Today in the year of Our Lord 2016, is the feast day of Saints Primus & Felician, Saint Columba and Saint Ephrem
Suffered martyrdom about 304 in the Diocletian persecution. The “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” gives under 9 June the names of Primus and Felician who were buried at the fourteenth milestone of the Via Nomentana (near Nomentum, now Mentana). They were evidently from Nomentum. This notice comes from the catalogue of Roman martyrs of the fourth century. In 648 Pope Theodore translated the bones of the two saints to the Roman Church of San Stefano, under an altar erected in their honour, where they remain.
He belonged to the Clan O’Donnell, and was of royal descent. His father’s name was Fedhlimdh and that of his mother Eithne. When sufficiently advanced in letters he entered the monastic school of Movilla under St. Finnian who had studied at St. Ninian’s “Magnum Monasterium” on the shores of Galloway. Columba at Movilla monastic life and received the diaconate. In the same place his sanctity first manifested itself by miracles. By his prayers, tradition says, he converted water into wine for the Holy Sacrifice. Columba entered the monastery of Clonard, governed at that time byFinnian, a remarkable, like his namesake of Movilla, for sanctity and learning. Here he imbibed the traditions of the Welsh Church, for Finnian had been trained in the schools of St. David. Here also he became one those twelve Clonard disciples known in subsequent history as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. About this same time he was promoted to the priesthood by Bishop Etchen of Clonfad.
Columba left Ireland and passed over into Scotland in 563. Some say that the motive for this departure was due to the fact that he had induced the clan Neill to rise and engage in battle against King Diarmait at Cooldrevny in 561. Columba is said to have supported by his prayers the men of the North who were fighting while Finnian did the same for Diarmait’s men. The latter were defeated with a loss of three thousand. Columba’s conscience smote him, and he had recourse to his confessor, St. Molaise, who imposed this severe penance: to leave Ireland and preach the Gospel so as to gain as many souls to Christ as lives lost at Cooldrevny, and never more to look upon his native land. O felix culpa . . . which produced so much good both for Erin and Alba.
Columba was in his forty-fourth year when he departed from Ireland. He and his twelve companions crossed the sea in a currach of wickerwork covered with hides. They landed at Iona on the eve of Pentecost, 12 May, 563. It was a convenient situation, being midway between his countrymen along the western coast and the Picts of Caledonia. He and his brethren proceeded at once to erect their humble dwellings, consisting of a church, refectory, and cells, constructed of wattles and rough planks. After spending some years among the Scots of Dalriada, Columba began the great work of his life, the conversion of the Northern Picts. Together with St. Comgall and St. Canice (Kenneth) he visited King Brude in his royal residence near Inverness. Admittance was refused to the missionaries, and the gates were closed and bolted, but before the sign of the cross the bolts flew back, the doors stood open, and the monks entered the castle. Awe-struck by so evident a miracle, the king listened to Columba with reverence; and was baptized. The people soon followed the example set them, and thus was inaugurated a movement that extended itself to the whole of Caledonia.
The thirty-two remaining years of Columba’s life were mainly spent in preaching the Christian Faith to the inhabitants of the glens and wooded straths of Northern Scotland. His steps can be followed not only through the Great Glen, but eastwards also, into Aberdeen shire.The preaching of the saint was confirmed by many miracles, and he provided for the instruction of his converts by the erection of numerous churches and monasteries. When not engaged in missionary journeys, he always resided at Iona. Numerous strangers sought him there, and they received help for soul and body. From Iona he governed those numerous communities in Ireland and Caledonia, which regarded him as their father and founder.
Columba is said never to have spent an hour without study, prayer, or similar occupations. When at home he was frequently engaged in transcribing. On the eve of his death he was engaged in the work of transcription. It is stated that he wrote 300 books with his own hand, two of which, “The Book of Durrow” and the psalter called “The Cathach”, have been preserved to the present time. The psalter enclosed in a shrine, was originally carried into battle by the O’Donnells as a pledge of victory.
