Ordinary Time: July 4th
Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Optional Memorial of Independence Day (USA)
The United States celebrates Independence Day, the national celebration of our Nation's independence, the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Church in the United States of America incorporates this observance into the liturgy with a special Mass asking for peace, justice and truth. As we celebrate let us remember to pray that God will strengthen and bless America and make our nation a haven of liberty and justice for all—born and unborn.
The Universal Calendar celebrates the Optional Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) today, but the United States transfers the Optional Memorial to July 5.
On April 19, 1775, American minutemen faced English soldiers on the village green in Lexington, Massachusetts. Someone—no one to this day knows who—fired a shot, and a battle followed which marked the beginning of the American Revolution.
After the Battle of Lexington, the desire of Americans for complete independence from England grew stronger. Less than a month after that battle, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. On July 4, 1776, the Congress issued a Declaration of Independence, announcing "that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states."
For a time it seemed to some that the fight for independence was a hopeless struggle, but an important American victory at Saratoga marked a turning point in the war. After that victory the Americans gained a strong ally, France. With the help of France, the Americans went on to win a final victory over the English at Yorktown. The English Parliament then decided to make peace and accept American independence.
With independence won, the thirteen states set out to form a new nation. There were strong differences among the states, but Americans came to understand the need for unity, and devised a new plan for government—the Constitution.
The new government, under the Constitution, was faced with many problems, both at home and abroad. However it found ways to solve these problems, and the United States began to grow rapidly.
—Excerpted from American History, published by Laidlaw Brothers.
Highlights and Things to Do:
- Read the Declaration of Independence and see what grievances our Founding Fathers had with England. This same site offers links to learn more about the founding of our nation.
- Besides our highlighted recipes, see also Catholic Cuisine for some clever patriotic food ideas.
- Read Catholic Culture Library's Related Articles:
- On Being Catholic American
- First Centenary of First American Bishops
- How Birth Control Changed America — For The Worse
- The Philosophy of American Patriotism In the Present Crisis
- The Jefferson Bible
- The Relevance of Thomas Jefferson
- Thomas Jefferson and Freedom of Religion
- What Is Patriotism?
- Sapientiae Christianae—On Christians as Citizens