Saints Preserve Us…
Autumn is the season for harvest, cool evenings, and beautiful colors as the trees lose their leaves. It is also the time of year we celebrate some well-known saints in Christianity. Last weekend we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with the blessing of the animals. He is the patron of our parish, and we celebrate him on October 4, the anniversary of his death.
We also recently celebrated St. Vincent de Paul on September 27, whose influence is felt here in our parish and around the world through those members dedicated to helping the poor, the suffering, and people in need. September 29 we observe the Feast of the Archangels, Saints Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. The following day, September 30 celebrates the Feast of St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church who translated much of the bible into Latin. His feast is followed the next day by that of St. Therese of Lisieux, known as “the Little Flower,” a model of simplicity who wanted to do small things with great love. She is a favorite of Pope Francis, who said “When I have a problem I ask the saint not to solve it, but to take it in her hands and help me accept it.”
A day we can all celebrate is October 2, the Feast of the Guardian Angels, as each of us has one, an intercessor who is a constant companion and source of support throughout our lives. Many also seek comfort and intercession from the Blessed Virgin Mary, who we celebrate as Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. The first woman Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila, was a mystic – intelligent, a prolific writer, and deeply spiritual, the founder of a reformed order of Carmelites and one of the patron saints of Spain. Her feast day is this week, October 15.
Dozens of people can personally, if privately, attest to intercession by particular saints who they turn to in times of trouble, and who serve as models for living a life of service to God and others. Reading about the lives of the saints can help us by their examples, still relevant as we make our way in today’s world.