In the spring of 597 he knew that his end was approaching. On Saturday, 8 June, he ascended the hill overlooking his monastery and blessed for the last time the home so dear to him. That afternoon he was present at Vespers, and later, when the bell summoned the community to the midnight service, he forestalled the others and entered the church without assistance. But he sank before the altar, and in that place breathed forth his soul to God, surrounded by his disciples. This happened a little after midnight between the 8th and 9th of June, 597. He was in the seventy-seventh year of his age. The monks buried him within the monastic enclosure. After the lapse of a century or more his bones were disinterred and placed within a suitable shrine. But as North men and Danes more than once invaded the island, the relics of St. Columba were carried for purposes of safety into Ireland and deposited in the church of Downpatrick. Since the twelfth century history is silent regarding them. His books and garments were held in veneration at Iona, they were exposed and carried in procession, and were the means of working miracles.The stonepillow on which he slept is said to be still preserved in Iona. His chastity of body and purity of mind are extolled by all his biographers.
He was not only a great missionary saint who won a whole kingdom to Christ, but he was a statesman, a scholar, a poet, and the founder of numerous churches and monasteries. His name is dear to Scotsmen and Irishmen alike.A suitable pictorial representation would exhibit him, clothed in the habit and cowl usually worn by the Basilian or Benedictine monks, with Celtic tonsure and crosier. His identity could be best determined by showing him standing near the shell-strewn shore, with currach hard by, and the Celtic cross and ruins of Iona in the background.
Born at Nisibis, then under Roman rule, early in the fourth century; died June, 373. The name of his father is unknown, but he was a pagan and a priest of the goddess Abnil or Abizal. His mother was a native of Amid. Ephraem was instructed in the Christian mysteries by St. James, the famous Bishop of Nisibis, and was baptized at the age of eighteen (or twenty-eight). Thenceforth he became more intimate with the holy bishop, who availed himself of the services of Ephraem to renew the moral life of the citizens of Nisibis, especially during the sieges of 338, 346, and 350. One of his biographers relates that on a certain occasion he cursed from the city walls the Persian hosts, whereupon a cloud of flies and mosquitoes settled on the army of Sapor II and compelled it to withdraw. The adventurous campaign of Julian the Apostate, which for a time menaced Persia, ended, as is well known, in disaster, and his successor, Jovianus, was only too happy to rescue from annihilation some remnant of the great army which his predecessor had led across the Euphrates. To accomplish even so much the emperor had to sign a disadvantageous treaty, by the terms of which Rome lost the Eastern provinces conquered at the end of the third century; among the cities retroceded to Persia was Nisibis (363). To escape the cruel persecution that was then raging in Persia, most of the Christian population abandoned Nisibis en masse. Ephraem went with his people, and settled first at Beit-Garbaya, then at Amid, finally at Edessa, the capital of Osrhoene, where he spent the remaining ten years of his life, a hermit remarkable for his severe asceticism. Nevertheless he took an interest in all matters that closely concerned the population of Edessa. Several ancient writers say that he was a deacon; as such he could well have been authorized to preach in public. At this time some ten heretical sects were active in Edessa; Ephraem contended vigorously with all of them, notably with the disciples of the illustrious philosopher Bardesanes. To this period belongs nearly all his literary work; apart from some poems composed at Nisibis, the rest of his writings-sermons, hymns, exegetical treatises-date from his sojourn at Edessa. It is not improbable that he is one of the chief founders of the theological “School of the Persians”, so called because its first students and original masters were Persian Christian refugees of 363. At his death St. Ephraem was borne without pomp to the cemetery “of the foreigners”. The Armenian monks of the monastery of St. Sergius at Edessa claim to possess his body.
In an effort to include all Catholics, those who go to the Latin Mass and those who attend the Vernacular, you may notice some Saints not mentioned in your Missal or Liturgical Calendar – this is because we are including all Saints from both Calendars. Because of this some Feast days will be repeated throughout the year
Also today in Catholic History
Is there a noteworthy historical date that isn’t mentioned, leave a comment and let us know
Mass Readings according to the Pope John XXIII edition of the Roman Missal in 1962 through the Douay-Rheims Bible
(Except the Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia)
According to the USCCB -The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the ICBC The Irish Conference of Catholic Bishops and the CBCEW The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Reading 1 : 1 Kings 18 : 41 – 46
 And Elias said to Achab: Go up, eat, and drink: for there is a sound of abundance of rain. Achab went up to eat and drink: and Elias went up to the top of Carmel, and casting himself down upon the earth put his face between his knees,  And he said to his servant: Go up, and look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said: There is nothing. And again he said to him: Return seven times.  And at the seventh time, behold, a little cloud arose out of the sea like a man’ s foot. And he said: Go up and say to Achab: Prepare thy chariot and go down, lest the rain prevent thee.  And while he turned himself this way and that way, behold the heavens grew dark, with clouds, and wind, and there fell a great rain. And Achab getting up went away to Jezrahel:
 And the hand of the Lord was upon Elias, and he girded up his loins and ran before Achab, till he came to Jezrahel.
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 65 : 10, 11, 12 – 13
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God’s watercourses are filled;
you have prepared the grain.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
Thus have you prepared the land:
drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods,
Softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
R. It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.
Alleluia : John 13 : 34
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel : Mathew 5 : 20 – 26
 For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 The scribes and Pharisees: The scribes were the doctors of the law of Moses: the Pharisees were a precise set of men, making profession of a more exact observance of the law: and upon that account greatly esteemed among the people.
 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.  But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee;  Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.  Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
 Shall be in danger of the judgment: That is, shall deserve to be punished by that lesser tribunal among the Jews, called the Judgment, which took cognizance of such crimes.
 Raca: A word expressing great indignation or contempt. Shall be in danger of the council … That is, shall deserve to be punished by the highest court of judicature, called the Council, or Sanhedrim, consisting of seventy-two persons, where the highest causes were tried and judged, which was at Jerusalem.
 Thou fool: This was then looked upon as a heinous injury, when uttered with contempt, spite, or malice: and therefore is here so severely condemned. Shall be in danger of hell fire– literally, according to the Greek, shall deserve to be cast into the Gehenna of fire. Which words our Saviour made use of to express the fire and punishments of hell.
 Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel by Pope Leo XIII
O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and fearful warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come thou to the assistance of men, whom Almighty God created immortal, making them in His own image and likeness and redeeming them at a great price from the tyranny of Satan. Fight this day the battle of the Lord with thy legions of holy Angels, even as of old thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud spirits and all his rebel angels, who were powerless to stand against thee, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world; and he was cast forth upon Earth, and his angels were sent with him.
But behold! the ancient enemy of mankind and a murderer from the beginning has been fiercely aroused. Changing himself into an angel of light, he goes about with the whole multitude of the wicked spirits to invade the earth and blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to plunder, to slay, and to consign to eternal damnation the souls that have been destined for a crown of everlasting life. This wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, impiety and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and iniquity.
Be favorable to Thy Church, the Bride of the Lamb without spot, whose enemies have filled to overflowing with gall and inebriated with wormwood. They have laid profane hands upon Her most sacred treasures. Where the See of the most blessed Peter and the Chair of Truth has been constituted as a light to the nations, there they have placed a throne of their abomination and impiety; so that with the Pastor struck, they may prevail to disperse the flock
Therefore, most invincible Leader, be with the people of God against this spiritual wickedness and bring about victory. Thou art venerated by Holy Church as Her guard and patron; Thou art glorified as our defender against the impious powers of earth and of hell. Unto thee the Lord hath handed over the souls of the redeemed to be placed in happiness above. Entreat the God of peace, to obliterate satan beneath our feet, lest he prevail further to hold men captive, and to injure the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that the mercy of the Lord may swiftly overtake us, and apprehend the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, and send him bound into the abyss, so that he may seduce the nations no more. Henceforth having been confided to thy escort and protection, we sacred ministers by our authority [if recited by a layman, or cleric who has not yet taken up the order of exorcist, say instead, “by the authority of Holy Mother Church ], do undertake to repel the infestations of diabolical deceit in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our God and Lord.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, depart from us, our adversaries.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, root of David, has conquered.
