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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

ABOUT ARCHANGELS

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH

REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

Purgatory-Necessary Purification

Purgatory does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence where Christ removes the remnants of imperfection as physical integrity is necessary to enter into perfect communion with God, according to Pope John Paul II.

On the basis of definitive option for or against God, the human being finds he faces one of these alternatives: either to live with the Lord in eternal beatitude, or to remain far from His presence. For those who find themselves in a condition of being open to God, but still imperfectly, the journey towards full beatitude requires a purification, which the faith of the Church illustrates in the doctrine of "Purgatory" (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1030-1032).

In Sacred Scripture, we can grasp certain elements that help us understand the meaning of this doctrine, even if it is not formally described. They express the belief that we cannot approach God without undergoing some kind of purification.

According to Old Testament religious law, what is destined for God must be perfect. As a result, physical integrity is also specifically required for the realities which come into contact with God at the sacrificial level such as, for example, sacrificial animals (cf. Lv 22: 22) or at the institutional level, as in the case of priests or ministers of worship (cf. Lv 21: 17-23). Total dedication to the God of the Covenant, along the lines of the great teachings found in Deuteronomy (cf. 6: 5), and which must correspond to this physical integrity, is required of individuals and society as a whole (cf. 1 Kgs 8: 61). It is a matter of loving God with all one's being, with purity of heart and the witness of deeds (cf. ibid., 10: 12f.)

The need for integrity obviously becomes necessary after death, for entering into perfect and complete communion with God. Those who do not possess this integrity must undergo purification. This is suggested by a text of St Paul. The Apostle speaks of the value of each person's work which will be revealed on the day of judgment and says: "If the work which any man has built on the foundation which is Christ survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3: 14-15).

To reach a state of perfect integrity, at times a person’s intercession or mediation is needed. For instance, Moses obtains pardon for the people with a prayer in which he recalls the saving work done by God in the past, and prays for God's fidelity to the oath made to his ancestors (cf. Ex 32: 30, 11-13). Psalm 51 can be considered, according to the perspective of the Old Testament, as a synthesis of the process of reintegration: the sinner confesses and recognizes his guilt (v. 3), asking insistently to be purified or "cleansed" (vv. 2, 9, 10, 17) so as to proclaim the divine praise (v. 15).

In the New Testament Christ is presented as the intercessor who assumes the functions of high priest on the day of expiation (cf. Heb 5: 7; 7: 25). But in him the priesthood is presented in a new and definitive form. He enters the heavenly shrine once and for all, to intercede with God on our behalf (cf. Heb 9: 23-26, especially, v. 24). He is both priest and "victim of expiation" for the sins of the whole world (cf. 1 Jn 2: 2). Jesus, as the great intercessor who atones for us, will fully reveal himself at the end of our life when he will express himself with the offer of mercy, but also with the inevitable judgment for those who refuse the Father's love and forgiveness.

In following the Gospel exhortation to be perfect like the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5: 48) during our earthly life, we are called to grow in love, to be sound and flawless before God the Father "at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints" (1 Thes 3: 12f.). Moreover, we are invited to "cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit" (2 Cor 7: 1; cf. 1 Jn 3: 3), because the encounter with God requires absolute purity.

Every trace of attachment to evil must be eliminated, every imperfection of the soul corrected. Purification must be complete, and indeed this is precisely what is meant by the Church's teaching on purgatory. The term does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence. Those who, after death, exist in a state of purification, are already in the love of Christ who removes from them the remnants of imperfection (cf. Ecumenical Council of Florence, Decretum pro Graecis: DS 1304; Ecumenical Council of Trent, Decretum de iustificatione: DS 1580; Decretum de purgatorio: DS 1820).

The state of purification is not a prolungation of the earthly condition, almost as if after death one were given another possibility to change one's destiny. The Church's teaching in this regard is unequivocal and was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council which teaches: "Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed (cf. Heb 9: 27), we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnashtheir teeth' (Mt 22: 13 and 25: 30)" (Lumen gentium, n. 48).

