October 31, 2017

Solemnity of All Saints [All Saints' Day] 2017

Today the Church celebrates all the saints, canonized and beatified, as well as those known only to God who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision. During the early centuries the saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later Popes set November 1st as the day for remembering the saints' holy example.

The Commemoration of All Saints was first celebrated in the Eastern Church. The feast was initially observed in the West starting in the 8th century. The Roman Martyrology mentions that the current date was first promulgated by Gregory IV (827-844) and that he extended this observance to the whole of Christendom. It seems certain, however, that Pope Gregory III (731-741) preceded him in this. Meanwhile, in Rome, on May 13th, there was the annual commemoration of the consecration of the basilica of St. Maria ad Martyrs (or St. Mary and All Martyrs). This was the former Pantheon, the temple of Agrippa, dedicated to the gods of paganism, to which Boniface IV had translated many relics from the catacombs. Gregory VII transferred the anniversary of this dedication to the 1st of November

What must we do in order to join the company of the saints in heaven? We "must follow in His footsteps and conform [our]selves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. [We] must devote [our]selves with all [our] being to the glory of God and the service of [our] neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history" (Lumen Gentium, 40).

Collect Prayer

Almighty ever-living Father, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all your Saints, bestow upon us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

1 comment :

Robert Laity said...

Have a very Saints Day. May the intercession of the Saints bring everyone closer to God.