JULY

The month of July is dedicated to The Precious Blood of Jesus. 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 JULY 2024

For pastoral care of the sick: We pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick confer to those who receive it and their loved ones the power of the Lord and become ever more a visible sign of compassion and hope for all. (See also Apostleship of Prayer)

DAILY PRAYER

Lord Jesus, like St. James, may we humbly accept the will of the Father and be of service to You. Give us the strength to follow Your holy example, not seeking positions of honor, but rather embracing the call to serve others with love and humility. May we be willing to do all for Your sake, knowing that in our sacrifices, Your grace is made apparent to our minds and heart. Amen

 

Ordinary Time: JULY 25th

Feast of St. James, Apostle

Other Commemorations: St. Christopher, Martyr (RM)

The Feast of St. James, the Apostle, known as the Greater, is celebrated today. The designation “the Greater” is in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle St. James, and it indicates he was chosen first before the other James. James the Greater was our Lord’s cousin, and was St. John’s brother. With Peter and John he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration, as later he was also of the agony in the garden. He was beheaded in Jerusalem in the year 42 or 43 A.D. on the orders of Herod Agrippa. Since the ninth century Spain has claimed the honour of possessing his relics, though it must be said that actual proof is far less in evidence than the devotion of the faithful. The pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella, Spain (known as Camino de Santiago, “the Way of St. James”) in the Middle Ages attracted immense crowds; after the pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land, it was the most famous and the most frequented pilgrimage in Christendom. The pilgrim paths to Compostella form a network over Europe; they are dotted with pilgrims’ hospices and chapels, some of which still exist. St. James is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.

Contrary to the rumors, St. Christopher was not “de-sainted” but merely removed from the General Roman Calendar due to some historical difficulties on the saint. The Roman Martyrology still commemorates St. Christopher (d. 251) today. He suffered martyrdom in Asia Minor about the year 250. The devotion of our fathers, taking its due from his name (Christopher means bearer of Christ), caused them to place colossal statues of the saint bearing the infant Christ on his shoulders at the entrance to cathedrals. Thus arose the legend of the giant who carried the child Jesus over a river… and the devotion to St. Christopher as the patron of motorists and all forms of transport. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

St. James the Greater
In Spain, he is called El Senor Santiago, the patron saint of horsemen and soldiers, and his great shrine at Santiago de Compostela in that country has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. He is one of those that Jesus called Boanerges, “son of thunder,” the brother of John the Evangelist and the son of Zebedee the fisherman from Galilee.

St. James the Greater and his brother John were apparently partners with those other two brothers, Peter and Andrew, and lived in Bethsaida, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. How and where James first met Jesus, we do not know; but there is an old legend that makes Salome, his mother, a sister of Mary, and if this were the case, he would have known Jesus from childhood.

Along with Peter and his brother John, James was part of the inner circle of Jesus, who witnessed the Transfiguration, were witnesses to certain of His miracles, like the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and accompanied Him to the Garden of Gethsemani. Like his brother, he was active in the work of evangelization after the death of Jesus, and one legend, very unlikely, even has him going to Spain after Jesus’ resurrection.

His prominence and his presence in Jerusalem must have been well known, for scarcely a dozen years after the Resurrection, he became involved in the political maneuverings of the day and was arrested and executed by King Herod Agrippa. This was followed by the arrest of Peter also, so his death must have been part of a purge of Christian leaders by Agrippa, who saw the new Christian movement as a threat to Judaism.

Jesus had foretold this kind of fate when He prophesied that James and his brother John would “drink of the same chalice” of suffering as Himself. The two brothers had asked to be seated at the right of Jesus and at His left in His kingdom, and Jesus told them that they would be with Him in a far different way than they expected.

James’s death is the only biblical record we have of the death of one of the Apostles, and he was the first of that chosen band to give his life for his Master.
—Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patronage: Against arthritis; against rheumatism; Antigua, Guatemala; apothecaries; blacksmiths; Chile; Compostela, Spain; druggists; equestrians; furriers; Galicia, Spain; Guatemala; horsemen; knights; laborers; Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Nicaragua; pharmacists; pilgrims; Pistoia, Italy; rheumatoid sufferers; riders; soldiers; Spain; Spanish conquistadors; tanners; veterinarians. See CatholicSaints.info for a full list.

