Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Mary suffered greatly during the passion and death of her son, Christ Jesus. It was because of this suffering that she was given the title Our Lady of Sorrow. Recognizing her suffering has been a part of the Catholic Faith almost from the beginning.

In 1232, seven young men in Tuscany founded the Servite Order, also known as the Servite Friars. Over the centuries several devotions and other orders arose around the meditation on Mary’s Sorrows. In 1482, the feast that would eventually give way to Our Lady of Sorrow, was placed in the Roman Missal under the title Our Lady of Compassion. Interestingly, compassion is derived from the Latin roots Cum and Patior, which means to suffer with. Under Pope Benedict XIII, in 1727 the feast day of Our Lady of Compassion was added to the Roman Calendar on the Friday before Palm Sunday. This was in addition to Our Lady of Sorrows, which had been celebrated on the third Sunday of September since 1668. It was under the direction of Pope Pius X that the fixed date of September 15 was assigned to Our Lady of Sorrows, to follow the Feast of the Holy Cross. Under Vatican II, the observation of Our Lady of Compassion was dropped from the Universal Calendar.

Many Catholics throughout the world not only pray the Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows on her Feast Day, they also pray on the first Saturday of each month. The Chaplet consists of 1 Our Father, followed by 7 Hail Mary for each of her sufferings. Others read the scriptures associated with each of the seven sorrows as a way to recall the sacrifices of both the Holy Mother and her Divine Son, Jesus.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary
1st Sorrow – The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
2nd Sorrow – The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
3rd Sorrow – The Loss of the Child Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-50)
4th Sorrow – Meeting Jesus on the way to Calvary (John 19:17)
5th Sorrow – Witnessing the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
6th Sorrow – Receiving body of Jesus taken from the Cross (Luke 23:50-54)
7th Sorrow – The burial of Jesus in the tomb (Mark 15:40-47)

The feast itself is not a Holy Day of Obligation, so the choice to honor the day is a personal one. I have always felt a strong connection to Mary. While she surrendered her will to God, she never faltered in her strength to stand as an example of unconditional love. Mary represents the quiet strength that is in each of us to stand and do what is right regardless of personal cost. And to do so with gentle love and compassion.

I suppose we could have create a full Seven Course Meal to honor the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Instead I decided seven different dishes served over four separate courses was more manageable. If you wanted, you could serve each dish as it’s own course, although a Linguine Course or Asparagus Course would seem strange on its own. I’d also be looking for sides to complement the Chicken.


Feast of Seven Sorrows

Caprese Salad Skewers
Crab Cake Bites with Lemon Remoulade

Main Course
Sliced Chicken Breasts with Rosemary Butter Sauce
Linguine in Browned Garlic Butter
Crispy Roasted Asparagus

Romaine Italian Salad with Cream Dressing

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Blackberry Brandy Sauce

Caprese Salad Skewers
12 Appetizer Skewers
24 Grape Tomatoes
12 cherry-size fresh Mozzarella Cheese Balls
24 fresh Basil Leaves
2 tablespoons Olive Oil as needed
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar as needed

On each of the appetizer skewers, thread a tomato, a basil leaf folded over, a Mozzarella Cheese Ball, a second basil leaf and another tomato. Skewers should begin and end with a tomato, with the Mozzarella Cheese Ball sandwiched between basil leaves. Arrange skewers on a serving tray and set aside.

In a small bowl, Whisk olive oil and vinegar together. Drizzle vinegar mixture over the skewers, allowing drops to fall in a decorative fashion on the platter.

Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Crab Cake Bites with Lemon Remoulade
Crab Cakes
1 lb Lump Crabmeat
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 large Egg
3 tablespoons fresh Chives
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs, divided

Drain crabmeat, pick over for any shells. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk mayonnaise, with egg. Snip chives, add to the mayonnaise mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mayonnaise mixture over crab; gently toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and gently mix again. Refrigerate mixture 30 minutes.

Place remaining breadcrumbs in a bowl. Working with 1 rounded tablespoon at a time, form crab mixture into a ball. Roll in the breadcrumbs, then form into a cake just slightly larger than a quarter and about 3/4-inch thick. Place cake on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the cakes have been formed. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. While the cakes chill, make the sauce.

Lemon Zest Remoulade
1 Shallot
1 tablespoon Chives
1 teaspoon Capers
1/2 Lemon
1/4 cup Mayonnaise

Peel and finely mince shallot. Place in a small bowl. Snip chives, add to the shallows. Drain and finely chop capers, add to the shallot mixture. Cut lemon in half. Zest half of the lemon directly into the mixture. Add mayonnaise, whisk to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

To Finish
3 tablespoons Butter, divided
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
Chives for garnish

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon oil. When the foam of the butter subsides place half of the crab cakes into the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until golden. Arrange cakes on a serving platter, set aside.

Melt the remaining tablespoon butter and oil in the now empty skillet. Add remaining crab cakes, cook until golden.

Top each cake with a small dollop of remoulade sauce. Garish each cake with a piece of chive as desired.

