St. Anthony was born at Lisbon, Portugal. He bacame a canon regular and then a Franciscan preaching the Gospel everywhere in Portugal and Italy. Both as a theologian and as a popular preacher he fought vigorously against heresy. His preaching was inspired by the love of God and of souls and had an extraordinary power of conviction; it was filled with the penetrating power of the Bible. Pope Gregory IX, who heard him preach, called him during his lifetime the Arca Testamenti, meaning “the living repository of the Holy Scriptures” and Pope Pius XII, when he proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church, declared that he based all that he said on the texts of the Gospels, and could justly be called the Evangelical Doctor. St. Anthony lived for a time in France, but chiefly in Italy, and died at Padua in 1231 at age 36, with the reputation of great sanctity. From the day of his death innumerable miracles caused the faithful to invoke him as a wonderworker of untiring benevolence.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. John of San Facondo born in 1430 in Spain. He was a canon of the cathedral of Burgos and then entered the Hermits of St. Augustine. He was distinguished for his great devotion to the sacrifice of the Mass and for his forceful preaching. He died in 1479.
Today is also the commemoration of Sts. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius. These four martyrs have been venerated together at Rome from very early in the Church’s history.
St. Barnabas, designated by the Holy Spirit to share the charge and mission of the twelve Apostles, is venerated by the Church as one of them. He played an important part in the first extension of Christianity outside the Jewish world. It was Barnabas who presented St. Paul to the other Apostles when, after his long retreat in Arabia, he came to Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion to submit for Peter’s approval the mission to the Gentiles entrusted to him by the Master Himself. Barnabas was Paul’s companion and helper on his first missionary journey and returned with him to Jerusalem, but left him when he set out on his second journey and went to Cyprus. The name of St. Barnabas is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Corpus Christi which traditionally is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. In the Ordinary Form the Solemnity is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
St. Landericus was a sincere and dedicated servant of God who, like his Lord Jesus Christ, had great love for the poor and the lowly. He became bishop of Paris in 650 A.D., in the Frankish kingdom (formally Gaul) during the reign of Clovis II and served as bishop until 656 A.D. (some records show until his death in 661).
Ephrem was of Syrian descent and son of a citizen of Nisibis. While yet a young man be betook himself to the holy bishop James, by whom he was baptized, and he soon made such progress in holiness and learning as to be appointed master in the school of Nisibis in Mesopotamia. After the death of the bishop James, Nisibis was captured by the Persians, and Ephrem went to Edessa, where he settled first among the monks in the mountains. Later, to avoid the company of those who flocked to him, he adopted the eremitical life. He was made deacon of the church of Edessa, but refused the priesthood out of humility. He was rich in all virtues and strove to acquire piety and religion by the following of true wisdom. He placed all his hope in God, despised all human and transitory things, and was ever filled with the earnest desire of those which are divine and eternal.
Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost, which we celebrate this Sunday, is the liturgical season after Easter. It celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. Pentecost begins the eighth Sunday, or 50 days, after Easter Sunday. The descent of the Holy Spirit ushered in a new era for the people of God.
The mystery of the most Holy Trinity is a basic doctrine of Faith in Christianity, understandable not with our heads but with our hearts. It teaches us that there are three distinct Persons in one God, sharing the same Divine Nature. Our mind cannot grasp this doctrine which teaches that 1+1+1 = 1 and not 3. But we believe in this Mystery because Jesus who is God taught it clearly, the Evangelists recorded it, the Fathers of the Church tried to explain it and the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople defined it as a dogma of Christian Faith.
Today’s readings describe the Ascension of the Lord Jesus his Heavenly glory after promising to send the Apostles the Holy Spirit as the source of Heavenly power and commanding them to bear witness to Him through their lives and preaching throughout the world. But the ascended Jesus is still with us because of His promise, “I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” He is with us at all times and in all places, releasing a new energy upon the earth, the energy of the Holy Spirit.
Our God is near to those who seek Him and who want to live in His presence, doing His will. The Emmaus incident is the story of a God who will not abandon us when we are hurt and disappointed. As Francis Thompson put it, He is TheHound of Heaven Who relentlessly follows us when we try to escape from His love. The message of today’s Scripture readings is that the followers of Jesus are to maintain contact with their risen Lord through prayer, the Eucharist, and the Bible.The readings also remind us that our belief in Jesus’ presence in the consecrated Bread and Wine should help us to understand better his presence in the Bible and in the believing and worshipping community.Putting the two appearances (to the Emmaus disciples and to Peter), together, it is clear that the risen Jesus wants Peter to act as spokesman for him and that the faithful who seek to follow Jesus should seek his company in the Eucharist, in prayer, and in the Bible under the direction of Peter and his successors.