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Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: June 9th

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; Optional Memorial of St. Ephrem, deacon and doctor

MASS READINGS

June 09, 2018 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Pour into our hearts O Lord, we pray, the Holy Spirit, at whose prompting the Deacon Saint Ephrem exulted in singing of your mysteries and from whom he received the strength to serve you alone. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants, may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body, and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, may we be set free from present sorrow and come to enjoy eternal happiness.

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Old Calendar: Saints Primus and Felician, martyrs; St. Columba

In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior’s Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not a new devotion. In the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes preached it together with that of the Sacred Heart; in the nineteenth century, Pius VII and Pius IX allowed several churches to celebrate a feast of the Pure Heart of Mary. Pius XII instituted today’s feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession “peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue” (Decree of May 4, 1944). In 1942 during the ravages of World War II, Pope Pius XII dedicated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and set the feast for August 22nd. In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the day, Saturday, immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

St. Ephrem, called “the Harp of the Holy Spirit,” is the great classic Doctor of the Syrian church. As deacon at Edessa, he vigorously combated the heresies of his time, and to do so more effectively wrote poems and hymns about the mysteries of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints. He had a great devotion to Our Lady. He was a commentator on Scripture and a preacher as well as a poet, and has left a considerable number of works, which were translated into other Eastern languages as well as into Greek and Latin. He died in 373. Benedict XV proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church in 1920.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Primus and Felician as well as St. Columba. St. Ephrem’s feast is celebrated on June 18.

Primus and Felician are two Roman martyrs of the via Nomentana. Their relics, transferred in the seventh century within the city, are at present in the church of St. Stephen on the Coelian Hill.

St. Columba, or Columkill, apostle of the Picts, was of illustrious Irish descent. He was brought up in the company of many saints at the school of St. Finian of Clonard. Being an ordained priest, and having founded many churches in Ireland, he went to Scotland with twelve companions, and there converted many of the northern Picts to the faith of Christ. He founded the monastery of Iona which became the nursery of saints and apostles. He also evangelized the northern English. He died on June 9, 597 at the foot of the altar at Iona while blessing his people, and was buried, like St. Brigid, beside St. Patrick at Downpatrick in Ulster.