Traditional Catholic Calendar 2019
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Saturday, June 1, 2019
: St. Angela Merici, V
Saturday, June 1, 2019

SAINT ANGELA MERICI
Virgin, Foundress
(1474-1540)

Saint Angela was the youngest of her virtuous parents' five children; she was born in Italy, near Brescia, in 1474. The grace which filled her soul made her beauty a trial for her, and as a young girl she already rejected all vanities. Every evening at home the parents read to the children from the lives of the Saints, and Angela wished to imitate them. She and her sister made an oratory in their room and retired there every day to pray and sing. She added to this service of God harsh austerities, sleeping on the floor while her sister slept profoundly. "We are the children of the Saints," she would say to her, "and we must turn all our affection towards the One who dwells in heaven. Oh! what torments, what disgrace and privations the solitaries and virgins have endured, to win the crown of immortality! We must suffer and die to ourselves."

Saint Angela made a vow of virginity before she was ten years old and persuaded her older sister to do the same. The children soon afterwards lost both their parents. A wealthy uncle took the two little girls into his home, but soon the sister of Angela followed her parents by a sudden death. At the age of thirteen Angela still had not received Holy Communion, according to the regrettable delays of those days. She begged to be admitted to the Holy Table, and as soon as her request was granted, resolved to take this heavenly nourishment often. For that purpose she entered the Third Order of Saint Francis, and then, with her director's permission, was able to receive her Eucharistic Lord every day.

In 1496 at the age of 22, Angela returned, after the death of her good uncle, to the paternal residence in her native village. There several others began to imitate her pious life. She was persuaded that the ills of society resulted from the scarcity of Christian mothers, and that this in turn was the effect of a lack of good education for young girls. She prayed that God would help her remedy this deficiency, and a heavenly vision assured her that before she died she would establish a Congregation of virgins. She and her companions began to assemble the little girls of the area and teach them Christian doctrine. And with them they visited the poor and the sick, and distributed most of the alms by which they themselves lived. Angela became an angel of consolation for all in the region, and though she had not studied, her mind was so clear that preachers and theologians came to consult her.

It was not until 1535 that Saint Angela was able to establish her Community; she was then 61 years old. During the intervening years, she made pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to Rome. Her devotion to the Passion of our Saviour was always increasing, and her piety inspired that of many others. One night in a vision, however, she saw a severe figure, a lash in His hand, look threateningly at her; it was Jesus, who reproached her for her delay in founding an Order which was destined to do a much-needed good. She asked pardon and immediately began to draw up plans and inform her companions of them. These co-workers were still living each in her own house, but all promised to follow the rules. They visited prisons and hospitals, instructed the poor and assisted them, and all of them brought together young girls in their various houses, for instruction. At first this was a simple association, but soon Angela gave her companions the name of Ursulines, in honor of the virgin martyr of chastity and her companions. Saint Angela encouraged her Ursulines to make a voluntary vow of chastity only. She died in January of 1540. It was in France some sixty years later that the group became a regularized Community under Madame Frances de Bermond; thereafter the Institute spread widely. The Foundress was canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.


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Sunday, June 2, 2019
Sunday, June 2, 2019

: Sts. Marcellinus, Peter & Erasmus, EEMM
Sunday, June 2, 2019


Monday, June 3, 2019
: Feria
Monday, June 3, 2019

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
: St. Francis Caracciolo, C
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

SAINT FRANCIS CARACCIOLO
Founder
(1563-1608)

Saint Francis was born in the kingdom of Naples in 1563, of the princely family of Caracciolo. In childhood he shunned all amusements, recited the Rosary regularly, and loved to visit the Blessed Sacrament and to distribute his food to the poor. To avoid idleness, however, he engaged in hunting, which pastime was not pleasing to God; and Our Lord, to detach him from the world, sent him a terrible trial. When he was 22 years old, he developed leprosy and soon was on the brink of death. Seeing his body in this deplorable condition taught him contempt for the vanity of the world and of youth's physical strength, and he promised God to serve Him alone if he were cured. The illness disappeared almost at once. He therefore left his parents, sold his portion of the inheritance for the benefit of the poor, and went to study for the priesthood at Naples. He dedicated himself in particular to visiting prisoners and galley-slaves and preparing criminals for death; he spent his leisure hours visiting the Blessed Sacrament in unfrequented churches.

God called him, when only twenty-five, to found the Order of Regular Minor Clerics, with two other priests who had similar aspirations. The Rule they drew up prescribed that each day one of the members fast on bread and water, another take the discipline, a third wear a hair shirt, and each succeed another for perpetual adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Thus they hoped to appease the anger of God unceasingly, and draw down His blessings by their penance. They took the usual vows, adding a fourth - not to accept dignities unless required to do so by their sovereign.

These very humble priests resolved to arrive in total poverty in Rome to seek approbation for their Order, and they mingled with the poor who were asking for alms at the door of the Capuchin Fathers. When recognized by relatives, they asked no favor except that of being taken to the presence of the Holy Father, Sixtus V. The Pope approved the new Congregation and gave them a church in Naples, which became the first center of the Order.

To establish the new Order, Francis, with John Augustine Adorno, his co-founder, undertook journeys throughout Italy and Spain, on foot and without money, content with the shelter and crusts given out of charity. A saintly pilgrim exiled from England predicted to Francis that he would be the new Order's first General; and a Dominican in Spain, before he had heard them talk of their intentions, received the two of them and gave them food, saying: "You are the founders of a new Order which will soon spread, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, and will be especially flourishing in this kingdom." Asked when that would occur, he replied, "Not for three years." In Spain still, Adorno again heard the same prophecy from Saint Louis Bertrand, who insisted on kissing his feet.

The prediction was realized. When Saint Francis returned to Valencia, he found that the twelve religious who had remained there had multiplied in number to the point that the house could no longer contain them. In 1591 he was elected the first General of his Order, while still a prey to the sorrow recently caused by the premature death of Adorno at the age of forty. He redoubled his austerities, and devoted seven hours daily to meditation on the Passion, besides passing most of the night praying before the Blessed Sacrament. He was commonly called the Preacher of Divine Love, and in Spain the Order did indeed flourish.

It was always before the Blessed Sacrament that his ardent devotion was most clearly visible. In the presence of his divine Lord his face emitted brilliant rays of light, and he often bathed the ground with his tears as he prayed, according to his custom, prostrate before the tabernacle, constantly repeating with the royal psalmist, "The zeal of Thy house has consumed me!" It was at Ancona in Italy, where he had gone to prepare another foundation, that his holy soul, on the eve of Corpus Christi 1608, went to join his Saviour in Heaven. He was forty-four years old when he fell ill with a severe fever. He died exclaiming, "Let us go, let us go to heaven!" When his body was opened after death, his heart was found seemingly burnt, with these words imprinted around it: "Zelus domus tuae comedit me" - "The zeal of Thy house has consumed me."

Reflection. It is for men, and not for Angels, that our Blessed Lord resides upon the altar. Yet Angels throng our churches to worship Him, while men desert Him. Learn from Saint Francis to avoid such ingratitude, and to spend time as he did, in adoration before the Most Holy Sacrament.


