Ordinary Time: July 1st
Optional Memorial of Blessed Junipero Serra, priest (USA)
Old Calendar: Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Mallorca, Spain. He took the name Junipero when he entered the Franciscan Order in 1730. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and theology at the University of Padua for twelve years. At age 37, he went to Mexico City where he spent the rest of his life working for the conversion of the peoples of the New World. Largely responsible for the spread of the Church on the West Coast of the United States, Junipero founded 21 missions and converted thousands of Native Americans.Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Precious Blood of our Savior, the life giving spring made ever open by the redeeming Cross! You wash away the stains of the whole world and in the Church, Paradise regained, you bring forth flowers of sanctity.
St. Junipero Serra
In 1776, when the American revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. Born on Spain's island of Mallorca, Serra entered the Franciscan Order, taking the name of Saint Francis' childlike companion, Brother Juniper. Until he was thirty-five, he spent most of his time in the classroom-first as a student of theology and then as a professor. He also became famous for his preaching. Suddenly he gave it all up and followed the yearning that had begun years before when he heard about the missionary work of Saint Francis Solanus in South America. Junipero's desire was to convert native peoples in the New World.
- Read about St. Junipero Serra and the California Missions here and here.
- Read this excellent article at Catholicism.org.
- Send someone an e-card for St. Junipero's feast.
- Purchase a copy of The Man Who Founded California: The Life of Blessed Junipero Serra from Amazon.com.
St. Oliver Plunket
Oliver Plunket was born on 1 November 1625 into an influential Anglo-Norman family at Loughcrew, near Oldcastle, Co Meath. In 1647, he went to the Irish College in Rome to study for the priesthood and was ordained a priest in 1654. The arrival of Cromwell in Ireland in 1649 initiated the massacre and persecution of Catholics. Cromwell left in 1650 but his legacy was enacted in anti-Catholic legislation. During the 1650s, Catholics were expelled from Dublin and landowners were dispossessed. Catholic priests were outlawed and those who continued to administer the sacraments were hanged or transported to the West Indies. To avoid persecution, Plunket petitioned to remain in Rome, and in 1657 became a professor of theology.
This account was taken from Bishop Burnet's, History of his own Time, 1724:Dr. Oliver Plunket was. arraigned at the King's Bench, May 3, 1681, for "high treason, in endeavoring and compassing the king's" death, and to levy war in Ireland, and to alter the true religion there, and to introduce a foreign 'power.' The particulars of his trial, as well as his speech at the place of execution, may be found in the third volume of the State Trials, p. 294, Margrave's edit. Dr. Burnet gives us no very favorable idea of the equity of the proceedings against him. ' Some lewd Irish priests (says he) and others of that nation, ' hearing that England was at that time disposed to hearken to good swearers, thought themselves well qualified for the employment; so they came over to swear, that there was a great plot in Ireland, to bring over a French army, and to massacre all the English. The witnesses were brutal and profligate men, yet the earl of Shaftsbury cherished them much: they were examined by the parliament at Westminster and what they said was believed. Upon that encouragement it was reckoned, that we should have witnesses come over in whole companies. Lord Essex told me, that this Plunket was a wise and sober man, who was always in a different interest from the two Talbots; the one of these being the titular primate of Dublin, and the other came to be raised afterwards to be Duke of Tirconnell. These were meddling and factious men, whereas Plunket was for their living quietly, and in due submission to the government, without engaging into intrigues of state. Some of these priests had been censured by him for their lewdness: and they drew others to swear as they directed them. They had appeared the winter before, upon a bill offered to the grand jury: but as the foreman of the jury, who was a zealous Protestant, told me, they contradicted one another so evidently, that they would not find the bill. But now they laid their story better together and swore against Plunket, that he had got a great bank of money to be prepared, and that he had an army listed, and was in a correspondence with Franco, to bring over a fleet from thence. He had nothing to say in his own defense, but to deny all: so he was condemned; and suffered very decently, expressing himself in many particulars as became a bishop. He died denying every thing that had been sworn against him.The following account of the manner of his execution is given in a little work, entitled, Ireland's Case: briefly stated; or a summary Account of the most remarkable Transactions in that Kingdom, since the Reformation. 