Liturgical Calendar October 2021

 October / Deireadh Fómhair

The Month of the Rosary / Mí na Corónach Mhuire

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Description automatically generatedHow Are You Observing The Month Of The Holy Rosary?

The month of the Holy Rosary is October and this entire month is dedicated to the Rosary. The feast day of the Holy Rosary in particular is October 7th. The feast of the Rosary is held in memory of the glorious and triumphant victory at the battle of Lepanto in 1571. That battle was the most convincing military victory that proved without a doubt the great power of the Rosary.

The rosary is a living prayer form and continues to develop even in recent times. An invocation known as the Fatima Prayer was commonly added in the early 20th century. In 2002 Pope John Paul II added a new set of five reflections called the Luminous Mysteries which encourage additional meditations on the life of Jesus. The rosary is an invitation to experience the grace of Mary’s spiritual motherhood as she leads us to her Son, Jesus. For this reason, it has been an invaluable source of countless spiritual graces for the saints. The month of October is a good time to commit to praying the Rosary every day.

In support of the month of the Rosary, I have been sending out a gift of a beautiful Rosary Beads to all Religion Teachers in the Diocese of Ferns.  These Rosary Beads were made by persecuted Christians in Bethlehem using Olive Wood and are provided by Aid to the Church in Need. 

October Deireadh Fómhair

The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of October / Intinní an Phápa do Mhí  Dheireadh Fómhair 2021

Pope Francis has recently entrusted his 2020 prayer intentions to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. They represent a wide array of challenges facing humanity and are the result of much prayer and discernment over the past several months. This month’s prayer intention is: 

Missionary disciples
We pray that every baptized person may be engaged in evangelization, available to the mission, by being witnesses of a life that has the flavour of the Gospel.


Being engaged with evangelization is about those with whom you interact, being able to observe that your life reflects your love of a just and holy God, and that you love your neighbors. Some of us share it loudly. Just as many do so more quietly. Some of us strike up conversations about it with strangers. Others, with longtime friends that we’ve lived life with, for years. Some of us never say much, but when we do, we mean it.

Pope Francis reminds us of this call this month and explains how we all have a “missionary mandate,” “This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving.”

Reflection Author: Jim Roach, M.Div, is a Campus Minister at Saint Louis University.

·         For the full Reflection See here:

·         For the Pope’s Monthly Video:  

 October 1st  

Feast Day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux / Féile Naomh Treasa as Lisieux

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Description automatically generated with low confidence Today is the memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, more popularly known as “the Little Flower.” Shining brightly among the little ones to whom the secrets of the kingdom were revealed in a most special way is Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, a professed nun of the order of Discalced Carmelites. Therese of Lisieux is a young person. She reached the maturity of holiness in the prime of youth. As such, she appears as a teacher of evangelical life, particularly effective in illumining the paths of young people, who must be the leaders and witnesses of the Gospel to the new generations. During her life Therese discovered “new lights, hidden and mysterious meanings” and received from the divine teacher that “knowledge of love” which she then expressed with originality in her writings. She has made the Gospel shine appealingly in our time; she had the mission of making the church, the mystical body of Christ, known and loved.

 October 2ndFeast of the Guardian Angels / Féile na nAingeal Coimhdeachta

Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God’s enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out. Angels are servants and messengers from God. “Angel” in Greek means messenger. In unseen ways, the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in work and study, helping us in temptation and protecting us from physical danger.

October 2nd

International Day of Non-violence: Gandhi’s birthday. / Lá breithe Gandhi: Lá IdirnáisiúntaTiomanta don Fhrith – Fhoréigean

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Description automatically generated with medium confidence“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Today we celebrate the birthday of a man who helped bring forward the notion of “non-violence,” and the tremendous impact this form of social response has had all over the world in the last century. On the International Day of Non-Violence, created by the United Nations in 2007, we look back on the influence of an Indian activist born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but known the world over as Mahatma Gandhi. The International Day of Non-Violence honours how Gandhi’s work and legacy has impacted global, non-violent protest. Gandhi’s commitment to India’s independence  and his methods have been the cornerstone of civil and human rights initiatives all over the world. Put simply, Gandhi saw it as completely irrational to use violence to achieve peace, but rather, “just means lead to just ends.” This is a lesson we can all take to heart.

October 4th 

Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi / Féile Naomh Proinsias as Assisi

Most people know Francis as a middle-ages ascetic who loved animals. The complete story is even more interesting. St Francis was born in 1181 in Assisi in Italy. In his youth, he spent money lavishly on fine clothes and having fun. He fell ill twice and then realised he was wasting precious time and that he should be serving Jesus instead. Often he gave his clothes and money to the poor and served the sick in hospital. He felt Text, whiteboard
Description automatically generatedhe should do more and went around in rags while fasting. His father was disgusted with his behaviour and took his inheritance from him. St. Francis had to depend on the kindness of people for food and shelter. He begged sinners to convert and return to God. He had the great power of working miracles. He loved all creatures and the animals obeyed his commands.

Francis’ final years were filled with suffering as well as humiliation. Praying to share in Christ’s passion he had a vision in which he received the stigmata, the marks of the nails and the lance wound that Christ suffered, in his own body. He died on October 4, 1226 at the age of 45. Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.

October 5th 

St. Faustina / Naomh Faustina

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Description automatically generatedSister Faustina was a young, uneducated nun in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland during the 1930s. She came from a poor family that struggled during the years of World War I. She had only three years of simple education, so hers were the humblest tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or garden. However, she received extraordinary revelations — or messages — from our Lord Jesus. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences, which she compiled into notebooks. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, and the words contained within are God’s loving message of Divine Mercy.

Though the Divine Mercy message is not new to the teachings of the Church, Sr. Faustina’s Diary sparked a great movement and a strong and significant focus on the mercy of Christ. Saint John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina in 2000 making her the “first saint of the new millennium.” Speaking of Sr. Faustina and the importance of the message contained in her Diary, the Pope called her “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.”

Today, we continue to rely of St. Faustina as a constant reminder of the message to trust in Jesus’ endless mercy, and to live life mercifully toward others. We also turn to her in prayer and request her intercession to our merciful Saviour on our behalf.

October 5th

World Teacher’s Day / Lá Domhanda Tiomanta do Mhúinteoirí


One and a half years into the COVID-19 crisis, the 2021 World Teachers’ Day will focus on the support teachers need to fully contribute to the recovery process under the theme “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”.   

A five-day series of global and regional events will showcase the effect that the pandemic has had on the teaching profession, highlight effective and promising policy responses, and aim to establish the steps that need to be taken to ensure that teaching personnel develop their full potential.

This year, World Teachers’ Day celebrations will take place in conjunction with the meeting of the Joint ILO-UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel (CEART), which will be running from 4 to 8 October 2021.

A calendar of events and the communications materials will be published online and updated here: regularly.

·         Concept note

·         Download the poster

October 7th   

The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary / Cuimhneachán ar Mhuire na Corónach

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Description automatically generated“The whole purpose of the Rosary is to lead to this deep experience of Our Lady, who together with Jesus breathes the Spirit into us.”

October is the month in which Mary Most Holy, Queen of the Holy Rosary, is venerated.  Pope John Paul II invited us to pray this Marian prayer, possibly every day, for peace, “so that the world can be preserved from the wicked scourge of terrorism.”   This feast, focussed on the intercessory power of our Blessed Lady, was instituted by Pope Saint Pius V in thanksgiving for the great naval victory of a Christian fleet over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571, a favour widely attributed to intense recitation of the Rosary. Pope St. Pius V and all Christians had prayed the Rosary for victory.

