Celebrate these beautiful traditions with the Church to enrich your life and your family.
Welcome to June, the beautiful month that in the Catholic Church is officially dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
Just as this month is famous for celebrating dads on Father’s Day, it is also the month in the Catholic Church in which inspiring, fatherly saints and heart-centered devotions customized for the days of June are all perfectly suited to honoring the most perfect paternal heart, that of Our Lord. Each week of June offers ways to celebrate.
Here’ are 4 ways to really celebrate with the saints this June!
June 11: Take heart in Our Lord on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is June 11, followed the very next day by the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on June 12. What better way to honor the Two Hearts than by consecrating ourselves to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus? This June is the perfect time to begin the 33-Day Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. An online version sends free daily emails for each day of the Consecration, complete with prayers, reflections, beautiful featured Catholic works of art, music, and even a daily podcast … right to your inbox. These guided daily devotions take very little time (9 to 14 minutes total) but will be time well spent. They will aid and inspire us to better prepare our hearts for Jesus and in so doing, bring joy to His Mother Mary’s Heart. What a noble way to honor this feast day and the entire month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sign up here.
June 13: Bake and share with St. Anthony of Padua
St. Anthony is famous for being the patron saint of lost items. If the children in your life don’t already know this rhyming prayer, today’s a great day to teach them (whatever their age) that the next time they’ve lost their favorite stuffed animal or the keys to their car, they should pray with trust, “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and needs to be found.” But did you also know that St. Anthony was known for his excellence in preaching the faith? If you ever need help defending the faith with your words, whisper a quick prayer to St. Anthony. To celebrate our Saint-Preacher and Finder of Lost Things in the kitchen, it’s time to bake some St. Anthony Bread rolls. The story goes that once a child had drowned and the mother begged St. Anthony that if the child was saved she would donate an amount of bread, equal to her child’s weight, to the poor. To this day, those who love St. Anthony circle the date of his feast on their calendar and give food to the poor on that day. Some churches bless bread and distribute to families, others take up extra donations for their food pantry. June 13 is a special day to drop off canned food to your parish outreach center. It’s a great day to bake bread and distribute loaves or rolls to family, friends, or people you know could use a boost … all in St. Anthony’s name. Here’s a recipe, but any kind of baked bread will do.
And here’s a good prayer for the day, “Prayer to St. Anthony in Any Necessity”:
I salute you, St. Anthony, lily of purity, ornament and glory of Christianity.
I salute you, great Saint, cherub of wisdom and seraph of divine love. I rejoice at the favors Our Lord has so liberally bestowed on you.
In humility and confidence I entreat you to help me, for I know that God has given you charity and compassion, as well as power.
I ask you, by the love you felt toward the Holy Infant Jesus as you held Him in your arms, to tell Him now of the favors I seek through your intercession. (Mention your petition.)
O glorious favorite of God, in humble reverence I petition you to grant me what I so urgently ask for, and I will make known your goodness and holiness, thereby to honor and glorify Him who has so greatly blessed you. Amen.
June 24: Celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist
This awesome saint doesn’t draw the kind of attention he should, considering how important he is in Scripture, so much so that Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” Matthew 11:11 John the Baptist baptized Our Lord and is the Forerunner, and the Bridge between the Old Testament and the New. Make a simple sheet cake and decorate it with beautiful scallop shells (either chocolate shells made from an affordable and easy to find shell chocolate mold, or real cleaned scallop shells.) The scallop shell is a famous symbol of the Baptist, and many parishes baptize babies with a scallop-shell shaped vessel of gold. Also, in honor of John the Baptist, find out the date of your Baptism if you don’t already know it. Just call the church where you were baptized, and the Parish Center will gladly look it up for you. I once heard a bishop say in a homily that the date of our Baptism is even more important than our birthday. So once you find out the day you were baptized, mark the calendar and plan to celebrate!
June 29: Feast with Sts. Peter and Paul
In a month dedicated to fathers, it’s hard to find more wonderfully paternal saints than St. Peter and St. Paul. Peter is the original Holy Father, the Rock on whom Jesus built His Church. Every good dad wants to think of himself as a “rock” of support and protection for his family. And Saint Paul turned his anger into zeal and became a luminary witnessing to the faith. To honor them today, have an al fresco dinner of fish (you could even grill the fish) to commemorate the famous meal of fish Peter had with Jesus, cooked over the charcoal fire. In the center of the table, have candles to make it special, and as a centerpiece, display a prominent rock (St. Peter is the Rock on which Jesus built the church) and a Bible (St. Paul made a huge contribution to Sacred Scripture). For the opening prayer, read 1 Corinthians 13, the famous “Love is patient, Love is kind” passage, and it will remind your entire family what it’s really all about.
May the saints of June and the bless, protect, and guide you and your family!