Today's Mass: Saturday June 3, 2023

Saturday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time

Book of Sirach


I thank the Lord and I praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom.
She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her.
As the blossoms yielded to ripening grapes, the heart's joy, My feet kept to the level path because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
In the short time I paid heed, I met with great instruction.
Since in this way I have profited, I will give my teacher grateful praise.
I became resolutely devoted to her-- the good I persistently strove for.
I burned with desire for her, never turning back. I became preoccupied with her, never weary of extolling her. My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets.
For her I purified my hands; in cleanness I attained to her. At first acquaintance with her, I gained understanding such that I will never forsake her.



The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
They are more precious than gold,
Than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
Or honey from the comb.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark


Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him
and said to him, "By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?"
Jesus said to them, "I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John's baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me."
They discussed this among themselves and said, "If we say, 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say, '(Then) why did you not believe him?'
But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?"--they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know." Then Jesus said to them, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."

St. Charles Lwanga & his companions()

Saint Charles Lwanga and companionsThe 22 Martyrs of Uganda (+ 1886-1887) Charles Lwanga was one of twenty-two Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. He was a moral leader; and was baptized the night before his execution. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as "the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda." Charles instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13 to 30, from the immoral acts and homosexual demands of the Babandan ruler, Mwanga. Mwanga was a superstitious king who initially tolerated Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was: If Christians would not make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage and massacre, nor make war, what would happen if the whole kingdom converted to Catholicism? When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful: one might even say cheerful. His sentence was being burnt to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would burn slowly, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. Charles was burned to death by Mwanga's order on June 3, 1886. He did not cry out in pain; and only exclaimed, "Kotanda! (O my God!)" Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22, 1964. We celebrate his memorial on June 3 of the Roman Calendar. St. Charles is the patron of the African Youth of Catholic Action.

St. John XXIII(Pope (1881-1963))

SAINT JOHN XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) Pope (from October 28 1958 to June 3 1963) (1881-1963) Blessed Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli in Sotto il Monte, Diocese of Bergamo, on November 25, 1881. He was the fourth in a family of fourteen. The family worked as sharecroppers, but were rich in faith and virtues. It was a patriarchal family in the sense that the families of two brothers lived together, headed by Angelo's great-uncle Zaverio, whose wisdom guided the work and other business of the family. Zaverio was Angelo's godfather, and to him he always attributed his first and most fundamental religious education. The religious atmosphere of his family and the fervent life of the parish, under the guidance of Fr. Francesco Rebuzzini, provided Angelo with training in the Christian life. Angelo entered the Bergamo seminary in 1892. Here he began the practice of making spiritual notes, which he continued in one form or another until his death, and which have been gathered together in the Journal a Soul. Angelo also began the deeply cherished practice of regular spiritual direction. In 1896, he was admitted to the Secular Franciscan Order by the spiritual director of the Bergamo seminary, Fr. Luigi Isacchi. He made a profession of its rule of life on May 23, 1897. From 1901 to 1905, Angelo was a student at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. He was ordained in the church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo on August 10, 1904, in Rome's Piazza del Popolo. In 1905, Fr. Angelo was appointed secretary to the new Bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi. He accompanied the Bishop during pastoral visitations and collaborated with him in many initiatives: a synod, management of the diocesan bulletin, pilgrimages and social works. In the seminary, Fr. Angelo taught history, patrology and apologetics. He was an elegant, profound, effective and sought-after preacher. These years deepened the future Pope's spiritual encounter with two saints: St. Charles Borromeo and St. Francis de Sales. Fr. Angelo emulated the pastoral involvement of those saints while working alongside his Bishop, Radini Tedeschi. When Bishop Tedeschi passed away in 1914, Fr. Angelo continued teaching in the seminary and ministering in various pastoral areas. When Italy went to war in 1915, Fr. Angelo was drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became a chaplain to wounded soldiers. When the war ended, he opened a "Student House" for the spiritual needs of young people. In 1919, Fr. Angelo was made spiritual director of the seminary, but in 1921, he was called to the service of the Holy See. Pope Benedict XV brought him to Rome to be the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1925, Pope Pius XI named Fr. Angelo Apostolic Visitator in Bulgaria, raising him to the episcopate with the titular Diocese of Areopolis. For his episcopal motto, Fr. Angelo chose Oboedientia et Pax, "Obedience and Peace," which became his guiding motto for the rest of his life. On March 19, 1925, he was elected bishop and left for Bulgaria. He was granted the title Apostolic Delegate and remained in Bulgaria until 1935, visiting Catholic communities and establishing relationships of respect and esteem with other Christian communities. In the aftermath of the 1928 earthquake, Bp. Angelo's solicitude was everywhere present. He endured in silence the misunderstandings and other difficulties of a ministry on the fringes of society, and thus refined his sense of trust and abandonment to Jesus crucified. In 1935, Bp. Angelo was named Apostolic Delegate in Turkey and Greece. The Catholic Church was present in many ways in the young Turkish republic. His ministry among the Catholics was intense, and his respectful approach and dialogue with the worlds of Orthodoxy and Islam became a feature of his tenure. When the Second World War broke, out he was in Greece. He tried to get news from the prisoners of war to their families and assisted many Jews to escape by issuing "transit visas" from the Apostolic Delegation. In December 1944, Pope Pius XII appointed Bp. Angelo Nuncio in France. During the last months of the war and the beginning of peace, Bp. Angelo aided prisoners of war and helped to normalize the ecclesiastical organization of France. He visited the great shrines of France and participated in popular feasts and in important religious celebrations. He was an attentive, prudent and positive observer of the new pastoral initiatives of the bishops and clergy of France. His approach was always characterized by striving for Gospel simplicity, even amid the most complex diplomatic questions. The sincere piety of his interior life found expression each day in prolonged periods of prayer and meditation. In 1953, Bp. Angelo was elected Cardinal and sent to Venice as a patriarch. He was filled with joy at the prospect of ending his days in the direct care of souls, as he had always desired since becoming a priest. He was a wise and enterprising pastor, following the model pastors he had always venerated and walking in the footsteps of St. Laurence Giustiniani, first patriarch of Venice. As he advanced in years, his trust in the Lord grew in the midst of energetic, enterprising and joyful pastoral labors. At the death of Pope Pius XII, Cardinal Angelo was elected pope on October 28, 1958, taking the name John XXIII. His pontificate, which lasted less than five years, presented him to the entire world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd. Meek and gentle, enterprising and courageous, simple and active, he carried out the Christian duties of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: visiting the imprisoned and the sick, welcoming those of every nation and faith, and bestowing on all his exquisite fatherly care. His social magisterium in the encyclicals Pacem in Terris and Mater et Magistra were deeply appreciated. Pope John XXIII convoked the Roman Synod, established the Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law and summoned the Second Vatican Council. He was present as Bishop in his Diocese of Rome through his visitation of the parishes, especially those in the new suburbs. The faithful saw in him a reflection of the goodness of God and called him "the good Pope." He was sustained by a profound spirit of prayer. He launched an extensive renewal of the Church while radiating the peace of one who always trusted in the Lord. Pope John XXIII passed away on the evening of June 3, 1963, in a spirit of profound trust in Jesus and of longing for his embrace. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3, 2000, in Rome.(From L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English September 6 2000)

