The month of October still remains within Ordinary Time. October is a month dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God.
MAJOR SAINTS AND FEAST DAYS OF AUGUST
|October 1||Theresa of the Child Jesus, Virgin||Memorial|
|October 2||Guardian Angels||Memorial|
|October 7||Our Lady of the Rosary||Memorial|
|October 15||Teresa of Avila, Virgin and Doctor||Memorial|
|October 17||Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr||Memorial|
|October 19||John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues, and Companions, Martyrs||Memorial|
|October 22||Pope St. John Paul II||Memorial|
|October 28||Simon and Jude, Apostles||Feast|
THE BATTLE OF LEPANTO
In the sixteenth century, Christian Europe was facing a serious threat from the Islamic Turks, who were expanding into the Balkans and raiding other parts of Europe, increasingly threatening control of the Mediterranean, and enslaving Christian captives. Pope Pius V was instrumental in assembling a coalition of the Catholic powers to resist. On October 7, 1571, the coalition’s naval forces under Don Juan of Austria inflicted a stinging defeat on a Turkish fleet off the coast of Greece–the Battle of Lepanto. Having urged all Catholics to pray the rosary for a victory, the Pope instituted the feast day which we now celebrate October 7 as Our Lady of the Rosary.
IRISH SAINTS OF OCTOBER
October 11 Canice, Abbot (c. 515-99)
According to some sources, Canice, also known as Kenneth, was born at Glengiven, and became a monk and priest in Wales under St. Cadoc, at Llancarfan. He traveled to Rome, studied under St. Finian at Clonard, and evangelized in Ireland and Scotland. He was a close friend of Columba, whom he accompanied on a mission to the Picts. Canice may be the founder of monasteries at Aghaboe and Kilkenny in Ireland, and he also left a number of traces in place-names in Scotland.
October 13 Comgan, Abbot (8th century)
Son of a prince of Leinster, he succeeded his father, but was forced to flee to Scotland, where he settled near Skye, built a monastery, and lived an austere life there. He was buried on Iona by his nephew, St. Fillan.
October 16 Gall (d. c. 635)
Gall distinguished himself as a scholar of grammar, poetry, and Holy Scripture under Saints Comgall and Columban at Bangor and was ordained a priest. He was one of twelve disciples who accompanied Columban to the Continent, first evangelizing in France and later in what is now Switzerland. Gall did not accompany Columban when the latter departed for Italy. Some legends have it that this resulted in a falling out between the two that was only healed at the death of Columban, but this may simply be a story to explain their separation. Gall became a hermit, and eventually the famous monastery of St. Gall came to occupy the site of his hermitage. Several stories would seem to indicate that the saint was an avid fisherman. He turned down offers of bishoprics and abbacies to remain a hermit. St. Gall is considered the apostle of Switzerland.
October 21 Fintan, Abbot (d.c.635)
Also known as Munnu, Fintan was a monk of Cluain Inis, spent some time at Iona, and upon returning to Ireland founded a monastery at Taghmon, Wexford, serving as its abbot. He was a firm supporter of the Celtic liturgical practices. He reportedly contracted leprosy late in life.
October 27 Otteran, Abbot (d. 563)
Also known as Odhran, this saint may have been a Briton. He was an abbot in Meath before he left Ireland among the twelve companions who accompanied Columba to Iona.
October 29 Colman of Kilmacduagh, Bishop (d.c. 632)
Son of a chieftain, reportedly consecrated a bishop unwillingly, he lived as a hermit in the Burren. He built a monastery at Kilmacduagh and is considered the first bishop of that see. Like many Irish saints, there are many fanciful stories about him. Colman is said to have been aided in his devotions by a rooster, a mouse, and a fly: the first woke him up for the night office, the second kept him from falling asleep again, while the third served as a bookmark.
October 31 Foillan, Abbot (d.c. 655)
With his two sainted brothers, Fursey and Ultan, he left Ireland for England c. 630, built a monastery at Burgh Castle, near Yarmouth, and evangelized the East Anglians. When his monastery was destroyed by the pagan Mercians under Penda, Foillan and his brother Ultan decided to follow their brother Fursey to Gaul, where they were welcomed by the Neustrian king, Clovis II. Foillan was founder and first abbot of a monastery at Fosses and converted many of the locals. He was murdered by outlaws.
The November election is approaching. The statement of the U.S. Catholic bishops on the duties of Catholic voters, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, may be accessed at www.usccb.org. The bishops this past November reaffirmed decisively that abortion must be the preeminent issue for Catholic voters.
Ohio Right to Life’s candidate endorsements may be found at www.ohiovotesforlife.org.
[Sources consulted for this report include: Butler’s Lives of the Saints, complete edition, ed. and rev. by Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater; 4 vols. (New York, 1956); The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite (New York, 1975); The National Catholic Register; ewtn.com; catholic.org; priestsforlife.org; catholicnewsagency.com.]
Patrick J. Lally