July 11: St. Benedict — Nameday Ideas

From My Nameday — Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin, Copyright 1962. Online text here at EWTN.

See also: Program for a Nameday: St. Joan of Arc

ABBOTS

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. 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.

FOUNDERS OF RELIGIOUS ORDERS

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.

BENEDICT

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. Fra Filippo Lippi’s St. Benedict Orders St. Maurus to the Rescue of St. Placid hangs in the National Gallery of Art.

Hans Memling’s St. Benedict is available in reproduction from the Little Art Shop (LAS, see Abbreviations), which also carries Pietro Perugino’s St. Benedict and the Crucifxision by Pietro Perugino with St. John and St. Benedict in a color print. A signed Serraz statue ranges in price from $8.00 to $20.00 (from CCA, see Abbreviations).

<b>HONEY CHIFFON PIE</b>

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:

1 1/2 cups enriched flour              
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup solid 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.

<b>HONEY CHIFFON FILLING</b>

2 Tablespoons gelatine
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 oz can mandarin oranges, saving juice
1 cup whipped 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.

<b>Glacé Benedictine</b>

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.

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