Saint of the Day ~ November 1

SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS

Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints, a special day in which we honor all those faithful souls throughout the millennia, both known and unknown, who have left this life in the friendship of Almighty God and are enjoying the fullness of the Beatific Vision (the contemplation and vision of God in all His Heavenly Glory in Heaven) – an eternity filled with indescribable peace, love and joy in God’s Most Holy Presence.

In the early days, Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr’s death for Christ at the place of their martyrdom. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all.

We find the first evidence of this in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a “common day” in a sermon by Saint Ephrem the Syrian (d.373) and in the 74th homily of Saint John Chrysostom (d.407).

At first, only martyrs and Saint John the Baptist were honored by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established.

On May 13, 609, Pope Saint Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the martyrs, ordering a special feastday be set aside each year on the anniversary of the dedication.

During the pontificate of Pope Saint Gregory III (731-741), he consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of Saint Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for its celebration on November 1st.  In the 9th century, Pope Gregory IV extended this celebration to the entire Western Church.

This Solemnity, when falling on a weekday, is celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation for all Catholics. It has a vigil, and is known as All Hallows Eve.

For more on the Solemnity of All Saints, please see today’s “Meditation for the Day”.

We commemorate this special Solemnity on November 1.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for the Solemnity of All Saints)

“Father, All-powerful and Ever-living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us Your forgiveness and love.

“We ask this 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.”

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