Friday, 1 November 2013

Celebrating All Saints Day

All Saints Day (coined by Pope Gregory IV) is celebrated every year on November 1 and it is on this day that all Christian saints are remembered (including the ones that do not have a special feast day). It is an ancient feast day and it came into being when through the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their martyrdom and when martyrdom increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, local dioceses issued this feast day to properly honour all the martyrs.
Traditionally in our country, the Protestants use this night to go to the cemeteries to light the graves of their departed relatives, in many countries the tradition may vary.

The Saints in heaven are holy people that have walked the earth just like us and now their job is to intercede for us. As such, we are obligated to ask them to pray for us to Jesus. For example, St. Joseph, we ask him to "assist us in by his divine and powerful intercession and obtain for us from his divine Son and our Lord, all spiritual blessings through Jesus, the Christ". St. Jude, we ask him to go before Jesus on our behalf  "for our most desperate situations". All our saints have special purposes, even those we may not know about, they are all called to pray for us because it was through their beatification that God lifted them up to complete holiness and made a place for them beside him and made them "Blessed".

The Beatification and Canonization of Saints:
The recognition by the Catholic Church of a deceased person of God's entrance into heaven and their ability to now intercede on behalf of individuals who pray to his or her name is known as their Beatification. The next step to saint-hood is known as canonization where that "Blessed" person of God is now considered to be a saint and this is only done when at least two miracles have been performed in his/her name. Next Year, Blessed John Paul will be canonized as a Saint!

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