Big Feast coming this Friday!

What are your plans for the big feast day on Friday?

Friday 22 October is the feast of Sts. Nunilo and Alodia were a pair of 9th c. virgin martyrs in Huesca, Spain.  They were born to a Muslim father and Christian mother.  However, they chose their mother’s Christianity.  During the Emirate of Abd ar-Rahman II they were first put in a brothel and then were executed as apostates according to Sharia law.

Perhaps we should make… I don’t know… paella?

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Elly says:

    Alodia is a beautiful name… I’ll keep it in mind for a future daughter.

  2. rakesvines says:

    “these little girls were first put in a brothel and then were executed as apostates according to Sharia law. ” I am a father of a 7 year old and 3 year old girl Just the thought makes me lose the desire to eat – even paella, one of my favorites. What faith would oblige a father to do that monstrosity to his own daughters? A monstrous faith – I guess.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    In the General Roman Calendar of both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, 22 October is a “feria”… no saint is prescribed for that day. So, if one wanted to observe this feast in the Liturgy of the Hours as a votive office, I take it one would use either the Common of Virgins or the Common of Several Martyrs? I will have to search the internet to see if there is a proper collect out there for them!

  4. Fr. Basil says:

    Goeffrey, I’m not familiar with the present day’s Ordinary Form of the Latin Church’s Divine Office, but in the EF office there is a Common for several Virgin Martyrs. One also exists in the Byzantine General Menaion (basically the Common of the Saints):

    Troparion, In Tone I:

    As rational sheep of Christ, the Lamb and the Shepherd, * you undertook the struggle of Martyrdom, * and finishing your course you preserved the faith, * wherefore, O wonderworthy Martyrs [Nunilo and Alodia], * with gladsome hearts we celebrate today * your holy memory, magnifying Christ.

    Kontakion, In Tone IV:

    Spec. Mel.: Thou hast appeared.

    We who now celebrate the feast of Christ’s Martyred maidens * in faith now pray for help, * that we who call out; ‘God, Who willed to glorify His maiden Martyrs [Nunilo and Alodia], is With us, * who then can prevail against us’, * may be delivered from every besetting affliction.

    Thank you for sharing this. I intend to inscribe them in my Horologion.

    Saints Nunilo and Alodia, pray to God for us.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    Dr FrZ
    cf.Traditional New York Gumbo?
    Paella for Spain, 2010AD , for sure, but Huesca upper Aragon, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, days if not weeks away from fresh seafood until railways?
    I thought of delicious rabbit paellas I’ve had in Spanish mountain foothills, tho not Aragon, not cooked it myself with proper herby wild mountain rabbit, and found a cuplathings on the net.
    Rice has been around in Aragon since ? Arab times? You can use a paella pan (cf Yr Post FR abt The Priests from Murcia, Spain )to make a more traditional inland ( with (confirmed?) mozarabic associations) type of paella , with rabbit, saffron, (Aragon is a massive producer thereof),plenty of edible fungi (Very Arogonese , some stray Aragonese Franciscan wrote a 13th cent. Fungi cook-book , and they’re in season )andpossibly , well purged snails (I ‘m less than sure that this isn’t a levantine tradition, they were part of Aragon after the Reconquest, leave em out if you’re squeamish. Herby mountain wild rabbit might be best . Rabbit chopped up into sort of finger food size bits, so as to get meat off bones holding bit when you’re eating.
    The trouble with paella pans is unless you use a a tiny one for feeding one or two anorexics, you need an even live heat all the way underneath, which is a cinch on an open-air wood fire made with loads of twigs, not easy without a catering triple ring in a modern kitchen, perhaps if you put a round barbecue into service but mixed say pine cones with the charcoal? The thing is , you want loads of heat when you add liquid, so that’s it’s cooking really vigourously but then much less later , so that the rice is moist but not soggy and the really bottom layer on the pan is just a touch crunchy but not burnt, a wood fire with plenty of twigs sort of does this automatically.
    Bottom line: Proceed similarly as for seafood paella, only with rabbit and fungi.
    Use Virgen Spanish olive oil from Aragon if you can get it, for the really authentic touch, a good Spanish olive oil if you can’t, olive oil anyway if you can’t. I don’t know the most neutral tasting oil for cooking if there isn’t olive.Personally I’d rather use lard than soya oil.
    Proportions of other ingredients to rice:depending on budget. You can use bits of chicken, chicken wings and stuff, if Rabbits aren’t hopping about, tho I dont know about adjusting the flavour with shrumps n stuff.You can add a few veg in season, broad beans and suchlike, people do, and I would imagine always did.
    Don’t know what rice you have statesside, round grain is cheaper than longgrain else where and better for paellas, whose texture should be a bit gungy and sticky but ideally, NOT soggy .

