THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS & ALL SOULS
This weekend we have the two feasts the feast of All Saints on Saturday and the feast of All Souls on the Sunday. On November 1st the Church celebrates all the saints: 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 the 1st November was set 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 Jesus footsteps and try to conform ourselves to His image as we seek to do the will of the Father in all things 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)
The feast of All Saints should inspire us with tremendous hope. Among the saints in heaven are some people whom we have known such as Pope Saint John Paul or Padre Pio who both lived in the last 100 years. Padre Pio died in 1968 and of course John Paul died in 2005. But there are so many ordinary people who show us how to be saints by the way they lead their lives.
After rejoicing with the saints on the 1st of November then on the next day we pray for all those who, in the purifying suffering of purgatory await the day when they will join the company of saints. Daily in a special Memento in the Eucharistic prayer of the Mass, the priest remembers all those who have fallen asleep in the Lord, the priest implores God to grant them a place of happiness, light and peace.
So this weekend we pray with and remember the saints in heaven and we remember all who have died. Many parishes will have a special remembrance Mass for the parishioners who have died over the past year and their families. We remember our families and friends in a special way and we remember all those who have died whoever they are throughout the whole month of November which is known as the month of the Holy Souls.
May all our dead relations and friends rest in the peace of God.