Bl. Ignatius Mayolan((1869-1915))

Blessed Ignatius Maloyan Armenian Catholic Archbishop & Martyr (1869-1915) Ignatius Maloyan (Shoukrallah), son of Melkon and Faridรฉ, was born in 1869, in Mardin, Turkey.His parish priest, noticing signs of a priestly vocation, sent him to the convent of Bzommar-Lebanon. He was then fourteen years old. After finishing his superior studies in 1896, he was ordained in the Church of Bzommar convent on the day dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He became a member of the Bzommar Institute and adopted the name of Ignatius in remembrance of the famous martyr of Antioch. From 1897 to 1910, Father Ignatius was the parish priest in Alexandria and Cairo, where his good reputation was widespread. His Beatitude Patriarch Boghos Bedros XII appointed Fr. Ignatius as his assistant in 1904. However, a disease affecting Fr. Ignatius' eyes and breathing forced him to return to Egypt, where he stayed until 1910. The Diocese of Mardin was in a state of anarchy, so Patriarch Sabbaghian sent Fr. Ignatius to restore order.On October 22, 1911, the Synod of Bishops assembled in Rome and elected Fr. Ignatius the archbishop of Mardin. He took over his new assignment and planned on renewing the wrecked diocese, especially encouraging devotion to the Sacred Heart. Unfortunately, at the outbreak of the First World War, the Armenians residing in Turkey, then allied with Germany, began to endure unspeakable sufferings. A campaign of extermination began on April 24, 1915, known as the Armenian genocide. On April 30, 1915, Turkish soldiers surrounded the Armenian Catholic Bishopric and church in Mardin on the basis that they were hide-outs for arms. At the beginning of May, the Bishop gathered his priests and informed them of the dangerous situation. On June 3, 1915, Turkish soldiers dragged Bishop Ignatius in chains to court along with twenty-seven other Armenian Catholic personalities. The next day, twenty-five priests and 862 believers were held in chains. During the trial, the chief of police, Mamdooh Bek, asked the Bishop to convert to Islam. The Bishop answered that he would never betray Jesus Christ. Mamdooh Bek hit Bp. Ignatius on the head with the rear of his pistol and ordered him put in jail. The soldiers chained Bp. Ignatius' feet and hands, threw him on the ground and hit him mercilessly. With each blow, the Bishop was heard saying, "Oh Lord, have mercy on me, oh Lord, give me strength," and asked the priests present for absolution. With that, the soldiers went back to hitting him; and they extracted his toe nails. On June 9, Bp. Ignatius' mother visited him and cried for his state, but the valiant Bishop encouraged her. The next day, Turkish soldiers gathered 447 Armenians. The soldiers, along with the convoys, took the desert route. Bp. Ignatius encouraged his parishioners to remain firm in their faith. When they all knelt together, he prayed to God that they accept martyrdom with patience and courage. The priests then granted the believers absolution. Bp. Ignatius afterward took out a piece of bread, blessed it, recited the words of the Eucharist and gave it to his priests to distribute. One of the soldiers, an eye witness, recounted this scene: "That hour, I saw a cloud covering the prisoners and from all emitted a perfumed scent. There was a look of joy and serenity on their faces." After a two-hour walk, the soldiers attacked the prisoners and killed them before the Bishop's eyes. After the massacre of the two convoys came Bp. Ignatius' turn. Mamdooh Bek again asked Bp. Ignatius to convert to Islam. The Bishop answered: "I've told you I shall live and die for Jesus Christ. I take pride in the Cross of my Lord." Mamdooh became infuriated, drew his pistol and shot Bp. Ignatius. Before breathing his last, Bp. Ignatius said: "My God, have mercy on me; into your hands I commend my spirit." Bp. Ignatius Mayolan was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 7, 2001, in Rome. He reigns with Jesus and the Church Triumphant, interceding on our behalf forever and ever.

Published: 2023-06-03T06:01:02Z | Modified: 2023-06-03T06:01:02Z