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JULY 1
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA

Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma, twenty-five miles away. He joined the Franciscan order on September 14, 1730, a few months before his seventeenth birthday. During the novitiate, Junipero read a biography of Franciscan saints. The saint whose life captivated him most was St. Francis Solano, who had lived from 1549 until 1610. This missionary priest to South America had just been declared a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. The young novice decided that, if it was God's will, he too would be a missionary.

Junipero was ordained a priest in 1736. He became a professor of philosophy. After he had been in the order twenty years, he was given a wonderful opportunity. Franciscan friars were asked to volunteer for the mission territories called "New Spain" (Mexico and California). Junipero and his close friend, Friar Francisco Palou, joined the missionary band at Cadiz, Spain, a seaport city. From there they sailed the Atlantic Ocean to Vera Cruz, Mexico. They landed on December 6, 1749. Junipero and another friar walked the next part of the journey from Vera Cruz to Mexico City, a distance of 240 miles. They began on December 15, 1749, and arrived on January 1, 1750. From Mexico City, Junipero and Friar Francisco Palou were sent to work among the Pame Indians at the Franciscan Mission of the Sierra Gorda.

Several of the friars were then assigned to missions in Lower California. Junipero, Francisco and a handful of other Franciscans were asked to bring the Gospel to the native peoples in Upper California. Junipero started Mission San Diego on July 16, 1769, when he was fifty-six years old. The mission was an open invitation to his beloved people to come and meet Jesus. Gradually, they trusted the friars. Some people were baptized and began to live the Christian faith. Father Serra and the friars loved and protected their people. The golden chain of new missions grew: Mission San Carlos in Monterey on June 1, 1770; Mission San Antonio de Padua on July 14, 1771; Mission San Gabriel Archangel, September 8, 1771; Mission San Luis Obispo, September 1, 1772; Mission San Francisco de Asis, October 9, 1776; Mission San Juan Capistrano, November 1, 1776; Mission Santa Clara de Asis, January 12, 1777; Mission San Buenaventura, March 31, 1782. Eventually, six thousand native peoples were baptized. Blessed Junipero made his final tour of the missions in Upper California from the last part of 1783 until July of 1784. He died peacefully at Mission San Carlos on August 28, 1784, and is buried there. In 1988, Pope John Paul II declared Father Junipero Serra "blessed."

JULY 2
ST. OTTO

St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria. He became a priest and was assigned to the service of Emperor Henry IV. Eventually, Father Otto acquired a high state office. He became Henry's chancellor. Otto tried to influence the emperor to act justly and to be moderate in his decisions. But Henry committed crimes and tried to cause division in the Church. He even appointed his own pope. Otto felt very bad and worked to help Henry reform. Henry IV took it upon himself to appoint Otto a bishop. Otto refused to be consecrated until he could go to Rome and receive the approval of the true pope, Paschal II. The pope did consecrate him. Bishop Otto became a great help to the people of Swabia, especially under Emperor Henry V. This emperor followed the ways of his father, Henry IV. But although he was harsh and severe, he respected Otto and often listened to his advice.

When King Boleslaus III of Poland conquered part of Pomerania, he asked Otto to go there. Pomerania was a province of Prussia in the Baltic area. The people were pagans. Bishop Otto welcomed the opportunity to bring them the Good News. In 1124, the bishop led a group of priests and catechists into Pomerania. Many people were instructed and baptized. Some say the number of conversions was over twenty thousand. Bishop Otto assigned priests to minister to the new Christians. He returned to his own country. After a while, some of the people of Pomerania began to return to their old pagan ways. Bishop Otto went back to Pomerania in 1128. He helped the people become fervent Christians again. He died on June 30, 1139, and was proclaimed a saint by Pope Clement III in 1189.

JULY 3
ST. THOMAS

St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin." St. Thomas loved Jesus greatly, even though at first his belief was not very strong. Once when Jesus was going to face the danger of being killed, the other apostles tried to keep the Master back. St. Thomas said to them, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

When Jesus was captured by his enemies, Thomas lost his courage. He ran away with the other apostles. His heart was broken with sorrow at the death of his beloved Lord. Then on Easter Sunday, Jesus appeared to his apostles after he had risen from the dead. Thomas was not with them at the time. As soon as he arrived, the other apostles told him joyfully, "We have seen the Lord." They thought Thomas would be happy. Instead, he did not believe their message.

"Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails," he said, "and put my finger in the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." Eight days later, Jesus appeared to his apostles again. This time, Thomas was there, too. Christ called him and told him to touch his hands and the wound in his side. Poor St. Thomas! He fell down at the Master's feet and cried out, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." After Pentecost, Thomas was strong and firm in his belief and trust in Jesus. It is said that he went to India to preach the Gospel. He died a martyr there, after making many converts.

