- Monday June 8th – Saturday, June 13th: There will be no weekday masses this coming week during the St. Michael’s Conference.
- Saturday, June 27th: Our next volunteer day at Services of Hope. Meet at Services of Hope at noon (6540 Victoria Ave., Dallas), or begin with Morning Prayer and Mass at the church at 10:00 AM.
- We would like to welcome Fr. David Miller as our guest celebrant and preacher this Sunday. Many thanks to Fr. Miller for coming to Holy Cross.
June 5: Saint Boniface of Mainz
Boniface was originally named Wynfrith, and born in the early 8th century in the Kingdom of Wessex in what is now England, as a young man he entered a Benedictine monastery near Winchester against his family’s wishes. He set out as a missionary to the Frissians, among whom he preached in the company of his fellow Englishman, St. Wilibrord. War interrupted his preaching, and Wynfrith travelled to Rome where he was ordained as a missionary bishop by Pope Gregory II, and given the name Boniface. He returned to labor and preach among the pagan Germans. In one famous episode, Boniface cut down an oak tree sacred to the god Thor. When Thor failed to avenge himself on the saint, the local pagans professed faith in Jesus, and were baptized. During the course of his ministry, Boniface was appointed first archbishop of Mainz. He preached before thousands, baptizing them and building new churches, strengthening old ones, and defending the prerogatives of the Church against the nobility. At an advanced age Boniface was murdered by pagan bandits. As he was being attacked, the saint held aloft a Gospel book, calling upon the name of the Lord. This Gospel book survives, now known as the Ragyndrudis Codex, with sword marks in it. It is held at Fulda Cathedral, where the Boniface’s relics are also enshrined and venerated to this day.
June 6: Saint Norbert of Magdeburg
Norbert was born to a noble family around the year 1080 in Xanten near Cologne. Using his family’s connections, he began a church career with a community of powerful Canons in his hometown, rising through the ranks until he eventually became an official in the court of Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor. One day while riding to the town of Vreden, he was overtaken by a storm. Lightening struck very close to Norbert, and he was thrown from his horse and knocked unconscious. He awoke some time later and realizing how close to death he had come, he dedicated himself from then on to a life of penance and prayer. His community became indignant at his efforts to reform their luxurious lifestyle. He left the community, was ordained priest, and after receiving permission from Pope Gelasius II, became an itinerant preacher throughout northern France. In 1119 Pope Calixtus II requested Norbert to found a religious community, which he did in a valley called Premontre near Laon. The order grew to become the Premonstratensian Canons, colloquially known as the Norbertines, with several other communities being founded during St. Norbert’s lifetime. The mother house at Premontre survived until the time of the French Revolution, when the canons were driven out and the property ransacked. A few buildings survive and are used today as an insane asylum. Norbert was eventually appointed archbishop of Magdeburg, where his reputation for piety and reforming zeal increased. He died at Magdeburg on this day, June 6, 1134. The municipality fell under the sway of Protestant errors at the time of the Reformation, and the saints relics were moved to Prague in 1627, where they are venerated to this day. Norbert was especially devoted to our Lord in the Eucharist, and is often depicted carrying a host.
June 8 Saint William of York
Born to a noble English family in the late 11th century, William Fitzherbert became Archbishop of York in the face of stiff political opposition. His Archepiscopacy was opposed by the English Cistercians, but was confirmed by the Pope. He died on June 8, 1154, when the chalice he was using at mass was poisoned. Renowned for sanctity in life, after his death numerous miracles were reported at the place of his burial in York Minster, and in 1223, a sweet-smelling oil flowed from the tomb. His relics were lost after the English Reformation, but were rediscovered in the 1960’s, and his tomb in the crypt of York Minster has once again become a place of devotion.
June 9 St. Columba of Iona
Born December 7, 521 in County Donegal, Ireland, Columba studied at Clonard Abbey, where he became a monk and a priest. In 563 Columba travelled to Scotland with 11 companions, collectively known as the “12 Apostles of Ireland”. He was granted land on the island of Iona where he began the monastery that flourished there for centuries, and which became in a sense the mother Church of Scotland. From Iona, Columba travelled throughout the country, converting many, and planting several churches throughout the Hebrides. Columba returned once to Ireland, where he founded Durrow Abbey. His relics were interred at Iona, where he died on this day in 597. He was often invoked for victory in battle, and Scottish armies often carried his relics before them into battle. This was done, for example, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, when the Scots defeated the English. The reliquary in which Columba’s relics were kept is thought by most scholars to be the Monymusk Reliquary, currently in the care of the Museum of Scotland. The first known reference to the Loch Ness Monster comes from a Life of St. Columba written in the 700’s. It is said that Columba encountered a group of pagan Picts, fleeing from a monster in the River Ness, and that the saint made the sign of the cross, and turned the monster back with the injunction “You will go no further”, at which the Picts glorified Columba’s god, and came to faith in Christ.
June 10 Saint Ephram of Edessa
Born around the year 306 in what is now eastern Turkey, Ephrem was raised a Christian, and as a youth became an ascetic, and was ordained deacon. He is most well-known as a prolific hymnographer, and hundreds of his compositions have survived. Late in life, Ephrem moved to the town of Edessa, where he ministered and taught in the local Church. In the early 370’s, plague swept through Edessa. Ephrem contracted the disease while ministering to its victims, and died on this day in the year 373. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV declared Ephrem to be a Doctor of the Church. Because of the manifest eloquence and fidelity of his poetry to the Gospel, he is sometimes called “The Harp of the Spirit”.
June 11 Saint Barnabas the Apostle
Originally called Joseph, St. Barnabas was a Jew from Cyprus who came to faith in Christ, sold his land, and gave the proceeds to the Church at Jerusalem (as recorded in the book of Acts), whereupon the Apostles renamed him Barnabas, meaning “son of encouragement”. Barnabas was a companion of St. Paul in his missionary journeys, along with John Mark (the author of the Gospel of Mark), who was a relative of Barnabas. Barnabas occupies a prominent place among the earlier preachers of the faith around the Mediterranean, and became the leader of the incipient church at Antioch, a major city of the Roman Empire. Tradition says that Barnabas eventually returned to Cyprus, where he was martyred at the hands of some of the Jewish community who had taken offense at his teaching. His relics were discovered in a cave at Salamis in Cyprus in the late 400’s, where they were reinterred, and where a church was erected. The Church of St. Barnabas, and a monastery, remain on the spot today, and Barnabas’s tomb may still be visited.