As its name suggests, All Saints Day is the feast of all saints. Every year on 1st November, the Church thus honours the innumerable crowd of those who have been living and shining witnesses of Christ.
This feast is therefore also an opportunity to remember that all of us are called to holiness, by paths which may be different, but which are all accessible. Holiness is not a path reserved for an elite: it is for all those who choose to put their footsteps in those of Christ (Read Pope Francis’ exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate“)
Celebrating All Saints Day and commemorating the dead (schedules)
2nd November is dedicated to the commemoration of the dead. On that day, at the Sanctuary of Lourdes, in this place where light was offered to a poor child, in the hollow of a black hole in the rock, we want to come together in friendship and in prayer.
Fr. Michel Daubanes will preside over the 11:15 a.m. mass at the Rosary Basilica for the deceased, trusting in the mercy of God. It will be an opportunity to pray for all our deceased family and friends and especially for all those who have left us this year.
All of us are called to holiness
Pope Francis made this clear to us by beatifying and canonising a large number of people this year 2022, including Charles de Foucauld on 15th May.
Witnesses to God’s love, these men and women are also models for us through their journey – they did not become saints overnight – through their doubts, their questions… in a word: their humanity.
Bernadette, a saint: her beatification and her canonisation.
Since 1858, for those who have believed in the authenticity of the Apparitions, Bernadette has been a saint, an angel, a celestial being. But to those who told her that she was now guaranteed her salvation since the Lady had assured her that she would be happy in the other world, Bernadette replied that she would indeed go to heaven, “Yes, if I earn it.”
Although steps for her beatification and canonisation were begun in 1907, three recognitions of the body took place in 1909, 1919 and 1925. Each time, the body was discovered intact.
While the investigation continued, interrupted by the war of 1914-1918, the visits to Nevers, to the tomb of Sr Marie-Bernard, multiplied as well as the requests for prayer and the graces obtained. The reputation of holiness was thus confirmed.
Two healings were held to be miraculous before the beatification, which was celebrated on Sunday 14th June 1925 at Saint Peter’s in Rome.
The canonisation followed, eight years later, after the finding of two other miraculous cures. One of the two beneficiaries was a bishop who attended the ceremony without flagging.
Her body was laid in a reliquary and placed in the Chapel where she still lies today.
She was declared a saint in 1933.