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Wednesday, June 5, 2019
: St. Boniface, EM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

SAINT BONIFACE
Bishop, Martyr
(680-754)

Saint Boniface was born in Devonshire, England, in the year 680. Some missionaries staying at his father's house spoke to him of heavenly things and inspired in him a desire to devote himself, as they did, to God. He entered the monastery of Exminster and was trained there for his apostolic labors. His first attempt to convert pagans in Holland having failed, he went to Rome to obtain the Pope's blessing on his mission, and returned with the authority to preach to the German tribes.

It was a slow and dangerous task; his life was in constant peril, while his flock was often reduced to abject poverty by wandering bands of robbers. Yet his courage never flagged. He began with Bavaria and Thuringia, next visited Friesland, then passed on to Hesse and Saxony, everywhere destroying the idol temples and raising churches in their place. He endeavored to make every object of idolatry contribute in some way to the glory of God. On one occasion, having cut down an immense oak honored in the name of Jupiter, he used the tree in building a church which he dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles.

After being recalled to Rome and consecrated bishop by the Pope, he returned to extend and organize the rising German Church. With diligent care he reformed abuses among the existing clergy, while establishing religious houses throughout the land. At length, feeling his infirmities increase, and fearful of losing his martyr's crown, Saint Boniface appointed a Superior for his monastery and set out anew to convert a pagan tribe.

While he was about to administer Confirmation to some newly baptized Christians, a troop of pagans arrived, armed with swords and spears. His attendants would have opposed them, but the Saint said to his followers: "My children, cease your resistance; the long expected day has come at last. Scripture forbids us to resist evil. Let us put our hope in God; He will save our souls." Scarcely had he stopped speaking, when the barbarians fell upon him and slew him, with all his attendants, fifty-two in number.

Reflection. Saint Boniface teaches us how the love of Christ changes all things. It was for Christ's sake that he toiled for souls, preferring poverty to riches, labor to rest, suffering to pleasure, and death to life, that by dying he might live with Christ.


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Thursday, June 6, 2019
: St. Norbert, EC
Thursday, June 6, 2019

SAINT NORBERT
Founder and Bishop
(1080-1134)

Born near Cologne in 1080, Saint Norbert, of noble rank and rare talents, passed a frivolous youth, abandoning himself to the pleasures and vanities of the world. Though he was a canon of the church, he refused to receive ecclesiastical Orders so as to continue to live in his caprices. He went to the court of the Archbishop of Cologne, then to that of the Emperor Henry IV, the famous adversary of Pope Saint Gregory VII, known also as Hildebrand. His conduct then became a scandal to his sacred calling, since at the court of the Emperor, like many clerics of those times, he was leading a life of dissipation and luxury.

One day, when he was thirty-three years of age, he was thrown from his horse in the midst of a terrible storm, and on recovering his senses a half hour later, he resolved upon a new life. After a severe and searching preparation, he went to the Archbishop of Cologne and humbly asked to receive Holy Orders. He was ordained a priest and began to preach against all the abuses and vices of his time. He encountered enemies and was silenced at first by a local council; however, he obtained the Pope's sanction and preached penance to listening crowds in France and the Netherlands. His example spoke still more eloquently than his words; he walked barefoot in the snows and wore a tunic which was a hair shirt, fasting all year long. He was compared to John the Baptist by his austerity and by the fervor of his preaching.

A chaplain of the bishop of Cambrai, impressed by the extraordinary changes in the former nobleman of the Emperor's court, asked to join him; this good priest, by the name of Hugh, later would succeed him in the government of the new religious Order which he was soon to found. In every place where Saint Norbert preached, those in attendance saw sinners converted, enemies reconciled and usurers return extorted wealth.

The bishop of Cambrai desired that he found a monastery and a new Order in his diocese, and the holy monk recognized at once, in a wild vale later called Premontre, the place he should choose. There he was favored, during a night of prayer, with a vision of many white-robed monks in procession with crucifixes and candles; the Blessed Virgin also appeared to him and showed him the habit he should give his religious. It was in 1120 that he gave to some trained disciples the rule of Saint Augustine, with the white habit he had been shown, denoting the angelic purity proper to the priesthood. The Canons Regular, or Premonstratensians, as they were called, were to unite the active work of the country clergy with the obligations of the monastic life. The foundations multiplied, and the fervor of these religious priests renewed the spirit of the priesthood, quickened the faith of the people, and overcame heresy.

In the time of Saint Norbert a pernicious heretic named Tankelin appeared at Antwerp, denying the reality of the priesthood, and above all blaspheming the Holy Eucharist. The Saint was sent for, to quench the error and its source, since three thousand persons had followed this man, who was allowing every vice to pass for legitimate. By Saint Norbert's burning words he exposed the impostor, corrected the erring, and rekindled faith in the Blessed Sacrament. Many of the apostates had proved their contempt for the Blessed Sacrament by burying it in walls and damp places; Norbert bade the converted ones search for the Sacred Hosts. They found them entire and uninjured, and the Saint bore them back in triumph to the tabernacle. Hence he is generally portrayed with the monstrance in his hand.

In 1126, Norbert was appointed Bishop of Magdeburg; and there, at the risk of his life, he zealously carried on his work of reform until he died, worn out with toil, at the age of fifty-three.

Reflection. Reparation for profanations and outrages to the Blessed Sacrament was the aim of Saint Norbert's great work of reform in himself, in the clergy, and in the faithful. How much do our present habits of worship repair for our own past irreverences and for the outrages offered by others to the Blessed Eucharist?


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Friday, June 7, 2019
: Feria
Friday, June 7, 2019

: Abstinence
Friday, June 7, 2019

Saturday, June 8, 2019
: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saturday, June 8, 2019

Sacred Heart of Jesus
(Friday before the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost)


In the 16th century Calvinism, and in the 17th Jansenism, preached a distorted Christianity that substituted for God's love and sacrifice of His Son for all men the fearful idea that a whole section of humanity was inexorably damned.


The Church always countered this view with the infinite love of our Saviour who died on the cross for all men. The institution of the feast of the Sacred Heart was soon to contribute to the creation among the faithful of a powerful current of devotion which since then has grown steadily stronger. The first Office and Mass of the Sacred Heart were composed by St. John Eudes, but the institution of the feast was a result of the appearances of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675.


Our Lord said: "Here is the Heart that so loved man." The texts of the Mass form a magnificent evocation of the depth and breadth of our Saviour's love. In the Epistle, we read of St. Paul's thanksgiving for the infinite dimensions of the divine dispensation. In the Gospel, we hear of the piercing of our Lord's side, whence flowed the waters of Baptism and the Blood of the Eucharist. This is the very symbol of redemptive love.


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: Vigil of Pentecost
Saturday, June 8, 2019

: Fast
Saturday, June 8, 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019
Sunday, June 9, 2019


: Sts. Primus & Felician, MM
Sunday, June 9, 2019

SAINTS PRIMUS and FELICIANUS
Martyrs
(286)

These two martyrs were brothers who lived in Rome, heirs of a family of great wealth, toward the latter part of the third century. It was through the assiduous love of Pope Felix I that they had the happiness, in their mature years, of being converted to the Christian faith; afterwards they encouraged each other for many years in the practice of all good works. They seemed to possess nothing but for the poor, and often, during the persecutions, they spent both nights and days with the confessors in their dungeons, or at the places of their torments and execution. Some they exhorted to persevere; others who had fallen, they raised again. They made themselves the servants of all in Christ, that all might attain to salvation through Him.

