First Saturday-Ember Day
Ezekiel, Chapter 32, Verse 10
I will fill many nations with horror; their kings will shudder at you, when I brandish my sword in their faces. They will tremble violently FEARING for their lives on the day of your fall.
The opposite of fear is love. Love should be the foundation of our lives. However, if we are not filled with love; as a result of the vacuum left in our hearts, we will most likely be filled with fear. A people filled with fear have a real danger of becoming a nation ruled by the cycle of violence and the sword. To avoid this cycle of hate we must be merciful as well as just.
Great nations are composed of great families.
“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots round your table. Thus, shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!” (Ps 128:1-6).
In a Time of Turmoil, Remember We Have an Answer
Be a patriot. Join us in prayer for our country.
From now through July 4, when we pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily during the 3 o’clock hour, may our intention be as follows:
Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, intercede for our country. We ask that you take us all under your mantle, and with your powerful intercession, help us “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Amen.
On July 4, the Marian Fathers will celebrate a Holy Mass here at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy specifically for healing and renewal of our nation.
Five consecutive Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children: “I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.” Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Conditions to Fulfill the First Saturday Devotion
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
1. Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
2. Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
3. Receive Holy Communion.
4. Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
5. Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).
Why Five Saturdays?
Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucia on May 29, 1930 and gave her the reason behind the five Saturdays devotion. It is because there are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2. Blasphemies against Our Lady’s perpetual virginity
3. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of their Immaculate Mother
5. Offenses of those who outrage Our Lady directly in her holy images
Never think that Jesus is indifferent to whether or not His mother is honored!
Saturday after Pentecost-Ember Day
EPISTLE, Romans v. 1-5.
BRETHREN: Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God. And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience trial; and trial hope, and hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us.
GOSPEL. Luke iv. 38-44.
At that time: Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon’s house. And Simon s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought Him for her. And standing over her, He commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers’ diseases, brought them to Him. But He laying His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them, He suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ. And when it was day, going out He went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought Him, and came unto Him: and they detained Him that He should not depart from them. To whom He said: To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God: for therefor am I sent. And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
Today is the end of Paschaltide (after the office of None).
Ember Saturday Meditation on the Entombment
And when evening was now come (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. But Pilate wondered that He should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if He were already dead. And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph buying fine linen and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulcher which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulcher.
Liturgy of the Cloth: How the Early Church Incorporated the Shroud and Sudarium in the Mass
A German theologian and friend of Benedict XVI, drawing on the writings of a ninth-century bishop, appears to have made a historic and fascinating discovery, revealing how the Shroud of Turin and the sudarium (the Veil of Veronica) were central to the Roman liturgy from as far back as the Carolingian times, most probably before. The two relics and their inclusion in those early liturgies also point to the Real Presence. The discovery has only now come to light, after debate over the burial cloths has intensified over the past 10 years and interest has developed regarding their authenticity. The Register spoke recently with German journalist Paul Badde, who has been following the discovery closely and is an authority on the Holy Face of Manoppello, which many believe to be the true sudarium.
The discovery was made by Klaus Berger of Heidelberg, a German theologian, an old friend of Joseph Ratzinger and New Testament scholar, who is carrying out detailed research on the Apocalypse of St. John. During his studies, he came across one of the great commentators on the Apocalypse, Amalarius (775-850), a liturgical expert from the Carolingian times. Amalarius, who used to be bishop of Metz in France and archbishop of Trier in Germany, was a great liturgist of the Carolingian age, whom Pope Sergius II made a cardinal. Even in those times, he said the cloth of the altar resembled the shroud and the sudarium, found and discovered first by the apostles Peter and John in the empty holy sepulcher the first Easter morning. But we have an enormous gap in documented records from the first Easter morning in Jerusalem and the moment when they first appeared in public. We know that the sudarium appeared in 1208 in Rome in public, when Pope Innocent III put it on public view, and the shroud appeared in 1355 for the first time in the West in Lirey in the Champagne area of France. But we can be sure that the two cloths have always been part of the “memory of the liturgy,” even though their presence arrived later. Amalarius may have witnessed seeing them there [in Constantinople], and it’s important to note that their presence in the liturgy didn’t begin in Carolingian times, but [they] were probably used from the very beginning. …
Where were the cloths kept before that time?
They were stored for many years in the East, but they were always hidden. Showing them to the public wasn’t a big deal in the Orthodox world. In the West, we make historical records, but in the East, they don’t have it that [record keeping as] much. But even in the Dark Ages, in the first millennium, there used to be a tradition in the Roman liturgy that the cloth on the altar had to be linen, and the altar had to be rock to be understood as a sepulcher.
