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 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.
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.
· 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!
· 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.
· July 1-3 Gettysburg’s 157th Anniversary
Retrace one of America’s biggest moments. This July the Battle of Gettysburg marks its 157th 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.
· July 1-24 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.
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.
· July 6-14 San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)
Run for your life! Join hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists who flock to the northern Spanish city of Pamplona for the annual San Fermin Festival. At 8 a.m. on July 7, the celebration unfolds with six bulls and another six steers running down a half-mile stretch of narrow streets. The week-long event culminates in a final, grand fight in a bullring.
· July 7-10 Queenstown Winter Festival
More than 45,000 people flock to Queenstown, New Zealand, for perhaps the biggest winter celebration in the southern hemisphere -- the Queenstown Winter Festival. Since 1975, this gold mining camp, turned sophisticated city, comes alive during balmy, but cool temps (44°F - 46°F) in June. The celebration of winter has more than 75 events, including ski races, ski jumping, colorful parades and exhibitions.
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!
· July 8-17 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.
· July 16 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!
· July 19-24 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.
· July 10th Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
· July 13th Full Buck Moon
· July 14th Bastille Day
· July 16th Our Lady of Mount Carmel
· July 17th Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
· July 22nd St. Mary Magdalene
· July 24th Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
· July 25th St. James, Apostle
· July 26th St. Anne
· July 31st Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
JULY 1 First Friday
FEAST OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD-JUNIPERO SERRA
Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 26
do not be AFRAID of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be
revealed, nor secret that will not be known.
Christ’s message here is to have courage under persecution. Yes, if they killed Christ what will they do to us. Look at what is going on in the Middle East, there is no doubt it will be here but Christ reassures us to do not be afraid. In Acts 8:1-8 we see that there was a severe persecution of the followers of Christ in Jerusalem promulgated by Saul, who by the grace of God was converted and became the apostle to the gentiles Paul. We must not give up hope and we must pray for our persecutors; perhaps Christ will send us another Paul.
Therefore, do not be afraid, for everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, and Christ has told us the He will raise us on the last day. (John 6:40)
Pope Francis asks us to pray that our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord. Though physically distant from us, they are spiritually close. Suffering because they are Christians, they have a special place in the Heart of Jesus, and, if we are united to that Heart, they will have a special place in our hearts as well.
Pope Francis believes persecution should bring Christians of all denominations together. “The blood of Jesus,” he said, “poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided. We are one in their eyes! For persecutors we are Christians! This is the ecumenism of blood that we experience today.”
May our prayerful solidarity with persecuted Christians help them know they are not alone nor abandoned. May it help to bring us together as the One Body of Christ.
For as the heavens are high above
the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as
the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us
“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.” — Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion
1. Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday.
2. The nine Fridays must be consecutive.
3. They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.
ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!
· The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
· The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
· The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
· The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
· The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
· The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
· The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!
· The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
· The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
· The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
· The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
Feast of the Precious Blood
July first is the Feast of the Precious Blood. This is a feast that does not exist in the new Roman Calendar of Pope Paul VI. It is still, however, in the traditional Roman calendar of the 1962 usage. Both halves of the year, in January and July, begin with the commemoration of the Precious Blood of Jesus. January 1 is the feast of the Circumcision, when the Precious Blood of Jesus was first shed. July 1 is the commemoration of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus as it is preserved in all Catholic churches at the hour of Mass. The Precious Blood of Jesus was given to Him to divinize by Mary, the Mother of God. Between Jesus and Mary there was a perpetual interflow of blood for nine months when He was a Child in her womb. Anyone can see how divinized Mary became by this interchange of blood for nearly a year. Everyone who wishes to become a son of God the Father, as he becomes by Sanctifying Grace, must also become a child of Mary the Virgin, by receiving in his mouth the Blessed Eucharist which is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All the saints of the Old Testament, when their bodies rise from the grave on the Last Day, will receive the Precious Blood of Jesus. Our Lord said of the chalice which contained His Precious Blood at the Last Supper, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the Kingdom of My Father.” The Kingdom of God the Father, whose sons we divinely by adoption, is also the Queendom of Mary the Virgin, whose children we must incarnately become in order to enjoy the happiness of Heaven forever.