Though their zeal was very remarkable, they had escaped the dangers of many bloody persecutions; they had grown old in the heroic exercises of their virtue, when it pleased God to crown their labors with a glorious martyrdom. Primus was about 90 years old, when the pagans raised so great an outcry against the brothers that they were apprehended and put in chains. They were inhumanly scourged and tortured, and then sent to a town twelve miles from Rome to be chastised again, as avowed enemies to the gods, by a prefect who detested the Christians. There they were cruelly tortured to make them renounce their faith, both together and then separately, but the grace of God strengthened each of them. Felicianus was nailed by his hands and feet to a post and left without food or water for three days; Primus was beaten with clubs and burnt with torches. God spared them amidst these tortures, and wild beasts in an arena imitated their God's mercy. Finally, they were beheaded on June 9, 286.

Reflection. A soul which truly loves God regards all things of this world as nothing. The loss of goods, the disgrace of the world, torments, sickness, and other afflictions are bitter to the senses, but appear light to the one who loves God. If we cannot bear our trials with patience and silence, it is because we love Him only in words. "One who is slothful and lukewarm complains of everything, and calls the lightest precepts hard," says Thomas a Kempis.


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Monday, June 10, 2019
Monday, June 10, 2019

: St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Vid
Monday, June 10, 2019

SAINT MARGARET
Queen of Scotland
(1046-1093)

Saint Margaret's name signifies pearl, "a fitting name," says Theodoric, her confessor and her first biographer, "for one such as she." Her soul was like a precious pearl; a life spent amidst the luxury of a royal court never dimmed its luster or estranged it from Him who had bought it with His blood. She was the granddaughter of an English king; in 1070 she became the bride of Malcolm of Scotland, thereafter reigning as Queen until her death in 1093.

How did she become a Saint in a position where sanctity is so difficult? First, she burned with zeal for the house of God. She built churches and monasteries; she occupied herself by making vestments; she could not rest until she saw the laws of God and His Church observed throughout her realm. Next, amid a thousand cares, she found time to converse with God, ordering her piety with such sweetness and discretion that she won her husband to sanctity like her own. He would rise at night to pray with her; he loved to kiss the holy books she used, and sometimes would take them away with him, bringing them back later to his wife covered with jewels. Lastly, despite Saint Margaret's great virtue, she wept constantly over her sins and begged her confessor to correct her faults.

Saint Margaret did not neglect her duties in the world even if she was not of the world. God blessed this marriage with eight children, six princes and two princesses who did not fail to respond to their mother's teaching and examples. Never was there a better mother; she spared no pains in their education, and their sanctity was the fruit of her prudence and her zeal. And never was there a better queen. She was the most trusted counselor of her husband, who always found her counsels of great utility, and she labored with him for the spiritual and material improvement of the land. Malcolm, after having pacified his domains for several years, saw to the building of the cathedral of Durham and founded a monastery at Dumfermlin.

Living in the midst of all the world's pleasures, Saint Margaret sighed for the true homeland and viewed death as a release. On her deathbed she learned that her husband and their eldest son had been slain in battle. She thanked God for sending this last affliction as a penance for her sins. After receiving Holy Viaticum, she repeated the prayer from the Missal, "O Lord Jesus Christ, who by Thy death didst give life to the world, deliver me." And at the words "deliver me," says her biographer, her soul took flight to Christ, in 1093, in her forty-seventh year.

Reflection. All perfection consists in keeping a guard upon the heart. Wherever we are, we can make a solitude in our hearts, detach ourselves from the world, and converse familiarly with God, as Saint Margaret did.


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Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

: St. Barnabas, Ap
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

SAINT BARNABAS
Apostle
(61)

We read that in the first days of the Church, the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul; and none said that anything which he possessed was his own. (Acts 4:32) Amid this fervent company of Christians who practiced evangelical poverty, one only is singled out by name, Joseph, a rich Levite from Cyprus. He, having land, sold it, and bringing the price, laid it at the feet of the Apostles. They then gave him a new name, Barnabas, son of consolation. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and was soon chosen for an important mission, the rapidly growing Church of Antioch. Here he perceived the great work which was waiting to be done among the Greeks, and therefore he hastened to seek out and bring Saint Paul to Antioch, from his retirement at Tarsus.

When the prophet Agabus at Antioch foretold a great universal famine, Barnabas and Paul were selected by the faithful, to take to the Church of Jerusalem their generous offerings for the poor of that city. It was also at Antioch that the two Saints were named for the apostolate of the Gentiles; and they sailed together for Cyprus and then to the cities of Asia Minor. Their preaching struck men with amazement, and some cried out, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" calling Paul Mercury, and Barnabas Jupiter. The Saints traveled together once again, to the Council of Jerusalem, and told of the "signs and wonders which God had wrought among the Gentiles" during their missionary journey. Shortly after this they separated; Barnabas with John Mark went to Cyprus, while Paul with Silas returned to Asia Minor.

The tradition of Milan, Italy, reveals that Saint Barnabas went from Cyprus to Italy, and in Milan founded its church; he is still honored there as its first bishop. After seven years he consecrated Saint Anathalon to replace him, and returned to Cyprus to visit the churches. He crisscrossed the island several times to bring to every city and village the Holy Name of the Son of God. In Salamis, some of the recalcitrants plotted together to kill him. He was aware of the conspiracy; nonetheless, after foretelling to John Mark that he would die that same day, he went to the synagogue to preach as usual. It was there that he was stoned as a blasphemer, in the year 61 of our era. Saint John Mark succeeded in burying him near Salamis.


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Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

: St. John of San Facondo, C
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

SAINT JOHN of SAN FACONDO
Confessor, Augustinian
(1430-1479)

Saint John, one of the greatest preachers Spain has ever known, was born at St. Fagondez, and from his early youth gave signs of his future sanctity. He was the fruit of the ardent prayers of his parents after sixteen years of sterility; God blessed them afterwards with several children. He was entrusted to the Benedictines of the monastery of St. Fagondez for his education. He distributed to the poor virtually all the wealth accruing to him from several benefices, while he himself lived in great poverty; but soon he renounced all of these and obtained from his bishop permission to study theology in Salamanca. As a young priest he was already regarded as a Saint, so ardent was his devotion at Holy Mass. He entered the Order of Saint Augustine soon after he had bestowed on a poor man half of his clothing, and the following night experienced so great an increase in the love of God, that he referred to this as his conversion.

He was a model religious, and soon was entrusted with important offices in his Order - master of novices, definitor for the province, and prior of the convent of the city of Salamanca. He commanded well because he knew so well how to obey. When he observed in himself a slight defect in his obedience, he repaired it with extraordinary penances. Often while offering the adorable Sacrifice with tender piety, he enjoyed the sight of Jesus in glory, and held sweet colloquies with Him. The ineffable bliss of these moments caused him to spend much more time than the other priests in celebrating Holy Mass; and everyone was complaining. It was only when his Superior forbid him to delay in this way that he was obliged to acknowledge the favors he enjoyed.