In modern times successive popes have urged the faithful to pray the Rosary regularly, as a form of contemplative prayer focussed on the life of Christ. It calls prayerful attention to the saving mysteries of Christ and Mary’s close association with her Son in his mission. Pope St John Paul II called the rosary a “Christocentric prayer” containing the Gospel message in its entirety. The Rosary invites us to reflect on the great mysteries of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

 October 10th

World Mental Health Day / Lá Domhanda Tiomanta do Mheabharshláinte

Mental Health in an Unequal World

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThe WFMH President Dr Ingrid Daniels has announced the theme for World Mental Health Day 2021 which is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’

This theme was chosen by a global vote including WFMH members, stakeholders and supporters because the world is increasingly polarized, with the very wealthy becoming wealthier, and the number of people living in poverty still far too high. 2020 highlighted inequalities due to race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and the lack of respect for human rights in many countries, including for people living with mental health conditions. Such inequalities have an impact on people’s mental health.

This theme, chosen for 2021, will highlight that access to mental health services remains unequal, with between 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better. Lack of investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget contributes to the mental health treatment gap.  

 October 15th  

Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila / Féile Naomh Treasa as Avila

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceSt. Teresa of Ávila, a sixteenth-century Spanish saint and mystic, was very aware that every Christian has a role to play in making Christ present in the world.  St. Teresa (1515-1582) was born in Avila and died in Alba, Spain. When only a child of seven, she ran away from home in the hope of being martyred by the Moors; in this way, she said she could come to see God.  At the age of eighteen, she joined the Carmelite Order and chose Christ as her heavenly Spouse. With the help of St. John of the Cross, she reformed most of the Carmelite convents and founded new ones.  She reached the highest degree of prayer and through prayer obtained such knowledge of divine things that in 1970 Pope Paul VI named her the first woman Doctor of the Church.  This was a great honour, especially for a woman of her time.  She was canonized in 1622.

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October 16th 

UN World Food Day / Lá Domhanda na Náisiún Aontaithe atá dírithe ar Sholáthar Bia

Every year, a large number of events – from marathons and hunger marches, to exhibitions, cultural performances, contests and concerts – are organised in around 150 countries across the world to celebrate World Food Day.

Plan a World Food Day event online or in person, or spread the word on your channels, and let us know if you need our help. We can provide you with a range of promotional materials in several languages – from posters to brochures, event banners and youth content. 

 October 17th 

Saint Ignatius of Antioch /Naomh Iognáid as Aintíoch

St. Ignatius is one of the great bishops of the early Church. He was the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was condemned to death by wild beasts during the Emperor Trajan’s persecution. On his way to Rome, he wrote seven magnificent letters, which we still have today, concerning the Person of Christ, his love for Christ, his desire for martyrdom and on the constitution of the Church and Christian life. His sentiments before his approaching martyrdom are summed in his word in the Communion antiphon, “I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of beasts to become pure bread.”

 October 17th

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty / Lá Idirnáisiúnta atá Tiomanta do Dhíothú  Bochtaineachta

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is held annually on 17 October to provide:

·         an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty;

·         a chance for them to make their concerns heard; and

·         a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.

Through resolution 47/196, adopted on 22 December 1992, the UN General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

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date: 17 October 2021
location: worldwide

 October 18th 

Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist / Féile Naomh Lúcás, Soiscéalaí

St. Luke, the inspired author of the third Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, was a native of Antioch in Syria and a physician, and one of the early converts from paganism. He accompanied St. Paul on a considerable part of his missionary journey. He was also his companion while in prison at Rome on two different occasions. His account of these events, contained in the Acts, is first-hand history. Luke’s Gospel is, above all, the Gospel of the Merciful Heart of Jesus. It emphasizes the fact that Christ is the salvation of all men, especially of the repentant sinner and of the lowly. Today, especially during these difficult days of the pandemic, ask your students to pray for doctors and those who care for the sick, through the intercession of St. Luke, who is patron of physicians.

