All Saints' Day: The history and traditions behind the holiday

Every year on November 1, many Roman Catholics and other Christians around the world observe All Saints Day, which honors all saints of the church deemed to have attained heaven.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, All Saints Day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Here’s a look at the history and traditions of this holy holiday.

Where All SaintsDay came from

While now observed in November, All SaintsDay was originally celebrated on May 13, although the origin cannot be traced with certainty, Volgens Encyclopedia Brittanica. Pope Boniface IV formally started what would later be known as All Saints Day on May 13 in 609 AD when he dedicated the Pantheon in Rome as a church in honor of the Virgin Mary and all martyrs.
    The current date of November 1 was established by Pope Gregory III during his reign (731-741 AD) when he dedicated a chapel in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica in honor of all saints.
    While this celebration was originally limited to Rome, later in 837 Pope Gregory IV ordered the official observance of All Saints Day every November 1 en extended its celebration to the entire Church.

    All Saints really means ALL saints

    While many canonized saints are celebrated with their own individual feast days (such as St. Patrick), saints that have not been canonized have no particular holiday.
    All SaintsDay recognizes those whose sainthood is known only to God. Selfs so, Catholic observances tend to focus on known saints, those canonized by the Catholic Church.

    A holy obligation

    Volgens Catholic Online, within the Catholic Church, All SaintsDay is generally considered a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning all Catholics must attend Mass unless they are prevented by illness or another sufficient excuse.
    After the Protestant Reformation, many Protestant sects kept All Saints’ Dag. Methodists, byvoorbeeld, acknowledge it as a day of giving God earnest gratitude for the lives and deaths of saints, Volgens Christianity.com.

    Observances around the world

    Although not a public holiday in the US, All SaintsDay is observed publicly in many countries.
      In France and Germany, people have the work day off and businesses are closed.
      In die Filippyne, All Saints Day is known asUndasand isn’t just for remembering the saints, but for honoring and paying respects to departed loved ones, usually with prayers, flowers, and good offerings.

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