We pray to canonized saints because we know they are already in heaven, and can intercede for us. Just as you would ask a friend or family member to pray for you, it makes sense that we could ask a saint to pray for us. Death does not stop Christians from praying for one another. This is an important part of what it means to be joined in the “Communion of Saints,” which is a communion of the souls on earth with the souls in heavenly glory. We are united with one another in the mystical Body of Christ.
Join the Knights of Columbus in their call for all Catholics to participate in a National Novena from October 30th through November 7th invoking the patroness of the United States of America, the Immaculate Conception, leading up to the November 8th elections. Why should we invoke Mary particularly under this title? The United States Bishops, in the year 1846, chose the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title as the Immaculate Conception as the patroness of the United States of America.
October 21st is the feast day of St. Ursula, a holy woman and martyr shrouded in mystery. According to legend she was a princess from Britain who was martyred by the Huns in Cologne, Germany. Included in her feast day are her 11,000 companions who were massacred by her side, mostly virgin handmaids in her royal entourage.
St. Jose Sanchez del Rio served with the Cristeros army in the defense of the Catholic Church against the Mexican dictator Plutarco Calles. From a young age he had a great love for Christ and strongly desired to die for his faith. Although a child, he pleaded to be allowed to fight alongside his brothers in the Cristero War, for freedom of religion in his country and for the love God.
St. Jude Thaddeus, relative of Jesus and one of His 12 Apostles, is the patron saint of hopeless situations and impossible causes, and it is said that his novena prayed by the desperate has never been known to fail. Those who come to him in faith in their time of need have always been given some sign, grace, answer, or consolation that their prayers were heard.
St. Ignatius of Antioch was tireless in supporting his flock against dangerous heresies and the terrors of the persecutions of the Roman Emperors. When Ignatius violated the imperial edict to worship false gods, he was arrested and led before the Emperor Trajan. After boldly proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ, he was taken from Syria to Italy and condemned to be publicly devoured by wild beasts at the Colosseum in Rome.
October 16th is the feast day of St. Gerard Majella. St. Gerard Majella is most famously the patron of expectant mothers (see more of his patronages below), and he teaches us all a valuable lesson about being patient in the face of injustice and letting God defend us.
Below we’ve put together a gift selection for those who have a devotion to one of our newest (and greatest!) heavenly intercessors. Each of these Catholic gifts commemorating Pope Saint John Paul II will undoubtedly help foster love for and devotion to this new patron saint. And hopefully, with his closeness and intercession, help you to become the saint he desires you to be.
In her apparitions the Blessed Mother always has a mission, a specific message, to proclaim. What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima to the world? According to this Message of Fatima Document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions.”
October 12th, in addition to being Columbus Day, is also the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, patroness of all Hispanic peoples. While not one of the most widely known titles of Our Lady, it is the oldest, and has a most fascinating story that you will be delighted to read. Tradition has it that the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometime before her bodily Assumption into heaven, appeared to the Apostle St. James the Elder while he was living and preaching in Spain.