October 31, 2016
Solemnity of All Saints is a Holy Day of Obligation the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven.
Masses near you for today.
All Saints' Day
The Church has always honored those early witnesses to the Christian faith who have died in the Lord. During the first three hundred years Christians were serverly persecuted, often suffering torture and bloody death -- because they were faithful . They refused to deny Christ, even when this denial might have saved their own lives, or the lives of their children and families.
Many of those especially holy people whose names and stories were known, the Church later canonized. The Church's calendar contains many saint's days, which Catholics observe at Mass -- some with special festivities.
But there were thousands and thousands of early Christian martyrs, the majority of whose names are known only to God -- and throughout the history of the Church there have been countless others who really are saints, who are with God in heaven, even if their names are not on the list of canonized saints.
In order to honor the memory -- and our own debt -- to these unnamed saints, and to recall their example, the Church dedicated a special feast day -- a sort of "memorial day" -- so that all living Christians would celebrate at a special Mass the lives and witness of those "who have died and gone before us into the presence of the Lord".
(source: Women for Faith & Family)