What is the significance of altar linen — does it date back to these two priceless relics?
Yes, from this we can understand why the altar linen, analogous to the shroud, until 1969, had to be “pure linen” and why the so-called corporal must always be folded in a particular way by way of analogy with the sudarium. John says that, after Christ’s resurrection, it was found by Peter and John in the empty tomb: “not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up or folded (enteeligmenon in Greek) in a separate place.” That corporal is the starched cloth, which, in the old rite, after the priest had come at the altar in contact with the bread and wine, could only be touched by him reverently with his thumb and forefinger.
How is the altar significant in this?
Since the altar linens of the liturgy are called sindon and sudarium and theologically are in connection with the Real Presence of Jesus in his body and blood, Berger contends that their purpose is to point to the mystery of the Eucharist on the altar stone. There, the inanimate matter of the bread and wine — as the tomb of Christ in the rock in Jerusalem, which had never been used — is always transformed into the “Bread of Life” and living blood of Christ. After the [Second Vatican] Council, we had the discussion: Is the altar about Communion? Is it a table? Or is it a sacrifice? Until that time, it was clearly a sacrifice. The altar was understood as a sepulcher, where lifeless elements were turned into something living — flesh and blood. That was also the tradition in the eighth century. But whether the actual relics were seen at the altar or not, the shroud and the sudarium have been mentioned by St. John and the liturgical tradition, not only in public, but also been remembered as far back as the eighth and ninth centuries as something very special, very important in the story of the Resurrection. And this we have also to keep in mind. Very much can be said about the liturgy, and one thing is for sure: The liturgy can also be understood as the “inner hard drive” of the sacred memory of the Church. So, it’s quite clear that everything Amalarius reports about it in his time has not and cannot be invented and introduced in the liturgy in the Carolingian age. It must be much older and points right back to the beginning of the Church, just like the holy Eucharist itself.
Could you explain more about how this points to the Real Presence?
The depiction of the face of Jesus on these cloths could be understood similarly to the so-called Mass of Pope Gregory (540-604). Gregory, I saw, appearing to him, a bloodied Lord, directly in connection with the transformation of the Eucharistic species. The shroud and the sudarium of Jesus would, therefore, be understood as the direct expression and the personified Real Presence of Jesus on the altar and would be directly related to the Eucharist as the center of the holy Mass. In this way, they agree as biblically confirmed evidence of the resurrection of Christ with the mystery of the Eucharistic transformation (transubstantiation). You could, therefore, say: Instead of the vision of Gregory, in Amalarius, there is the real, symbolic content of the altar cloths. In both cases, it is an expression of the Real Presence of Christ. What is true for Pope Gregory is the content of the vision, namely, the real, bodily presence of Christ (particularly of the suffering Christ). According to Amalarius, it would be expressed sensibly (sinnenfällig) in the liturgical altar linens. On the burial cloths, showing the stigmata on the shroud and on the sudarium the face of Jesus, there appeared a lasting imprint of what happened for an instant in Gregory’s vision.
What does this mean for Holy Face of Manoppello?
To me and to many, there’s no doubt that Manoppello is the historic sudarium, also called the Veil of Veronica. It was kept in Rome and often venerated until 1527. It is, in fact, the very veil that had been laid on the face of the dead Lord when he was laid to rest in the sepulcher. So, it contains the first breath of the resurrected Christ. No wonder that nobody can explain how the image — without any colors! — got into the sacred veil. Now, the Easterly sudarium of Christ is coming back into history, at the beginning of an enormous “iconic turn” caused by the digital revolution — not to the eyes of a chosen few anymore, but to the eyes of all men. And it doesn’t come back to tell the Gospel anew with more words, but to reveal the Resurrection of the Lord from the dead with one true and unique image.
Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violence’s of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the scheming’s of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944
The power of Diligence
In John McCain’s book Character is Destiny he perceived the character traits exemplified by Winston Churchill who best displays the characteristic of DILIGENCE. Churchill persevered through every trial and misfortune to alert his countrymen to the approaching danger of Nazi Germany, and to save them when they ignored his warning.
Winston never did give in he led his country at the age of 67 living a life of many failures to become the prime minister of England during their greatest need.
This extraordinarily diligent man, who would not give in to many bitter trials that would have forced most of us to surrender to a cruel and unrelenting fate, who had fought, been beaten, and risen again so many times to take his place among the great democratic leaders of world history, would, by the power of his speech and the unyielding courage of his example and convictions, lead his country through the most dangerous experience of its long history. He stood alone first, and then as Britain’s leader as she stood alone, letting no defeat, no danger, no impossibly overwhelming odds destroy his courage or his will. He would not give in. Never, never, never, never. And, due in great part to the courage he inspired in others, neither would his country.
