The month of June is truly a blessed time of the year in the Catholic Church. As the Easter season comes to an end with the celebration of Pentecost Sunday on June 8, the Church resumes Ordinary Time with a host of solemnities — special days that call our attention to the central mysteries of our faith — and remind us of its beauty.
“Scripturally speaking, Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles,” Bishop John Noonan said. “It was a huge conversion experience in their lives, not for just one of them, but all of them. Afterward, by Christ’s command, they went out and started preaching the Gospel. They were not afraid to open their minds and their hearts and to share their faith experiences with others.”
“For us, we celebrate Pentecost as the birth of the Church, where people’s lives have been touched in a very special way by God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, to preach the Gospel to others,” Bishop Noonan said. “That is what we are all called to do, too.”
In the weeks that follow Pentecost, the Church beckons us to celebrate the mysteries of our faith during throughout the month through these five Solemnities:
- The Most Holy Trinity, June 15 – One of the more profound mysteries, the Church teaches us there is only one God, yet, there are three Persons in God — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), June 22 – On this day, we pause to ponder the mystery of the most holy Eucharist as the Church calls us to “adore what we become” (St. Augustine).
- The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24 – We celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus Christ. John is described as the bridge between the Old and New Testaments, and the great prophet who prepared the way for Jesus Christ by preaching a baptism of repentance.
- The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 27 – The feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us of the immense love that Jesus has for each of us as manifested in his open, loving heart.
- Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, June 29 – We celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, principal patrons of the Church.
Editor’s Note: Solemnities are the highest degree and are usually reserved for the most important mysteries of faith. These include Easter, Pentecost and the Immaculate Conception; the principal titles of Our Lord, such as King and Sacred Heart; and celebrations that honor some saints of particular importance in salvation history, such as Sts. Peter and Paul, and St. John the Baptist on his day of birth.