The power of his personal holiness was seen in his preaching, which produced a complete reformation of morals in Salamanca. He had a special gift for reconciling differences, and was able to put an end to the quarrels and feuds among noblemen, at that period very common and fatal. The boldness shown by Saint John in reproving vice endangered his life. A powerful nobleman, having been corrected by the Saint for oppressing his vassals, sent two assassins to slay him; but the remarkable holiness of the Saint's aspect, result of the peace constantly reigning in his soul, struck such awe into their minds that they could not execute their purpose, and humbly begged his forgiveness. The nobleman himself, falling sick, was brought to repentance, and recovered his health by the prayers of the Saint whom he had endeavored to murder.

Saint John was also very zealous in denouncing the vices of impurity, and it was in defense of holy purity that he met his death. A lady of noble birth but evil life, whose companion in sin he had converted, contrived to administer a fatal poison to the Saint. After several months of terrible suffering, borne with unvarying patience, Saint John went to his reward on June 11, 1479. This painful death and the cause for which he suffered it, have caused several of his historians and panegyrists to say that he won a martyr's crown. A great many striking miracles followed at his tomb and elsewhere, even by the simple invocation of his name. He was canonized in 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII.

Reflection. All men desire peace, but only those enjoy it who, like Saint John, are completely dead to themselves, and bear all things with love for Christ.


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: Ember Day - Fast
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019
: Pentecost Thursday
Thursday, June 13, 2019

: St. Anthony of Padua, CD
Thursday, June 13, 2019

SAINT ANTHONY of PADUA
Doctor of the Church and Miracle-Worker
(1195-1231)

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195, Fernando de Bouillon was of a noble family related to the famous Godefroy de Bouillon, founder and first sovereign of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, who at the close of the Crusade of 1099 had refused to wear a crown, there where Christ had worn one of thorns.

Favored by nature and grace, Fernand resolved at the age of fifteen to leave the world and consecrate himself to God in the Order of Canons Regular of Saint Augustine. No flattery, threat or caress of his relatives could persuade him to leave that holy refuge. He asked to be transferred to another convent to avoid the family's solicitations, and was sent to Coimbra. Still young, his sanctity became evident through miracles; he cured a poor religious whom the devil was obsessing, by covering him with his cloak.

When this young monk decided, after witnessing the return of the martyred remains of five Franciscans who had gone to Africa, to join that Order so favored with the graces of martyrdom, the Augustinians were desolate but could not prevent his departure, for Saint Francis himself appeared to him in a vision in July 1220, and commanded him to leave. He was then sent by the Franciscans to Africa, but two years later was obliged to return to Italy because of sickness; thus he was deprived of the martyr's crown he would have been happy to receive.

In 1222 Anthony, as he was now called, went with other Brothers and some Dominican friars to be ordained at Forli. There Fra Antonio rose under obedience to preach for the first time to the religious, and took for his theme the text of Saint Paul: Christ chose for our sake to become obedient unto death. As the discourse proceeded, "the Hammer of Heretics," "the Ark of the Testament," "the eldest son of Saint Francis," stood revealed in all his sanctity, learning, and eloquence before his rapt and astonished brethren. He had been serving in the humblest offices of his community; now he was summoned to emerge from this obscurity. And then for nine years France, Italy, and Sicily heard his voice and saw his miracles, whose numbers can scarcely be counted. A crowd to which he was preaching outdoors one day, when the church was too small to hold all who came to hear him, amidst thunder and lightning felt not one drop of water fall upon them, while all around them the rain poured down. And men's hearts turned to God.

We may wonder why we always see Saint Anthony with the Child Jesus in his arms. The account of this heavenly visitation was told only after his death, at the official process concerning his virtues and miracles. It was narrated by the man who witnessed the marvel in question; the Saint himself had never spoken of it. Saint Anthony was in the region of Limoges in France, and was offered hospitality, rest and silence by this businessman of the region, in his country manor. He was given a room apart, to permit him to pray in peace; but during the night his host looked toward his lighted window and saw in the brilliance a little Infant of marvelous beauty in the arms of the Saint, with His own around the Friar's neck. The witness trembled at the sight, and in the morning Saint Anthony, to whom it had been revealed that his host had seen the visitation, called him and enjoined him not to tell it as long as he was alive. The town near Limoges where this occurred remains unknown; the original account of the inquiry does not name it, but says that the man in question narrated it, with tears, after Saint Anthony's death.

After a number of years of teaching of theology, unceasing preaching and writing, Saint Anthony, whose health was never strong, was spending a short time of retreat in a hermitage near Padua. He was overcome one day with a sudden weakness, which prevented him from walking. It progressed so rapidly that it was evident his last days had arrived. He died at the age of thirty-six, after ten years with the Canons Regular and eleven with the Friars Minor, on June 13, 1231. The voices of children were heard crying in the streets of Padua, "Our father, Saint Anthony, is dead." The following year, the church bells of Lisbon rang without ringers, while in Rome one of its sons was inscribed among the Saints of God.

Reflection. Let us love to pray and labor unseen, and cherish in the secret of our hearts the graces of God and the growth of our immortal souls. Like Saint Anthony, let us attend to this first of all and leave the rest to God.


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Friday, June 14, 2019
Friday, June 14, 2019

: St. Basil the Great, ECD
Friday, June 14, 2019

SAINT BASIL the GREAT
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
(329-379)

Saint Basil was born in Asia Minor. Two of his brothers became bishops, and with his mother and his sister, are honored as Saints. He studied with great success in Athens, where he formed a tender and perpetual friendship with Saint Gregory Nazianzen. He then taught oratory. The study of philosophy had already raised him above all worldly ambition, and dreading the honors of the world, he gave up all things to become the father of monastic life in the East. His older sister, Saint Macrina, encouraged him when he abandoned the greater part of his inheritance.

He retired into Pontus, where his sister was Superior of a convent, into which his mother also had entered; there he founded a monastery on the opposite side of the river from the convent, and governed it for four years, from 358 to 362. He founded several other religious houses in the same region, both for men and for women. It was for them that he composed his ascetic works, including his famous Rule, still followed by the monks of the Orient.

He then resigned, leaving his office to his brother, Saint Peter of Sebastus, to retire in prayer. Saint Gregory came to join his friend for a time, in response to his invitation. Ever afterwards, Basil would recall with regret the peace and happiness they had enjoyed, singing Psalms, studying Scripture, keeping vigil in prayer, and disciplining their flesh by manual work. It was only in 363 that this holy hermit was ordained a priest by Eusebius of Caesarea in Cappadocia.

The Arian heretics, supported by the court, were then persecuting the Church, and Basil was summoned from his retirement by his bishop to give aid against them. His energy and zeal soon mitigated the disorders of the Church, and his solid and eloquent words silenced the heretics. On the death of Eusebius, he was chosen Bishop of Caesarea. His commanding character, his firmness and energy, his learning and eloquence, seconded by his humility and the great austerity of his life, made him a model for bishops. He founded in Caesarea a vast hospital, which Saint Gregory called "a new city" and which remained in existence for long decades. He went there often to console the suffering, and help them to make good use of their pains.

