All Saints Day
The Church day by day gives special veneration to one or more of the holy men and women who have helped to establish it by their blood, develop it by their labors, or edify it by their virtues. But, in addition to those whom the Church honors by special designation or has inscribed in her calendar, how many martyrs are there whose names are not recorded! How many humble virgins and holy penitents! How many unknown anchorites and monks, Christian fathers and mothers, young children snatched away in their innocence! How many courageous Christians, whose merits are known only to God and His heavenly court!
Should we forget those who remember us in their intercession? Are not some among them our ancestors? members of our immediate family? our friends and fellow-Christians, with whom we have lived in daily companionship? In fact, all of Heaven is but one family — Our Lord’s, as He Himself said: Who is My mother and who are My brethren? And stretching forth His hand towards His disciples, He said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whoever does the Will of My Father in heaven, is My brother and sister and mother. Today we have the opportunity to thank God, if at other times we forget, for their aid and their love. And today we adore Him with them, for the grace which raised them to their present joy. The Church requires this homage of us, by making this day a holy day of obligation for all. Our place, too, is awaiting us in this home of eternal light, peace and love, if we persevere to the end in the fulfillment of God’s holy Will.
Reflection: Let us be solicitous to render ourselves worthy of that chaste generation, so beautiful amid the glory where it dwells. (Cf. Wisdom 4:1)
Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).