August 5, 2016
The month of August for the Catholic Church is truly a month of solemnities and feasts all celebrated at the holy altar of God. I urge all of you to attend and participate at Holy Mass as often as possible during this month, even if you may be on vacation. We can never take a vacation from our first vocation to holiness. There is no better way to nourish our personal holiness, our sanctity than to receive the abundant graces offered and bestowed on us from the reverent and worthy participation at Mass.
Let me illustrate what I mean about August being a month of feasts. Of the 31 days in the month of August, all but six days have a particular memorial, feast or solemnity assigned to them. If a
solemnity falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated and not the proper Sunday in Ordinary Time; if a
memorial or a feast falls on a Sunday in Ordinary Time, the proper Mass of that Sunday is celebrated.
I will list the saints honored during August along with the day their memorials, feasts or solemnities are celebrated.
They include: St. Alphonsus Ligouri (1), St. Eusebius of Vercelli and St. Peter Julian Eymard (2), St. John Vianney (4), Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (5), The Transfiguration of the Lord (6), St. Sixtus II and Companions and St. Cajetan (7), St. Dominic (8), St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein – 9), St. Lawrence (10), St. Clare (11), St. Jane Frances de Chantal (12), St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus (13), St. Maximilian Kolbe (14), The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15), St. Stephen of Hungary (16), St. John Eudes (19), St. Bernard of Clairveaux (20), St. Pius X (21), The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (22), St. Rose of Lima (23), St. Bartholomew (24), St. Louis and St. Joseph Calasanz (25), St. Monica (27), St. Augustine (28), The Passion of St. John the Baptist (29).
As you can see, the month of August presents to us a wonderful array and, in a certain sense, a microcosm of the Communion of Saints. What I would encourage you to do is read the lives of each of these holy men and women. As different as each one is from the others, what they have in common is what we all have in common as members of the Communion of Saints–the Apostolic Faith received in baptism, and the other sacraments, which increase in us the Divine Life and conform us more closely to Jesus.
Of course, what we do with these abundant graces received throughout our lives from the sacraments is entirely up to each of us. How we ought to use these graces in every circumstance is modeled for us by these great and holy women and men of August and every other month in our year of grace and favor from the Lord.
If you cannot get to Mass every day during August, please make the effort to attend and participate at Mass on The Transfiguration of the Lord, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin, the feast of St. Bartholomew and The Passion of St. John the Baptist.
May this month of August be a month of great graces for each of you.