California might not have any Confederate statues, but we do have plenty of monuments to Junipero Serra, widely known as the "father" of the California Missions. The story of the mass destruction of the Native population in California is less prevalent in the history books. The statue was torn down with a rope around the neck, its head splashed with blood-red paint. As the statue lay on the ground, Native children used it as a bench. Activists tore down a Serra statue in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park last week, as well as a statue of Francis Scott Key, author of the American anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," who was a known slave owner. Serra was a Spanish priest, who came to what was then Alta California (part of Mexico), to spread Catholicism to the indigenous population. (Here in L.A. that was mostly people from the Tongva tribe. And by "spread" Catholicism, we mean force it upon them. Serra eventually spearheaded 21 missions on the coast, from San Diego to San Francisco. The missionaries were responsible for the ultimate destruction of Tongva culture. Tongva people who joined the missions in California essentially became slaves, forced to do manual labor. They suffered from disease, many of the women were raped, and thousands died or were killed. Those who resisted and remained in the countryside often starved, as their hunting grounds were turned into farms by the colonizers. This according to BLM (communist organization) supporters.
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.
Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and a companion walked the 250 miles to Mexico City. On the way Junipero's left leg became infected by an insect bite and would remain a cross, often life-threatening, the rest of his life. For eighteen years he worked in central Mexico and in the Baja Peninsula. He became president of the missions there.
Enter politics: the threat of a Russian invasion south from Alaska. Charles III of Spain ordered an expedition to beat Russia to the territory. So the last two conquistadores-one military, one spiritual-began their quest. Jose de Galvez persuaded Junipero to set out with him for present-day Monterey, California. The first mission founded after the nine-hundred-mile journey north was San Diego (1769). That year a shortage of food almost canceled the expedition. Vowing to stay with the local people, Junipero and another friar began a novena in preparation for Saint Joseph's day, March 19, the scheduled day of departure. On that day, the relief ship arrived.
Other missions followed: Monterey/Carmel (1770); San Antonio and San Gabriel (1771); San Luis Obispo (1772); San Francisco and San Juan Capistrano (1776); Santa Clara (1777); San Buenaventura (1782). Twelve more were founded after Serra's death.
Junipero made the long trip to Mexico City to settle great differences with the military commander. He arrived at the point of death. The outcome was substantially what Junipero sought: the famous "Regulation" protecting the Indians and the missions. It was the basis for the first significant legislation in California, a "Bill of Rights" for Native Americans.
Because the Native Americans were living a nonhuman life from the Spanish point of view, the friars were made their legal guardians. The Native Americans were kept at the mission after Baptism lest they be corrupted in their former haunts — a move that has brought cries of "injustice" from some moderns.
Junipero's missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight until dawn. He baptized over six thousand people and confirmed five thousand. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. He is buried at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and was beatified in 1988.
Excerpted from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.
Things to Do:
· 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.
Top 10 Health and Fitness Tips from George Washington
George Washington was a man fit to be king. In fact, he was offered the crown by the victorious Americans after the cessation of the American War of Independence. He was one of the richest men in colonial America and a successful general who commanded a great deal of respect and followed the teachings of the Age of Enlightenment. While George refused to rule as a king, he was less hesitant to share his insights on matters relating to health, wealth, and politics.
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington
· Health Should Be a Top Priority
President George Washington believed that our health should be one of the most important priorities in life. President Washington really knew the value of health in our lives. Because without our health, it’s almost impossible to live life to the fullest. In order to enjoy and carry out day-to-day tasks, we need to be able to walk, breathe on our own, lift objects, have fun and so much more. Shortly before his passing, the former President wrote that “Health was amongst (if not the most) precious gift of Heaven, and without it we are but little capable of business, or enjoyment.”
· Be An Active & Healthy Leader
Not many know that George Washington was actively involved in the military, serving for a span of over 40 years. It was his heroic and strategic service in the United States military where he became known as the Father of our Country. While in the military, George Washington was constantly on his feet, leading his people through battles, and persevering under pressure. Leadership is known to be associated with improved relationships, increased mood, positive outlook, increased self-confidence, and many more positive attributes. If you want to impact the health of other people, as well as yourself, then it’s best to lead by example. The types of social, emotional, and mental health benefits that being a leader can bring are endless!
