Tremendous graces flow from receiving and adoring the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus! “The daily Eucharist must become a school of life for us, one in which we learn to donate our lives” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 7, 2006). How many of us “gather” the Precious Blood of Jesus by going to weekly or daily Mass and making a weekly or daily Holy Hour? “Every Eucharistic cup is a Grail, and the royal blood each contains is the blood of Jesus, the King of Kings” (The DaVinci Deception:100 Questions about the Facts & Fiction of The DaVinci Code, Mark Shea & Edward Sri). “Jesus announced the cross, and with the cross the Eucharistic bread: His absolutely new way of being king” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 24, 2006). We need to plead the protection of the Precious Blood of Jesus upon our Church, country, families and world. Scripture says to “Put on the whole armor of God that we may withstand the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). “They have conquered him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus in the Holy Eucharist] and by the word of their testimony” (Rev 12:11). Let us adore Jesus Whose Blood was shed to save us. May we call down the Precious Blood of Jesus, Who is our ransom and our peace. “In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light particularly to those who are suffering” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 25, 2006, Warsaw). “The Lord is present in the tabernacle in his divinity and in his humanity. He is not present for his own sake but for ours: it is his delight to be with the ‘children of men.’ He knows, too, that, being what we are, we need his personal nearness . . . . Every thoughtful and sensitive person will feel attracted and will be there as often and as long as possible. And the practice of the Church, which has instituted perpetual adoration, is just as clear” (St. Teresa Benedicta, Edith Stein). “O what treasures of grace would you receive, devout soul, if you only entertain yourself with Jesus [in the Holy Eucharist] for an hour” (St. Alphonsus Liguori). “How many Christians are pressed for time, and only condescend to come for a few short moments to visit their Saviour who burns with the desire to see them near him and to tell them that he loves them, and wants to load them with blessings” (St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests). “Rediscover . . . the place the Eucharist must occupy in the life of the Church.” “The Eucharist, source and summit of Christian life, unites and conforms us to the Son of God. It also builds the Church, strengthening her in her unity as the Body of Christ.” “If, as John Paul II wrote, Christianity in our time must distinguish itself above all for ‘the art of prayer,’ how can we not feel a renewed need to dwell in spiritual conversation . . . before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament?” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 11, 2006).
St. Elizabeth (Isabel), Wife, Mother, Queen of Portugal, (1271-1336)—Feast, July 4 St. Elizabeth of Portugal imitated her great aunt St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s life of constant prayer, heroic charity and selfless service of the poor. Nourished by daily Communion and Adoration, St. Elizabeth was a peacemaker in her family and country. Though sick and elderly, St. Elizabeth once stood on the battle field to make peace between her husband and son who were fighting! She prayed for her abusive and unfaithful husband’s conversion. After he died, in the state of grace, she became a Franciscan Tertiary at a Poor Clare convent she founded.
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of World Youth Days, Italy(1901-1925)—Feast, July 4 Promoter of Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary and chastity, Bl. Pier Giorgio is a model for youth. While excelling in sports, he led a life of prayer and virtue, caring for those in need.
St. Maria Goretti, Patroness of Youth & Children of Mary, Italy (1890-1902)—July 6 The great loves of St. Maria’s life were the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady. The Holy Eucharist was her strength. On the eve of the Feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus, Maria was stabbed fourteen times for her refusal to sin against purity. “In your virginal countenance may be read the strength of your love and the constancy of your fidelity to your Divine Spouse. As his bride espoused in blood, you have traced in yourself His own image. To you, therefore, powerful intercessor with the Lamb of God, we entrust these our sons and daughters who are present here, and those countless others who are united with us in spirit. For while they admire our heroism, they are even more desirous of imitating your strength of faith and your inviolate purity of conduct. Fathers and mothers have recourse to you, asking you to help them in their task of education. In you, through our hand, the children and the young people will find a safe refuge, trusting that they shall be protected from every contamination, and be able to walk the highways of life with that serenity of spirit and deep joy which is the heritage of those who are pure of heart. Amen” (Pope Pius XII). St. Maria Goretti, virgin & martyr, pray for our purity!
St. Benedict, Priest, Founder of the Benedictines, Italy (c.480-547)—Feast, July 11 Father of Western monasticism, St. Benedict encouraged his monks to “pray always,” even while they worked. The Eucharist was the heartbeat of St. Benedict’s life. St. Benedict died near the altar, after receiving The Eucharist, while his monks held up his arms in prayer.
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin, North America (1656-1680)—Feast, July 14 “Kateri, lily of purity, pray for us. Kateri, consoler of the heart of Jesus, pray for us . . . . Kateri, lover of the cross of Jesus, pray for us . . . . Kateri, who loved Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us” (Litany of Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha).
Sts. Anne andJoachim, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary—Feast, July 26 Saints Anne and Joachim, we bless you for your great faith and love as parents. Your respect and reverence for the sacredness of human life made you the parents of Mary, Mother of the Lord. Through your intercession, we ask God to grant young people today that same reverence for the gift of new life. May they accept, cherish, and nourish life from the very moment of conception. Grant to us as a nation a renewed reverence for every human life. As Mary cherished her Child from the womb even to the tomb, so may we see in every person the very image of God. Great Saints Anne and Joachim, we ask this grace in the name of Mary’s Son, Jesus the Lord. Amen. Sts. Anne & Joachim, pray for us, to love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest, Founder of Jesuits, Spain (1491-1556)—Feast, July 31 “One of the most admirable effects of Holy Communion is to preserve souls from falling, and to help those who fall from weakness to rise again. Therefore, it is much more profitable to approach the divine Sacrament frequently, with love, respect, and confidence, than to keep back from an excess of fear” (St. Ignatius of Loyola).