    Verry generous olive oil, it’s hard to overdo it, in paella pan to first brown the meat .( I cheat by thoroughly caramelizing one or two meaty bits and small partions of the other ingredients first to add to the general flavour)-.You might want abit of chopped onion at this stage , purists wouldn’t, and its an ancronism for precolumbine days to add a touch of fresh tomato -not much! or a small spoonful of Italian tomato concentrate , enough to bring out other flavours but NOTenough to taste discernably of tomato, lots of people swear by it. Then add some water and the threads of saffron and sort of simmer for say 15 mins, if it’s wild rabbit a bit more browning, then maybe longer as its tougher, a bit of salt too of course, this is to get a flavoursome liquor. Your purist would admit at most adding some meat and vegetable stock obtained from slow rendering on the back burner , most of us use not that much rather bland cheap supermarket meat, a small pack of frozen mixed green veg, and then cheat by adding powdered onion, vegetable and even chicken or beef stock cubes, celery powder, and the like. (There’s only 11 of us at home at the moment at most, the biggest are off studying, and one’s married)
    Ad all/ the rest of the fungi cut into strips, stir a touch, then the rice. THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED MAXIMUM HEAT – on your outside woood fire add a whole lot more twigs and then put the pan back on the flames! The purist will have added exactly enough water/stock to the pan , which water is now boiling, the exact amount depends on the type of rice you’re using, I prefer to have a much oilier stock to add the rice to, then add the rice, turning it with a wooden spoon the while, then plenty of boiling water, electric kettles come handy, slowlyi sh until the rice has already begun to expand and is is sorter paddling but not swimming in it but you can see it’s not going to be too wet.( Ithink it tastes better this way too ). Keep stirring until the surface liquid is gone , then lower the heat right down , your outside fire may have down this by itself, Then when those sortof holes come on the surface that mean the liquor has been used up right through, then don’t touch it further.. Remove from heat, or if down to utter embers outside you needn’t bother , and cover with cloth a few minutes, not more , to meditate.
    If you haven’t used strips of red peppers in the cooking, which would be another anacronism, it’s hard to resist garnishing with a few strips of cooked or tinned red peppers now, it looks very attractive.
    Serve with a round of sliced lemon for each to use their own taste, and personally what I think ‘s a touch overpowering unless the meat is really gamey or you’ve a poorman’s proportion of rice to the rest, proper “alioli” sauce, that is like mayonaise only made with olive oil, salt seasonings, and pureed/mortar and pestle garlic only! The amount of pureed uncooked garlic is incredibly healthy, it’ll do for viruses even, and will keep the doctor-and obamacre- and a lot of other people -away. It’s even more fiendish than mayonaise to make, so most people call “alioli” folding a smidgin of pureed garlic into a ton of mayo. For a festive meal , or guests, having the table set with a mimsy little glass bowl of alioli on a mimsy little saucer for each eater looks good, it all adds to the occassion.
    A green salad accompanies wonders, especially if you find rice a bit filling.Borrage is very Arogonese, (tho I think the only thing to do with borrage is to have it with Pimms numberone, ice and gin.)
    The thing about paella is it’s no more trouble to do one for 20, or even two hundred people, than for two.
    Any traditional spanish Saint has a type of pastry or cake associated, often with ancient roots but
    thoroughly changed even up to very recently.
    The chances are high that it should involve almond flour, whole almonds, and honey rather than sugar. With FR Z’z leave if I know more before the deadline, I’ll leave a comment.

