November is the month dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory (corresponding with All Souls Day on Nov. 2). The majority of this month is spent in Ordinary Time (liturgical color is green), but the last Sunday of the month (Nov. 27) marks the first Sunday of Advent (liturgical color is purple)!
This November, Pope Francis asks us to pray "that the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity," and "That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement."
Major Feast Days for November 2016
November 1: Solemnity of All Saints *** Holy Day of Obligation ***
November 2: Solemnity of All Souls
November 3: St. Martin de Porres, religious
- Reflect on racial equality, racism in our culture, and Christian forgiveness today. How can we love everyone regardless of race, social status, religion, or political views? How can we encourage others to do the same?
- Short Biography of St. Martin de Porress - Franciscan Media
- Gift Idea: Add St. Martin de Porres to your Shining Light Doll collection
November 4: St. Charles Borromeo, bishop
- Reflect on St. Charles Borromeo's efforts to reform the Church from within - how did he respond to reform in light of the Protestant Reformation? Rather than breaking off from the Church, St. Charles Borromeo sought to strengthen the church by teaching with clarity, morality, and orthodoxy. He was determined, despite much opposition, and even established seminaries. Read more about him here.
November 9: Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
November 10: St. Leo the Great, pope and doctor
- Pope Leo the Great spoke with such eloquence that he was able to convince Atilla the Hun not to attack Rome - how can we use the gift of our voices to defend those around us, specifically those unable to defend themselves (the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly)? Read more about St. Leo the Great here.
November 11: St. Martin of Tours, bishop
- St. Martin's strong resolve to avoid cooperating with evil, as seen when declared himself a concientious objector of the war he was forced to fight in, can encourage us to take care when making moral decisions and to do our best to avoid sin. Learn more about him here.
November 12: St. Josaphat, bishop and martyr
- St. Josaphat is known for his humility and dedication to his faith. How can we humble ourselves for the sake of the faith today? More about him here.
November 13: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin
- Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patron saint of immigrants and orphans - how can you be welcoming to immigrants and a voice for orphans in your community? More about her here.
- Cook an Italian dinner and invite friends over!
- Consider praying the Little Rosary of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. It is a rosary with only 25 beads and with an additional prayer for her intercession. I found this one on Etsy & love it.
November 15: St. Albert the Great, bishop and doctor
- He advocated for the coexistence between science and religion -- in what ways can we be inspired and encouraged by St. Albert the Great to do the same? Read more about him here.
- Listen to this episode of Catholic Answers live - "Religion vs. Science?" - podcast available here.
November 16: St. Margaret of Scotland; St Gertrude, virgin
- Though St. Margaret was a princess, she lived a life of simplicity, charity, and a dedicated care for her family and country. If you have a daughter who loves princesses as much as mine does, use today's feast as an opportunity to teach her about this one. Encourage your children (and yourselves) to seek out those in need & show them the love of Christ today.
- Listen to the reflection by Franciscan Media Saint of the Day
November 17: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious
November 18: Dedication of the churches of SS. Peter and Paul, apostles
November 21: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- eflect on the theology of Mary and take a few extra minutes to learn about what the Church believes about Mary. Misunderstandings about Marian dogma are one of the biggest stumbling stones for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, so take today as an opportunity to educate yourself for when the topic comes up in conversation. Here's a good place to start.
- "Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary", Article by EWTN
November 22: St. Cecilia, virgin and martyr
- St. Cecilia influenced her husband and his brother to convert to Christianity, along with hundreds of others, and faced her martyrdom with an abundance of grace. She is also the patron saint of musicians. How can we use music to bring glory to God today? And how can we be inspired by her to evangelize our close relatives? More about her here.
- Incorporating St. Cecelia into your Thanksgivng celebration - Catholic Mom
November 23: St. Clement I, pope and martyr
November 24: St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and martyr and his companions, martyrs
November 27: First Sunday of Advent
November 30: Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle
I've marked five dates in bold because they're the ones I'm going to try my best to celebrate in a special way. At this point in our lives, five feels ambitious but not exceptionally overwhelming and choosing dates from all around the month still leaves me a little time between each feast.
Liturgical Living Disclaimer
When you're just starting out, pick one or two feast days per month to celebrate. Once you get the hang of that, add more in one at a time. The liturgical year is rich with tradition and that means it can feel overwhelming at first, but keep in mind that this is meant to be a joy and not a burden. You will not win mom-of-the-year by stressing yourself and your kids out by trying to elaborately celebrate a feast day every single day. And speaking of being elaborate - you don't have to be. If you find a lot of joy in being crafty or making themed dinners, go for it. But it's not a requirement. Saying a special prayer over dinner or mentioning the day's feast once or twice throughout the day is wonderful and can have a lasting impression on your kids. Or if you can do it, go to Mass! Mass is always a good idea.