V. Let Thy mercy be upon us Lord.
R. As much as we hope in Thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
If recited by at least a deacon add the following
V. The Lord be with you all.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray
O God, and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we invoke Thy Holy Name, and we humbly implore Thy clemency so that, through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate ever-Virgin Mother of God, of blessed Michael the Archangel, of blessed Joseph, the Spouse of the same blessed Virgin, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, Thou may deign to offer us aid against satan, and all the other unclean spirits, who wander through the world to injure the human race and to destroy souls. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Alia Oratio ad Sanctum Michael
Princeps gloriosissime caelestis militiae, sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio et colluctatione, quae nobis adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequitiae, in caelestibus. Veni in auxilium hominum, quos Deus creavit inexterminabiles, et ad imaginem similitudinis suae fecit, et a tyrannide diaboli emit pretio magno. Proeliare hodie cum beatorum Angelorum exercitu proelia Domini, sicut pugnasti contra ducem superbiae luciferum, et angelos eius apostaticos: et non valuerunt, neque locus inventus est eorum amplius in caelo. Sed proiectus est draco ille magnus, serpens antiquus, qui vocatur diabolus et satanas, qui seducit universum orbem; et proiectus est in terram, et angeli eius cum illo missi sunt.
En antiquus inimicus et homicida vehementer erectus est. Transfiguratus in angelum lucis, cum tota malignorum spirituum caterva late circuit et invadit terram, ut in ea deleat nomen Dei et Christi eius, animasque ad aeternae gloriae coronam destinatas furetur, mactet ac perdat in sempiternum interitum. Virus nequitiae suae, tamquam flumen immundissimum, draco maleficus transfundit in homines depravatos mente et corruptos corde; spiritum mendacii, impietatis et blasphemiae; halitumque mortiferum luxuriae, vitiorum omnium et iniquitatum.
Ecclesiam, Agni immaculati sponsam, vaferrimi hostes repleverunt amaritudinibus, inebriarunt absinthio; ad omnia desiderabilia eius impias miserunt manus. Ubi sedes beatissimi Petri et Cathedra veritatis ad lucem gentium constituta est, ibi thronum posuerunt abominationis et impietatis suae; ut percusso Pastore, et gregem disperdere valeant.
Adesto itaque, Dux invictissime, populo Dei contra irrumpentes spirituales nequitias, et fac victoriam. Te custodem et patronum sancta veneratur Ecclesia; te gloriatur defensore adversus terrestrium et infernorum nefarias potestates; tibi tradidit Dominus animas redemptorum in superna felicitate locandas. Deprecare Deum pacis, ut conterat satanam sub pedibus nostris, ne ultra valeat captivos tenere homines, et Ecclesiae nocere. Offer nostras preces in conspectu Altissimi, ut cito anticipent nos misericordiae Domini, et apprehendas draconem, serpentem antiquum, qui est diabolus et satanas, ac ligatum mittas in abyssum, ut non seducat amplius gentes. Hinc tuo confisi praesidio ac tutela, sacri ministerii nostri auctoritate [si fuerit laicus, vel clericus qui ordinem exorcistatus nondum suscepit, dicat: sacra sanctae Matris Ecclesiae auctoritate], ad infestationes diabolicae fraudis repellendas in nomine Iesu Christi Dei et Domini nostri fidentes et securi aggredimur.
V. Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae.
R. Vicit Leo de tribu Iuda, radix David.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos.
R. Quemadmodum speravimus in te
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Si fuerit saltem diaconus subiungat
V. Dominus vobiscum
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Deus, et Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi, invocamus nomen sanctum tuum, et clementiam tuam supplices exposcimus ut, per intercessionem immaculatae semper Virginis Dei Genetricis Mariae, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioseph eiusdem beatae Virginis Sponsi, beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum, adversus satanam, omnesque alios immundos spiritus, qui ad nocendum humano generi animasque perdendas pervagantur in mundo, nobis auxilium praestare digneris. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.