July, 2015 - Overview for the Month
The month of July is dedicated to The Precious Blood of Jesus. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.
The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of July 2015
Universal: That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society. (See also Apostleshiop of Prayer International Website)
Feasts for July
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of July are:
Focus of the Liturgy
The Gospel readings for the four Sundays in July 2015 are taken from St. Mark — all are from Year B, Cycle 1.
Highlights of the Month
July is usually hot and a time for relaxing. It is also the time when crops planted in the Spring are maturing and growing. Just as the crops are dependent upon summer rains not only to grow but to survive so our spiritual development is dependent upon our frequenting the sacraments and receiving the Blood of Christ.
The main feasts of this month are Bl. Junipero Serra (July 1), St. Thomas the Apostle (July 3), St. Maria Goretti, (July 6), St. Augustine Zhao Rong (July 9), St. Benedict (July 11), St. Henry (July 13), Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha (USA - July 14), St. Bonaventure (July 15), Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (July 16), St. Camillus (July 18), St. Mary Magdalene (July 22), St. Bridget (July 23), St. Sharbel (July 24), St. James (July 25), St. Peter Chrysologus (July 30) and St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31).
The feasts of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (July 5), and Sts. Joachim and Anne (July 26) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.
A Time of Regeneration
The Blood that coursed through the veins of Christ was a part of that Sacred Humanity made possible by the maternity of Mary, whose parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne are honored this month. (July 26). Our Lord's blood poured out on the Cross purchased our salvation, washed clean the robes of the martyrs, and gave birth to the Church as it flowed from his wounded side. The Precious Blood of Christ now pulsing through his Mystical Body continues its salvific work, preserving and purifying, repairing and providing nourishment for regeneration and renewal of its members.
July’s longer and warmer days also provide us with the opportunity for renewal, both interior and exterior. Schedules relax and pressures ease, inviting travel. But, whether we travel or not, like the missionary, Bl. Junipero Serra (July 1), we preach to others by our conduct, our speech, even the clothes we wear. May we be modest in everything we do, imitating St. Maria Goretti, the young martyr for purity (July 6), and “preaching” Christ to everyone we meet.
The summer Readings of Ordinary Time remind us that our earthly pilgrimage is also a journey, a great adventure towards union with Christ, the Beginning and the End of our journey. Each Sunday with its Easter renewal becomes a mile marker along the way, linking where we have been with where we are going. May the Precious Blood of Jesus sustain us as we journey to our true home, with Mary and the angels as our companions on the way.
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the sharing of the Blood of Christ?
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
The Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock, holding in her hand a scapular, and directed him to found a Confraternity whose members should wear this scapular and consecrate themselves to her service. The Sabbatine privilege will then insure their early release from Purgatory on the Saturday after their death.
Recipe of the Month
Summer Apple Cake
The food associated with St. Swithin in legend and poetry is the apple, and his blessing is asked each year by the apple growers.
Activity of the Month
Family and Friends of Jesus Scrapbook Album
Recording the "memories" of Jesus' life with His friends and family is a wonderful way to gain more knowledge of Christ and enter more closely into the Paschal Mystery. Summer is a good time to start this project with your family.
The mother of Our Lady, whose loving care of her daughter is shown by the silver border with black masonry. The lily refers to the girlhood of the Virgin.
The Founder of the Society of Jesus, and writer of the "Spiritual Exercises." "IHS" and rays, with the letters "AMDG" meaning "To the greater glory of God".
The patron of builders. He is said to have built a Church with his own hands in East India. The spear refers to the instrument of his martyrdom.
St. Martha is mentioned as serving Christ with refreshment. A covered table with cloth, cups, pitcher and bowl containing fruit — all symbols of St. Martha's service.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.