The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Saints and Feast Days this week.

Beginning Sunday, 18th June 2017 ~ The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Lectionary - Sundays Year A, Weekdays Year 1

 

 

 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

"For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, be broke it, and ha said, "This is my body, which is for you, do this in remembrance of me." And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord's death until he comes.""

1 Corinthians 11: 24-26.

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ or Corpus Christi is celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday although it is now transferred to the following Sunday. The feast celebrates the Real Presence of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine in the Blessed Sacrament.

The feast came about following a vision of Juliana of Liège, an Augustinian nun that she received in 1209. She saw a gleaming disc with a dark spot on it. This, she was told, represented the lack of a feast devoted to the Eucharist in the annual cycle. At her urging and that of her spiritual advisor, John of Lausanne, the feast was introduced in the diocese of Liège for the first time in 1246. In 1264, Pope Urban IV, who had been the archdeacon at Liège, extended the feast to the whole Church.

The text of the Mass and the Divine Office are said to be the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, possibly at the request of Pope Urban IV. In these he explores three aspects of the Eucharist relating it to the past, the present and the future – a commemoration of Christ’s Passion and Sacrifice, as sacrament of union with Christ, and the pledge of the glory to come. The three year cycle of readings also reflect on different aspects of the Eucharist: year A on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy, 8: 2-3, 14-16, 1 Corinthians 10: 16-17, John 6: 51-58), year B on the Sacrifice of the New Covenant (Exodus 24: 3-8, Hebrews 9: 11-15, Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26), and year C on Christ nourishing the Church in the Eucharist (Genesis 14: 18-20, 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26, Luke 9: 11-17).

The most significant difference in the Mass, apart from the sequence that comes before the Gospel Acclamation is the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament that comes at its end. Instead of the final blessing and dismissal the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the monstrance on the altar and incensed. Then, led by the processional cross, acolytes, other altar servers and clergy and immediately preceded by two thurifers, the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly processed. The procession usually concludes with Benediction.

New Advent

Wikipedia

19th June

Optional memorial of St. Romuald, Abbot.

Founder of the Order of Camaldoli and born of a noble family in c. 950, Romuald became a monk at the Cluniac monastery of S. Apollinare-in-Classe after his father Sergius had killed a man in a duel. After lengthy study of the Desert Fathers, he aimed at restoring penance and solitude to contemporary monasticism and put forward the argument that the monastic life, particularly its solitude, was the way to salvation for all. His most famous monasteries were at Avelana, which was virtually refounded by his disciple, St. Peter Damian, and at Camaldoli, which would develop into a separate congregation after his death. This, in turn, would influence St. Bruno and the Carthusian Order. Romuald’s particular contribution to the Monastic Order was to provide for the hermit life within the framework of the Rule of St. Benedict. He died alone in 1027 at Val-di-Castro. Five years after his death, and again in 1466, his body was found to be incorrupt. However, when the tomb was sacrilegiously opened in 1480, the body fell to dust.

New Advent

Wikipedia

20th June

Optional memorial of St. Alban, Martyr.

It is not known when Alban lived or when he died. Gildas and Bede attribute his martyrdom to the persecution of Diocletian in c. 305 although modern scolars have argued for the time of Decius, c. 254 or even Septimus Severus c. 209. Few details are known of his life. According to Bede he was a pagan soldier who sheltered a priest, was converted by him and was baptised. Soldiers came in pursuit of the priest, named Amphibalus. Alban and the priest changed clothes allowing the priest to escape. Alban was arrested and after refusing to offer sacrifice he was condemned to death. Before he died he converted one of his executioners. He was beheaded by another whose eyes, the legend says, fell out. He was buried nearby, where, according to Bede; " ... when the peace of the Christian times was restored, a beautiful church worthy of his martyrdom was built, where sick folk are healed and frequent miracles take place to this day."

New Advent

Wikipedia

Alban's martyrdom according to Bede

21st June

Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious. Patron of Youth.

Aloysius was born in 1568 the son of the marquis of Castiglione and was destined for a military career. However, his piety was precocious and even at an early age he showed great tenderness towards the poor and he frequently hid himself away in corners where, after a long search he would be found at prayer. His father intended him for the army, however, while recovering from illness while a page at the court of Francesco de’ Medici in Florence he devoted himself to prayer and reading the lives of the saints. Much to his father’s intense indignation who said that he would have him scourged naked, he decided to become a Jesuit in order to devote himself to the instructing and conducting souls to God, entering the novitiate in 1585. He was professed in 1587 but in 1591 while nursing the sick at a plague hospital he fell ill and died and was buried in the Church of the Annunciation belonging to the Jesuits of the Roman College. He was beatified by Pope Gregory XV in 1621 and was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726 and declared patron of youth in 1729.

