means "grace." In the first book of Samuel we read of pious and patient Anna, who vowed that if God would end her long sterility, she would consecrate her child to Him. The birth of her son Samuel was the answer to her prayers and tears. She brought the child to the high priest to be consecrated to God. In her joy she chanted the sublime Canticle of Anna (1 Sam. 2). The song of every barren woman made fruitful, it begins: "My heart has rejoiced in the Lord." Further on we read how she raised Samuel: "The child advanced and grew on, and pleased both the Lord and men." Samuel was the last judge of Israel. The apocryphal stories of St. Anne's conception of the Virgin Mary bear a startling resemblance to the opening chapters of First Samuel.

In Tobias 1:9 we come across another Anna: "But when he (Tobias) was a man, he took to wife Anna of his own tribe, and had a son by her, whom he called after his own name." She was taken into captivity with him.

At the presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple we find Anna the prophetess, whose feast occurs on September 1: "There was also Anna, a prophetess, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher....And coming up at that very hour, she began to give praise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all who were awaiting the redemption of Israel" (Luke 2:36-38). The Greek Church keeps her feast on February 3.

Blessed Anne Marie Taigi lived the normal life of a married woman of the Italian working class and was endowed with the gift of prophecy. Blessed Anne Line, an English convert, was sentenced to death for harboring priests during the Reformation.

Most girls by this name claim Anna, the wife of Joachim and mother of Our Lady, as their patron. Her cult goes back to the sixth century in the East, and to the eighth century in the West. She is often shown in art teaching Our Lady to read the Scriptures. Through the ages she has been depicted wearing a green mantle and a red dress, colors symbolic of immortality and divine love.

Rev. Edgar Schmiedler in "Your Home: A Church in Miniature" (FLB, see Abbreviations) mentions the custom in Louisiana of children of French extraction named Anne wearing red and green ribbons in her honor. These are colors to bear in mind for party decorations on her feast. There is no need to look "Christmasy" by using equal amounts; rather, use cool green for the main color scheme with accents of red.

Devotion to St. Anne was brought to Louisiana by French priests from Brittany and fostered by Canadian priests sent to labor in the South among the French-speaking people. St. Anne d'Auray and St. Anne de Beaupre, famed shrines in Brittany and Canada respec- tively, inspired the people of Louisiana to dedicate parishes and societies to her, particularly in New Orleans, where her feast is kept with solemnity and where there is an Archconfraternity of St. Anne and an official publication, "St. Anne's Herald." Other immigrants brought devotion to St. Anne from the Old World shrines in Duren in the Rhineland and Apt in Provence.

Here in New York are a shrine church of St. Anne on East 12th Street and a shrine in St. Jean Baptiste's on Lexington Avenue at 76th Street, which used to be known as "St. Anne des Canadiens." In Scranton, 150,000 pilgrims visit St. Anne's Passionist Monastery on her feast. There is remembrance of St. Anne on tiny Isle Lamotte in Vermont, where Mass was first offered in New England in 1666.

St. Anne has been honored in song and poetry through the ages. Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth century wrote:

Oh thou that art so fair and full of grace, Be thou my advocate in that high place, There, as withouten end is sung Hozanne, Thou Christes mother, daughter dear of Anne!

Thomas Moore, "poet of the people of Ireland," composed in Gaelic the "Canadian Boat Song" sung by Canadian boatmen as they left the shrine and reached the river rapids:

We'll sing to Saint Anne our parting hymn, Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast, The rapids are near and the daylight's past.

On St. Anne's feast the family prays:

Father: We all rejoice in the Lord, As we keep holiday in honor of blessed Anne, Of her whose feast fills angels with joy, And sets them praising the Son of God.

All: Amen.

Father: Spotless Anna, Juda's glory, Through the Church from East to West Every tongue proclaims thy praises, Holy Mary's mother blessed.

All: From thy stem in beauty budded Ancient Jesse's mystic rod; Birth from thee received the Mother Of the almighty Son of God

Father: Let us pray. O God, You were pleased to bestow Your grace upon Anne so that she might fitly become the mother of her who was to bear Your only-begotten Son; grant that we who keep her feast will be helped by her protection. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. Several symbols including the book cake decorated with a flowering rod suggest themselves for St. Anne's nameday cake. A tiny statue of Our Lady or St. Anne teaching the child Mary to read may top the cake. Green place-mats and paper plates accented with red roses will bring out the colors proper to St. Anne. A light green frosting and pink icing roses are also suggested (from MS, see Abbreviations).

Many beautiful reproductions of paintings of St. Anne are avail- able. For $.35 you can get a reproduction of De La Tour's "St. Anne with the Virgin" (from FC, see Abbreviations). Sepia prints of "The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne" by Bernandino Luini, Milan, are available from the same source for $6.00. Other paintings of St. Anne include "The Nativity of Mary" in the Church of Saint Severin, Paris; Murillo's "Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin," Prado Gallery, Madrid; and "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne" by Leonardo and pupils, the Louvre, Paris (available unframed for about $4.00 from LAS, see Abbreviations).

For a nameday gift a signed Serraz makes a perfect statue for a child's altar; the work is about $15.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). An inexpensive statue from Italy with the traditional green mantle is about $1.50 (FP, see Abbreviations). Be sure to specify the green mantle because others in this price range are not good. The latter also has an imported handcarved wooden statue painted in delicate colors for about $25.00, a gift to save up for during the year. The book "St. Anne" by Anne Parkinson Keyes makes a nice gift for Ann, Annamarie, Nancy, Lillian, Nanette, Anita, Aine, Joann, and Marianne (from RC, see Abbreviations); "Anne" by M. K. Richardson is a book to read to little girls; the text is suitable for an eight-year-old to read by herself (from RC, see Abbreviations). A French medal ranges in prices from $2.00 to $10.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations).


rice gelatine salt cream sugar strawberries milk kirsch (optional) vanilla

Cook 3/4 cup of well-washed rice in 1 quart of milk with 1/3 teaspoon of salt and 2/3 cup of sugar. When the rice is very soft and creamy, force it through a sieve and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla (we blend ours in a Waring blender). Soften 2 tablespoons of gelatine in 1/4 cup of water and dissolve it in the hot rice. Cool the rice to lukewarm. Fold in 1 cup stiffly beaten cream and turn the mixture into a ring mold. Chill until well set, usually about 2 hours. Unmold on a cold platter and fill the center of the ring with 3 cups of strawberries mashed with 1/2 cup of fine granulated sugar. Save the best strawberries to use as a garnish for the ring. To the 3 cups of strawberries may be added 3 ounces of kirsch a half hour before serving, but this is optional.


Once after a nameday talk a mother came and said: "My husband is of German descent, but I'm Irish. Enn is the name of our daughter. Who is her patron?" "A Bavarian virgin, Erentrude of Salzburg," we had to confess! The virgin renounces all for the love of Christ. Virginity of mind and heart and body, kept perpetually and gladly sacred, develops human personality to high perfection, making it strong in self-possession, in apostolic charity, and in alertness for whatever may please Christ and deepen union with Him.

Nameday prayers on feasts of virgins:

Father: Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear because the King greatly desires your beauty.

All: My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the King. Father: Let us pray. Hear our prayers, O God our Savior, and let us learn the spirit of true devotion from your virgin N.... as we joyfully celebrate her feast. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

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1. Keep Thou Thine image, O Lord, in my heart. Let all mean naught to me, save that Thou art. Be Thou my thought thro' day and thro' night: Waking or sleeping, O be Thou my Light.

2. Mine be the wisdom to know Thy true Word. Be ever with me and I with Thee Lord; Be Thou my father, make me Thy son; Dwelling within me, and I in Thee, one.

3. Lord, God of heaven! when my life is done, Grant me the joy of a heaven full won; Joy of our hearts! whatever befall, Still keep me with Thee, O Maker of all.

"Seven Books of Wisdom" by Roland E. Murphy will provide background for understanding the prayers used for virgin-saints, for Our Lady, and other holy women (from RC, see Abbreviations). Desserts and suggestions. Lilies, symbol of purity, or lilies of the valley in icing (from MS, see Abbreviations) are used to top homemade or purchased cakes for virgin-saints. A white rose may be used on the rose cake. The rose may be purchased ready-made (MS, see Abbreviations) or it may be made of frosting, using tubes from the Ateco sets found in department stores or ordered from Maid of Scandinavia (MS, see Abbreviations). "Cake-Mate" has frosting in various colors and easy tubes for decorating. It is found in most supermarkets. "Decorating Cakes for Fun and Profit" by Richard Snyder will help mother to turn out a beautifully decorated cake (from MS, see Abbreviations). The symbols proper to each virgin-saint can be incorporated into your decorations. Roses are the attribute of Rose Venerini, the Franciscan Rose of Viterbo, Roseline, a Carthusian, and Rosalie, patron saint of Palermo. Keys are used for St. Sytha or Zita, as well as for St. Odile, a patron of Alsace. A heart depicts St. Hildegarde, "Sybil of the Rhine," the first illustrious German mystic, poet, physician, and political moralist; a $1.00 plaque is available from CCA, see Abbreviations. For the abbess Aurea the symbol is a millstone; for Hilda of Whitby and Edith of Wilton, a church; for Christina, a millstone and two arrows. St. Gertrude the Great has seven rings or a heart, because of her love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Serafina, usually called Fina, has a chain or coins; Martha, keys or a ship; and Marcelline, elder sister of St. Ambrose, a cross. The Book of Psalms is the attribute of Audrey or Ethel, whose patron is Etheldreda. Blessed Isabel of France was a sister of St. Louis of France; a nameday gift for their namesakes would be "Brother and Sister Saints" by M. P. Harney, S.J. (about $3.00 from RC, see Abbreviations). Hyacintha Mariscotti is the patron of Cynthia; Blessed Giovanna Bonomo, a Benedictine, is Yvonne's patron. Two Dominican beatae have charming names: Sibyllina, a blind orphan, who lived as a tertiary anchoress, is the patron of Sibyl; and Stephana, a secular tertiary, patron of Stephanie. Other virgins include St. Mariana of Quito; Lelia, whose name in Gaelic, Liadan, is that of our youngest niece; Darerca or Moninne, another Celtic saint; and Lutgarde, who ranks as one of the most sympathetic figures among medieval mystics. St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, has a dove for her symbol. Recently canonized as a saint of the "little way" is Bertilla. Veronica Giuliani, Bernadette of Lourdes, Beatrice d'Este and her aunt, Blessed Baptista Varani, both Benedictines, and the famous Walburga are also classed among the virgin-saints. An imported St. Bernadette medal costs about $1.50 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). A rare Bernadette with a lamb, a signed piece of sculpture, may be ordered for about $8.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). St. Genevieve, patron of Paris, and St. Germaine of Pibrac also have a lamb as their sign. Medals by Py are available for both of them (about $1.50 from LAS, see Abbreviations). St. Genevieve, a terra cotta piece by Felix Oudin, costs about $20.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). Blessed Lydwina was "a prodigy of human suffering and of heroic patience"; Mary Frances had spiritual experiences including the mystical marriage. St. Alice or Aleydis, a Cistercian nun, died at an early age. Gemma Galgani has a crown cake. Her name in Italian means "jewel."


How fortunate are girls named after the glorious virgin-martyrs who battled to maintain their integrity and faith, and in return were divinely protected and rewarded. The virgin-martyrs sacrificed what was naturally good for the sake of God, the supreme Good. Their lives should inspire the faithful, and particularly their namesakes, to pay due homage to God. Nameday prayers on feasts of virgin-martyrs:

Father: Come, O spouse of Christ, receive the crown which has been prepared for you forever by the Lord, for whose love you shed your blood.

All: In your splendor and your beauty, make ready, ride in triumph, and rule. Father: Let us pray. O God, from whose bounty all good gifts proceed and who in Your virgin-martyr N.... did both give the flower of virginity and the palm of martyrdom, at her intercession unite our souls to You by love so that we may avoid all perils and gain the rewards of eternity. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Desserts and suggestions. During the Middle Ages, lilies and red roses were used in wreaths to commemorate the namedays of these saints. Chaucer was familiar with this usage:

Thou with thy garland, wrought of rose and lilies, Thee mene13 I, mayde and martyr, seint Cecile.

We encircle the nameday cake for our Sheila (Gaelic for Cecilia) with fresh, artificial, or icing flowers, usually wafer roses and calla lilies (from MS, see Abbreviations). Sometimes we use the dessert for a martyr (see Martyrs Chiffon Dessert) or the cake with musical notation (see Musical Cake). A laminated reproduction of "St. Cecilia and an Angel" by Gentileschi costs $1.25 at the National Gallery of Art (NGA, see Abbreviations). Other cakes suitable for a virgin-martyr are the crown cake , which designates her recompense in heaven, and the cross cake , which reminds the nameday child that her patron heeded the Lord's admonition: "Take up your cross and follow Me." For Sts. Agnes and Reine the lamb cake is used (mold available for $4.95 from MS, see Abbreviations). A beautiful Italian statue of Agnes, hand-carved of wood, costs about $25, an inexpensive one about $1.50 (FP, see Abbreviations). A plaque of St. Agnes costs only $1.00 (CCA, see Abbreviations). A good idea for a gift is the record "St. Agnes" by Janet Lennon ($1.49, from SSJ, see Abbreviations). Cut-up cakes are particularly appropriate for Anastasia, whose attribute is a ship; Irene (a horse); and for Priscilla, Thecla, and Blandina (a lion). The sword as a symbol of martyrdom can be made with "Cake-Mate," a gel that writes like a pencil on cake tops; it is available in most supermarkets or can be ordered from MS, see Abbreviations. This is appropriate for the feasts of the virgin-martyrs Agatha; Winifred, patron of Una, Oona, Gwen, Gwenfrewi; Parnel, English form of Petronilla; Eugenia; Vivian; Victoria; Theodora; Anatolia; Priscilla; Valerie; Euphemia. St. Cecilia's symbol, the harp, should not be hard to locate; we found one which was meant as a planter in a florist shop and used it as a centerpiece. There are gold paper decals in this form which have exciting uses for a child on place-cards, candy cups, and even on cakes (from PB, see Abbreviations, about $1.50 a dozen). St. Julia's symbol, the cross, instrument of her martyrdom, comes in gummed seals for about $.15 (from MS, see Abbreviations). The same symbol is used for St. Faith; Hope and Charity have an anchor and a heart respectively as their special signs. On St. Eulalia's day white icing doves (from MS, see Abbreviations). are used on a cross cake. The fleur-de-lis is used for the French nuns, Blessed Henrietta, patron of Harriet, Blessed Constance, and Blessed Charlotte, martyrs of the Revolution. In addition to the sword attribute, St. Winifred also has a fountain as a symbol, as does Reine. St. Lucy has a lamp; a splendid statue of her, a handcarved import, is available for about $25.00 (from FP, see Abbreviations). Our devotion to St. Agatha has resulted in a collection of color and black-and-white prints of the works of artists who have treated this saint. Prints come from Alinari's in Florence, Italy (AL, see Abbreviations). A similar collection could be made for other saints from the same source, either by mail or by a personal visit to the gallery in Florence. In Italy St. Agatha's feastday celebration is kept with fireworks. In her honor a chef in a famous New York night club created a recipe he called "Flambe Cherry Pie." This is not a recipe for little children; it is quite adult. Cherries Jubilee might be served over ice cream for the children while the grownups have the following dessert.


cognac red vegetable food coloring 1 lb. can red sour pitted egg whites cherries, waterpacked gelatine milk cold water egg yolks heavy cream sugar lemon juice cornstarch

To make the pie, line a 9-inch pie plate with a pie crust made from a favorite recipe or a packaged pie crust mix. Substitute 1 tablespoon of cognac for one of the tablespoons of water in the pastry. Bake. (This recipe, incidentally, calling for a baked pastry crust bottom, has never been used before, according to our friend the chef who created the recipe for this book.) Drain pound can of red sour pitted cherries and soak in 4 ounces of cognac. Heat 1-1/2 cups of milk to scalding. Mix 2 egg yolks, 2-1/2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, another 1/2 cup of cold milk, and 2 drops of red vegetable food coloring. Add this mixture to the scalding milk. Put this custard aside to cool for 1 hour, or refrigerate until thoroughly cooled, about 1/2 hour.

