Catholic devotions for the 31st October

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Saint of the Day
Reading of the Martyrology
Dedication of the Month
Dedication of the Day
Five Wounds Rosary in Latin
Seven Sorrows Rosary in English
Latin Monastic Office
Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict
Celebration of Mass
Reading from the School of Jesus Crucified

Feast of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez

Rodríguez was the son of a wool merchant. When Peter Faber, one of the original Jesuits, visited the city to preach, the Rodríguez family provided hospitality to the Jesuit. Faber prepared the young Rodríguez for his First Communion.

At the age of twelve, Rodríguez was sent him to the new Jesuit college at Alcalá, but left two years later to help his mother run the family business when his father died. At the age of 26, he married María Suarez, a woman of his own station, with whom he had three children. At the age of 31, she had died as did two of their children. From then on, Rodriguez began a life of prayer and mortification, separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child, his thoughts turned to life in some religious order.

Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society as he was without education, having only an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of 39 he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay brother on 31 January 1571, at the age of 40.The provincial is supposed to have said that if Alphonsus was not qualified to become a brother or a priest, he could enter to become a saint.

Distinct novitiates for seminarians and lay brothers had not yet been established in Spain, and Rodríguez began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia—this point is a subject of dispute—and after six months was sent to the recently founded college on Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for 46 years, exercising a marvelous influence not only on the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to the porter's lodge for advice and direction. As doorkeeper, his duties were to receive visitors who came to the college; search out the fathers or students who were wanted in the parlor; deliver messages; run errands; console the sick at heart who, having no one to turn to, came to him; give advice to the troubled; and distribute alms to the needy. Alphonsus tells that each time the bell rang, he looked at the door and envisioned that it was God who was standing outside seeking admittance. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was Peter Claver, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. He made his perpetual vows in 1585 at the age of 54.

The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things, even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. His Jesuit superiors, seeing the good work he was doing among the townspeople, were eager to have his influence spread far among his own religious community, so on feast days they often let him into the pulpit of the refectory to have him give a sermon. On more than one occasion, the community sat quietly past dinner to hear Rodríguez finish preaching.

He had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially as the Immaculate Conception, and would produce copies of the complete text of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the private recitation of people who asked. He reportedly was favored with mystical graces, ecstasies and visions of our Lord, our Lady and the saints.

Rodríguez became very feeble when he reached his eighties and in his last months his memory began to fail. He was not even able to remember his favourite prayers. He died on 31 October 1617.

He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodríguez (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations, the texts are often repeated, the illustrations are from everyday life, and the treatment of one virtue occasionally entrenches upon another. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by Rodríguez himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors.
The Reading from the Martyrology

This Day, the Thirty-First Day of October

The Vigil of All Saints.
The Commemoration of the holy martyrs, and of the other saints whose
bodies or relics are preserved in our churches. A totum duplex feast.
At Rome, St. Ampliatus, Urban, and Narcissus, whom St. Paul mentions
in his Epistle to the Romans [16:8, 9, 11.]. They were slain by Jews and
Gentiles for the Gospel of Christ.
At Constantinople, St. Stachys, bishop. He was ordained the first bishop
of that city by the Apostle St. Andrew.
The city, Augusta Veromandunorum, was later named after the saint, Saint Quentin.
Near the imperial city of Vermandois, in Gaul, St. Quintinus, a Roman
citizen of senatorial rank. He underwent martyrdom at the time of the
Emperor Maximian, and, through the revelation of an angel, his body was
found fifty-five years later, still incorrupt. A memory.
At Milan, St. Antoninus, bishop and confessor.
At Ratisbon in Bavaria, St. Wolfgang, bishop.
At Palma on the island of Majorca, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez,
lay-coadjutor of the Society of Jesus, and confessor. He was noted for his
humility and his continual zeal in mortification. He was canonized by the
Sovereign Pontiff, Leo XIII.
At Rome, the transferal (of the relics) of St. Nemesius, deacon, and his
daughter the virgin Lucilla, who were beheaded on August 25.

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis
("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

October is the Month of the Holy Rosary

Devotion to the Rosary for 31st October

"Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us."  Litany B. V. M.