When Saint Basil was summoned by the emperor Valentius to admit the Arians to Communion, the prefect in charge, finding that soft words had no effect, said to him, "Are you mad, that you resist the will before which the whole world bows? Do you not dread the wrath of the emperor, nor exile, nor death?" "No," said Basil calmly; "he who has nothing to lose need not dread loss of goods; you cannot exile me, for the whole earth is my home; as for death, it would be the greatest kindness you could bestow upon me; torments cannot harm me; one blow would end both my frail life and my sufferings." The prefect answered, "Never has anyone dared to address me thus." "Perhaps," suggested Basil, "you never before measured your strength with a Christian bishop." The emperor desisted from his commands.

Saint Basil's entire life was one of suffering, both physical and moral; he lived amidst jealousies, misunderstandings and seeming disappointments. But he sowed the seed which bore good fruit in the future generations. He was God's instrument to resist the Arian and other heretics in the East, and to restore the spirit of discipline and fervor in the Church. He died peacefully in 379 at the age of fifty-one, and is venerated as a Doctor of the Church.

Reflection. "Fear God," says the Imitation of Christ, "and thou shalt not need to fear any man."


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: Ember Day - Fast & Abstinence
Friday, June 14, 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019
Saturday, June 15, 2019

: Sts. Vitus, Modestus & Crescentia, MM
Saturday, June 15, 2019

SAINTS VITUS, MODESTUS, and CRESCENTIA
Martyrs
(ca. 303)

Saint Vitus, sometimes called Guy, was a child nobly born, who had the happiness to be instructed in the Faith under the tutelage of his Christian nurse, Crescentia, and Modestus, his preceptor. His father was not aware of his baptism. The boy received the gift of miracles. Before he reached the age of twelve, Valerian came to Sicily representing Diocletian, less to be governor of that island than persecutor of Christians. Vitus was denounced to him as one of them, and Valerian sent for his father, telling him to use his paternal authority to bring his son into line, and have him practice the religion of the empire. Hylas promised to do so.

Finding Vitus unmoved by his tears and embraces, his warnings of what he would lose if he did not acquiesce to the emperor's wishes, and every persuasion based on the grief his son would cause him by continuing to adore a man who died on an ignominious cross, Hylas delivered Vitus up to Valerian. The governor in turn could not change this child's mind; when Valerian asked him why he resisted his father's will and did not submit to the emperor's laws, Vitus answered, "I only disobey the emperors and my father to obey God, my sovereign Lord and first Father." He did not fear chastisement, he said, or death, and would gladly endure all things rather than adore demons, the sworn enemies of men.

Valerian ordered that he be scourged; but the arms of the executioners grew limp, and even the hand of Valerian, which he had raised to give the command, withered. They accused him of being a magician, but Saint Vitus cured them, "to show them that the spirit of Jesus Christ is one of gentleness, and that His true disciples have only love for all their enemies." Hylas, his father, furious at his son's refusal to comply with all efforts to change him, resolved to put him to death. But Modestus, his tutor, was told by an Angel to flee with him and his nurse, Crescentia, to Italy.

There all three would win the crown of martyrdom. Diocletian himself, hearing of the miracles of Saint Vitus, sent for him but then imprisoned him, after Vitus had delivered the emperor's son from a demon, but had refused to deny Jesus Christ. A furious lion would not harm the young Christian, but lay down at his feet and licked them. When he and his two Christian preceptors were attached to racks and tortured, their protecting Angel released them, but not until after lightning had struck the idol temples and caused them to fall, amidst a terrible storm. Many idolater among the spectators were converted on this occasion. They were set free after this incident, but Saint Vitus prayed that their souls might finally be released also, and his prayer was answered. They were buried at the place to which they had first come in Italy, in the kingdom of Naples.


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: Ember Day - Fast
Saturday, June 15, 2019

Sunday, June 16, 2019
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019
: Feria
Monday, June 17, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
: St. Ephrem, Deacon CD
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

SAINT EPHREM
Doctor of the Church
(378)

Many wonderful lessons can be derived from the life of this Saint, known in particular for his unfailing and remarkable humility. Born at Nisibe in Syria, his forebears were poor folk, and he as a child tended the herds in the fields. Saint Ephrem would be baptized only as a young adult.

One day, while still an adolescent, he pursued the only cow of a neighbor, throwing stones at the poor beast to see it run, until it fell exhausted and died. To add to his fault, he denied having seen the animal when its owner came to look for it. All his life he wept over this double prevarication, and later he related to the religious who were his followers how he was punished for it: About a month later, he was with a shepherd who drank too much one evening, and through neglect lost the sheep of the owner's flock when wolves entered into the fold. Ephrem was taken to prison with the shepherd and confined there. From the stories his companions there narrated, he realized that they too were detained for crimes not committed, but that they had committed others which had remained unpunished. Recognizing in these facts the effects of Divine Justice, he was warned to do penance by a severe Angel who appeared to him several times, helping him also to accept his chastisement. He was released after two months, but never forgot the lessons in humility he had received.

Never did Saint Ephrem think himself anything other than a great sinner; we can read in his various writings his self-accusations and his confessions. He had the gift of tears and for years he wept, literally without ceasing, according to the testimony of Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who wrote: "At times he was weeping over the sins of men, and again over his own. His sighs succeeded his tears, and then brought them forth again." It was also said that the tears he shed so profusely, instead of disfiguring his face, seemed to augment its serenity and grace; all who had seen or heard Saint Ephrem were inspired to venerate his holiness.

The death of Saint James of Nisibe and of another Saint who had lived in a cell near his own solitary dwelling, decided him to make a pilgrimage to Edessa, a very Christian city, to honor the relics of the Apostle Saint Thomas, venerated there. While in Edessa he was ordained a deacon and attached permanently to the church of Edessa, then obliged under obedience to preach. The ministry of preaching is not usually that of deacons, but his virtue and capacities were recognized at once. He had not studied and knew only his own language, but he had absorbed Holy Scripture and profited from his intelligence of it. It is he who wrote: "You do not understand all that you read there? If you were traveling and, being thirsty, came upon a spring of fresh water, would you be incensed because you could not drink all of it? No, you would be happy that, on another journey, the spring would still be there to quench your thirst."

Saint Gregory of Nyssa remarked of the preaching of Saint Ephrem: "Although his tongue was prompt and the words flowed from his mouth like a torrent, these were too slow to express his thoughts. For this reason he prayed God: 'Hold back, Lord, the waves of Your grace!' The sea of understanding which was seeking an outlet through his tongue bore heavily upon him, because the organs of speech did not suffice for what his mind presented to him, for the benefit of others." In the Syrian Liturgy, Saint Ephrem still is called the Harp of the Holy Spirit.

After many years of good works, preaching and writing, for he also had great gifts of poetry and written discourse, he died a holy death in the year 378. This occurred one month after the death of Saint Basil, whom he had visited in Caesarea, wanting to profit from the renowned bishop's conversation and sermons. They had found great consolation in one another's company. Saint Ephrem was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XV in October of 1920.


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Wednesday, June 19, 2019
: St. Juliana Falconieri, V
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

SAINT JULIANA FALCONIERI
Virgin
(1270-1340)

Saint Juliana Falconieri was born in 1270, in answer to prayer. Her father was the builder of the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Saint Alexis Falconieri, became one of the seven Founders of the Servite Order. Under his surveillance Juliana grew up "more like an angel than a human being," as he said. Her great modesty was remarkable; never during her entire lifetime did she look at her reflection in a mirror. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once, on hearing of a scandal, she fainted.

Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary or Servite Order, and at the age of fourteen, after refusing an offer of marriage, she received the habit from Saint Philip Benizi, General of the Order. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus she became foundress of the Mantellate.

She was the servant of her Sisters rather than their mistress, while outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed.

Saint Juliana in her old age suffered various painful illnesses. She was wasting away through a disease of the stomach which prevented her taking food, and bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At last, when in her seventieth year she was at the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart, at the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament had been placed. Saint Juliana died in her convent in Florence in 1340. Miracles have been frequently effected through her intercession.

Reflection. "Meditate often," says Saint Paul of the Cross, "on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, sorrows inseparable from those of Her beloved Son. If you seek the Cross, there you will find the Mother; and where the Mother is, there also is the Son."


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Thursday, June 20, 2019
: St. Silverius, PM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

SAINT SILVERIUS
Pope and Martyr
(538)

Silverius was son of Pope Hormisdas, who had been married before he entered the ministry. Upon the death of Saint Agapetas, and after a vacancy of forty-seven days, Silverius, then subdeacon, was elected Pope and consecrated on the 8th of June, 536, despite maneuvers on the part of heretics opposed to the Council of Chalcedon.

The heretical empress Theodora, resolved to win Silverius over to her interests, wrote to him, ordering that he should either acknowledge as lawful bishop the Eutychian heretic Anthimus, who had been deposed as patriarch of Constantinople, or come in person to Constantinople and reexamine his cause. Without the least hesitation or delay, Silverius returned her a short answer, by which he gave her to understand that he neither could nor would obey her unjust demands, which would be to countermand his predecessor's decision and betray the cause of the Catholic faith.

The empress, finding that she could expect nothing from him, resolved to have him deposed. Vigilius, archdeacon of the Roman Church, a man of diplomacy, was then at Constantinople. To this ambitious ecclesiastic the empress exposed her wishes, and promised to make him pope and to bestow on him seven hundred pieces of gold, if he would engage himself to condemn the Council of Chalcedon and receive into Communion the three deposed Eutychian patriarchs. Vigilius assented to these conditions, and the empress sent him to Rome, charged with a letter to the Roman general Belisarius, commanding him to drive out Silverius and contrive the election of Vigilius to the pontificate.

Vigilius urged the general to execute this project. In order to implement it, the Pope was accused of corresponding with the enemy, and a forged letter was produced, supposedly written by him to the king of the Goths, inviting him to the city and promising to open the gates to him. These dealings succeeded; Vigilius was made Pope, and Silverius was banished to Patara in Lycia.

The bishop of Patara received the illustrious exile with all possible marks of honor and respect, and thinking himself bound to undertake his defense, journeyed to Constantinople and spoke boldly to the emperor Justinian. He terrified him with threats of divine judgments for the expulsion of a bishop of so great a see, telling him, "There are many kings in the world, but there is only one Pope over the Church of the whole world." Justinian appeared startled at the atrocity of the proceedings and gave orders that Silverius be sent back to Rome. The enemies of the Pope contrived to prevent this, however, and he was intercepted on his road toward Rome and transported to the deserted island of Palmeria, where he died of hunger a year later, on the 20th of June, 538 and was buried.

It was perhaps in response to the martyred pope's prayers that after his death the usurper of the pontifical throne, Vigilius, though he had wished to step down, was forced to remain in function and then transformed, like Saul of Tarsus, into another man. He exercised the pastoral duties with as much courage, piety, zeal and faith, as he formerly had used violence, avarice and cruelty during his predecessor's lifetime. The traitor Belisarius was accused of conspiracy against the emperor, stripped of all he had, and his eyes put out; he was obliged to beg for alms in Constantinople. But he too repented and built a church with an inscription over the door which was a public reparation for his fault.


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Friday, June 21, 2019
: St. Aloysius Gonzaga, C
Friday, June 21, 2019

SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Jesuit Seminarian
(1568-1591)

Saint Aloysius, the eldest son of Ferdinand Gonzaga, Marquis of Castiglione, was born on the 9th of March, 1568. The first words he pronounced were the holy names of Jesus and Mary. When he was nine years of age he made a vow of perpetual virginity, and by a special grace was always exempted from temptations against purity. He received his first Communion at the hands of Saint Charles Borromeo. At an early age he resolved to leave the world, and in a vision was directed by our Blessed Lady to join the Society of Jesus. The Saint's mother rejoiced on learning his determination to become a religious, but his father for three years refused his consent. At length Saint Aloysius obtained permission to enter the novitiate on November 25, 1585.

He pronounced his vows after two years, and studied, as was customary, philosophy and theology. A fervent penitent at all times, he was accustomed to say that he doubted whether without penance grace could continue to make headway against nature, which, when not afflicted and chastised, tends gradually to relapse into its unredeemed state, and thereby loses the habit of suffering. "I am a crooked piece of iron," he said, "and have come into religion to be made straight by the hammer of mortification and penance."

During his last year of theology a malignant fever broke out in Rome. The Saint offered himself for the service of the sick, and was accepted for the dangerous duty. Several of the religious contracted the fever, and Aloysius was among them. He was at the point of death but recovered, only to relapse a little later into a slow fever, which after three months his fragile health could no longer resist. He died at the age of twenty-three, repeating the Holy Name, a little after midnight between the 20th and 21st of June, on the octave day of Corpus Christi.

Reflection. Saint Robert Bellarmine, the Saint's confessor, testified that Saint Aloysius had never mortally offended God. Pray that, supposing you have not maintained his innocence, you may yet imitate his penance.


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: Abstinence
Friday, June 21, 2019

Saturday, June 22, 2019
: St. Paulinus, EC
Saturday, June 22, 2019

SAINT PAULINUS OF NOLA
Bishop, Confessor
(353)

Paulinus was of a family which boasted a long line of senators, prefects and consuls of Rome, and he was educated with great care. His genius and eloquence in oratory, prose and verse were the admiration of all the brilliant Christian minds of his time, including Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, Saint Augustine, and Saint Martin of Tours. It is believed that Saint Ambrose would have chosen him to replace him as bishop of Milan, but Saint Paulinus was far from Milan when Saint Ambrose died. He said of him that Christians should follow and imitate Saint Paulinus, and that the greatest good fortune of the century in which they were living was to be witness to the life of so rare and admirable a man.

Saint Paulinus, at first Roman Consul and then Prefect or Governor of Rome, had more than doubled his wealth by his marriage with a virtuous Spanish noblewoman; he was one of the wealthiest and most honored men of his time, possessing domains in several nations of Europe. Though he was the chosen friend of Saints, he was still only a catechumen, and trying to serve two masters. But God drew him to Himself along the way of sorrows and trials. The first and only child of Paulinus and Theresia died shortly after birth. Saint Paulinus received baptism soon afterwards, at the age of thirty-eight, from the bishop of Bordeaux, Saint Delphin; then he withdrew into Spain to be at liberty to pray in solitude.