Beat 6 egg whites with 3 tablespoons of sugar until firm. Dilute 1 tablespoon of clear gelatine in 1/2 cup of cold water. When dissolved, warm over fire and blend into egg whites. Blend the gelatine and egg whites into the chilled custard very gently, being careful to keep the texture smooth. Beat 3/4 cup of heavy cream until stiff and gradually blend it into the custard. Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Remove 3/4 of the cherries from the cognac, and reserve the cognac. Fold the cherries into the chilled chiffon filling very gently and mix, but not too thoroughly. Spread into pie shell. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Meanwhile, make a glaze by heating 1 cup of cherry juice, 1 drop of red vegetable food coloring, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and spread the remaining cherries over the top, covering with the glaze. Refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, heat the cognac in which the cherries were soaked and quickly pour the heated cognac over the pie and light it. Dim the lights in the room and bring the lighted cherry pie to the table.


The Greek word for "martyr" signifies "a witness who testifies to a fact of which he has knowledge from personal experience." It was in this sense that the term first appears in Christian literature. The apostles were "witnesses" to all that they had experienced in the public life of Christ, as well as all they had learned from His teaching. In the course of the first age of the Church the term martyr came to be exclusively applied to those who had died for the faith. St. Paul in his Second Letter to Timothy (2:8-10; 3:10-12) explains that to live Christian ideals and to inspire men to love Christ, one must sacrifice all that is contrary to His will and to suffer all protests, whether mild or violent, against divine commands.


The heroism of the ancient martyr-bishops, as well as of the modern ones like Bishop Ford, makes everyone's distress seem more bearable. When martyrs suffer, Christ is suffering in His members, ransoming souls for heaven. Parents should read 2 Corinthians, 1:3-7 from the Bible for children bearing the names of martyr-bishops. A cross cake will remind the nameday child of Matthew 16:24: "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me." A lamb cake or a crown cake is also appropriate.

Nameday prayers for a martyr-bishop:

Father: The Lord established a covenant of peace with him. All: And made him a prince that the dignity of the priesthood should be his forever.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who gladdens us each year by the feast of Your blessed martyr-bishop N...... mercifully grant that we who celebrate his birthday may also enjoy his protection. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

In the category of martyr-bishops are the following, with their symbols: St. Timothy, bishop of Ephesus and the "beloved son in faith" of St. Paul (a club and stones); St. Blaise of Armenia (the crossed candles used in the blessing of throats on his feastday); St. Denis, bishop of Paris (a white chasuble, or a sword); St. Thomas a Becket, primate of Canterbury (a sword through a mitre); St. Lambert of Maastricht and St. Frederick of Utrecht (a sword on a book, or a cross); St. Stanislaus of Cracow (an open purse); St. Ignatius of Antioch (a lion); St. Irenaeus of Lyons (a lighted torch); St. Polycarp, illustrious Apostolic Father, disciple of St. John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna (a dove and fire); St. Erasmus or Elmo, bishop of Formiae and patron of sailors (a ship); St. Kilian (two swords); St. Valerian (swords); St. Januarius or San Gennaro (two red phials on a book to commemorate a phenomenon called the "liquefaction" of the alleged relic of his blood, which is preserved in the cathedral of Naples).

Nameday prayers on the feast of a martyr who was not a bishop:

Father: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. All: You have placed on his head a crown of precious stones.

Father: Let us pray. O almighty God, grant that we who joyfully celebrate the birthday in heaven of Your martyr N.... may be made stronger in our love of You through his intercession. Through Christ, our Lord. All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The palm, symbol of victory, when it appears in the catacombs, is often associated with a martyr's grave. A frond of palm above the patron's name may be used on a shield for a child's home altar. The significance is derived from Apoc. 6:9-11: "And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God, and for the witness that they bore.... And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number of their fellow-servants and their brethren who are to be slain, even as they had been, should be complete." The crown cake and the cross cake might be alternated yearly for dessert on the feast of a martyr.


The crown is the sign peculiarly proper to martyred kings. Included in this class of saints are St. Wenceslaus, grandson of St. Ludmila and patron of Czechoslovakia; St. Olaf, apostle of Norway, whose symbols are bread, a scepter, and a sword; St. Oswald of Northumbria, formerly venerated as one of the illustrious national heroes of England; St. Oswin, king of Deira; St. Edwin, king of Northumbria, husband of Ethelburga; St. Kenelm, who succeeded to the crown of Mercia at the age of seven and whose shrine was at Winchcombe; St. Edmund, king of the East Angles, whose emblem is arrows; St. Ethelbert, king of the East Angles; St. Hermenegild, son of the Visigoth king of Spain, whose symbol is the letters IHS upon a heart; and St. Eric, king and principal patron of Sweden, whose banner carries three crowns on a fountain.


The sword is the usual emblem of countless martyrs, recalling the instrument of their death. It is used for St. Angelo, an early member of the Carmelite Order; St. Peter Martyr, the Dominican for whom the word Credo is written on a feastday cake; St. Justin of Rome, called "the Philosopher"; St. Valentine of Rome, after whom "valentines" are named; St. Victor of Marseilles; St. Placid, whose symbol is a crescent; and Blessed John Cornelius, an Irish Jesuit. Arrows are used as symbols on the feast of St. Sebastian, a famous Roman martyr; St. Demetrius, great saint of the East; and St. Constantine, a missionary martyred in Scotland. St. Florian, patron saint of firemen, has an eagle and flames for his symbols (a $3.00 medal is available from RC, see Abbreviations). St. Pantaleon, patron of physicians, is represented by a budding olive branch, a lion, phials of medicine, and a sword with a vase. St. Cassian of Imola, who was a schoolmaster, has a heart with a dagger as his symbols; St. Eustace, a white stag with a cross in its antlers; St. Maurice, leader of the Theban Legion, a banner with a lion rampant, seven stars or an eagle on a shield (medal for $1.50 from LAS, see Abbreviations). St. Christopher, also a martyr, is shown in art carrying the Christ Child. A little wooden statue to top a nameday cake is available from RC, see Abbreviations, for about $1.50.


Sanctified in married life by its trials and spiritual helps, many a wife has crowned her sacrifices with martyrdom. In modern times we can think of the English martyrs Blessed Anne Line, hanged at Tyburn in 1601 for harboring priests; Blessed Margaret Pole, niece of Edward IV and Richard III; Blessed Margaret Ward, hanged for helping a priest escape from jail. Blessed Agatha Kim, a Korean, was killed for the faith in 1846. In ancient times there was St. Sabina in Rome and St. Sophia, the legendary mother of Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity.

Nameday prayers on the feast of a woman-martyr:

Father: Let us pray. O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of Your martyr N.... whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Peter tells us that every sufferer, especially the martyr, thanks God for the assured end to all trials and for the certain happiness that is every faithful soul's everlasting reward (1 Pet. 1:3-7). This passage should be read on martyrs' namedays. Sts. Vitalis and Valerie were the parents of the martyrs Gervase and Protase. Sts. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia fled from Rome to escape the persecution of Vitus' father. Other martyrs who are honored together are Sts. Cyprian and Justina, a magician and a Christian maiden respectively; Sts. Timothy and Maura; Sts. Thea and Valentina, sister martyrs; Sts. Aquila and Priscilla, disciples of St. Paul who are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles; Sts. Flora and Mary; Sts. Cosmas and Damian, whose symbols are arrows; Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria, husband and wife; Sts. Felicity and Perpetua; Sts. Boris and Gleb; Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, Charles Garnier and five other Jesuits, the first canonized saints of the North American continent. Their story is published in a fifteen-cent pamphlet, "The Mohawk Martyrs," by Rev. J. MacFarland, S.J., (from PP, see Abbreviations).


l pint strawberries 3 tablespoons lemon juice l envelope unflavored 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind gelatine 1 can (1-2/3 cups) icy cold 1/2 cup water evaporated milk, whipped 2/3 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt

Crush strawberries, reserving several whole strawberries for garnish. Sprinkle gelatine on water in saucepan to soften. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatine is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add sugar and salt and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in strawberries, lemon juice and lemon rind. Chill until mixture is the consistency of unbeaten egg white. Fold in whipped evaporated milk. Turn into 1-1/2-quart mold or bowl (a crown mold would be most appropriate). Chill until firm. At serving time, unmold and garnish with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

YIELD: 8 servings


The term "confessor" is used to designate those men of remarkable virtue and knowledge who proclaimed the faith of Christ before the world by the practice of heroic virtue, by their writings, and by their preaching. After the age of the early martyrs, such persons received veneration by the faithful, and chapels (martyria) were erected in their honor, a privilege previously reserved to martyrs.

On the feasts of confessors the family prays:

Father: The mouth of the just man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justly.

All: The law of God is in his heart.

Father: Let us pray. O God, it is a joy for us to celebrate yearly the feast of Your confessor N.... May we who commemorate his birthday also initiate his example. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Let us list some of these holy men of God. There is Paschal Baylon, a Franciscan doorkeeper, who had power over souls; the Dominican Vincent Ferrer, who in troublesome times traveled through Spain, France, Switzerland and Italy preaching penance, working wonders, and converting thousands; and Alexis, the "man of God," a very popular saint in the East. St. Vincent's symbol is a crucifix, or the letters IHS on a heart; for Alexis it is a seashell. A reproduction of a famous painting of St. Vincent Ferrer comes from the Little Art Shop for about $4.00 (LAS, see Abbreviations). St. Ansgar, first archbishop of Hamburg, preached and organized missions in Germany and Scandinavia; his symbol is a staff with a cross. St. Camillus de Lellis, a founder, is known as the "Red Cross saint." St. Didacus or Diego, a Franciscan lay-brother remarkable for his goodness and ability, has roses and bread for his attributes. St. Francis Borgia is known as the second founder of the Jesuits. Fiacre, an Irish hermit in France, still has a shrine in Seine-et-Marne; he is venerated at Kilfiacha and is invoked against physical ills. His symbols are birds and flowers. St. Jerome Emilian is patron saint of orphans. St. Bernardine of Siena displayed the monogram IHS for veneration and had it painted on houses to promote devotion to the Holy Name. St. Hyacinth, a Polish Dominican, is characterized by a staff. St. Cajetan (Gaetano), founder of the Theatines, is known as the "hunter of souls."

St. Martin de Porres, a recently canonized Dominican, is the "saint of universal brotherhood" and a shining example to every social worker. Medals, statues, and books may be obtained from the St. Martin Guild (SMG, see Abbreviations).

Several kings are confessor-saints. Ferdinand III freed the vast territories of Spain from the Saracens. King Louis of France is a "characteristic example of the good and great medieval layman; indifferent to comfort, humbly devoted to the poor and to religion, the father of eleven children, and a fighting man who admirably governed and consolidated his own kingdom" (Attwater). An exceptional statue of St. Louis costs about $8.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).

St. Ladislaus, King of Hungary and its national hero, extended the borders of his state, kept its enemies at bay, made it politically great, ushered in an era of peace, and fostered Christianity. King Henry the Good was a Holy Roman emperor. Emperor-confessor St. Leopold the Good was the father of eighteen children and a ruler for forty years.

Crown cakes are used on feastdays of these king-confessors. Imported medals of St. Louis and St. Henry come in sizes from $2.00 to $10.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

St. Casimir, a Polish prince, is the "father and defender of the poor and unfortunate." St. John of God, patron of hospitals, nurses, and the sick, has a chest of coins to denote his charity to the poor. A small plaque for his feast is included in the $2.50 series put out by Berliner & McGinnis (see SER, see Abbreviations). St. Ives of Kermartin, patron of lawyers, was an ecclesiastical and civil lawyer who spent the last fifteen years of his life in parish work; his symbol is a book. For St. Raymond of Pennafort, patron saint of confessors, a rosary symbol is used; for St. Raymond Nonnatus a ship. The cut-up cake will do nicely.

Joachim, father of our Lady, is a confessor, as is Roch, patron of Rochelle, a layman who nursed the plague-stricken in Italy. The "dog" cake is used on his feast. Dominican confessors include Blessed Bertrand and Blessed Jordan. Blessed Herman Joseph has three roses as his symbol.

St. Philip Benizi, chief promoter and best-known saint of the Servite Order, has toy surgical instruments or a chariot on top of his feastday cake. St. Philip Neri, who exercised his apostolate through the confessional, has a rosary or a lily. St. Thomas Villanova, a bishop, is remembered particularly for his love and goodness toward the poor; coins of chocolate, signifying charity, are used on his cake. For St. Peter Nolasco the ship cake is suggested.

One of the great Spanish mystics, St. Peter of Alcantara practiced penances and austerities which were "incomprehensible to the human mind," according to St. Teresa of Avila; his symbols are a cross and a dove. St. Peter Claver is represented by a ship to commemorate his heroic work among the Negro slaves. The Augustinian St. Nicholas of Tolentino, known for his work in the slums, led an uneventful life marked by patience, humility, and indefatigable preaching; his symbol is a cross with lilies, or a flaming star. St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows has a heart with a tiny statue of Mother Mary as his symbol. St. Francis Xavier's immortal fire of love for Christ still draws missionaries to high adventure for God and souls. An excellent statue of him, handcarved of wood, costs $25.00 (from FP, see Abbreviations).


flour baking powder sugar baking soda egg yolks salt whole eggs milk chocolate morsels butter or margarine

Light chocolate cake is an American favorite. This cake uses semi-sweet chocolate morsels, the kind used in chocolate chip cookies. Semi-sweet chocolate bits make an attractive beading around the edge of a white frosting.

