Wednesday, February 03, 2010

San Pasqual is considered the patron saint of cooks and kitchens. You may have noticed his image hanging in my kitchen in yesterday's posting.

A real Franciscan friar, San Pasqual (or Saint Pachal) was named for the feast day on which he was born: Pentecost, which is also known as the "Pasch of the Holy Spirit". Pasch, or Paschal, means "Passover" and refers to a time in Jewish history when the angel of death passed over houses in Egypt (the final of ten plagues before the Israelites began their exodus). The firstborn of families were spared in those homes whose doors were stained with the blood of a Passover Lamb. The meal has become a significant feast day in the Christian calendar, and is often referred to as The Passover Feast.

Hence, Saint Pascal--San Pasqual--presides favorably over feasts and food.

It is quite informative to get a sense of how Spanish Catholicism mixed with native cultures as it spread itself throughout Mexico and into what later became territories of the United States. To begin, one need only to trace names of modern tribes. The pueblo of the San Pasqual tribe is the one surviving pueblo of three that were formed around San Diego and San Luis Rey missions to resettle displaced Kumeyaaya in the mid-1800s.

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