Saturday, January 16, 2010

St. Valerius (? to 453)

"Do you ship your limoncello to other countries?" I asked the father and son whose lemon grove I was standing in on a hot Sorrento day.
"Yes," they responded.
I had backpacked throughout the Amalfi Coast in Italy and still had three weeks of travelling to do, so I was happy not to have to carry a bottle of lemon liqueur around with me. But, after I made my payment by credit card, I realized that they didn't ship to the United States.
"Well this had better be delicious," I said as the father and son carefully wrapped it for me to take on my journey.
They were nice enough and even invited me inside their home to enjoy some lemon cake, but I declined since the sun would soon be setting and I had plenty of exploring ahead of me.
My memories of Sorrento are nothing but beauty: citrus trees, bright sun, and beautiful sandy beaches. So, it's no wonder St. Valerius chose to live as a hermit in the surrounding area.
He was known as a gentle and kind man. The people of Sorrento loved and respected him so much that they made St. Valerius their bishop. He died in 453. His feast day is Jan. 16 (my godmother's birthday).
And, yes, the bottle of limoncello made it safely back home to Rhode Island with me!

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