Melt 1 six-ounce package (1 cup) of semi-sweet chocolate morsels over hot (not boiling) water. Cream 1/2 cup of margarine or butter; add 1 cup of sugar gradually, creaming thoroughly. Add 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, one at a time, beating well. Sift together 2 cups of cake flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Sift again. Add alternately to the creamed mixture with 1 cup of milk. Stir in melted chocolate. Turn into 2 eight-inch greased pans, two inches deep. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, for 35 minutes. Cool. Frost with seven-minute frosting or with boiled frosting. Garnish with additional semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

Chocolate "Cake-Mate" may be used to add the name of a child's patron to the cake.


sugar egg yolks water heavy cream chocolate chips

1. Boil 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water for 3 minutes. Put 6 ounces of chocolate chips into a blender. Pour boiled water and sugar over the chocolate. Cover. Blend on high speed for 6 seconds.

2. Add 3 egg yolks to the mixture. Cover and continue blending on high speed until smooth.

3. Separately, using an electric mixer or rotary beater, beat 1- 1/2 cups of heavy cream until the cream stands in peaks. Using a spatula, gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.

4. Spoon the mixture into a refrigerator tray. Cover the tray with wax paper or aluminum foil and set in the refrigerator freezing compartment for 2 or 3 hours or until frozen. Recipe yields about 1 quart of ice cream for a nameday party.


"Behold, a great priest who in his days pleased God and was found just; and in time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was none found the like to him who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him increase among his people."

Parents whose children are named for confessor-bishops will want to take out their Bibles for a reading from the Book of Ecclesiasticus 44:16-27 and 45:3-20, which begins with the above lines, in order to have the children understand and love their patrons. The symbols for bishops are the mitre, scepter, lamb, and crown.

Nameday prayers for a confessor-bishop:

Father: The Lord established a covenant of peace with him.

All: And made him a prince that the dignity of the priesthood should be his forever.

Father: Let us pray. O almighty God, grant that our solemn celebration of the feast of Your confessor-bishop N.... may increase our devotion and bring us closer to our salvation. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Although any purchased or homemade cake decorated with the bishop's name and a tiny mitre can be used on the feast of a bishop-saint, the traditional cake is "Bischofsbrot" or "Bishop's Bread."

BISCHOFSBROT (Bishop's Bread)

eggs sugar flour almonds raisins candied citron candied lemon rind candied orange rind sweet chocolate

Beat 6 egg yolks until light and creamy. Add 2/3 cup of sugar and beat it in. Stir in 1 cup of sifted flour and 2/3 cup of almonds blanched and slivered; 1/2 cup each of white and dark raisins (or 1 cup of dark raisins); 1/4 cup of diced candied citron; 1/8 cup each of candied lemon and candied orange rind; and 6 ounces of sweet cooking chocolate cut into small pieces. Fold in 6 egg whites beaten stiff but not dry. Pour the batter into a greased, floured loaf pan and bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for 1 hour. Let the bread stand for 24 hours and serve in very thin slices.

This recipe comes from a wonderful collection entitled "Gourmet's Old Vienna Cook Book" by Lillian Langseth Christensen (GO, see Abbreviations).

An easy symbol to design for a patron who was a bishop is a mitre, the tall headdress with the top cleft crosswise, resembling a pointed arch. Attached to the back and falling over the shoulders are two flaps or fanons, which are said to symbolize the New and Old Testaments. The mitre, a sign of episcopal authority, can be used on a shield for a child's home shrine.

Being a prince of the Church, a bishop rates a crown cake or a lamb cake. A gold mitre or crown may be used upon the cake; or you may simply put the lamb from your Nativity set atop a store cake. A frozen dessert in a crown-shaped mold is also appropriate (mold is available from MS, see Abbreviations, or from a department store). Famous "Bishop Wine" is a good nameday drink.


Burgundy cinnamon sugar orange

Heat to the boiling point a bottle of red Burgundy, 7/8 cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the grated rind of an orange scraped free of white pulp. Serve hot.

Numberless confessors were bishops. With each one we will list his special emblem which can be used in your decorations for his feast. First there is St. Francis de Sales, whose symbol is a flaming heart; St. Dunstan, primate of Canterbury, a harp; St. Eligius (Eloi), patron of metal workers, a horseshoe or a miniature church in gold St. Hugh of Lincoln, a notable defender of the Jews, a swan, St. Benno of Meissen, whose canonization annoyed Martin Luther, a fish with a key; St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, a stag or fire; St. Amator of Auxerre, a hatchet; St. Aubert, two loaves of bread, St. Anatole, a book, because he was a celebrated mathematician. St. Martin of Tours, a highly venerated saint, is represented by a horse or a goose; St. Wilfrid, a successful missionary, by a fish or a ship; St. Remy, who baptized King Clovis at Rheims, by a dove or birds; St. Nicholas of Myra, popular saint of the East and West, by a ship, three gold balls on a book, or coins.

The cross is a special attribute of St. Augustine (Austin) of Canterbury, who was sent to evangelize England; of St. Cloud, grandson of King Clovis; and of St. Bernard, for whom a "jeweled" cross cake might be baked. St. Brice of Tours, a patron for Bruce, has a basket of eggs, as does St. Rupert, apostle of Bavaria. A flaming heart is used for St. Leander of Seville, brother of two bishop-saints, Isidore and Fulgentius, and a fountain for St. Rieul (Regulus) of Senlis and for St. Ives. A book, signifying the Bible, is the attribute of St. Osmund of Salisbury; of Chad, bishop of Litchfield; of Ulrich of Augsburg; and of Cyril of Alexandria.

Broken images and a book are the marks in art of Titus of Crete, to whom St. Paul addressed a canonical epistle. A fish and a ring denote St. Kentigern, first bishop of Glasgow, whose symbols are perpetuated in the official coat-of-arms of that city. David of Wales, patron saint of that country, has a dove and a fountain; Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, the wonder-worker of Britain, has a swan.


Included among the pope-saints are Peter, Clement, Alexander, Victor, Urban, Fabian, Cornelius, Lucius, Marcellus, Felix, Sylvester, Julius, Boniface, Celestine, Leo, Gregory, Eugene, Sergius, Paschal, Callistus, Dionysius and Damasus.

Father: If you love Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs, feed My sheep.

All: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Father: Let us pray. O eternal Shepherd, it was You who appointed blessed N.... shepherd of the whole Church; let the prayers of this pontiff (and martyr) move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The symbols of a pope are the tiara, a triple cross, and a church. The tiara, a circular headpiece, consists of three crowns, one above the other, surmounted by a cross. A triple papal cross has three crossbars. It can be made of paper, worked into a dessert with frosting in a tube, or written on with "Cake- Mate," a frosting that writes like a pencil (available in supermarkets or from MS, see Abbreviations). The church cake can be made from a honey cake ready for construction and frosting (MS, see Abbreviations). The lamb cake may also be used.

A liturgical plaque of St. Gregory costs only $1.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). Striking medals ranging in price from $1.50 to $10.00 can be ordered from the Little Art Shop (see LAS, see Abbreviations).

Traditionally a German punch called Papst is served on the feast of a pope.

PAPST (Pope Punch)

sugar lumps cloves oranges Tokay wine cinnamon stick

Rub several lumps of sugar on half the rind of an orange scraped free of white pulp; place it in a bowl. Add an orange cut in very thin slices, a small piece of cinnamon stick, and a clove or two. Add a bottle of Tokay wine and steep for 24 hours. Serve without chilling.


The symbol of a cardinal is the red hat with a broad brim, low crown, and two cords with fifteen tassels each. On a shield the red hat makes a suitable hanging for a home altar. Since a cardinal is a prince of the Church, the crown cake is used. The nameday prayer is the same as that of a bishop.


The word "doctor" comes from the Latin docere, meaning "to teach." In the Old Testament we read of doctors, i.e., those who expounded the Law. At the time of Christ, the title was still in use. When lost as a Boy, Jesus was found in the temple "in the midst of the doctors of the Law" (Luke 2:45).

Under the New Law the doctors are those who have received a special gift or charism, such as the "prophets and doctors" of the Church of Antioch (Acts 13:1), and of whom St. Paul says that "God indeed has set some in the Church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers. . . ." (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11).

Use of the academic title "doctor" dates from the founding of the medieval universities. The apostolate of teaching demands the patience to endure rebuff and indifference, as well as the courage to rebuke and correct. Performed for Christ, such conduct merits eternal joy. The role of doctor of the Church is described by St. Paul in 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

Nameday prayers on the feast of a Doctor of the Church:

Father: This is the faithful and wise servant whom the Lord has set over His household.

All: His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the righteous generation shall be blessed.

Father: Let us pray. O God, may blessed N.... intercede for us in heaven as he once instructed Your faithful on earth and directed them in the way of eternal salvation. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Among the saints who have earned the title Doctor of the Church are the popular wonder-worker, St. Anthony of Padua, who is invoked for help in finding lost articles; and St. Thomas Aquinas, who in a relatively short life of teaching, writing and praying derived more light and help from the crucifix than from books. He is the author of "Summa Contra Gentiles" and "Summa Theologica," the classic scientific exposition of sacred theology.

Other doctors are St. Bernard, author of many treatises and sermons on the love of God and a commentary on the Song of Songs; St. Anselm, the "father of scholasticism," who was declared a doctor without having been formally canonized; St. John Damascene; St. John of the Cross; St. Ephrem; and St. Robert Bellarmine (see p. 120). An imported French medal of St. Bernard can be had in different finishes priced from $1.50 to $10.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

St. Jerome carried on the work of revising and translating the Latin Bible or Vulgate. El Greco's "St. Jerome" is available in an 8 x 10 colored print for $.35 and a kodachrome for $1.25 (from FC, see Abbreviations). A framed Zurbaran, "Jerome with St. Paula and St. Eustochium" may be ordered for $5.00 (from NGA, see Abbreviations).

St. John Chrysostom was such an eloquent speaker that he was surnamed "golden-mouthed." His symbol is a beehive, denoting his sweetness of speech. The honey dessert (see Honey Chiffon Pie) is appropriate for his feastday. St. Gregory Nazianzen is the subject of a famous painting hanging in the Buffalo Museum. St. Basil the Great ranks in influence and importance as a monk on a par with St. Benedict. He is called the father of Eastern monks. St. Ambrose was one of the most beloved bishops of all time.

St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, was the greatest of the Latin Fathers; he is best known for his "Book of Confessions." St. Leo the Great, by his wisdom and his defense of the Catholic faith against heresy and his intervention with Attila the Hun, raised the prestige of the Holy See to great heights; a lion cake can be used on his feastday. St. Bede the Venerable, the only doctor of English birth, is best known as the author of "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People." Some of his homilies are read in the Divine Office.

St. Albert the Great, a Dominican bishop, is the author of thirty-eight quarto volumes including treatises on logic, metaphysics, mathematics, ethics, and physical science, as well as biblical and theological works and sermons. One of the four great Greek doctors of the Church was St. Athanasius. St. Bonaventure was illustrious as a mystical theologian and as a scholastic during the Middle Ages.

The book cake on the feastday of a doctor of the Church would designate his writings. Additional symbols can be added, such as a cross for St. Peter Damian; a star, dove, chalice and host for St. Thomas Aquinas; a ship for St. Anselm; a dove or beehive for St. Ambrose; a lion for St. Leo the Great; a lion or a cross for St. Jerome; a ship for St. Athanasius; a dove or fire for St. Basil; a dove or triple cross for St. Gregory the Great; a beehive or three mitres for St. Bernard; and a flaming heart or arrows piercing a heart for St. Augustine. For St. Cyril of Jerusalem the dessert called "Snowballs-on-Fire" could be used.


Genoise, the French butter spongecake, is the most versatile cake you can make.14 It is rich, yet light and delicate, and unforgettably delicious. It is a one-bowl cake and not at all difficult when directions are followed.

To make the Book Cake you will need:

large eggs sweet butter, melted sugar and clarified sifted flour vanilla flavoring

Set oven at 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour 1 Book Cake pan.

In a large bowl combine 6 eggs and 1 cup of sugar. Stir for a minute, or until they are just combined. Set bowl over saucepan containing 1 or 2 inches of hot water. Water in pan should not touch bowl; nor should it ever be allowed to boil. Place saucepan containing bowl over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until eggs are lukewarm. Heating the eggs helps them whip to greater volume.

It is not necessary to beat them continuously as they are warming. They should, however, be lightly stirred 3 or 4 times to prevent them from cooking at bottom of bowl.

When eggs feel lukewarm to your finger and look like a bright yellow syrup, remove bowl from heat. Begin to beat, preferably with an electric mixer. Beat at high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary, until syrup becomes light, fluffy, and cool. It will almost triple in bulk and look much like whipped cream. It is the air beaten into the eggs that gives genoise its lightness.

Beating by hand with a good rotary beater will take about 25 minutes.

Sprinkle 1 cup of sifted flour, a little at a time, on top of the whipped eggs. Fold in gently, adding 1/2 cup slightly cooled, clarified butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring. (Clarified butter is pure fat from which milk solids and water have been removed. Place butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat. Cook until foam disappears from top and there is a light brown sediment on the bottom of pan--about 10 minutes. The liquid should be golden, not brown. Pour off the clear butter and leave sediment in the sauce-pan.) Folding can be done with electric mixer turned to lowest speed, or by hand. Be especially careful not to over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and is golden brown and springy when touched lightly on top. Remove from pan immediately and cool on cake rack. A frosting, packaged the Seven-Minute Frosting may be used. Roses and "Cake-Mate," to use in writing a name on the Book Cake, may be ordered from MS (see Abbreviations).


Children whose patrons are abbots should read, or have read to them, the passage from the Book of Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6. Just as Moses was divinely chosen and endowed to be the head of God's people, so through an abbot does God reveal His will to the monks.

Nameday prayers on the feast of an abbot:

Father: Beloved of God and man, N.... memory is held in benediction.

All: He made him like the saints in glory.

Father: Let us pray. Let the blessed abbot N.... intercede for us, O Lord. May his prayer win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A church atop a cake is used for the feasts of abbots ($2.50, from MS, see Abbreviations). The crooked pastoral staff called the scepter, mark of authority and jurisdiction, may be drawn on a shield with the abbot's name for a home shrine or family bulletin board. A book cake would also be appropriate.

Some abbots, e.g., St. Benedict and the Irish ones, are listed elsewhere under their particular sections, Founders, and Irish Saints. Besides these there are St. John Climacus, whose symbol is a book or ladder, because of his book Ladder to Paradise; St. John Walbert, a crucifix; St. John of Matha, a red and blue cross, or a chain; St. Gildas the Wise, a bell or a fountain; St. Leonard, a fleur-de-lis on a book; St. Antony the Abbot, patron of all monks, a belled pig, a lion, or a staff with a bell; and St. Sergius, best known of all Russian saints.

St. Harvey is a popular Breton saint; his symbol is music, and the cake on is appropriate for his feast. Because an eagle showed him where to build a church, St. Theodoric or Thierry has an eagle for his attribute; Derek is another form of this name. St. Odilo, who instituted the commemoration of all the faithful departed, has a banner with a red and white cross. St. Gall of Switzerland, most eminent of the twelve monks who left Ireland with St. Columban, is represented by a bear, or bread and a staff; St. Maurus, disciple of St. Benedict, by a book and censer, or a pair of scales; St. Romuald, by a ladder; St. Loman, by gold coins; and St. Giles, by a hind.


