While being in Rome last week with the students from bishop Challoner School, we visited the Pantheon, one of the most popular sites in Rome, . On May 13, 610, Pope Boniface IV transformed this temple to all the gods into a Church, which was dedicated to Our Lady and the Martyrs, making this date the feast day of All Saints. A couple of centuries later, in 835 the solemnity of All Saints was moved to 1st November for the universal Church. All of us have known persons who, although often very humble, have given an authentic, admirable, and inspiring example of sanctity to those close to them. It is fitting to celebrate their memory and unite it to that of the canonised saints. I suppose each one of us has a favourite saint, whose life, writings or example help us in our Christian discipleship. If not, it is worth getting to know one, perhaps our patron saint or our name saint. Their lives can inspire us. As any big celebration in the Church, the festivity begins the evening before, that is, the eve of all Saints or of all Hallows. This celebration of Halloween has become more and more popular in recent times. However we need to understand it correctly, not as an exaltation of evil, death and darkness but as the beginning of one of the most powerful feast days in the Christian year. We should protect our children and ourselves from any celebrations or parties which exalt terror, ghosts or witches, all signs contrary to Christianity. Instead we should open for them the richness of life eternal, a place of light in which God reigns, goodness prevails and beauty is available to all. The right way of celebrating this great Solemnity is coming together for common worship. If you cannot get to either masses in the parish (10am and 7pm), do
not miss the opportunity to go to mass; check near the place where you work. Come and receive the graces of all the Saints, Prepare well the eve of All Hallows by saying prayers in the family or speaking about the life of a saint.