All Saints Day, November 1st, is a Christian remembrance that celebrates and honours all saints, known and unknown.
We have seen statues of saints in our churches, such as St. Francis of Assisi and St. Teresa of Avila, Spain. These and other saints, too numerous to list, have been declared Saints in Heaven by the Catholic Church after a lengthy and exhaustive process. There are also Saints in Heaven unknown to us.
More inclusively, as St. Paul visits the early Christian communities, he calls the faithful Saints of the Church. These were very exemplary followers of Christ, who lived for others, and exhibited unity, harmony, love, compassion and mercy. Love and service to others was paramount. These were the living saints – people of a faith-filled community. They felt the presence of Christ in their lives and shared it with their neighbour.
All Saints Day reminds us that there is a spiritual connection between the Saints in Heaven and the faithful members of the people.
The Catholic tradition celebrates those saints, known and unknown, who have passed to the Kingdom of Heaven and those here on earth. Sainthood is indeed a gift from God.
All Saints Day challenges us to live spiritually by imitating Christ in thought, word and deed. Perhaps you have encountered sainthood in your mother or father, or in some very gifted people who exhibit boundless love and service to others.