ALL SAINTS DAY
Every year on November 1st, All Saints Day honors all the known and unknown saints of the Roman Catholic Church. The day is also called All Hallows’ Day and the Feast of All Saints.
You might be aware that certain saints have been canonized by the Catholic Church. When a saint becomes canonized, the pope decrees that person to be holy and in heaven with God. Through the years, the Catholic Church has canonized about 3,000 people. Some saints are selected as patron saints. This means they are special protectors or guardians over particular occupations, situations, churches or countries. Catholics are encouraged to pray to these patron saints for provision and protection.
These aren’t the only saints that are honored on this day, however. The Catholic Church defines a saint as one who has died and ascended into heaven. This means that this All Saints Day is also a day to honor all those who have died and gone to heaven. This is why they honor the unknown saints as well as the known ones. Martyrs, or those who have died for the Christian faith, are also honored on this day.
HOW TO OBSERVE #AllSaintsDay
The Catholic Church considers this day a Holy Day of Obligation. For this reason, Catholics around the world attend Mass. In some countries, such as France and Germany, the day is observed as a public holiday. Businesses are closed in these countries. Not just Catholics observe this day, however. Some Protestant denominations recognize this day by giving God thanks for the lives and deaths of saints.
You can participate by attending a worship service that honors the saints. You can also learn more about the Catholic religion. Also, be sure to share this day on social media with #AllSaintsDay.
ALL SAINTS DAY HISTORY
The earliest observance of All Saints Day goes back to the early fourth century. Pope Boniface IV began the tradition when he consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Virgin Mary and all martyrs of the faith. Pope Gregory III (who reigned from 731 to 741 AD) continued with the tradition by dedicating a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all saints. He established the official date of November 1st. In 837 Pope Gregory IV extended All Saints Day to the entire church, not just in Rome. He ordered Catholics in all regions to observe the day each year on November 1st.