Family members and friends of the faithful departed traditionally observe All Saints’ Day with a visit to cemeteries and columbariums to offer prayers and flowers and to light candles in memory of loved ones who have passed on.
As in the past years, Church officials remind the faithful “to commemorate All Saints’ Day solemnly as it is meant to enrich the faith of all who observe it.”
Balanga City, Bataan Bishop Ruperto C. Santos urged the faithful “not to turn the cemetery into picnic grounds. This is a time to remember our departed loved ones. This is not a time for picnics or reunions,” he said.
According to an old tradition, prayers for the intercession of saints are as old as Christianity itself, while the veneration of saints goes back to the beginning of Christianity.
Catechism 2683 said, “Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask for them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”
Originally known as the Feast of All Martyrs in memory of the martyrs of the early Church who died for their faith in Christ, All Saints’ Day has since evolved into a solemn observance during which the Church remembers all who have died in the faith.
Pope Gregory (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, Italy to all the saints and fixed the observance to November 1.
Pope Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration to the Universal Church in 837.
According to the Roman Martyology and Orthodox sources, there are over 10,000 named saints from history, although no exact figure is available as more holy men and women continue to be canonized by the Holy Father.
(Christina I. Hermoso)