Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Saints Day

November 1

As Catholics, we celebrate All Saints and All Souls Day. We recall to mind our beloved dead with beautiful Masses and customs worldwide in their honor. The Church chose this feast to honor God in His Saints. We thank God as the creator of all holiness and for the graces He has showered upon them.

The communion of saints is made up of all true children of God. They are the:

· the militant Church on earth
· the suffering Church in purgatory or
· the triumphant Church in heaven

Some saints needed to pass through purgatory to be purified before they were fit for the Lord's presence. They stayed there until they were ready to see God. They are with him now forever.

Some saints have their own feast day but there are not enough days in the year to celebrate a special day for each of the saints. So on this special day we celebrate and honor all the Saints.

Some stayed close to God all their lives. Others found Him along the way. Some led good lives without too much difficulty. Others made big mistakes, but were truly sorry for their sins and drew close to God.

But you know what? They made it! And so can we! We celebrate their journey that led to eternal happiness with God.

Today we rejoice in our hearts with all the saints in heaven. Remember to thank them too, for helping us overcome our difficulties and temptations. Ask them to help you on your journey through life so that you can be saints like them and go to heaven.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Saint Anthony Claret

Anthony was born at Sallent, Spain, in 1807. In 1835 he became a priest and was sent to his home parish. Later he went to Rome and worked to help the missions. He joined the Jesuits as a novice, but he became ill.

In 1849, he founded the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The institute is known by his name as "the Claretians." Father Claret was appointed Archbishop of Santiago in Cuba.

Archbishop Anthony visited parishes, speaking out against social evils, especially slavery. He blessed marriages and baptized children. He made many changes in Cuba, but this made him many enemies.

His work for the church was cut short by men who tried to take his life. Here he founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are known as the Claretians.

Father Anthony knew how powerful books were to reach people and he wrote at least 150 books. His most well-known book, The Right Way, has reached millions of people.

At the request of Pope Pius IX, he returned to Spain and devoted himself to missionary work and the spreading of good literature. He was a dedicated preacher in his parish. He gave conferences to priests. His zeal inspired other priests to join in the same work.

In the course of his life he is said to have preached ten thousand sermons and to have published two hundred books or pamphlets for both priests and lay people.

He spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Immaculate Heart of Mary by his preaching and writings. God rewarded Anthony with the gift of propecy and miracles.

St. Anthony died in a Cistercian monastery in France on October 24, 1870. He was canonized by Pope Pius XII.