September Liturgical Living
Week of August 30 – September 5
- Begin the novena to Our Lady of Good Health on August 30th. Whether for victims of coronavirus, ailing family members or friends, or your own mental health, good health is a true privilege. Let’s entrust our intentions to Mary today.
- September 3 is the Feast of St. Gregory the Great. As Pope, he removed unqualified priests, refused to take money for performing religious services, rescued prisoners, and cared for the needy. Learn more about him here and ask for his intercession for Pope Francis, the Church, and the Holy Father’s intentions today.
- September 5 is the Feast of St. Mother Teresa. Wear white and blue to remember her today and learn more about her life. Too often reduced to a plethora of quotes (good quotes, don’t get me wrong!) too few of us actually are familiar with her life story. Learn a bit more about her work today, and then integrate one of her famous quotes as part of your new mission statement (learn more about making a mission statement here!)
Week of September 6 – September 12
- Friends, 2020 has been rough. Entrust your challenges and disappointments to Mary with the Our Lady of Sorrows novena, which begins on September 6th. One of the greatest ways Our Lady cares for us is by perfecting our prayers. Think about her sacred heart pierced by the sword and offer up your sorrows; she will pass them on to Jesus and make sure your prayers are heard.
- September 8 is Mary’s birthday! If you haven’t already, join the million rosaries challenge which aims to offer up one million rosaries in honor of Mary’s nativity. You can log each rosary you pray on the site and it’s fun to see the Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s trackers go up!
- September 12 is the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary. Wear a Miraculous Medal today if you have one; if not, consider gifting yourself one so Mary can watch over you wherever you go! If you’d like, try your hand at making up your own litany: Mary, Mother of God; Mary, beloved spouse of Joseph; Mary, most favored one and handmaiden of God; Mary, who asked Jesus for his very first miracle here on earth, pray for us.
Week of September 13 – September 19
- September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Read this interesting article about what Harry Potter can show us about the power of the cross and sacrifice, and focus on offering up any troubles you have today in the spirit of Matthew 16:24: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
- September 15 is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Complete the novena to her today (or start it if you haven’t already!) and read this powerful reflection on the significance of this feast. TLDR; Mary is both sorrowful and powerful. Seeing Jesus on the cross certainly hurt her as a mother, but also filled her with the promise of the salvation Christ purchased for all of us.
- Begin the novena to St. Padre Pio on September 16th. The first stigmatized priest in history, his life’s work was to create the Home for the Relief of Suffering. Donate to the poor in your community if you can, or maybe bring a meal to someone in need. Also recognized for his ability to know people’s sins in the confessional and call out people for not confessing entirely, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation if you can or pray an examination of conscience and act of contrition.
Week of September 20 – September 26
- There’s an all-star line-up of novena options for this week: you can start praying to the Archangels St. Gabriel, St. Michael, or St. Raphael on September 20th, St. Therese of Lisieux on September 22nd, or St. Francis of Assisi on September 25th. Talk about a communion of saints!
- September 21 is the Feast of St. Matthew. Read a favorite chapter from his Gospel today and learn more about the author and his likely intended audience here (spoiler alert: his gospel was most likely meant for new converts in Syria and Palestine, so if you’re new to Bible study like me, his work is a great place to start!)
- September 26 is the Feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damien. Little is known about these two saints, but they were likely twin brothers and both skilled doctors who healed people for free. The patron saints of pharmacists, physicians, and surgeons, ask for their intercession to send a little strength and love to all the front-line health workers today.
Week of September 27 – September 30
- September 29 is Michaelmas, or the Feast of the Archangels and the feast day that got me into liturgical living in the first place–I have been waiting all year for this!! Michaelmas celebrates Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, so we’re diving deep into all three on the blog and here. Also, eat some blackberries today. Legend has it that when St. Michael thrust Satan and his fallen angels from heaven, the devil fell into a blackberry bush and spat on it (gross, I know). But we eat blackberries on Michaelmas to celebrate heaven’s victory and rub it in Satan’s face.
- St. Michael is one of our foremost protectors. I’ve enjoyed praying to him with this beautiful chaplet meant to recall the shining gleam of his armor. This prayer has some pretty serious promises attached to it, including St. Michael’s assistance during life and a deliverance from purgatory after death for you AND all your relatives if you pray this daily. If you’re a scaredy-cat like me, you can also learn St. Michael’s prayer (it’s easy to memorize!) and say it out loud when you’re afraid.
- St. Gabriel (my namesake!) means “strength of God” or “God is my strength,” and is most known for his role at the Annunciation. As such, he’s the patron of communications workers. He’s also likely the same angel who announced the good news to the shepherds at the nativity and appeared to St. Joseph in his dreams. Entrust your family to his protection today, just as he watched over the Holy Family.
- St. Raphael is a bit more of a mystery, but he’s known for his healing and is therefore the patron of the blind and medical workers, as well as travelers and happy meetings, which we can all certainly use during covid.
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Gabriela R. A. Doyle is a speechwriter and communications specialist from northern Virginia. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and is an Elon University alumna. Gabriela is a ballerina who believes in happily ever afters and trusts that a little hygge and St. Joseph can fix just about any problem there is.