1 July – Feast of the Most Precious Blood and July Devotion
In his book, The Precious Blood, Father Frederick William Faber, D.D., calls St. Paul the Doctor of the Precious Blood owing to his evident fondness to preach on It in his epistles (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12).
He recounts that the lives of Saints are replete with devotion to the Precious Blood making special mention of St. John Chrysostom, St. Austin, St. Gertrude and St. Catherine of Sienna whom he considered the Prophetess of the Precious Blood for putting emphasis on It as the solution to the ills of her times.
Father Faber also remarks that the Precious Blood makes us appreciate more, Christ’s redemption of mankind, His sacrifice and Passion.
It also makes us comprehend the beautiful doctrine and the august realities of the Blessed Sacrament as we kneel in front of the Tabernacle in humble adoration.
Over time the Church gave Her blessing to the devotion by approving societies like the Missionaries of the Precious Blood; enriching confraternities like that of St. Nicholas in Carcere, in Rome and that of the London Oratory; attaching indulgences to prayers and scapulars in honour of the Precious Blood; and instituting commemorative feasts of the Precious Blood, Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent and, since Pius IX, the first Sunday of July.
St Pope Pius X assigned the date of 1 July to this feast.
Salvete Christi vulnera Hail, holy Wounds of Jesus, hail
Hail, holy Wounds of Jesus, hail, Sweet pledges of the saving Rood, Whence flow the streams that never fail, The purple streams of His dear Blood.
Brighter than brightest stars ye show, Than sweetest rose your scent more rare, No Indian gem may match Your glow, No honeys taste with Yours compare.
Portals ye are to that dear home Wherein our wearied souls may hide, Whereto no angry foe can come, The Heart of Jesus crucified.
What countless stripes our Jesus bore, All naked left in Pilates hall! From His torn flesh flow red a shower Did round His sacred person fall!
His beauteous brow, oh, shame and grief, By the sharp thorny crown is riven; Through hands and feet, without relief, The cruel nails are rudely driven.
But when for our poor sakes He died, A willing Priest by love subdued, The soldiers lance transfixed His side, Forth flowed the Water and the Blood.
In full atonement of our guilt, Careless of self, the Saviour trod Een till His Hearts best Blood was spilt The wine-press of the wrath of God.
Come, bathe you in the healing flood, All ye who mourn, by sin opprest; Your only hope is Jesus Blood, His Sacred Heart your only rest.
All praise to Him, the Eternal Son, At Gods right hand enthroned above, Whose Blood our full redemption won, Whose Spirit seals the gift of love.
Thought for the Day – 1 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Passion of Our Lord
“The Crucifix is a simple meditation manual, open and intelligible to all, even to the most illiterate. Anyone who turns to it, can study the sorrowful gaze of Jesus, His heart pierced with love for men. His head crowned with thorns, His hands and feet transfixed with nails which support His divine body, streaming blood and writhing in anguish. The Crucifix should be dear and sacred to every Catholic. It should stand at the head of his bed, hang around his neck and hold a prominent position in his place of work or study.
Above all, however, the Crucifix should have its place in the heart of every fervent Catholic. At every moment of his life, in time of sadness and of joy, he should remember, that God became man and suffered and died for him. He should remember also, that this implies an obligation on his part, to work, suffer and die, for the love of God alone.
Many people meditate on the Crucifix. They kiss it and claim to love it. But while they love the Crucifix, they have no love for their particular cross, which they try, by every means in their power, to fling far away from them. Now, it is very certain, that anyone who does not love his own cross, does not really love the Crucifix, for Jesus has told us that, “if anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24).”
One Minute Reflection – 1 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 22: 1b-19 Psalms 115: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9,: Matthew 9: 1-8
“Which is easier to say: Thy sins are forgiven thee, or to say: Arise, and walk?” – Matthew 9:5
REFLECTION – “And people there brought to him a paralytic.” Saint Matthew merely says that this paralytic was carried to Jesus. Other evangelists describe how he was let down through an opening in the roof and placed before the Lord without expressing any particular request, leaving it to Him to assess the needs …
“When Jesus saw their faith,” the Gospel says, that is to say, the faith of those who had brought the man to Him. Consider how sometimes Christ pays no attention to the faith of the sick person – perhaps because, the latter is incapable of it, being unconscious or possessed with an evil spirit. However, in this case, this paralytic had great trust in Jesus, otherwise, would he have allowed them to let him down in front of Him? Christ responds to this trust with an extraordinary miracle. With the power of God, He forgives this man’s sins. Thus He showed, that He is equal to the Father, a truth He had already shown, when He said to the leper: “I will do it – be made clean” (Mt 8:3) … and when, with a word, He stilled the tempestuous sea (Mt 8:26), or when, as God, He had cast out the demons who recognised in Him their ruler and their judge (Mt 8:32). So here, He shows His adversaries, to their great astonishment, that He is equal to the Father
And once more, the Saviour shows here, how He turns away from anything spectacular or a source of vainglory. On all sides the crowd is pressing Him, yet, He is in no hurry to work a visible miracle by healing the external paralysis of this man …. He begins with an invisible miracle – by healing the man’s soul. This kind of healing is far more beneficial for him and, outwardly speaking, less glorious for Christ.” – St John Chrysostom (345-407) Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – homilies on Saint Matthew’s Gospel, no. 29, 1.
