Saint of the Day and Daily Meditation

AUGUST is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.

The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of AUGUST  2021

The Church: Let us pray for the Church, that she may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel. (See also Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network)

 

ORDINARY TIME: AUGUST 3

Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War (Spain)

Today is the feast of the Finding of the Body of St. Stephen, the first martyr. His body was discovered in 415 just outside Jerusalem. It was translated to Constantinople in 439 by the Empress Eudoxia, but part of the remains were taken to Rome to the Church of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls where they lie beside those of the great Roman deacon. This event is listed in the Roman Martyrology.

Also included in the Roman Martyrology is the feast of St. Lydia, a native of Thyatira, a city in Asia Minor famous for its dye-works, whence Lydia’s trade — purple seller. She was at Philippi in Macedonia when she became St. Paul’s first convert in Europe and afterward his hostess.

Today Spain celebrates the Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War who were clergy, religious, and laypersons executed during the Spanish Civil War, in a period known as the Red Terror. It is estimated that in the course of the Red Terror 6,832 members of the Catholic clergy were killed.


The Finding of the Body of St. Stephen
The second festival in honor of the holy protomartyr St. Stephen was instituted by the Church on the occasion of the discovery of his precious remains. His body lay long concealed, under the ruins of an old tomb, in a place twenty miles from Jerusalem, called Caphargamala, where stood a church which was served by a venerable priest named Lucian.

In the year 415, on Friday, the 3d of December, about nine o’clock at night, Lucian was sleeping in his bed in the baptistery, where he commonly lay in order to guard the sacred vessels of the church. Being half awake, he saw a tall, comely old man of a venerable aspect, who approached him, and, calling him thrice by his name, bid him go to Jerusalem and tell Bishop John to come and open the tombs in which his remains and those of certain other servants of Christ lay, that through their means God might open to many the gates of His clemency. This vision was repeated twice. After the second time, Lucian went to Jerusalem and laid the whole affair before Bishop John, who bade him go and search for the relics, which, the Bishop concluded, would be found under a heap of small stones which lay in a field near his church. In digging up the earth here, three coffins or chests were found. Lucian sent immediately to acquaint Bishop John with this. He was then at the Council of Diospolis, and, taking along with him Eutonius, Bishop of Sebaste, and Eleutherius, Bishop of Jericho, came to the place.

Upon the opening of St. Stephen’s coffin the earth shook, and there came out of the coffin such an agreeable odor that no one remembered to have ever smelled anything like it. There was a vast multitude of people assembled in that place, among whom were many persons afflicted with divers distempers, of whom seventy-three recovered their health upon the spot. They kissed the holy relics, and then shut them up. The Bishop consented to leave a small portion of them at Caphargamala; the rest were carried in the coffin with singing of psalms and hymns, to the Church of Sion at Jerusalem. The translation was performed on the 26th of December, on which day the Church has ever since honored the memory of St. Stephen, commemorating the discovery of his relics on the 3rd of August probably on account of the dedication of some church in his honor.

— Excerpted from Butler’s Lives of the Saints

Things to Do:


St. Lydia
Saint Lydia was born during the first century in Thyatira, a town famous for its dye works in Asia Minor, famous for its dye works, (hence, her name which means purple seller). She was a seller of purple dye and was St. Paul’s first convert at Philippi. The following is from the Acts of the Apostles:

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us (Acts 16:14-15).

She was baptized with her household. Thereafter, Paul made his home with her while in Philippi.

Lydia was a woman of hospitality, a woman of faith. As a successful businesswoman, she most likely had a home spacious enough to welcome guests and to use her home as a Christian center, where others would gather for the Holy Mass and prayer. After Paul and Silas were released from prison, they went immediately to Lydia’s house to see and encourage the believers gathered there. Lydia served the Lord through her gift of hospitality by welcoming others into her home.

