The feast that we know of today as “All Saints Day” originated on 13 May in 609 AD, when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1 when he dedicated a chapel at the Vatican in honor of all the saints, and Pope Gregory IV later extended this celebration of all saints, and their relics, to the universal church.
All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven. Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints --that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.
We are surrounded by saints – a beautiful reminder they accompany us on our journey of faith. When we pray the Apostles’ Creed, we say, “I believe in…the communion of saints.” The communion of saints is made up of men and women who have placed their hope in Jesus Christ and through Baptism, are his adopted sons and daughters. Before his death, Saint Dominic said, “Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death, and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.”
In a very special way, on the Solemnity of All Saints, not only can we pray to our favorite saints, but we can also call upon our departed brothers and sisters whom we believe are already with God.
Dear God, thank you for the example of the Saints. I desire to join in their company, worshiping you forever in Heaven. Please help me follow their footsteps. Amen.
TAGS: Prayer, Reflection
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