Gardening Exercise Day
Research indicates that Gardening Exercise Day originates with gardening clubs and groups. It is a day when people are encouraged to get off the couch, head out into the garden, and tend their patches. Not only does this help ensure that the garden looks good, but it also offers a healthy means of getting some exercise, while enjoying the benefits that fresh air can bring. To enjoy Gardening Exercise Day, all that is really required is to head out and water the plants, mow the lawn, and do some weeding, but more active people may choose to increase the intensity of their gardening efforts to really reap the rewards of exercise. Participants can consider using hand tools instead of electric and power tools, squatting instead of sitting, and bending from the back to limber the body up. Regardless of the type of exercise, any additional exercise will help the body, and being outside will mean a healthy and natural intake of vitamin D.
Let us honor and reflect on the Mother of Christ by creating a peaceful garden in our home (temple) in which to reflect on this.
The joy over the appearance of new plants and flowers in spring prompted man to attribute to them a special power of protection and healing. People planted special spring flower gardens; they brought branches of early-blossoming plants, like pussy willows, into their homes; they decorated themselves and their living rooms with wreaths of flowers and clusters of blossoms. A striking Christian variation of these nature rites was the medieval custom of planting "Mary gardens," which were made up of all the flowers and herbs that are ascribed by love and legend as a special tribute to the Blessed Virgin. This charming and inspiring tradition has been revived in many places in Europe and more recently in this country.
In a typical Mary garden, the statue of the Madonna occupies a place of honor, either in the center or in a grotto against the wall, with, usually, a birdbath or bubbling fountain built in front of it. Some of the more familiar plants of the many that belong in a typical Mary garden are:
· Columbine and Trefoil are said to have sprung forth at the touch of Mary's foot, and consequently bear the popular names Our Lady's shoes or Our Lady's slippers.
· Marigold (Mary's bud) has bell-shaped blossoms of vivid yellow. An old legend says, "Her dresses were adorned with Marigold." This flower was used to decorate her shrines for the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and during the month of May.
· Lily-of-the-valley (Our Lady's tears). This delicate flower is still widely used in Germany, there it is called Maiglockchen (May bells), to decorate the Mary shrines in churches and homes during the Virgin's month (May).
· Foxgloves thrive in moist and shaded places; they blossom in many colors and present a most attractive sight with their clusters of little bells, which were called Our Lady's thimbles in medieval times.
· Snowdrop. This charming flower is the first herald of spring in Europe. It often blossoms as early as Candlemas (February 2) between batches of melting snow, hence the name. In Germany it is called "Snow bell" (Schneeglocklein). Little bouquets of snowdrops are the first floral tribute of the year at the shrines of the Madonna on Candlemas. It is a popular emblem of Mary's radiant purity and of her freedom from any stain of sin.
· Lily. This stately and dignified flower has been associated from ancient times with Jesus and Mary, and is called Madonna lily in many parts of Europe. At Easter its brilliant and fragrant blossoms symbolize the radiance of the Lord's risen life. Later in the year it is used to decorate the shrines of Mary, especially on July 2, the Feast of the Visitation. It also is an old and traditional symbol of innocence, purity, and virginity.
· Rosemary produces delicate and fragrant blossoms of pale blue color in early spring. according to legend, the plant originally bloomed in white; however, it turned blue (Mary's color) in reward for the service it offered when Our Lady looked for some bush on which to spread her Child's tiny garments after having washed them on the way to Egypt. The bushes do not grow very tall but as they grow older, they spread out and thicken, forming a dense bush. There is an old superstition that "the rosemary passeth not commonly the height of Christ when he was on earth."
· Violets are dedicated to Mary as symbols of her humility. They are said to have blossomed forth outside her window when she spoke the words, "Behold, I am a handmaid of the Lord." Leaving her, the angel of God blessed the little flowers in passing, thus endowing them with the tenderest and most beautiful fragrance of all plants.
· Roses were associated with Mary from early times. Saint Dominic (1221) is credited with the spreading of the familiar devotion called the "Rosary (rosarium) of the Blessed Virgin Mary." The word "rosary" originally meant a rose garden but was later used in the sense of "rose garland." Three colors are especially consecrated to Mary: white roses as symbols of her joys, red roses as emblems of her sufferings, and yellow (golden) roses as heralds of her glories.
· Put your self-love in the last place, so that it does not taint your deeds.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York