October 15. Saint Teresa of Avila lived before and during the Council of Trent. Having experienced the Reformation, she felt a need for reform, but took things in a different direction than the Protestants. Teresa set an example for present day reformers.
October 16. Saint Margaret Mary, like Pope Francis, spent her life reminding people of God’s Mercy. She will forever be associated with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the symbol of Christ’s love. Many people follow her in prayer to the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of every month.
October 17. On his journey to Rome to face his death in the Circus Maximus, Saint Ignatius of Antioch visited and wrote to many of the churches along the way. These letters have become a valuable source of instruction as well as a source of information about the early days of the Church.
October 18. Saint Luke is known to us primarily as the author of the Gospel that bears his name, and Acts of the Apostles. Actually two volumes of one work, Saint Luke instructs and inspires us with his beautiful treatment of the words and deeds of Jesus and of the early Church. We are blessed by his writings.
October 19. Isaac Jogues and his companions are popularly known as the North American martyrs. Over a period of years, these eight Jesuits worked among the Hurons, bringing many into the Catholic faith. They labored in what would become the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
October 20. Saint Paul of the Cross dedicated his life to the memory of Christ’s passion and death. Known as the Passionists, the Congregation of the Passion that he founded is committed to preaching the good news of Christ crucified, and to caring for the poor. The Passionists take a fourth vow to promote the Passion of Jesus.
October 21. The life of a hermit living in the desert strikes many people as mysterious, if not inexplicable. Yet this is what Saint Hilarion, and many others, sought and hoped for and, in some cases, fought for. They teach the value of solitude and prayer to our noisy and busy world.
October 22. Born in Wadowice, Poland, Pope Saint John Paul II had lost his mother, father, and older brother before his 21st birthday. Then his promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II, during which he worked in a quarry and a chemical factory while attending an underground seminary.
October 23. Born at a time when the bubonic plague had decimated the population and the Church was split with two, maybe three, claimants to the papacy, Saint John Capistrano was a voice of strength and hope. He was known for his preaching and his ability to reconcile warring factions. His talents were felt in the Church and in the Franciscan Order.
October 24. Anthony Claret was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen’s chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris, and to the First Vatican Council.