October, 2013 - Overview for the Month
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.
The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of October 2013
General: That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love.
Missionary: That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's word. (See also www.apostleshipofprayer.net)
Feasts for October
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of October are:
Focus of the Liturgy
All the Gospels for the Sundays in October 2013 are taken from Year C, Cycle 1, the Gospel of St. Luke.
Highlights of the Month
During October, as in all of Ordinary Time (formerly known as Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy does not focus on one particular mystery of Christ, but views the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. We follow the life of Christ through the Gospels, and focus on the teachings and parables of Jesus and what it means for each of us to be a follower of Christ. During Ordinary Time we can concentrate more on the saints and imitate their holiness as Christ's followers.
This month the main liturgical feasts are St. Thérèse (October 1), Guardian Angels (October 2), St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), St. Faustina (October 5), Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7), St. Teresa of Jesus (October 15), St. Hedwig and St. Margaret Mary (October 16), St. Ignatius of Antioch (October 17), St. Luke (October 18), St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de Brébeuf and Companions (October 19), St. Anthony Mary Claret (October 24) and Sts. Simon and Jude (October 28).
The feasts of St. Bruno (October 6) and St. Paul of the Cross (October 20) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.
October usually is an enjoyable time of the year in the United States. The autumn season manifests itself with wonderful fall foliage in many parts of the country. The temperatures are cooler, inviting people outdoors for nature walks, apple or pumpkin picking. School routines are more established and football season is in full swing. The celebrations of the Church for the month of October are also wonderful and unique. The feasts of some of the most popular saints of the universal Church are celebrated during this month: St. Therese the Little Flower (France), St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) and St. Teresa of Avila (Spain). These saints come from different countries, and in honoring these saints we can include cultural dishes or activities from each country to make the feastday even more special. Read more about the lives of these saints. Perhaps the family can pick one virtue that each saint practiced well and try to implement it.
The feasts in October also include two of the most popular, time-honored devotions of Catholics, the devotion to the Holy Rosary (October 7) and the Guardian Angels (October 2). In October 2002 our Holy Father John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (the Rosary of the Virgin Mary)." This letter introduced five new mysteries, called the Luminous or Mysteries of Light, which are (1) Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan, (2) Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with the call to conversion, (4) the Transfiguration, and (5) the Institution of the Eucharist. Try to make a more concerted effort to pray the Rosary together as a family during the month of October, read the Apostolic Letter to understand the beauty of this devotion more deeply, and pray the new Luminous mysteries. October 16 is known as "Pope Day" on which we celebrate the gift of the papacy and our current pope.
Every person has a guardian angel assigned to them, and October 2 the Church celebrates the role of these Guardian Angels. We should show devout gratitude to God for placing these angels at our service. Having a guardian should give us confidence during all of life's difficulties. Every Catholic should know the Angele Dei (Angel of God) prayer and pray it often. The Directory on Popular Piety suggests that families pray it at morning and evening prayers or after the Angelus.
All Hallows' Eve or Halloween heralds the month of November with emphasis on the Communion of Saints, especially the Church Suffering (the Poor Souls in Purgatory) and the second coming of Christ or parousia. This last day of October on the secular calendar is second only to Christmas in commercial preparations. The secular festivities center on ghouls, witches and devils, but the Christian counterpart focus on the communion of saints. As Christians living a "Catholic Culture", we should try to explore the Christian roots of the Halloween festivities.
Let us imitate what they contain so as to obtain what they promise.
St. Luke was a physician from Antioch and a disciple of St. Paul. He is the author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles. In his Gospel he highlights the universality of salvation.
Recipe of the Month
Paella is a delicious, typical Spanish dish which has literally hundreds of ways to be prepared. Try making a version of this recipe in honor of the Spanish saint Teresa of Avila, whose feast is October 15.
Activity of the Month
As a child, St. Thérèse the Little Flower had “sacrifice beads,” which were a small string of beads to help her count the “presents” she offered to God. Each time she would make a sacrifice such as letting someone else have their way, St. Therese would secretly reach into her pocket and “pull a bead” to Jesus on the Crucifix. Find out more about the sacrifice beads and implement the practice in the family.
The sailing vessel here represents the Church, which St. Jude (also known as Thaddeus or Lebbaeus) carried to many ports as he journeyed as a missionary.
The companion of St. Jude on many missionary journeys, St. Simon was known as a great fisher of men through the power of the Gospel.
St. Francis, the father of the Franciscan Order, for two years before his death bore the marks of the Lord's Passion upon his hands, feet and side. The tears on the cross represent the marks of the stigmata.
A convert of St. John, reputedly consecrated Bishop of Antioch by St. Peter, St. Ignatius was an important link between the first and second centuries of the Church. He was the writer of seven epistles as he proceeded to his martyrdom when condemned by Trajan.
A Carmelite nun who left her cloister at Avila and set up a reformed Carmelite Order in Spain and Portugal. She endured much suffering with a joyful heart.
Thou, O daughter, art blessed of the Lord, for through thee have we been made partakers of the fruit of life.