— Excerpted from Catholic Fire

Things to Do:


Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War is the name given by the Catholic Church to the people who were killed by Republicans during the war, because of their faith. During this Civil War of 1936-1939, and especially in the early months of the conflict, individual clergymen were executed while entire religious communities were persecuted, leading to a death toll of 13 bishops, 4,172 diocesan priests and seminarians, 2,364 monks and friars and 283 nuns, for a total of 6,832 clerical victims, as part of what is referred to as Spain’s Red Terror, besides the numerous laity.

Pope John Paul II was the first Pope to beatify a large number of martyrs from the Spanish Civil War. Pope Benedict XVI beatified 498 more Spanish martyrs in October 2007, in the largest beatification ceremony in the history of the Catholic Church.

Among the 498 martyrs beatified in October 2007, figure Mother Manuela Arriola and companions – the 23 Martyrs Adorers. Four more Adorers are in the process of being beatified. Thus the Congregation of Sisters Adorers is honoured with 27 Martyrs, being true to the desire of our Holy Foundress, St Maria Micaela, who wanted the candidates who wished to follow the Adorers’ life-style to have the vocation to martyrdom.

The two years prior to the Nationalist Movement were, as we know, years of general calamities for the whole of Spain. Madrid was razed by hunger and misery, so much so that if one had not experienced it from close ranges, its description could appear as a fable or a fiction.

On the 28th of July, 1936, the spacious convent at no.7, Duke of Osuna street, the headquarters of the general government of Sisters Adorers was confiscated by the government to designate it as a blood hospital. The militiamen, rifle in their hands in cars aided by them drove the sisters as they considered convenient. It was a common belief that it would take only a few days until the situation would be normalized. How unaware they were of the sad reality that was approaching.

The Superior General of the Sisters Adorers very earnestly looked for ways and means to protect the sisters from the dangers to which they would be exposed. She found several flats where the sisters from the Generalate house were accommodated and those who came to Madrid and several other cities where they faced the same risk. A group of 23 sisters settled themselves in the flat rented at No.15 Constanilla de Los Angeles Street.

On November 9, 1936, by mid-afternoon, a terrible bombarding started near the house. As customary in such moments, they went down to the mezzanine floor, where the owner of the house sheltered them. A group of militiamen entered the porch screaming ‘The nuns! Where are the nuns? And by pushing and pulling they put them all into a truck.

Everything took place in a span of a few hours. They were arrested and taken to the nearest jail. At the dawn of November 10th, the 27 Sisters Adorers were shot dead, because of their unwavering Christian faith. Their life was not taken away from them, it was given up willingly, without hiding themselves or escaping when faced with danger. All of them knew that martyrdom awaited them and they welcomed it as His Handmaids!

They incarnated the words they spoke……

“Let us eagerly await death, for love of God”
“With trust placed in God we will move forward”.
“Lord, what do you want from us? Are you happy with your Handmaids?”
“Lord, we trust that you will not give us more than what we can endure.”
‘Good-bye, until we meet in heaven…”

Things to Do:

MASS READINGS

August 03, 2021 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Draw near to your servants, O Lord, and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide, you may restore what you have created and keep safe what you have restored. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2021-08-03&

Daily Meditation: Numbers 12:1-13

Please, not this! Pray, heal her! (Numbers 12:13)

Isn’t it remarkable how Moses reacted to the envy of his sister, Miriam, and his brother, Aaron? They had used his marriage to a Cushite woman against him as a pretext for their own ambitions. But instead of taking pleasure in God’s punishment of Miriam, Moses interceded to the Lord on her behalf. How was he able to do this? He was “the meekest man on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).

Meekness is often confused with weakness or submission, but that’s not really the case. St. Basil defined meekness as “patiently enduring the evils” of life. St. Alphonsus Liguori said it involved overcoming “hatred by love,” and offering a “soft answer” so as to extinguish the “fire of wrath.” When we are meek, we bear insults without responding in kind, and we have a disposition to forgive the offenses done to us.

