All Saints’ Day honors saints’ lives, work

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Catholic students will celebrate holy day in November.

By Valerie Champion

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Last year was the first year liberal arts sophomore Alyssa Trujillo celebrated All Saints’ Day.

She said she went to a special Mass for the occasion.

“I really like Mother Teresa,” she said. Trujillo has a pendant of St. Teresa of Calcutta, known to many as Mother Teresa, on her bracelet.

Pope Francis canonized the late nun and champion of the poor at a Mass Sept. 4 in Vatican City, according to a CNN.com article posted that morning.

All Saints’ Day is celebrated Nov. 1 in the western world.

Philosophy full-time Adjunct Ryan Lozano, who teaches philosophy of religion at this college, said it is celebrated by Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox church and Episcopalians, among others.

“Generally celebrations are for those who are acknowledged as saints (by the church),” Lozano said.

 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

A saint is anyone acknowledged by the church as a holy or virtuous person who has gone to heaven after death.

The Catholic church formally chooses them through a process called canonization, in which a panel of theologians and church leaders determine whether a candidate’s life is worthy of sainthood, according to an article on the Vatican website.

Lozano said All Saints’ Day officially started in the seventh century in 1609 by Pope Boniface IV.

It was originally observed in May to commemorate the Virgin Mary and martyrs recognized by the church.

He said this first incarnation of All Saints’ Day aligned with a pagan ritual commemorating restless spirits of the dead.

For the Roman Catholic church, All Saints’ Day is an obligation.

“You are required essentially to be at Mass that day,” Lozano said.

Sara Garcia, campus minister at this college’s Catholic Student Center, said Mass on All Saint’s Day is a great teachable moment for younger children, who may even dress up as saints for the celebration.

“It definitely depends on the age group,” Garcia said.

Trujillo, a Catholic student, said she likes that there are photographs of newer saints, like St. Teresa of Calcutta, whereas older saints only have paintings to depict them.

Other saints in the canon include St. Rose of Lima, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Paul and St. Anthony, the patron of San Antonio.

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