The Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary —13th June. Then, attention of Christians was very early attracted by the love and virtues of the Immaculate Heart. Free from original sin from the moment of her conception, Mary’s heart is inundated with love and obedience towards God . There is nopure, loving heart of a mother more devoted to Christ and her children. On the Cross Jesus gave His, Mary to the Universal Church to be our spiritual mother in heaven fromshe protects us against the devil ,sheltering us beneath her mantleand through the powerful prayer of the Rosary. In the second world war, Pope Pius XIthe whole world under the special protection of our Saviour’s mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart . In the 17th Century ,St John Etudes preached devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus seeing a clear link of abundant lovecompassionmankindthe two Hearts. In the 19th century, Pope Pius VII allowed several churches to celebrate a feast in honour of the Pure Heart of Mary. Our Lady is our greatest intercessor for peace among nations ,freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners ,love, purity and the practice of virtue. St Louis de Montfort said “if you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.
St. Anthony of Padua – 13th June. Saint Anthony , originally baptised Fernando, was born in Lisbon in 1195 into a prominent family. At the age of 15, he enrolled with the nearby Canons Regular of St Augustine but left after two years to complete his studies in Coimbra. After ordination in 1220, he joined the Franciscans wanting to emulate their martyrs in North Africa and set sail for Morocco. However, illness compelled him to abandonmission and onvoyage homewards,his ship was driven of course to Messina Italy. From here he travelled to Assisi the centre for the Franciscan movement and wassent to a small hermitage near Forli. Anthony’s great talent as a preacher was discovered when he was unexpectedly called upon to speak at an ordination in Forli. From this point on, thousands flocked to him to preach the word of God throughout Italyto deliver his powerful homilies. Denouncing sin and heresies he earned the title ” Hammer of the heretics”. Anthony’s provincial minister appointed him the first lector in theology of the Franciscans.In 1226, Anthony secured hisbefore Pope Gregory IX to devote himself to preaching mainly in Padua. At the young age of 36, he became very ill and died at a Poor Clare convent on the outskirts of Padua. He was canonized within a year and proclaimed a Doctor of the church by Pope Pius XII1946.
St. Methodius I of Constantinople – 14th June. Methodius was an Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 842 to 846. He was born intoa wealthy family in Syracuse and was sent as a young man to Constantinople to obtain a place at court. Methodius, however, fell into the influence of a group of Monks and deciding toa religious life, joined a monastery at Bithynia where he eventually became an abbot. Methodius, along with theofmonks, was a greatof religious images during the second Iconoclast persecution under Emperor Leo V. Due to his beliefs, he was often imprisoned and scourged but he refused to surrender to the opposition. Succeeding the Iconoclastof Constantinople in 843 after the death of the Emperor Theophilos ,with the help of his wife the Empress and the minister Theoktitos ,Methodius began restoring icons to the Church and made a triumphal procession from the church of Blachernal to Hagia Sophia. This heralded the restoration of Orthodoxy and became a holiday in the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrated every year on the first Sunday of Lent known as the feast of the” Triumph of Orthodoxy.”