Symbols and Representation: Cockle shell; dark-bearded man holding a book; dark-bearded man holding a scroll; dark-bearded man holding a sword; dark-bearded man with a floppy pilgrim’s hat, long staff, water bottle, and scallop shell; elderly, bearded man wearing a hat with a scallop shell; key; man with shells around him; mounted on horseback, trampling a Moor; pilgrim with wallet and staff; pilgrim’s hat; pilgrim’s staff; scallop shell; sword. See CatholicSaints.info for a full list.

Highlights and Things to Do:

  • Learn more about St. James:
  • It is traditional in Spain to make a yearly pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela on July 24. From Catholic Culture’s Library:
  • Catholic Cuisine has several feast food ideas.
  • The church of Santiago de Compostela has a very large censer the Botafumeiro that swings from one end to the church to the other, requiring 8 men to push it. This site has more information.
  • Read about Santiago de Compostela, the third largest shrine in all of Christendom.
  • Learn more about the pilgrimage to St. James.
  • Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia and final destination of the famous pilgimage way is certainly among Spain’s most beautiful cities. You can take a virtual tour and learn all about this area of the world here.
  • Watch this Spanish news broadcast of the faithful bringing flowers for Our Lady of the Pillar on October 12 during the celebration of the feast at the cathedral, notice the open devotion and enthusiam offered to Our Lady. Tradition says that Mary appeared to St. James before her Assumption. Read more about the apparition here.
  • Plan your own pilgrimage to a nearby shrine. Pope John Paul II said, “To go in a spirit of prayer from one place to another, from one city to another, in the area marked especially by God’s intervention, helps us not only to live our life as a journey, but also gives us a vivid sense of a God who has gone before us and leads us on, who himself set out on man’s path, a God who does not look down on us from on high, but who became our traveling companion.” Read this letter and try to incorporate its spirit into your pilgrimage.

St. Christopher
St. Christopher, one of the “Fourteen Sainted Helpers,” has been highly venerated since ancient times in both the Eastern and Western Churches. The older martyrologies say that he suffered death for Christ; in more recent centuries piety has woven garlands of legend about his name. Christopher has become a giant who wished to enter the service of the most powerful of lords. He first thought that the emperor qualified; later he selected the devil, and finally he discovered Christ to be the most powerful Sovereign over all the world. From then on he served Him with greatest fidelity.

Because Christopher was of giant stature, he practiced charity by carrying pilgrims across a certain river. Once a child asked to be taken across. He complied as usual. While carrying the child on his shoulders through the river, it became heavier and heavier, and finally he could hardly support it. Then the revelation was made: “You are carrying the Lord of the world!” It was Christ (Christopher means “Christ-carrier”).

The legend has the nature of a symbol. Bishop Vida gives the following exposition: “Because you, O Christopher, always carried Christ in your heart, the artists place Christ on your shoulders. Because you suffered much, they paint you standing deep in the waters. And because you could not accomplish this without being large of stature, they have made you a giant, bigger than great temples; therefore do you live under the open heavens during the greatest cold. And since you conquered all that is difficult, they have given you a blossoming palm as traveling staff.”
—Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patronage: Archers; automobile drivers; automobilists; bachelors; boatmen; bus drivers;, cab drivers; floods; fruit dealers; fullers; hailstorms; holy death; lorry drivers; mariners; market carriers; motorists; porters; Rab, Croatia; sailors; storms; sudden death; taxi drivers; toothache; transportation; transportation workers; travellers; truck drivers; truckers; watermen. See CatholicSaints.info for a complete list.

Symbols and Representation: Giant; torrent; tree; man with Christ on his shoulders; branch

Highlights and Things to Do:

MASS READINGS

July 25, 2024 (Readings on USCCB website)

PROPERS [show]

COLLECT PRAYER

Feast of St. James, Apostle: Almighty ever-living God, who consecrated the first fruits of your Apostles by the blood of Saint James, grant, we pray, that your Church may be strengthened by his confession of faith and constantly sustained by his protection. 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.

