Remembering the Saints and Our Departed Loved Ones

All Saints Day and All Souls Day are two occasions that are observed by the whole country as a holiday to give time for people to visit their dead relatives in the cemetery. This practice is not just among Catholics because the occasion is also an opportunity for families to get together with relatives they see only once a year.

We honor the dead, pray for them and even ask them to pray for us. It is a happy occasion because of the sharing of food and stories of how things are in the recent past. The cemetery livens up with beautiful flowers and smiles of people no longer grieving. In some cemeteries, people clean and repaint tombs of their loved ones, then lay flowers to honor them.

Among Catholics, we offer masses for them that they may have eternal rest with God and that they will soon join the angels and saints, who in turn, will pray for us and offer our petitions to God.

While we remember our departed loved ones, let us remember also the Saints, who have given their lives to God and have died in defense of our Catholic faith. This day is not the only day we should remember them. Let us commemorate the lives of the Saints during their feast days. Let us also read about how they lived their lives that God became pleased and made them saints. They are ordinary people who are also sinners like us but chose to offer their lives to God and be our model and inspiration. They are our intercessors who help and give hope to us.

My mother for one is a devotee of our Mother of Perpetual Help from whom she asked for a son and then, I was born. My mother in-law, on the other hand, consecrated her daughter to our Lady of Lourdes, who interceded through her life-saving healing during my wife's infancy. We can continue with many more stories of miracles and surely, you each have your own experiences of answered prayers through the intercession of our beloved Mama Mary and Saints.

For us members of the Knights of Columbus, let us not forget to pray to our beloved Servant of God, Fr. Michael J. McGivney, who can also intercede for the souls of our brother Knights, our departed family members and even for the works we do for our Order. He will surely guide and help us. Praise God for Mama Mary, for all the Saints and for Fr. Michael J. McGivney!

-- Justice Reyes, Jr.

Father of Knights of Columbus in the Philippines


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