A day to celebrate all saints

By Michelle Guerin
November 3, 2017


All Saints’ Day, which can be often confused with All Souls Day, is a day where Christians remember all saints that made it to heaven. All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 is known also as a day of obligation, meaning Christians go to church to remember all those under the category of saint.

The Wolfington Center promotes All Saints’ Day with a poster. Photo by Michelle Guerin.

“November is the month where we remember in prayer all those who have died, so we begin the month by honoring All Saints’,” Father Carl Janice, director of Campus Ministry, said.

In 2015, Pope Francis had a mass dedicated on the solemnity of All Saints’ Day. In his homily, Pope Francis emphasized to use saints as role models.

“This is what the Saints did, those who preceded us to our heavenly home. They accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage, they encourage us to go forward,” Pope Francis said. “May their intercession help us to walk in Jesus’ path and to obtain eternal happiness for our deceased brothers and sisters, for whom we offer this mass.”

Frances Xavier Cabrini, also known as Mother Cabrini, is one of the many saints remembered on this day. Mother Cabrini is the Patron Saint of Immigrants.

“We remember all saints on this day,” Janicki said. “Each Saint found in their relationship with God a unique calling, which propelled them to do little things with great love over and over again.”

Cabrini junior Nia Alvarez-Mapp agrees that All Saints’ Day is a day to reflect on all the work saints accomplished, like Mother Cabrini.

“We are in the university that Mother Ursula started for Mother Cabrini and she is important, especially in a time when we celebrate the struggles of immigrants and immigrants that came to this country— immigrants that made a foundation in this country. Since she is the saint of immigrants, it would be rude not to acknowledge her,” Alvarez-Mapp said.

Thinking about Cabrini Day, bringing together all Engagement of the Common Good classes that demonstrate social justice teachings, Alvarez-Mapp considers this another day Cabrini honors Mother Cabrini’s teachings in the classroom.

Mother Cabrini is the Patron Saint of Immigrants. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

According to Cabrini’s website, Cabrini Day is an annual celebration of heritage and mission, honoring Cabrini’s namesake, Mother Cabrini. Cabrini uses Mother Cabrini’s actions serving diverse immigrant populations as inspiration and uses the day to represent student creativity and imagination.

“All Saints’ Day is the day devoted to all saints who also don’t have set feast days,” Kimberly Pepenella, senior political science and business major with a finance minor, said. “It’s important to recognize every saint.”

“Saints are not perfect models, but are people whose lives God has crossed and can be compared with the stained-glass windows of the church, which allow light to enter in different shades of color,” Pope Francis said on Nov. 1 in the Vatican City, introducing the day this year.

In the public eye, All Saints’ Day is a public holiday in Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, France, parts of Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Philippines, Spain and more; however, in Austria, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, the holiday is not nationwide, though it is still recognized by many Christians.

“We honor Mother Cabrini as a source of inspiration in how we respond to those in most need, right here, right now, using our God-given gifts and talents. Not hers, ours!” Janicki said.

Michelle Guerin

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