This is what meekness looked like in Moses: he patiently endured the evil done against him and overcame his siblings’ envy with love and mercy. Surely such a response didn’t come easy for Moses. This was his very own sister and brother saying these harsh things about him—and after all they had been through together! Yet Moses chose to forgive them.

Each of us can probably think of a person who has offended us or who rubs us the wrong way. These are the folks whom the Lord invites us to respond to with meekness. This does not mean we submit passively to poor treatment. Instead, it requires strength—the strength of the Holy Spirit. It’s a strength that grows over time as we stay close to the Lord and become so secure in his love that we don’t feel the need to strike back. Perhaps that was the reason why Moses was able to respond as he did—and why he was called the meekest man on earth.

Of course, we won’t get it right every time. But if we ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to grow in meekness, we will eventually learn to respond to other people just as Jesus did: with patience, forbearance, and mercy.

“Jesus, help me to be meek, as you are.”

Psalm 51:3-7, 12-13
Matthew 14:22-36


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MIRACULOUS MEDAL

 In 1830, one of the apparitions sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church occurred in the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Rue de Bac, Paris. There were three visions given to Saint Catherine Laboure who, at the time of the first one, was a novice in the order. She was awakened at 11:30 PM on the eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, by a “shining child” who led her to the chapel where she saw Our Lady, who spoke to her for two hours about the difficult task that lay ahead. Four months later, on November 27 Catherine had the second vision wherein she saw a three-dimensional scene of the Blessed Virgin standing on a white globe with dazzling rays of light streaming from her fingers and she heard a voice say:

“These are the symbols of grace I shed upon those who ask for them.”
“There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee’ Then the voice said: ‘ Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’ “
At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter ‘M’, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ‘ The ‘M’ with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.’ ”
This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady’s intercession for those who wore it.
Sister Catherine became Saint Catherine in 1947. The church instituted recognition of the apparition in which the Miraculous Medal first appeared for November 27, 1830. Millions of the Miraculous Medal have been distributed, and many graces and miracles have been received through this devotion to Our Lady.    
*Click on this link for a free Miraculous Medal

BROWN SCAPULAR OF MT. CARMEL

“Whosoever dies clothed in this

shall never suffer eternal fire.”

Virgin Mary’s promise to Saint Simon Stock

July 16, 1251″Wear it devoutly and perserveringly,” she says to each soul, “it is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”

The scapular is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.

THE SABBATINE PRIVELEGE

The blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular fromthe fires of Hell; She will also shorten their stay in Purgatory if they should passfrom this world still owing some temporal debt of punishment.

The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular said: “I, the Mother of grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”

Pope Benedict XV proceeded to grant an indulgence of 500 days for each time the cloth Scapular is kissed”. On July 16th, the Scapular feast, while addressing the seminarians of Rome, Benedict XV said: “Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the common armor, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel, which you all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.”

Pope Benedict XV, addressing seminarians in Rome:“Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: The language, the sentences of the Gospel – the common armor, the Brown Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel which you ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege and protection after death.”The Brown Scapular | A SacramentalOne of the most remarkable effects of sacramentals is the virtue to drive away evil spirits whose mysterious and baleful operations affect sometimes the physical activity of man. To combat this occult power the Church has recourse to exorcism, and sacramentals” (The Catholic Encyclopedia., 1913, VXIII, p. 293).The Brown Scapular | A True StoryYou will understand why the Devil works against those who promote the brown scapular when you hear the true story of Venerable Francis Yepes. One day his Scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the Devil howled, “Take off that habit which snatches so many souls from us! All those clothed in it die piously and escape us!” Then and there Francis made the Devil admit that there are three things which the demons are most afraid of: the Holy Name of Jesus; theHoly Name of Mary and the Holy Scapular of Carmel.“Modern Heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular. They decry it as so much trifling nonsense.”St. Alphonsus LigouriMary, Mother of God and Our Mother“When Mary became the Mother of Jesus, true God and true Man, She also became our Mother. In His great mercy, Jesus wished to call us His brothers and sisters, and by this name He constituted us adopted children of Mary.” – St. John BoscoOver the years there have also been many miracles associated with wearing the brown scapular.

