All Saints Day

Following Halloween is All Saints Day, or The Feast of All Saints. More properly, Halloween precedes All Saints Day, because “Halloween” is a contraction of “All Hallow’s Eve” and “All Hallow’s Eve” means the night before All Hallow’s Day which is yet another name for The Feast of All Saints. All Saint’s Day, in turn, is followed by All Soul’s Day. Suddenly I find myself feeling like I’m reading one of those interminable lists of “begats” in the Bible.

At various times “saint” has been a synonym for “martyr” and for “christian” so the term is not quite as exalted as a lot of people make it out to be these days. I was taught that a saint is simply a human that has made it into Heaven. I asked God if this was the reality of it and she told me that “saint” is a human word and she prefers to leave it to us.

I asked her about the martyr angle. She told me that sometimes it is a great sacrifice to die in a cause greater than one’s self, but sometimes it’s a lot harder and a lot more of a sacrifice to find ways to fight for your cause without dying, so there’s no pat answer when it comes to martyring.

I started to ask about saints performing miracles, but before I could do much more than open my mouth, God grabbed up some of my Halloween candy and shoved it in my open maw. I took that to mean I’d asked enough stupid questions for the day and practiced my beatific silence for a bit. After all it’s hard to talk with a mouth full of caramel.

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