Feast of All Saints
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.
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.
All Saints' Day was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the
Pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609 AD.
Boniface IV also established All Souls' Day, which follows All Saints.
The holy day was eventually established on November 1 by Pope Gregory III in the
mid-eighth century as a day dedicated to the saints and their relics. The May 13 celebration was subsequently abandoned.
We tend to think of people like Mother Theresa as saints. They are special because
their lives reflect the very best of human behaviour. As we think of them and the
way that they lived we are encouraged to be more like them. We think of them of
being Holy in the sense of living special godly lives, separated from the grubbiness of usual daily living.
This is all well and good but we need to also remember that you and I are saints as
well. We might not live such remarkable lives as Mother Theresa, but we are still
saints. This is because we are already holy by virtue of being God's children.