He was ordained a priest in Barcelona, and afterwards retired to Nola in Campania. And then, in consort with his holy wife, he liberated all his slaves, sold all his vast estates in various parts of the empire, distributing their proceeds so widely and generously that Saint Jerome says both East and West were filled with his alms. In Nola he built the magnificent Church of Saint Felix and served it night and day, living a life of extreme abstinence and toil. He and his wife agreed to live as brother and sister; they exchanged their silver utensils for those of wood and pottery, and wore robes of rude cloth, practicing from that time on a genuine poverty. Certain highly-placed worldly persons were very much offended by this abrupt change in the way of life of these persons of such great dignity.

Nonetheless, in 409 Saint Paulinus was chosen Bishop of Nola, and for more than thirty years so ruled as to be conspicuous, in an age blessed with many great and wise bishops. Saint Gregory the Great tells us that when the Vandals of Africa made a descent on Campania, Paulinus spent all he had in relieving the distress of his people and redeeming them from slavery. Finally, when all had been disposed of, there came to him a poor widow, whose only son had been taken away by the son-in-law of the Vandal king. "What I have I give you, said the Saint to her; "we will go to Africa and you will offer me to the prince, saying I am one of your slaves, in exchange for the prisoner." Her resistance once overcome, they went, and Paulinus was accepted in place of the widow's son and employed as gardener. After a time the king discovered, by divine interposition, that this valuable slave of his son-in-law was the renowned Bishop of Nola. He at once set him free, granting him also the freedom of all the townsmen of Nola who were in slavery.

One who knew Saint Paulinus well says he was "meek as Moses, as priestly as Aaron, innocent as Samuel, tender as David, wise as Solomon, apostolic as Peter, loving as John, cautious as Thomas, brilliant as Stephen, fervent as Apollos." Saint Paulinus died in 431. His holy remains were transferred several times but restored to the cathedral of Nola in 1908.

Reflection. "Go to Campania," writes Saint Augustine; "there study Paulinus, that choice servant of God. With what generosity, with what even greater humility, has he flung from him the burden of the world's grandeurs to take on the yoke of Christ!"


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Sunday, June 23, 2019
Sunday, June 23, 2019

: Vigil of St. John the Baptist
Sunday, June 23, 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019
: Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Monday, June 24, 2019

NATIVITY of
SAINT JOHN the BAPTIST
Prophet
(ca. 30 A.D.)

The birth of Saint John was foretold by Saint Gabriel, Archangel of the Lord, to his father, Zachary, who was offering incense in the Temple. The son of Zachary was to be the prophesied Messenger, Zachary was told, whose mission would prepare the way for Christ. Before he was born into the world John had already begun to live for the Incarnate God; even in the womb he recognized the presence of Jesus and of Mary, and leaped with joy at the glad coming of the Son of man. Before Christ's public life began, a divine impulse sent Saint John into the desert; there, with locusts for his food and wearing haircloth, in silence and in prayer, he chastened his soul. In his youth he remained hidden, because He for whom he waited was also hidden.

Then, as crowds broke in upon his solitude, he warned them to flee from the wrath to come, and gave them the baptism of penance, while they confessed their sins. At last there stood in the crowd One whom Saint John did not know, until a voice within told him that it was his Lord. He affirmed: "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He upon whom thou wilt see the Spirit descending and abiding, He it is who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' " With the baptism of Saint John, Christ began His voluntary abasement for the sins of His people; and Saint John indeed saw the Holy Ghost descend, under the visible form of a dove, indicating in the humble Jesus of Nazareth the divine Perfection of the peaceable Eternal King and High Priest. Then the Saint's work was done. He had but to point his own disciples to the Lamb, he had only to decrease as Christ increased. He saw all men leave him and go after Christ. "I told you," he said, "that I am not the Christ. The friend of the Bridegroom rejoices hearing the Bridegroom's voice. This, my joy, is fulfilled."

Saint John was cast into the fortress of Herod on the east coast of the Dead Sea by the tyrant whose crimes he had rebuked; he would remain there until beheaded at the will of a girl and her cruel mother. During this time of imprisonment, some of his disciples visited him. Saint John did not speak to them of himself, but sent them to Christ, that they might witness His miracles and hear His doctrine, proofs of His mission. After Saint John's death, the Eternal Truth pronounced the panegyric of the Saint who had lived and breathed for Him alone: "Verily I say unto you, among those born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist."

Reflection. Saint John was great before God because in complete forgetfulness of himself he lived only for Jesus Christ, who is the source of all greatness. Sacrifice every day some of your natural inclinations to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, and learn little by little to lose yourself in Him.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2019
: St. Gulielmi, Ab
Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Wednesday, June 26, 2019
: Sts. John & Paul, MM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

SAINTS JOHN and PAUL
Martyrs
(362)

These two Saints were brothers and were officers of the Roman army in the days of Constantine the Great. They served in the house of Constance, daughter of Constantine, who was consecrated to God; their virtues and services to her father rendered them very dear to her. They would soon glorify God by a great moral victory; after despising the honors of the world, they triumphed by their martyrdom over its threats and torments.

With the aid of the liberality of the Christian princess, they were practicing many works of charity and mercy, until the deaths of both Constantine and Constance. Then, at the accession of Julian the Apostate to the imperial throne, they resigned their position in the palace. Julian had returned to the cult of idols and was attempting to re-establish it in the empire. The Christian brothers saw many wicked men prosper in their impiety, but were not dazzled by their example. They considered that worldly prosperity accompanied by impunity in sin is the most dreadful of all judgments, indicating reprobation. And history reveals how false and short-lived was the glittering prosperity of Julian.

While still in power the apostate attempted to win back these influential officers into active service. When he was refused, he gave them ten days to reconsider. The officer Terentianus, who at the end of that time brought to their house a little idol of Jupiter for their adoration, found them in prayer. In the middle of that night they were decapitated secretly in their own garden, since the emperor feared their execution might cause a sedition in Rome. He instigated a rumor that they had been exiled, but the demons took hold of possessed persons in Rome, and published the fact of their martyrdom everywhere.

The son of the officer who had slain them also became possessed, and it was only after their father, Terentianus, had prayed at the tomb of the martyrs that the child was liberated. This so impressed him that he became a Christian, with all his family, and wrote the history we have reported.

The martyrs, by their renouncement of favors and their heroic resistance, purchased an immense weight of never-fading glory, and were a spectacle worthy of God. Their house became a magnificent Christian basilica already at the end of the fourth century.

Reflection. The Saints always consider that they have done nothing for Christ as long as they have not resisted unto blood and completed their sacrifice, even to pouring forth its last drop if God asks it. We must always bear in mind that we owe to God all that we are, and that after all our efforts, we remain unprofitable servants, doing only what we are bound to do.


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Thursday, June 27, 2019
: Feria
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Friday, June 28, 2019
: St. Irenaeus, EM
Friday, June 28, 2019

SAINT IRENAEUS
Doctor of the Church, Bishop and Martyr
(120-202)

Saint Irenaeus was born in the year 120; he was of the Greek tongue, and probably a native of Asia Minor. His parents, who were Christians, placed him while still young under the care of the great Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. It was in this holy school that he learned the sacred science which later made him a great ornament of the Church and the terror of her enemies. Saint Polycarp cultivated his rising genius and formed his mind to piety by his precepts and example, and the zealous young scholar was careful to reap all advantages offered him by the solicitude of such a master. Such was his veneration for his tutor's sanctity that he observed all the acts and virtues he saw in that holy man, the better to copy his example and learn his spirit. He listened to his instructions with an insatiable ardor, and so deeply did he engrave them in his heart that the impressions remained vivid even in his old age. In order to confound the heresies of his age, this Doctor of the Church acquainted himself with the conceits of the pagan philosophers, and thereby became qualified to trace every error to its sources and set it in its full light. By his writings he was already known to Tertullian, Theodoret and Saint Epiphanus, who speak of him as a luminous torch of truth in the darkness of those times.

