For Catholics only: what’s the deal with Pope Pius Bread / Our Lady’s Bread / The Cake of our Lady the Virgin Mary?

It’s been making the rounds, so I felt compelled to check it out.

If you’re a Catholic, and next time someone gives you a dough with a recipe and insists that his or her offer cannot be refused, beware.

This has been called the chain letter of the cooking world, a mutated version of the Amish Friendship Bread in the US.

In fact, if you read the recipe for the Amish bread, it looks suspiciously similar to the recipe of the so-called Pope Pius Bread.

So far, I have only found reference to Pope Pius Bread among Asians (including Australia) and that the first mention of it was in March this year.

Check out this detailed discussion of the matter by Audrey of Kuching, a devout Catholic, who “suspected that somebody adapted this [Amish] Friendship Bread and turned it into some kind of Marian devotion, for the purpose known only to that person who created it. ”

Also, check out this discussion forum at catholic.org.

What do you think? Would you make the cake too?

15 thoughts on “For Catholics only: what’s the deal with Pope Pius Bread / Our Lady’s Bread / The Cake of our Lady the Virgin Mary?

  1. i am in the midst of working on it!…already 5 days passed baru i read this post..sayang lah wana throw. Just take it as Amish Friendship Bread instead of the Pope’s Bread lah..can kah? :)

  2. Found this on Our Lady’s Bread:
    Amish Friendship Bread (along with Amish Cinnamon Bread) is a type of bread designed to be baked and sent along in a manner similar to a chain letter. The idea is very simple: a friend gives you a cup of yeast culture (also known as “starter”) and a copy of instructions. Following the instructions, you add sugar, flour and milk and it rises. Eventually, you end up with 4 cups of the starter. You use one cup to make bread (the instructions provide you with the recipe), keep one cup to start a new cycle and give two cups to your friends. Each of your friends also gets a copy of the instructions for what to do with the yeast starter. The latter part makes it somewhat like a chain letter. Of course, Amish Friendship Bread does not come with any promises of riches for those who spread it on or curses for those who don’t.
    The first time “Amish Friendship Bread” was discussed on Usenet was in a posting on February 5, 1990. It was an experiment by Girl Scout Troop 15, c/o Emilie Manning in Oswego, NY and was posted by Patrick Salsbury.
    The results yielding from a traditional Amish Friendship Bread recipe is a sweet quickbread with a taste and crumb very similar to a cake. The starter, however, may be used to make lots of different types of bread.
    A similar recipe, named “Hermann” has existed in Germany since the 1980s.
    FROM: http://www.armchair.com/recipe/bake002.html
    Amish Friendship Bread
    This is more than a recipe – it’s a way of thinking. In our hi-tech world almost everything comes prepackaged and designed for instant gratification. So where does a recipe that takes ten days to make fit in? Maybe it’s a touch stone to our past – to those days not so very long ago when everything we did took time and where a bread that took 10 days to make was not as extraordinary as it seems today.
    The recipe comes to us from Mrs. Norma Condon of Los Angeles. Amish Friendship Bread is a great bread for the holidays. When you’ve made your bread, you can give your friends a sample and the starter that made it! Then your friends can make their own and pass it along to their friends. This is why the bread is called “friendship bread”. It makes a great homemade birthday and Christmas present. Church groups and hospitals have spread a lot of love and cheer by making Amish Friendship Bread for their members. Many people make it regularly just because it tastes so good!
    Amish Friendship Bread is a genuine starter bread. If you know someone with a starter, you are in luck. For those of you without access to a starter, we’ve done our research and found a great option. It’s a special starter in powder form that can be activated with flour and water; it’s safe, very inexpensive and we can send it to you.
    The Recipe
    Important Note: Don’t use metal spoons or equipment. Do not refrigerate. Use only glazed ceramic or plastic bowls or containers.
    Required Main Ingredient
    1 cup live yeast starter (see above)
    day 1:
    Do nothing with the starter.
    days 2-5:
    Stir with a wooden spoon.
    day 6:
    Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.
    days 7-9:
    Stir with a wooden spoon.
    Day 10:
    Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
    1 cup oil
    1/2 cup milk
    3 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:
    2 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1-1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 – (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup nuts
    Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/amish-friendship-bread-starter/detail.aspx
    INGREDIENTS
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    3 cups white sugar, divided
    3 cups milk