1675.On the first of July 1681, Mr. Sheriff demanded his prisoner, who was carried to him on a sledge to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. In his passage to the place of execution, he made many ejaculatory prayers, full of the love of God, and charity to his neighbors. When he arrived at Tyburn, and was tied up, before the cart was drawn from under him, he made with wonderful cheerfulness this following: 'discourse.' His speech ended, and his cap drawn over his eyes, he again recommended his happy soul with raptures of devotion into the hands of Jesus, his Savior, for whose sake he died, till the cart was drawn from under him. Thus then he hung betwixt heaven and earth, an open sacrifice to God for innocence and religion. As soon.as he expired, the executioner ripped up his belly and breast, and pulling out his heart and bowels, threw them into the fire, ready kindled near the gallows for that purpose: the rest of his body, having been begged of the king, was carried by his friends to a house near St. Giles's church; the trunk, whereof was placed in a coffin, his head and arms to the elbow, being reserved out of the coffin, and disposed of elsewhere; then the body was interred in the church.yard, and a copper plate placed on his breast, whereon was engraven these following words, set here down for the satisfaction of the curious: "In this tomb resteth the body of the right reverend Oliver Plunket, archbishop of Armagh, and primate of Ireland, who in hatred of religion was accused of false witnesses, and for the same condemned, and executed at Tyburn; his heart and bowels being taken out and cast into the fire: he suffered martyrdom with constancy, the 1st of July, 1681, in the reign of king, Charles II."Patron: Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland.Things to Do:
- Read St. Oliver Plunket's moving speech at his execution.
- Read this Life of St. Oliver Plunket.
- Visit the Shrine of St. Oliver Plunket and also Tyburn Convent.
The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood today.
Blessed Antonio Rosmini
Antonio Rosmini was born on 24 March 1797 to Pier Modesto and Giovanna dei Conti Formenti di Riva at Rovereto, a very "Italian" town although part of the Austrian Empire since 1509. He was baptized the following day and received his early education locally.
During this visit to Rome, Fr Rosmini published "Maxims of Christian Perfection" and "Origin of Ideas", winning the admiration of many scholars.By 1832 the Institute of Charity had spread to Northern Italy and by 1835 it reached England, where the community enjoyed substantial growth. In England the Rosminians are credited with introducing the use of the Roman collar and cassock and the practice of wearing the religious habit in public. They were known for preaching missions, the practice of the Forty Hours, May devotions, the use of the scapular, novena celebrations, public processions and the blessing of throats on the feast of St Blaise.Pope Gregory XVI approved the Constitutions of the Institute of Charity on 20 December 1838. On 25 March 1839 vows were taken by 20 Italian and 6 British priests. On 20 September 1839 Fr Rosmini was appointed provost general for life.This happy period of growth and apostolic success, however, was tempered by opposition to his intellectual and philosophical writings from 1826 until his death.Primarily his "Treatise on Moral Conscience" (1839) led to a sharp, 15-year controversy which required more than one Papal injunction to silence the "Rosminian Question". Another important, controversial work was "The Five Wounds of the Church" (1832).Fr Rosmini found himself wedged between the obligation to renew Catholic philosophy and finding his works on the Index. But his obedience to the Church was admirable: "In everything, I want to base myself on the authority of the Church, and I want the whole world to know that I adhere to this authority alone" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Note on the Force of the Doctrinal Decrees", L'Osservatore Romano English edition [ORE], 25 July 2001, p. 9).To close the issue definitively, the Pontiff submitted all Rosmini's works to examination by the Congregation of the Index. On 3 July 1854, it was decreed: "All the works of Antonio Rosmini-Serbati that have recently been examined are to be dismissed, and this examination in no way detracts from the good name of the author, nor of the religious Society founded by him, nor from his life and singular merits towards the Church" (R. Malone, "Historical Overview of the Rosmini Case", ORE, 25 July 2001, p. 10).Less than a year after this Decree Fr Antonio Rosmini died on 1 July 1855 at Stresa, Italy, at age 58.- Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana