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March 18, 2013

St. Oliva and bread larks...

During Great Lent, which is 40 days, plus Holy Week, in which we remember the trial, crucifixion and finally the Resurrection of Christ, we focus on simple things in life, our salvation, fasting, praying more, and reading about examples, Christian saints.

In honor of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste (this Saturday March 10/23), we will be baking bread shaped as larks.  The larks represent the Holy Spirit that was over each of the Roman soldiers who were Christians.   They were stripped of their clothes and set upon a frozen pond, with a warm bath nearby.  One soldier left and went to warm  himself.  There were just 39, then, but a guard who was watching, saw a brilliance over them and confessed himself as a Christian and joined the martyrs, so there were indeed 40.  May this be an example to us, that we all do what is right in our lives, for the salvation of our souls.  This is how the bread looked last year.  This year, I hope they will look a bit more like that little one, using an almond as the beak.
Today we remember St. Oliva, of Brescia, Italy, who was martyred under the Emperor Hadrian in 138 AD.  My daughter (4 years old, at the time) is standing next to her pillow on her bed. She has a little icon of St. Seraphim on the top, and some flowers from church, along with pussywillows from Palm Sunday 2007.
And a picture of her today.  I made a sunburst braid.  Here's a video tutorial.  I actually made 3 more of them today, one with Hannah's hair and 2 of my niece's hair, too.  Very pretty!  My husband and girls after the parade this past Saturday...it rained all night, but thankfully not during the day.

8 comments:

Anna said...

Chronia Polla! Many Years! Happy Nameday to Olivia!

elizabeth said...

lovely braid! Blessed feast days!!!

WendyLady@GoodBooks said...

I think the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste is my husband's favorite Saints story! I have never heard of the bread larks - so sweet. Have a blessed Lent!

wayside wanderer said...

Sweet braids and little bread bird!!

Jeannette said...

Thank you for sharing about the Roman soldiers, i had not heard that history...

Mary said...

Happy Name Day to Olivia!!! Sorry I'm a day late! I was hoping to make zhavoronky this year too! I'll try your recipe.

Amy said...

Bread bird is adorable and I love the braid!

Mat. Katie said...

Hi! We have a family coming into our Church who has a little girl named Olivia. Can you recommend a source for getting a copy of the Icon of St Oliva that your daughter has?

Also, I have been following your blog for a while but am not good about commenting. My husband and I enjoy your posts.

Thank you!
Mat. Katie