The true God is one in Trinity and a Trinity in One: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(II). Liturgical Colour: White.
Other saints: St Onuphrius (d. 400)
Kenya, Southern Africa
Onuphrius lived as a hermit in the desert for seventy years. He was from Thebaid (Egypt) and at an early age he joined other monks in the desert. Soon he discovered that he was called to live as a hermit and, having left the monastery, he began a solitary life. In the desert he suffered much from privation of food and drink, and also from many temptations. He spent his life praying and working until his death at the age of ninety. It was about the year 400.
Other saints: Bl Alphonsus Mazurek and Companions
12 Jun (where celebrated)
He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor, while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterwards he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28th August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13th June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.
Other saints: Bl Hilary Januszewski (1907-1945)
12 Jun (where celebrated)
Hilary Januszweski was born in Krajenki, Poland on 11 June 1907. He was christened Pawel and raised by his parents, Martin and Marianne. At the age of 20, Pawel went to Krakow where he joined the Carmelite Order and took the religious name Hilary. Following the completion of philosophy studies in Krakow, he was sent to Rome for clerical studies at St Albert’s International College. He is remembered during this time by fellow Carmelites as a silent and prudent man who loved studying.
Hilary returned to the Krakow community, Poland in 1935, and was appointed professor of Dogmatic Theology and Church History at the institute of the Polish Carmelite Province. Four years later, in 1939 as world war threatened, he was appointed prior of the Krakow community. In September of the same year, the Gestapo, who had entered Poland, began arresting friars from the Krakow community. During one of these arrests, Father Hilary offered himself in the place of another friar, who was older and suffering sickness. He understood his act to be the duty of his role as prior of the community. After his arrest he was transferred between various concentration camps and ended up at Dachau.
At Dachau, Hilary was joined by other Carmelites who had been arrested, among them, Titus Brandsma. Letters from the time mention a ceremony held in secrecy to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 16 July 1942 by a group of imprisoned Carmelites. During the winter of 1945, a typhus epidemic struck the camp. Hilary, knowing that he would likely not survive, volunteered to care for those who were suffering the disease. After 21 days of ministering to the sick and dying, Hilary contracted typhus and died of the disease on 25 March 1945, shortly before the liberation of the concentration camp. Previous Carmelite Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, reflecting on the life of Bl Hilary, wrote: “Had it not been for his heroic death, he would probably have been forgotten, because he never stood out in extraordinary things. But with that strength that grows from a life of prayer, acting in the presence of the Lord – something very typical and genuine of Carmelite spirituality – he gave himself up for others with the same simplicity with which he lived a quiet, hardworking life.”
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Saint Athanasius (295 - 373)
Athanasius was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.
The matters in dispute with the Arians were vital to the very nature of Christianity; and, as Cardinal Newman put it, the trouble was that at that time the laity tended to be champions of orthodoxy while their bishops (seduced by closeness to imperial power) tended not to be. The further trouble (adds Henry Chadwick) is that the whole thing became tangled up with matters of power, organization and authority, and with cultural differences between East and West. Athanasius was accused of treason and murder, embezzlement and sacrilege. In the fight against him, any weapon would do.
Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This was in many ways a “purer” and more “spiritual” approach to religion, since it did not force God to undergo the undignified experience of being made of meat. Islam is essentially Arian. But Arianism leaves an infinite gap between God and man, and ultimately destroys the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. Only by being orthodox and insisting on the identity of the natures of the Father and the Son and the Spirit can we truly understand the goodness of creation and the love of God, and live according to them. For this reason many extracts from the works of St Athanasius have been adopted as Second Readings in the Office of Readings.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ©|
Remember it is God himself who assures us all, and you, of our standing in Christ, and has anointed us, marking us with his seal and giving us the pledge, the Spirit, that we carry in our hearts.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(Galatians 4:4-6) ©|
God sent his Son to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father.’
|Afternoon reading (None)||Apocalypse 7:12 ©|
Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever! Amen.