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JULY 13
ST. HENRY II

St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him. Wolfgang pointed to the words, "after six" written on the wall. What could that mean? Perhaps Henry was to die in six days? With that thought, he prayed with great fervor for six days. At the end of the six days, however, he was in perfect health. Perhaps it meant six months? The duke devoted himself to doing good more than ever. At the end of six months, he was healthier than before. So he decided he had six years to get ready for death. But instead of dying after that time had passed, he was elected emperor of Germany. Then he understood what the vision had meant.

Henry worked hard to keep his people happy and at peace. To defend justice he had to fight many wars. He was honest in battle and insisted that his armies be honorable too. Henry married a very gentle and loving woman named Cunegundes (or Kunigunda) around 998. She, too, has been proclaimed a saint. Henry and Cunegundes went to Rome in 1014. They were crowned emperor and empress of the Holy Roman Empire. It was a great honor because Pope Benedict VIII himself crowned them.

Emperor Henry was one of the best rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. He promoted Church reform. He encouraged the growth of new monasteries and built beautiful churches. He showed his own love for Jesus and the Church with sincerity and love. He was a man of prayer and was greatly attracted to religious life. But he accepted his role as husband and ruler and fulfilled his responsibilities generously. Henry was just fifty-two when he died in 1024. He was proclaimed a saint by Blessed Eugene III in 1146. Pope St. Pius X named Emperor Henry the patron of Benedictine Oblates.

JULY 14
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief. Kateri's parents died of smallpox when the girl was fourteen. A Mohawk uncle raised her. This is how Kateri met the missionaries. On one occasion, her uncle had three Jesuit missionaries as his guests. Kateri began to receive instructions in the faith. She was baptized on Easter Sunday, 1676. That is when she took the name Kateri.

The village in which she lived was not Christian. In fact, in her lodge there was not one other Christian. The Indians did not appreciate her choice to remain unmarried. They insulted her and some resented that she did not work on Sunday. But Kateri held her ground. She prayed her Rosary every day, even when others made fun of her. She practiced patience and suffered quietly. Kateri's life grew harder. Some people were so harsh that their treatment was a persecution. She fled to a Christian village near Montreal. There on Christmas Day, 1677, she received her First Communion. It was a wonderful day. Father Pierre Cholonec, a Jesuit, guided her spiritual life for the next three years. She and an older Iroquois woman named Anastasia lived as joyful, generous Christians. Kateri made a private vow of virginity on March 25, 1679. She was just twenty-four when she died on April 17, 1680. Exactly three hundred years later, on June 22, 1980, Kateri Tekakwitha was declared "blessed" by Pope John Paul II.

JULY 15
ST. BONAVENTURE

St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John. Bonaventure joined the Franciscan order, which was still new. As a young Franciscan, Bonaventure left his own country to study at the University of Paris in France. He became a wonderful writer about the things of God. He loved God so much that people began to call him the "Seraphic Doctor." Seraphic means angelic.

One of Bonaventure's famous friends was St. Thomas Aquinas.Thomas asked Bonaventure where he got all the beautiful things he wrote. St. Bonaventure took his friend and led him to his desk. He pointed to the large crucifix which always stood on his desk. "It is he who tells me everything. He is my only Teacher." Another time when Bonaventure was writing the life of St. Francis of Assisi, he was so full of fervor that St. Thomas exclaimed: "Let us leave a saint to write about a saint." St. Bonaventure always kept himself humble even though his books made him famous.

In 1265, Pope Clement IV wanted him to become an archbishop. Bonaventure begged the pope to accept his refusal. The pope respected his decision. However, Bonaventure did agree to be master general of his order. This difficult task was his for seventeen years. In 1273, Blessed Pope Gregory X made Bonaventure a cardinal. The two papal messengers found Bonaventure at the large wash tubs. He was taking his turn scrubbing the pots and pans. The papal messengers waited patiently until Bonaventure finished the last pot. He rinsed and dried his hands. Then they solemnly presented him the large red hat which symbolized his new honor.

Cardinal Bonaventure was a great help to this pope who had called the Council of Lyons in 1274. Thomas Aquinas died on his way to the Council, but Bonaventure made it. He was very influential at the assembly. Yet he, too, died rather suddenly on July 14, 1274, at the age of fifty-three. The pope was at his bedside when he died. Bonaventure was proclaimed a saint in 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV. In 1588, Pope Sixtus V declared him a Doctor of the Church.