- Get Fit for Life’s Battles
According to the record books, George Washington was a strong, well-built man. He grew up with an athletic frame and with a 6’2 stature, he was described by his military partner as “175 pounds paddles with well-developed muscles, indicating great strength.” Another description of him by historian David McCullough explains how he stood out as a soldier and general for his strapping appearance. This type of build really helped him out when he had to fight his opposers or climb the Natural Bridge. Whether Washington was riding a horse for hours on end, or getting pierced by 4 musket balls, his great strength aided him through it all. You never know what daily battles you might have to face, but lifting weights is always a huge advantage to face what lies ahead!
- Eat A Variety of Healthy Foods
America’s first President was able to enjoy many different cuisines because he was so wealthy. He ate fish such as sturgeon, along with many different fruits like cherries, and protein packed nuts. George Washington was fortunate to own many farms and facilities that enabled him to consume plenty of nutrient rich foods. Though you don’t have to be rich to be healthy! Fruits, vegetables, and different sources of protein can be bought at reasonable prices. These foods are jam-packed with nutrients that protect the heart against certain diseases, cancers and even strokes. They also aid in muscle growth and repair while strengthening the immune system.
- Get Active Outside
George Washington took an interest in farming and American agriculture very early on. He was passionate about making the agriculture industry better for his people. This included a lot of rehabilitation on his farm on Mount Vernon. Although he wasn’t the one actually doing the farming, we can still learn from the health benefits that comes with this activity. Farming and gardening contribute to mental clarity and stress relief. According to the CDC, physical benefits associated with this moderate-intensity activity contribute to reductions in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.
- Adopt A Furry Friend
Did you know that George Washington loved dogs and bred them? His journals were infused with numerous breeding accounts that included his own special “Virginia Hound” breed. Using these dogs, he indulged sometimes two or three times a week in one of his favorite pleasures: fox-hunting. Having a furry companion by your side greatly influences your health in many ways from boosting the immune system to increasing your quality of life. Take a look at all of the health and fitness benefits of owning a furry friend here!
- Go Dancing!
Not only did George Washington like to move on the battlefield, but he liked to get down on the ballroom floor too. During the American Revolution, balls were often held where the General “danced upwards of three hours without once sitting down,” General Greene stated in 1779. He was seen gracefully dancing with elation spread across his face. It’s no wonder that he was so content since dancing is known to boost mood and confidence! Dancing has many physical and mental health benefits. Those include improved heart and lung function, muscle tone, strength, endurance, as well as stronger bones, improved balance and social skills. Learn how busting a move can be incredibly beneficial to your health here!
- Read A New Book
We all know the peaceful effects that reading can have on us during a rainy day. But surprisingly, reading has a lot of other health benefits for the average Joe. George Washington was an avid reader in his day. Owning more than 1,200 books, he turned to them to improve his political, militant, and agricultural prowess. You could say George Washington was self-educated from all the time he spent gathering the important information that made him so successful. According to York University researchers, reading helps boost brain power and memory, reduce stress, increase longevity, and even create feelings of empathy. So pick up a good book to expand your knowledge and increase your imagination!
- Be Social
We all know how much healthy friendships benefit our mental health by keeping us happy and healthy. Not only was George Washington great at running the country, but he was an excellent communicator. He loved having company over for parties as well as connecting with the ladies! Besides dancing, you could find him engaging in meaningful conversations with his companions throughout the night. Many studies show that having people to connect with can keep your brain sharp and enrich your life by adding years to it! Friends also reduce stress, decrease risk of stroke, and can help beat the common cold!
- Always Persevere
One of the most honorable things about former President George Washington was the fact that he was a man of character. His self-control in such a challenging time period allowed him his courage to shine through on the battlefield. He persevered under pressures of militant lifestyle, while keeping his integrity intact. Even though he failed many times, he stayed positive and kept pushing through. Resilience has a way of impacting our health for the better, and is especially required when things get tough. By staying positive and moving forward we improve our emotional, mental, and physical health. Happy emotions contribute to a healthier immune system! Not to mention the personal benefits such as increased confidence, motivation, and success.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION ONE THE SACRAMENTAL ECONOMY
CHAPTER ONE THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
Article 2 THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE CHURCH'S SACRAMENTS
I. The Sacraments of Christ
1114 "Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consensus . . . of the Fathers," we profess that "the sacraments of the new law were . . . all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord."
1115 Jesus' words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished. the mysteries of Christ's life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of his Church, for "what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries."
1116 Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are "the masterworks of God" in the new and everlasting covenant.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus