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October 28th - Feast of Ss. Simon and Jude

St. Simon the zealot

Patron of tanners
St. Simon the Apostle, one of the Twelve, was called the "the zealot" owing to his zeal for the old law, which he showed before becoming a follower of Jesus. He is usually pictured with a saw, the weapon with which he was martyred.

St. Judas Thaddeus

Patron of lost causes
St. Judas Thaddeus, also called "Jude" to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, was one of the Twelve Apostles and a relative of Jesus and of the Apostle James ("the brother of the Lord"). St. Jude is depicted holding a club, the weapon of his martyrdom, as well as a flame over his head, representing his presence at Pentecost. The icon he holds is called "The Image of Edessa", an impression of the God-Man's face on a piece of cloth. St. Jude gained his role as the patron of desperate cases by presenting this image to the ailing King Abgar of Edessa, effecting a miraculous healing.

Saturday of Our Lady

St. Alcuin of York

Eminent medieval educator and liturgist
The practice of celebrating Holy Mass and the Divine Office each Saturday in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the absence of a feast or a feria of higher rank) is attributed to St. Alcuin of York. Alcuin developed a full weekly set of votive masses (one for each day of the week save Sundays) and helped to standardize the translation of the Bible and the readings of the Mass throughout Europe. St. Alcuin was a wonderful preserver of ancient knowledge and a defender of the Truth against heresy, in particular the heresy of Adoptionism.

November 1st - All Saints Day

All Saints

All Ye Holy Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins. The little and the great, the venerated and the unknown, intercede for us to the Lord our God
One of the highest solemnities in the Church calendar, the feast of All Saints honors all the holy ones in Heaven, both those who have and have not been raised to the altar. In this great feast we hopefully call upon the intercession of all those who now enjoy their eternal reward.

November 2nd - Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)

All Souls

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, give them eternal rest
The celebration of a feast in honor of the souls of faithful Christians in Purgatory goes back at least as far as the sixth century in Benedictine monasteries. The "Commemoratio Omnium Fidelium Defunctis Ordinis Nostri" is still part of the Benedictine Missal today, occurring in November. The tradition of commemorating all the Holy Souls on the day following All Saints Day may have originated with Benedictine monk St. Odilo of Cluny.

November 4th

St. Charles Borromeo

Patron of seminarians
If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor.

November 10th

The Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Savior

St. John Lateran
Quam terribilis est [ . . . ] locus iste! Non est hic aliud nisi domus Dei, et porta caeli. (Genesis 28:17)

Those were the words of Jacob when he woke up from his dream of the ladder with the angels ascending and descending upon it. Terrible is this place—it is nothing short of the house of God, and the gate of heaven.

November 10th

St. Martin of Tours

Patron of soldiers
Happy Veterans' Day! St. Martin, pray for all veterans, both living and dead.

November 13th

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Patron of orphans
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the great Italian missionary, was the first American citizen to be canonized. She adopted the name Xavier from St. Francis Xavier, the patron of missions, because of her lifelong desire to be a missionary.

November 14th

St. Josaphat of Polotsk

Great promoter of Christian Unity
St. Josaphat, pray for us.

November 15th

St. Albert the Great

Master of learning and teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas
Saint Albert the Great, pray for us.

November 16th

St. Gertrude the Great

Blessed dwelling-place of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Gertrude was a 13th-century Benedictine abbess, mystic and visionary of profound sanctity and great intelligence. The secrets of the Sacred Heart were revealed to her in visions, long before the devotion to the same would be popularized by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. St. Gertrude composed this marvelous prayer to one's guardian angel:

O, most holy Angel of God, appointed by God to be my guardian, I give thee thanks for all the benefits which thou hast ever bestowed on me, body and soul. I praise and glorify thee that thou hast condescended to assist me with such patient fidelity, and to defend me against all the snares of my enemies. Blessed be the hour in which thou wert assigned me for my guardian, my defender and my patron. In acknowledgement and return for all thy loving ministries to me, I offer thee the infinitely precious and noble heart of Jesus, and resolve ever to obey thee henceforth, and most faithfully to serve my God. Amen.

November 17th

St. Gregory Thaumaturgus

The Wonderworker
The third-century Church Father, St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker, is among other things a great model of faith to us. Gregory earned his name through his multitude of miracles, most notably the time when he wanted to build a church and, finding a mountain in the very place where he intended to erect that church, commanded the mountain to be removed, and it was removed. He believed that what he said would come to pass, and it came to pass.

November 19th

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

The Princess who loved poverty
Born the daughter of the King of Hungary, Elizabeth was a pious girl who always desired poverty and to love the poor. Shortly before her death she became a Third Order Franciscan in Germany and tended to the sick.

November 21st

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The greatest feast of the dedication of a church in the Church Calendar
Today we celebrate the dedication of a temple greater than any other—the temple in which God Himself was pleased to dwell. It is a long held belief in the church that Mary, at a very young age, left her parents to live in the shadow of the temple and serve the Lord.

November 28th

St. Catherine Labouré

Visionary of the Miraculous Medal
I knew nothing. I was nothing. For this reason God picked me out.