The Church recognizes many people who have lived good and holy lives faithful to Jesus. We are called to follow in their footsteps as we live our lives striving for holiness. On All Saints’ Day, we celebrate all people who now reside in heaven. We celebrate their success, but we also ask them to pray for us, so that we may also be faithful witnesses and enjoy eternity with our heavenly Father. As St Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) and “Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us” (Philippians 1:17).
St Maximilian Kolbe
Patron saint of media, drug addicts and our parish. St Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan priest in Poland who spoke out against the Nazis and was put into a concentration camp. When 10 people were chosen to be starved to death, Father Kolbe volunteered to take the place of another man, a husband and father. As Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13)
Mary, Blessed Virgin
Mary is the spiritual mother to all of us so that we need not hesitate to ask her to pray for us in all things. She was a young, Jewish woman when the angel Gabriel told her she would bear the Son of God, Jesus. She humbly accepted the role purely to serve God. Jesus tells us the true reason to venerate her because she was one of “those who hear the word of God and act on it” (Luke 8:21).
Peter was a Jewish fisherman from Galilee (northern Israel). Jesus called him and 11 other men to be his followers. Peter was given his name by Jesus (he was born “Simon”) when Jesus gave him the mission of leading the Church. He is our first pope and died as a martyr.
As a devout Jew, Paul persecuted Christians as heretics, but became a Christian after an encounter with Christ. He then became a devoted missionary who had much success with Gentiles. He was imprisoned several times for preaching the faith and died a martyr.
Mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus. Although she is not mentioned by name in the Scriptures, tradition tells us that she and her husband Joachim were an older couple who prayed for a child and treasured God’s gift of their daughter, Mary.
St Francis of Assisi
Born into an affluent family, Francis spent his youth on worldly pursuits. He had a conversion and fully embraced poverty, humility, and joy in nature. Pope Benedict XV called him “the most perfect image of Christ that ever was.”
Husband to Mary and earthly father to Jesus, God entrusted the care of Jesus to this devout man. He was a carpenter who provided, but was not wealthy. For this reason, he is the patron saint of the universal church. In this way, he is again entrusted with the mystical Body of Christ.
Born in Poland in 1905, Faustina became a nun and had visions of Christ. He told her he had a message of mercy to spread around the world. From her visions, we received a portrait of Christ with the inscription “Jesus, I trust in You” and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Patron saint of musicians. Tradition has more than one account of her martyrdom, but some say that she sang hymns to praise God while being tortured to renounce the faith.
St John Vianney
Patron saint of priests. He was a pastor in a small village outside of Paris. Although he was not a great student, he brought many to Christ with his humility and mercy.
St Thomas Aquinas
One of the most knowledgeable theologians who ever lived, his writings are still used today. Yet he counted his life’s work as worthless compared to a glimpse of Christ.
The priest to St Monica. He was the first able to articulate the gospel reasonably enough to convert her son, St Augustine, one of the greatest theologians of the Church.
Died around AD 300. After refusing a suitor, he denounced her as a Christian. Some stories claim she died by a knife to the throat after flames did not harm her.
Author of the Gospel of Matthew and one of the 12 apostles. He was a tax collector who had been hated for working with Roman oppressors. He died a martyr for the faith.
Author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Trained as a physician, he wanted all to know that Jesus came to give mercy to the whole world, not just the Jews.
St Katharine Drexel
A Philadelphia native who donated her $20 million fortune and life to serving black and native American peoples. She also founded Xavier University in New Orleans.
A nun in Spain who worked to bring reform to her order so that they would turn fully to Christ. She is known for her writings describing her mystical experiences of Christ.
Author of the Gospel of Mark. He was a companion to Paul then Peter. In Scripture, he is referred to as the youth, John Mark. His gospel was the first in written form.
Lived in Bethany and mentioned in the Gospels, she was sister to Mary (not the mother of Jesus) and Lazarus. She is known for serving so is the patron saint of hotelkeepers.
St Maria Goretti
She is the saint who was the youngest at the time of her death. She died after being attacked by a neighbor. On her death bed, she expressed her forgiveness for her attacker. A relic of hers is in the altar at our parish.
St Clare of Assisi
Born to a noble Italian family, Clare left to follow the ideals of discipleship laid down by St Francis. The Sisters of Clare became a fast growing order that established themselves wherever Franciscans were.