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October Saints

1 October

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus: born in France in 1873, she entered the Carmelite monastery at Lisieux at an early age. By her words and example, she taught humility, simplicity and faith in God. She died in 1897, aged 24. Her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul” records her immense love of God and personal determination to grow in prayer.


2 October

The Holy Guardian Angels: in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the feast of the Guardian Angels began to be celebrated in Austria, Spain and Portugal. In 1608 Pope Paul V made it a universal feast. It celebrates God’s constant care for each of his children.


4 October

Saint Francis of Assisi: born in Assisi in 1182, Francis was a light-hearted youth, but changed, giving up his inheritance, offering his whole life to God and embracing poverty. He gathered followers around him, instituting a Rule that was approved by Pope Innocent III. The result was the Franciscan Order, known for preaching and for the love of poverty. Francis died in 1226.


6 October

Saint Bruno: a great scholar and teacher, Bruno was born in Cologne in 1035; after a period spent teaching theology, he embraced a solitary life, settling at La Grande Chartreuse; he is considered to be the founder of the Carthusian order, which follows a way of poverty, silence, prayer and penance. Bruno, having been summoned as adviser to Pope Urban II, died in Calabria in 1101.


9 October

Saint Denis and Companions: Denis came from Rome to France in the middle of the third century, and became the first Bishop of Paris. He died as a martyr with two companions in that city.


9 October

Saint John Leonardi: born in Tuscany in 1541, he became a pharmacist but subsequently a priest. In 1574 he founded the “Clerks Regular of the Mother of God”, for spreading the faith. In 1579 he also founded the “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” to train catechists and teachers who would train children. After encountering much opposition, he died in Rome in 1609.


9 October

Blessed John Henry Newman


10 October

Saint Paulinus of York: Paulinus died in 644. He was among the second group of monks sent to England by Pope Gregory. After working for 20 years in Kent, he was ordained bishop and sent to Northumbria. By 627, he baptised the king and many of his nobles. Paulinus returned to Kent, where he served as bishop of Rochester for his remaining years.


12 October

Saint Wilfrid: Wilfrid was born in Northumbria about 634, and died possibly in 709. As bishop of York he was the first English bishop to appeal to the Pope, after his Diocese had been divided without reference to him. Although reinstated in York, he fell out again with the king and other bishops, and exercised his ministry in the East Midlands and finally at Hexham.


13 October

Saint Edward the Confessor: Edward became King of England in 1042; he was remarkable for his generosity to the poor. He died on 5 January 1066.


14 October

Saint Callistus I: according to tradition he was a slave who became a deacon (supervising the cemetery on the Via Appia that still bears his name) and later Pope. He was martyred in the year 222 and buried on the Via Aurelia.


15 October

Saint Teresa of Jesus (of Avila): born in 1515, she entered the Carmelite Order, and made great progress in the way of perfection and enjoyed mystical revelations. She undertook the reform of the Order, against great opposition. She died in 1582.


16 October

Saint Hedwig: born in Bavaria in 1174, she married and had 7 children; she was renowned for kindness to the sick and the poor, for whom she built hostels. On the death of her husband she retired to a monastery at Trebnitz where she died in 1243.


16 October

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: born in 1647, she joined the sisters of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. She was granted revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; she spread this devotion and died in 1690.


17 October

Saint Ignatius of Antioch: the second bishop of Antioch; he was sentenced to death in 107 and deported to Rome, where he was thrown to wild beasts. He wrote seven letters to the Christian Churches, in which he expounded Christian doctrine and life.


18 October

Saint Luke: born of a pagan family and converted to the faith, he was a companion of Saint Paul and wrote his Gospel in accordance with Paul’s teaching. He also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.


19 October

Saint John de Brébeuf and Saint Isaac Jogues: they were Jesuits who preached the Gospel in North America from 1635. They worked among the Huron and Iroquois but between 1642 and 1649 all were brutally killed.


19 October

Saint Paul of the Cross: Paul Danei was born in 1694; he was devoted to the Passion of Our Lord, and set up houses for others to share his work - the Passionist Order. He died in Rome in 1775.


23 October

Saint John of Capestrano: born in 1386; after a career as a lawyer he entered the Franciscan Order, and then travelled throughout most of Europe preaching and strengthening Christian morals. He died, aged 70, in 1456.


24 October

Saint Anthony Mary Claret: born in 1807, he was ordained and began preaching throughout Spain; he founded the Claretians, before being made Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, where he overcame great trials (such as fifteen assassination attempts) in his ministry. He returned to Spain, but fled in 1868 after the revolution; he died in France in 1870.


26 October

Saints Chad and Cedd: Chad, who died at Lichfield on 2 March 672, and Cedd, who died at Lastingham (Yorkshire) on this day in 664, were brothers who were educated at Lindisfarne under Aidan. Cedd was founded of many monasteries and was sent as a bishop to evangelise the East Saxons and established his See at Bradwell (Essex). He died of the plague at his monastery in Lastingham. Chad was abbot of Lastingham when chosen Bishop of Northumbria, but his ordination was contested by Wilfrid, and he humbly withdrew. He was then sent as Bishop of Mercia, where he founded the See of Lichfield. Despite the shortness of his ministry, he was immediately revered as a saint because of the holiness of his life, his outstanding humility, and his dedication to preaching the Gospel.


28 October

Saint Simon and Jude: the name of Simon is placed eleventh in the list of apostles and nothing in known of him, except that he was born at Cana and was known as the Zealot. Jude, also known as Thaddaeus, was the apostle who, at the Last Supper, asked the Lord why he showed himself only to his disciples and not to the whole world (John 14.22)