Inspired by Anolon Gourmet Cookware

Sliced Chicken Breast with Rosemary Butter Sauce
4 boneless Chicken Breast
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
4 Rosemary Sprigs for garnish

Season chicken breasts with salt and white pepper, set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoon of butter. Swirl to coat the pan. Place chicken in the skillet and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. If necessary, lower heat cook breast through without burning. Remove breast from skillet, slice and wrap in foil to keep warm.

To the now empty skillet, add wine to deglaze the pan over medium-low heat, stirring to loosen browned bits the bottom. Add cream, increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Mince rosemary, add to the cream along with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Whisk off-heat until blended.

To serve, fan out the sliced chicken on a serving platter, drizzle with some of the Rosemary Butter Sauce. Garnish with a few Rosemary Sprigs for that extra detail to beauty. Serve remaining sauce with chicken to use as desired.

Linguine in Browned Garlic Butter
8 oz Linguine Pasta
4 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil. Cook linguine until done al dente – cooked but firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, heat a small sauté pan over low heat. Dice butter, add to the pan and let butter melt undisturbed. As the butter melts, peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

Once the butter is fully melted, increase heat to medium. Swirl pan as the butter begins to turn to a golden tan color, only a few minutes. Once the butter begins to brown, remove from heat. Add garlic and swirl the pan. The butter will continue to brown from the residual heat of the pan.

Drain pasta, place in a warm serving bowl. Pour garlic butter over the pasta. Sprinkle with seasoning, toss to coat.

Serve and enjoy.

Crispy Roasted Asparagus
2 lbs Asparagus
1/2 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh Thyme
1 lemon, zested
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Butter

Heat oven to 400-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Rinse asparagus, pat dry. Snap woody ends from the stocks and discard. Set asparagus aside.

In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs with Parmesan Cheese. Strip the leaves from thyme sprigs, add to the breadcrumb mixture. Zest lemon directly over the breadcrumbs. Season with a little salt and pepper. Toss to blend and set aside.

Melt butter. Toss asparagus in the melted butter to coat, then sprinkle with about 3/4 of the breadcrumb mixture. Lay asparagus out on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining breadcrumb mixture.

Roast the asparagus in the heated oven for about 6 minutes or until asparagus is just tender and breadcrumbs are browned. Arrange on a platter and serve.

Romaine Italian Salad with Creamy Dressing
Creamy Dressing
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
2 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoon Romano Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix well mixed. Transfer to small serving pitcher or salad dressing bottle and chill until ready to use.

Romaine Salad
2 bunches Romaine Lettuce
2 cups Grape Tomatoes
1 small Red Onion
8 pickled Pepperoncini Peppers

Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Scatter into a large salad bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half, scatter over the lettuce. Peel and thinly slice the onion into rings. Break apart and scatter over the salad. Add the pepperoncini peppers whole. Toss to blend. Chill until ready to serve.

For Serving
Cream Italian Dressing (above)
Italian Croutons as desired
Shaved Parmesan Cheese as desired
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Just before serving, drizzle lightly with salad dressing, scatter croutons over the salad and toss to coat. Serve with shaved Parmesan Cheese and additional dressing on the side to use as desired.

Pass the pepper mill around the table if desired.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Blackberry Brandy Sauce
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
3 tablespoons Water
3 teaspoons Unflavored Gelatin
2-1/4 cups Heavy Cream
1-1/2 cups Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 tablespoons Light Rum
6 (6 oz) Ramekins or Panna Cotta Molds

Begin by blooming the gelatin. Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly on top. Set aside.

In a saucepan, whisk the heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and rum together. With a sharp knife split the vanilla bean in half; scrape the seeds from the pod. Add seeds and pod to the cream mixture.

Bring vanilla cream mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, immediately add the bloomed gelatin, whisk until gelatin has completely dissolved into the cream.

Divide Panna Cotta mixture evenly into ramekins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, place in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 6 hours.

Blackberry Brandy Sauce
5 cups Blackberries, divided
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Black Brandy
1/2 Lemon

Rinse blackberries, pick through and select 6 of the best berries for a garnish. They should be uniform in size, plump and a little firm. Set aside until ready to serve.

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, brandy and 4 cups of blackberries. Cut lemon in half. Zest and juice half of the lemon directly into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the blackberry mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the seeds and pulp. Push the sauce through the strainer with the back of a small spoon to extract as much as possible.

Cut remaining cup of blackberries into small pieces. Strain into sauce. Stir to blend. Refrigerate the sauce until you are ready to serve.

To Serve
6 reserved Blackberries
Mint Leaves as desired

Bring water to a boil in a kettle. Fill a bowl or 8-inch square casserole dish with boiling water. Pick a bath container that is larger than the ramekins.

Working with one ramekin at a time, dip the bottom and sides into the hot water for 5 seconds. DO NOT submerge the ramekin into the water.

Invert each Panna Cotta onto individual dessert plates; gently lifting the ramekin to unmold the dessert.

Spoon some of the sauce around the plates and over the Panna Cotta. Garnish each dessert with a blackberry and some mint leaves. Serve and enjoy.

Original Recipe from Bluejean Chef

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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