A saint, and a suggestion, to make each day of October a self-guided retreat

Cause of Our Joy / By Katie Faley

October is a month of saints. I’m a big fan of turning ordinary things into mini-retreats. So, to celebrate this mega-month to the full, I thought I’d put together a little October Saint Guide, which can serve as a bit of a self-guided saint retreat. (For a printable PDF of this guide, click here.)

Oct. 1: St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Meditate on her quote: “It is such a folly to pass one’s time fretting, instead of resting quietly on the heart of Jesus.” In other words, leave it all to God and don’t worry.

Oct. 2: Guardian Angels. Pray the Guardian Angel prayer before starting your day. Bonus! Ask your loved ones’ Guardian Angels to pray for them.

Oct. 3: St. Mother Theodore Guerin. She founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana. Pray for the continued success of the work of all religious orders.

Oct. 4: St. Francis of Assisi. Go out of your way to care for the earth. Pick up trash around your neighborhood, avoid using disposable items, or turn off the lights at home.

Oct. 5: St. Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina painted the image of Divine Mercy. Pray, “Jesus, I trust in You,” three times.

Oct. 6: St. Bruno. He wrote commentaries on the Psalms. Look up the Psalms from the daily readings.

Oct. 7: Our Lady of the Rosary. Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary.

Oct. 8: St. Thais. Thais worked as a prostitute before seeking mercy. Schedule a time to go to Confession.

Oct. 9: St. John Henry Newman. He converted to Catholicism at age 44. Pray for all those thinking of becoming Catholic.

Oct. 10: St. Francis Borgia. Meditate on his quote: “We must make our way towards eternity, never regarding what men think of us, or of our actions, studying only to please God.”

Oct. 11: St. John XXIII. As pope, he made it a point to visit the sick, homeless, and imprisoned. Text, call, or write somebody you haven’t talked to in a while.

Oct. 12: Bl. Carlo Acutis. He created a website that listed Catholic miracles around the world. Read about a miracle on the internet.

Oct. 13: St. Edward the Confessor. He was an English king known for his piety and good rule. Do a good deed for someone.

Oct. 14: Bl. Marie Poussepin. She had many disappointments throughout her 90-year life. Meditate on a time you experienced disappointment and how God was present to you during that time.

Oct. 15: St. Teresa of Avila. She was the inspiration for many saints after her. Think of what you’d like to be patron saint of one day.

Oct. 16: St. Gerard Majella. He is the patron of expectant mothers. Pray for the unborn babies.

Oct. 17: St. Ignatius of Antioch. He was a disciple of St. John the Apostle. Pray for or reach out to thank the people who have been mentors to you.

Oct. 18: St. Luke. His Gospel is considered the most Marian of the four. Read a passage from the Gospel of Luke.

Oct. 19: St. Jean de Brébeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, and Companions. These Jesuits are called the North American Martyrs. Pray for our country.

Oct. 20: Bl. Oleksa Zaryckyj. He was a Ukrainian priest who was arrested for his faith. Pray for peace in Ukraine and throughout the world.

Oct. 21: St. Gaspar. He was an Italian priest who opened a night oratory where people could go to Adoration any time. Schedule a time to go to Adoration.

Oct. 22: St. Pope John Paul II. Pray the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary. Bonus! Watch the 2005 movie “Pope John Paul II.”

Oct. 23: St. Paul Tong Buong. He was a Vietnamese martyr who was arrested and killed for his faith. Pray for those who are persecuted for their faith.

Oct. 24: St. Anthony Mary Claret. One of his quotes goes, “I will be kind to everybody, particularly to those whom I find troublesome.” Go out of your way to practice kindness, especially to those you find troublesome.

Oct. 25: St. John Houghton. He was killed for refusing to swear an oath to King Henry VIII. Pray for political peace.

Oct. 26: St. Alfred the Great. He was a supporter of art. Look at the art at Church the next time you go to Mass.

Oct. 27: St. Odran of Iona. He was an Irish monk who traveled through Great Britain to preach. Attend Sunday Mass the next time you’re on vacation or traveling.

Oct. 28: St. Jude Thaddeus. We know St. Jude as the patron of hopeless causes. Pray for everyone who feels hopeless.

Oct. 29: St. Narcissus. St. Narcissus was falsely accused of crimes he didn’t commit. Use your words to say nice things about someone in your life.

Oct. 30: St. Dorothy of Montau. She had many spiritual gifts. Take time to discern your spiritual gifts. Are you good at speaking? Listening? Caring? Working? How can you use those gifts for God?

Oct. 31: Eve of All Saints Day. Pick a favorite saint to be your patron for the next year.


KATIE FALEY is a member of St. Mark Parish in Peoria and a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a master’s degree in theology and theological studies from the University of Notre Dame. Write to her at katiefaleywriter@gmail.com.


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