October Quick Links & Resources
As a short guide and aid to your October liturgical living, I have compiled some quick tips, ideas, and links to bring joy and festivity into your domestic church. This is not a list of every single October feast day, but will be a very good start.
Feast days that you will find in this post!
1. St. Therese of Lisieux (October 1)
2. Holy Guardian Angels (October 2)
3. Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7 & Monthly Dedication)
4. St. John Paul II (October 22)
Note: This is not a full list of resources on my blog for feast day celebrations, activities, and recipes in the month of October. Go browse around for saints and feast days that are special to you.
The Month of October is Dedicated to the Holy Rosary.
Click the graphic below for this Memento Mori Rosary, handmade by a beloved Franciscan priest for Liturgy Market.
St. Therese of Lisieux
“I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul.”
These are the words of Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun called the “Little Flower,” who lived a cloistered life of obscurity in the convent of Lisieux, France. And her preference for hidden sacrifice did indeed convert souls. Few saints of God are more popular than this young nun. Her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, is read and loved throughout the world. Thérèse Martin entered the convent at the age of 15 and died in 1897 at the age of 24.
Life in a Carmelite convent is indeed uneventful and consists mainly of prayer and hard domestic work. But Thérèse possessed that holy insight that redeems the time, however dull that time may be. She saw in quiet suffering a redemptive suffering, suffering that was indeed her apostolate. Thérèse said she came to the Carmel convent “to save souls and pray for priests.” And shortly before she died, she wrote: “I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth.”
Thérèse was canonized in 1925. On October 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church, the third woman to be so recognized in light of her holiness and the influence of her teaching on spirituality in the Church.
Her parents, Louis and Zélie, were beatified in 2008, and canonized in 2015. (Franciscan Media)
Written by St. Therese of Lisieux
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity. Amen.
In honor of her French culture.
Holy Guardian Angels
John Paul affirms that "in the key moments [the angels] surround Christ and accompany him in the fulfilment of his salvific mission in regard to mankind". This is a logical consequence of the aforementioned text.
Angels, created by God according to the importance and necessity of each situation, therefore "accompany" and "surround" the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. In this way the mission is complete, embracing the whole Christ, Head and Body.
This dynamic refers not only to the Ecclesial Community as such, but also individual Church members. But as part of the historical and ecclesiological profile it must also be mentioned that angels journey together with the Church in her mission of salvation and at the same time travel side-by-side with her members; all human beings have their own guardian angel to guard, protect and enlighten them.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church proclaims that "from infancy to death human life is surrounded by their [angels'] watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God" (CCC, n. 336).
Such protection will benefit those who respond to the Holy Spirit's direction and for those who willingly collaborate. In her liturgy, the Church prays to the angels for herself and others, calling upon their protection and intercession: it is sufficient to follow the liturgy of the Mass to be convinced. (EWTN)
Angel of God
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
This tasty cake that will remind you and the entire family of their holy name and the protection that the Guardian Angels provide to each of us.
Our Lady of the Rosary
Saint Pius V established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.
The development of the rosary has a long history. First a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus’ life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary’s giving of the rosary to Saint Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as “the apostle of the rosary.” He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century, the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries: joyful, sorrowful and glorious. In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the five Mysteries of Light to this devotion.
How to Pray the Rosary
On this Marian feast, make a blue drink in honor of the color that brings Mary to mind!
St. John Paul II
Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, lived an unusually varied life before his priestly ordination. As a teen, he split stone at a quarry, wrote poetry and supported a network that smuggled Jews to safety during the German occupation of Poland. As a young priest, he was a favorite with students at Lublin University who flocked to his classes and joined him on camping, hiking and canoeing trips. As the second-youngest cardinal ever named by the Vatican, he ran an informal office and celebrated holidays with Krakow actors. It should have been no surprise that he would redefine the traditional role and demeanor of the papacy by traveling extensively, continuing to enjoy outdoor activities and taking on a wide range of political and moral issues.
As a high school student in his hometown of Wadowice, in southern Poland, Wojtyla impressed classmates by the intense way he would pray in church, a habit of deep meditation that remained with him for life "Even as a boy he was exceptional," said Rafat Tatka, a neighbor who knew the young boy as Lolek, a nickname that translates as Chuck.
The Nazi takeover of Poland in September 1939 meant an official end to all religious training and cultural activities, but Wojtyla attended an underground university in Krakow and helped set up a clandestine theater group that performed in stores and homes. In addition to the quarry, he worked in a chemical factory -- experiences that provided material for his poetry and papal writings on labor.
He participated in daily Mass, spiritual exercises, Marian devotion and Bible study. Friends said that when his father died in 1941, Karol knelt for 12 hours in prayer at his father's bedside. Soon after, he withdrew from the theatrical group and began studying for the priesthood, a decision that surprised many of his friends, who tried to convince him his talent lay in the theater. He studied in a clandestine seminary operated in Cardinal Adam Sapieha's Krakow residence in defiance of Nazi orders forbidding religious education.
The archbishop saw him as a future church leader. Yet the young man who wrote poems and a doctoral dissertation on the mysticism of St. John of the Cross was attracted to monastic contemplation. Twice during these years he tried to join the Discalced Carmelites but was turned away with the advice: "You are destined for greater things." He was ordained Nov. 1, 1946, just as the communist regime replaced the Germans at the end of the war. (USCCB)
Prayer to St. John Paul II
Oh, St. John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing! Bless the Church that you loved and served and guided, courageously leading her along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream again, help them look up to the heavens again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless each and every family! You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth. St. John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice. You opposed war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love: pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
Oh St. John Paul, from heaven’s window, where we see you beside Mary, send God’s blessing down upon us all.