Just as in their earthly life believers are united in the one Mystical Body, so after death those who live in a state of purification experience the same ecclesial solidarity which works through prayer, prayers for suffrage and love for their other brothers and sisters in the faith. Purification is lived in the essential bond created between those who live in this world and those who enjoy eternal beatitude.

TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
HOLY SPIRIT

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JUNE 1
ST. JUSTIN, MARTYR (165).

He lived in Palestine. He was converted to the Catholic Faith by the reading of Holy Scripture. Read More »

JUNE 2
STS. MARCELLINUS AND PETER (304).

Marcellinus was a priest and Peter an exorcist (one of the minor orders), who both lived in Rome and labored there under the cruel Emperor..Read More »

JUNE 3
ST. CHARLES LWANGA AND COMPANIONS (1886-1887).

These were 22 young men and boys, from 13 to 30 years old, who were mar­tyred for the Catholic Faith in Uganda in Africa after undergoing cruel torments.Read More »

JUNE3
ST. CLOTILDE (545)

St. Clotilde was a queen, the wife of King Clovis of the Franks. Her husband brought the French people as a nation into the Catholic Church in 496, when he was baptized at Rheims by St. Remigius. Her husband died in 511, and St. Clotilde was left a widow for 34 years. Read More »

JUNE 4
ST. FRANCIS CARACCIOLO (1608).

He was born of a royal family in the King - dom of Naples. As a little boy he started reciting the rosary daily. Very early in his life he contracted leprosy, and was miraculously cured of it. Francis spent every possible moment of his life in the presence of the Blessed.. Read More »

JUNE 5
ST. BONIFACE (755).

Saint Boniface was born in England, in 680. His name in English was Winfrid, which in Latin is translated to Boniface, and means "he who.. Read More »

JUNE 6
ST. NORBERT (1134).

He was born near Cologne, in Germany, and was educated at the court of the emperor. After a somewhat worldly life, he was struck down one day by lightning while riding on a horse. Read More »

JUNE 6
ST.PHILIP THE DEACON (FIRST CENTURY).

He was one of the Seven Deacons ordained by the Apostles, as we are told in the Acts of the Apostles.. Read More »

JUNE 7
ST. ROBERT OF NEWMINISTER (1159).

He was an English priest from York - shire, England, who became a.. Read More »

JUNE 7
ST. WILLIBALD

St. Willibald was a bishop and missionary. A native of Wessex, England, he was the brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga and was related through his mother to the great St. Boniface.Read More »

JUNE 8
ST.MEDARD AND GILDARD (558).

These two French saints were twin brothers, as we are told in the Roman Martyrology. Read More »

JUNE 9
ST. EPHREM (373).

St. Ephrem the Syrian is both a Father and a Doctor of the Church. He was born in Mesopotamia, not far from the place where Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. Read More »

JUNE 9
ST. COLUMKILLE (597).

St. Columbkille, also known as Columba, was born in Donegal, Ireland, on the feast of St. Ambrose, on December 7. Columbkille founded many monasteries and churches not only in Ireland, but in Scotland as well.Read More »

JUNE 10
BLESSED DIANA (1236).

She was a Dominican nun, a native of Bologna, Italy. Despite opposition from her noble born family, Diana gave up the world to follow Jesus and..Read More »

JUNE 11
ST.GETULIUS.

St. Getulius was martyred with Amantius, Caerealis, and Primitivus. Read More »

JUNE 11
ST. BARNABAS (60).

St. Barnabas was the cousin of St. Mark the Evan-gelist.Read More »

JUNE 12
ST. JOHN OF ST. FACUNDO (1479).

He was born in northern Spain, in the town of St. Facundo. He was a brilliant and attractive young boy, educated in the household of a bishop, and became one of the Hermits of St. Augustine. Read More »

JUNE 12
ST. LEO III.