The month of October ends to-day, and with it we close the beautiful devotion of the Holy Rosary. The Joys, the sorrows, the Glories of Mary have been proposed to us for our meditation and prayer knd slight indeed has been the profit reaped from these suggestions if w^e have not increased our love for Mary, and resolved earnestly to strive to imitate her unselfish generosity. Prayer, labor and sacrifice were so constantly practiced by her that they became part of her nature. They were habits so thoroughly fixed in her life and conduct that we cannot think of her without their association. After the Grace of God, and with that grace's aid, it was these habits that made her what she is to-day, the most perfect of all God's creatures. Prayer, labor and sacrifice, in imitation of Mary, will sweeten our lives, and render them pleasing to her, and to her Divine Son, Jesus.


''Rose of the Cross, thou mystic flower ! 
I lift my heart to thee; 
In every melancholy hour, 
O Mary remember me !

"A wanderer here through many a wild, 
Where few their way can see — 
Bloom with thy fragrance on thy child, 
O Mary remember me !

Tuesday is the Day dedicated to the Holy Angels

Tuesdays, in addition to honoring the Angels, are the day for honoring the Holy Face and honoring St. Anthony of Padua. On the Tuesday after St. Anthony's death, the day his funeral cortege took his body to the church, many miracles took place, so this day is commemorated in his honor. A special Novena to St. Martha is also made on nine consecutive Tuesdays (or on all Tuesdays) by some Catholics.

From an 11th century prayer book belonging to Abbot Aelfwine.
CREDO quod sis angelus sanctus, a Deo omnipotente ad custodiam mei deputatus. Propterea peto, et per illum qui te ad hoc ordinavit, humiliter imploro, ut me miseram fragilem atque indignam semper et ubique in hac vita custodias, protegas a malis omnibus atque defendas, et cum Deus hinc animam meam migrare iusserit, nullam in eam potestatem daemonibus habere permittas, sed tu eam leniter a corpore suscipias, et in sinu Habrae suaviter usque perducas iubente ac iuvante creatore ac salvatore Deo nostro, qui est benedictus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
I BELIEVE that thou art the holy angel appointed by almighty God to watch over me. On this account, I beg and humbly implore thee, through Him who hast ordained thee to this task, that in this life thou wouldst always and everywhere guard me, wretched, weak, and unworthy that I am. Protect and defend me from all evil, and when God has bid my soul to leave this world, permit not the devil to have any power over it. Rather that thou wouldst gently take it from my body and lead it sweetly unto the bosom of Abraham with the biding and assistance of God our Creator and Savior, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are prayed on Tuesday

"I would like to remind you that the Rosary is a biblical prayer, all filled with the Holy Scriptures." It is a prayer from the heart, in which the repetition of the Ave Maria directs the thought and affection towards Christ, and thus is made a confident prayer to Him and our Mother. It is a prayer that helps to meditate on the Word of God and assimilate the Eucharistic Communion, on the model of Mary who kept in her heart everything Jesus did and said and even His Presence. " Pope Benedict XVI

The Rosary in Latin

Chaplet of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ in Latin 

Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady in English

The Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict for October 31

1 Secundum modum culpae, et excommunicationis vel disciplinae mensura debet extendi; 
2 qui culparum modus in abbatis pendat iudicio.
3 Si quis tamen frater in levioribus culpis invenitur, a mensae participatione privetur. 
4 Privati autem a mensae consortio ista erit ratio ut in oratorio psalmum aut antiphonam non imponat, neque lectionem recitet, usque ad satisfactionem. 
5 Refectionem autem cibi post fratrum refectionem solus accipiat, 
6 ut, si verbi gratia fratres reficiunt sexta hora, ille frater nona, si fratres nona, ille vespera, 
7 usque dum satisfactione congrua veniam consequatur.

1 It is the degree of the fault which should serve as the measure of excommunication or discipline 
2 the degree of which fault is to be judged by the abbot.
3 If any brother is found guilty of less serious faults he is to be deprived only of participation in the common table.  
4 For one deprived of table-fellowship this shall be the norm: in the oratory he is to intone neither psalm nor refrain, nor may he recite a lesson until he has made satisfaction.  
5 He is to receive his meals alone after the meal of the brothers.  
6 Thus if, for example, the brothers eat at the sixth hour, this brother is to eat at the ninth hour;  if they eat at the ninth hour, he is to eat at sundown, 
7 until by proper satisfaction he obtains pardon.

Today's Celebration of the Mass

Jesus XPI Passio sit semper in cordibus nostris

May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts


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