Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Catholics Celebrate Feast Days of Saints in October

If you are a Catholic, then you are aware of the many universal feast days, or holidays that the Catholic Church celebrates. When I was growing up, my grandmother always had a church calender that had, to me mysterious notes underneath many days of each month. But in reality this was to remind Catholics of the many special feast days that mark the birth,death or conversion of a particular saint. It has been a custom for many Catholics to honor the saints,by remembering them on their particular feast day. It is also a wonderful way for children to learn about the lives of saints.
Every month has it's own feast days each year.The month of October is no different. So I thought I would share some of the feast day that I personally know of.
October 1
St. Therese of Lisieux (born 1873-died 1897)
She was a Carmelite nun, born in France and died very young at age 24. Many people all over the world consider her to be one of the most beloved and popular saints of all times."The Little Way" is what this saint is know for. In her quiet life, her little way was to offer every moment of life, with a love for Jesus.She was dedicated and led by doing the duties of everyday life with it's ordinary hardships with the child like spirit and confidence.She promised that she would work for souls even after she went to heaven.She also said she would send roses to earth as a sign of this. Many miracles involving roses and flowers that have no other explanation have been attributed to St. Therese. I have personally witnessed one of these miracles, at a very difficult moment in my own life. I also have been told that chocolate ├ęclairs were her favorite treat, so I will honor her on this day and eat one.

October 2
Feast of the Guardian Angels
This can be a very enjoyable feast day for children. On this feast day, it is tradition for Catholics to pray for protection of their Guardian Angel. Children like to say this prayer:
Angel of God,my guardian dear,to whom God's love commits me here,ever this day be at my side to light and guard me and rule and protect me. Amen

October 4 (this is my favorite)
St. Francis of Assisi (born-1182 died-1226)
This saint was born of very wealthy parents,but he chose to be a poor servant for the glory of God. Most people are familiar with this,
The Prayer Of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Many Catholics, adults and children know this feast day, by the Blessing of The Animals. It is really special because it's one celebration that many Church's will have their own Blessing of The Animal's Day, where anybody can bring animals to be blessed by the Priest. Ther has even been blessings for circus animals! In rural towns, they bring large animals,cow, donkey's and such. For children, this is a pretty fun day.
He is also known for Canticle of Brother Sun.

October 7
Our Lady of Rosary
This day is to commemorate a navel victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto in 1571.The victory is attributed to Mary's help invoked through the Rosary.

October 15
St. Teresa of Avila (born-1515 died-1582)
This Spanish saint loved to write and she also was was also known as the great reformer of the Carmelite Order. She, along with Catherine of Siena have been called Doctors of The Church.

October 18
St. Luke
He wrote the Acts of the Apostles. He was a physician and helper to St. Paul. He was a gentile and wrote his gospels for other gentiles, to understand.Many Catholics read Acts on this day and consider how it applies to their own lives.

October 28
St. Jude
St. Jude was the brother of St. James the less and he was also a cousin of Jesus. I am not sure exactly why, but this saint has always been referred by "the saint of the impossible" He is very much honored in both India and Uganda, where many novena's are said invoking his intercession.

Sources:

http://www.karmel.at/eng/teresa.htm
http://www.stjudenovena.org/stjude.html
http://www.catholic.com/
The following books were also used for further research:
Following The Saints, published by The Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1980
The Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions by Ronda De Sola Chervin and Carla Conley
published by Servant Publications 1994

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