Wednesday, 1 November: Saint Simon and Jude

This feast began in the east to commemorate all martyrs and was progressively adopted in the West. Celebrated on this day in the eight century and soon widely observed. Honoured today are all holy men and women in glory with Christ: known or unknown, mighty or lowly, all whose lives were modelled on the Beatitudes and on the great commandment of love.


This day of commemoration began early in the Middle Ages with annual prayers for the dead in monastic communities. Fixed on this day, it spread more widely after the tenth century and now ranks known as All Souls, it expresses Christian faith in the communion of saints and our need to pray for one another in the Church, especially those souls in purgatory ‘who have been buried in their human imperfection’.

Saturday, 4 November: Saint Charles Borromeo 

Born in Arona (Italy) in 1538. Died on this day in 1584 in Milan. Only twenty-two when he was appointed cardinal, secretary of state, and given the administration of the diocese of Milan by his uncle, Pius IV. Prominent in the final sessions of the Council of Trent during 1562-1563 and, at its end, was ordained presbyter, then bishop, and became archbishop of Milan. Known for implementing the Council’s reforms in liturgy, education, presbyteral formation, and diocesan organisation.
Remembered as an exemplary and pastoral bishop and an ardent proponent of reform and renewal.