First of all, the major features of this month of October in the Roman Catholic Church are: Dedication to the Holy Rosary given to St. Dominic, the celebration of the centennial of the final apparition at Fatima, the great Miracle of the Sun seen by thousands and a general focus on pro-life issues, the first Sunday of the month being dedicated to this cause....the annual "40 Days for Life," a Christian initiative, overlaps with the month of October-it began September 27th and extends till November 5th-this involves a three-point approach: Prayer & Fasting, Constant Vigil and Community Outreach. Think about getting involved-these efforts have saved many lives!
We also have the trad feast of Christ the King, last Sunday of October and several Marian feasts, including Our Lady of the Rosary, corresponding to this month's theme. We celebrate only one Doctor of the Church this month, St. Therese, probably (but I haven't researched this) the youngest of all the Doctors, only reaching the age of 24-what an accomplishment for such a young woman to attain a distinction reserved in all 2,000 years of Church history, for only 35 people! We also honor several saints of the Gospel, companions of Christ, this month, along with one of the writers of the Gospel, Saint Luke.
So there are many things to think about in the coming weeks-if you can't do it all, pick one thing and devote yourself to it. That is the beauty of being a Catholic-it is such a rich and varied tradition, there is something for everyone! Here is sampling of this month's feasts:
10/1-St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church, 1897/Respect Life Sunday
10/2-Holy Guardian Angels
10/3-St. Therese of Lisieux (trad)
10/4-St. Francis of Assisi, 1226
10/5-St. Faustina Kowalska, Seer of the Divine Mercy, 1938-pray the chaplet!
10/7-First Saturday/Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary-what a day to celebrate the First Saturday devotion, in the month of the Holy Rosary and also the month of the final Fatima apparition-remember, this devotion was given to Sister Lucia!
10/8-Our Lady of Good Remedy
10/11-Divine Maternity of Our Lady
10/12-Our Lady of the Pillar
10/13-CENTENNIAL OF THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN AT FATIMA, PORTUGAL-the final Fatima apparition-Don't forget our Holy Hour right here on the blog! What special gift would you like to give Our Lady on this joyful day? My gift will be to spend the day at the World Apostolate of Fatima Blue Army Shrine in New Jersey-Mass will be said by Bishop Frank Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, CT-he is the very first clergy member I met with in Brooklyn 4 years ago, to discuss Nomen Christi Apostolate and we had a great meeting! Maybe I'll see you there?
10/16-St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Seer of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1690/St. Gerard Majella, 1755-patron of pregnant women
10/17-St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (trad)
10/18-St. Luke the Evangelist
10/21-St. Ursula & Companions, Martyrs, 4th Century-legend states she had up to 11,000 companions martyred with her, perhaps even more, but no one knows for sure what the actual number was
10/22-Pope St. John Paul II, 2005/St. Mary Salome, Mother of Saints James & John, Apostles
10/24-St. Raphael the Archangel-patron of travelers & the blind
10/28-Saints Simon & Jude, Apostles
10/29-Christ the King
10/31-All Hallow's Eve-pray for those who perform occult practices on this day in direct response to Holy Church's devotion to the saints in Heaven....and for reparation for these sins