    DIRECTIONS
    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
    Let stand 10 minutes.
    In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar.
    Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added.
    Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
    Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.
    Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle.
    Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
    2. On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon.
    Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
    Days 6 thru 9; stir only.
    3. Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
    Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe.
    Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).

    http://breadnet.net/friendship.html
    Starter
    o 1 package active dry yeast
    o 1 cup milk
    o 1 cup flour
    o 1 cup sugar
    NOTE: DO NOT USE METAL BOWLS OR SPOONS AND DO NOT REFRIGERATE. PROCEDURE TO MAKE THE STARTER
    Dissolve yeast in small amout of warm water. Mix all ingredients together in ample size bowl or jar (it will grow) This is day 1 of the recipe , then the next day go to day 2 and so on.
    o DAY 1 Receive fermented starter in ziplock bag. Do nothing! Put bag on counter.
    o DAY 2 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 3 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 4 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 5 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 6 Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup of milk. Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 7 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 8 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 9 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 10 In a large non-metallic bowl, combine batter with 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix with wooden or plastic spoon. Take four one gallon ziplock bags and pour 1 cup of starter in each. Give these four starters with a copy of instructions to family and friends.
    TO THE REMAINING BATTER IN BOWL, ADD:
    1 CUP VEGETABLE OIL 2 CUPS FLOUR
    1 CUP SUGAR 1/2 CUP MILK
    1 TEASPOON VANILLA 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
    2 LARGE EGGS 2 BOXES VANILLA PUDDING
    1 1/2 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER 1 1/2 TEASPOONS CINNAMON
    In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar, sprinkle into well greased pans before batter. Bake at 325* for 1 hour or until done.
    REMEMBER: Do not refrigerate starter! As air builds in the bag, let air out. It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment.
    Also, you can try different pudding flavors-add a little character to your bread! Someone recommended a box of pistachio and a box of lemon. Try it out!
    http://www.unitypublishing.com/Newsletter/Ortiga.htm

    I have already written about the apparitions of Mary and the angels to Blessed Nuno at the Cova of Fatima (The Other Apparitions On The Mountain of Fatima), and now adding these two (OUR LADY OF ORTIGA Village Of Mary (Fatima) Portugal and Our Lady of Fetal) makes me think that this mountain is the stairway to Heaven as seen in Jacob’s dream.

    Genesis 28,10-22. Then Jacob had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it.

    Our Lady of Fetal

    Nine centuries (Twelfth Century). before Our Lady appeared at Fatima to three shepherd children, she appeared to a single little shepherdess at Reguengo do Fetal at a time when the villagers were enduring the hardships of a severe drought. Not only were the people suffering, but the sheep were suffering as well, since their once-rounded bodies were now gaunt and almost wasted. Accustomed to the lush greenery of the meadows, the sheep now had to search hard for a few blades of grass. It was the condition of a certain small herd, and her own sad state, that made the little shepherdess cry when she was pasturing her sheep outside the village of Reguengo on the slope of a hill.

    Suddenly the little shepherdess felt a presence. Looking up with tear-filled eyes she saw to her surprise, in the midst of a cluster of ferns, a Lady who spoke gently.

    “Why are you crying, my child?”
    “I am hungry.”
    “You must go and ask your mother for some bread.”
    “I did ask her already, but she hasn’t any.”
    “Go home,” the Lady insisted, “and ask your mother again to give you some bread. Tell her that a Lady ordered you to tell her that there is bread in the chest.”

    The shepherdess ran home to tell of the vision and convey the message of the Lady. The child’s vision of the mysterious Lady was believed without a single doubt when, true to the Lady’s word, bread was found in the chest. Indeed, a great deal of bread was found – this of such texture and sweetness that it seemed as if it had been baked by angels.

    After eating as much as she wanted, the little girl ran back to the hill. There she again saw the Lady, who gave her the following message:

    “Tell the people of your village that I am the Mother of God, and that I wish them to build a shrine for me on this spot of the ferns, a shrine wherein I may be praised and honored.”

    After the villagers were told of the apparitions and the mysterious supply of delicious bread, they hurried to the place of the ferns and found there a small statue of Our Lady. Nearby they discovered a spring where no spring had been before. It seemed that Our Lady had consecrated the place when miracles were effected by means of this water’s application to the bodies of the sick.

    After the rains came to end the drought, the building of a shrine was immediately begun. It was here, probably at the beginning of the twelfth century, that the miraculous image was exposed for the veneration of the faithful. Unfortunately, it is not known in what year the apparitions took place, when the primitive shrine of Our Lady of Fetal was erected, nor do we know the name of the little shepherdess.

    We do know that in 1585 a larger and more elegant church was built. It was to this shrine that countless pilgrims made their way, as they still do today (especially during Lent) for the recitation of the Rosary and, during the month of May, to offer flowers.
    Also popular are the days between the end of September until the first Sunday of October. During this time a solemn novena of preparation is held for the traditional feast of Our Lady of Fetal. This festivity is noted for a most unusual attraction known as “the illumination of the snails;’ when shells of snails are used as little lamps. Many persons of distinction have recognized the shrine. King Edward confirmed an ancient privilege of the sanctuary’s Brotherhood whereby the members were given the right to collect alms for the maintenance of the shrine. Don John II provided a largess to the members and steward of the Brotherhood. Donna Maria I, by a provision of 1791, authorized a Free Fair on the first Sunday of October. Don Manuel de Aguiar, a former Bishop of Leiria, sent two artistic altars with retables of carved wood and twisted pillars.

    During a national drought in May, 1896, Don Joseph II, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, asked for public prayers to be recited to Our Lady of Fetal for an abundant rainfall. In gratitude for Our Lady’s prompt answer to their prayers, and as a memorial, the Cardinal Patriarch granted indulgences to those who recited a Salve Regina before the image of Our Lady of Fetal. The shrine became better known throughout Portugal as a result of this appeal for prayers, but more so because of the almost immediate answer to the appeal.

    The miraculous statue, which is kept in a niche above the main altar, depicts the Blessed Mother in a seated position with the Child Jesus on her left knee. As a reminder of the miracle that took place the day of the apparition so many years earlier when bread was miraculously provided in a chest, the Child Jesus holds in each hand a rounded loaf of bread, one of which He places into the hand of His Mother, who smiles pleasantly.

    This statue reminds me of the Lilies of the Field parable of Our Lord, and was probably made to show that not only did Our Lord take care of His Mother but will take care of you if you Honor Her and Her Son.

    RICK SALBATO

    Stories taken from the book by Jan Carroll Cruz and published by
    Tan Book and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Ill. 61105
    called

    MIRACULOUS IMAGES OF OUR LADY

  3. Amish Friendship Bread (along with Amish Cinnamon Bread) is a type of bread designed to be baked and sent along in a manner similar to a chain letter. The idea is very simple: a friend gives you a cup of yeast culture (also known as “starter”) and a copy of instructions. Following the instructions, you add sugar, flour and milk and it rises. Eventually, you end up with 4 cups of the starter. You use one cup to make bread (the instructions provide you with the recipe), keep one cup to start a new cycle and give two cups to your friends. Each of your friends also gets a copy of the instructions for what to do with the yeast starter. The latter part makes it somewhat like a chain letter. Of course, Amish Friendship Bread does not come with any promises of riches for those who spread it on or curses for those who don’t.
    The first time “Amish Friendship Bread” was discussed on Usenet was in a posting on February 5, 1990. It was an experiment by Girl Scout Troop 15, c/o Emilie Manning in Oswego, NY and was posted by Patrick Salsbury.
    The results yielding from a traditional Amish Friendship Bread recipe is a sweet quickbread with a taste and crumb very similar to a cake. The starter, however, may be used to make lots of different types of bread.
    A similar recipe, named “Hermann” has existed in Germany since the 1980s.
    FROM: http://www.armchair.com/recipe/bake002.html
    Amish Friendship Bread
    This is more than a recipe – it’s a way of thinking. In our hi-tech world almost everything comes prepackaged and designed for instant gratification. So where does a recipe that takes ten days to make fit in? Maybe it’s a touch stone to our past – to those days not so very long ago when everything we did took time and where a bread that took 10 days to make was not as extraordinary as it seems today.
    The recipe comes to us from Mrs. Norma Condon of Los Angeles. Amish Friendship Bread is a great bread for the holidays. When you’ve made your bread, you can give your friends a sample and the starter that made it! Then your friends can make their own and pass it along to their friends. This is why the bread is called “friendship bread”. It makes a great homemade birthday and Christmas present. Church groups and hospitals have spread a lot of love and cheer by making Amish Friendship Bread for their members. Many people make it regularly just because it tastes so good!
    Amish Friendship Bread is a genuine starter bread. If you know someone with a starter, you are in luck. For those of you without access to a starter, we’ve done our research and found a great option. It’s a special starter in powder form that can be activated with flour and water; it’s safe, very inexpensive and we can send it to you.
    The Recipe
    Important Note: Don’t use metal spoons or equipment. Do not refrigerate. Use only glazed ceramic or plastic bowls or containers.
    Required Main Ingredient
    1 cup live yeast starter (see above)
    day 1:
    Do nothing with the starter.
    days 2-5:
    Stir with a wooden spoon.
    day 6:
    Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.
    days 7-9:
    Stir with a wooden spoon.
    Day 10:
    Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
    1 cup oil
    1/2 cup milk
    3 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:
    2 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1-1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 – (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup nuts
    Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/amish-friendship-bread-starter/detail.aspx
    INGREDIENTS
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    3 cups white sugar, divided
    3 cups milk

