Monday, May 3, 2010

An Israeli Spread for the Feast of St. James the Just

The following post was written and submitted by Bethany Hudson, from The Apple Cider Mill, for publication here at Catholic Cuisine, in honor of the feast of St. James.  Thank you Bethany!

Today is the Feast of St. James the Just, our James' patron saint. St. James is also known as James the Righteous, James of Jerusalem, James Adelphotheos, or James the Brother of the Lord. He was, as the final moniker indicates, a close relative of Christ, as well as the first Bishop of Jerusalem. He is widely held to be the author of the Letter of James in Scripture and of the Apostolic Decree spoken of in Acts 15. According to the writings of Josephus, St. James suffered martyrdom by stoning after defying the Pharisees by publicly proclaiming Jesus to be the Christ. It is recorded that, even as he was being stoned to death, St. James prayed for those who murdered him. It is speculated that the account in Acts of the protomartyrdom of St. Stephen may actually have refered to the death of St. James, whose name would have been changed to the illustrative "Stephen," which literally means "crown," as in the crown of martyrdom.

Not to be confused with James the Great (brother of John, and another of the original Twelve disciples of Christ), St. James' feast is celebrated on May 3rd (today) along with the feast of St. Phillip.

In honor of James' first Nameday, I made a special Israeli feast in honor of his patron's Jewish heritage and his bishopric in Jerusalem.

An Israeli Spread for the Feast of St. James the Just

blueberry-pomegranate spritzers

I had wanted to make some Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (which apart from the name has nothing to do with Jerusalem), but I couldn't find any sunchokes in our grocery store.

When James is older, we will be able to tell him more about his patron, but in the meantime, I think he's already forming a bond with this great saint--or at least forming a love of falafel!

St. James the Just, pray for us!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi -
    This is great stuff, wonderful to see dinners designed around the feast day. I thank you for not putting a dessert up today and putting dinner ideas up instead for the appropriate feast day. I would like to see more of these ideas, and less of the desserts for feast days. If I made each feast day suggestion, my family and I would not be too trim! Thank you for this idea!