St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor, Italy (1696-1787)—Feast, Aug. 1 “O most compassionate Saviour, be pleased to make me faithful to Thee; and grant that I may also, by my example, excite others to keep Thee company in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I hear the Eternal Father, who says: This is my beloved Son: in whom I am well pleased.... Behold, I give myself all to Thee: I now dedicate the whole remainder of my life to the love of the Most Blessed Sacrament” (St. Alphonsus Liguori).
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest of the Eucharist, France (1811-1868)—Feast, Aug. 2 “I have often thought on the remedies for this life and the universal indifference which is following so many Catholics, and I find this icy cold death comes from the absence of fire. I find the remedy, the only one, is the Eucharist, the loving Lord. When we go to visit Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, His love always surrounds us” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
St. John Vianney, Cure of Ars, Patron of Priests, France (1786-1859)—Feast, Aug. 4 St. John wrote of The Eucharist: “What a difference between the first Christians and ourselves! They passed whole days and nights in the churches, singing the praises of the Lord or weeping over their sins; but things are not the same today. Jesus is forsaken, abandoned by us.”
St. Dominic, Priest, Preacher, Founder of Dominicans, Spain (1170-1221)—Feast, Aug. 8 “The Saints found no greater delight in this world than to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.... St. Dominic went to the church a number of times every day.... In our own days there are many saintly persons who find their Heaven on earth before the Blessed Sacrament. At the foot of the altar they enjoy true happiness, a foretaste of heavenly bliss” (Fr. Lukas Etlin).
St. Teresa Benedicta, Carmelite Nun & Martyr, Germany (1891-1942)—Feast, Aug. 9 “The same Savior, whom the written word presents to our eyes on all the paths he trod on earth in human form, lives among us disguised in the form of the Eucharistic bread” (St. Teresa).
St. Clare of Assisi, Foundress of Poor Clare Nuns, Italy (1193-1253)—Feast, Aug. 11 “At night she prolonged her vigils, and then, alone, prostrate on her knees before the tabernacle, she gave free course to the transports of her devotion. Going in spirit to the heights of Calvary, she joined her tears to the tears of the Redeemer, and never wearied of offering herself a pure victim to the Eternal Father for the conversion of peoples-the holocaust of her senses by penitence and prayer, and the still better holocaust of her heart by the outpourings of her love” (St. Clare of Assisi, Leopold de Cherance, OSFC).
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Priest, Martyr, Poland, (1894-1941)—Feast, Aug. 14 “My aim is to institute perpetual adoration, for this is the most important activity” (St. Maximilian).
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven—Feast, August 15 “When the conquest for the Immaculate [Mary] of the whole world and of every single soul now living or to live until the end of the world, and through Her for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is completed, . . . then souls will love the Sacred Heart as they have never as yet loved Him, because like Her they will have been immersed as never before in the mystery of love, the Cross, the Eucharist” (St. Maximilian Kolbe).
St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Widow & Religious, France (1572-1641)—Feast, Aug. 18 Founded the Visitation Order with St. Francis de Sales. Her spirituality was Eucharistic centered; she led her Sisters in daily adoration and frequent Holy Communion.
St. Pius X, Pope of the Blessed Sacrament, Italy (1835-1914)—Feast, Aug. 21 “The daily adoration or visit to the Blessed Sacrament is the practice which is the fountainhead of all devotional works” (Pope St. Pius X).
St. Rose of Lima, Patroness of South America (1586-1617)—Feast, Aug. 23 “St. Rose of Lima was so ardent in her love of God in the Blessed Sacrament that when she knelt in His presence the fire which sparkled in her eyes showed the flame which consumed her soul. At times she appeared like an angel” (Hidden Treasure, Louis Kaczmarek).
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary—August 22
St. Augustine, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, N. Africa, (354-430)—Feast, Aug. 28 “Him whom the heavens cannot contain the womb of one woman bore. She ruled our Ruler. She carried him in whom we all are. She gave milk to our Bread” (St. Augustine).
“Our Lady and the Holy Eucharist are, by nature of things, united inseparably ‘even to the end of the world’ (Mt. 28:20). For Mary with her body and soul is the heavenly ‘tabernacle of God’ (Rev. 31:3). She is the incorruptible host, ‘holy and immaculate’ (Eph. 5:27), who of herself clothes the Word of God made man. St. Germain came to call her the ‘sweet Paradise of God’ . . . . In some of the churches in France, the tabernacle is used to be encased in a statue of Our Lady of the Assumption. The significance is quite clear: it is always the Blessed Virgin Mary who gives us Jesus, who is the blessed Fruit of her virginal womb and the Heart of her Immaculate Heart. And she will forever continue to carry Jesus in the Holy Eucharist within her breast so as to present Him for the joyful contemplation of the saints in Heaven, to whom it is even now given to see His Divine Person in the Eucharistic Species, according to the teaching of the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas” (Fr. Stefano M. Manelli).
“We earnestly desire that priests dedicate themselves to the Blessed Sacrament in such a manner that by It they become inflamed with glowing ardor, and, as it were, emit everywhere the sparks of Divine Love” (Pope Benedict XV). PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of Your Son, and for the love of Him who is the Eternal High Priest have pity on Your priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to You, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation. O Jesus, I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests; for Your unfaithful and tepid priests; for Your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Your tempted priests; for the lonely and desolate priests; for Your young priests; for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests in Purgatory. But above all, I commend to You the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly . . . O Jesus, keep them all close to Your Heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen. (By Richard Cardinal Cushing) “If you cultivate friendship with Jesus, if you practice the Sacraments assiduously, especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, you will be able to become ‘a new generation of apostles anchored firmly in the word of Christ, capable of responding to the challenges of our times and prepared to spread the Gospel far and wide’” (Pope Benedict XVI, April 10, 2006).
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