Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Halloween is the vigil of the Catholic feast of All Saints

Remember, Halloween is the vigil of the Catholic holy days of  All Saints (November 1) and All Souls (November 2) which follow immediately after. These feasts are remembrances of our beloved dead—those who are among the saints in heaven and those who remain in the cleansing fire, awaiting admittance to paradise.

These are purely Catholic holidays with no connection to ancient pagan practices, as many ill-informed modern folks like to claim. Read more about the Catholic origins of Halloween here, and about the ancient origins of the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, Part I: "I knew my brother was suffering, here and Part II: "I beseech you to pray unto the Lord for me, here.

The church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini is famous for its ossuary crypt which displays the remains of over 4,000 Capuchin monks who went to their eternal reward between AD 1500 and 1870. Among the remains is a plaque which reads: “What you are now, we used to be; what we are now, you will be.” This is a reminder to the faithful of their mortality and the capricious nature of death, recalling the words of Christ in the parable: “Thou fool! This very night your life shall be required of you.”

The Man Fully Alive blog offers a brief but poignant description of a visit to the crypt of Santa Maria Concezione dei Cappuccini.

An excellent summary of the origins of All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve may be found at The Catholic Home and Garden site.

Wishing you a blessed and contemplative All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

*Note, this image isn't anything officially sent out from the church or from the Capuchins. I created it myself.

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