The Universal Church celebrates a number of wonderful saints and special feasts throughout August: St. John Vianney, the Transfiguration, St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Assumption and the Queenship, St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Pius X, St. Monica and St. Augustine (and more!).
Though there are still summer days of rest and family time ahead, many of us already begin to look to the new academic year and the start of new responsibilities.
Before the full swing of fall begins back again, the saints and feasts of the month of August can be special companions to know better (we have provided various links from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s general audiences), to invoke in prayer, and to celebrate during the daily masses.
Let them provide you with their good company as we close out the summer!
Two Monumental Priests
Two very different priests, one born in the year before the death of the other…one a great civil and canon lawyer, later a doctor of the Church…the other a struggling seminarian who couldn’t learn Latin and yet became one of the most sought after confessors in Europe.
Saturday, August 1 – Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696 – 1787), Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Tuesday, August 4 – Saint John Vianney (1786 – 1859), Priest
The Promise: Transfiguration
A solemnity of glory, a glimpse of the promise fulfilled for the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament as well as the promise foreshadowed for the three Apostles who struggled to understand the upcoming Passion.
Thursday, August 6 – Transfiguration, Dn 7:9-10, 13-14/2 Pt 1:16-19/Mk 9:2-10
Two Great Lights of the Twelfth Century and an Early Martyr of the Grill
Saturday, August 8 – Saint Dominic (1170-1221), Priest, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
[August 9] Saint Edith Stein (1891-1942), Virgin
Tuesday, August 11 – St. Clare (1194-1253), Virgin, foundress of the Poor Clares (Second Order Franciscan Cloistered Sisters)
The Great Marian Polish Saint and His Lady: Liturgically Bound Forever
There is never an Evening Prayer of St. Maximilian Kolbe because it is always the Evening Prayer Vigil of the Assumption. As if to repeat endlessly that final day in the bunker at Dachau, the Polish priest yields up his soul to God through the arms of his beloved Mother Mary. By nightfall he is with Her in Paradise singing the praises of God for all eternity.
He has finally received the two crowns She offered him years ago when he was a child: the white crown of purity and the red crown of martyrdom. Bound together forever, the liturgy of August 14 directs the hearts and minds of all those who honor the memory of St. Maximilian Kolbe at Lauds to the marvelous love of the Immaculate at Vespers.
Friday, August 14 – St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894 – 1941), Priest and Martyr
Saturday, August 15 – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary [not a holy day of obligation this year]
Vigil Mass: 1 Chr 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2/1 Cor 15:54b-57/Lk 11:27-28
Day Mass: Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/1 Cor 15:20-27/Lk 1:39-56
Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII Munificentissimus Deus: Defining the Dogma of the Assumption November 1, 1950
The Last of the Fathers and First of the 20th Century Saint Popes
Because of his great authority and prolific writing, St. Bernard of Clairvaux has been called “the last of the Fathers” by many including Pope Pius XII in Doctor Mellifluus (1953). He stands at the threshold of the new boom of the medieval Church, but also unites and seems to belong to the venerable heritage of the early Fathers of the Church.
So too, St. Pius X is the first of a series of canonized pontiffs of the Twentieth Century, while also being a key figure who extends himself out to unite the traditions and authentic deposit of faith with the rapidly changing demands of the modern world. Also like the other Twentieth century papal saints (St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II), St. Pius X was from humble origins and never lost his regard for the poor and for the value of simplicity. He is known to have said in his last days, “I was born poor, I have lived poor, and I wish to die poor.” The inscription on his tomb at St. Peter’s echoes this principle together with the work of his pontificate:
“Born poor and humble of heart,
Undaunted champion of the Catholic faith,
Zealous to restore all things in Christ,
Crowned a holy life with a holy death.”
Thursday, August 20 – Saint Bernard (1090-1153), Abbot and Doctor of the Church
Friday, August 21 – St. Pius X (1835-1914), Pope (1903-1914)
Another Saturday with Mary and the Apostle “without guile” (Bartholomew, aka Nathanial)
Saturday, August 22 – The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17/Mt 23:1-12
The Great Mother and Son of North Africa
Where does one begin? When could one end? The great intellect and saint of Hippo was not brought to God by his restless searching alone…but also by the faithful and constant tears of his mother, St. Monica. For all mothers (and grandmothers) who pray and weep for the souls of their children and grandchildren, thank you! May such prayers bring forth new saints in the Church today.
Thursday, August 27 – Saint Monica (333-387), Holy Woman
Friday, August 28 – Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Pope Benedict XVI offered five general audiences on St. Augustine, each one introducing a specific facet of this great saint.
- January 9, 2008 (1)
- January 16, 2008 (2)
- January 30, 2008 (3)
- February 20, 2008 (4)
- February 27, 2008 (5)
St. John Paul II also dedicated a papal work specifically to St. Augustine, the apostolic letter of August 28, 1986, Augustinum Hipponensem.
The Beginning of the End…John the Baptist and the Liturgical Year
With the Passion of John the Baptist we are invited to recall his Nativity on June 24, just days after the summer solstice. From that point onward, the long summer days are actually getting shorter. His passion points to the cost of justice and the fulfillment of the Ancient Covenant. Before long, we will hear his voice again echoing throughout Advent…