Spring is in the air, we’re into our second week of the Easter season, and the brighter days call for socializing and celebrating the departure from cold and bleak weather. One of the great things about the Church is that it, too, likes causes for celebration all year long.
One way to incorporate the life and calendar of the Church into your own everyday life is to incorporate aspects of saints’ feasts. This weekend, we have a plethora of well-known and venerated saints that are being celebrated, and what better way than to treat yourself to a feast?
St. Peter Chanel
Feast Day: April 28
St. Peter Chanel lived in 18th-century France, where he was raised in a Catholic family and entered into seminary. He would later join the Society of Mary, an order that focused on missionary work foreign and domestic. Peter was sent to administer to the people of Futuna, near Fiji, where he worked to bring Christ to the locals. During his stay, he was martyred by the king who feared Chanel’s piety would undermine his own authority. St. Peter Chanel is the patron of Oceania.
Try Eating: Charcuterie Board
An assortment of meats, cheeses, fruits, and bread are a good hint to the homeland of St. Peter Chanel.
St. Catherine of Siena
Feast Day: April 29
St. Catherine of Siena was a 14th-century Italian woman who was a lay member of the Dominican Order. From a young age, she desired to be close to Christ, and so lived a life with His will in mind. As a young woman, she convinced Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome after moving the papacy to Avignon, thus strengthening the hierarchy of the Church. She is a now a Doctor of the Church and the patroness of Europe.
Try Eating: Pizza
What’s more Italian than a delicious pizza pie? With a light, doughy crust, you might as well be St. Catherine of Siena in her native country.
St. Pius V
Feast Day: April 30
Born in the 1500s near Milan, Antonio Ghislieri would first enter the Dominican Order before being elected to the papacy in 1566. Throughout his reign, he helped form the 1570 Roman Missal, cleansed the Church of heretical rulers, and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory. When the Ottoman Empire was encroaching on Eastern Europe in 1571, the battle of Lepanto was famously won by the Holy League through the intercession of Our Lady – and the feast remains to this day. St. Pius V is remembered as the patron of Italy.
Try Eating: Pasta Carbonara
This delectable and hearty Italian staple will leave anyone full – even the Bishop of Rome.
St. Joseph, the Worker
Feast Day: May 1
St. Joseph, the foster father of Christ and the husband of Mary, is one of the Church’s greatest and most venerated saints. As a member of the Holy Family he is held in high esteem for guarding, protecting, and raising the Son of God and working in tandem with the will of God. This feast day was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to reclaim the dignity of work that was honored by the secular holiday of May Day.
Try Eating: Hummus
This traditional Middle Eastern dish is the perfect spring and summer dish, made with fresh ingredients and served with vegetables and breads.