Have you ever wondered who came up with the name “Angel Food Cake”? I was curious about it, so I did some research. While you would think that an advertising and marketing genius came up with the name, it appears as though it was a woman who was baking a cake in her kitchen who thought of the name.
The first known recipe for Angel Food Cake was a recipe for “Amanda’s Angel Food Cake” which was included in the Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Time Old Recipes, Culinary Arts Press, in 1936.
In his book, American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones speculated that “angel cakes may have evolved as the result of numerous egg whites left over after the making of noodles, and may or may not be the brainchild of thrifty Pennsylvania cooks who considered it sinful to waste anything.”
What if an angel were to appear in your kitchen and teach you what you should eat and how you should prepare your food? Wouldn’t that be great? Then we wouldn’t have to rely on the government to tell us what we should and should not eat.
What if that same angel appeared to you and taught you the best way to pray to God?
While there is no record of an angel ever appearing in someone’s kitchen to teach them how to cook, there were three occasions 100 years ago when an Angel of God appeared to three young children and taught them how to pray.
The Angel’s appearances occurred in 1916, the year before the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the same three young children in Fatima, Portugal. The purpose of the Angel’s appearances was to teach them how to pray so they would be prepared for the apparitions of the Mother of God that occurred in 1917.
Traditionally, we Catholics are accustomed to reciting four types of prayers:
There is a fifth type of prayer that we don’t hear much about — Reparation — which is prayer that makes amends for the sins of others.
In the spring of 1916, while three young Portuguese shepherds, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were playing in a field where their sheep were grazing, they felt a strong wind and observed the olive trees around them shaking. As they looked at the swaying trees, they saw a figure approaching above the trees.
Lucia later described the figure as having “the appearance of a young man of 14 or 15, whiter than snow, which the sun rendered transparent as if it were of crystal, and of great beauty.” She said that she and her cousins were surprised by the figure and, before they could say anything, the figure said, “Do not fear! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” The Angel then knelt on the ground and bent over until his forehead touched the ground.
Lucia and her cousins imitated the Angel and repeated the words that they heard him pronounce: “My God, I believe in Thee, I adore Thee, I hope in Thee, and I love Thee. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not adore Thee, do not hope in Thee, and do not love Thee.”
After repeating the prayer three times, the Angel got up and said, “Pray in this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.” Then he disappeared.
Lucia said that after their experience with the Angel, “the supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense that, during a long moment, we barely realized the fact of our own existence. We remained in the position in which the angel had left us, repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt in such an intense and intimate manner, that we did not dare even to speak any longer among ourselves. The next day, we still felt our spirit enveloped in this atmosphere which only disappeared very slowly.”
The Angel visited the children again during the summer of 1916, while they were playing around their favorite well. When the Angel appeared, he asked, “What are you doing?” Then he said, “Pray, pray a great deal! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer unceasingly prayers and sacrifice yourselves to the Most High.”
In the fall of 1916, while the children were in the field reciting the prayer the Angel had taught them, an unknown light appeared in front of them. Lucia later wrote, “We got up again to see what was happening and we saw the Angel again, who had in his left hand a Chalice over which was suspended a Host, from which some drops of Blood fell into the Chalice.”
Lucia said that while the Angel left the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, he prostrated himself down on the ground near the children and repeated the following prayer three times:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences by which He, Himself is offended. And I draw upon the infinite merits of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that You might convert poor sinners.
After the Angel was finished praying, he got up and took the Chalice and Host and gave Lucia the Sacred Host on her tongue. He gave the Precious Blood from the Chalice to Lucia’s cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Then he said, “Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
The Angel then prostrated himself on the ground, repeated the Most Holy Trinity prayer with the three children, and then disappeared.
While the purpose of the Angel appearing to the children was to prepare them for the apparitions of the Queen of Heaven that were to take place the following year, the instructions of the Angel concerning prayer and sacrifice were meant for all of us.
Do most of your prayers fall within the “Petition” category?
God sent an Angel to teach us that the most important prayers that we can pray are those of Adoration and Reparation.
Now, all we need is for an Angel of God to come and teach us what foods we should be eating and how our meals should be prepared.