A book cake recalls for the nameday child the rule written by his or her patron, the founder of a religious family. If the symbol or motto of the saint is known, it can be written with "Cake- Mate" on the page of the book cake.

A general prayer for the many founders whom, we cannot include individually here is given under General Prayer for Other Founders.


St. Benedict's Rule is considered one of the most potent factors in building the civilization of Christian Europe. In Italian the name is Benedetto; French, Benoit; Spanish, Benito; Portuguese, Bento; German, Benedikt. The English Benet is also derived from the name Benedict. Girls' names include Benedicta, Benetta, Benoite, Benita, Benicia, and Betta.

The prayers for his feast are taken in part from the "Te Deum," the Church's hymn of praise:

Father: We praise You, O God. We acclaim You Lord and Master.

All: Everlasting Father, all the world bows down before You.

Father: All the angels sing Your praise, the hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers.

All: All the cherubim and seraphim call out to You in unending chorus.

Father: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of angel hosts.

All: The heavens and the earth are filled, Lord, with Your majesty and glory.

Father: Let us pray. May the intercession of Your abbot Benedict gain us Your favor, we pray You, Lord, and may his advocacy win for us that which we do not ourselves deserve. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. The book cake is used for St. Benedict's feastday with the words, "Listen, my son," written on one of the pages; these are the opening words of his Rule. A dove, such as is used on wedding cakes, may be placed on his cake as a reminder of his vision of his sister St. Scholastica ascending to heaven at her death. Icing doves can be purchased from MS, see Abbreviations.

St. Benedict medals are available from LP, see Abbreviations, in five different finishes. Fra Filippo Lippi's "St. Benedict Orders St. Maurus to the Rescue of St. Placid" hangs in the National Gallery of Art; prints are available (see NGA, see Abbreviations). Hans Memling's "St. Benedict" is available in reproduction from the Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations), which also carries Pietro Perugino's "St. John and St. Benedict" in a color print (about $4.00). A signed Serraz statue ranges in price from $8.00 to $20.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).


St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers to combat the Albigensian heresy and to preach and teach throughout Europe.

Father: Let us pray. O God, it was Your pleasure to enlighten Your Church by the merits and teachings of St. Dominic; grant that through his intercession she may not be deprived of temporal help and may continually advance in spiritual growth. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. The book cake is used on St. Dominic's feast; for decoration you might letter the word "Truth" on the cake with Cake-Mate (from MS, see Abbreviations, or from your supermarket). Another suggestion would be to use a rosary made of silver dragees to recall the devotion ascribed to St. Dominic. Other symbols for him include a dog carrying a lighted torch, or a star, in remembrance of the one which is said to have appeared on his forehead when he was baptized. The cut-up cake (dog) or a flambe dessert (see Flambe Cherry Pie) is also suitable.

Lippo Memmi's "St. Dominic"; Angelico's "St. Dominic at the Foot of the Cross" and his "St. Dominic with His Bible"; and Benozzo Gozzoli's "Miracle of St. Dominic" are available for a nameday child's home shrine for about $4.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). The second one mentioned comes in a book of pictures which would supply a family with excellent small reproductions in color of Sts. Joseph, Magdalen, Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi, Stephen, and Our Lady; these are appropriate for framing for a family shrine. The book is entitled "Beato Angelico" and is written in Italian. Published by the Sylvana Editorial d'Arte in Milan, it can be obtained from RC (see Abbreviations) for about $4.00. A famous "St. Dominic" by Lippo Vanni is in the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Another is Biagio d'Antonio da Firenze's "Adoration of the Child with Saints," including Dominic, in the Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Contemporary Christian Art has a plaque of St. Dominic, Our Lady, and St. Catherine of Siena for only $1.00 (CCA, see Abbreviations); the same is available in a large size, framed, for about $20.00 An excellent medal of St. Dominic is available for $1.50 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). An original of St. Dominic may be ordered from Sister Mary of the Compassion, O.P. (SMC, see Abbreviations).


St. Francis of Assisi, "Il Poverello," one of the best loved saints, founded the Order of Friars Minor, characterized by "loving joyous worship of the sacred humanity of Christ and by a profession of poverty." In Italian the name is Franco; Portuguese, Francisco; German and Swiss, Franz; French, Franchot and Francois.

Father: We praise You, O God. We acclaim You Lord and Master.

All: Everlasting Father, all the world bows down before You.

Father: All the angels sing Your praise, the hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers.

All: All the cherubim and seraphim call out to You in unending chorus.

Father: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of angel hosts.

All: The heavens and the earth are filled, Lord, with Your majesty and glory.

Father: Let us pray. O God, through the merits of Francis of Assisi You enriched Your Church with a new offspring; grant that after his example we may despise earthly things and ever find joy in partaking of the gifts of heaven. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Dessert and decorations. St. Francis' symbol for a page of his book cake might be a lamb, perhaps from your Nativity set; or, better, birds and animals made of icing; or musical notes in honor of his "Hymn to the Sun" (MS, see Abbreviations, has icing birds and animals).

A medal of "St. Francis and the Wolf" by Fernand Py costs about $4.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations); LAS also carries a Japanese walnut plaque for about $3.50. CCA (see Abbreviations) has a St. Francis for $8.00. Gentile Bellini's "St. Francis in Ecstasy" may be purchased as a 2 x 2 slide for $1.25; a $16.00 reproduction makes a splendid gift; the 8 x 10 size costs only $.35 (from FC, see Abbreviations). Matted in velvet and framed at the dime store, this color print is ideal for a child's altar.

A small nameday gift our children have enjoyed is "St. Francis of Assisi" by Maisie Ward, a book in the "Saints in Pictures" series (from SW, see Abbreviations). "The Song of St. Francis" by C. R. Bulla ($2.50 from RC, see Abbreviations) and Francis by Sister M. Francis ($2.00 from RC, see Abbreviations) are also books that make appropriate nameday gifts.

A French medal of St. Francis costs from $1.50 to $10.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). Regina Coeli has a splendid statue for $12.50 (RC, see Abbreviations).


St. Clare, spiritual daughter of St. Francis of Assisi, is the founder of the Poor Clares. When the infidels were attempting to besiege her convent, she placed a monstrance containing the sacred Host on the threshold, whereupon the attackers threw down their weapons and fled. Her symbol, therefore, is a monstrance; the design can be put on her book cake.

An inexpensive statue of St. Clare costs $1.50; a hand-carved import in delicate colors, $25.00 (from FP, see Abbreviations). CCA has a walnut plaque that is exceptional for $12.50, and a statue from France for $12.00.

Another Poor Clare, a reformer of the Order, was St. Colette, whose name is a contraction of Nicolette. She is a suitable patroness for Nikki and Colleen, an Irish name meaning "girl." The prayer for Colette is the same as that of her spiritual mother, St. Clare, which is given below.

The different forms of the name are Clara, Chiara, Clarabel, Clarissa, Clarice, Clarita, Claire, Clairette, Clarinda.

Father: Let us pray. Hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the festivity of Clare, Your virgin, so we may be instructed in the affection of pious devotion. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Teresa of Avila is one of the most remarkable, attractive and widely appreciated women the world has ever known and the only one to whom the title "Doctor of the Church" is popularly (not officially) applied. In spite of violent opposition she reformed the Carmelite nuns, founded the Discalced (shoeless) Carmelites, and wrote books of the highest mystical order. She is the patroness of Theresa, Teresita, Terry, Tessa, Teresina, and Tracy.

Father: Let us pray. Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the festival of Your virgin Teresa, so we may be fed with the food of her heavenly teaching and grow in loving devotion toward You. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The book cake could be used for her feast; on its page might appear the letters IHS or a heart. The heart cake would also be appropriate.

An original picture of this patron on Japanese walnut, the work of the Carmelite nuns of Japan, costs about $3.50 (from LAS, see Abbreviations); a larger size is also available for $6.50. A sterling silver medal of St. Teresa costs about $2.75 (from RC, see Abbreviations).


St. John Bosco founded the Salesian Congregation for the education of boys. To decorate the page of his feastday book cake, use an eagle, a heart, or a chalice. An inexpensive statue of the saint can be procured for $1.50 (from RC, see Abbreviations). Henri Gheon has written "The Secret of St. John Bosco," it makes an ideal nameday gift (from SW, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O God, You raised up the confessor St. John Bosco to be a father and teacher of youth and willed that by his doing and the Virgin Mary's help new families should flourish in Your Church; grant that we, being fired with the same flame of charity, may be ennobled to seek out souls and to serve only You. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, established 105 schools in her lifetime and lived to see her religious established in nine European countries and America. The book cake decorated with a heart, or a heart cake will be fitting on her feastday.

A small plaque of Madeleine Sophie comes from Berliner and McGinnis (about $2.50, also a print--BER, see Abbreviations) St. Madeleine's portrait by Savinien Petit, Sacre Coller, Amiens, is included in the book "The Face of the Saints" by Wilhelm Schamoni, translated by Anne Fremantle (from PA, see Abbreviations).

English variants of the name include Magdalen and Magda. In Italian it is Maddelena, and in German, Magdalene.

Father: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, You modeled the soul of Madeleine Sophie in the likeness of Your Sacred Heart and, endowing her with humility and love, willed that through her there should flower forth a new family of virgins. May we be close to Your most Sacred Heart and imitate It, so that we may joyously become Your companions. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Julie, Juliette, and Jill have as their patron Blessed Julie Billiart, foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The cross cake, or a cross on a book cake is used on her nameday.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You willed that through Julie Billiart's invincible love of Your Cross she should enrich Your Church by the establishment of a new congregation dedicated to the teaching of poor children. May her intercession help us to endure suffering courageously, so that we may attain to the happiness of eternal life. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


These are three of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order. For their dessert the book cake is decorated with seven red roses.

Father: The Lord and King of confessors, come, let us adore.

All: Let their names be remembered in blessing.

Father: Far from men's haunts the Holy Founders so live for God they seem in Peter's vision gleaming white lights, pleasing to our Lady, perfect in beauty.

All: Urged on by love in countryside and cities, they seek to wound all hearts with true, compunction, preaching the sword that pierced the soul of Mary, Mother of sorrows.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, in order to renew the memory of the sorrows of Your most holy Mother, through the seven blessed Fathers, You enriched Your Church with the new Order of Servites; mercifully grant that we may be so united in their sorrows as to share in their joys. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Lucy Filippini, founded the congregation which bears her name. On her feast we pray:

Father: Let us pray. O God, You raised up blessed Lucy Filippini to promote Christian piety among Your people and through her established a new congregation in the Church to teach the young. May we follow her teaching and example and attain to the rewards of eternal life. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


The Salesians, though named after St. Francis de Sales, were founded by St. John Bosco. St. Francis de Sales was a bishop of Geneva; with St. Jane Frances de Chantal he founded the Visitation Order of nuns. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877, and is the patron of writers and journalists.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You willed that the blessed confessor-bishop Francis de Sales should become all things to all men to save their souls. Fill us with the spirit of Your love, so that, guided by the counsels of Your saint and aided by his merits, we may come to the happiness of eternal life. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Patroness of Jane Frances, Jane, Janet, Chantal, Jayne, and Janice is St. Jane Frances de Chantal, mother of four children who founded the Visitation Order together with St. Francis de Sales, her director. The prayer for her day is as follows:

Father: Let us pray. Almighty and merciful God, with the purpose to add glory to Your Church through a new congregation founded by Jane Frances de Chantal, You inflamed this saint with such a love of Yourself that her wondrous strength of soul led her in the way of perfection during her whole life. May her merits and prayers bring us grace from heaven to overcome everything that hinders us, for we are conscious of our own frailty and trust solely in Your strength. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A small plaque of St. Jane Frances de Chantal costs about $2.50 (from BER, see Abbreviations). A portrait from the Visitation Convent in Turin is included in "The Face of the Saints" (from PA, see Abbreviations).


The letters IHS or AMDG (Latin for: "All for the greater glory of God") belong on the book cake for St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. A heart with three nails is appropriate, too.

Father: Let us pray. O God, to promote the greater glory of Your Name You reinforced the Church militant with a new army by means of Ignatius; grant that we who do battle here on earth, with his help and after his example, may deserve to be crowned with him in heaven. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A student portrait of the saint and the original death mask are shown in "The Face of the Saints" by Wilhelm Schamoni (from PA, see Abbreviations). A brief biography is "St. Ignatius Loyola" by Rev. G. C. Treacy, S.J., ($.25 from PP, see Abbreviations). "St. Ignatius and the Company of Jesus" by A. Derlith is a $2.00 nameday gift (from FSC, see Abbreviations). Medals ranging from $1.50 to $10.00 can be purchased from The Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations).


St. Vincent de Paul, a man of unbounded love for the poor and unfortunate, is the patron of charitable societies, the Sisters of Charity, the Congregation of the Missions, and the society which bears his name and does such good work almost unnoticed in parishes all over the world.

Father: Let us pray. O God, through Vincent de Paul You founded a new congregation in the Church dedicated to the salvation of the poor and the formation of the clergy. Fill us with the same spirit that filled Your saint, so that we may love what he cherished and practice what he taught. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The finest statue of St. Vincent de Paul that we have seen is a carved wood import costing $25.00 (from FP, see Abbreviations). A contemporary hand-carved wood panel depicting St. Vincent comes hand-colored and in a gold-leaf moulding for $35.00 (from FP, see Abbreviations). Medals from $1.50 to $8.00 are available from LAS, see Abbreviations.


With St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac founded the Sisters of Charity. Their book cakes each bear a heart, the source of love, courage, and devotion.

Father: Let us pray. O God, the Author of charity and its reward, You raised up a new religious congregation in the Church under the maternal guidance of Louise de Marillac. Grant that we may merit the promised reward in heaven by practicing works of charity here on earth. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A copperplate engraving of St. Louise is found in "The Face of the Saints" by Wilhelm Schamoni (from PA, see Abbreviations). A hand-carved panel for $35.00 comes from FP, see Abbreviations. A watercolor original may be ordered from Patronscraft (PC, see Abbreviations). For $10.00 you can get a beautifully colored enamel medal; different finishes are less expensive (from LAS, see Abbreviations).

Variants of the name Louise are Louisa, Aloisia, Lois and Lousine; in French, Aloyce, Heloise, Loiselle; Italian, Eloisa and Luisa; German, Ludovica; Swedish, Lavisa; and Polish, Ludoisia.


St. Alphonsus de Liguori is the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, whose members are called Redemptorists. He is the patron of boys called Alphonse, Alfonso, Alonso, and Lonny. A wreath of edible roses, an angel, or a cross decorates the book cake for St. Alphonsus' feastday.

