"I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints..."
(The Apostles' Creed)
As a 27-year-old, on my first trip to Europe, I wandered into the Pantheon in Rome, Italy not knowing its significance to All Saints Day. It was there on May 13, c.609/610 that Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the martyrs making it the first Solemnity of All Saints.
Although I neglected to attend Mass today, as it is a Holy Day of Obligation (and a national holiday in many Roman Catholic countries), I take comfort in knowing that I was at the place of the feast's origins and thus hope that counts for something.
All Saints Day as we know it celebrated on Nov. 1 is credited to Pope Gregory III (731-741) for the foundation of an oratory in St. Peter's at the Vatican for the relics of the Holy Apostles and all saints, martyrs, and confessors.
I began writing this blog in January 2010 as a way of offering recognition to Roman Catholic saints (it now includes blesseds and venerables) along with personal anecdotes. So it is my hope that whoever is reading this entry will say one big prayer for all the saints as well their favorites.
And to those of us who been far from saintly, remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi who said, "I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, he can work through anyone."