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WEEKDAY READINGS

Monday of the twelfth week in Ordinary Time - 20/06/2011

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-9
A reading from the book of Genesis
Abraham went out as God had told him.
The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your family and your father’s house, for the land I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name so famous that it will be used as a blessing.
‘I will bless those who bless you:
I will curse those who slight you.
All the tribes of the earth
shall bless themselves by you.’
So Abram went as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.
Abram passed through the land as far as Shechem’s holy place, the Oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘It is to your descendants that I will give this land.’ So Abram built there an altar for the Lord who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the mountainous district east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. Then Abram made his way stage by stage to the Negeb.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 32:12-13. 18-20. 22
R. Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his own.
From the heavens the Lord looks forth,
he sees all the children of men.
R.
The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.
R.
Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
The Lord is our help and our shield.
May your love be upon us, O Lord,
as we place all our hope in you.
R.

Gospel Acclamation: Hebrews 4:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
The word of God is living and active;
it probes the thoughts and motives of our heart.
Alleluia!

Gospel : Matthew 7:1-5
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Take the beam out of your own eye first.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements that you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. Why do you observe the splinter in your bother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye”, when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

St Aloysius Gonzaga - 21/06/2011 - Year A

First Reading: Genesis 13:2. 5-18
A reading from the book of Genesis
Let there be no dispute between me and you, for we are brothers.
Abram was a very rich man, with livestock, silver and gold. Lot, who was travelling with Abram, had flocks and cattle of his own, and tents too. The land was not sufficient to accommodate them both at once, for they had too many possessions to be able to live together. Dispute broke out between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and those of Lot’s. (The Canaanites and the Perizzites were then living in the land.) Accordingly Abram said to Lot, ‘Let there be no dispute between me and you, nor between my herdsmen and yours, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land open before you? Part company with me: if you take the left, I will go right; if you take the right, I will go left.’
Looking round, Lot saw all the Jordan plain, irrigated everywhere - this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah - like the garden of the Lord or the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar. So Lot chose all the Jordan plain for himself and moved off eastwards. Thus they parted company: Abram settled in the land of Canaan; Lot settled among the towns of the plain, pitching his tents on the outskirts of Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were vicious men, great sinners against the Lord.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted company with him, ‘Look all round from where you are towards the north and the south, towards the east and the west. All the land within sight I will give to you and your descendants for ever. I will make your descendants like the dust on the ground: when men succeed in counting the specks of dust on the ground, then they will be able to count your descendants! Come, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for I mean to give it to you.’
So Abram went with his tents to settle at the Oak of Mamre, at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 14:2-5
R. The just will live in the presence of the Lord.
Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain?
He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart;
he who does not slander with his tongue.
R.
He who does no wrong to his brother,
who casts no slur on his neighbour,
who holds the godless in disdain,
but honours those who fear the Lord.
R.
He who keeps his pledge, come what may;
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm for ever.
R.

Gospel Acclamation: John 8:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Alleluia!

Gospel : Matthew 7:6. 12-14
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Always treat others as you would like them to treat you.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.
‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday of the twelfth week in Ordinary Time - 22/06/2011

First Reading: Genesis 15:1-12. 17-18
A reading from the book of Genesis
Abraham put his faith in the Lord God, who counted this as making him justified, and the Lord made a covenant with him.
It happened that the word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’
‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless ...’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir.’ And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood.’ Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.
‘I am the Lord’ he said to him ‘who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldaeans to make you heir to this land.’ ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘how am I to know that I shall inherit it?’ He said to him, ‘Get me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.’ He brought him all these, cut them in half and put half on one side and half facing it on the other; but the birds he did not cut in half. Birds of prey came down on the carcasses but Abram drove them off.
Now as the sun was setting Abram fell into a deep sleep, and terror seized him. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, there appeared a smoking furnace and a firebrand that went between the halves. That day the Lord made a Covenant with Abram in these terms:
‘To your descendants I give this land,
from the wadi of Egypt to the Great River,
the river Euphrates.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 104:1-4. 6-9
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or
R. Alleluia!
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
tell all his wonderful works!
R.
Be proud of his holy name,
let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.
R.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God:
his judgements prevail in all the earth.
R.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
R.