St. Leo III is remembered as Charlemagne's pope. The cardinal priest of Santa Susanna, Leo was unanimously elected to the papal see in 795.Read More »

JUNE 13
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA (1231).

There is no more loved and admired saint of the Catholic Church than Anthony of Padua. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal.Read More »

JUNE 14
ST. ELISEUS (NINTH CENTURY B.C).

He was an Old Testament prophet, the disciple and companion of.. Read More »

JUNE 15
ST. VITUS (303).

Vitus, whose name can also be Guy, was a child saint, entrusted by his pagan parents to the care of a Catholic nurse, Crescentia, and her husband, Modestus. Read More »

JUNE 15
ST. GERMAINE COUSIN (1601).

She was the daughter of a poor farmer who lived near Toulouse.. Read More »

JUNE 16
ST. JOHN FRANCIS REGIS (1640).

He was one of the greatest priests of the Society of Jesus. Read More »

JUNE 17
ST. BOTOLPH (680).

Botolph was a Benedictine, and an Englishman, with over 70 churches dedicated to him in England. An English town, origi­nally called.. Read More »

JUNE 18
STS. MARK AND MARCELLIAN (THIRD CENTURY).

They were twin brothers and deacons of the Church at Rome who were martyred under Diocletian.Read More »

JUNE 19
ST. ROMUALD (1027).

He was a Benedictine monk, and later an abbot. He was the founder of the Camaldolese Order of the Benedictines in 1024. This saint's life was written by another holy man, Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church.Read More »

JUNE 20
ST. SILVERIUS (538).

This 60th Pope of the Catholic Church suffered great persecution for defending the dogmatic truths of the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.Read More »

JUNE 21
ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA (1591).

He was born on March 9, 1568, and is the model of the virtue of holy purity for all young Catholic boys.Read More »

JUNE 22
ST. PAULINUS OF NOLA (431).

Paulinus was born at Bordeaux, France, of one of its noblest and wealthiest families. He was appointed by the Roman Emperor, Prefect of all France. Read More »

JUNE 22
ST. THOMAS MORE (1535).

He was the wonderful English martyr, Chancellor of the Realm, who was beheaded on Tower Hill, just outside London.Read More »

JUNE 23
ST.AUDREY (ETHELDREDA) (679).

St. Audrey was an East Anglian princess, and later a queen. Driven to do so by her parents, she first married a prince named Tonbert, who died three years after their marriage. Read More »

JUNE 24
THE NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST (1 B.C).

John the Baptist was the miraculous son of Sts. Zachary and Elizabeth, given to them when Elizabeth was well beyond the years of childbearing. Read More »

JUNE 25
ST. WILLIAM THE ABBOT (1142).

St. William the Abbot (1142). Of the many saints and holy people named William, none is better remembered than St. William of Monte Vergine.. Read More »

JUNE 26
ST. JOHN AND PAUL (362).

Sts. John and Paul (362). These two notable Roman soldiers were martyred under the rule of the cruel Julian the Apostate. They were executed for refusing to support Julian's defection from the dog­matic truths of the Catholic..Read More »

JUNE 27
ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA (444).

A Doctor of the Church, St. Cyril was "the soul of the Council of.. Read More »

JUNE 28
ST. LRENAEUS (202).

This great saint was born to Christian parents in Asia Minor, and died when he was 72, the same age as Our Lady at her death. Irenaeus is one of the Fathers of the Church and is sometimes called "the father of Catholic theology.Read More »

JUNE 29
ST. PETER AND PAUL(67).

Peter the Apostle, the first Pope of the Catholic Church, was the son of a fisherman in Galilee..Read More »

JUNE 30
ST.THE FIRST MARTYRS OF ROME(64).

On this day the Church lovingly remembers the first fruits of the martyrs of the Church at Rome.Read More »

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