August was originally the sixth month of the year and it’s Roman name was Sextilis. It became the eighth month when January and February were added around 700 BC and its name was changed to Augustus in 8 BC by Julius Caesar.
Augustus was the first Emperor and founder of the Roman Empire, but he was never referred to as Emperor, choosing the term Princeps Civitasor “First Citizen”. It was during the reign of Augustus that the “Roman Peace” began and is during this time that the Incarnation occurs with the Nativity of Christ which is figured to be anywhere from 4 BC to 9 AD.
Our picture from the Duke of Berry’s famous Book of Hours, shows a classic summer scene with a Middle Age twist. The Château d’Etampes takes the scene in the background, rising into a blue summer sky, in the foreground a company of travellers or possibly a hunting party? Leading the company is a Falconer. And in the center, between all this we see a group of people enjoying a nice swim in the cool waters of a lake. This is interesting, to me, because it is another proof against one of those “myths” about the middle ages which claims that people who lived then didn’t take baths and therefore smelled bad.
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of August are:
1. Alphonsus Liguori, Memorial
2. Eusebius of Vercelli; Peter Julian Eymard, Opt. Mem.
4. John Vianney, Memorial
5. Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
6. Transfiguration, Feast
7. Sixtus II and companions; Cajetan, Opt. Mem.
8. Dominic, Memorial
9. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Opt. Mem.
10. Lawrence, Feast
11. Clare, Memorial
12. Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
13. Pontian and Hippolytus, Opt. Mem.
14. Maximilian Kolbe, Memorial
15. Assumption, Solemnity
16. Stephen of Hungary, Opt. Mem.
19. Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
20. Bernard, Memorial
21. Pius X, Sunday
22. Queenship of Mary, Memorial
23. Rose of Lima, Opt. Mem.
24. Bartholomew, Feast
25. Louis of France; Joseph Calasanz, Opt. Mem.
26. Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
27. Monica, Memorial
28. Augustine, Memorial
29. Martyrdom of John the Baptist, Memorial