    DIRECTIONS
    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
    Let stand 10 minutes.
    In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar.
    Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added.
    Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
    Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.
    Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle.
    Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
    2. On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon.
    Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
    Days 6 thru 9; stir only.
    3. Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
    Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe.
    Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).

    http://breadnet.net/friendship.html
    Starter
    o 1 package active dry yeast
    o 1 cup milk
    o 1 cup flour
    o 1 cup sugar
    NOTE: DO NOT USE METAL BOWLS OR SPOONS AND DO NOT REFRIGERATE. PROCEDURE TO MAKE THE STARTER
    Dissolve yeast in small amout of warm water. Mix all ingredients together in ample size bowl or jar (it will grow) This is day 1 of the recipe , then the next day go to day 2 and so on.
    o DAY 1 Receive fermented starter in ziplock bag. Do nothing! Put bag on counter.
    o DAY 2 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 3 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 4 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 5 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 6 Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup of milk. Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 7 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 8 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 9 Squeeze bag several times.
    o DAY 10 In a large non-metallic bowl, combine batter with 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix with wooden or plastic spoon. Take four one gallon ziplock bags and pour 1 cup of starter in each. Give these four starters with a copy of instructions to family and friends.
    TO THE REMAINING BATTER IN BOWL, ADD:
    1 CUP VEGETABLE OIL 2 CUPS FLOUR
    1 CUP SUGAR 1/2 CUP MILK
    1 TEASPOON VANILLA 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
    2 LARGE EGGS 2 BOXES VANILLA PUDDING
    1 1/2 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER 1 1/2 TEASPOONS CINNAMON
    In a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar, sprinkle into well greased pans before batter. Bake at 325* for 1 hour or until done.
    REMEMBER: Do not refrigerate starter! As air builds in the bag, let air out. It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment.
    Also, you can try different pudding flavors-add a little character to your bread! Someone recommended a box of pistachio and a box of lemon. Try it out!
    http://www.unitypublishing.com/Newsletter/Ortiga.htm

    I have already written about the apparitions of Mary and the angels to Blessed Nuno at the Cova of Fatima (The Other Apparitions On The Mountain of Fatima), and now adding these two (OUR LADY OF ORTIGA Village Of Mary (Fatima) Portugal and Our Lady of Fetal) makes me think that this mountain is the stairway to Heaven as seen in Jacob’s dream.

    Genesis 28,10-22. Then Jacob had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God’s messengers were going up and down on it.

    Our Lady of Fetal

    Nine centuries (Twelfth Century). before Our Lady appeared at Fatima to three shepherd children, she appeared to a single little shepherdess at Reguengo do Fetal at a time when the villagers were enduring the hardships of a severe drought. Not only were the people suffering, but the sheep were suffering as well, since their once-rounded bodies were now gaunt and almost wasted. Accustomed to the lush greenery of the meadows, the sheep now had to search hard for a few blades of grass. It was the condition of a certain small herd, and her own sad state, that made the little shepherdess cry when she was pasturing her sheep outside the village of Reguengo on the slope of a hill.

