Manresa Moments: Week of October 25


Detail of panels from "Communion of Saints" by John Nava (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Friday, October 30: Remembering All Who Came Before Us


As the month of October comes to a close, Christians around the world celebrate the memory of all our sisters and brothers who have passed before us into death. All Hallows' Eve on October 31 ushers in the Solemnity of All Saints on the first of November and All Souls' Day on November 2. Together, these ancient celebrations are a time to remember all who have shaped, formed, and loved us into being: our ancestors, friends, and models of faith and wisdom. 

This year, as we recall and celebrate all those who have gone before us, you are invited to consider the words of Pope Francis at his 2013 All Saints' Day address, which remind us all to consider who the saints are to us and how each one of us is called to peace, reconciliation, and holiness.



Dear brothers and sisters,

The Feast of All Saints that we are celebrating today reminds us that the goal of our existence is not death, it is Paradise! . . . The saints — who are the friends of God — assure us of this promise which does not disappoint. During their earthly existence they lived in profound communion with God. In the faces of the humblest and least of our brothers, the smallest and most despised brothers, they saw the face of God, and now they contemplate him face to face in his glorious beauty. 

Bangladeshi Christians light candles in remembrance of loved ones for All Souls' Day.

The saints are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are like us, like each one of us. They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived normal lives with joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes. What changed their lives? When they recognized God’s love, they followed it with all their heart without reserve or hypocrisy. They spent their lives serving others, they endured suffering and adversity without hatred and responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace. This is the life of a saint. Saints are people who for love of God did not put conditions on him in their life; they were not hypocrites; they spent their lives at the service of others.

Being holy is not a privilege for the few, as if someone had a large inheritance; in Baptism we all have an inheritance to be able to become saints. Holiness is a vocation for everyone. Thus we are all called to walk on the path of holiness, and this path has a name and a face: the face of Jesus Christ. He teaches us to become saints. In the Gospel he shows us the way, the way of the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:1-12). In fact, the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who do not place their security in material things but in love for God, for those who have a simple, humble heart that does not presume to be just and does not judge others, for those who know how to suffer with those who suffer and how to rejoice when others rejoice. They are not violent but merciful and strive to be instruments for reconciliation and peace. Saints, whether men or women, are instruments for reconciliation and peace; they are always helping people to become reconciled and helping to bring about peace. Thus holiness is beautiful, it is a beautiful path! 

With her wisdom the Church has placed the Feast of All Saints and All Souls’ Day near each other. May our prayer of praise to God and veneration of the blessed spirits join with the prayer of suffrage for the souls of those who have preceded us in the passage from this world to eternal life.


- Pope Francis, Angelus address for the Solemnity of All Saints (2013)



Reflection Questions

  • What persons do I look to as models of virtue, faith, and holiness? What have I learned from their lives?
  • Pope Francis states that "being holy is not a privilege for the few" and that all have a "vocation to holiness." In what ways do I work for reconciliation and peace? 
  • The celebrations of All Saints' and All Souls' Days are oriented toward celebrating the lives and legacies of all who have gone before us. How do I wish to be remembered? What actions can I take today in the pursuit of that goal?


To submit names of deceased loved ones you wish to have remembered at the LMU Jesuit Community's daily celebration of the Eucharist during November, click here.





 To receive Manresa Moments by email, sign up here.

Back to Manresa Moments home
Browse all Manresa Moments content
More resources for our moment
Submit prayer requests, find streaming liturgies, connect with faith communities, and more