*If you would like a brown scapular click here:

Free Brown Scapular | Order Page

New Catholic Radio Station serving Chittenden County

Donna McSoley

Donna McSoley stands in St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski. She is the driving force behind a new Catholic radio station. Photo by Gail Callahan

WINOOSKI – In a state identified in a national study two years ago as one of the least religious in the country, a new Catholic radio station is being hailed by the market and people of faith.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio, which can be found at 105.5 FM, transmits 24-hour daily programming of the Eternal Word Television Network from the St. Francis Xavier Church property in Winooski. The station can be heard in the greater Burlington area and started broadcasting earlier this fall.

Donna McSoley, the driving force behind WRXJ 105.5 FM, said she is eager to begin producing some local programming after she learns more about audio editing software. McSoley said one of her ambitions is to air homilies from priests who serve the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

“I wanted to bring Catholic radio to Vermont because many people here have rejected Christianity without even knowing much about church history, the early church fathers, or never having read the Bible in its entirety,” said McSoley. “Our state is in crisis over heroin and other drugs, and many people are lost and are desperately searching for freedom from addictions and a greater meaning in life.”

In 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted the Religious Landscape study, and Vermont tied as the 48th most religious state. The study found 34 percent of the Green Mountain State’s adults said they are “highly religious.”

A state’s spiritual devotion was measured by factors including “absolute belief in God and daily prayer.”

Lance Harlow

The Rev. Lance Harlow, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Burlington, records in WRXJ radio’s Winooski station. Courtesy photo

McSoley, a parishioner at St. Francis Xavier Church, began the quest to secure a broadcast license more than five years ago when the Federal Communications Commission opened a small window to own a channel on the FM spectrum for a low-power station. It took about 18 months to secure the FCC’s approval.

McSoley accesses the station’s computers remotely from her Essex Junction home.

She said a radio station can reach people in ways other media outlets can’t. “Radio can be a great way to reach people in the privacy of their own car and where people are apt to ponder life’s great questions,” she said. “I think for that reason, radio can be a great way to explain the Catholic faith, which is largely misunderstood by the general public. … My hope is that the programs on the station can clear this up and we can foster greater unity within the Christian community here in Vermont.”

Ted Quigley, a practicing Catholic, embraces the organization. “105.5 FM is a wonderful change in my life,” he said. “I turn it on when I’m driving or when I’m home cleaning.”

The Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, bishop of Vermont’s Catholics, recorded some station identifications that play through the hour.

Coyne, who was named by Pope Francis to shepherd Vermont’s Catholics nearly two years ago, said he welcomes the station, praising McSoley’s efforts. “The Catholic community in Vermont has been very supportive of the launch of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio,” said Coyne. “Right now, this is the only Catholic radio station in Vermont. I hope to see many more begin to broadcast soon.”

Coyne’s remarks regarding the dearth of religious broadcasting in Vermont underscore what many perceive as an absence of God from the public dialogue. The FCC said it doesn’t keep track of content when license applications come in.

The program director for a Christian radio network serving Vermont said religious-oriented radio outlets are filling a much-needed niche. Bob Pierce, of The Light Radio Network, said his Christian station reaches about 15,000 listeners in Chittenden County.

In a competitive market, McSoley said she is anxious for WRXJ’s message to spread. “Although Vermont is one of the least religious states in the country, I have great faith that people will always be able to recognize truth when they hear it, so my hope is that many people will turn on the radio and start the journey toward discovering God,” she said.

https://vtdigger.org/2017/11/05/new-catholic-radio-station-serving-chittenden-county/#.WgItH9QrK6Y