November has an interesting mix of saints, beginning with the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. A reminder that holiness is all around us, if we can see.
Every month there’s a feast of Mary. November 21th we remember her presentation in the temple, an ecumenical feast celebrated by churches of the east and the west. We ask Mary to help us be “worthy of the promises of Christ.”
Every month there’s a feast of an apostle. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, patron of the Greek Orthodox Church, is remembered at the end of this month. We remember Christians who are separated from us and ask that we be one. Let’s also draw closer to them.
November 3rd is the feast of St. Martin de Porres, a humble Dominican brother, who nursed the poor in Lima, Peru, in the 17th century.
On November 10th we remember St. Leo the Great, a pope who led the church and the Roman world in perilous times and brought hope for the future.
St. Martin of Tours, November 12, is especially remembered for his devotion to the poor. He gave half his cloak to a beggar, it’s said. As winter approaches he reminds us to care for the poor.
St. Francis Xavier Cabrini (November 13) championed the cause of immigrants. Another pressing issue we need to remember today. A beautiful statue of her was just unveiled recently in Battery Park, in New York City, where millions of immigrants came to our shores.
St. Josaphat (November 14) was a Catholic bishop who tried to bring about unity between the eastern and western churches. He was killed in a religious dispute in 1683. He saw feasts and traditions we shared as a way to draw together. Good example to follow
We remember St. Clement of Rome November 23rd, the 3rd successor of St. Peter, who dealt with the changing church of his day and new structures in church leadership–from apostles to bishops to popes. Changes in church leadership seem to be taking place today, don’t they? Can Clement help us to handle them?
The calendar through the year brings us, month by month, men and women from all times and places, saints who faced the challenges of their day. They have a wisdom to pass on to us. We should listen to their song.