Let us rejoice in the Lord, with songs let us praise him.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Other saints: St Onuphrius (d. 400)
Kenya, Southern Africa
Onuphrius lived as a hermit in the desert for seventy years. He was from Thebaid (Egypt) and at an early age he joined other monks in the desert. Soon he discovered that he was called to live as a hermit and, having left the monastery, he began a solitary life. In the desert he suffered much from privation of food and drink, and also from many temptations. He spent his life praying and working until his death at the age of ninety. It was about the year 400.
Other saints: Bl Alphonsus Mazurek and Companions
12 Jun (where celebrated)
He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor, while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterwards he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28th August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13th June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.
Other saints: Bl Hilary Januszewski (1907-1945)
12 Jun (where celebrated)
Hilary Januszweski was born in Krajenki, Poland on 11 June 1907. He was christened Pawel and raised by his parents, Martin and Marianne. At the age of 20, Pawel went to Krakow where he joined the Carmelite Order and took the religious name Hilary. Following the completion of philosophy studies in Krakow, he was sent to Rome for clerical studies at St Albert’s International College. He is remembered during this time by fellow Carmelites as a silent and prudent man who loved studying.
Hilary returned to the Krakow community, Poland in 1935, and was appointed professor of Dogmatic Theology and Church History at the institute of the Polish Carmelite Province. Four years later, in 1939 as world war threatened, he was appointed prior of the Krakow community. In September of the same year, the Gestapo, who had entered Poland, began arresting friars from the Krakow community. During one of these arrests, Father Hilary offered himself in the place of another friar, who was older and suffering sickness. He understood his act to be the duty of his role as prior of the community. After his arrest he was transferred between various concentration camps and ended up at Dachau.
At Dachau, Hilary was joined by other Carmelites who had been arrested, among them, Titus Brandsma. Letters from the time mention a ceremony held in secrecy to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 16 July 1942 by a group of imprisoned Carmelites. During the winter of 1945, a typhus epidemic struck the camp. Hilary, knowing that he would likely not survive, volunteered to care for those who were suffering the disease. After 21 days of ministering to the sick and dying, Hilary contracted typhus and died of the disease on 25 March 1945, shortly before the liberation of the concentration camp. Previous Carmelite Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, reflecting on the life of Bl Hilary, wrote: “Had it not been for his heroic death, he would probably have been forgotten, because he never stood out in extraordinary things. But with that strength that grows from a life of prayer, acting in the presence of the Lord – something very typical and genuine of Carmelite spirituality – he gave himself up for others with the same simplicity with which he lived a quiet, hardworking life.”
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Ignatius of Antioch (- 107)
He was the second bishop of Antioch after St Peter (the first being Evodius). He was arrested (some writers believe that he must have been denounced by a fellow-Christian), condemned to death, and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. In one of his letters he describes the soldiers who were escorting him as being like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”
In the course of his journey he wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life. They are important documents for the early history of the Church, and they also reveal a deeply holy man who accepts his fate and begs the Christians in Rome not to try to deprive him of the crown of martyrdom.
He was martyred in 107.
Liturgical colour: green
The theological virtue of hope is symbolized by the colour green, just as the burning fire of love is symbolized by red. Green is the colour of growing things, and hope, like them, is always new and always fresh. Liturgically, green is the colour of Ordinary Time, the orderly sequence of weeks through the year, a season in which we are being neither single-mindedly penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)
|Jeremiah 31:33 ©
This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.
|Noon reading (Sext)
|Jeremiah 32:40 ©
I will make an everlasting covenant with them. I will not cease in my efforts for their good, and I will put respect for me into their hearts, so that they turn from me no more.
|Afternoon reading (None)
|Ezekiel 34:31 ©
You, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord who speaks.