Celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls Day

Cardinal John’s newsletter | 27th October 2022.

Next week we will celebrate both All Saints Day and All Souls Day. One day to honour all the saintly and wonderful people we have known and another day to pray for the deceased. Every year I reflect on how important it is to pray for those who have died, I know that I will want people to pray for me when I die.

I love the feast of All Saints, it confirms for us that we have a place with God, as Pope Francis said: “Not because we are good, but because the sanctity of God has touched our life …We can compare the Saints to the church windows which allow light to enter in different shades of colour. The Saints are our sisters and brothers who have welcomed the light of God in their heart and have passed it on to the world, each according to her or his own hue. But they were transparent: they fought to remove the stains and the darkness of sin, so as to enable the gentle light of God to pass through. This is life’s purpose: to enable God’s light to pass through; it is the purpose of our life too.”

The Saints are those who have walked beside us – on each side of us. They come from every age, land and language. They are teachers and preachers, bishops and theologians, ministers of mercy, those who inspire with their words and those who care for others. They are wounded and weak, wealthy and destitute, religious, cleric and lay, mothers and fathers, busy and prayerful, young and old. Their hearts and hands have been given to God in days of toil and in hours of ease – by God’s gift, not by their own doing. We look to them so that we too might be more like the Christ whose name we bear.

Through their words, we have heard the very speech of God.  Through their deeds we have seen love in flesh in every age. Through their acts of mercy and compassion, they have awakened in us our longing for God. They do this now as they surround us: a great cloud of witnesses.

They encourage us and pray for us. The Saints receive our prayers, joining our prayers to their never-ending prayer to the Father through Christ in the Spirit, asking God’s favour on us and those whom we love. With those holy women and men we pray. For the poor, the hungry, and the sick, we pray. For peace and reconciliation among families, nations, races, and classes, we pray. In thanksgiving for our health and for the gift of family and friendship, we pray. For our civic and religious leaders, we pray.

Joined with the Saints in glory, we pray. We pray too for those still on the way to glory, we pray that we all become one Body, one Spirit, in Christ.

Nāku noa. Nā

+ John

May they rest in Peace

Henry Soriano, please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr Raymond Soriano’s brother, Henry Soriano who died last week in the Philippines. We offer deep and prayerful sympathy to Raymond at this time of family sadness.

Archbishop Patrick Coveney, former Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand died at his home in Crosshaven, Cork last Saturday. May he rest in peace.

Loving Father, we long to share in that communion of charity the saints in heaven have with you. Make us holy. Deepen our desire for sanctity, and let that desire govern everything we say and do. Through Christ our Lord. Amen