Father: Let us pray. O God, in Your blessed confessor and bishop Alphonsus Mary You enkindled a burning zeal for souls and by his means caused Your Church to bring forth a new offspring; we pray that we may learn from his wholesome teaching and be strengthened by his example to make our way despite all obstacles into Your presence. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Norbert, bishop, founded a community of canons regular of strict observance called Premonstratensians or Norbertines.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You made Norbert an outstanding preacher of Your word and through him caused Your Church to bring forth new offspring; grant that by his help we may be enabled to practice what he taught by word and deed. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized, founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Her body is enshrined in Fort Washington, New York City, a place of family pilgrimage. She is the patron of Frances, Francesca, Fanny, Francine, Francoise, Franchetta, Franchon, and Francella. The heart cake or a heart on a book cake is used for her feast. Medals and statues may be obtained from her shrine (see CAB, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, You enkindled the fire of Your Sacred Heart in Frances Xavier so that she might win souls for You in many lands and by her means established a new religious congregation of women in Your Church. Grant that we too may imitate the virtues of Your Sacred Heart through her intercession so that we may be worthy of the haven of eternal happiness. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Louis Grignion de Montfort founded the Society of Mary to continue his work, and also a congregation of women called Daughters of Wisdom. A cross or a rosary of silver dragees is used to decorate his book cake. Medals and statues can be obtained from ME, see Abbreviations.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You made Louis Mary, Your confessor and admirable preacher of the Cross and the holy Rosary and through him gave a new family to the Church; grant by his merits and intercession and by the resurrection of Your only-begotten Son that we may obtain the reward of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Angela Merici formed a congregation under the patronage of St. Ursula, the first teaching order of women to be established in the Church. The members are called Ursulines. A small plaque of St. Angela costs about $2.50 (from BER, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O God, You instituted a new congregation of holy virgins in the Church through Angela Merici. May her intercession help us to practice the angelic virtues and renounce earthly things for the sake of everlasting happiness. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Girls called Virginia Rose have a patron in St. Euphrasia Pelletier, who founded the Institute of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. Her baptismal name was Virginia Rose. The lamb cake or the rose cake may be used on this feast.

Father: Let us pray. O God, by Your gift the blessed Mary Euphrasia followed in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd. May we imitate her example on earth to gain the rewards of heaven promised to those who are merciful. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. John Baptist de la Salle founded the congregation of the Brothers of Christian Schools for the education of the young. He was declared the patron saint of schoolteachers in 1950.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You raised up Your confessor John Baptist to promote the Christian education of the poor and to confirm the young in the way of truth, inspiring him to gather together a new family in the Church; grant us the grace that his pleading and example may fire us with zeal to glorify You by saving souls and enable us to become sharers of his crown in heaven. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Philip founded the Congregation of the Oratory. The poet Phyllis McGinley has written a delightful poem about him (see Cream of the Jesters). Like all great founders, he rates a book cake on his birthday into heaven.

Father: Let us pray. O God, Your confessor Philip You enthroned in glory among Your saints; grant that we may, profit by the example of his virtues in whose feast we are rejoicing. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Juliana Falconieri is honored as the foundress of all women religious of the Servite Order; the tertiaries are known as Mantellates. The prayers for her feastday are compiled from the Vesper hymn in her honor.

Father: Come, bride of Christ, receive the everlasting crown that the Lord has prepared for you.

All: To have for spouse the Lamb of God, O Juliana, thou didst seek; For this thou didst go forth from home To lead the choir of virgins meek.

Father: The pains of Christ upon the Cross Both day and night thou didst deplore, Till pierced with sword of bitter grief Thy body, too, His likeness bore.

Father: Your lips overflow with gracious utterance.

All: The blessings God has granted you can never fail.

Father: Let us pray. O God, wonderfully did You refresh blessed Juliana, Your virgin, on her deathbed with the precious Body of Your Son. We pray You, through her merits, that when our last hour shall come, we too may be comforted and strengthened and safely guided by You to our heavenly home. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


From his early years St. Paul of the Cross showed a great love for our Savior's passion. He founded in Rome the Passionist Congregation, which is devoted to preaching the mystery of the Cross. Either the book cake or the cross cake is suitable on his feast. A fifteen-cent pamphlet on his life is available (from PP, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, You endowed Saint Paul with special charity to preach the mystery of the Cross and willed that through him a new family should flourish in the Church; grant us at his intercession that by keeping ever before us in this life the memory of Your passion, we may become worthy to partake of its fruits in heaven. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. John Eudes was a great "home missioner" in France and an apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart. He founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, from whom sprang the Good Shepherd nuns, and a congregation for the sanctification of the clergy, who are called Eudists. Two hearts in honor of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary are appropriate on his book cake.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You inflamed blessed John with marvelous zeal to promote the public worship of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary; grant that we who revere his godly merits may also learn from the example of his virtues. Through the same Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


These spiritual daughters of St. Dominic should be included here. Their nameday dessert is a book cake with a rosary decoration.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You endowed the virgin Diana with admirable fortitude of spirit and gave her Amy and Cecilia as her companions in treading the path of evangelical perfection; grant that we may be strengthened in difficulties by their example and protected by their help in adversities. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

General Prayer for Other Founders

Father: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, You endowed Your servant N.... with special charity and were pleased that a new family should flourish in Your Church through him (her). Grant that at his (her) intercession we may become worthy to enjoy the happiness of heaven. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Among the many founders and heads of religious communities whom we cannot treat at further length are the following: Sts. Bridget of Sweden, Mary Soledad, Blessed Mary Teresa de Soubiron, Anthony Mary Claret, Felix, Josepha Rosello, Peter Fourier, Mary di Rosa, Blessed Vincentia Lopez, Anthony Zaccaria, Blessed Anne Mary Jahouvey, Mary Magdalen Postel, Camillus de Lellis, Jerome Emiliani, Blessed Marguerite d'Youville, Bartholomea Capitanio, Blessed Peter Julian Eymard, Blessed Joan Delanoue, Blessed Beatrice da Silva, Mary de Mattias, Joan Antide Thouret, Mary Michaela Desmaisieres, Elizabeth Bichier, Joseph Calasanctius, Emily de Rodat, Blessed Teresa Couderc, Gaspar del Bufalo, Blessed Raphaela Mary, Blessed Alix LeClercq, Stephen Harding, Blessed Margaret Bourgeoys, Blessed Vincent Pallotti, Joan de Lestonnac, Gilbert, Blessed Teresa Verzeri, St. John of God, Ludovic Pavoni, Joseph Cottolengo, Magdalen di Canossa, Michael Garicoits, Mary Mazzarello, Joachima de Mas y de Vedruna, Edith of Polesworth, Ethel of Faremoutier, Etheldreda or Audrey, Frieda or Frideswide, Bruno, Gertrude the Great, Hilda of Whitby, Walburga, Scholastica, Paula, and Venerable Elizabeth Seton.


For all patronesses who were nuns and especially for great foundresses we also suggest this delicious cake dessert. For it you will need:

butter baking soda sugar salt eggs milk cake flour lemon juice

Cream together 1/2 cup of butter until lemon-colored and light. Gradually add 1-1/4 cups of sifted fine granulated sugar, and cream until smooth. Add 2 well-beaten egg yolks, one at a time, beating briskly after each addition. Sift twice and mix 2 cups of cake flour with 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add to this creamed mixture alternately with 1/2 cup of cold milk and 2-3/4 tablespoons of unstrained lemon juice. Fold in 3 stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour the batter into two buttered and floured layer cake pans and bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes. Turn the layers out to cool on a cake rack. Put them together later with lemon filling.

A lemon filling mix and a frosting mix are suggested here to save space. Actually we prefer a homemade lemon filling and the seven- minute frosting for this cake. However, any frosting may be used.


"Holy Women" is the title given to those who served God in the married state and to penitents who were neither virgins nor martyrs. St. Rita of Cascia, a widow who became an Augustinian nun and was frequently wrapt in ecstasy, Margaret of Cortona, Mary Magdalen and Veronica, the name traditionally given to the woman who wiped Jesus' face on His way to Calvary, are examples.

Legends of the Madonna include the story of Mary Salome, who at the crucifixion supported the Virgin Mother and was at the resurrection with Mary Magdalen. Salome is shown in art with her sons St. James the Greater and St. John the Evangelist. Mary Cleophas also present at the crucifixion and resurrection, is shown in art with her four saint sons, Jude, James the Less, Simeon and Joseph Barsabas.

Many women saints were of noble birth: Clotilde, wife of King Clovis, Hedwig, Flavia, and Melanie, a Roman patrician who withdrew from the world with her husband to Jerusalem. The symbol on her nameday cake is a pitcher--perhaps one from a set of doll's dishes.

Widowed women opened many hospitals and monasteries in order to devote their lives to charity and prayer. Among these holy women are Paula, who retired from Rome to a hospital in Jerusalem; she was a friend of St. Jerome, as was Marcella, whom he called "the glory of the ladies of Rome." Adele founded a monastery as did Emma, Bertha and Matilda (or Maude), wife of King Henry and mother of Otto the Great.

Patron of housewives is St. Frances of Rome, whose symbol is an angel. Monica was the mother of the world's greatest "problem child," St. Augustine; his conversion was her life's work. Model of very patient wives is Blessed Ida of Toggenberg, who, Attwater says, was tossed out of a window by her husband. Delfina, patron of Naples, was a Franciscan tertiary. Blessed Anne Marie Taigi, wife of a servant, became adviser of great men in the Church and state. A prayer for any in this class of saints would be:

Father: Let us pray. Hear us, O God our Savior, and grant that we who are gladdened by the nameday of blessed N.... may learn from her how to be lovingly devoted to You. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.


Old Testament


David is treated under the Most Popular Boys' Names.


The name Ruth ranks high in popularity among names for girls There is no New Testament saint of this name which was borne by one of the more charming characters in the Old Testament, Ruth the Moabitess, ancestress of King David. The Book of Ruth gives one of the finest stories ever written. Ruth's feast is kept on the Sunday before Christmas when all of our Lord's ancestors are commemorated. Sheaves of wheat are her symbol.

For a nameday party a cake is baked in a "Star of David" pan, or cookies are cut from a "Star of David" cutter (available from MS, see Abbreviations). Another suggestion is an edible wafer cake top with the Torah, seven candles and a six-pointed star (6-inch size, 3 for $1.00, from MS, see Abbreviations). Bible balloons can be used at a party for Ruth or for any other saint of the Old Testament (also from MS).

Child: Dear heavenly patron N...., whose name I am proud to bear, always pray to God for me. Confirm me in the faith. Strengthen me in virtue. Defend me in the fight that I may be able to conquer the evil one and obtain eternal glory.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


The first baker mentioned in holy Scripture is Sarah (Gen. 18:6). When Abraham, her husband, told her to make cakes upon the hearth, he said: "Make ready three measures of fine meal," suggesting perhaps that there were cake and bread flours even then. Sarah means "princess," so a crown cake may be used on her feast. She is referred to in the marriage blessing of the nuptial Mass. Sally and Sadie are variants of Sarah.


Esther, Jewish wife of a Persian king, saved her people from massacre by Haman. A crown cake in remembrance of her queenship is appropriate, or else a star dessert to commemorate her name which in Persian means "star." In Hebrew it means "myrtle"; she is the patroness of girls of that name. In her honor at Purim, the Jewish festival of mirth and memories, Hamantaschen are baked; these are three-cornered pieces of sweet dough shaped like hangman's hoods filled with prune jam and baked. They recall Haman's destruction. Dutch Jews bake "Little Hamans," or gingerbread men. Recipes are given in "The Jewish Holiday Cookbook" by L. W. Leonard, available in public libraries.


Judith saved the Jewish people by slaying the general Holofernes, an episode which is a favorite with Renaissance painters. A number of the texts for Our Lady's feasts are taken from the Book of Judith.

Father: A new hymn will I sing to the Lord, My God.

All: Great and glorious, Lord, are You; there is no outmatching Your wondrous power.

Father: Let all Your creatures do You service. Were they not made at Your word, fashioned by a breath from You?

All: When You command, none but must obey.

Father: Great is he who fears the Lord in all His doings great.

All: Blessed Judith, pray for us.


The Old Testament contains many beautiful names and patrons. Rachel, meaning "ewe lamb," was "dear to her husband," and Rebecca, wife of Isaac, was "prudent," as we read in the Nuptial Mass. There were Adah (Gen. 4:19); Abigail, wife of David (1 Sam. 25); Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law; Leah, the sister of Rachel and wife of Jacob; Dinah, his daughter; Jemima, daughter of Job; Daniel, the great prophet; Jeremias, Elias, and Joel, also prophets. Jeremy and Ellis are English forms of Jeremias and Elias respectively. Samuel was one of Israel's first prophets.



Thecla, a convert of St. Paul, is the protomartyr of women. In art her symbols are a serpent to commemorate her imprisonment in a dungeon surrounded by serpents, a lion, and wild beasts. The lion cake could be used for her feast. El Greco's "The Virgin with Thecla and Inez" costs $5.00 from NGA, see Abbreviations.

Father: Let us pray. Grant, we pray You, almighty God, that we who keep the birthday of blessed Thecla, Your virgin and martyr, may both rejoice in her yearly festival and profit by the example of such great faith. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Mary Magdalen's story is covered in the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 13, and St. John 20:14-16. Her name means "Mary of Magdala," a place near the Sea of Galilee, but by association it connotes "penitent."

Father: Let us pray. May the prayers of Mary Magdalen help us, O Lord, for it was in answer to them that You called her brother Lazarus back from the grave to life four days after his death. You live and reign forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Mary Magdalen's symbol is a jar of ointment in reference to her anointing of the feet of Jesus. A Renaissance gilt bronze plaquette mounted on dark blue velvet and ready for hanging, can be had for $7.50 (from NGA, see Abbreviations). Local museums carry color reproductions of Mary Magdalen in scenes of the crucifixion for as little as a quarter.


St. Veronica is remembered for having wiped the face of Jesus on His way to Calvary. She is the patroness of Berenice, for her name in Greek is Berenike, "victory-bringer."

A 2 x 2 color slide of Memling's "St. Veronica" costs $.35 (from NGA, see Abbreviations). The same color reproduction, framed in a 11 x 14 size costs $5.00, as does Feti's "The Veil of Veronica."


The New Testament presents many patrons and patronesses: Lois and the highly praised Eunice, grandmother and mother of Timothy respectively (2 Tim. 1:5; Acts 17); Dorcas or Tabitha, whose symbol is a heart because it denotes her charity (Acts 9:36); Lydia, dyer of purple, St. Paul's first European convert (Rom. 16:1-2); Damaris, another convert (Acts 17:34); Bernice (Acts 15:13); Priscilla, who is mentioned three times (Acts 18:3-19; Rom. 16:3-5; 1 Cor. 16:19); Rhoda, who dashed to tell of Peter's release from prison while he waited at the door (Acts 12:13); Phoebe, a deaconess (Rom. 16:1-2); Claudia, who had Paul give her greetings to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:2); and Chloe, a woman of Corinth (1 Cor. 1:22).

