The eleventh month of the year in our calendar is November and like the last two months it’s name comes from Roman numbering. Novem is the Roman word for nine which gives this month it’s name because in the original Roman calender there were only 10 months, November being the 9th.
November is a month that is most associated with harvest. Winter is approaching and Autumn is fully under way, and because of this we see the idea of harvest in several of this months holidays. The feasts of All Hallows and All Souls, as well as the American holiday; Thanksgiving. It should be easy to see the relation of harvest to Thanksgiving, but a little less to for the feasts of Hallowmas. In fact, the feast was a christianised version a pagan feast called Samhain, which was a harvest celebration.
In the Liturgical year November is the last month. Advent, which prepares for the Nativity, begins four weeks before the Christ mass, and will fall between November 28th and December 3rd. Many may remember, when they were young, how lights would begin to appear, lamp posts would begin to be decorated with bells, angels, and candy canes right after Thanksgiving.
Keeping with the idea of harvest, this months scene from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry shows a beautiful Autumn scene, with pigs harvesting acorns. The Acorn Harvest, provides plenty of nuts from the oak trees which the pigs love to eat. The effect of this is to make a very delicious pork, called Mast-Finished Pork or in keeping with the traditional scene here, Acorn-Finished Pork. This ancient tradition is regaining popularity today, and the price of pork which has been Acorn or Mast (acorns, hickory nuts, other nuts) Finished, can sport a lofty price.
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of November are:
1. All Saints, Solemnity
2. All Souls, Feast
3. Martin de Porres, Opt. Mem.
4. Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
9. Lateran Basilica, Feast
10. Leo the Great, Memorial
11. Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
12. Josaphat, Memorial
13. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Memorial
15. Albert the Great, Opt. Mem.
16. Margaret of Scotland; Gertrude, Opt. Mem.
17. Elizabeth of Hungary, Memorial
18. Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
21. Presentation of Mary, Memorial
22. Cecilia, Memorial
23. Clement I; Columban; Bl. Miguel Agustín Pro (USA), Opt. Mem.
24. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, Memorial
25. Christ the King, Solemnity
30. Andrew, Feast