PRAYER – Lord God, be the beginning and the end of all that we are and do and say. Prompt our actions with Your grace, may Your light be our only way, may Your commands be our only need and complete all, with Your all-powerful help. May the prayers of all Your Saints and our most Blessed Mother, grant us the grace of always seeking You in all things! We make our prayer through Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Offering of the Precious Blood to Our Father
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, the Merits, Love and Sufferings of His Sacred Heart, the tears and sorrows of our Immaculate Mother, as the price of the favour I wish to obtain, if it be for Thy Glory and my salvation. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 July – Saint Oliver Plunkett (1629-1681) Martyr, Archbishop and Primate of All Ireland, Confessor, Reformer. Born on 1 November 1629 at Loughenew, County Meath, Ireland and died by being hanged, drawn, and quartered on 1 July 1681 at Tyburn, England. PatronageS – archdiocese of Armagh, Irelanda, around 100 Churches, Apostolates, Schools, Sports facilities, Streets and Estates, even an aeroplane of the national airline.
Oliver Plunkett was born in Loughcrew, County Meath in the midlands of Ireland on 1 November 1625. At that time in Irish history, Catholics were being persecuted for their faith by their overlords, England. Many were evicted from their homes and forbidden to attend Mass. In all of Ireland there was only one active Bishop. Priests were hunted down and persecuted. Many fled to Europe. In 1647 Oliver Plunkett had to go to Rome to study for the priesthood because there were no Colleges or institutions of learning in Ireland.
In 1647 Oliver went to study for the priesthood under Jesuit guidance in the Irish College in Rome. Oliver was Ordained a Priest in Rome in 1654. Due to the religious persecution in his native land, it was not possible for him to return to minister to his people. Oliver remained in Rome and taught as a Professor of Theology at the Propaganda College. Because the persecution of Catholics was at a high point in Ireland, Oliver t could not be Consecrated Archbishop in Ireland but was Consecrated in Ghent by Bishop Eugene D’Allmont on 1 December 1669. He was installed as the then the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland.
Archbishop Plunkett returned to Ireland and began a ministry of reform and renewal of clergy and laity for the next eleven years. Archbishop Plunkett soon established himself as a man of peace and, with religious fervour, set about visiting his people, establishing schools, ordaining priests and confirming thousands. During the reforms he made many enemies, not least among the clergy and it was one of the renegade priests whom he had censured who later gave evidence against him at his trial.
1673 brought a renewal of religious persecution and Bishops were banned by a British Government edict. Archbishop Plunkett went into hiding, suffering a great deal from cold and hunger. His many letters showed his determination not to abandon his people but to remain a faithful shepherd.
The persecution eased slightly for a short while and he was once again able to move more openly among his people. In 1679 he was arrested and falsely charged with treason. Oliver was charged with plotting to bring 20 000 French soldiers to Ireland and levying a tax on the poverty-stricken clergy to support 70 000 armed men.
Such an absurd charge had no chance of sticking in Ireland. The government in power could not get him convicted at his trial in Dundalk, Ireland, so they brought him to London where he was again tried. He was unable to defend himself because he was not given time to bring his own witnesses from Ireland. Oliver was tried and with the help of perjured witnesses, was sentenced to death. The Judge, Sir Francis Pemberton, said in passing judgement: “You have done as much as you could to dishonour God in this case; for the bottom of your treason was your setting up your false religion, than which there is not any thing more displeasing to God, or more pernicious to mankind in the world”.. He was found guilty of high treason “for promoting the Roman faith.” The jury returned within fifteen minutes with a guilty verdict and Archbishop Plunkett replied: “Deo Gratias” – Thanks be to God.”
Numerous pleas for mercy were made but Charles II, although himself a reputed crypto-Catholic, thought it too politically dangerous to spare Plunkett. The French Ambassador to England, Paul Barillon, conveyed a plea for mercy from his King, Louis XIV. Charles told him frankly that he knew Plunkett to be innocent but that the time was not right to take so bold a step as to pardon him. Lord Essex, apparently realising too late that his intrigues had led to the condemnation of an innocent man, made a similar plea for mercy. The King, normally the most self-controlled of men, turned on Essex in fury, saying: “his blood be on your head – you could have saved him but would not, I would save him and dare not”.
With deep serenity of soul, Oliver prepared to die, calmly rebutting the charge of treason, refusing to save himself by giving false evidence against his brother Irish Bishops. Oliver Plunkett publicly forgave all those who were responsible for his death.
Oliver was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 1 July 1681, aged 55, the last Catholic Martyr to die under the English persecutio. His body was initially buried in two tin boxes, next to five Jesuits who had died previously, in the courtyard of St Giles in the Fields Church. The remains were exhumed in 1683 and moved to the Benedictine Monastery at Lamspringe, near Hildesheim in Germany. The head was brought to Rome and from there to Armagh and eventually to Drogheda where since 29 June 1921 it has rested in Saint Peter’s Church. Most of the body was brought to Downside Abbey, England, where the major part is located today, with some parts remaining at Lamspringe. On the occasion of his Canonisation in 1975, his casket was opened and some parts of his body given to the Cathedral at Drogheda in Ireland.
