Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Today we honor our parents and many other relatives and friends who are with God in heaven. This is a catch-all feast for all those saints who were not extraordinary enough to get their own feast.
Early on the Romans celebrated a feast of all martyrs on May 15, which became all saints. The Irish had been keeping November 1 as a holy day in honor of the dead long before the time of Jesus. When they became Christians, it was easy to adapt that feast to honor all saints. Interestingly enough, when it came time for the Church to establish a feast of All Saints, the Irish date caught the imagination.
Our dead relatives are still very close to us. We can ask them to pray for us and for our family. We can honor them also as models of how to become a saint. When the famous saints seem so holy and beyond our imitation, we can look to our parents and cousins to show us how to live a holy life and move over into another dimension to be with God forever.