History of All Saints Day - Honoring Of Saints

October 31, 2014 (3 years ago)
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All Saints Day, the day on which Catholics celebrate all the saints, known and unknown, is a surprisingly old feast.

When martyrdoms increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, local dioceses instituted a common feast day in order to ensure that all martyrs, known and unknown, were properly honored.

By the late fourth century, this common feast was celebrated in Antioch, and Saint Ephrem the Syrian mentioned it in a sermon in 373 AD.ย 

The current date of November 1 was instituted by Pope Gregory III (731-741 AD), when he consecrated a chapel to all the martyrs in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and ordered an annual celebration. This celebration was originally confined to the diocese of Rome, but Pope Gregory IV (827-844 AD) extended the feast to the entire Church and ordered it to be celebrated on November 1.

The vigil or eve of the feast, October 31, is commonly known as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. Despite concerns among some Christians (including some Catholics) in recent years about the "pagan origins" of Halloween, the vigil was celebrated from the beginningโ€”long before Irish... Read More

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