Gospel Acclamation: John 15:4. 5
Alleluia, alleluia!
Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord;
my branches bear much fruit.
Alleluia!

Gospel : Matthew 7:15-20
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
By their fruits you will know them.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday of the twelfth week in Ordinary Time - 23/06/2011

First Reading: Genesis 16:1-12. 15-16
A reading from the book of Genesis
Hagar bore Abraham a son and he called him Ishmael.
Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no child, but she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, ‘Listen, now! Since the Lord has kept me from having children, go to my slave-girl. Perhaps I shall get children through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai had said.
Thus after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan for ten years Sarai took Hagar her Egyptian slave-girl and gave her to Abram as his wife. He went to Hagar and she conceived. And once she knew she had conceived, her mistress counted for nothing in her eyes. Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘May this insult to me come home to you! It was I who put my slave-girl into your arms but now she knows that she has conceived, I count for nothing in her eyes. Let the Lord judge between me and you.’ ‘Very well,’ Abram said to Sarai, ‘your slave-girl is at your disposal. Treat her as you think fit.’ Sarai accordingly treated her so badly that she ran away from her.
The angel of the Lord met Hagar near a spring in the wilderness, the spring that is on the road to Shur. He said, ‘Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ ‘I am running away from my mistress Sarai’ she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’ The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘I will make your descendants too numerous to be counted.’ Then the angel of the Lord said to her:
‘Now you have conceived, and you will bear a son,
and you shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard your cries of distress.
A wild-ass of a man he will be,
against every man, and every man against him,
setting himself to defy all his brothers.’
Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave to the son that Hagar bore the name Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

First Reading: Genesis 16:6-12. 15-16
A reading from the book of Genesis
Hagar bore Abraham a son and he called him Ishmael.
Sarai treated Hagar so badly that she ran away from her. The angel of the Lord met her near a spring in the wilderness, the spring that is on the road to Shur. He said, ‘Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ ‘I am running away from my mistress Sarai’ she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’ The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘I will make your descendants too numerous to be counted.’ Then the angel of the Lord said to her:
‘Now you have conceived, and you will bear a son,
and you shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard your cries of distress.
A wild-ass of a man he will be,
against every man, and every man against him,
setting himself to defy all his brothers.’
Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave to the son that Hagar bore the name Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 105:1-5
R. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.
or
R. Alleluia!
O give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his great love is without end.
Who can tell the Lord’s mighty deeds?
Who can recount all his praise?
R.
They are happy who do what is right,
who at all times do what is just.
O Lord, remember me
out of the love you have for your people.
R.
Come to me, Lord, with your help
that I may see the joy of your chosen ones
and may rejoice in the gladness of your nation
and share the glory of your people.
R.

Gospel Acclamation: John 14:23
Alleluia, alleluia!
All who love me will keep my words,
and my Father will love them and will come to them.
Alleluia!

Gospel : Matthew 7:21-29
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
The house built on rock is compared to the house built on sand.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men!
‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against the house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell: and what a fall it had!’
Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, and not like their own scribes.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Birth of John the Baptist Vigil - 24/06/2011 - Year A

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
A reading from the prophet Jeremiah
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.
In the days of Josiah, the word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you came to birth I consecrated you;
I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’
I said, ‘Ah, Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am a child!’ But the Lord replied,
‘Do not say, “I am a child.”
Go now to those to whom I send you
and say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to protect you -
it is the Lord who speaks!’
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me:
‘There! I am putting my words into your mouth.
Look, today I am setting you
over nations and over kingdoms,
to tear up and to knock down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 70:1-6. 15. 17
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me.
R.
Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.
R.
It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help.
R.
My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still.
R.

Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:8-12
A reading from the first letter of St Peter
The prophets searched and inquired for this salvation.
You did not see Jesus Christ, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.
It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation: cf John 1:7; Luke 1:17
Alleluia, alleluia!
He came to bear witness to the light,
to prepare an upright people for the Lord.
AIleluia!

Gospel : Luke 1:5-17
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
A son is born to you and you will name him John.
In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron. Both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.
Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.
Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense. The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you must name him John. He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink. Even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the disobedient back to the wisdom that the virtuous have, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST - 24/06/2011 - Year A

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
A reading from the prophet Isaiah
Behold I will make you a light to the nations.
Islands, listen to me,
pay attention, remotest peoples.
The Lord called me before I was born,
from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.
He made my mouth a sharp sword,
and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a sharpened arrow,
and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, ‘You are my servant Israel,
in whom I shall be glorified’;
while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,
I have exhausted myself for nothing’;
and all the while my cause was with the Lord,
my reward with my God.
I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,
my God was my strength.
And now the Lord has spoken,
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
to gather Israel to him:
‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,
to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;
I will make you the light of the nations
so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 138:1-3. 13-15
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you.
R.
For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all your creation.
R.
Already you knew my soul,
my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
and moulded in the depths of the earth.
R.

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
Christ’s coming was announced beforehand by the preaching of John.
Paul said: ‘God made David the king of our ancestors, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”
‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation: cf Luke 1:76
Alleluia, alleluia!
You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.
Alleluia!

Gospel : Luke 1:57-66. 80
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
John is his name.
The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.
Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday of the twelfth week in Ordinary Time - 25/06/2011

First Reading: Genesis 18:1-15
A reading from the book of Genesis
Is anything too difficult for the Lord God? I will visit you again and Sarah will have a son.
The Lord appeared to Abraham at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and bowed to the ground. ‘My lord,’ he said ‘I beg you, if I find favour with you, kindly do not pass your servant by. A little water shall be brought; you shall wash your feet and lie down under the tree. Let me fetch a little bread and you shall refresh yourselves before going further. That is why you have come in your servant’s direction.’ They replied, ‘Do as you say.’
Abraham hastened to the tent to find Sarah. ‘Hurry,’ he said ‘knead three bushels of flour and make loaves.’ Then running to the cattle Abraham took a fine and tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. Then taking cream, milk and the calf he had prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree.
‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘She is in the tent’ he replied. Then his guest said, ‘I shall visit you again next year without fail, and your wife will then have a son.’ Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well on in years, and Sarah had ceased to have her monthly periods. So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, ‘Now that I am past the age of child-bearing, and my husband is an old man, is pleasure to come my way again!’ But the Lord asked Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Am I really going to have a child now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the same time next year I shall visit you again and Sarah will have a son.’ ‘I did not laugh’ Sarah said, lying because she was afraid. But he replied, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:46-50. 53-55
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
R.
He looks on his servant in her nothingness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy his name!
R.
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear him.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
R.
He protects Israel, his servant,
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
for Abraham and his sons for ever.
R.

Gospel Acclamation: Matthew 8:17
Alleluia, alleluia!
He bore our sicknesses,
and endured our suffering.
Alleluia!

Gospel : Matthew 8:5-17
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Many will come from East and West and take their places with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast.
When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and I have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.’ And the servant was cured at that moment.
And going into Peter’s house Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and she began to wait on him.
That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:
He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.




Notes on Saints


21 JUNE
memorial
ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, religious
Born in Lombardy (Italy) in 1568.  Died in Rome on this day in 1591 of the plague, contracted while caring for its victims.  Devout and ascetical from the time of his childhood in a family of Italian nobility.  Pursued a religious vocation as a Jesuit against enormous family opposition.  Remembered for his youthful ideal of perfection and his determination to achieve it.