    Suddenly the little shepherdess felt a presence. Looking up with tear-filled eyes she saw to her surprise, in the midst of a cluster of ferns, a Lady who spoke gently.

    “Why are you crying, my child?”
    “I am hungry.”
    “You must go and ask your mother for some bread.”
    “I did ask her already, but she hasn’t any.”
    “Go home,” the Lady insisted, “and ask your mother again to give you some bread. Tell her that a Lady ordered you to tell her that there is bread in the chest.”

    The shepherdess ran home to tell of the vision and convey the message of the Lady. The child’s vision of the mysterious Lady was believed without a single doubt when, true to the Lady’s word, bread was found in the chest. Indeed, a great deal of bread was found – this of such texture and sweetness that it seemed as if it had been baked by angels.

    After eating as much as she wanted, the little girl ran back to the hill. There she again saw the Lady, who gave her the following message:

    “Tell the people of your village that I am the Mother of God, and that I wish them to build a shrine for me on this spot of the ferns, a shrine wherein I may be praised and honored.”

    After the villagers were told of the apparitions and the mysterious supply of delicious bread, they hurried to the place of the ferns and found there a small statue of Our Lady. Nearby they discovered a spring where no spring had been before. It seemed that Our Lady had consecrated the place when miracles were effected by means of this water’s application to the bodies of the sick.

    After the rains came to end the drought, the building of a shrine was immediately begun. It was here, probably at the beginning of the twelfth century, that the miraculous image was exposed for the veneration of the faithful. Unfortunately, it is not known in what year the apparitions took place, when the primitive shrine of Our Lady of Fetal was erected, nor do we know the name of the little shepherdess.

    We do know that in 1585 a larger and more elegant church was built. It was to this shrine that countless pilgrims made their way, as they still do today (especially during Lent) for the recitation of the Rosary and, during the month of May, to offer flowers.
    Also popular are the days between the end of September until the first Sunday of October. During this time a solemn novena of preparation is held for the traditional feast of Our Lady of Fetal. This festivity is noted for a most unusual attraction known as “the illumination of the snails;’ when shells of snails are used as little lamps. Many persons of distinction have recognized the shrine. King Edward confirmed an ancient privilege of the sanctuary’s Brotherhood whereby the members were given the right to collect alms for the maintenance of the shrine. Don John II provided a largess to the members and steward of the Brotherhood. Donna Maria I, by a provision of 1791, authorized a Free Fair on the first Sunday of October. Don Manuel de Aguiar, a former Bishop of Leiria, sent two artistic altars with retables of carved wood and twisted pillars.

    During a national drought in May, 1896, Don Joseph II, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, asked for public prayers to be recited to Our Lady of Fetal for an abundant rainfall. In gratitude for Our Lady’s prompt answer to their prayers, and as a memorial, the Cardinal Patriarch granted indulgences to those who recited a Salve Regina before the image of Our Lady of Fetal. The shrine became better known throughout Portugal as a result of this appeal for prayers, but more so because of the almost immediate answer to the appeal.

    The miraculous statue, which is kept in a niche above the main altar, depicts the Blessed Mother in a seated position with the Child Jesus on her left knee. As a reminder of the miracle that took place the day of the apparition so many years earlier when bread was miraculously provided in a chest, the Child Jesus holds in each hand a rounded loaf of bread, one of which He places into the hand of His Mother, who smiles pleasantly.

    This statue reminds me of the Lilies of the Field parable of Our Lord, and was probably made to show that not only did Our Lord take care of His Mother but will take care of you if you Honor Her and Her Son.

    RICK SALBATO

    Stories taken from the book by Jan Carroll Cruz and published by
    Tan Book and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Ill. 61105
    called

    MIRACULOUS IMAGES OF OUR LADY

  4. Our Lady of Fetal

    Nine centuries (Twelfth Century). before Our Lady appeared at Fatima to three shepherd children, she appeared to a single little shepherdess at Reguengo do Fetal at a time when the villagers were enduring the hardships of a severe drought. Not only were the people suffering, but the sheep were suffering as well, since their once-rounded bodies were now gaunt and almost wasted. Accustomed to the lush greenery of the meadows, the sheep now had to search hard for a few blades of grass. It was the condition of a certain small herd, and her own sad state, that made the little shepherdess cry when she was pasturing her sheep outside the village of Reguengo on the slope of a hill.

