From the earliest days of the Church, Christians venerated martyrs on the anniversary of their deaths by celebrating Mass on their tombs. Over the next few centuries relics began to be transferred between dioceses and memorials for several martyrs were celebrated in common. During the persecutions of Diocletian in the early 300's so many Christians were killed that it became impossible to create separate memorials for each so joint memorials became common.
In the late 300s St. Basil the Great sent a letter to the bishops of Pontus inviting them to celebrate a common feast in honor of the martyrs.
The earliest record of a feast honoring all Christian martyrs is from a homily of St. John Crysostom in the 407 saying that there was a feast celebrated in Constantinople.
All Saints Day in the Western Church
The first official recognition of a feast for all martyrs and the Virgin Mary comes in 609 or 610 on May 13th when St. Boniface IV concecrated the Pantheon as a church. The Pantheon had been given to the Church as a gift from Emperor Phocas. The feast coincided with the conclusion of the Pagan feast of Lemures which was celebrated to appease restless spirits.
Pope Gregory III (731-741) dedicated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica to all saints during his reign. Louis the Pious made the celebration obligatory in the Frankish empire in 835 and Pope Gregory IV officially declared that the Feast of All Saints Day was to be celebrated by the whole Church on November 1st in 837.
Lord Jesus Christ, you called Father Theodore Foley to follow you as a Passionist Priest even to Calvary's heights. Through your Immaculate and Sorrowful Mother, you taught him obedience to our Father's will and the fulfillment of your Commandment of loving God and neighbor. Let the loving inspiration of your Servant move us to live a more profound life of virtue. We humbly ask that you glorify your servant Father Theodore Foley according to the designs of your holy will. Through his intercession, we ask you to grant the request I now present (here mention your request).
This I ask through Christ Our Lord. AMEN
Canonization of Father Theodore Foley, C.P.
Prayer to Father Theodore Foley, CP
Prayer on All Saints Day
Dear God, thank you for the example of the Saints. I desire to join in their company, worshiping you forever in Heaven. Please help me follow their footsteps, and yours, Jesus Christ. Please help me to conform myself to Your image, seeking Your will in all things, as the Saints did. Please help me to devote myself, and all that I do, to Your glory, and to the service of my neighbors. Amen.
All Saints Day
Passionist Superior General - Servant of God, Father Theodore Foley, CP
The Passionist Province of St. Paul of the Cross (Eastern United States) is in the process of Canonization for one of our former Superior Generals who was from this Province.
The first stage of the process is over and Father Theodore has been declared, by the Vatican, as a "Servant of God." The next stage is that God must confirm Theodore's presence in heaven with a miracle. If you have a serious illness please pray for Father Theodore Foley to intercede for you at the throne of God so that your request can be granted. Should you receive a miracle, due to the intercession of Father Foley, please contact us so that we can further our brother's journey to sainthood.