In 1920 he was declared a Martyr for the Faith and was Beatified on 23 May 1920 in Rome by Pope Benedict XV and Canonised on12 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI, Oliver was the first Irish Saint for almost seven hundred years and the first of the Irish Martyrs to be Beatified. For the Canonisation, the customary second miracle was waived. He has since been followed by 17 other Irish Martyrs who were Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1992.
As a spectacle alone, a rally and Mass for St Oliver Plunkett at London’s Clapham Common was a remarkable triumph. The Common was virtually taken over, for a celebration of the 300th anniversary of Plunkett’s Martyrdom. Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich, twenty enrobed bishops and a number of Abbots mounted a stage beneath a scaffolding shelter on 1 July 1981. Ó Fiaich had flown there in a helicopter with Plunkett’s head. The occasion attracted thousands of pilgrims to the park.
In 1997 Plunkett was made a Patron Saint for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, adopted by the Prayer |Apostolate campaigning for peace in Ireland, “St Oliver Plunkett for Peace and Reconciliation.”
The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – 1 July: The feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, “because the Most Precious Blood of Christ the Redeemer is already venerated in the solemnities of the Passion, of Corpus Christi, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.” However, as this is the Month of the Most Precious Blood, this day, is most worthy of celebrating this Feast Day everyday. There is a wonderful Sermon here: https://altcensored.com/watch?v=Lfju6KSKc5Q
Dedication of the Church of Jumieges, Normandy, France (1067) 1 July:
The Benedictine Abbey of Jumieges in Normandy has an ancient and remarkable history. Founded in the year 654 by Saint Philibert, it was once one of the magnificent Benedictine Monasteries in France and the home of some 700 Monks with over twice that number of lay brothers. Sadly, it is now nothing more than a tourist attraction and the vestiges of the surviving structures, though vacant, scarred and exposed to the elements, are celebrated as a magnificent example of Romanesque art. All that remains standing today are the Church of Notre Dame with its impressive twin towers soaring to a height of 150 feet, the western façade, and sections of which, were once the cloisters and library. The rest is but a pile of rubble, though it is proudly proclaimed the largest medieval ruin in France. Victor Hugo notably Baptised there “the most beautiful ruin in France” but one is left to wonder how it once appeared when the Catholic Faith was still vibrant and alive in France. Located a little west of Rouen along a bend in the Lower Seine, it was vulnerable to the attacks of the Vikings in the ninth and tenth centuries. During one invasion it was set on fire and pillaged of its wealth. It was soon lovingly rebuilt, however, by the Duke of Normandy. The Church of Jumieges was consecrated by Maurice, the Archbishop of Rouen, in the year 1067. William the Conqueror attended the dedication of the Church of Jumieges and the subsequent celebrations. Larger and more beautiful than ever before, the Abbey once again became wealthy and influential. A centre of learning, it was famed for its Scriptorium where Monks worked diligently copying and illustrating manuscripts by hand. The errors of Martin Luther came to France, as they did to all of Christendom, followed by the usual looting of Churches. The destruction was widespread and the Abbey of Jumieges was not spared. When the French Revolution came along, the Monastery was finished, and only the imposing ruins of what had once been a thriving community was left in its wake. In 1793 the whole was sold at auction and mined as a stone quarry. The Chancel, with its marble Altar and the lantern tower were intentionally imploded and the rest was subject to the deprivations of vandals. What remained was rescued in the year 1852 by the Lepel-Cointet family. A lodge was built and the rest landscaped and made into a park before being sold to the State in the year 1946. The Church is not open but one can walk about the ruins and imagine the glory that once was.
St Arnulf of Mainz Bl Assunta Marchetti St Atilano Cruz Alvarado St Calais of Anisole St Carilephus St Castus of Sinuessa St Cewydd St Concordius of Toledo St Cuimmein of Nendrum St Domitian of Lerins Bl Elisabeth de Vans St Eparchius of Perigord St Eutychius of Umbria St Esther the Queen St Gall of Clermont Bl George Beesley St Golvinus of Leon St Gwenyth of Cornwall St Huailu Zhang Bl Jan Nepomucen Chrzan Bl Jean-Baptiste Duverneuil St Julius of Caerleon St Justino Orona Madrigal St Juthware St Leonorious of Brittany St Leontius of Autun Bl Luis Obdulio Navarro St Martin of Vienne Bl Montford Scott
St Oliver Plunkett (1629-1681) Martyr, Archbishop and Primate of All Ireland
Bl Pierre-Yrieix Labrouhe de Laborderie St Secundinus of Sinuessa St Servan of Culross St Theobald of Vicenza St Theodoric of Mont d’Or Bl Thomas Maxfield Bl Tullio Maruzzo St Veep — Martyrs of Rome – 6 saints: Six Christians who were martyred together. No details have survived except their names – Esicius, Antonius, Processus, Marina, Serenus and Victor. They were martyred in Rome, Italy, date unknown.