For boys there is Denis, a convert (Acts 17:34); Titus, great bishop of Crete; Jason (Acts 15:15); Silas, principal companion of St. Paul (Acts 1:19); and Timothy, his "beloved son in faith." And, of course, there are the Apostles, who are treated under Apostles.

The cross cake or cross cookies are appropriate for these followers of Christ who obeyed His invitation: "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me" (Mark 8:34)


This cake was contributed to a New England church fair contest by some unknown little Yankee girl who knew her Bible well.

1 cup of butter Judges 5:25 milk 2 cups of sugar Jeremiah 6:20 sweet cane from a far place 3-1/2 cups of flour 1 Kings 5:2 Solomon's provisions 2 cups of figs 1 Samuel 30:12 cake of pressed figs 2 cups of raisins 1 Samuel 30:12 two clusters of raisins 1 cup of water Genesis 24:22 drinking by camels 1 cup of almonds Genesis 43:11 almonds 6 eggs Isaiah 10:14 as one gathered eggs 1/4 teaspoon of salt Leviticus 2:13 every meal seasoned w/salt 2 tbsp. of honey Exodus 16:13 manna, like wafers made with honey 1 tsp. of cinnamon 1 Kings 10:2 Sheba came with spices 1/4 tsp. of allspice 1/4 tsp. of mace 1/4 tsp. of ginger

Follow Solomon's advice for making good boys: BEAT WELL (Prov. 23:14).

Cream butter and sugar. Stir in half the amount of sifted flour. Chop figs and raisins in a cup of hot water. Blanch, chop and add the almonds. Beat egg yolks, and stir in honey. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until they stand in peaks. Combine yolks and honey alternately with remaining flour sifted with salt and spices. Stir in egg whites lightly. Beat, with an electric mixer if possible. Turn the batter into a large rectangular pan lined with wax paper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the cake is browned on top and begins to stand away from the sides of the pan. Cool. Cut into diamond shapes. The Star of David pan may be used (from MS, see Abbreviations).



St. Agnes, one of the most popular saints, has always been regarded as a special patron of purity. Her name is commemorated every day in the Canon of the Mass. The lamb cake is especially fitting on her feastday.

Father: The Lord is King of virgins. All: Come, let us adore Him.

Father: Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who chose the weak things of the world to confound the strong, grant that we who celebrate the solemnity of Your virgin-martyr Agnes may experience her intercession. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

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Beautiful! God alone Called this lovely maid His own. Dear little Agnes, prison bands Clattered from her slender hands. Fair martyr, Agnes, at the nod Of a tyrant died for God.

On her nameday in St. Agnes Church in Rome two white lambs are offered at the sanctuary rail and are blessed. They are cared for until the time for shearing. Out of their wool are woven the pallia which are laid upon the altar in the "Confessio" at St. Peter's Basilica, immediately over the body of the Apostle. These pallia are sent to new archbishops "from the body of blessed Peter" in token of the jurisdiction they derive from the Holy See.

St. Agnes' story is best given in "Butler's Lives of the Saints" (from PJK, see Abbreviations). A reproduction of Paolo Veronese's "Sacra Conversazione, Madonna and Child surrounded by Sts. Lawrence, Agnes and Antony" hangs in the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana.

For a home altar or shrine an original plaque of great beauty, the work of a Belgian artist, may be special ordered (from CCA, see Abbreviations) for about $10.00. These take time to be shipped from abroad but are well worth waiting for. A liturgical plaque costs $1.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). The Little Art Shop has medals ranging from $1.50 to $12.50 for bright enameled ones from France. They also carry a reproduction of Dolci's "St. Agnes with a Lamb" for $4.00 (LAS, see Abbreviations).

A beautifully carved statue of St. Agnes in the mission of Santa Inez near Solvang, California, where Indians still come for their great festivals, is a place of pilgrimage for families on tour of the Southwest.

Different forms of the name are: Spanish, Inez; Portuguese, Ines; Danish, Agnete; and Italian, Agnese.


Pope Leo XIII referred to St. Gerard Majella as "one of those angelic youths whom God has given to the world as models for men." In his short life of twenty-nine years he became the most famous wonder-worker of the eighteenth century. A tailor by trade, Gerard entered the newly founded Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and his sanctity was recognized by St. Alphonsus Liguori, who shortened his novitiate. As a Redemptorist lay- brother Gerard had a genius for bringing sinners to repentance.

Father: let us pray. O God, it was Your good pleasure to draw St. Gerard to Yourself from his youth and to make him like unto the image of Your crucified Son. Grant to us, we beg of You, that following his example we too may be transformed into that image. Through the same Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers; Christ reigns!


Among the most illustrious martyrs whom the Church venerates is the young martyr St. Lucy, whose name occurs in the Canon of the Mass. Possibly because her name suggests "light," she was invoked during the Middle Ages by those suffering from eye trouble. In Sweden and at Swedish gatherings in this country on Santa Lucia day, she is honored by a young girl dressed in flowing gown and wearing on her head a wreath with four lighted candles. She is the patron of Lucia, Lucille, Lucilla, Lulu, Lucie, and Lucinda. Around the cake for martyrs (see Strawberry Frosted Layer Cake) is placed a wreath with four lighted candles. A crown cake may also be used. Her symbol, a lamp, can be used on place-cards.

Father: Let us pray. Hear us, O God our Savior, so that we who find joy in the festival of Your virgin-martyr Lucy may learn from her the spirit of godly service. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

St. Lucy with her palm of martyrdom, a reproduction in 8 x 10 size, is available for $.25 (from NGA, see Abbreviations). Another by Veneziano sells for $4.00 (from LAS, see Abbreviations). An original watercolor can be ordered for $35.00 (from PC, see Abbreviations). A handsome statue cost $8.50 (from RC, see Abbreviations).


St. Aloysius Gonzaga, model of innocence, piety and penance, is patron of youth and students. A Jesuit, he died at the age of twenty-three. His symbols are a lily and a crucifix. The lilies to top a nameday cake come in the form of icing (from MS, see Abbreviations); they also have a cross cake pan in which to bake St. Aloysius; nameday cake. A crown cake might also be used to denote the rank which he renounced to enter the Society of Jesus. His symbols are incorporated in a small plaque from Germany which can be bought for $1.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O God, in distributing Your heavenly gifts You united in the angelic youth Aloysius wonderful innocence of life with an equal spirit of penance; grant through his merits and prayers that we who have not followed him in innocence may imitate him in penance. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Dorothy was racked, scourged and beheaded in Cappadocia. Her symbols are a basket of fruit and flowers, which are incorporated in a copper mold for her nameday dessert. The symbols can be worked out by tiny fruit and edible flowers (from MS, see Abbreviations). At big railroad stations one frequently finds boxes of candy in flower and fruit designs.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, pardon our sins through the intercession of Your virgin-martyr Dorothy, who pleased You by her purity and her faith. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

1. "Send me roses and apples red Culled from Paradise," Theophilus said; And Dorothy died, with promise given She would send him gifts from heaven.

2. "Dorothy sends you, " the angel said, "Paradise apples and these roses red." Then Theophilus died, that he might go Where such fruit and flowers grow.

St. Dorothy is one of the saints around the bedside in "The Death of St. Clare," a painting by the Master of Heiligenkreuz. A framed 11 x 14 reproduction costs $5.00 (from NGA, see Abbreviations). Patronscraft does a lovely watercolor for $35.00 (see PC, see Abbreviations).

St. Dorothy is the patroness of Dorothea, Doris and Dora.


Comparing the martyr Maria Goretti to St. Agnes, Pope Pius XII in 1950, the year of her canonization, remarked that "the delicate grace of these adolescent girls might make us overlook their courage; yet strength is the virtue of virgins and martyrs." The crown cake or the dessert for martyrs (see Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert) is appropriate today.

Father: Let us pray. O God, among the other miracles of Your power You gave even to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom; grant that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of Maria, Your virgin-martyr, may by her example draw nearer to You. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

"Cinderella Saint" is a 25-cent biographical account of Maria Goretti written by Rev. Kenan Carey, C.P. (available from PP, see Abbreviations). A statue of her is available for about $10.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).


St. Edmund Rich, another model for youth, as a student promised Our Lady that he would live a life of purity in her honor. Edmund sealed his promise by placing one ring on his own finger and another on the finger of her statue. He became archbishop of Canterbury and died in France. The prayer on his feast day is under Confessor-Bishops.


Born the son of peasants in 1842, Dominic Savio became a student of St. John Bosco and aspired to the priesthood. He died at the age of fifteen. His brief life had been the "little way" of today's saints--doing even the smallest things in the light of the love of God. Don Bosco wrote Dominic's biography, and to him we owe our knowledge of the details of his saintly life.

A small booklet, Dominic Savio, medals and statues are available from SF, see Abbreviations. St. Dominic's emblem, the lily, signifies his purity of heart. Icing lilies are used on a heart cake for this feast (from MS, see Abbreviations).


Patron of altar boys, St. John Berchmans was another young Jesuit who was noted for his purity and modesty; he died at the age of twenty-two. His nameday cake and shield bear the letters AMDG, his Society's motto: "All for the greater glory of God." A crown cake is served on his feastday, or a cake topped by a boy doll dressed as an altar boy.

Father: With him early achievement counted for long apprenticeship (Wis. 4:13).

All: So well the Lord loved him, from a corrupt world He would grant him swift release.

Father: Let us pray. Grant, Lord God, that in serving You we may follow the same pattern of innocence and loyalty with which the angelic youth John Berchmans hallowed the springtime of his life. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

For a pilgrimage there is a shrine to St. John Berchmans at the College of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Medals for altar boys and for his namesakes are available from LAS, see Abbreviations.


St. Therese of the Child Jesus, known as the "Little Flower," is the patroness of all foreign missions. She has never ceased to fulfill her promise: "I will pass my heaven in doing good on earth." Her cult has had phenomenal extension and influence. Her nameday dessert is the Rose Petal Coconut Cake, in memory of how she fulfilled her dying words: "I will let fall a shower of roses after my death." The book cake could also be used to commemorate "The Story of a Soul," which she wrote two years before her death at the age of twenty-four.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, You said: "Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Grant us so to follow in humility and simplicity of heart the footsteps of the virgin Therese that we may obtain everlasting reward. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

The National Shrine of the Little Flower in Chicago contains the most noteworthy collection of her relics outside of France. Other places of pilgrimage to which parents and godparents may take their nameday children are Shrines of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan; San Antonio, Texas; and Nashville, Rhode Island.

A charming biography, "The Little Flower," by Rev. Joseph McSorley, C.S.P., costs only $.15 (from PP, see Abbreviations). Especially suited for teen-agers is "A Little Queen's Request" by Sister Jean Helen ($3.00, from SSJ, see Abbreviations).

Reproductions of an original untouched photograph of St. Therese and a French medal can be ordered from LAS, see Abbreviations. From the same source comes a painting with the thorns so apparent under her sandals. An Italian woodcarving of the saint costs about $25.00 (from FP, see Abbreviations). You can obtain a signed Serraz sculpture for about $10.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations). A tiny Therese seated in her cloister garden costs $6.50 (from RC, see Abbreviations).

Parents with a daughter named Therese will want to read "The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux," translated by Monsignor Ronald Knox, to enhance their storytelling (from RC, see Abbreviations).


A valiant martyr was St. Christina, who as a child of ten despised the idols of Etruscan paganism. Her nameday desserts are the crown cake and the martyr's cake (see Strawberry Frosted Layer Cake). The sword is her symbol. A medal can be ordered from LAS, see Abbreviations.

Father: Come, bride of Christ.

All: Receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for you for all eternity.

Father: Let us pray. We beseech You, Lord, that the virgin-martyr Christina may implore for us forgiveness; she was ever pleasing to You by the merit of chastity and the confession of Your power. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Stanislaus Kostka, a Polish Jesuit seminarian, was distinguished for his purity and innocence. He died as a novice at only eighteen years of age. On his feastday icing lilies are used on the cake (available from MS, see Abbreviations); an alternative would be to write the letters AMDG (the Jesuit motto: "All for the greater glory of God") on the cake with "Cake-Mate" (available from MS, see Abbreviations).

Father: Let us pray. O God, among other marvels of Your wisdom You gave even to those of tender age the grace of mature holiness; grant, we pray, that following the example of Stanislaus, we may avail ourselves of the time we have to apply ourselves to work and make haste to enter into eternal rest. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A portrait of St. Stanislaus by Scipio Delfini from the Castle of St. Symphorian, Isere, is given in "The Face of the Saints" by Wilhelm Schamoni (from PA, see Abbreviations).


At fourteen, Marie Bernadette Soubirous witnessed eighteen apparitions of Our Lady at Lourdes. Her life was spent as a Sister of Charity at Nevers. A tiny statue of Our Lady of Lourdes or a rosary may be used to decorate the nameday cake.

Father: Let us pray. O God, protector and lover of the humble, You have bestowed upon Marie Bernadette the favor of beholding the Immaculate Virgin Mary and of conversing with her. Grant that, walking through the simple paths of faith, we may deserve to behold You in heaven. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

A lovely statue of St. Bernadette in a shepherd's dress and clogs, with a lamb in her arms, costs about $10.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).


"Flower of the Holy Eucharist" is the title of Blessed Imelda, patron of first communicants. In the Dominican convent of Bologna where she lived, a radiant Host, miraculously suspended in the air above Imelda's head, was given to her as her first Communion. The happy child closed her eyes and breathed forth her soul to make endless thanksgiving in heaven.

Father: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, who, wounding the virgin Imelda with the fire of Your love and miraculously feeding her the immaculate Host, did receive her into heaven, grant us through her intercession to approach the holy table with the same fervor of charity that we may long to be dissolved and deserve to be with You. You are God, living and reigning forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


St. Beatrice was martyred at Rome with her brother Simplicius. Both have the nameday dessert Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert.

Father: Let us pray. O Lord, all Christian nations joyfully unite today to celebrate the feast of Your martyr Beatrice. Grant that we may rejoice in it all through eternity and share the triumph of Your saint which we commemorate. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Martyrs of England! still be near us; Make us steadfast in hope and faith. Martyrs of England! let naught deride us From love of Jesus in life and death. Amen.

Four centuries ago an illustrious band of Englishmen sacrificed their lives because they would not deny the supremacy of the Pope. Said Blessed John Houghton, the first to be put to death: "Seeing that Jesus Christ gave spiritual power to His vicars by the words: 'I will give to thee the keys of heaven,' and no doctor has ever asserted these words to be spoken save to St. Peter only, which power is derived from him to the other apostles, and subsequently to the Pope and bishops--how could these words be so understood of a king, a layman and a secular person?"

The great Christian humanist Thomas More refused to recognize the king's sovereignty as spiritual head of the Anglican Church and died with a heroism full of good humor and simplicity. His friend Holbein has left a painting to show what a saint really looks like. For lawyers who claim him as their patron and for boys named after him, an excellent nameday gift is a color print from the Frick Collection (see FC, see Abbreviations). An 8 x 10 print costs only $.30; a 29 x 23 costs $15.00.