22 JUNE
optional memorial
PAULINUS OF NOLA, bishop
Born at Bordeaux (France) about 353.  Died at Nola (Italy) on this day in 431.  The son of the Roman prefect of Gaul who, after a classical education, had a career in the imperial administration.  He and his wife were baptised after the death of their son and gave away their great wealth to the poor and the Church.  Ordained a presbyter in Barcelona (Spain) at the demand of the people, and later elected bishop of Nola (Italy).  Remembered for his charity and hospitality, for his religious poetry, and for his extensive correspondence with eminent Christians.


22 JUNE
optional memorial
JOHN FISHER, bishop, martyr, AND THOMAS MORE, martyr
John Fisher:  Born at Beverley (England) in 1469.  Died at London on this day in 1535.  Chancellor at Cambridge and bishop at Rochester, combining diligent pastoral ministry with the defence of Catholic doctrine.
Thomas More:  Born in London in 1478.  Died there for the faith on 6 July 1535.  An Oxford scholar, a noted humanist and apologist, an incorruptible judge and Lord Chancellor, a devoted husband and loving father. 
Drawn into conflict with Henry VIII, both were imprisoned and beheaded for treason.  Remembered for their wide learning, for their devotion to the Church, and for their uncompromising integrity and courage. 
An opportunity to celebrate all the English martyrs, Catholic and Protestant, of the Reformation era.  Coming from every walk of life, people rich and poor, married and single, women and men died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or suffered harsh persecution for their faith. 


24 JUNE
solemnity
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
This feast was observed on this date in the fourth century.  It celebrates the holy birth of "the greatest of all the prophets," the one who leapt for joy in his mother's womb, who prepared the way for Christ, announced his presence, and baptised him in the Jordan River.

24 JUNE
solemnity
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
This feast was observed on this date in the fourth century.  It celebrates the holy birth of "the greatest of all the prophets," the one who leapt for joy in his mother's womb, who prepared the way for Christ, announced his presence, and baptised him in the Jordan River.

27 JUNE
optional memorial
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA, bishop, doctor of the church
Born at Alexandria (Egypt) about 370.  Died there on this day in 444.  An able theologian and bishop of his native city, but somewhat confrontational in attacking non-Christians and heretics.  Presided at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and defended orthodox Christianity against Nestorius.  The council approved the title Theotokos for Mary, thereby affirming Mary's mother­hood of God.  Remembered for his ardent defence of orthodoxy, even at the cost of provoking con­demnation and schism.


28 JUNE
memorial
IRENAEUS, bishop, martyr
Born probably at Smyrna (Turkey) about 130.  Died at Lyons (France) about 200.  A pupil of Saint Polycarp (23 February) who became a presbyter and bishop of Lyons, the principal city of Gaul.  Inter­vened in Rome for patience and reconciliation in Church disputes.  Among the first theologians of the Western Church, he refuted gnosticism and further developed the theology of the incarnation.  Remembered for his fidelity to apostolic tradition and traditionally venerated as a martyr.


29 JUNE
solemnity
PETER AND PAUL, apostles
Died as martyrs at Rome under Nero, between 64-67.  This pre-eminent feast day of the city of Rome has been observed on this date since the mid-third century.  It commemorates the martyrdoms of Peter the "chief of the apostles" and Paul the "apostle to the Gentiles".  Remembered for their faith, their courage, and their leadership during the difficult days of the birth of the Church.


29 JUNE
solemnity
PETER AND PAUL, apostles
Died as martyrs at Rome under Nero, between 64-67.  This pre-eminent feast day of the city of Rome has been observed on this date since the mid-third century.  It commemorates the martyrdoms of Peter the "chief of the apostles" and Paul the "apostle to the Gentiles".  Remembered for their faith, their courage, and their leadership during the difficult days of the birth of the Church.


30 JUNE
optional memorial
THE FIRST MARTYRS OF ROME
Blamed by the emperor Nero for the great fire which devastated Rome in 64, many Christians in addition to Saint Peter and Saint Paul (29 June) were savagely killed, victims of cruel jealousy.  Remembered for their endurance and unshakable faith.








From LabOra Worship