The feast of one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church will be celebrated today. St Anthony was born in Lisbon and died in Padua and is therefore known as St Anthony of Lisbon or St Anthony of Padua.
The feast of St Anthony is preceeded by a ‘talies’, trezena (13 days of preparation) instead of the novena (9 days) for all other feasts. He is the most popular saint of Portugal and patron of the capital city of Lisbon, which celebrates the feast with great pomp and declares a holiday on this day. Read More
All Souls’ Day is marked on 2nd November (or the 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday), directly following All Saints’ Day, and is an opportunity for Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the faithful departed. They remember and pray for the souls of people who are in Purgatory – the place (or state) in which those who have died atone for their less grave sins before being granted the vision of God in Heaven (called Beatific vision).
Reasoning behind this stems from the notion that when a soul leaves the body, it is not entirely cleansed from venial (minor) sins. However, through the power of prayer and self-denial, the faithful left on earth may be able to help these souls gain the Beatific Vision they seek, bringing the soul eternal sublime happiness.
A 7/8th century AD prayer The Office of the Dead is read out in churches on All Souls’ Day. Other rituals include the offering of Requiem Mass for the dead, visiting family graves and reflecting on lost loved ones. In Mexico, on el dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead), people take picnics to their family graves and leave food out for their dead relatives.
Whilst praying for the dead is an ancient Christian tradition, it was Odilo, Abbot of Cluny (France) who, in 998AD, designated a specific day for remembering and praying for those in the process of purification. This started as a local feast in his monasteries and gradually spread throughout the Catholic Church towards the end of the 10th century AD.
“For the souls in purgatory, waiting for eternal happiness and for meeting the Beloved is a source of suffering, because of the punishment due to sin which separates them from God. But there is also the certitude that once the time of purification is over, the souls will go to meet the One it desires.” — Letter of Pope John Paul II for Millennium of All Souls’ Day
All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows’ Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en). It is a feast day celebrated on November 1st by Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
It is an opportunity for followers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. As part of this day of obligation, followers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work.
Remembering saints and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD, but it wasn’t until 609AD that Pope Boniface IV decided to remember all martyrs. Originally May 13th was designated as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs. Later, in 837AD, Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to remember all the saints, changed its name to Feast of All Saints and changed the date to November 1st.
“We celebrate today the solemnity of All Saints. This invites us to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land, and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination.”— Pope John Paul II, All Saints’ Day
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” — John 14:6
John 3:3 — Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Matt. 18:3 –(Jesus) said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
John 6:35 — And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
John 8:12 — Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Each one of us are called to run this race called life. Perhaps your heart is thumping heavily. When you are seated in a Prayer Festival, you enjoy the presence of God and experience heaven on earth. However, once again when you step into the world the fear, “What would my future be?’ grips you. On this day, God has an answer for this question of yours. He gives you a promise. Jesus Christ says that He is the good Shepherd who is willing to lay down His life for His sheep and see that they are not in want (John 10:11). Whatever a good Shepherd does for His sheep is described in Psalm 23. Read More