������Today the Church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. During the early centuries the Saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later on the Popes set November 1 as the day for commemorating all the Saints. We all have this “universal call to holiness.” What must we to 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).Don’t forget to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory from November 1 to the 8th.
All Saints Day During the year the Church celebrates one by one the feasts of the saints. Today she joins them all in one festival. In addition to those whose names she knows, she recalls in a magnificent vision all the others “of all nations and tribes standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, proclaiming Him who redeemed them in His Blood.” The feast of All Saints should inspire us with tremendous hope. Among the saints in heaven are some whom we have known. All lived on earth lives like our own. They were baptized, marked with the sign of faith, they were faithful to Christ’s teaching and they have gone before us to the heavenly home whence they call on us to follow them. The Gospel of the Beatitudes, read today, while it shows their happiness, shows, too, the road that they followed; there is no other that will lead us whither they have gone. “The Commemoration of All Saints” was first celebrated in the East. The feast is found in the West on different dates in the eighth century. The Roman Martyrology mentions that this date is a claim of fame for Gregory IV (827-844) and that he extended this observance to the whole of Christendom; it seems certain, however, that Gregory III (731-741) preceded him in this. At Rome, on the other hand, on May 13, there was the annual commemoration of the consecration of the basilica of St. Maria ad Martyres (or St. Mary and All Martyrs). This was the former Pantheon, the temple of Agrippa, dedicated to all the gods of paganism, to which Boniface IV had translated many relics from the catacombs. Gregory VII transferred the anniversary of this dedication to November 1. Things to Do:
- Visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead during the Octave of All Saints’ Day (November 1 through November 8) will gain a plenary indulgence that can be applied only to the souls in purgatory. On other days, this work gains a partial indulgence.
- Spend a little time after Mass thanking God for all the unnamed saints, some of whom could be our own relatives.
- Have a special meal and if you have young children have them dress up like saints and play games.
- Pray the Litany of the Saints — you could make it really special by chanting it (“he who sings prays twice”) and you could read an explanation of this litany, which is considered the model of all other litanies.
- From the Catholic Culture library:
- The Church’s Thanksgiving Day by Fr. Joseph Minihan,
- Ideas for Sanctifying All Saints’ Day by Jennifer Gregory Miller,
- Halloween and All Saints Day by Fr. William Saunders.
Indulgences for All Souls Week
An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the first to the eighth of November; on other days of the year it is partial.
And I [John] saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying:
Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads.
And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel.After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. And they cried with a loud voice, saying:
Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, Saying:
Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.
And one of the ancients answered, and said to me:
These that are clothed in white robes, who are they? and whence came they?
And I said to him: My Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me:
These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Responsorial: Psalms 24:1-6
R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
the world, and all they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas;
and hath prepared it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. Who shall ascend into the mountain of the LORD:
or who shall stand in his holy place?
The innocent in hands, and clean of heart,
who hath not taken his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbour.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
and mercy from God his Saviour.
This is the generation of them that seek him,
of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3
Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth not us, because it knew not him.Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is. And every one that hath this hope in him, sanctifieth himself, as he also is holy.
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
And seeing the multitudes, [Jesus] went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake.
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.