October: the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary

10-01-2017Monthly Reflection

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 2017

Universal: Workers and the Unemployed, that all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good. (See www.popesprayerusa.net)

Feasts for October

The feasts of St. Thérèse (October 1), St. Teresa of Jesus (October 15) and St. John Paul II (October 22) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Focus of the Liturgy

All the Gospels for the Sundays in October 2017 are taken from Year A, Cycle 1, the Gospel of St. Matthew.

  • October 1 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- Our Lord tells the parable of the two sons in the vineyard.
  • October 8 - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- This Gospel recounts the parable of the landowner and the vineyard.
  • October 15 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- This Gospel recounts the parable of the wedding banquet.
  • October 22 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- Jesus says to "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's".
  • October 29 - 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time -- In this Gospel Jesus gives us the greatest commandment.

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

Autumn Festivities

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
  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.