Saint Bernadette, Divine Mercy and Parish Chicken

Saint Bernadette is one of those rare saints that has more than one feast day. Generally speaking, the feast day of any particular saint is the anniversary of their death, since it is on that day they slept to the world and awakened in Heaven.

Saint Bernadette died on April 16, 1879. She was just 35 years old. Beginning at the age of 14 in Lourdes, Bernadette experienced a total of sixteen separate apparitions of the Blessed Mother Mary. One of my many rosaries (yes, I have more than one) comes from Lourdes. It has been blessed and contains water from Lourdes. For obvious reasons, and a few not so obvious, today I will use that rosary to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Which brings us to the true celebration of today – Divine Mercy Sunday. Since Divine Mercy Sunday is tied to Easter Sunday, it is a moveable feast. Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. While feast days for saints and other days of special significance within the Church Calendar are often established by the Church, Divine Mercy comes from Christ himself.

In 1931 Faustian Kowalska, a nun in Poland, is said to have been visited by Jesus. Moreover; they had a conversation and out of this conversation Divine Mercy Sunday was established. Jesus was filled with both sorrow at the state of the world and compassion for those so lost. He knew that His death and resurrection were not enough to rid the world of sin. Man still did terrible things to one another. Christ established Divine Mercy Sunday as a last vestal of hope. It is not enough to attend Mass on this day. Christ has instructed the faithful to confess their transgressions, seek His mercy and in return to show mercy to others. Christ’s gift of mercy is one we must seek, but in order to receive it, we must share that same mercy with the whole of the world. Only when we are loving; kind and merciful to one another can there be any meaningful, lasting peace on earth.

That which separates us from God is our selfish sinfullness. Yet sin of any kind is but a drop in the ocean compared to God’s love, mercy and saving grace. Once filled with that merciful grace, we are better prepared to be merciful to others.

The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

Remember, Jesus said your sins are forgiven, now go and sin no more. To ask for mercy and forgiveness requires us to be forgiving and merciful to others. By doing so, we grow closer to God. And the closer we are to God, the more we become at peace with the world. Peace is a healthy state of being.

What is Parish Brugundy Chicken? A few years back our Parish put together a cookbook to sell as a fund raiser. Recieps were collected from the lay as well as the priests, nuns and decons. I can only assume that more books were printed than sold since Father gives them out these days as parting gifts when you visit his home. I’ve been trying different recipes from the book. This seemed appropriate for the Feast of Saint Bernadette and Divine Mercy Sunday. Enjoy!

Parish Burgundy Chicken
3 large boneless Chicken Breasts
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
1/2 White Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
6 medium Red Potatoes
10 White Mushrooms
1 (14 oz) can Diced Tomatoes
1-1/2 cups Red Wine
1/2 cup Chicken Stock

Season chicken breasts with herb seasonings, set aside. Cut onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half for another purpose, peel and dice remaining half, set aside. Peel and mince garlic, set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, onions and garlic. Cook for about 6 minutes per side. Once the chicken has cooked, remove breasts from the skillet, tent and keep warm.

While the breasts cook, scrub potatoes, quarter and set aside. Clean mushrooms, slice and set aside.

Once the chicken breasts have been removed from the skillet, add potatoes and mushrooms to the skillet along with the wine and tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil, cook over medium-high heat until the potatoes are nearly fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Return chicken breasts to the skillet. Add stock to thin the sauce. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have fully developed, about 15 minutes or so.

For a rustic tableside presentation, serve chicken directly from the skillet with warm bread. Be sure to spoon plenty of the sauce over the breasts for even more flavor. A nice salad is also a beautiful finish. Served with a red wine, this is an amazingly simple skillet supper.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

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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