The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward (www.catholicculture.org).
The Holy Father's June Prayer Intentions
General: Respect for Human Life—“That every national and international institution may strive to guarantee respect for human life from conception to natural death”.
Missionary: Churches in Asia—“That the Churches in Asia, a "little flock" among non-Christian populations, may communicate the gospel well and give joyful witness to their faith”.
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POPE BENEDICT XVI JOURNEYS TO CYPRUS
Today, the Holy Father travels to the divided island of Cyprus to entrust to the hierarchy of the various churches (Latin and Oriental) of the Middle East Region the Instumentum laboris (Working Document) for the Synod that will take place in Rome in October 2010.
Catholics make up about 3.5% of the mainly Orthodox Christian Greek portion of Cyprus; Muslims constitute the majority in the northern portion of the island under Turkish rule. So there is in the visit an anticipation of the minority status of Christians that is their reality in the Middle East.
SYMBOL OF CYPRUS: A UNIQUE FLAG
The national flag of Republic of Cyprus was adopted in 1960 after gaining independence from the United Kingdom. The flag was chosen by the President of the Republic Makarios III and the Vice-President Fazil Kucuk as the result of the flag design competition.
According to the Constitution, the flag should not have blue or red colours (the colours of the flags of Greece and Turkey) and should not feature a cross or a crescent. The flag should look neutral. The national flag design competition was won by a Turkish Cypriot teacher and artist Ismet Guney.
Cyprus is the only country to display its land area on its official flag. The background of the flag is white that represents peace. In the middle, there is the map of the island that has the copper colour to represent the historical attachment of Cyprus to this metal. Under the island's map there are olive tree's branches. The branches of the olive tree represent peace as well.
The flag of Cyprus is used on land as the national and civil flag and at sea as the national and civil ensign. Many sea vessels in the world go under the Cyprus flag as Cyprus has the third largest fleet within the European Union, with 16% of the total fleet of the 25 EU Member States. The European fleet capacity has increased upon Cyprus' accession due to the Cyprus fleet contribution.