Assumption Fruit Punch Recipe

Editors note: The following is an expert from “Cooking for Christ: Your Kitchen Prayerbook” for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can purchase the newly revised cookbook here.

More popularly known as the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of the Assumption, this holy day of obligation is the principal feast day of the Virgin Mother. It denotes Catholics’ belief that the body of Mary was immediately raised to heaven without any corporeal decay, and foretells our bodily resurrection at the end time. Although the feast day has not always been an official day of celebration, Catholics nonetheless have honored the Virgin Mother on this date celebrated universally as far back as the sixth century AD. But some historians believe that the celebration began even as early as the third or fourth century.

Florence: “We blessed the harvest as the best we could with the same words the bishop had used the year before, with the same words that had been used centuries ago to bless herbs and fruits on the feast of the Assumption. We acknowledged and thanked God for ‘the power inherent in these plants,’ which sustain us in health and cure us in sickness. But we asked Him to add to these material powers ‘a new blessing.’ We asked Him to spiritualize these foods and medicines so that they might ‘be a protection against all sickness and tribulation when we use them for man and beast in Thy name.’ We prayed that ‘these temporal gifts may remind us and help us ‘to our eternal salvation.’’ Prosperity should and can lead us to heaven if we spiritualize it and use it in charity.”

Fruit and Herb Punch

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 sprigs borage
1 sprig balm
1 sprig burnet
3 anise leaves
2 cups hot tea
Juice of 3 oranges
Juice of 2 lemons
White wine or ginger ale
Mint sprigs

Directions:

Pound sugar, salt, borage, balm, burnet and anise to a paste in a mortar. Pour tea over them. Cover and allow to stand for 2 hours. Strain over ice. Add fruit juice. Stir in white wine for adults or ginger ale for children. Place mint in mouth of pitcher and serve.