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All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2)

On the first two days of November each year, the Church commemorates two linked feast days: Feast of All Saints (November 1) and Feast of All Souls (November 2).

All Saints is easy to understand: We remember all those who have lived lives of heroic holiness, whether the Church has canonized them or not. The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated on the first of November. It was instituted to honor all of the saints, both known and unknown, and, according to Pope Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. In the early days of the Church, the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighboring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of Saint Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian, the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each, but the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find is in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of Saint John Chrysostom (407).

At first only martyrs and Saint John the Baptist were honored by a special day in the Liturgical Calendar. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established. Still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a "Commemoratio Confessorum" for the Friday after Easter. In the west, Pope Boniface IV on May 13, 609 or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of Saint Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for November 1, extending the celebration to the entire Church.

All Saint's Day Schedule:

  • Holy Day Schedule Nov. 1 7 AM: All Saints Day (St. Mary's English) Rev Daniel Bringas Celebrant

  • 8 AM (Holy Family Misa) Rev. Victor Hernando Celebrant

  • 12:15 PM (St. Mary's) Rev. Msgr. John Harguindeguy Celebrant Deacon Henry Medina Deacon

  • 6 PM: All Saint's Day (St. Mary's English) Rev. Victor Hernando Celebrant

  • 7 PM: All Saints Day Espanol (Holy Family Deacon Preach) Fr. Henry Aguwa Celebrant Deacon Paul Hernandez Deacon


On All Souls Day, we remember all those who have died, not just the spiritual superstars. From the earliest days the church has prayed for the deceased. Their judgment is in the hands of God, and we trust in God’s mercy. But we also believe that God cares about us and our concerns, so prayers for our deceased loved ones are appropriate. The feast day itself is rooted in the second century. In the 10th century, St. Odilo of Cliny established a memorial of all the faithful departed. Rome added the feast to the church’s calendar in the 13th century. In many parts of the world the celebration of this feast day is marked with particular energy, such as el Dia del los Muertos in Mexico. It’s appropriate to commemorate All Souls Day by praying for those who have gone before us in faith. Some people also visit the graves of their loved ones to pray for them. The feast of All Souls reminds us of our mortality. We are all finite, mortal creatures. We are all loved by God, who has endowed us with an immortal soul. Our ultimate destiny lies in God’s hands, and even death does not separate us from his love.

All Soul’s Day Remembrance Envelopes are still available in the vestibule of the church and at the Church Office. If you have not prepared yours, please do so and place it in the regular offertory collection this weekend or at any of the Masses on All Saints Day or All Soul’s Day, or return it to the Church Office. If there is not enough room on the envelope, please add names to an extra slip of paper and include that slip in the envelope. Your beloved departed will be remembered at all the Masses on All Soul’s Day itself as well as in the Novena following All Souls’ Day at St. Mary’s.

All Souls day (not a Holy Day)

  • St. Mary’s: 7 a.m. (English)

  • Holy Family: 8 a.m. (Spanish)

  • Visalia Cemetery: 12:15 p.m.

  • St. Thomas: 6 p.m. Bilingual.


Lord God, in whom all find refuge, we appeal to your boundless mercy. Grant to the souls of your servants a kindly welcome, the cleansing of sin , a release from the chains of death and entry into everlasting life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

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