St. John Fisher, chaplain to the queen and chancellor of Cambridge University, was bishop of Rochester. His refusal to take the oath required of English bishops led to his imprisonment in the Tower of London, where he received the cardinal's hat shortly before his martyrdom.

Martyrs suffered in the reign of Henry VIII because they rejected his spiritual supremacy; in the time of Elizabeth they suffered for another reason. Not only was holy Mass prohibited, but it was treason for a priest to remain in England or for anyone to assist him. Consequently, many laymen and priests were martyred. (Only Thomas More and John Fisher have been canonized.) Among them were courageous women, such as Anne Line, hanged at Tyburn, and Margaret Clitherow, who was pressed to death at York.

Our favorite English martyr is Edmund Campion, S.J., who is immortalized in Robert Hugh Benson's book, "Come Rack, Come Rope." Children named Brian have patrons in Brian Lacey, a layman, and Brian Caulfield, a Jesuit. Another interesting name is Everard (Eberhard) after Blessed Everard Hanse, a converted Protestant minister who became a priest in Rheims and was butchered at Tyburn for his priesthood. An imported plaque of Edmund Campion costs $3.50 (AMS, see Abbreviations).

Other English martyrs include Oliver Plunkett, archbishop of Armagh, who was hanged, drawn and quartered in the persecution and whose relics are enshrined at Downside Abbey; Roger James, a Benedictine, whose given name is rendered for the Gaelic Rory and for the English Roy; George Gervase; Miles Gerard; Christopher Bales; Ralph Sherwin; Maurus Scott; David Lewis; Humphrey Middlemore; Walter Pierson; Robert Southwell, a Jesuit missionary to England and poet; Thurston Hunt; Arthur Bell; and Nicholas Owen, Jesuit lay-coordinator who saved countless priests by devising hiding places for them. Arthur Bell would be the patron for boys named Arthur since there is no saint having that name.

Boys called Howard, a name often given in families of Irish extraction, will be happy to find two patrons: Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and his grandson, William Howard, viscount of Stafford. The crown dessert (see Crown Cake) carries a double significance on their feastday: their royalty and the reward of their martyrdom. Other beatified martyrs are Sidney Hodgson; Germain Gardiner; Eustace White; Richard Gwen, first martyr of Wales; and Sir Adrian Fortescue, Knight of the Bath and of St. John and a tertiary of St. Dominic.

Nameday desserts for these martyrs are Strawberry Frosted Layer Cake and Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert. A common symbol for them is the palm.

Prayer of the Beatified Martyrs

Father: Let us pray. Grant, almighty God, that we who admire in Your martyr N.... the courage of his glorious confession may witness in ourselves the power of his intercession. O God, who glorifies those who glorify You and who are honored in the honoring of Your saints, by the solemn judgment of Your Church glorify the blood of martyrs put to death in England for the testimony of Jesus, who lives and reigns forever.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

For more detailed prayers, we suggest a booklet, "Prayers to the English Martyrs," with a calendar of dates of their martyrdom by Rev. W. Raemers, C.SS.R. (from RC, see Abbreviations).


When we were children growing up in New England, we used to lament the naming of cousins with such "Yankee" names as Mildred because we had never heard of the wonderful women saints who ruled monasteries of men as well as women and who were the glory of early English Christianity. The abbess Mildred of Thanet was one of them. A church cake or a tiny church placed atop a book cake can be used on the feast of an abbess. Mildred's particular attribute is a crosier bearing a pendant white veil. Patronscraft produces a watercolor painting of St. Mildred on special order for about $35.00 (see PC, see Abbreviations).

St. Etheldreda is the patron of Audrey (a contraction); Ethel founded and governed the monastery at Ely; Edith of Wilton was professed at the age of fifteen; Hilda of Whitby, St. Bede tells us, "inspired much love there"; and Frideswide, patron of Frieda, founded a nunnery at Oxford and is patron of the university there.

For these sainted nuns a book cake or church cake is used. For their feastday pray:

Father: Let us pray. O God, our Savior, hear our prayer and let us learn the spirit of true devotion from Your virgin N.... as we joyfully celebrate her feast. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Alban the Fair, patron of Albion, was a layman and protomartyr of Britain. St. Boniface, English Benedictine, became apostle to Germany, where he labored for thirty years before his martyrdom. The axe, the instrument of their martyrdom, is the symbol for these two The dessert for martyrs (see Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert) or the crown cake is used on their feasts. The prayer under Martyr-Bishops is said for St. Alban's day, and that of a martyr- bishop, for St. Boniface's feast.

St. Donald was a Scot. His nameday cake is decorated with nine stars to denote his nine daughters who lived under his rule in the Glen of Ogilvie. His prayer is under Confessors.

St. Gwenifrewi is patroness of Gwen, Wendy, Gwendolyn, Winifred (English form), and Una (Gaelic form). Guinevere and Jennifer are also derived from this name. Her symbol is a fountain.


England was blessed with illustrious saintly bishops. Among them are St. Augustine (Austin) of Canterbury; Bede the Venerable, father of English history; Anselm, who is dealt with under Doctors of the Church; Hugh of Lincoln and Chad of Litchfield, whose relics rest in Birmingham Cathedral and whose attribute is a branch. St. Wilfrid ruled the see of York; Theodore occupied the throne of Canterbury, as did Dunstan. St. Cuthbert, wonder- worker of Britain, was bishop of Lindisfarne; David, patron saint of Wales, governed the see of Minervia.

St. Kentigern, first bishop of Glasgow, was called by the pet name "darling" (Mungo in Gaelic). A ring and a fish distinguish him in art. St. Brice was the bishop of Tours and could serve as patron for Bruce.

The common dessert for bishop-saints is the lamb cake, to signify their role as shepherds of the faithful. A mitre and crosier are their symbols. The prayer for their feasts is under Confessor- Bishops.


Faith of our fathers, living still, In spite of dungeon, fire and sword: Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy Whene'er we hear that glorious word. Faith of our fathers, holy faith! We will be true to thee till death. Our fathers, chained in prisons dark, Were still in heart and conscience free: How sweet would be their children's fate, If they, like them, could die for thee! Faith of our fathers, holy faith! We will be true to thee till death.


John Cardinal Newman wrote: "The book of life alone is large enough to hold the names of the Irish multitude of saints." With this in mind, the reader may expect here but a glimpse of a few whose lives are recorded in "Butler's Lives of the Saints."

"Over most of our saints' lives," wrote Canon O'Hanlon in "Lives of the Irish Saints," "the impenetrable mist of the ages has fallen." It is disconcerting to be reminded of this when saints so attractive, and indeed so thrilling, judged by historical evidence and legends, come up for consideration.


St. Patrick, the national apostle of Ireland, is treated under Most Popular Girls' Names (see Patricia).


No one in Ireland except Patrick, it is said, received more favors from God than Kevin, the "pure bright warrior," abbot of Glendalough in Wicklow, patron of Dublin. Attwater says "he lived so austerely that the branches of the trees sang sweet songs to him, and heavenly music alleviated the austerity of his life." Glendalough is one of Erin's four great places of pilgrimage.

Many legends anticipating those of St. Francis tell of Kevin's love for animals, an ideal in contrast to the barbarism of his age. There is a legend set to music by Samuel Lover and sung by Burl Ives entitled "In Glendalough There Lived a Young Saint"; it is included in the collection "Irish Songs" (from IR, see Abbreviations). The song tells of the temptation of the youth Kevin by "Kathleen of the wicked blue eyes." As you may guess, "Kevin landed Kate in a watery bed" in the lake. The same sources offers a $1.75 book on "St. Kevin."

Suggested for dessert on St. Kevin's day is a book cake or a church (MS, see Abbreviations) on a cake to denote his scholastic and monastic establishment, famous throughout Europe for three centuries. The crosier symbol can be used to denote his authority and jurisdiction as abbot. You might wish to bring out his love for creation by a cake in a lamb or rabbit mold (from MS, see Abbreviations), or by placing wild animals of icing atop a cake (also from MS--six for $.65).

Father: Let us pray. May the intercession of Your abbot Kevin, O Lord, commend us to You, that what by our own merits we cannot obtain, we may receive through his patronage. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers. Christ reigns!

A handsome original watercolor of St. Kevin can be obtained from Patronscraft (see PC, see Abbreviations). LAS has medals of St. Kevin.

The Irish loved abbots; in Gaelic they called the pope "abbot of Rome"; the devil, "abbot of hell"; and our Lord, "Abbot of the blessed in heaven." The above prayer (changing the proper name) is said on the feast of St. Kenneth (Canice), in whose honor the Cathedral of Kilkenny was built. The same prayer is said for St. Columban of Luxeuil and Bobbio, greatest of the Irish missionaries to Europe, whose attribute is a bear; for St. Brendan the Navigator, friend of St. Columcille, whose emblem is a ship; and for St. Columcille, patron of Colin and Colum, who made Iona a great spiritual center and became a famous saint of Scotland. St. Adamnan, "little Adam," patron of boys called Adam, spoke of St. Columcille as "holy in deed, great in counsel and personal attractiveness." St. Gerald headed an abbey called Mayo of the Saxon. St. Fintan is called the "Irish counterpart of St. Benedict" in a preserved tractate; his name is borne proudly in our family.

Other abbots include Sts. Angus, who wrote a metrical hymn on the saints; Conal; Cormac, anglicized Charles; Diarmuid or Dermot the Just; and Blessed Christian, first abbot of Mellefont, whose name in Irish is Gilchrist (meaning servant of Christ).


Our Uncle Pat used to say: "There is no sense in my telling you that there was a great saint in Ireland before St. Patrick because you wouldn't believe it." The saint was Kieran, who christianized the South before Patrick. Then Uncle would add: "Sure, if you can't believe that, there is no sense in my telling you that he was one of us O'Driscolls." Years afterwards his son, while studying at Yale and later in Dublin, discovered that Kieran did teach the faith in Ireland before St. Patrick. In tradition Kieran is represented as an Irish John the Baptist. Kieran's well is the oldest Christian relic in Great Britain. (Another pre-Patrician saint is St. Declan, bishop; his main church is at Ardmore, Waterford.)

In art St. Kieran is shown against a cruciform with a crosier in his hand and a lamb at his feet. A good reproduction can be found in the "Capuchin Annual," 1956-57 (from IR, see Abbreviations). St. Kieran is the patron of Ciaran, Cary, and Kerry.

Father: Let us pray. Grant we beseech You, O God, that the celebration of the feast of Your confessor-bishop Kieran may increase our devotion and promote our salvation. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

With a change of name this prayer is said for Sts. Declan; Malachy O'More, Erin's first formally canonized saint and archbishop of Armagh; Laurence O'Toole, archbishop of Dublin, whose name in Gaelic is Lorcan; Fergus, missionary bishop to Scotland; and Finbar who founded the city and see of Cork at the mouth of the River Lee the diminutive form of his name, Bairre, gives us the English Barry.

There is St. Flannan of Killaloe, Jarlath of Tuam, Conleth of Kildare, and Aidan of Lindisfarne (a middle name of our youngest child). St. Bede wrote: "The highest recommendation of Aidan's teaching to all was that he and his followers lived as they taught."

Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy, who died in Italy, and Tierney were bishops. Ternan, a patron for Terence, was an early missionary bishop who evangelized the Picts. Mel was a celebrated bishop of Ardagh, and Celsus was archbishop of Armagh who gave the veil to St. Brigid. Murtagh, bishop of Killala, is a patron of Mortimer, Morgan, and Meredith (from the Welsh Maredudd). The prayer for these saints is under Confessor-Bishops.

When the English forced the Irish to give up their native tongue, English equivalents were used for similar sounding Gaelic names. Lads of Irish extraction who now bear Scriptural names like Daniel, Timothy, Jeremiah and Cornelius had ancestors who were called Donal, Teague, Diarmuid, and Conor. Eamon is Edmund; Brian is used for Bernard; Rory is Roger or Roderick. No saint is listed for Desmond, a fairly common Irish name.


Events in the life of the celebrated virgin St. Dymphna, martyred at Gheel by her father, are depicted there in a set of twenty panels said to be the work of Memling. They form a unique pictorial biography. His paintings incorporate events from her legend which must have been accepted in his time. For centuries St. Dymphna has been invoked against diseases of the mind; a community has grown up to care for the sick who even today are brought by the hundreds to her shrine. The prayer for her feast is that of a virgin-martyr.


O'Hanlon's "Lives of the Irish Saints" lists Onora, wife of St. Efflam, an Irish chieftain, with whom she left Ireland and lived in exile in Brittany. The Normans called her Annora. Both are feminine forms of Honorius. A chapel in her honor is in use today at St. Malo.

Father: Let us pray. Hear our prayer, O God our Savior, and let us learn the spirit of devotion from blessed Nora as we joyfully celebrate her feast. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!


Largely it was the courage and confidence of women who made St. Patrick's mission an immediate and comprehensive success. In this respect he was like our Lord and St. Paul.

St. Brigid, greatest of Ireland's women saints, is patroness of newborn babies and nuns. Anglicization has caused her name to be confused with Bridget or Brigitta, celebrated Swedish foundress. Melbride, "servant of Brigid," is a lovely name for a girl born on February 1.

A goose, a cow, or a barn are all symbols for St. Brigid; perhaps the lamb cake would be suitable.

Father: The Lord, King of virgins.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who gladdens us this day by the festive nameday of Your virgin Brigid, grant graciously that we may be helped by the merits of her whose chastity shines upon us with such luster. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Irish Industries Depot (see IR, see Abbreviations) carries an imported Brigid with lambs under her blue mantle for about $1.00 in an unusually beautiful reproduction. Others are available framed. A good medal ranges from $1.50 to $12.50 (from LAS, see Abbreviations).


There is an Irish abbess Gobnait, a Celtic name for which Deborah is used as an equivalent. Its abbreviation to Abby has caused other names to be derived from it. Abigail is given as an equivalent in "The Oxford Book of English Christian Names," by E. G. Withy (Oxford University Press), as is Abina, a favorite name in our family; grandmother, mother, daughter and cousins galore bear it proudly generation after generation. They are baptized Gobnata the Latin form. From Abigail comes the shortened form Gail.

In view of the Hebrew meaning of the name Deborah (honey bee), it is interesting to note the tales which have come down to our times of this Irish abbess' love for bees and their docility to her will. They are included as her emblem in modern art even as they were in medieval times.

A short biography and a charming reproduction of this patroness are given in the "Capuchin Annual," 1959 ($6.50, from IR, see Abbreviations). Abina or Gobnata, abbess of Ballyvourney, is depicted in blue against a cruciform and holds in her hand the pastoral staff of her office. Blue signifies her faithfulness, wisdom, and charity. Bees are incorporated into the painting, the work of a contemporary Dublin artist, Richard King. We have framed this beautiful reproduction.

