In October, we celebrate the feast of some of the greatest saints in the Church. These holy men and women not only offer profound examples of heroic virtue, but also desire to aid those of us still on earth in our own journey towards holiness.
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Our Lady of the Rosary
The Church celebrates the Most Holy Rosary during the month of October. While the novena to Our Lady of the Rosary needs to begin on September 28 to finish on her feast day, you can pray this novena any time during this month.
Saint Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa of Avila was a Carmelite nun who is known for her mystical experiences in prayer. Her writings, especially The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle helped shape the Church’s understanding of contemplation. She was named the first woman Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.
St. Gerard, an Italian lay Redemptorist, became known as “The Mothers’ Saint” after his prayers miraculously saved the lives of a mother and child dying in childbirth. Today, the Church regards him as a patron saint of mothers, expectant mothers, and those wanting to become mothers.
St. Luke the Evangelist wrote one of the Gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles. Not much is known about Luke’s life but he is traditionally believed that he was a Gentile doctor, who eventually became a disciple of Paul.
He is the patron saint of doctors, surgeons, and artists. The Novena to St. Luke begins October 10th.
Pope Saint John Paul II
Pope Saint John Paul II is one of the most beloved popes in history. He is remembered for his profound impact both on the Church and on the world. He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, reformed the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law, and wrote extensively on important matters of the faith. He is also often recognized for his role in the downfall of communism.
He is also remembered for his recognition of the dignity of every human person, and serves as an example for us today on how to love.
Start the novena to this holy pontiff on October 14th or celebrate his feast by praying one of John Paul II’s favorite novena prayers.
All Saints Day
The Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints Day on November 1st. This feast acknowledges all of the holy men and women–both known and unknown to us–who have gone before us to their final reward.
The saints, also known as the Church Triumphant, want to pray for and help the Church on earth, those of us still striving to live a virtuous life. Invoke the powerful intercession of all of our heavenly brothers and sisters with this novena beginning on October 24th.
All Souls Day
After celebrating the Church Triumphant, we celebrate the Church Penitent or Church Suffering on November 2nd. On this feast, we remember the holy souls in Purgatory waiting to enter the fullness of heaven.
The souls in Purgatory rely on our prayers to more quickly complete their purgation; it is traditionally believed that while they cannot pray for themselves, the holy souls can pray for those of us still on earth. Pray for these souls and ask them to pray for you with this novena beginning on October 25.
Saint Martin de Porres
St. Martin de Porres was a Peruvian Lay Dominican known for his great love of the poor and marginalized. He established an orphanage and children’s hospital, and generously shared the priory’s donations with those in need.
He offered all of his daily work to God and experienced God’s favor in return. Martin was known to have levitated, bi-located, and worked miracles during his life. The Church considers him the patron of people who are mixed race, race relations, as well as hair stylists, innkeepers, public education, and public health.
Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint Charles Borromeo, an Italian cardinal and archbishop, played a major role in the reform that took place in the Catholic Church after the Protestant Reformation. He rewrote the catechism, updated the process for preparing seminarians, ended the selling of indulgences, among other necessary updates made by the Council of Trent.
Saint Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of bishops, cardinals, and spiritual leaders, as well as seminarians and catechists. St. Charles’ St. Charles’ novena begins October 27th.
Do you plan to pray any of these novenas this month? Leave a comment and let us know. And as always, please feel free to leave your prayer intentions with us below.