One common misconception about All Saints Day is that it only honors canonized saints, those holy men and women that the Church has officially recognized.
However, the feast is meant to honor “all saints,” including all the holy men and women who are united to God in Heaven.
This could include your holy grandma, who spent the remaining days of her life in union with God. It could also include a holy homeless person, who died on the streets and was buried in an unknown grave.
St. John Paul II pointed this out in an Angelus message in 2002.
Today the Church, as the liturgy states, has “the joy of celebrating in one feast the merits and the glory of all the Saints” (Opening Prayer): not only of those whom she has canonized in the course of the centuries, but also of the numberless men and women whose holiness, hidden in this world, is only known to God and shines in his eternal kingdom.
In fact, we could become part of that number of saints in Heaven, even if the Church never recognizes our holiness. All Saints Day could be our feast day!
It is a reminder that everyone is called to holiness, no matter your situation. If we want to be welcomed into the gates of Heaven someday, we need to devote ourselves to sanctifying our life and following God’s will.
Happy feast day!
(Originally published by aleteia.org and re-published with their permission)