This month's celebrations focus on the Blessed Mother and other saints who show us the way to Jesus.
September is the month devoted to the Seven Sorrows of Mary, and we can make it a prayerful reparation to our Blessed Mother’s Sorrowful Heart. In so doing, we can find comfort for our own sorrows as well as great joy.
This month is filled with beautiful feast days dedicated to Our Lady and to great saints who shaped their own lives after her example. Marking the days of this month with meaningful celebrations will make the start of a new school and work year so much more satisfying. Let’s mark our calendars now!
September 8: Celebrate Our Lady’s Birthday
There’s nothing like a birthday party to bring some happiness and fun into a week! How much more should we get from the birthday of our Heavenly Mother, whose “yes” brought us the birth of our Savior?
Just as school and work are beginning to get underway after the more relaxing pace of summer vacation, this birthday celebration is exactly what we need to keep a spirit of joy as we work with renewed vigor. Make or buy a birthday cake, add candles and after dinner… gather your family together to sing happy birthday to Mary and then perhaps a Marian song such as “Immaculate Mary” or “Ave Maris Stella.” The young and young at heart alike will never forget this wonderful celebration and it will quickly become a beloved tradition in your family.
September 15: Bring Joy to Our Lady of Sorrows
On September 15, the day after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14) when the Church marks the finding of the true cross and the dedication of churches on the sites of Christ’s death and burial, we prayerfully honor the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It’s a day for us to journey with Mary who so lovingly and sorrowfully journeyed the Way of the Cross with her Son.
Remembering Mary’s seven sorrows means remembering how deeply Our Blessed Mother can understand and assist us during our sorrows. It’s also an important day for us to seek to console her. One way to do just that is to pray the Seven Sorrows devotion.
And how better to show our love for Mary and help her in her sorrow than to consecrate ourselves to Jesus and Mary’s Sacred and Immaculate Hearts? A wonderful way to console the Sorrows of Mary more deeply is by making a Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially one that also promotes devotion to Mary. This one, available online, sends free daily emails for each day of the Consecration — complete with prayers, reflections, beautiful Catholic works of art, music, and even a daily podcast — directly to your inbox. These guided daily devotions take little time (10 to 15 minutes total) but will be time well spent. They will aid and inspire us to better prepare our hearts for Jesus and honor His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. September is a perfect time to begin.
September 21: Throw a Party for God with St. Matthew
Before St. Matthew was apostle and author of one of the four Gospels, he was Levi, tax collector and famous sinner. He is remembered for getting up from his tax booth immediately once Jesus called him to follow. Levi left everything behind to become Matthew.
But too often forgotten is the very endearing thing he did just as soon as he decided to leave all his wealth and power behind — he threw a party for Jesus! “… Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ He told him, and Levi got up, left everything, and followed Him. Then Levi hosted a great banquet for Jesus at his house.”
This story is a great reminder of how we should celebrate when we make earthly sacrifices for Jesus, and how being a follower of Jesus is worth celebrating. Simply put: The greatness of God is worth a party! Let’s mark our calendars for September 21 to make one of our family’s favorite meals and a special dessert, perhaps invite someone over who needs some cheering up. Let’s go around the table and say what blessing from God we’re most thankful for.
As a nod to St. Matthew’s former life as a tax collector, it would also be a fun idea to have the children go on a scavenger hunt for coins hidden around the house or yard and when they find them, exchange them for holy cards, a saint medal, Rosary, small book, etc. — a hands-on way to teach that what is sacred and Whom to follow.
At the call of Jesus, St. Matthew decided to chase a far more precious wealth and his example is an exciting adventure we should follow and celebrate.
September 23: Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry with Padre Pio
Beloved St. Padre Pio is famous for advising, “pray, hope and don’t worry.” So let’s take his advice today. One way to look at it is this: If you pray, you’ll have hope. And if you have hope, you will let go of worry’s tight grip. So let’s pray in a special way today. Go to Mass … pray the Rosary … go to Confession!
Padre Pio is famous for being a great confessor. What better way to celebrate him than by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Sacrament is such a great way to rid ourselves of the anxiety, depression, and the lack of hope that comes from sin. Confession gets rid of worries as our souls become unburdened and joyful. What better way for self-improvement is there? We got this!
September 29: Announce, Heal and Protect with the Archangels
September 29 is the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Since St. Michael is Archangel of Protection, it’s a great idea to get a statue or icon of him for protection in the home. If you don’t already, begin praying this prayer to him daily.
Since St. Gabriel is Messenger Archangel, this is a great day to send a message of joyful announcement, or proclaim good news in the life of someone you love. From an encouraging, faith-filled text message or card sent to someone who needs a boost, to holding the door and saying “God bless you” to a stranger today — there are countless ways we can bring good news to others as the angel Gabriel brought Mary.
Since St. Raphael is Archangel of Healing, this is a great day to pray for the sick, send a get well card, or arrange to have a Mass said for someone who is ill. Consider purchasing blessed St. Raphael oil for someone you know who is sick, and make a donation to this charitable apostolate.
May the saints of September and Our Lady of Sorrows protect and bless you and your family!