A Catholic Monthly Magazine

October Saints

Saint1Saint Denis of Paris (d.c. 250)

Saint Denis is the patron saint of France. It is reported that he was born in Italy and sent into Gaul (modern France) with five or six other bishops. He then became the first bishop of Lutetia (modern Paris). Arrested with Rusticus, a priest, and Eleutherius, a deacon, Denis was beheaded on October 9th near Lutetia, most likely during the last days of the persecution of the Church under Emperor Trajan.

Saint Denis, help us to be true to the faith in the face of persecution.

(Encyclopedia of the Saints, Matthew, Margaret & Stephen Bunson.1998 Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, Indiana)

Saint2Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)

Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in Burgundy in 1647. When her father, Claude Alacoque, died, she was sent to the Poor Clare school at Charolles. There she was bedridden for five years with rheumatic fever, regaining her health at the age of fifteen. In 1671, she entered the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial and was professed the following year.

She experienced visions, and on December 27, 1673, she began having revelations that lasted for eighteen months. She was informed by Christ that she was to be his instrument in spreading devotion to his Sacred Heart. After being rebuffed by her superior and local churchmen, Margaret Mary’s visions were declared genuine by St Claude de la Colombière. In 1683, she was given positions in her community and witnessed the spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Margaret Mary’s task in commending this devotion was a difficult one, and she underwent other considerable trials: she was tempted to despair, vainglory and self-indulgence, and suffered from bodily sickness and misunderstanding by her fellows. She died at the convent of Paray-le-Monial in 1690.

Saint Margaret Mary, teach us gratitude for the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

(Encyclopedia of the Saints, Matthew, Margaret & Stephen Bunson.1998 Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, Indiana)

Saint3Saint Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)

Anthony Mary Claret was born in 1807, the son of a weaver. Becoming a weaver himself, he spent his free time learning Latin and printing. At the age of 22, he entered the seminary at Vich, Catalonia, Spain, and was ordained in 1835. Poor health prevented his becoming either a Carthusian or a foreign missionary, so he devoted himself to pastoral work at Sallent, spending the next decade preaching parish missions and retreats throughout Catalonia. Other priests joined him and he founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretians), dedicated to preaching missions.

In 1850, Queen Isabella II appointed him Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba, where he made bitter enemies in his efforts to reform the see. Efforts were even made to assassinate him. Recalled to Spain to become the Queen’s confessor in 1857, he resigned his Cuban see the following year, but spent as little time at court as possible. He was deeply occupied with his congregation and the diffusion of good literature. He established a science laboratory, and natural history museum and schools of music and literature at the Escorial, where he was appointed rector, as well as a religious library in Barcelona.

However, storm clouds were gathering on the political horizon, and several attempts were made on the Queen’s confessor’s life. It is remarkable that, on at least two occasions, the would-be assassins were converted from their purpose when they heard Fr Claret preach. The good priest was attacked by the press in an effort to discredit him in the eyes of his tremendous following. An unauthorised version of one of his books, complete with pornographic illustrations, was published, along with two slanderous biographies. The clergy of Madrid were shocked.

Anthony followed Isabella to France when a revolution drove her from the throne in 1868. Several of his priests were murdered and he himself was accused of theft of jewels from the Escorial. He attended Vatican Council I (1869-1870) where, while he influenced the definition of papal infallibility, he also suffered a stroke. When it became known that a warrant for his arrest had been issued by the Spanish authorities, he was taken to a monastery in Fontfroide, where he died on the morning of 24 October, 1870. He is the patron saint of weavers and of savings and savings banks, a result of his opening savings banks in Santiago in an effort to help the poor.

Saint Anthony, obtain for us a true desire to serve the poorest in our communities.   

(Source: Internet – various)

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