DAILY MEDITATION: 2 CORINTHIANS 4:7-15

We are afflicted . . . ; perplexed . . . ; persecuted, but not abandoned. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

If today is the feast of St. James, why are we reading a passage from St. Paul? Perhaps it’s because this passage captures the life of every apostle—every follower of Jesus, for that matter. Surely James had times when he could relate to feeling “afflicted,” “perplexed,” and even “persecuted” as he devoted himself to building up the Church (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9)!

Tradition tells us that some time after Pentecost, St. James traveled to the Roman province of Hispania, which is modern-day Spain, to preach the gospel. But despite his heroic, prayerful efforts, James saw very few conversions. Perplexed and frustrated, he sat down one day by the Erbo River in what is now the town of Zaragoza and poured out his heart.

James was so afflicted by doubts that he was ready to give up altogether when the Virgin Mary appeared to him. She comforted James and promised him that his efforts were not in vain. Even if he didn’t live to see it, the people of Hispania would eventually be converted. Then she told him to go back to Jerusalem.

James returned and joined the other leaders there in caring for the new converts during a time of persecution by King Herod. A few years later, he was captured by Herod’s men and beheaded (Acts 12:1-2). Because James’ heart had always been with the people of Hispania, some of his disciples took his body back there for burial in what is now the city of Compostella. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims travel the winding Camino de Santiago, which ends at the Cathedral of St. James in that city. There, in fulfillment of Mary’s promise, they thank this brave, faithful follower of Jesus for his prayers and heavenly help.

If you are facing affliction, perplexity, or even persecution, don’t give up! Remember St. James and all the apostles. No matter what they endured, Jesus never abandoned them. He won’t abandon you, either!

“Lord, give me your grace so that I can remain faithful to you, just as St. James was.”

Psalm 126:1-6
Matthew 20:20-28

25TH JULY 2024
SAINT JAMES, APOSTLE – FEAST
2 Corinthians 4:7-15; Psalm 126:1bc-2ab,2cd-3,4-5,6; Matthew 20:20-28
HE GAVE HIS LIFE AS A RANSOM FOR MANY
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
▪James, the brother of John, was among the earliest disciples of Christ. The Lord named him and his brother John, the sons of thunder, “Boanerges” (cf. Mark 3:17). One of the remarkable things about these two brothers (James and John) is that they were always around the Lord and willing to defend Him. When the Samaritans did not want Jesus to pass through their town, they asked Him, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Cf. Luke 9:54). It is not surprising to see their mother being in haste to ask for positions in the kingdom of heaven.
~ The Lord did not take the request to be given positions literally. He reminded them of two things:
“Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” (22). They responded, “We can.” To drink the chalice is the first step. The nature of the chalice is to become a ransom for many. This is what the apostle Paul called emptying himself and taking the form of a servant (cf. Philippians 2:7). James did not understand the meaning of this when the request was being made on their behalf. The second point is that we should not worry about the position in the kingdom; once the chalice is drunk, the position is secured.
~ James was the first apostle to be executed (cf. Acts 12:1-2). Jesus allowed James to drink the chalice in response to his desire to be on the right or the left hand in the kingdom of heaven. Peter was arrested after James, but the Lord did not let him follow James immediately; he was saved miraculously. Being a close disciple of Christ is a call to become a ransom for many. There are many ways we can become a ransom paid for others. To become a ransom for many, we must become a treasure in God’s hands.
~ It is what God treasures that He offers. Jesus is a beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased (cf. Matthew 3:17; 17:5). He became a ransom for many! Apostle James followed the Lord and witnessed all the events around the Lord, and today, He paid a ransom with His life. It is this ransom he paid that we celebrate on this feast day. Whenever we celebrate the feast of saints, they remind us of our call to give our lives for the good of others.
▪Dear friend, we celebrate the feast of martyrs in the comfort zones of our pews, but are we truly willing to make sacrifices for others? Apostle James invites us to respond “I can” and “We can” as a Christian community. May we not celebrate the feast of the apostles without pausing to ask how they lived and died by making sacrifices for many after the pattern of life and death of the Lord. May we imitate their examples and profess our faith.
May Apostle James pray for us today
God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam

MARY’S MEALS

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For every $1 you give, 93 cents is spent directly on charitable activities. Thank you for your help and support!
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