Feast Day of Saint Therese

St. Theresa Feast Day October 1st

The Roman Catholic church celebrates the feast of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus and the Holy Face, also known as 'the Little Flower' on October 1st of every year. She died on September 30th and traditionally the saints feast day if held on the following day. St. Therese's home church in France celebrates her Feast Day on the last Saturday of September no matter what the date.

While many saints are celebrated with prayer and special rituals or
festivals, a St.Therese festival appears to be celebrated primarily by simple prayer, spiritual service and kindness to others. "The little way" is her signature, meaning the simple love from the heart and acceptance in communion with God are the most fervent. The rose is her symbol. Shortly before her death she said, "After my death I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth." Many miracles in her name are accompanied by the presence of or the scent of roses.

Feast Days, Or Holy Days within the Church have been celebrated since the first century. A feast not only commemorates an event of a person it also serves to excite the spiritual life by reminding it of whom and what the feast represents.

The solemnities of Easter and Pentecost together with the weekly Lord's day (Sunday) were the universal Christian feasts until the third century. Epiphany and Christmas were added during the fourth century. The feasts of the Blessed Virgin were added in the sixth and seventh century; also the feasts of the confessors St. Martin and St. Gregory.

By the ninth century, in England. confirmed feasts were Christmas, Epiphany, three days of Easter, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sts. Peter, Paul, Gregory and All Saints day.

By the French revolution the ecclesiastical calendar was radically abolished, and as of the reorganization of the French Church, in 1806, only four feasts remained: Christmas, the Ascension, the Assumption, and All Saints.

And so, throughout time the number of feasts have varied according to the Pope's decree. Today there are eight feast (or Holy days) designated by the Church in addition to Sundays when Catholics are required to attend Holy Mass. They are: the Solemnity of Mary (Jan1) Epiphany (or the Solemnity of the Holy Family Jan 6); Easter (the resurrection of Jesus Christ); Ascension (the ascension of Jesus into heaven forty days after Easter): the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (when her body and soul were assumed to heaven at the time of her death Aug 15); All Saints Day (celebrating all saints in one feast day Nov 1); the Immaculate Conception (celebrating the conception of the Virgin Mary as the only human ever conceived without original sin Dec.8) and Christmas (the birth of Christ Dec.25).

The feasts of the saints, except for All Saints day, are not holy days of obligation when one is required to attend Mass. But, each saint has a day set aside in their honor. The Calendar of saints is a traditional method of organizing the liturgical years by associating each day with one or more saints.

The system began in the early Christian church as a custom to commemorate martyrs on the yearly date of their death--or birth into heaven. In Latin, dies natalis or 'day of birth.

There are two categories of saints, martyrs and confessors. Martyrs are regarded as having died giving service to the lord. Confessors are holy people who died natural deaths. Confessors are also called, virgin, pastor, bishop, monk, priest, founder, abbot, apostle, doctor of the church or a combination of those names.

Many children are given the baptismal or confirmation name associated with a saint during his/her birth, baptism or confirmation. Some mark the 'name day' of the saint whose name he/she bears with special attention as in a birthday celebration.
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