Faith 101: All Saints

by Kalscheur Olivia | Nov 03, 2014

By: Andrew Thomas '15, Seminarian at Bishop Simon Brute College Seminary

As people living in a community we love special days! Especially days to commend or draw attention to events, people, or objects. To name a few: Feral Cat Day, Superhero Day, Friendship Day, Groundhog’s Day, and Square Dancing Day. I know you might not think these are real days, but check out this website. So wouldn’t it make sense that of all these days we ought to have a day to celebrate the people that followed Christ with such passion and love that their whole life glorified God? For all of those who said “yes” keep reading. For all of those who said “no” keep reading.

It just so happens that we have a day to celebrate the people that glorified God through their lives; we call it All saints Day. All saints Day is November 1 (November 1 also happens to be “Go Cook For Your Pets Day”). While the date has moved several times throughout the tradition a day dedicated to saints has been around since 411 [1] . So why…?

Well for all of those grammar gurus reading this blog post I bet you noticed that I did not capitalize the word “saint” in the paragraph above. And I promise I did that on purpose. Because there are two different types of saints; Uppercase ‘S’ Saints and lowercase ‘s’ saints. The distinction is that Saints have been Canonized, which means that Catholic Church as affirmed that these people exemplify living for Christ. The Church holds them up to say, “hey look these women and men are role models in holiness.” Lowercase “saints” are all those in heaven. The Church knows that they cannot possibly hold up all the holy dead in the world, so they take a select few. Now that a distinction has been made we need to look at why.

The Church respects that fact that Saints have exhibited “heroic virtue.” Canonized Saints have lived in total fidelity to God’s grace and lived out God’s will in their lives to the highest of standards.[2] The best way I have ever heard it explained was by my Grandma. She told me one time, “how do we live this life of holiness if we don’t have someone to look up to?” Saints are there for the purpose of praying for us, for our holiness and the holiness of the Church in the world.

Just as I have a picture of my great grandma Rose I have a picture of Saint Joseph. I ask both to pray for me in the tough times because they lived seeking Christ and found him. They are my teachers and I can’t give them an apple, so I give them November 1. I hope that they accept this one day as a way to thank them for all the days they look out for me. Both Saints and  saints are there for you and the whole Church, so what saint do you thank on November 1?

[1] Catholic Encyclopedia

[2] CCC 828

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