Saint Daniel Comboni-Feast Day 10th October: Daniel was born in Italy in 1831 to a poor farming family ,he knew from an early age that he would be a priest and missionary. His love was Africa and when God called him there in 1857 ,three years after his ordination to the priesthood he answered with all his heart and soul. When he arrived in central Africa Daniel devised a plan not just to bring the Gospel to people that had never heard it but he also prepared Africans to evangelize their own people a very revolutionary idea at the time. His motto was ” Save Africa with Africa”. In 1877 he was appointed Bishop pf central Africa and he continued his faithful ministry until the age of 50 when warn out and plagued with a fever he died, but not before founding the Comboni Missionaries and Comboni Missionary Sisters who today carry out their founders charism across, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He was canonized in 2003 by Pope John Paul 11 and remains an inspiration for all those that have a heart for mission.
St Teresa of Avila-Saints Day October 15th: Born in Avila in Spain in 1515, aristocratic Castilian parents, on the death of her motherwas educated by Castilian nuns. Unfortunately she suffered from terrible ill health which interrupted her studies but whilst she was recovering was inspired to read the letters of St Jerome whichher to take the veil. In 1533 she joined the Carmelite sisters at the convent of “The Incarnation ” at Avila . The convent was notfor its ascetic way of life rather for itsover relaxed atmosphere, Teresa was determined to reform the order and began with strict discipline in mental prayer. As her spirituality and closeness to God increased she began to experience a series of visions and underwent in her middle age a deep spiritual conversion ,where after experiencing ainner combat between things of the world and God she dedicated herself completely to the latter. In 1562 she founder the first community of discalced Carmelite nuns at the convent of St Josephs in Avila, from there on she established 16 further similar foundations . In 1568 she helped St John of the Cross to form the first order of discalced Carmelite friars at Duruelo. These foundations were enclosed communities that adhered to rigid rules and strict devotion to prayer and the ascetic life . Teresa died in 1582 In Alba de Tomes, due to her great written works including ” The way to perfection” and ” Interior Castle ” she was proclaimed the first woman Doctor of the Catholic Church in 1970. St Teresa is invoked by those in need of grace.
St Margaret Mary Alacoque-Feast Day 16th October: Margaret Maryborn in Burgundy in 1664 and was the daughter of a royal notary. When her father died she was sent to school ran by the poor Clare’s in Charolies ,France. Due to her fragile health she was forced to leave and was bedridden with rheumaticfor five years. It was during these years of terrible suffering that her great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament developed and from the early age of 20 she began to experience various visions of Christ. In 1671 she enrolled in the convent of the Visitation Order and it was here over the next 3 years that she received her most famous series of visions where Jesus instructed her to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart .Margaret Mary suffered terribly at the hands ofsisters at the conventothers who refused to recognise her visions and questioned her mental health. Greatcame from her confessor a Jesuit Priest called Claude Colombiere who recognised the authenticity of her visionswho encouraged her to record all her messages and apparitions of Christ. The full support of the community however was only obtained in 1683 and in 1765 Pope Clement X11 officially approved the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.