Why All Saints Day is Important

November 1 is All Saints Day and a Holy Day of Obligation. It is a glorious day and one of my favorite Solemnities. Unfortunately, it is basically overshadowed by Halloween (which is technically “All Hallow’s Eve,” the vigil of All Saint’s day). However, All Saint’s day is a solemnity and a holy day of obligation for a reason: it is a very important feast for us Catholics.

Image by Fra Angelico (1445-1455) via Wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

Some Background: History of All Saints Day

All Saints Day is a very OLD feast day, dating back to the beginning of Christianity. Think back to the catacombs. They were created to bury and honor the martyrs who were killed during the persecutions. As more and more people were martyred for the faith, the celebration expanded to include everyone, known and unknown. Urban IV included the feast to “to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year” (New Advent).

Later, Pope Gregory IV extended the celebration to all saints, martyred or no. He also enjoined the clergy to celebrate the feast every year on November 1. It has been celebrated on that day every since.

Why All Saint’s Day is Important to You

All Saint’s Day reminds us that the journey of our lives lead to heaven! All those saints who have “fought the good fight,” canonizedย  or not, inspire us and encourage us to keep up the fight ourselves. Life certainly is a fight at times.

We live in a world where wrong is right and right is wrong. Faith in God and in the divine is all but lost and we face so many struggles and obstacles we wonder if it is all worth it. IT IS!

We can look to the saints who have come before us and be strengthened knowing that others have made it before us and we can make it too! Keep up the faith and trust in God.

Celebration Suggestions

Besides Mass, which is obligatory, All Saint’s Day is a great day to pray the Litany of the Saints. This is such a beautiful prayer. The sung version of the prayer is so lovely, too.

Another way to celebrate this solemnity is to learn about some saints you aren’t familiar with. There have been many newly canonized saints over the last few years, so why not start with one of those?

If you have little ones, have an All Saint’s Party! My son’s homeschool co-op has an All Saint’s Party every year and it is so much fun! Each child gives three clues about the saint he or she is dressed up as and the other children have to guess. You can even offer prizes to the winners if you wanted.

I hope and pray that you take some time to go deeper in your understanding of his most wonderful solemnity!

God bless,

 

More Resources

thoughtCo

New Advent

Happy Feast of All Saints!

All Holy Saints in heaven, pray for us!

(Painting by Fra Angelico)

Here is a link to a video about All Saints that I posted last year.

Prayer for the Deceased

Yes, today is Halloween but it was originally celebrated as “All Hallow’s Eve.” All Hallow’s Eve was (is) the day before All Saint’s Day which is the day we remember all the “unsung Saints” who are now in Heaven.

Something not so mentioned (or popular) nowadays is All Soul’s Day. It is a day that we pray in a special way for the souls in Purgatory. The official day All Soul’s Day is November 2 but we can (and should) pray anytime for those dear souls. So, let us do so today:

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Receive in tranquility and peace, O Lord, the souls of your servants who have departed this present life to come to you. Grant them rest and place them in the habitations of light, the abodes of blessed spirits. Give them the life that will not age, good things that will not pass away, delights that have no end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”St. Ignatius of Antioch

May all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace!

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Tweetable: Prayer for the Deceased

Hat tip to MyCatholicSource.com which is where I found this prayer.

31 Days Writing Challenge

All Saints Day

All Saints Day is this Sunday, November 1. It is a glorious solemnity wherein the Catholic Church celebrates all of the saints, known and unknown. It is definitely one of my favorite Solemnities in the liturgical calendar. This year, since it falls on Sunday, it is a holy day of obligation (as are all Sundays).

Celebrating All Saints Day

Image by kropekk_pl (2009) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Sadly, here in the United States, if All Saints Day falls during the week it is no longer a holy day of obligation. I almost wish it was always a holy day of obligation because it is a wonderful thing to celebrate all the saints, whether they have been officially canonized or not. Why? Because they are where we want to be! They “fought the good fight,” won the battle, and now live forever with the Triune God. That’s worth celebrating if you ask me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One way to celebrate (besides going to Mass, of course!), is to pray the Litany of the Saints. It is such a beautiful prayer – and even more beautiful when sung! Here is a lovely version that I found on YouTube:

Another great way to celebrate is to read up on a saint (or few) that you do not know about yet. The Church has lifted up many saints as examples for us and when we read about them we can get inspired. Here are a few of my favorite saints.