 October 20th  

Mission Sunday / Domhnach na Misean

Pope Francis discusses the theme for this years Mission Sunday:

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Description automatically generatedThe theme of this year’s World Mission Day – “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20), is a summons to each of us to “own” and to bring to others what we bear in our hearts. This mission has always been the hallmark of the Church, for “she exists to evangelize” (SAINT PAUL VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14). Our life of faith grows weak, loses its prophetic power and its ability to awaken amazement and gratitude when we become isolated and withdraw into little groups. By its very nature, the life of faith calls for a growing openness to embracing everyone, everywhere. The first Christians, far from yielding to the temptation to become an elite group, were inspired by the Lord and his offer of new life to go out among the nations and to bear witness to what they had seen and heard: the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand. They did so with the generosity, gratitude and nobility typical of those who sow seeds in the knowledge that others will enjoy the fruit of their efforts and sacrifice. I like to think that “even those who are most frail, limited and troubled can be missionaries in their own way, for goodness can always be shared, even if it exists alongside many limitations” (Christus Vivit, 239).

On World Mission Day, which we celebrate each year on the penultimate Sunday of October, we recall with gratitude all those men and women who by their testimony of life help us to renew our baptismal commitment to be generous and joyful apostles of the Gospel. Let us remember especially all those who resolutely set out, leaving home and family behind, to bring the Gospel to all those places and people athirst for its saving message.

 October 22nd  

St. John Paul II / Naomh Eoin Pól 11

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John Paul II the great defender of life and the family of our times. The Church has chosen to celebrate his feast not on the date of his death which was on April 2nd, 2005 but on the anniversary of his formal installation as Universal Pontiff on October 22nd, 1978. St. John Paul’s words offer consolation to us, even more in these challenging times, than ever before.

Pope John Paul II sometimes called Saint John Paul or John Paul the Great, born Karol Józef Wojtyła; (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005), was the head of the Catholic Church from 16 October 1978 to his death in 2005. He was the second longest-serving pope in history. As a Pole, he was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. The last non-Italian pope was Pope Adrian VI, who died in 1523.

He is the first ever pope to visit the White House, and a mosque. He travelled more than any other pope before him, visiting many of the countries of the world. He is also famous for starting the annual World Youth Day. After he was beatified, his title was changed to Blessed John Paul II. John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014 which means that the Polish Pope is now known as Saint John Paul II.

October 28th 

St. Jude & St. Simon / Naomh Símón agus Naomh Iúd

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saints. Simon and Jude whose names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day. Possibly this is because they both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament.

 October 29th 

Blessed Chiara Badano / Ciara Badano, Beannaithe

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Description automatically generated Sometimes we’d prefer that our lives be a story than the one God seems to be writing.  In our fragile existence it doesn’t take much to turn a romance into a drama, or an adventure into a tragedy.  Briefly, the story of Chiara Badano—an only child conceived after 11 years of marriage, who died at 18 after a bout with a painful form of bone cancer—looks like an empty tragedy, but not from the perspective of the Divine Author.

Chiara seemed to have everything going for her as a teen.  She had a loving, holy family and a rock-solid faith that was nurtured by retreats and youth ministry programs.  She was popular amongst her friends and was liked by boys.  It’s not hard to see why.  She was beautiful.  Chiara loved to hang out in coffee shops.  She was great at tennis, swimming and mountain climbing.  Her outgoing personality and adventurous spirit made her dream of becoming a flight attendant.  Chiara Badano was a modern teenager: She liked to sing, dance, play tennis and skate. She was a member of the Focolare Movement, founded in Italy by Chiara Lubich in 1943. Chiara had a bright life ahead of her. One day while playing tennis, Chiara experienced excruciating pain in her shoulder.  Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma.  She watched her bright future slip away.  But it’s here that the real story of her life begins—the story of heroic virtue. This is a beautiful and inspiring story to share with your students.

Chiara is now Blessed Chiara Badano (the step before becoming a Saint). She was beatified on 25th September 2010. Her feast day is celebrated on 29th October. She is blessed because of the good life she led and because of a miracle that happened through her prayers. Read her story and share her story with your students through a power point presentation and resources: