Next Sunday the Church throughout the world celebrates All Saints Day. This great solemnity rejoices in all of God’s “holy ones” who have endured the trials of this life and now share in the glory of heaven. We, of course, recall all the great saints whom we venerate throughout the year: the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles, the martyrs and confessors, the many great men and women like Saint Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Thomas More, St. Therese, whom the church has canonized over the centuries. We all have our favorites. I have a special love for St. Augustine, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Philip Neri, and our homegrown American saints, Saint John Neumann and Saint Katherine Drexel. They are all wonderful role-models for us in living out our faith. But we also remember those countless men and women who have lived lives of heroic virtue and have been forgotten by all…except by God. I think of all the parents and grandparents, single men and women, married couples (did you know that Pope Francis just canonized the first married couple, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux?), innocent children, faithful priests and sisters, who lived saintly lives and are not with the Lord in glory. You see, being canonized is not what is important but, rather, being a saint is! All Saints Day is also the beginning of November, the traditional month in which we Catholics pray for the dead, especially the souls in purgatory. We remember them in a special way on All Souls Day, November 2. We have a beautiful tradition here at Saint Joan of Arc in having a Mass of Remembrance for all those who have died this past year. Remember: to pray for the dead is a good and holy thing to do! May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace!
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