Although the Catholic Church celebrates saints days throughout the year, on 1 November, she joins them all in one festival. In particular the holiness of those who are hidden saints – people whose names we don’t know – is celebrated on this day.
This holy day reminds everyone that they are called to be a saint by God’s grace. All the saints now in heaven lived on earth as we do now and have gone before us to our heavenly home. We are invited to follow their Christ-centred example.
The Catholic Church teaches that in order for us to become saints we “must follow in His footsteps and conform [our]selves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. [We] must devote [our]selves with all [our] being to the glory of God and the service of [our] neighbour In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history” (Lumen Gentium, 40).
Most Catholics have a favourite saint whose life and example particularly inspires them. One of the most recently recognised English and Welsh saints is Blessed John Henry Newman who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI at Cofton Park, Birmingham on 19 September 2010.
Gospel Reading for the Holy Day: Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 5: 1 – 12
Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him
Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them
How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs
Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance
Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill
Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them
Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God
Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs
‘Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.
Scripture text source: catholic.org/bible
All Saints is a Holy Day of Obligation.
A Holy Day of Obligation is a day on which Catholics are required to attend Mass.
Blessed John Henry Newman
How to become a saint?
Catholic Education Resource Centre
Liturgy Office – All Saints
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