Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saints Day

November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Gregory IV officially declared November 1st as the Feast of All Saints in 837. Catholics are obliged to attend Mass and abstain from those works and affairs which hinder worship to God or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

Christians have been honoring their virtuous dead since the beginning of Christianity; after its legalization in 313, a common celebration of saints and martyrs began to emerge in the Church. Since the number of Christians killed during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire exceeded the days available to celebrate their martyrdom, a common feast day for all saints was established.

According to St. Paul, a "saint" is a follower of Christ (Col 1:2); however, the word "saint" has come to mean a person who has lived a life of great charity and heroic virtue.

Catholics do not worship saints, but we pray to them asking for help and prayers to God on our behalf, or thanking them for having already done so. Just as we might ask a friend or family member to pray for us, we can approach a saint with our prayers too.

That's all I have to share today because I am celebrating All Saints Day.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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