All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints or Solemnity of All Saints, commonly known as All Saints Day, is celebrated today, November 1.
The concept of All Saints Day is connected with the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, a Catholic teaching that all of God’s people In heaven, earth, and Purgatory are spiritually connected and united. We believe that the saints of God are just as alive as those on earth, and are constantly interceding on our behalf. Our connection with the saints in heaven is grounded on a tight-knit communion and because of our communion with and through Jesus Christ, our prayers are joined with the heavenly community of Christians.
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. He also established All Souls’ Day which follows All Saints Day.
Subsequently, the holy day was established by Pope Gregory III in the mid-eighth centuries as a day dedicated to the saints and their relics. There are many patron saints, guardians or protectors of various areas and states of life.
The celebration should inspire us with faith and hope. One may be an ordinary person on earth, but by living as an exemplar life of faith through an extraordinary service, one may be recognized as a saint of heaven. Let us not be distracted by the entertainment we get from celebrating Halloween parties. We are held accountable to God for all of these things.
The saints we have learned to know all lived on earth lives like our own. They were all baptized, marked with the sign of faith. They were faithful to Christ’s teaching and they have gone before us to the heavenly home when they call on us to follow them.
May this celebration of All Saints Day remind us of God’s fidelity to the people whom he has chosen to be his own.