News from San Antonio Church – October 1, 2023

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Weekly Bulletin October 1, 2023

by Terrie Evans

On this 1st Sunday of October, we join all Catholics around the country to pray for the protection of all human life from conception to natural death on Respect Life Sunday.  Established   in 1972 by American Catholic Bishops to observe the month of October with prayer and pro-life activities.  As Catholics we are called on to think how deeply we regard the dignity of human life.  Every parish community is encouraged to engage in a pro-life activity to protect and support the life and dignity of every person.  A Prayer for Respect Life Sunday: “Almighty and ever-living God, have mercy on us.  Help us to recognize others as our brothers and sisters in Christ and actively work for their good.  Send us a spirit of hope and generosity of heart so we can be courageously pro-life, promoting action that truly protects, accompanies, and supports the life and dignity of every person.  Amen”. 

The Saint of the Day on this Sunday is Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), known as the Little Flower of Jesus.  She became a Carmelite Nun at an early age following five of her sisters into the Convent in France.  Within the Order, the 26 nuns all from different backgrounds, followed a regiment that allowed only one meal a day with little free time.  Therese took the habit on January 10, 1889, the name Therese of the Child of Jesus wearing the rough homespun and brown scapular, white wimple, and veil, with a leather belt, a rosary, woolen stockings, and rope sandals.  On September 8, 1890, at the age of 17 she made her vows.  Therese’s childhood heroine was Joan of Arc, and she wrote 2 small theatrical pieces performed by the nuns for the rest of the community.  She also wrote the “Story of A Soul”, three separate manuscripts about her life, and “Cantice to the Holy Face”.  In July 1887, being gravely ill with tuberculosis, she was moved to the Monastery Infirmary where she received her last Communion on August 19, 1897, and died at the age of 24 on September 30, 1897.  Beatified on April 29, 1923, and Canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925; she became one of the most popular saints of the 20th Century.

The city of Lisieux where Therese spent most of her early life has become a pilgrimage center welcoming over a million visitors every year.  The relics of St. Therese have been displayed on an international pilgrimage for almost 30 years, travelling to many stops including Ireland, Canada, England, South Africa, and the United States.  In 2008 the Discovery Shuttle Mission took a relic of St. Therese that was given to Astronaut Ron Garan.  “The Carmelites of New Caney”, Texas gave him the relic, “To preach the gospel on all 5 continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles”, fulfilling the wish of St. Therese.  She is the patron saint of aviators, florists and missions and has been called the Emily Dickinson of Roman Catholic Sainthood. 

On Monday, October 2nd we honor the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels the ancient tradition from the 4th Century when Catholics would set up altars in honor of the Guardian Angels.  On October 2, 1795, Pope Pius VI would grant a partial indulgence every time any of the faithful would recite the Guardian Angel Prayer: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom his love commits me here, Every this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”  Pope John XXIII wrote a Meditation for the Feast of the Guardian Angels to relay to us “We must remember how admirable was the intention of Divine Providence in entrusting to the angels the mission of watching over all mankind.  And over individual human beings, lest they should fall victims to the grave dangers which they encounter.”  A devotion to the guardian angels is an expression of the faith we have in God’s enduring love and the care from him that is extended to each person every day. 

On Wednesday, October 4th we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) who started the Franciscans and helped St. Clare establish, the “Poor Clare’s”, and he is also known for his devotion to the Eucharist.  He cared for the poor and always felt he needed to carry out the work of Christ.  He would preach “Your God is of your flesh, he lives in your nearest neighbor, in every man”.  His Order, the Franciscans were divided into provinces, and they were established in Germany, France, Hungary Spain, and on to the east.  He was canonized on July 16, 1228, two years after his death and is considered the Patron Saint of Italy, animals, and the environment with many churches throughout the world dedicated to him.  San Francisco, California is named after him and in 1979, St. Francis of Assisi was declared the patron saint of ecologists. 

On Thursday, October 5th we have the feast of Faustina Kowalski born in Poland in 1905 who felt the call to religious life at the age of 7 when she attended the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  She started the devotion to the Divine Mercy after apparitions of Jesus Christ inspired her dedication. Jesus would tell her he wanted the image of Devine Mercy to be blessed on the 1st Sunday after Easter which became Devine Mercy Sunday.  She was Beatified on April 17, 1993, Canonized on April 30, 2000, by Pope John Paul II who held both ceremonies at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.  

On Friday, October 6th we honor St. Bruno, the priest who became the Patron Saint of Calabria, Italy.  He founded the Monastery of Citeaux, the mother foundation of the Cistercian Order.  Born in 1030 and died in 1101 he was known as a writer who composed commentaries on the Psalms and on the Epistles of Paul, the Apostle.  We also celebrate the Canadian Sister Marie Rose Durocher (1811-1849) who founded the Order The Holy Name of Jesus and Mary, the International Congregation of women religious, dedicated to education in the faith.  She was born near Montreal, Canada and grew up working in the parish house of her Priest brother for 13 years after the death of her mother.  She was beatified in 1982 with her Major Shrine Chapelle Marie Rose the co-Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua in Quebec, Canada.  The College Durocher St. Lambert Quebec and the Durocher Hall at Holy Name University in Oakland, California is dedicated to her.

On Saturday, October 7th, we honor the Marian title, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary the feast instituted by Pope Pius V as Our Lady of Victory.   October 7th is the anniversary of the victory of the Holy League of 1571 under the command of Spain over the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Lepanto, which was attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the name of this day to the Feast of the Holy Rosary to be celebrated on the 1st Sunday of October.  In 1913, Pope Pius X changed the feast day to October 7th and in 1960, Pope John XIII gave the day the title, Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary.

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