JULY 4
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL

St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. Elizabeth was beautiful and very lovable. She was also devout and went to Mass every day. Elizabeth was a charming wife. Her husband was fond of her at first, but soon he began to cause her great suffering. Though a good ruler, he did not have his wife's love of prayer and virtue. In fact, his sins of impurity were well-known scandals throughout his kingdom.

St. Elizabeth tried to be a loving mother to her children, Alphonso and Constance. She was also generous and loving with the people of Portugal. Even though her husband was unfaithful, she prayed that he would have a change of heart. Elizabeth refused to become bitter and resentful. She strengthened her own prayer life and followed the Franciscan spirituality. Gradually, the king was moved by her patience and good example. He began to live better. He apologized to his wife and showed her greater respect. In his last sickness the queen never left his side, except for Mass. King Denis died on January 6, 1325. He had shown deep sorrow for his sins and his death was peaceful.

Eiizabeth lived eleven more years. She performed loving acts of charity and penance. She was a wonderful model of kindness toward the poor. This gentle woman was also a peacemaker between members of her own family and between nations.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal died on July 4, 1336. She was proclaimed a saint by Pope Urban VIII in 1626.

JULY
5
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died. His mother encouraged Anthony in the special love he felt for the sufferings of poor people. Mrs. Zaccaria sent her son to the University of Padua so that he could become a doctor. He was only twenty-two when he graduated.
The young doctor was very successful. Yet he did not feel satisfied. He realized that he wanted to become a priest. Anthony began to study theology. He also continued to care for the sick, to comfort and inspire the dying. He started to use all his spare moments to read and meditate on the letters of St. Paul in the Bible. He had read the life of the great apostle Paul many times, and had given much thought to his virtues. Now Anthony was burning with a strong desire to become a saint and to bring everyone to Jesus.

After he was ordained a priest, St. Anthony Mary moved to the great city of Milan. There he would be able to help many more people. He also started an order of priests. They are the Clerks Regular of St. Paul. People call them "Barnabites" after their headquarters at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan. In imitation of the apostle Paul, St. Anthony and his priests preached everywhere. They repeated the words and sentences of Paul. They explained Paul's message with words that were easy to understand. The people loved and appreciated this. St. Anthony also had a great love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In fact, he started the practice of the Forty Hours Devotion.

St. Anthony Mary was only thirty-seven when he died on July 5, 1539. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed him a saint in 1897.

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JUNE 1
ST. JUSTIN, MARTYR (165).
He lived in Palestine. He was converted to the Catholic Faith by the reading of Holy Scripture.

JUNE 2
STS. MARCELLINUS AND PETER (304).
Marcellinus was a priest and Peter an exorcist (one of the minor orders), who both lived in Rome and labored there under the cruel Emperor Diocletian.

JUNE 3
ST. CHARLES LWANGA AND COMPANIONS (1886-1887).
These were 22 young men and boys, from 13 to 30 years old, who were mar­tyred for the Catholic Faith in Uganda in Africa after undergoing cruel torments.

JUNE 3
ST. CLOTILDE (545)
St. Clotilde was a queen, the wife of King Clovis of the Franks. Her husband brought the French people as a nation into the Catholic Church in 496, when he was baptized at Rheims by St. Remigius. Her husband died in 511, and St. Clotilde was left a widow for 34 years.

JUNE 4
ST. FRANCIS CARACCIOLO (1608).

He was born of a royal family in the King - dom of Naples. As a little boy he started reciting the rosary daily. Very early in his life he contracted leprosy, and was miraculously cured of it. Francis spent every possible moment of his life in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

JUNE 5
ST. BONIFACE (755).

Saint Boniface was born in England, in 680. His name in English was Winfrid, which in Latin is translated to Boniface, and means "he who does good.

JUNE 6
ST. NORBERT (1134).

He was born near Cologne, in Germany, and was educated at the court of the emperor. After a somewhat worldly life, he was struck down one day by lightning while riding on a horse.

JUNE 6
ST.PHILIP THE DEACON (FIRST CENTURY).

He was one of the Seven Deacons ordained by the Apostles, as we are told in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 6.

JUNE 7
ST. ROBERT OF NEWMINISTER (1159).

He was an English priest from York - shire, England, who became a Cistercian monk.

JUNE 7
ST. WILLIBALD

St. Willibald was a bishop and missionary. A native of Wessex, England, he was the brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga and was related through his mother to the great St. Boniface.

JUNE 8
ST.MEDARD AND GILDARD (558).

These two French saints were twin brothers, as we are told in the Roman Martyrology.

JUNE 9
ST. EPHREM (373).

