All Saints Day

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By Catholic Digest Staff

All Saints Day
Feast Day: November 1

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints to honor the belief that every saint, known and unknown, is now with God. By acknowledging them and their lives, the Church is also recognizing the idea that salvation is open to everyone, a concept that St. John expressed when he talked of “a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues,” all who can be saved. While the exact origin of All Saints Day being held on November 1 is difficult to determine, the first concrete historical mention comes from eighth century England, where it was thought that St. Egbert of York introduced it. The records imply that Rome accepted the English-Gallican practice, adopting it for the rest of the Church. Originally held at the end of May to celebrate the fulfillment of Pentecost, Pope Gregory IV transferred the feast to November since Rome could not handle the amount of pilgrims who attended the feast during late spring. Formerly, the feast was known as All Hallows, which is where Halloween (All Hallow’ Eve) originated. Due to its connection with spirits, Halloween is commonly confused with the Feast of All Souls (November 2).

Catholic Digest Staff