    Suddenly the little shepherdess felt a presence. Looking up with tear-filled eyes she saw to her surprise, in the midst of a cluster of ferns, a Lady who spoke gently.

    “Why are you crying, my child?”
    “I am hungry.”
    “You must go and ask your mother for some bread.”
    “I did ask her already, but she hasn’t any.”
    “Go home,” the Lady insisted, “and ask your mother again to give you some bread. Tell her that a Lady ordered you to tell her that there is bread in the chest.”

    The shepherdess ran home to tell of the vision and convey the message of the Lady. The child’s vision of the mysterious Lady was believed without a single doubt when, true to the Lady’s word, bread was found in the chest. Indeed, a great deal of bread was found – this of such texture and sweetness that it seemed as if it had been baked by angels.

    After eating as much as she wanted, the little girl ran back to the hill. There she again saw the Lady, who gave her the following message:

    “Tell the people of your village that I am the Mother of God, and that I wish them to build a shrine for me on this spot of the ferns, a shrine wherein I may be praised and honored.”

    After the villagers were told of the apparitions and the mysterious supply of delicious bread, they hurried to the place of the ferns and found there a small statue of Our Lady. Nearby they discovered a spring where no spring had been before. It seemed that Our Lady had consecrated the place when miracles were effected by means of this water’s application to the bodies of the sick.

    After the rains came to end the drought, the building of a shrine was immediately begun. It was here, probably at the beginning of the twelfth century, that the miraculous image was exposed for the veneration of the faithful. Unfortunately, it is not known in what year the apparitions took place, when the primitive shrine of Our Lady of Fetal was erected, nor do we know the name of the little shepherdess.

    We do know that in 1585 a larger and more elegant church was built. It was to this shrine that countless pilgrims made their way, as they still do today (especially during Lent) for the recitation of the Rosary and, during the month of May, to offer flowers.
    Also popular are the days between the end of September until the first Sunday of October. During this time a solemn novena of preparation is held for the traditional feast of Our Lady of Fetal. This festivity is noted for a most unusual attraction known as “the illumination of the snails;’ when shells of snails are used as little lamps. Many persons of distinction have recognized the shrine. King Edward confirmed an ancient privilege of the sanctuary’s Brotherhood whereby the members were given the right to collect alms for the maintenance of the shrine. Don John II provided a largess to the members and steward of the Brotherhood. Donna Maria I, by a provision of 1791, authorized a Free Fair on the first Sunday of October. Don Manuel de Aguiar, a former Bishop of Leiria, sent two artistic altars with retables of carved wood and twisted pillars.

    During a national drought in May, 1896, Don Joseph II, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, asked for public prayers to be recited to Our Lady of Fetal for an abundant rainfall. In gratitude for Our Lady’s prompt answer to their prayers, and as a memorial, the Cardinal Patriarch granted indulgences to those who recited a Salve Regina before the image of Our Lady of Fetal. The shrine became better known throughout Portugal as a result of this appeal for prayers, but more so because of the almost immediate answer to the appeal.

    The miraculous statue, which is kept in a niche above the main altar, depicts the Blessed Mother in a seated position with the Child Jesus on her left knee. As a reminder of the miracle that took place the day of the apparition so many years earlier when bread was miraculously provided in a chest, the Child Jesus holds in each hand a rounded loaf of bread, one of which He places into the hand of His Mother, who smiles pleasantly.

    This statue reminds me of the Lilies of the Field parable of Our Lord, and was probably made to show that not only did Our Lord take care of His Mother but will take care of you if you Honor Her and Her Son.

    RICK SALBATO

    Stories taken from the book by Jan Carroll Cruz and published by
    Tan Book and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Ill. 61105
    called

