The gospels are bereft of details regarding Mary’s parents – Jesus’ grandparents – not even offering their names. What we do know comes from writings excluded the canon of Scripture, in particular the Protogospel of James. Nevertheless, the cult of Saint Anne existed in the 6th century in the Church of Constantinople and early in the 8th century in Rome. In the 13th and 14th centuries, popular devotion to Anne increased, as seen by the number of churches bearing her name. At the request of some English bishops petitioned by parishioners, Pope Urban VI made her feast an annual celebration. Joachim has been honoured in the East from earliest days, but in the West only since the 16th century. Their names were entered into the Roman calendar in 1584.
The names of Simon and Jude appear in New Testament lists of the apostles but little else is known about either. Since there are two apostles named Simon and two named Judas (Luke 6.14-16 and Acts 1.13), these are distinguished as Simon the Zealot and Judas the son (or the brother) of James, the others being Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot.
Simon is surnamed the Cananaean or the Zealot, names which refer to his zeal for the Law. Jude (Judas) is also called Thaddeus (Matthew 10.4 and Mark 3.18); the one mentioned of him outside of the lists is in John (14.22-23) where he is referred to as “Judas (not Iscariot)”.
Traditionally, both these apostles suffered martyrdoms. In a later tradition, Jude became a patron saint of so-called hopeless causes.
This feast honours all the saints of the Church, known and unknown. The occasion provides an opportunity to reflect on the nature of sainthood and to celebrate the exemplary faithfulness of holy men and women of every place and time whose lives and deeds continue to inspire us.
Originally a feast in the Eastern Church for all martyrs, it was ...
Originally a feast in the Eastern Church for all martyrs, it was extended to the whole Roman Church in the 9th century as a feast including non-martyrs. It was given this date, November 1, to counter a pagan feast on the same day. In England it was called Allhallows. (‘Hallow’ is from the Old English word for ‘holy’). Thus ‘Halloween, a vestige of this pagan celebration, is from ‘Allhallowseven’ or ‘the eve of All Saints’.
Since the early Church, Christians have prayed for the dead. By the 7th century, some monastic foundations reserved this day to pray for deceased members and benefactors. In 988, Odilo abbot of the great monastery of Cluny in France, established the tradition of keeping, “with joyous affection, the memory of all the faithful departed who have lived from the ...More
Happy are those
Who have died
In the Lord.
Let them rest
From their labours
For their good deeds
Go with them.