People of all cultures and races have honored, remembered the deceased members of families, communities in various ways and at various time of the year.
On November 1, as Christians, we celebrate and honor all the saints from Christian history. The Book of Common Prayer in 1662 states that the holiday of All Saints Day stands for “the unity of Christians of all ages, countries, and races in Christ, and the perfection of that unity in heaven.” We believe that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven (the “Church triumphant”), and the living (the “Church militant”).
The feast can be traced back to 607A.D. when emperor Phocas presented the beautiful Roman Pantheon Temple to the pope. This temple held statues of the many gods worshipped by the Romans. Therefore, the pope removed all those statues and dedicated the temple to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to all saints. In the next century, the date for the feast of All Saints was fixed to November 1.
So today, we remember people not only from past centuries, but even from our own lifetimes those who have lived saintly lives. They are models and inspirations for us.
As we prepare to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the founding of our congregation, we can honor in a particular way this November 1, our foundress Blessed Marie Rivier and all the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary who have died since 1796.
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (cf. 1 John 3: 1-3)
All saints, Pray for us!