Dining With Saints (and Sinners)

The year was 1774.
     Friar Antonio de Sedella was sent to the territory of Louisiana by Spain’s King Charles III to continue the work of converting heathens to Christians through a little process called an ‘Inquisition’.
     Friar Sedella didn’t much like the King or forcing people to convert by having their legs crushed. He preferred to preside over un-lawful unions between people of high and low color, baptize their children, and advocate for imprisoned slaves. 
     The people of New Orleans loved him, and gave him their loyalty, and a few coins. 
     Fast forward to 1800- the French have New Orleans back.
     A Bishop Shea (who administered for Rome from Catholic Havana) wanted the Abbe to gather more wealth from the parish.
     Friar Sedalla (now known as Pere Antoine) said, ‘Go to Hell’. 
     Bishop Shea responded by tattling to the American government that Pere Antoine had a lover and a child (probably false- just look at his portrait).
     James Monroe wanted confirmation but was actually too busy administering the purchase of 828,000 miles of land at 42 cents per acre from the French to do more than ask what the priest’s religion was? Pere Antoine replied, ‘Liberty and Charity’. Good enough for the new government (but just to make sure, Monroe had an Oath of Allegiance administered via correspondence).
      Pere Antoine was more than happy to accommodate- after all, when he died in 1829, he left a small bag of gold coins to St. Louis Cathedral, with the instructions that his parishioners have a feast in his honor.  

     And today, we still eat well, in his honor, 
Fresh-caught Trout Almondine
with new potatoes and green beans
and a side of eggplant mash.


741 Royal St.
French Quarter
Whimsical murals line the walls adding a great jazz vibe.


The Abbe himself.


  • Adela - That looks soon good. And you’re right about the portrait. If he’s had a child, the child is hiding under a bed somewhere.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - HA!!! You’re so right! A scary looking dude for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - I loved this one. I really need to look this one up as I am rather ignorant of the Catholic policies in that area and time. I’m more familiar with the policies of England’s Angilical Church during the time England dominated the colonies.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Oh, you make me want to go back to NOLA right away. I have to put it on our calendar, and soon! And I’m hungry.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Can you imagine LIVING here? Everywhere I go- great food and a story. I’m transfixed!ReplyCancel

  • Tam Warner Minton - I’ll have to try this next time I’m in New Orleans!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Dolgen - All news to me! Thanks for feeding my brain this delicious blog!ReplyCancel

  • Janie Emaus - Well, it’s almost midnight here and I’ve way too much already. But now I’m hungry again!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I feel your pain- or is it weight gain? (That rhythms!!) I’m so talented….ReplyCancel

  • Carolann Iadarola - That dish looks fab! I never knew about him so thanks for the education. I’ll have to google him for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Karen D. Austin - I have never been to New Orleans. This post is giving me another reason to get there some time soon. Yummy and educational post.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Carpenter - Oh, that looks delicious! I’ve never been to New Orleans but when I finally get there, I *must* visit Pere Antoine’s!ReplyCancel

  • Donna Davis - What a guy! Even though i havent heard of him before hes okay in my book. I LOVE to eat so leaving the coins behind for a feast…….BRAVO!ReplyCancel

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus - I so love your history lessons!ReplyCancel

  • Rasma Raisters - Interesting write. I enjoy reading about things to do with history.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - My family has history in NOLA. I remember many a visit during Mardi Gras (crazy!) My aunt is on a plane this morning to visit her sister who has lived there for 55 years. Never knew this little piece of juicy history. Kind of awesome to read your blog and become more enlightened. Good to know!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’ve got a suitcase full of them- history lessons about this place. I’ll have to re-post a few more.ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Fascinating. An I can see what you mean about his portrait. Another of those great-hearted people who’s beautfy only shines when you know them!ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - Is he not, what some would call, ruggedly handsome?

    Bon appetite!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I think only the ‘rugged’ part. *burp*ReplyCancel

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