What is Halloween? Historically Halloween has Christian origins. It is the vigil of All Saints Day. “Saint” in old English was “hallow” meaning “holy.” It was called “All Hallows Eve.” It was a feast instituted by Pope Gregory III in the 730’s AD. It also coincided with the Celtic festival of Samhain, but there is no evidence that the Pope was even aware of such a festival. Over time, as Christianity spread to England and Ireland, some customs from the Celtic festival were “christened,” that is used to teach some facet of the faith. All Hallows Eve customs have grown and changed over time. Particularly in America with the arrival of Irish, Italian, and German immigrants.
The commercialization of Halloween, or turning it into a celebration of evil, is certainly a hi-jacking of a Christian holiday. Some have advocated celebrating “Harvest Festival” rather than Halloween. This, ironically, is more in line with the pagan festival. Let us reclaim Halloween for Christians, by returning to its roots in the Catholic Church by tying it explicitly to the Feast of All Saints.
What is a Saint?
The Catechism defines “saint” as: The “holy one” who leads a life in union with God through the grace of Christ and receives the reward of eternal life. The Church is called the communion of saints, of the holy ones.These are the men and women in heaven. Human beings to not become angels, those are a different order of creature. Human beings who, after passing from life, enter the joy of heaven are saints. The feast of All Saints commemorates all those who are in heaven but may not be universally known. All saints show us that in this present life, we can live a life in “union with God through the grace of Jesus Christ.”
What is all Souls Day?
All Souls Day is a solemn celebration in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating all of those who have died and are now in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and the temporal punishments for the mortal sins that they had confessed, and being made pure before entering into the presence of God in Heaven.
Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. In the modern world, when many have come to doubt the church’s teaching on Purgatory, the need for such prayers has only increased. The Church devotes the month of November to All Souls, and participation in the Mass of All Souls Day is a good way to begin the month.
November 3 is the feast of St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters. Good hunting
Happy Halloween and All Saints Day and a blessed All Souls Day Father Robert Letona