FIRST MARTYRS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME
2 Chronicles, Chapter 20, Verse 29
And the FEAR of God came upon all the kingdoms of the surrounding lands when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.
Fear is a natural response to the unknown and to powers beyond comprehension. After experiencing our Lord for forty days after the resurrection and seeing him leave again and without the Holy Spirit’s presence the disciples were heartbroken but He promised them that He would send the Holy Spirit saying it is better for us that He leave us so we may receive power from on high. The first gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of Holy fear; to respond to God’s love as a son or daughter rather than a servant.
First Martyrs of the Church of Rome
This memorial is in honor of the nameless followers of Christ brutally killed by the mad Emperor Nero as scapegoats for the fire in Rome. The pagan historian Tacitus and St. Clement of Rome tell of a night of horror (August 15, 64 A.D.) when in the imperial parks Christians were put into animal skins and hunted, were brutally attacked, and were made into living torches to light the road for Nero's chariot. From 64 to 314 "Christian" was synonymous with "execution victim."
Things to Do:
· St. Augustine gives us thoughts on why we celebrate the martyrs:
· Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian? Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so.
· Bake a special dessert, some recipe originating from Rome.
· This feast was created with the reform of the General Calendar in 1969. This feast celebrates the nameless men and women who were martyred in Nero's Circus in the year 64 AD.
· Watch this video on the First Holy Martyrs of the Roman Church
· Visit Saints, Feast, Family for pictures and a couple of recipes
· Visit Catholic Ireland for an outline of this feast
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Overview of July
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.
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 St. Junipero Serra (July 1) (statue was a BLM execution victim), 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. Apollinaris (July 20), St. Lawrence of Brindisi (July 21), St. Mary Magdalene (July 22), St. Bridget (July 23), St. Sharbel (July 24), St. James (July 25), St. Peter Chrysologus (July 30), St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31).
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, St. 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.
· Macy's 4th of July Fireworks
Pop! Boom! Bang! July spells independence, with glorious fireworks nationwide. Celebrate Independence Day with a visit to the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display over the Hudson River. And if N.Y.C.’s not on your itinerary, check out more of America’s best fireworks displays — in St. Louis, Addison, Texas and Chicago’s Navy Pier.
· Outlaw Run (Branson, Missouri)
Ready for a 68-mph adrenaline rush? Kick off July on the only wooden coaster to twist upside down with a record-breaking three versions — and a stomach-in-your-mouth 81-degree drop. Take advantage of Outlaw Run’s extended hours this month at Silver Dollar City. Can’t make it to Branson this July? Check out our complete guide to US amusement parks.
· Tour de France
Celebrate France’s biggest sporting event this month — the Tour de France. The official kick-off takes place on the island of Corsica then crosses onto France’s mainland. Cruise the French countryside as you follow the grand event. Or if you can’t make it abroad, head to one of America’s top bicycling cities.
· Hemingway Days Festival (Key West, Florida)
Can’t make it to Pamplona this month? Head to Key West instead! Hemingway Days Festival honors the late author, who lived and worked on the southern coast of the island. The annual event includes its own "Running of the Bulls" — this one with Ernest Hemingway lookalikes pushing fake bulls on Key West’s famed Duval Street.
· California Wine Festival (Santa Barbara, California)
Head to one of the biggest wine festivals under the sun! Celebrate wine harvest season this July with a visit to California wine country. Held this year in Santa Barbara, the annual California Wine Festival showcases vintage wines, along with gourmet appetizers including artisan breads and cheeses. Cheers!
· Alaska Cruise Season
Escape the heat, and take in awe-inspiring glacial views, with a cruise to Alaska. Cruise ships dock alongside towns from Seward, along Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, to Ketchikan, in the Alexander Archipelago. Cruise ships also dock near Katmai National Park, where July is prime time to see bears gulp up Atlantic salmon on their run. And if cruise prices prove too high in July, fret not: Alaska’s prime cruise season stretches through September.
· Taste of Chicago (Grant Park)
This July don’t miss the world’s largest food festival — yes, the largest! Held annually in mid-July, Taste of Chicago draws dozens of food vendors and participating restaurants to Chi-Town’s Grant Park. The annual event attracts upwards of 3 million people each year — and with foodie indulgences like the famous deep-dish pizza, we know why! This is food to die for!
· National Ice Cream Month
This July we all scream for ice cream. Celebrate National Ice Cream Month — designated a national holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 — with a trip to America’s coolest ice cream shops. And why not head to the granddaddy of them all — Bassett’s Ice Cream in Philadelphia — the oldest ice cream company in the U.S., founded in 1861!
· Calgary Stampede
Our "Neighbor to the North" marks its birthday this month. Get in on the festivities during the Calgary Stampede! This 10-day event is Canada’s largest annual rodeo, and one of its largest festivals to boot. Billed as the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," the rodeo draws more than 1 million visitors each year.
· Gettysburg’s 156th Anniversary
Retrace one of America’s biggest moments. This July the Battle of Gettysburg marks its 156th anniversary. Tour Gettysburg and its historic town, and take in battle reenactments of events that culminated in more than 51,000 casualties and the setting for President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.