JULY 16
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex" to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226. The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title "Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo". By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus. On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the "Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary". The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular (see CARMELITES).

JULY 17
ST. LEO IV

St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica. He was ordained a priest and performed his ministry at St. John Lateran's, a large, famous basilica. Leo was well-known and loved by two popes, Gregory IV who died in 844, and Sergius II who died in 847. The death of Pope Sergius II was to have an immediate effect on Leo. Rumors of a barbarian invasion of Saracens had Romans terrified. They did not want to be left without a pope. Neither did the cardinals. They quickly elected the successor to Sergius II. He is known to history as Leo IV.

As pope, Leo had the city walls repaired. The walls had been damaged the previous year by a Saracen attack. He beautified churches and brought many relics to Rome. He started a renewal program for the clergy. In fact, in 853 he called a synod for all Roman priests. He passed forty-two rules which helped priests live more fervent, prayerful and joy-filled lives.

A few bishops caused Leo great suffering because of their lives. They confronted the pope openly and would not change their ways. No matter how much Pope Leo was insulted, he remained just, patient and humble. He never let his troubles get the best of him. Leo kept giving his time and energy for Jesus and his Church. He loved the beautiful prayers of the liturgy and encouraged liturgical chant and music.
People loved St. Leo. Even during his lifetime, he was considered a miracle worker. It is said that he was responsible for stopping the terrible fire in the English quarter of Rome. Pope Leo IV continued serving the Church with cheerfulness right up to the end of his life. He died on July 17, 855.

JULY 18
ST. FREDERICK

St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts. Around 825, he was chosen to succeed Ricfried as bishop of Utrecht. Bishop Frederick became acquainted with the people of his diocese. He really cared about them. He gave high priority to missionary work too. In fact, he sent St. Odulf and other brave priests to areas where the people were still pagan. He wanted them to hear the Good News.

Because of his position as bishop, Frederick made a few enemies. The emperor's sons were very outspoken about their stepmother's immoral living. They asked Bishop Frederick to speak to Empress Judith. The bishop approached her gently but honestly. The empress did not take the advice well. She grew angry and was insulted.
Another challenge was the people who lived in the northern part of Frederick's diocese called Walcheren. St. Frederick sent priests to bring the people there the love of Jesus. Frederick knew the area was dangerous and unfriendly. He kept close to the priests whom he sent. He encouraged them and tried to help the people receive Christianity. But they were not ready to listen in any way. They resented the bishop's concern for them.

St. Frederick continued his care of the diocese with love and diligence. Then on July 18, 838, a tragedy happened. The bishop had just celebrated Mass. He was quietly making his thanksgiving when two men lunged at him with knives. A sentence from Psalm 116 came to mind. Slowly, the dying bishop prayed: "I walk before the Lord in the land of the living." A few minutes later he died. Some say Empress Judith sent the hired killers because of her hatred for the bishop. Others think the guilty party was the people from Walcheren. The murderers were never caught and convicted. But Bishop Frederick is honored as a martyr and a saint.

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JULY 1
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma 

JULY 2
ST. OTTO.
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria. 

JULY 3
ST. THOMAS
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."

JULY 4
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.

JULY 5
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.

JULY 6
ST. MARIA GORETTI

St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.

JULY 7
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY

These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.

JULY 8
BLESSED EUGENE III

Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.

JULY 10
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.

St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.

JULY 11
ST. BENEDICT

St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.

JULY 12
ST. JOHN GAULBERT

St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.

JULY 13
ST. HENRY II.

St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.

JULY 14
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.

JULY 15
ST. BONAVENTURE.

St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.

JULY 16
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.

JULY 17
ST. LEO IV.

St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.

JULY 18
ST. FREDERICK.

St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.

JULY 19
ST. MACRINA.

St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.

JULY 20
SAINT CHARBEL.

St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.

JULY 21
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.

St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.

JULY 22
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.

St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.

JULY 23
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.

St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.

JULY 24
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB

St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.

JULY 25
ST. JAMES THE GREATER

St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.

JULY 26
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

JULY 27
ST. PANTALEON

St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.

JULY 29
ST. MARTHA

St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.

JULY 30
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS

St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.

JULY 31
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA

St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.

 
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“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?

 
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