    MIRACULOUS IMAGES OF OUR LADY

  5. Amish Friendship Bread (along with Amish Cinnamon Bread) is a type of bread designed to be baked and sent along in a manner similar to a chain letter. The idea is very simple: a friend gives you a cup of yeast culture (also known as “starter”) and a copy of instructions. Following the instructions, you add sugar, flour and milk and it rises. Eventually, you end up with 4 cups of the starter. You use one cup to make bread (the instructions provide you with the recipe), keep one cup to start a new cycle and give two cups to your friends. Each of your friends also gets a copy of the instructions for what to do with the yeast starter. The latter part makes it somewhat like a chain letter. Of course, Amish Friendship Bread does not come with any promises of riches for those who spread it on or curses for those who don’t.
    The first time “Amish Friendship Bread” was discussed on Usenet was in a posting on February 5, 1990. It was an experiment by Girl Scout Troop 15, c/o Emilie Manning in Oswego, NY and was posted by Patrick Salsbury.
    The results yielding from a traditional Amish Friendship Bread recipe is a sweet quickbread with a taste and crumb very similar to a cake. The starter, however, may be used to make lots of different types of bread.
    A similar recipe, named “Hermann” has existed in Germany since the 1980s.
    FROM: http://www.armchair.com/recipe/bake002.html
    Amish Friendship Bread
    This is more than a recipe – it’s a way of thinking. In our hi-tech world almost everything comes prepackaged and designed for instant gratification. So where does a recipe that takes ten days to make fit in? Maybe it’s a touch stone to our past – to those days not so very long ago when everything we did took time and where a bread that took 10 days to make was not as extraordinary as it seems today.
    The recipe comes to us from Mrs. Norma Condon of Los Angeles. Amish Friendship Bread is a great bread for the holidays. When you’ve made your bread, you can give your friends a sample and the starter that made it! Then your friends can make their own and pass it along to their friends. This is why the bread is called “friendship bread”. It makes a great homemade birthday and Christmas present. Church groups and hospitals have spread a lot of love and cheer by making Amish Friendship Bread for their members. Many people make it regularly just because it tastes so good!

  6. there is a big difference between the two cakes one doesn’t require yeast while the other does

  7. Hi there,

    Name is Lavinia
    We have recieved the Pope pius bread and have completed it.

    ITS SUCH A MIRACLE..!!
    My dad and i have been doing this, but mainly my dad. He was so in to it. He believed in it so much. He prayed and prayed.

    I believe Mother Mary was with him when he was making it.
    Day 10: Final day.. Dad done all that was suppose to be done. and while he was waiting for the bread/cake.. Dad notice he could see something different..
    A start shape appeared in the centre of the bread/cake it was so perfect. and also when w saw the bottom of the bread/cake, There was a full moon shape in the centre, looked like it was carved in, which was suprising because we use a tray was flat surface. We call it the Miracle cake and dad still has it till now. We still have it on our alter..

    ITS TRUE..

    If you want to know more and i’ll send you pxtz wen i upload the photos.

    GOD BLESS

  8. It is also known as Pope Pius bread. The story is told that an Italian woman who was suffering all her life from illness that she could not even do her house chores.

    _ i personally dont believe it because it is just a story, its not real, its a scam.

    One day her daughter asked to bake her a cake. She refused more than once because she was unable to do it. The daughter insisted so much taht the mother felt she needed to bake that cake. She asked the aid of the Virgin Mary. As soon as she started to prepare the cake, the Virgin Mary appeared and she herself prepared the cake for the woman…

    -when you use ONE DAY..again it is a story, it was never been real. I receive a so called pius bread from a friend, of course i dont want to embarrased her so i have to accept it but i am one of those who will STOP this circulation, i always believe that if we just believe in God, do good things to everyone then we dont need this miraculous bread…my fear is, if this bread will not be preapred properly by the person prior to me, it may cause food poisoning to me and my successor…

  9. hey i’m of a catholic member an i dont understand this i really want o know more and undersand it but all though i havent tried it before i will trie it now and i will believe in it but yeah now today is the second day of recieving it.

  10. Ok…I have just received the dough…i am not even catholic/christian….and i am totally skeptical about this thing…

    so what shud i do..? i am not into baking and all…but like i said i am in two minds, came online to see if any of this is true…??

    is it..?:

  11. I just finished making mine today, followed the instructions and everything. I don’t really care if its a fake or not, it was fun to make it and the result was yummy! I didn’t look at is as doing it for a spiritual purpose, but to be offered it was good enough to me.

    If you receive it and you don’t want to make it, then all good nothing bad will happen. And if you receive it and you do make it, then you’ll enjoy sharing and eating it afterwards!

    Have fun!

  12. To say that when you use ‘one day’ it must be a story is a massive generalisation.

    If your scared it might poison you dont eat it. I have had it and it is lovely. story or not it is a wonderful communal thing to do.

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