It is November 1st. Today is the Solemnity of All the Saints. On this day we remember and honor all the Saints who have fought the good fight and won in Jesus’ name. There are so many Saints we can read about and whose lives of virtue we can imitate in order to achieve Christian perfection.
This celebration has taken place in the Church since the 4th century. However it was not a universal feast until Pope Gregory IV had it established as such and moved it to November 1st.
We all are called to be Saints. In a world that is full of moral confusion, evil, despair and depression, we can look to the Saints who faced similar things but never gave up or gave in to temptation.
We can pray to them and ask for their intercession before Our Lord. Praying to Saints does not mean that we worship them or give them the same status as Jesus who is the Sole Mediator to God the Father. Rather, we offer dulia, or a special respect and honor that is given to those who are Saints. Only God gets latria or worship, no one else.
I invite you to read about the Saints and chose one or several who you can relate to. Try to apply their example into your life and ask them to help you become more Christ-like. The Saints are our friends – our brothers and sisters in God’s family.
May all the Saints in heaven pray for us here on Earth and the souls in Purgatory.
Litany of the Saints
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
All ye holy angels and archangels,
All ye holy orders of blessed spirits,
Saint John the Baptist,
All ye holy patriarchs and prophets,
All ye holy apostles and evangelists,
All ye holy disciples of the Lord,
All ye holy innocents,
Saints Fabian and Sebastian,
Saints John and Paul,
Saints Cosmos and Damian,
Saints Gervase and Protase,
All ye holy martyrs,
All ye holy bishops and confessors,
All ye holy doctors,
All ye holy priests and levites,
All ye holy monks and hermits,
Saint Mary Magdalene,
All ye holy virgins and widows, pray for us.
All ye holy men and women, saints of God, make intercession for us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.
From all evil, O Lord deliver us.
From all sin,
From Thy wrath,
From sudden and unprovided death,
From the snares of the devil,
From anger, and hatred, and all ill-will,
From the spirit of fornication,
From the scourge of earthquake,
From plague, famine, and war,
From lightning and tempest,
From everlasting death,
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
Through Thy coming,
Through Thy birth,
Through Thy baptism and holy fasting,
Through the Institution of the Most Blessed Sacrament,
Through Thy cross and passion,
Through Thy death and burial,
Through Thy holy resurrection,
Through Thine admirable Ascension,
Through the coming of the Holy Ghost the Paraclete,
In the day of judgment, O Lord deliver us.
We sinners, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst spare us,
That Thou wouldst pardon us,
That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate and all orders of the Church in holy religion,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring back to the unity of the Church all those who have strayed away, and lead to the light of the Gospel all unbelievers,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service,
That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires,
That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors,
That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relatives, and benefactors from eternal damnation,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us,
Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Let us pray.
Almighty, everlasting God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead and art merciful to all who, as Thou foreknowest, will be Thine by faith and works; we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still doth detain them in the flesh or the world to come hath already received them stripped of their mortal bodies, may, by the grace of Thy fatherly love and through the intercession of all the saints, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen.
It is October 31st, and this day brings many memories to me and possibly you reading this blog as well. It is “Halloween.” In America and other nations, many young people dress up in different costumes and go “trick or treating.” The holiday seems innocent enough, but of course there are the dangers of knocking on stranger’s doors, receiving candy and other treats from strangers, and becoming a victim of a prank or more recently, gang initiations.
Is this day all about a glorification of evil?
However, that is disputed because there seems to be no evidence that Pope Gregory IV was aware of this Pagan celebration. Nevertheless, the Universal Holy Day of All Saint’s day was added the day after the 31st and hence the 31st became to be known as, “All Hallow’s Eve.”
In the Liturgy, Solemnities begin at the vespers (Evening Prayer) before the actual day of the Solemnity. So in effect, All Saint’s day begins at the vespers of October 31st. Moreover, All Soul’s day follows All Saint’s day. This further adds to the speculation that the Catholic Church did this on purpose to convert Pagans to Christianity.
During the Reformation, ultra conservative and fundamentalist sects attacked the idea of Saints, praying to saints and of course celebrating them. Groups such as the Puritans forbade the celebration of Hallow’s Eve and anything that was suspected as Catholic, Pagan, or Satanic. However, while in America the Puritans did not prevent Hallow’s Eve from “evolving” to its present form. Many cultural elements were added to it such as the Jack o’ Latern, Trick or treating, dressing up in costumes etc.
Like any Holy Day, society often twists the purpose/meaning of it. Hallow’s Eve became Halloween and now is celebrated as a day when people just dress up, trick or treat and just enjoy themselves as someone/something else.
While these celebrations seem strange and “evil,” but also are fun, we have to thank the Catholic Church for the fun part, so to speak. The trick or treat part derives from the Medieval practice of young people going door to door collecting, “Soul cakes.” For each cake, the child prayed for a soul in Purgatory. Instead of the jingle, “trick or treat, gimme something good to eat” kids said, “A soul cake! A soul cake! Have mercy on all Christian souls, for A soul cake!”
In my opinion, Catholics and other Christians should not fear Halloween, but try to re-Christianize it. Remember that this day belongs to the Lord and us. Do not let secularism or paganism claim it as their own. Have fun with it, but always keeping in mind that evil is evil and is something that is real and must be avoided.
Parents: If you let your kids dress up as monsters or violent characters, explain to them that what these characters represent or do in movies or shows must remain fiction and not become reality.
We must strive for a world where monsters, violence, murder only exist in fiction.
We must also remember to be proud of who we are. Dressing up as a monster, character or whatever must be done just for fun and not to “feel” like someone else. You are a unique individual. No one else will ever be LIKE YOU! Appreciate that!
It is up to you if you wish to celebrate this day or not in the way secular society celebrates it now. Instead of having kids dress up as violent things, one can try dressing them up as saints, angels or positive people as well.
- Say a pray before going out to Our Lady, St Michael and your Guardian Angel. Pray for each home you visit.
- Check the sex offender’s list to make sure you know who you are visiting.
- Download Apps to help locate and track trick or treaters. http://www.wltx.com/news/article/156875/2/Halloween-Safety-Theres-An-App-for-That
- Check the treats before letting your children eat them.
- Check your surroundings. Try to be with a crowd, not alone.
The Statue of Liberty has just turned 125 years old. It is probably the most well known modern statue on Earth. Given as a gift from France, she has welcomed immigrants from Europe with the words penned by Emma Lazarus:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door”
May God bless the United States of America, and may this great nation continue to be a beacon of hope and freedom for all.