All Saints Day!

Icon of All Saints

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,

Who thee, by faith, before the world confessed

Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed:

Alleluia, alleluia!

Happy All Saints Day!! This is my favorite holyday outside Christmas and Easter, and the words above are from my favorite hymn for the day.

On the Feast of All Saints, we celebrate not only those saints that the church recognizes and honors by name, but all the many saints that the church knows that she does not know by name. We rejoice in the cloud of witnesses cheering us on from heaven; we rejoice in the bonds of communion between the pilgrim church on earth, and our sisters and brothers in heaven.

This year, the church rejoices in the proclamation of seven new saints canonized* by Pope Benedict last month: four women and three men, Marìa Carmen Sallés y Barangueras, Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha, Anna Schäffer, Jacques Berthieu, Pedro Calungsod, and Giovanni Battista Piamarta. St. Kateri has been named a patron of the environment and of Canada; click through to read a little bit about each of these new saints.

St. Maria Carmen, pray for us!
St. Marianne, pray for us!
St. Kateri, pray for us!
St. Anna, pray for us!
St. Jacques, pray for us!
St. Pedro, pray for us!
St. Giovanni, pray for us!
All you holy men and women,
pray for us!

*Being canonized by the church doesn’t make someone a saint. Rather, the process of canonization is similar to a legal finding: the church declares with confidence that the person is in heaven, and thereby gives permission for the person to be venerated as a saint.

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