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origin and meaning of the feast of all saints


All the saints are celebrated on November 1st, let’s discover the history of this festival.


There Feast of All Saints it is a solemnity that together celebrates the glory and honor of all Saints. This Catholic holiday falls on November 1 and is followed on November 2 by the Commemoration of the Dead.

There All Saints’ Day it spreads in Latin Europe in the VIII-IX centuries. It then begins to celebrate the feast of all saints also a Rome, starting from the century. IX.

There ancient Christianity she used to celebrate celebrations in honor of the Saints: the pages written by Sant ‘Ephraem, who died in 373 AD, give a sure testimony of the “Feast celebrated in honor of the martyrs of the earth” on May 13th. In Rome, the feast came on May 13 of 609 AD, when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to Virgin Mary and to all the martyrs.

In the year 835, Pope Gregory the Great move the feast of All Saints, dedicated to all the Saints of Paradise, from 13 May to November 1st. The same Pope Gregory III he then had it built inside the Vatican Basilica there All Saints’ Chapel.

The reasons for the date shift as of November 1st they are not certain. A historian, James Frazer, observing that, before becoming a party of obligation, All Saints’ Day was already celebrated in England (country once inhabited by the Celts) il November 1, assumed that that date had been chosen by the Church to create Christian continuity with Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival of the new year.

Scholars explain that the belief predicted that during the Samhain festival the dead returned to earth to the places they had frequented when they were still alive and which men should have that day celebrate them with joyful holidays and activities.


This aspect remained even with the advent of Christianity which in fact on November 2 it celebrates the dead. There commemoration of the dead however, it was only established in 998 AD: the dead were thought to enter into communication with the living. Pope Sixtus IV made the Solemnity official in the whole Western Church in 1474.

On 1 June 1949, the Italian Constitution included the day of All Saints among those considered “holidays”. In addition to Italy, other countries such as Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Luxembourg have officially established the Feast of All Saints.

A tradition has it that on this day wishes are made to everyone, but in particular to those who have a particular name, without a calendar day, a saint to remember. So unimamme we just have to do happy birthday to everyone, and in particular to those who do not yet have a saint with their own name.

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