Month: October 2020

October 22: Feast of St. John Paul II

First Class Relic of St. John Paul II

A Reliquary Containing the Blood of Pope St.  John Paul II

In May of 1981 papal travel protocol was changed with the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II. Because of the Pope’s rare blood type there was concern of a shortage for his needs when he lost so much blood from the gunshot wounds.

After he healed his doctors decided to draw his own blood so as always to have a fresh supply in case there was another emergency. So after 1981 everywhere the pope traveled so did a few pints of his own blood just in case. After his death  these spare pints of his blood became relics of a saint.

The Church has allowed distribution of some of his blood to various churches and dioceses throughout the world for veneration. I am humbled to have been chosen to received a relic of Saint John Paul’s blood through the assistance of my friend, Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinnati.  —Father Richard Kunst

October 15: Feast of St. Teresa of Avila

When one reaches the highest degree of human maturity, one has only one question left:  How can I be helpful?  
–St. Teresa of Avila

About St. Teresa of Avila:

Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul. –St. Teresa

Born to a noble family on March 28, 1515, Teresa was on of nine children born to Alonzo Sanchez de Cepeda. When she was twelve years old, her mother died. An oft told story about her is that at the age of seven, desiring martyrdom, she ran off to find the Moors, who, she hoped, would cut off her head, thereby granting her wish. Later, she imitated the anchorites by building hermitages in her family’s garden.

“Great sins” awaited her: reading novels, flirting and frivolous chatter–the common practices of the young.

Not common, however, for Teresa. By age sixteen, she boarded at an Augustinian convent and remained there for eighteen months. Later, after a conversation with an uncle, she embraced her vocation to be a nun.

In 1534, Teresa took her vows at the Carmelite convent in Avila. She was allowed to receive guests there, and for twenty years, she tried to enjoy both the delights of prayer and the pleasures of secular conversation. But something was amiss: the gift of her whole self to God had not yet been realized. When it was given, her life consisted in prayer, apparitions of Christ, sufferings, and ecstasies.

In 1562, Teresa set out to reform the Carmelite order. This resulted in innumerable persecutions and sufferings. She established convents in Avila, Toledo and many other sites in Spain. Teresa and three ducats and God are sufficient to make a success of everything, she said, while attempting with meager means to open a convent in Toledo while having next to nothing.

Teresa was aided by St. John of the Cross and Father Jerome Gratian who helped her reform all branches of the Carmelite order.

St. Teresa is one of the most universally admired of women. Her intelligence and charm, her chivalrous spirit, her talent as a writer, and her experience with mystical connections to God have won her a privileged place in the hearts of many.

She died in ecstasy at the convent of Alba, her head supported by Mother Anne of St. Bartholomew, her eyes fixed on the crucifix, on the night of October 4-5, 1582.

In 1970, Teresa of Avila was made a Doctor of the Church, along with St. Catherine of Siena.

Yet it is as a mystic that she is best remembered.

A Prayer for a New Bishop

Because of Covid we are unable to print copies of this prayer for you. Please feel free to copy this so you can share in our prayer for a new bishop.

God our Father,

In Jesus your Son, You have given to Your Church 
the perfect model of priest, prophet and King,
and so You have blessed us through His sacrifice,
taught us through His Word,
and guided us through His rule.

We thank You for the previous bishops
who have cared for the people of the Diocese of Duluth.
We ask You, Father, to guide and enlighten
those who will be tasked with helping to choose the next bishop of our diocese.
May the man they choose be a man of deep and true prayer,
a man of compassionate heart and firm resolve,
and a  man of joy and peace, who desires above all to do Your will.

We entrust our prayers to our Patroness, Mary, Queen of the Rosary,
and ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

October 7: Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary & The Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto was a pivotal moment in the history of the Catholic Church.

A great concern of Pius V’s pontificate and one that occupied his final years was the encroachment of the Turks with their victory over the Venetians in Cyprus. This led to the high point of his foreign policy. He was able to form an alliance against the Turkish fleet at Lepanto, defeating them, thereby putting an end to their influence in the Mediterranean. The Battle of Lepanto took place in October of 1571. 30,000 Turks were killed, 10,000 were taken prisoner, 90 ships were sunk, 180 were captured, and 15,000 Christian slaves were set free.

Pius V attributed this victory to Mary and established a feast in her honor to commemorate it. Eventually it became the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the month of October became dedicated to her. In his Apostolic Constitution on Praying the Rosary, 1569, Pius outlined his great faith in Mary and his devotion to her through this prayer dedicated to her.

Learn More:… The Battle of Lepanto was a pivotal moment in the history of the Catholic Church. Learn the dramatic story of how Our Lady interceded for the Christian fleet in their victory over the Turks. Subscribe: