Cooking with the Blessed Mother

Today in my Holy Week Walk with St. Catherine of Siena, we are joined with Mary.  I was eating a breakfast of hot cross buns and was reminded of a Caterinati story of Mary helping Catherine cook.

It was a time of famine in Siena. Catherine was with her friend Alexia.  Alexia was making bread.  However, some of the grain was moldy, and Alexia was going to toss that portion out.  "Oh, no." Catherine cried.  The poor would be happy to have bread, any bread.

And Catherine took the grain with water, and made a paste of it.  As she kneaded the dough, so much had it grown, that Alexia joined in to help.  The two of them, made several trips, back and forth, from the kitchen to the oven to bake .

The smell of the baking bread was so savory that everyone drooled.  Usually bread made from corn meal, like these loaves, don't have much of a savory odor.  But these smelled heavenly.

But when they 
were baked and set on the table to eat, they that ate of them 
could find no manner of evil taste in them, but rather said that 
they had not in their life eaten better or more savoury bread.

Word of this miracle spread, and Catherine's spiritual director and confessor, Fra Raymund asked her if the story were true.  Catherine told her confessor that she so desired to help the poor that she asked our Blessed Mother for help.  Not only did Mary come, but she brought with her some angels, who helped Catherine kneed the dough.  

No wonder the bread smelled and tasted so good.  The Mother of our Eucharist, would make excellent bread.

Photo above shared under a creative commons license, original on flickr by user
 ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA. From the Engraving by Francesco 

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