Living the Liturgy of July
by The Rev. James R. DeViese, Jr, JCL
This article is reprinted from The Lewis County Catholic Times, the weekly bulletin of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Weston, West Virginia.
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.
The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.
Highlights of the Month
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 celebrations of this month are:
- July 1 — Optional Memorial of Saint Junipero Serra, priest
- July 3 — Feast of Saint Thomas, apostle
- July 5 — Optional Memorial of Saint Anthony Zaccaria, priest -or-
Optional Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, holy woman
- July 6 — Optional Memorial of Saint Maria Goretti, virgin & martyr
- July 9 — Optional Memorial of Augustine Zhao Rong, priest & Companions, martyrs
- July 11 — Memorial of Saint Benedict, abbot
- July 13 — Optional Memorial of Saint Henry, holy man
- July 14 — Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin *
- July 15 — Memorial of Saint Bonaventurebishop & doctor
- July 16 — Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- July 18 — Optional Memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis, priest
- July 20 — Optional Memorial of Saint Apollonaris, bishop & martyr
- July 21 — Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, priest & doctor *
- July 22 — Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, holy woman
- July 23 — Optional Memorial of Saint Bridget, religious
- July 24 — Optional Memorial of Saint Sharbel Makhluf, priest
- July 25 — Feast of Saint James the Greater, apostle
- July 26 — Memorial of Saints Joachim & Anne, parents of the BVM
- July 29 — Memorial of Saint Martha, holy woman
- July 30 — Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop & doctor
- July 31 — Memorial of Sint Ignatius of Loyola, priest
* superceded by a Sunday in 2019
A Time of Regeneration
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, Saint Joachim and Saint 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, Saint 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 Saint 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 ou true home, with Mary and the angels as our companions on the way.
Article written 01 July 2018
The Rev. James R. DeViese, Jr, JCL, is Pastor of Saint Patrick Church in Weston WV and is Promoter of Justice in the Tribunal of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.