  6. Emilio III says:

    Apparently the 850s were rather rough for Christians in the Emirate of Cordoba. On 18 April 850 a Moslem mob captured a priest called Perfecto and demanded that he tell them what he thought about Mahomet. He attempted to evade the issue by speaking of Jesus instead. “I do not wish to offend you by speaking about your prophet.” But they insisted, so he finally said “Since you insist, I will tell you. Mahomet is a false prophet, a servant of the devil, sorcerer, adulterer, swindler, cursed by God, who came from Hell for the ruin and damnation of mankind.” Needless to say, he was promptly executed for blasphemy. “No less than forty-eight Christian notables of Cordoba” came forward voluntarily to give their own opinion of the prophet and accept martyrdom. The Emir was actually embarrassed by this and in 852 called all the bishops of the kingdom to a council where he tried to get them to condemn such “voluntary martyrdom”. They did counsel against it, but refused to condemn the practice outright. Nunila and Alodia were apparently martyred on 21 November 851, so I assume the feast day commemorates the date of the translation of their relics or something like that.

    The Martyrs of Cordoba were chronicled by a Cordobese priest named Eulogio, who was so highly regarded by Christians there that he was elected bishop of Toledo (and therefore Primate of Spain) in 859. This did not go over well with the authorities, so he was accused of having hidden a young Moslem woman who had been converted to Christianity by a nun. He was beheaded at the hour of None on 11 March 859, and never took charge of his Diocese. After his death the accounts of martyrdom ceased, which is taken in some quarters as proof that peace and tolerance reigned in the Emirate from that day.

  7. Rice came to the old Imperial lands during Byzantine times, if not before. So it’s not surprising that Spain, like certain parts of Italy, would have rice, and I kinda doubt that the Arabs first brought it from Egypt; though they may have pushed it more. Apparently, like Italian rice, Spanish rice is of the more sticky type that’s useful for making sushi and sticky Chinese dishes, since people are recommending Italian arborio rice for making paella.

    (Imperial times are also when Italy got water buffalo; though they say the silkworm only showed up in Byzantine lands after some travelers conducted a little industrial espionage, in Empress Theodora’s day.)

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    mike cliffson,

    Thanks for the detailed instructions! That’s the sort of on-the-spot advice that makes the difference between a canned cookbook recipe and the Real Thing. We’ve done a lot of dutch oven cooking over charcoal with the Boy Scouts . . . do you think that would work for paella, adjusting the heat by adding and removing coals as we do with a dutch oven? And do you toast your saffron in a small dry cast iron pan before using it (I’ve seen this done in Indian cooking), or just toss it in as is?

    When my daughter was living in Vigo as an exchange student, her host family often cooked paella with all sorts of seafood in it. My daughter, like my husband, is not a big fan of new culinary experiences although she was a good sport in Spain. But she referred to paella as “Arroz con Cosas” and they thought it was pretty humorous. Although they kept telling her that she talked like a Mexican (what is the Spanish for “Well, duh!”?)

  9. Hey, look what I found in the Mozarabic Psalter! (Which is online at Bad translation by me, weird Latin spellings by the copyists and language-change.

    Restant nunc ad Christi fidem
    virtutis insignia,
    que sanctorum rite possint
    adsequi preconia,
    que unius festa diem
    celebrantur gloria.

    Now they hold out toward Christ’s faith,
    The banners of virtue,
    Who of the saints solemnly could
    Have come as heralds,
    Who together on the feast day
    Are celebrated in glory!

    Adsunt nempe sanctitatis
    nobilis prosapie,
    Nunilo siquidem virgo,
    sanctaque Alodia,
    que clarent germanitate,
    clarentque martirio.

    They are, of course, of holiness,
    of noble lineage.
    Nunilo, though only a maiden,
    and holy Alodia.
    How they shone in sisterhood,
    and shone in martyrdom!

    Que ambo inueunti
    etatis infantie
    martires deo qua fide
    dilitescunt domui,
    sed Christi accense igne
    enitescunt celibes.

    How both at the beginning
    from the age of infants,
    Martyrs of God whose faith
    they hid in the house,
    But Christ, you reckon the fire
    the unmarried ones started shining.

    Tunc deinde functionem
    cuiusdam versipelli
    inpelluntur ad conspectum
    presidis viam vici
    vitam normam confitentes
    Christiani dogmatis.

    Then from there by the doing
    of a certain Deceiver,
    they were impelled into the sight
    of the governor, in the street by chance;
    they confessing to the rule of life
    of dogma Christians.

    Protinus regi delate
    perducuntur pariter
    urbis Osce adsistentes
    principis presentia;
    que interrogate pari
    Christum voce clamitant.

    Immediately carried to the king,
    they are brought togethe
    to stand before the city of Osca (Adahuesca)
    in the presence of the prince;
    How both, questioned,
    cry out, “Christ” With one voice!

    Ylico traduntur alme
    private custodiam,
    ubi quaterdenum tempus
    dierum instantie
    respuunt promissiones,
    respuunt supplicia.

    They were handed over on the spot, fed
    under private guard,
    where for four-tens’ time
    of days of approaches
    they spit on promises,
    they spit on entreaties.

    Sed in tali mancipate
    dierum articulo
    non cessant Christum precantes
    ut illis constantiam
    passionis atque mortis
    largiretur optio.

    But in such a way, enslaved
    for the days I articulate,
    they do not cease praying Christ
    for that constancy
    to suffering and death,
    when the choice would be given.

    Igitur conpleta dies
    inluxit feliciter;
    conproducte producuntur
    ad form perniciter
    sic se ambo exortantes
    ad palmam martirii.

    Therefore, the final day
    lights them with happiness;
    They are led forward together
    to the forum quickly,
    thus both exhort each other
    toward the palm of martyrdom.

    Percitus litor hostendens
    fulgurantes gladium
    ubi conprosilit, prima
    Nunilo sanctissima
    crine sibi inligata
    percussa prosternitur.

    Hastily the lictor stretching out
    his flashing sword
    where it springs up, first
    the most holy Nunilo
    with her long hair tied up,
    struck, was prostrated.

    Quod cernens germana virgo
    protinus Alodia
    excipit flexa cerbice
    inminentem gladium,
    sicque ambe laureate
    preveuntur etheris.

    Which, seeing, her virgin sister
    Alodia at once
    pulls out from the bent neck
    the sword sticking out;
    and thus by it both, laurel-crowned,
    come above the upper sky.

    Inde tuam omnes sancte
    flagitamus gratiam,
    ut earum interventu
    dimittantur crimina,
    vitaque feliciorum
    potiamur gaudia.

    From there, all your holy
    grace we ask earnestly,
    so by their intervention
    crimes may be dismissed,
    and the life of the happy blessed
    we may receive in joy.

    Procul sit a corde dolum
    pellantur lascivia,
    caritatis omnis uno
    conectamur vinculo,
    quo carisma, dona sancti
    perfruamur spiritus.

    May deceit be far from our hearts;
    may wantonness be beaten;
    May everyone be one, in charity’s
    chain be joined,
    that by the charism, the gifts of the Holy
    Spirit, we may be delighted.

    Gloria patri natoque
    semper et paraclito
    laus potestas atque virtus,
    gratiarum copia,
    que deum cuncta fatentur
    seculorum secula. Amen.

    Glory to the Father, and the Son,
    and the Paraclete always.
    Praise, power and virtue,
    abundance of graces.
    May He be acknowledged God,
    for ages of ages. Amen.

  10. merrydelval says:

    I am a student at the University of Navarre, and every time I go to the Cathedral of Pamplona, I look for them, Fr Z, as you said in your previous post on them you thought they were there. I find no evidence of them. Any ideas where I can find them?

  11. merrydelval —

    The Hermandad de las Santas ALODIA y NUNILÓN de Cornellá says on their “Antecedentes Historicos” page that the relics at Leyre and Pamplona of the saints were removed from their keeping last century, during all that hateful anti-clericalism and stuff. “Exclaustracion”, it says. Apparently there’s still hope for their relics’ return — possibly they’re in a museum?

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