New Advent

Wikipedia

22nd June ~ Feast of St. John Fisher, Bishop and St. Thomas More, Martyrs

John Fisher: Born: 1469. Died 1535. Thomas More: Born: 1478. Died: 1535. Both canonised in 1935.

John Fisher was born in Beverley, Humberside in 1469 the son of a mercer. He was educated at Cambridge University and, after being a distinguished scholar, became a Doctor of Divinity, Master of Michaelhouse (now Trinity College), Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1501 and finally in 1504, both its Chancellor and the bishop of Rochester. He wrote four volumes against Martin Luther. He became confessor to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII stating that no other prince or kingdom had such a distinguished prelate. His fall from grace came during the break with Rome. During the king’s attempt to divorce Catherine he clearly demonstrated the validity of the marriage and showed that it could not be legally dissolved by any power on earth. In Convocation in 1531 he protested against the new title of ‘Head of the Church of England’ for Henry VIII and in 1534 was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. His trial took place on the 17th of June 1535. He was executed four days later after pardoning his executioner, declaring that he was dying for the faith of Christ’s holy Catholic Church and reciting the Te Deum. His head was displayed on London Bridge for a fortnight before being thrown into the Thames.

Thomas More was born in 1478 the son of Sir John More, a barrister and judge. He was educated at Canterbury College, Oxford and in 1501. In 1504 he entered Parliament (his constituency is unknown) and, at one stage, contemplated either joining the Friars Minor or becoming a diocesan priest. He did neither choosing instead a legal career although this period did have an influence on his later life – he would daily wear a hairshirt and recite the Little Office. He was a prolific author, his most famous work being Utopia written in 1516. In the late 1520s Henry VIII consulted Thomas More about his proposed divorce from Catherine of Aragon – More excused himself for his lack of expert knowledge. In 1529 he was appointed Lord Chancellor in succession to Cardinal Wolsey. The dispute with Henry VIII over the break with Rome and the succession of Anne Boleyn led to More’s fall from favour and eventually, with John Fisher, to his imprisonment in the Tower of London. He was executed on Tower Hill on the 6th of July 1535 declaring that he was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first”. Both he and John Fisher were beatified in 1886 and canonized in 1935.

Almighty and ever living God, who in martyrdom have brought true faith to its highest expression, graciously grant that, through the intercession of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, we may confirm by the witness of our lives, the faith that we profess with our lips.

St. John Fisher.

New Advent

Wikipedia

St. Thomas More

New Advent

Wikipedia

23rd June - Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“ . . . the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. When we were still helpless, at the appointed time, Christ died for the godless. You could hardly find anyone ready to die even for someone upright; though it is just possible that, for a really good person, someone might undertake to die. So it is proof of God’s love for us, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.”

Romans 5: 5-9

Devotion to the Sacred Heart began with the revelations made to St. Gertrude (c. 1256-1302) of the Benedictine monastery of Helfta in Saxony. She received the stigmata and her own heart was pierced by a light from the heart of Christ. Devotion amongst Gertrude’s community was linked closely to the passion of Christ and in particular to the wound made by the lance in his side. The real impetus for devotion to the Sacred Heart came from St. Margaret Mary Alacocque (1648-90). In the final revelation, Christ told Mary that he desired for a feast of the Sacred Heart to be established in reparation on the Friday following the octave of Corpus Christi. In 1875, to mark the bi-centenary of the revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacocque, Pope Puis IX exhorted all Catholics to consecrate themselves the Sacred Heart. His successor, Pope Leo XIII, encouraged all Catholics to dedicate the whole world to the Sacred Heart on the 11th of June 1899. Pope Pius X required that this consecration be renewed annually and in 1925 Pope Pius XI laid down that this consecration be made on the feast of Christ the King.

Wikipedia

New Advent

24th June ~ Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had lavished on her his faithful love, they shared her joy. Now it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. “No,” she said, “He is to be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name”, and they made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, “His name is John.”
Luke 1: 57-63.

Almighty and ever living God, you raised Saint John the Baptist to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord, give your people, we pray, the grace of spiritual joys and direct the hearts of a;ll the faithful into the way of salvation and peace.

New Advent

Wikipedia