On September 13, 335, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in what is now the Christian Quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem, was dedicated. The following day, the cross that Empress Helena had discovered 15 years earlier on that day, was venerated in a solemn ceremony.
Over time, this would become known as the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross among Catholics; The Exaltation of the Holy Cross within the Eastern Rite, or simply Holy Cross Day among Angelic and Lutheran communities. Regardless of its title, this day is meant to bring to mind three events. The first is that Saint Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, discovered the true Cross on September 14, 320. Constantine then built a church on the site of the Holy Sepulcher and Mount Calvary that was dedicated on September 13, 335 and finally the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in 629 AD, after the fall of the Persian Emperor Choruses II.
No matter the name, today the faithful of various denominations are called to reflect on the sacrifice made for the forgiveness of sin. We should be humbled in the knowledge that God so loves us, He became man that He might die for us.
Most High glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Grant me an upright faith,
secure hope and perfect charity.
Fill me with understanding and knowledge
that I may fulfill your command. Amen.
(Saint Francis before the Crucifix of San Damiano)
I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. You don’t need to be Catholic or Christian or even a religious person to appreciate good food. However; I am of the belief that any celebration engaging the mind, body and soul is more satisfying. Enjoy!
Brandy Cream Chicken Fettuccine
8 oz White Mushrooms
2 boneless Chicken Breasts
Garlic Powder to taste
Italian Seasoning to taste
1/4 cup Butter divided
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
1/2 cup Brandy
1 cup Italian Cheese Blend
1 cup Heavy Cream
12 oz Spinach Fettuccine
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Keep boiling water at the ready.
Clean mushrooms, set aside.
Cut each chicken breast in half widthwise. Cut each half into strips. Lay chicken out on the cutting board. Sprinkle with garlic power and Italian Seasoning. Toss to coat an set aside.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil, swirl skillet to coat the bottom. Lay chicken strips out in a single layer. Let brown, about 5 minutes. Turn strips over, continue to cook another 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet, keep warm.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to the pan, sauté until mushrooms are tender and most of their liquid has been released. Add garlic to the pan, cook for about a minute more.
Add brandy to the pan. Scrape the bottom to release any browned bits into the brandy. Add cheese, stir until melted.
Slowly add cream, bring to a simmer. Return chicken to the pan, cover and let simmer until the pasta is ready.
To the boiling water, add pasta. Cook al dente. Drain well.
Spread Fettuccine out on a warm serving platter. Add chicken, mushrooms and brandy cream sauce to the pasta. Toss to coat pasta in the sauce.
Serve with bread and a salad for a beautiful meal.