Feast of all saints


I’m going to take time out of my outdoor antics to reflect on a few days here that are very important to me; All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Since I first heard of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, the very idea has appealed to me, and touched me on a very personal level. The very act of giving thanks to the Lord for the saints -known and unknown- has such deep love within it, that I cant help but look forward to it every year. For those “not in the know” here’s what the Catholic Dictionary has to say :

“Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year.

In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr’sChrist at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. ”

I like that; the idea that we can thank the saints for the examples they have given us, it seems like a good thing, a right thing. I have quite a few saints that I look towards, to try and relate my own life to the trials and tribulations they endured.More oft than not, I find myself feeling very ashamed and very stupid when making this comparison…..Well OK, EVERY time I try to make this comparison. But the great thing about the saints is, they were normal people.

They suffered like we do, they had a lot of problems like we do, and they give us hope, that we too, can indeed be more Christ-like. We don’t worship them, we don’t venerate them, we look towards them as examples of what we can become if we only try a little harder, work a little more.

The picture above is one of my favorite Saints, St. Maximilian Kolbe. He was founder of Militia of the Immaculata, and his story is just phenomenal. Here is more on him, and his life, as taken from the website for National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Martyr of Charity

St. Maximilian was born Raymond Kolbe in Poland, January 8, 1894. In 1910, he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. He was sent to study in Rome where he was ordained a priest in 1918.

Father Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919 and began spreading his Militia of the Immaculata movement of Marian consecration (whose members are also called MIs), which he founded on October 16, 1917. In 1927, he established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanów, the “City of the Immaculate.” By 1939, the City had expanded from eighteen friars to nearly 900, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world.

To better “win the world for the Immaculata,” the friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio–he was a true “apostle of the mass media.” He established a City of the Immaculata in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1930, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide.

Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights into the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church’s understanding of Mary as “Mediatrix” of all the graces of the Trinity, and as “Advocate” for God’s people.

In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. On August 14, 1941, his impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a “Martyr of Charity” and “Patron Saint of our difficult century” in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.

Now, I have been giving my spiritual life more thought recently; I have NOT been a good Christian, nor have I been a good Catholic, and I am looking to change these things. So I have decided that today, I am going to consecrate myself to the Militia Immaculata. It is something I greatly need, and I really enjoy praying the rosary anyway, so why not? In fact, one of the things that has troubled me most recently, has been the fact that my devotion to the rosary has fallen off in recent months, and I don’t like that, not one bit. It was always the way I started every morning off, and then since April (see my one and only entry for June, “nuff said”), my heart hasn’t been in it. Well that changes right now, as I already enrolled, and I’m committed now! So if you have a prayer you care to throw my way, I’d appreciate the gesture!

It’s time folks, it’s time for me to get back to the basics, to take my two great passions (aside from my family that is) and combine them. What greater way to celebrate God’s love and majesty by being outside, and what better way to appreciate all the outdoors has to offer than through the Lord?!?

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~ by keystone28 on 11/01/2009.

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