St. Ephrem the Syrian is both a Father and a Doctor of the Church. He was born in Mesopotamia, not far from the place where Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden.

JUNE 9
ST. COLUMKILLE (597).

St. Columbkille, also known as Columba, was born in Donegal, Ireland, on the feast of St. Ambrose, on December 7. Columbkille founded many monasteries and churches not only in Ireland, but in Scotland as well.

JUNE 10
BLESSED DIANA (1236).

She was a Dominican nun, a native of Bologna, Italy. Despite opposition from her noble born family, Diana gave up the world to follow Jesus and became a nun.

JUNE 10
ST.GETULIUS.

St. Getulius was martyred with Amantius, Caerealis, and Primitivus.

JUNE 11
ST. BARNABAS (60).

St. Barnabas was the cousin of St. Mark the Evan-gelist.

JUNE 12
ST. JOHN OF ST. FACUNDO (1479).

He was born in northern Spain, in the town of St. Facundo. He was a brilliant and attractive young boy, educated in the household of a bishop, and became one of the Hermits of St. Augustine.

JUNE 12
ST. LEO III.

St. Leo III is remembered as Charlemagne's pope. The cardinal priest of Santa Susanna, Leo was unanimously elected to the papal see in 795.

JUNE 13
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA (1231).

There is no more loved and admired saint of the Catholic Church than Anthony of Padua. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal.

JUNE 14
ST. ELISEUS (NINTH CENTURY B.C).

He was an Old Testament prophet, the disciple and companion of St. Elias.

JUNE 15
ST. VITUS (303).

Vitus, whose name can also be Guy, was a child saint, entrusted by his pagan parents to the care of a Catholic nurse, Crescentia, and her husband, Modestus.

JUNE 15
ST. GERMAINE COUSIN (1601).

She was the daughter of a poor farmer who lived near Toulouse in France.

JUNE 16
ST. JOHN FRANCIS REGIS (1640).

He was one of the greatest priests of the Society of Jesus.

JUNE 17
ST. BOTOLPH (680).

Botolph was a Benedictine, and an Englishman, with over 70 churches dedicated to him in England. An English town, origi­nally called Saint Botolphstown.

JUNE 18
STS. MARK AND MARCELLIAN (THIRD CENTURY).

They were twin brothers and deacons of the Church at Rome who were martyred under Diocletian.

JUNE 19
ST. ROMUALD (1027).

He was a Benedictine monk, and later an abbot. He was the founder of the Camaldolese Order of the Benedictines in 1024. This saint's life was written by another holy man, Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church.

JUNE 20
ST. SILVERIUS (538).

This 60th Pope of the Catholic Church suffered great persecution for defending the dogmatic truths of the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.

JUNE 21
ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA (1591).

He was born on March 9, 1568, and is the model of the virtue of holy purity for all young Catholic boys.

JUNE 22
ST. PAULINUS OF NOLA (431).

Paulinus was born at Bordeaux, France, of one of its noblest and wealthiest families. He was appointed by the Roman Emperor, Prefect of all France.

JUNE 22
ST. THOMAS MORE (1535).

He was the wonderful English martyr, Chancellor of the Realm, who was beheaded on Tower Hill, just outside London.

JUNE 23
ST.AUDREY (ETHELDREDA) (679).

St. Audrey was an East Anglian princess, and later a queen. Driven to do so by her parents, she first married a prince named Tonbert, who died three years after their marriage.

JUNE 24
THE NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST (1 B.C).

John the Baptist was the miraculous son of Sts. Zachary and Elizabeth, given to them when Elizabeth was well beyond the years of childbearing.

JUNE 25
ST. WILLIAM THE ABBOT (1142).

St. William the Abbot (1142). Of the many saints and holy people named William, none is better remembered than St. William of Monte Vergine, in Italy.

JUNE 26
ST. JOHN AND PAUL (362).

Sts. John and Paul (362). These two notable Roman soldiers were martyred under the rule of the cruel Julian the Apostate. They were executed for refusing to support Julian's defection from the dog­matic truths of the Catholic Church.

JUNE 27
ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA (444).

A Doctor of the Church, St. Cyril was "the soul of the Council of Ephesus" in 431.

JUNE 28
ST. LRENAEUS (202).

This great saint was born to Christian parents in Asia Minor, and died when he was 72, the same age as Our Lady at her death. Irenaeus is one of the Fathers of the Church and is sometimes called "the father of Catholic theology.

JUNE 29
ST. PETER AND PAUL(67).

Peter the Apostle, the first Pope of the Catholic Church, was the son of a fisherman in Galilee, named Jona.

JUNE 30
ST.THE FIRST MARTYRS OF ROME(64).

On this day the Church lovingly remembers the first fruits of the martyrs of the Church at Rome.

 
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REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
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