Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
Other saints: St Onuphrius (d. 400)
12 Jun (where celebrated)
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 Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Romans 5:10-11 ©|
When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 Corinthians 15:20-22 ©|
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ©|
The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead. The reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.