St. John Damascus

Cooking Through the Christian Year


Callot, Jacques. Les Images De Tous Les Saincts et Saintes de L’AnnĂ©e. 1636. Etching; second state of two. Sheet: 2 1/2 x 1 15/16 in. (6.4 x 5 cm). Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1917. New York City, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This print is part of a series comprised of a title page, frontispiece, and 122 plates. Each of these 122 plates contains four oval scenes depicting Saints and Religious Events for each day of the year. This etching was originally one of four oval scenes on a plate in the series.

St. John of Damascus – December 3rd

St. John of Damascus is the patron saint of artists. During a period of church history when the arts were being threatened as hedonistic or worldly (called the iconoclast controversy) John argued that art was essential in Christianity.

His detractors proclaimed a spiritual faith that lacked emphasis on the incarnation. Because God entered the world and took on flesh in the person of Jesus, real-world things like icons and other artistic expressions could also be channels of grace and windows into heaven. Rooting art’s value in the person of Jesus ultimately won the day, and Christianity has been the locus of art for generations.

John was also a prolific writer of hymns and poetry, many of which are still used in Eastern Orthodox liturgies today. To celebrate John’s defense of the arts, we are making a beautifully decorated Golden Spice Cake with Cranberries. Take your time and decorate the cake as immaculately as you wish, remembering that the expression of art is a gift from God.

Recipe Coming Soon