Kevin and I have grand dreams of living the liturgical year in a rich way. We were able to do a bit our first year, but have been out of wack for a bit. You do what you can, though. October is filled with feast days of great Saints, and it’s a shame that we’ve been so preoccupied. St. Therese is my girl! But alas, her feast day was a travel day for me. There were still some celebrations to be had, though!
On the evening of October 3rd (the vigil to his feast day) we celebrate the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi, commemorating his passing into eternal life. Kevin and I spent that evening at the rectory of a priest friend of ours along with a few other folk. For dessert, I decided to go with an dish native to Assisi, called Rocciata di Assisi. It’s a baked strudel with various dried fruits (apples, figs, prunes) and spices. The initial recipe calls for a specific wine, but I didn’t have any on hand so I substituted maple syrup, which seemed to work just fine. I sadly did not take any pictures – next time!
While not a feast day, October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I spent a good deal of time reflecting on the pregnancy of Giovanna. I posted a photo on instagram of the spot where we buried our child – the most public I’ve been about the loss to friends on facebook. Then we lit a candle that evening at 7pm in solidarity with all those grieving losses.
October 16th is the feast day of St. Gerard Majella. This man has been with us throughout our journey of trying to grow our family. He was also a Saint close to my grandmother’s heart; she had lost many children through miscarriage and attributed the birth of her three sons to St. Gerard (each in some way named after him). We had guests staying with us that night, so my tribute to St. Gerard was just placing his holy card next to a board with Giovanna Raphael’s name on it (and it is still there).
We have been looking forward to celebrating the great North American Martyrs on October 19th! Kevin has a special affinity for these men, and Canada certainly has a special place in our hearts. The Jesuit Missionaries here are pretty hardcore and reading their stories is intense. They pushed onward in their mission of bringing the faith to the Huron despite incredible opposition, and ended up being honored with martyrdom. To celebrate their heroic virtue, we made poutine, a fine Canadian delicacy!
Then, of course, there is October 22nd on which we celebrate Saint John Paul the Great! We were able to go to Mass where a friend of ours was celebrating, and he brought with him his first class relic of JPII – a drop of his blood! He gave a lovely homily and we were able to venerate the relic after Mass.
That’s all for October, folks! We shall see what November brings!