After Irenaeus had spent a number of years in combat against the eastern gnostics and philosophers of error, Saint Polycarp determined to send him to Gaul, where many of the heretics of Asia Minor had already migrated to pursue the Catholic religion, which was beginning to find roots there. With a company of about forty Christians, the valiant soldier of Christ ascended the Rhone to Lyons to rejoin and aid Saint Pothinus, its bishop. Saint Pothinus was already advanced in age, and his church's neophytes could not always distinguish truth from the gnostic aberrations. Saint Pothinus received the apostles with joy and soon ordained Saint Irenaeus.

A hundred times he exposed himself to martyrdom by his zeal, acting as the right arm of the aging bishop, but God was reserving that crown for him twenty-five years later. When Saint Pothinus had glorified God by his splendid martyr's death in the year 177, Ireneus was chosen to be the second bishop of Lyons. The persecutors imagined that Christianity had been stifled in Lyons, and they ceased their pursuits for a time.

This great Doctor of the Church wrote many important works, of which the most famous is his Adversus Haereses, Against the Heresies, in explanation of the Faith. By his preaching, Saint Irenaeus in a short time converted almost the whole country to the Faith; the Christians of Lyons became models by their candor, their estrangement from all ambition, their poverty, chastity and temperance, and in this way confounded many adversaries of their religion. Saint Irenaeus continued to imitate what he had seen done by his beloved master, Saint Polycarp, himself the disciple and imitator of Saint John the Apostle. One can readily imagine the excellence of the administration and the breadth of charity reigning in the Church of Lyons.

Finally he suffered martyrdom there, with many others, in the year 202, under the Emperor Septimus Severus, after eighty years spent in the service of the Lord. The imperial decrees renewing the persecutions arrived at Lyons at the time of the celebration of Severus' tenth year of reign; the pagans found amid the celebrations an opportunity to take vengeance on the Christians, who refused to participate in the debaucheries which accompanied these feastings. Assassins armed with daggers, stones and knives filled the city with blood, and thousands of Christians won, with their bishop, the crown they had always admired as the greatest glory God could grant His servants.


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: Vigil of Sts. Peter & Paul
Friday, June 28, 2019

: Abstinence
Friday, June 28, 2019

Saturday, June 29, 2019
: Sts. Peter & Paul, App
Saturday, June 29, 2019

SAINTS PETER and PAUL
Apostles
(67)

This feast day commemorates the martyrdom of the two great Apostles, assigned by tradition to the same day of June in the year 67. They had been imprisoned in the famous Mamertine Prison of Rome and both had foreseen their approaching death. Saint Peter was crucified; Saint Paul, a Roman citizen, was slain by the sword. Tomorrow the Church commemorates the Apostle of the Gentiles; today is dedicated primarily to Saint Peter.

The Chief of the Apostles was a native of Galilee like Our Lord. As he was fishing on its large lake he was called by Our Lord to be one of His apostles. Peter was poor and unlearned, but candid, eager, and loving. In his heart, first of all, his conviction grew, and then from his lips came the spontaneous confession: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!" Our Lord chose him and prepared him to be the Rock on which He would build His Church, His Vicar on earth, the Head and Prince of His Apostles, the center and indispensable bond of the Church's unity, the unique channel of all spiritual powers, the guardian and unerring teacher of His truth.

All Scripture is alive with Saint Peter; his name appears no fewer than 160 times in the New Testament. But it is after Pentecost that he stands out in the full grandeur of his office. He sees to the replacement of the fallen disciple; he admits the Jews by thousands into the fold and in the person of Cornelius, opens it to the Gentiles; he founds and for a time rules the Church at Antioch.

Ten years after the Ascension Saint Peter transferred his apostolic capital to Rome, going in person to the center of the majestic Roman Empire, where were gathered the glories and riches of the earth, along with all the powers of evil. From there he sent Saint Mark, his valued secretary, to establish the Church of Alexandria in Egypt. In Rome Saint Peter's Chair was placed; there for twenty-five years he labored at building up the great Roman Church. He was crucified by order of Nero and buried on the Vatican Hill, where now the Basilica stands which bears his name.

Reflection. Saint Peter is the author of two profoundly doctrinal epistles. He still lives on in his successors who maintain the same holy and immutable doctrine; he still rules and feeds the flock committed to him. The reality of our devotion to him is the surest test of the purity of our faith.


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Sunday, June 30, 2019
Sunday, June 30, 2019

: Commemoration of St. Paul, Ap
Sunday, June 30, 2019

THE COMMEMORATION of
SAINT PAUL
Apostle
(67)

Saint Paul was originally Saul of Tarsus, born in that city of Cilicia of Jewish parents, two or three years after the Saviour was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He studied in Jerusalem at the feet of the famous teacher Gamaliel, who later would be converted and listed among the Saints.

While still a young man, Saul was present to oversee, as commanding officer, the stoning of the proto-martyr Stephen. In his restless zeal he pressed on to Damascus, "breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of Christ," intending to drag them from their houses and imprison them. But on the road a light from heaven struck him to the earth. He heard a voice which said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad." He asked who was speaking, and astonished on hearing His Name, inquired what Jesus wanted of him. And then, struck blind, for three days he saw nothing more. But he had been told what to do. He was led by the hand to Damascus, where he remained in the house of a Christian until, three days later, he rose for his baptism by a Christian leader of that city. Then he saw the light of day again, and the brilliance of the full truth for the first time, as another man, a new creature in Jesus Christ.

He left Damascus for a long retreat in Arabia, before he set out at the call of God, and carried the Gospel to the uttermost limits of the known western world, for years living and laboring with no thought but that of Christ crucified, no desire but to dispense himself for Him. He became the Apostle to the Gentiles, whom he had been taught to hate. But he would gladly have been anathema if he could thereby have saved his own countrymen from condemnation, though they sought his life. Perils by land and sea could not dampen his courage, nor sufferings and age dull the tenderness of his heart.

When finally he knew that his hour had come to be dissolved and to be with Christ, as he had long desired, he wrote during his second imprisonment to his spiritual son Timothy, that he had "fought the good fight, finished his course, kept the faith", and that there remained for him to receive the crown of justice which His Lord was preparing for him on the final day. With Saint Peter in his final year he consecrated Rome, the new holy city, by his martyrdom.

Saint Paul has left to the Church fourteen Epistles, which have been a fountainhead of doctrine, elucidating the most basic truths taught by Christ, and constituting the consolation and delight of her greatest Saints. His interior life, insofar as words can express it, lies open before us in these divine writings; it is the life of one who has died forever to himself, and risen again in Christ Jesus. Saint John Chrysostom, his imitator, wrote: "The heart of Paul is the Heart of Christ!" Nor will his labor cease while the race of man continues. Even now, like a chivalrous knight, he stands alive in our midst, and captivates each of his readers to the obedience of Christ.


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