Monday, July 25, 2016

Feast of Saint James the Greater

Today is the Feast of Saint James the Greater. He was given this name to differentiate him from Saint James the Less, who was believed to be shorter than him. He is the patron saint of Spain and pilgrims. Saint James was one of the first apostles of Jesus. He was found fishing on the Sea of Galilee unable to catch fish that day when Jesus called out to them and asked them to cast their nets once more. The boat the men were fishing from nearly sank because of the abundance of fish they caught in their final netting. Saint James was one of three disciples who witness the Transfiguration and is known for spreading the teachings of Jesus in Spain for over 40 years. Saint James was decapitated by King Herod for his faith and became the first apostle to be martyred for his faith. His remains can be found in the Cathedral of Santiago in Spain.

I thought that making an authentic Spanish meal would be perfect to celebrate Saint James the Greater. I decided on making Gazpacho but with a twist. My kids, especially my youngest, have some texture issues and Gazpacho is actually a cold soup. I decided to add pasta to my gazpacho and not blend the ingredients into a thick soup so it resembled a pasta salad instead. If you checked out my Menu Plan Monday post for this week and looked at the ingredients for my recipe, I am sure you noticed I tweaked my recipe a bit. I didn't feel like running out to the grocery store today so I replaced a few things that I didn't have on hand with other ingredients that I did.

Here is my original recipe
Gazpacho Pasta Salad:

1 lb Rotini Pasta
3 Medium Ripe Tomatoes (diced)
1 Large Cucumber (diced)
1 Green Bell Pepper (minced)
2 Green Onions (chopped)
6 Fl oz Canned Tomato Juice
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
1/4 Cup Parsley
3 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Tsp Tarragon
1 Tsp Basil
1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper

Bring pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and put aside. Combine the pasta and the rest of the ingredients together and mix well. Chill for at least 2 hours and toss again prior to serving.

***If you wanted to make traditional Gazpacho you would mix all the ingredient together except the pasta and increase the tomato juice to 4 cups. Place ingredients into a food processor and blend until it is a think soup consistency. Chill for 2 hours and serve with croutons***

I substituted Shell pasta for the Rotini Pasta because the shells represent the sea. Saint James is also represented by a cockle shell or a man with shells all around him. Saint James was a fisherman and he traveled the sea to evangelize Spain so the extra symbolism is beautiful. I was also out of tomato juice, tarragon and green onions so I used a half jar of leftover jar of marinara, fennel seed and red onion. All the substitutions made resulted in a delicious Gazpacho Pasta Salad. I have it chilling in the refrigerator now and will toss it with a little extra lime juice before serving. If you aren't into eating pasta or you are trying to keep carbs out of your diet, some kind of fish or scallop dinner would be perfect to celebrate this day too.

We have been enjoying the nice weather here and intend on going to the gym before sitting down to dinner as a family tonight. After dinner, I will read the short summary that is in the Book of Saints Part 8 and say a couple prayers. If you click the affiliate link above, the book is included in a 10 pack for an awesome deal! We own tons of the little books from Father Lovasik and my boys love them.

If we still lived near the beaches, I would definitely consider going for a stroll on the beach and collecting some sea shells. It use to be a common tradition to build a shrine in honor of Saint James from broken sea shells. If you have some shells, placing them on your home altar would be perfect! I am working on a prayer wall in my house that I will update each month to coincide with the liturgical year and feast days. 

Other ways to celebrate are:

Creating a dessert decorated with the Saint James Cross (cake, pie or cookies)
Checkout Catholic Cuisine for some other great recipes
Go on a fishing trip 

O glorious Apostle,

St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart

wast chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor,
and of His agony in Gethsemane;
thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life,
that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus,
we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven.

Saint James, pray for us!


  1. Replies
    1. Me too! I found it in a Catholic prayer book my dad gave to me so long ago