For information about the history of All Saints Day, go here and here. Speaking of history, did you know that the word Halloween came from “All Hallow’s Eve?” It originally was a day of fasting and preparation for all Saints Day; however, over the years it unfortunately evolved to the scary, spooky, commercial day it is now.

(Yep, I am not a fan of Halloween. I don’t like all the emphasis on ghouls and scary things. I know it is supposed to be fun but I don’t see anything fun about glorifying evil in any way – even in jest – because there is nothing glorious or good about evil. Anyone with me or am I the only one?)

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Tweetable: All Saints Day

10 Saints in Heaven You Should Get to Know

All Saint's Day

(Inspired from RAnn’s latest Question of the Week, and because it is All Saint’s Day (again), I am re-posting this list of saints you should get to know. This list is still relevant and if you haven’t gotten to know them yet you should now. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

In honor of All Saint’s Day, I thought I’d share some well-known and not-so-well known saints that would be worth getting to know. ๐Ÿ™‚ These saints have been lifted up as examples for us by the church because of their faith, love for God and heroic virtue.

1. St. Joseph. The foster-father of Jesus and husband of Mary is the patron of workers, families and fathers. We need his example in today’s world where families are under (spiritual) attack.

2. St. Jeanne Jugan. I’ve talked about Saint Jeanne Jugan several times before. Her humility, faith and forbearance in difficulties during her lifetime is truly a testimony to God’s goodness. I’m not sure if she is an “official” patron of the elderly, but she should be. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. St. Jose Maria Escriva. St. Jose Maria is the founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic institution devoted to helping people grow in the relationship with God through their everyday lives. He had written many books in his lifetime and I love his practical, common sense way of lifting the soul up to God in the midst of all that we do in our lives.

4. St. Faustina. Saint Faustina is known as the “Apostle of Mercy” due to her revelations of Jesus and His infinite mercy. If you haven’t done so, you should really read parts or all of her diary, “Divine Mercy in My Soul.”

5. St. Martin de Porres. When I was discerning a vocation, years ago, a sister I knew had great devotion to St. Martin de Porres. She lent me a book about his life and from then on I’ve developed a devotion to him as well. He was one of those saints who practiced severe penances and received extraordinary graces, which most of us are not called to; but, we can imitate his love of prayer, sacrifice and love for the poor. (FYI: His feast day is this Thursday.)

6. St. Bridget of Sweden. A wife and mother of 8 children, St Bridget had great devotion to the Passion of the Lord. She is the one who received the “15 Prayers” found in the Pieta Prayer Book.

7. St. Vincent de Paul. Did you know that the body of St. Vincent de Paul is somewhat incorrupt? It is and when I lived in France years ago, I was able to pray at his shrine. He is known for his great love for the poor and the St. Vincent de Paul Society continues his work today.

8. St. Agnes. St. Agnes is a great saint for your daughters. She is an example of purity and love of God and gave her life rather than sin!

9. St. Dominic Savio. Where Saint Agnes is a great saint for your daughters, St. Dominic Savio is the saint for your sons. He, too, is an example of great purity and custody of the eyes. He also had a deep devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. His motto: “Death, but not sin!”

10. St. Margaret-Mary Alacoque. Saint Margaret-Mary was the apostle of devotion of the Sacred Heart. She suffered much in her life; and yet, she acted with charity, humility and prayer toward those who persecuted. When we are wronged, especially deeply, it is SO HARD to forgive the person (or persons) who have hurt us. So maybe, besides devotion to the Sacred Heart, prayer and silence, St. Margaret can teach us how to forgive.

(P.S. I purposely left out the Blessed Mother because, well, it should be a given that we honor Mary and try to live by her example!)

Who’s your favorite not-too-well-known saint? Do share in the comments so we can get to know them. ๐Ÿ™‚

****All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation so don’t forget to make time to go to Mass!

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Want to inspire your faith? Get to know these saints.

10 Saints in Heaven You Should get to Know.