Thursday, July 22, 2010

St. Francis Caracciolo (Oct. 13, 1563 to June 4, 1608)

"You may have the universe if I may have Italy."
(Giuseppe Verdi)

I just finished reading "Giada At Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California" by Giada De Laurentiis. It's such a classy cookbook in the way it's written and presented. She puts a whole new twist on how to make the delicious foods that I ate growing up in a household with an Italian-American mother.
People that have said negative things about Giada are plainly jealous because she's successful, smart, pretty, and has gorgeous clothing.
Growing up in Rhode Island, I've heard enough jokes about movies like "Goodfellas," "My Cousin Vinnie," and "The Godfather" and derogatory terms such as "guinea." It would be easy to say that someone who speaks that way to describe an Italian is uneducated or ignorant. However, most people, no matter what background, have their own biases or prejudices. It's just that some people keep their thoughts to themselves.
As I've mentioned throughout this blog, I am particularly proud of my ethnic heritage and being half Italian. I experienced so many wonderful things on my trips to Italy including an unexpected spiritual awakening at age 26 (which I've tried repeatedly to run away from, but can't) and, of course, the food.
St. Francis Caracciolo is the patron saint of chefs and cooks. He was born Ascanio Pisquizio in Villa Santa Maria, Abruzzo, Italy on Oct. 13, 1563. At age 22, he was cured of leprosy so decided to become a priest which he did in 1587.
St. Francis Caracciolo co-founded the Congregation of Minor Clerics Regular with Venerable John Augustine Adorno. He was a related to St. Thomas Aquinas. He died on June 4, 1608 and his feast day is June 4.

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