The feastday of St. Gobnata is Valentine's eve, but in ancient books we find her honored also on Whitsun Thursday. T. Smith in his "History of Cork," 1750 edition, cites a decree of Pope Clement VIII granting an indulgence to all who visit her shrine church at Ballyvourney. Destroyed by the Roundheads, the ancient church has been replaced by a modern one dedicated to this saint whose name is living and well loved both in English and in Gaelic. The church in the little town where she made her original foundation is a symbol and center of her enduring presence and power among her people.

Nameday desserts for children called in her honor include the crown cake ; icing lilies and roses in a wreath on a cake; or a honey dessert (see Honey Chiffon Pie).

Father: The Lord, King of virgins.

All: Come, let us adore.

Father: Let us pray. Hear us, O God our Savior, that we who find joy in the festival of Abina (Deborah or Abigail), Your virgin, may learn from her the spirit of godly service. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Maureen, Kathleen, and Rosaleen were popularized by the Dominicans in honor of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Rose of Lima. A girl named Maureen might keep the feast of Our Lady of Knock on August 22. Devotions and medals are available from the Scapular Press (see SP, see Abbreviations). A magnificent original "Lady of Knock" carved in wood by Haugh of Dublin is expensive but worthy of a beautiful chapel (from CCA, see Abbreviations).

The prayer for a virgin (see Virgin-Saints) is said for the following: Ita, who was Deirdre before she became an abbess in Hy Conaill; Lelia, who lived in Killedy (her Gaelic name is Liadan); Tara, who lived as a solitary in Killaraght (the name derives from the Gaelic Attracta); and Moninne or Darerca, abbess of Killeary. Melissa and Gillisa, meaning "servant of Jesus," are two other lovely names in the Irish martyrology. Ethna of the Golden Hair received baptism and holy Communion from St. Patrick and died straight away of joy, according to Gaelic hagiography.

Back issues of the "Capuchin Annual" (from IR, see Abbreviations) carry color plates suitable for framing of Irish saints done by Richard King. The used volumes can be ordered in secondhand bookstores; new copies can be ordered from Irish Industries (IR, see Abbreviations). They also carry small color prints, about $.25, of Sts. Columcille, Brendan, Columban, Ita or Deirdre, and of St. Patrick lighting the vigil fire on Easter on the hill of Slane. Suitably matted and framed, these prints make very pleasing nameday gifts. Medals of any Irish saint may be ordered from LAS (see Abbreviations).


Across the pages of history flit a thousand Irish saints disguised as "foreigners" because their names have been Latinized in the missionary records of Europe. When we were small, father used to tell us legends about them. For instance, St. Shiel (Sedulius) wrote the earliest and most admired Nativity hymn in the breviary, "A Solis Ortus Cardine." Spacemen will be interested in St. Farrell, called Virgilius. Brilliant mathematician and astronomer, Farrell was charged by Boniface on a complaint to the Pope that he taught that "the earth is round, that there may be other worlds with other men." He was later vindicated. His body rests under the high altar at Salzburg where he was bishop.

Kilian, whose name in Gaelic is Cilleen, was apostle of Franconia. His head may be seen in a silver shrine under the altar at Wurzburg. A sword is his attribute; his prayer is that of a martyr-bishop.

St. Colman was martyred near Wurttemberg while on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The place of his martyrdom is called St. Colman's Woods. On his feast in Bavaria animals are blessed to commemorate his body's being untouched by wild animals after his death. Animals of icing (from MS, see Abbreviations) are used on his cake.

Tommasini's "Irish Saints in Italy" includes St. Cataldo, whose name is Cathal (Charles) in Gaelic. He was a bishop, as was Donatus of Fiesole, who was called to that office through miraculous intervention. His name in Gaelic, Donough, becomes Dennis in English. With him in art is a dog, in addition to his episcopal symbols, the crosier and mitre.

The ninth-century Latin verse of Donatus or Dennis on "Ireland in the Golden Age" is adapted from Virgil's lines on Italy in the second "Georgic":

Rich in goods, in silver, jewels, cloth and gold, Benign to the body, in air and mellow soil With honey and with milk flow Ireland's lovely plains With silk and arms, abundant fruit, with art and men.

No fury of bears is there and the Irish land Has never nurtured the savage seed of lions; There no poison harms, no serpent glides the grass, No frog loudly sings his loud complaint in the lake.

Worthy are the Irish to dwell in this their land, A race of men renowned in war, in peace, in faith.

Irish monks, to whom exile was the greatest penance, placed primary emphasis upon penance and missionary activities. They had no inhibitions about preaching the gospel to anyone who would listen. Their finest and greatest energies were spent in Christianizing heathen Europe; their monasteries were springboards from which men went out to teach and preach. We who have named our children for such stalwart sons and daughters of God would do well to inculcate into their namesakes this emphasis upon penance and missionary activity as a need of our time.



Prepare 1 pint of sugar syrup at 350 degrees and allow to cool. To the syrup add 1 pint of fresh strawberry pulp, flavored with 1/2 glass of Irish Mist Liqueur and 2 pints of fresh whipped cream. Mix all ingredients gently together. Serve into glasses and place in the refrigerator to chill and set.


coffee vanilla sugar Irish whiskey cream

Whip 1/2 pint of heavy cream with 4 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Place in the refrigerator to keep chilled. Make full-strength coffee and pour into 6 coffee cups or Irish coffee mugs. Fill the cups to within an inch of the top. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir. Into each pour 1 jigger of Irish whiskey. Then add 3 tablespoons of whipped cream and serve immediately. We purposely put no teaspoons at the place-settings so that the guests cannot stir the coffee--that ruins it entirely.

Irish coffee mugs can be procured from IR, see Abbreviations, or in most large department stores.


"Names and Namedays" by Donald Attwater (Burns, Oates and Washbourne, Ltd., London) lists a number of mothers of saints who are saints themselves. St. Celine was the mother of St. Remy of Rheims. St. Blanche of Castile, mother of St. Louis IX, was popularly venerated in France. St. Nonna raised a son who became an Eastern Doctor of the Church, St. Gregory Nazianzen. St. Matilda, patroness of Maude, widow of King Henry I, was the mother of St. Bruno. Sts. Tierney and Kenneth were the sons of St. Mella of Ireland, who ruled a monastery after the death of her husband. Patroness of Nonna and Nita is St. Nonnita, mother of St. David of Wales. St. Sylvia lived to see her son, St. Gregory the Great, raised to the pontificate. One of the first Russians to be baptized was St. Olga, wife of the grand-prince of Kiev and grandmother of St. Vladimir. St. Monica's part in the conversion of her son, St. Augustine of Hippo, was the great achievement of her life. St. Amelia or Amalburga was the mother of St. Gudula, and Gwladys or Gladys, Welsh noblewoman, the mother of St. Cadoc.

The nameday dessert for these saints is the crown cake or the book cake to signify the training they gave their children. Their prayer is given under Holy Women.

HEILIGE KAPFE (Saint's Plaits)

Ideal for a nameday breakfast after Mass, this recipe comes from Lillian Langseth-Christensen's book, "Gourmet's Old Vienna Cookbook," which includes beautiful color plates (available from GO, see Abbreviations).

Make any preferred sweet roll dough from your favorite recipe or ready-mix. When the dough is ready for shaping, make into small uniform mounds 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Press each mound with the heels of the hand alternately until an oval with two liplike parts and a groove in the center is formed. Pull the thick part opposite you with the fingers of both hands toward the center groove and press it down firmly. Reverse the procedure and pull in the other side. Press firmly with the heel of the hand to seal the two thick parts along the center. Roll the elongated piece gently into a cylindrical shape with small pointed ends.

Lay three elongated pieces together and braid them. Place each plait carefully on a greased baking sheet. Allow room for them to rise. Let them rise, covered in a warm place. Brush the rolls with water and bake them in a hot oven (450 degrees) for about 15 minutes. Place a pan of hot water on the oven bottom to assure a crisp crust. Cool on a wire rack.


Hearts are used as symbols for many of the saints mentioned in this book. On their feastdays you might like to try cake magic made possible by semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Very little work or added ingredients are needed to make expert decorations. It does require time to do the work successfully, though. Semi-sweet chocolate morsels are the same little pieces of chocolate that are used to make authentic chocolate chip cookies, just as they originated at the Toll House in Whitman, Massachusetts.

We give instructions here for hearts, but the recipe can be used with different cookie cutters also. You will find cut-out hearts of semi-sweet chocolate easy to make for your child's cake. In no more time than it takes to translate hope into reality, you will have a jaunty little row of chocolate silhouette hearts.

Made with only two ingredients, the chocolate morsels and shortening, these hearts require only metal cookie cutters with a good cutting edge and a length of aluminum foil. You will have enough chocolate hearts from this recipe to decorate a big pink- frosted cake, and an auxiliary flotilla of cupcakes.

To make semi-sweet chocolate heart cakes, have ready two 9-inch cake layers and twenty medium cupcakes. (The cake pans also come in a heart shape from MS, see Abbreviations.) For the frosting prepare one and a half times the recipe for a standard butter frosting. For St. Valentine's day you might tint pale pink with one or two drops of red food coloring. Frost the sides and tops of the 9-inch layers and the cupcakes.

Combine and melt over hot (not boiling) water 1 cup (6-ounce package) of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon in a 15 x 10 pan lined with aluminum foil. Chill until firm, approximately 20 minutes. Invert carefully on a 15 x 12 cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Gently peel off the foil. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, 2 inches across at the widest point, cut 32 hearts (reverse direction of every other heart). Then with a cutter 2-1/2 inches across at its widest point cut 4 hearts (reverse direction). Rechill until firm enough to handle, approximately 5 minutes.

To decorate, place 4 large hearts on top of the frosted layer cake. Place twelve small hearts around the side of the layer cake. Put 1 small heart on each cupcake.


Lemon Cheese Cake made the no-bake way enjoys year-round popularity at our house because of its excellent taste, availability of ingredients, and the fact that it can be made ahead of time. For this fresh lemon-flavored dessert, a custard base, cream-style cottage cheese, and whipped cream are given form with unflavored gelatine. In contrast to the compact baked type, the no-bake cheese dessert is light and delicate and takes only twenty-five minutes of preparation. The refrigerator then takes over and eliminates the hour of baking time. The dessert crumb crust trim may be molded in a spring-form pan, a loaf or square pan. It can be put into one of the large symbolic molds or into small individual molds for miniature cheese cakes. The recipe may also be halved and chilled in a pie plate. For it you will need:

unflavored gelatine grated lemon rind sugar lemon juice salt vanilla eggs creamed cottage cheese milk heavy cream

Mix 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatine and 3/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the top of a double boiler. Beat together 2 egg yolks and 1 cup of milk; add to the gelatine mixture. Cook over boiling water, stirring until the gelatine dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; then cool. Sieve 3 cups (about 24 ounces) of creamed cottage cheese into a large mixing bowl; beat with an electric beater until smooth.

Stir in the cooled gelatine mixture. Chill, stirring occasionally, until the mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. While the mixture is chilling, prepare crumb topping and set aside.* Beat 2 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until very stiff. Fold into a gelatine-cheese mixture. Fold in 1/2 pint (1 cup) whipped cream. Turn into a prepared mold or pan.

*For the crumb topping you will need:

melted butter cinnamon sugar nutmeg graham cracker crumbs

Mix together 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Turn the cheese cake mixture into an 8-inch springform pan or mold; sprinkle with crumbs. Chill until firm. If desired, an 8- or 9-inch square pan or a 9 x 5 loaf pan may be used; line with waxed paper. Press the crumb mixture in the bottom of the pan- turn in the cheese cake mixture.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings for a nameday party. For 5 or 6 servings only use half of the gelatine but the full amount of the crumb mixture in an 8-inch round pan or a 9-inch pie plate.


The Basket Cake consists mainly in the decorative detail added to most any type of a cake base, for instance, a chocolate or angel cake. Time and a certain artistic ingenuity are presupposed; but for saints whose characteristic virtues were generosity and kindness, the basket with its symbolism of giving to the needy is quite in place.


Almond Torte Assumption Day Fruit Medley Basket Cake Bischofsbrot (Bishop's Bread) Bishop Wine Bombe Glace Carol Cake Cherries Jubilee Chocolate Angel Cake Chocolate Cake Decorations Confessors' Light Chocolate Cake Cross Cake Crown Cake Crystallized Rose Petals Cut-up Cakes Dog Cake Eaglet Cake Fish Cake Heart Cake Hobby Horse Cake Lion Cake Ship Cake Flambe Cherry Pie Four-Minute Frosting Genoise Book Cake Glow Wine Heilige Kapfe (Saint's Plaits) Honey Chiffon Cake Honey Chiffon Filling Irish Coffee Kugelhupf Lamb Cake Lily Sandwiches Martyrs' Chiffon Dessert Melon Bombe Mousse Tullamore Mulled Orange Punch Musical Cake Nameday Chocolate Ice Cream Nameday Strawberries Nameday Sugar Cookies No-Bake Lemon Cheese Cake Nun's Lemon Layer Cake Orange Doughnuts Papst (Pope Punch) Raspberry Bavarian Cream Rose Petal Coconut Cake St. George (Melachrino) Cake St. Joseph's Cream Puffs (St. Joseph's Sfinge) St. Patrick's Day Dessert Salad Scripture Cake Seven-Minute Frosting Snowballs-on-Fire Snow Hearts (Floating Heart) Star of David Chiffon Cream Pie Star-Studded Chiffon Pie Strawberry Butter Frosting Strawberry Frosted Layer Cake Sugarless Sponge Cake Sunburst Dessert Vanilla Mousse


1. Little white-haired darling.

2. From "Times Wall Asunder" by Robert Farren (Sheed and Ward, New York).

3. From "Times Wall Asunder" by Robert Farren (Sheed and Ward, New York).

4. "Cherry Tree Carol," Appalachian Mountain version of a carol, by The Grail, LP recording, "Songs for Advent and Christmas" (see GR, p. 7).

5. From "Poems for Children" by Eleanor Farjeon (J. B. Lippincott Co., New York).

6. From "Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley" (Viking Press Inc., New York).

7. "Hymns of the Dominican Missal and Breviary" (St. Louis: B. Herder).

8. From "New Irish Poets" by Blanaid Salkeld (Devin-Adair Co., New York).

9. "Hymns of the Dominican Breviary and Missal" (St. Louis: B. Herder).

10. "Hymns of the Dominican Breviary and Missal" (St. Louis: B. Herder).

11. Selections from "Ancient Irish Poetry" by Kuno Meyer (London: Constable & Co., Ltd., 1911).

12. Available from: The MacMillan Company, New York.

13. Old English for: mean.

14. This recipe is from our favorite cookbook, "The Art of Fine Baking (pub. by Simon and Schuster) by Paula Peck, who has contributed recipes to, and has had her pastries photographed for "The New York Times" and "Life," and has taught at the James Beard Cooking School. Her kitchen next door fills us with joy at the whiff of the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread, and makes us nostalgic for the magic days of childhood when mother or grandmother made wonderful cake at home.