Fall has (almost) arrived. School is back in session, the leaves will change soon, “pumpkin spice” is about to dominate our vocabulary . . . it’s Fall, y’all!
To get ready for this back half of the year, here are seven saints to learn about and ask the intercession of in September.
St. Gregory the Great
Feast Day: September 3
A Benedictine Monk elected Pope at only 50 years old, we could call Gregory the “bold” pope. He was far from wimpy, didn’t stand for weak, unworthy priests, and he defended the goodness and beauty of the liturgy, ensuring its consistency. At at time of turmoil in our Church, asking for his prayers, and reading his book Pastoral Care (which is all about the duties and qualities of a good bishop) could do us all some good.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Feast Day: September 5
The name “Mother Teresa” is synonymous with kindness, charity, mercy, and beauty. A modern-day saint, whom many of us probably remember, founded the Missionaries of Charity, was remarkably influential in both the Church and secular world, won the Nobel Peace Price, and perhaps most significant, remained faithful even through an intense period of spiritual darkness. The collection of her private writings Come Be My Light is an excellent introduction into the heart and mind of this holy woman.
St. John Chrysostom
Feast Day: September 13
Known as the “golden-tongued” preacher from Antioch, John was a profoundly powerful orator who was known to give two hour sermons. He often preached on the need for wives and husbands to be faithful to one another and being generous in service to the poor.
St. Robert Bellarmine
Feast Day: September 17
A Jesuit and Pope Clement VIII’s theologian, Robert Bellarmine wrote two catechisms that greatly informed and formed the faithful of his day. He lived simply, eating the food given to the poor, and often spoke harshly on priests and bishops living extravagantly. Canonized in 1930 and declared a Doctor of the Church, he’s one of the greatest minds the Church has ever seen.
St. Joseph of Cupertino
Feast Day: September 18
There’s a quick way to describe Joseph of Cupertino: he could levitate and he was a terrible student. Legend has it that Joseph prayed to only be tested on information he knew, and despite being a poor student, he passed through seminary and was ordained in 1628. He’s the patron saint of pilots and test-takers, rightly so.
Sts. Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin
Feast Day: September 25
The first married couple to be canonized together, Louis and Zelie are most known for being the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. They had nine children, 5 of whom survived in this life. They owned a lace-making business and were devoted to teaching their children the faith.
Bl. Paul VI
Feast Day: September 26
A Pope wise beyond his time, Paul VI is perhaps best known for writing the prolific and prophetic Humanae Vitae, the groundbreaking, controversial papal document prohibiting birth control and predicting much of the issues our culture faces today. He traveled extensively while Pope, visiting the United States, India, countries in Africa and Asia, and he was responsible for implementing diplomatic relations with forty new countries. He will be canonized on October 14, 2018, while the Synod on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment will be convened.
September is a loaded month, with plenty of holy men and women to learn about and pray with. Not included on this list, but also worth looking up, are: St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary who served slaves, St. Januarius, a martyr of the early church, St. Matthew, the tax collector turned Apostle, Padre Pio, the famed Italian Franciscan who had the stigmata, could bi-locate, and read souls, and St. Vincent de Paul, servant of the poor.