All Saint’s Day is a Holy Day of Obligation that comes with the festivities of Halloween. We call it All Hallow’s Eve. Here’s everything you need to know about this ancient feast day and why it’s important.
All Hallow’s Eve is Oct. 31
Catholic’s established Halloween. It’s known as the Vigil of All Saints Day. It was instituted as a feast by Pope Gregory III in the eighth century. All Saints Day follows on Nov. 1 with All Souls Day on Nov. 2. That’s where some confusion comes from.
All Saints and All Souls Days commemorate the dead in heaven and purgatory. While Halloween talks a lot about ghosts, goblins, and monsters, the Catholic Church honors the souls of people. We give a lot of hope to this. We call those who have died and gone to heaven: the saints. We also celebrate All Souls Day on Nov. 2 to honor those who have died but have not quite made it to heaven and are lingering in purgatory.
All Saints Day is Nov. 1
We hear a lot about the saints. We take them as confirmation names, ask for their intercession, and have favorite ones. We mark their days on our liturgical calendar and have favorite statues of them. However, every person in heaven is a saint.
This is the day we celebrate all saints we either know or don’t know about!
All Souls Day is Nov. 2
This is the day we pray for the souls who have died but have not made it to heaven yet. They have escaped the the pains of hell. The Catholic Church calls this purgatory.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a “purification, to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” which is experienced by those “who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” (CCC 1030).
St. Margaret Mary called the holy souls her “dear suffering friends.”
Be sure to read how you can help the Poor Souls in our recent blog article!