October is full of lots of Saints' days and Church events. As I mentioned yesterday the Synod on the Word of God begins next week in Rome. Today is the feast of St. Theresa of Lisieux, or the Little Flower. We had Mass in our chapel this morning celebrated by a missionary priest. Father spent years in Tanzania and then in South Africa. He asked prayers for missionaries all over the world since St. Theresa is a co-patroness of Catholic missions. Although St. Theresa lived the greater part of her life in a cloistered convent, her prayers and sacrifices covered the whole world. She "adopted" some missionary priests for whom she offered special prayers. Vicariously, she too was a missionary. At breakfast, Father shared stories about his experiences in Africa. We marveled at the ingenuity of the White Fathers. That is the common name given to the Missionaries of Africa, since their habit is white. At one time where Father was assigned there was no cooking oil to be had. So the Fathers planted sunflower seeds and reaped an abundant harvest of seeds which were ground into oil for the people.
Today is also the anniversary of the death of one of our Sisters who died in Staten Island, New York seven years ago today. Her name was Sister Mary Alba Roagna. Sister was an outcoing personality, very generous and renowned for her culinary talents. She had been affected deeply by the loss of at least one dear friend in the 9/11 tragedy. She left this world silently and peacefully. We pray that she is enjoying the presence of God and interceding for the rest of her Sisters still on this earth.
October is traditionally the month of the Rosary. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7th. The date, October 7th, marks the anniversary of the victory of the Christians at Lepanto when Pope Saint Pius V processed barefoot through the streets of Rome praying the rosary to implore God's help for the Christian fleet.
I think it was on the History Channel where I saw a re-enactment of that famous battle where the skill of Venetian shipbuilders played a significant role in the Christians' victory. Our Founder, Blessed James Alberione, said that he always accompanied any project with much prayer, including many rosaries. May the recitation and meditation on the rosary bring you many graces and blessings this month. Our publishing house, Pauline Books & Media, offers two very useful titles on the rosary. One is The Rosary in My Pocket, a handy sized panphlet. The other is the Scriptural Rosary which offers meditation thoughts from the Bible as a way to reflect on the mysteries of the rosary. Check out the Pauline website: www.pauline.org.