All Saint’s Day Reflection
By: Isabella Daulerio
All Saints’ Day, celebrated by Catholics every year on November 1, is also referred to as All Hallows’ or Allhalloween. Today, many people are more familiar with Halloween rather than All Saints’ Day. Although Halloween is not considered a Catholic holiday, it actually originated from All Saints’ Day. The Halloween holiday, also called All Hallows’ Eve, is traditionally celebrated on October 31. Halloween traditions came about from a superstitious belief that the spirits of those who have died are most active the day before all Saints’ Day. The Catholic Church does not believe in people’s spirits coming back from the dead or other things Halloween as a modern-day holiday represents; rather, she supports and encourages the celebration of All Saints’ Day.
As Catholics, the Saints are an important part of what we believe and can play a key role in leading us closer to Christ. We recite our belief in the “communion of Saints” every Sunday in the Nicene Creed; we choose a specific Saint who we either have a devotion to or are inspired by as we prepare to receive the sacrament of Confirmation; we hear from the writings of the Saints, we recite “blessed be God, in His angels and in His saints” in the Divine Praises spoken after exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. We look to the examples of the Saints and ask for their prayers and intercession in the same way we would ask our Earthly friends to pray for us on our behalf. St. Josemaría Escrivá defines a Saint as “a sinner that keeps trying.” All of us are called to be saints and all of us are capable of becoming saints. Each year on November 1, we celebrate All Saints’ Day which is also a holy day of obligation for Catholics. This is a way we can celebrate the lives of the Saints, known and unknown, who now enjoy eternal life with Christ in His Heavenly Kingdom. The Saints realize that their worth does not lie in their temporary possessions and the things of this world but in Jesus alone. The Saints were not perfect, they faced temptation as we do, many of them suffered and faced hardships. But, they persevered and eventually learned to trust God’s will over their own. The trials each Saint faced in their lifetime varies, but God is the uniting force that ultimately brought them all together in Heaven as Saints. God desires that we unite to spread His word, as one Body of Christ, in order to lead others closer to Him. This is why we end each celebration of the Mass with the words “go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” God sends us out into the world, but we are never alone. Not only do we have each other but we also have the Saints, Angels, and God on our side. I encourage you to reflect on the lives of the Saints today. How do they impact your life? Do you lean on the Saints for intercession? Do you look to their example for guidance in living out your own faith? May we appreciate the gift of the Saints and realize that we too can be saints one day. May we look daily to the examples of the Saints and be granted the strength we need to follow in their examples, to trust God’s will even in the midst of our suffering and to be witnesses to Christ through our thoughts, words, and actions.