Father Michael Barrow

From the parish of St Francis of Assisi

All Saints And All Souls: A Reflection By Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.

All Saints And All Souls: A Reflection By Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.
Fr. Michael Barrow, S. J.


On Tuesday and Wednesday this week we celebrate the two feasts of All Saints and All Souls.They are so close in what they celebrate that they could almost be considered one feast-day.Most days during the year we commemorate one saint or another, canonised saints that have been recognised by the Church. So each saint has his or her own special day. But all the other saints that are not canonised or especially recognised as such by the Church we celebrate on November 1.In celebrating All Saints, therefore, we are even including some people we have known in our lives, holy men or women who are surely in heaven.

While each saint has a special feast-day, members of our families or friends who have died we commemorate usually on their anniversary or birthday, and we also have one special day on November 2 when we celebrate them all.But remember, we call them Holy Souls. They are closer to God than we are. They are face-to-face with God and in some ways the closest any of us comes to God in this life is picturing someone I know very well, someone who is close to me and has been part of my life, and realising that that person is with God. Part of me is with God.

We pray for them not so much 'to be released from Purgatory' but simply that they may grow more and more in their enjoyment of the experience of God. "Welcome them into the light of your face."And we ask them, so close to God, to pray for us in the same way.

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