An idea for All Saints next year

At the traditional parish in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, there was a nice ceremony in honor of all the saints.

This could also be done on the Feast of Holy Relics, on 1o December in the 1962 calendar.  Before 1962, Holy Relics was on 30 October.

Relics are remains of saints after their death, flesh, bone, hair, ashes and, by association, clothing and possessions.   Christians have venerated the graves and relics of saints since the earliest years of the Church.

Consider how people carried the sick into the streets so that Peter’s shadow would fall on them and they would be healed.   How much more relics of saints.

Countless miracles have been worked by God through contact with the relics of saints.

Back to Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini.  They brought out all the relics they have, brought them one by one to the parish priest who showed them to the people while their names were proclaimed to the people.  Then they were placed on the main altar.  However, they had so many that they had to use a side altar in the transcept.  Then they sang 2nd Vespers of all Saints.

Something like this could be done at a parish or chapel where there are some relics.  Or perhaps several parishes could combine forces so that there would be more relics on hand.

A lovely way to honor the saints, who do so much for us.

There is an interesting poem (19) by St. Paulinus of Nola, beautiful Latin, inspiring saint, about St. Felix and relics of saints, their translation, etc.  We read this fascinating passage (its all in Latin poetry.  Here’s a taste with English prose version:

Sed Deus ut cunctorum hominum sator, omnibus istam 307
De sanctis indulsit opem procedere terris:
Ut jam de tumulis agerent pia dona beati
Martyres, et vivos possent curare sepulti. 310
Nec satis hoc donum Domino fuit, ut sua tantum
Nomine, sive opibus loca martyres illustrarent:
Ex iisdem tumulis etiam monumenta piorum
Multiplicans multis tribuit miserator eosdem
Gentibus. Et referam varias ab origine causas, 315
Ex quibus haec orta est variis benedictio terris
Nam quia non totum pariter diffusa per orbem
Prima fides ierat, multis regionibus orbis
Martyres abfuerant, et ob hoc, puto, munere magno
Id placitum Christo nunc inspirante potentes, 320
Ut Constantino primum sub Caesare factum est,
Nunc famulis retegente suis, ut sede priori
Martyras accitos transferrent in nova terrae
Hospitia: ut sancto non olim antistite factum
Novimus Ambrosio, qui fultus munere tali, 325
Postquam ignoratos prius, et tunc indice Christo
Detectos sibimet mutata transtulit aula,
Reginam prompta confudit voce furentem. ….

The lifespan of one mortal man could not suffice to dissolve the pollution which had gathered over a long period; the few years in which Felix lived in the flesh as confessor and priest, his words as teacher, his record as martyr, his deserving deeds and duties as presiding priest were not enough. So the Almighty Lord caused Felix’s mortal span in the body to continue in a higher way, for he extended the healing activities of our busy martyr so that after burial he would exercise the powers which he had wielded whilst still in the flesh through the strength of Christ. In this way he could after death abide physically in the city he had espoused. Though only the spirit of the martyr laid to rest showed its healing presence (since the physical appearance of their dear patron lay concealed from the longing hearts of his beloved people, withdrawn temporarily from their eyes) is ready healing could always be at hand for the curing of the sick. So undying distinction and fame halo Felix, and his efficacious power flourishes without cease. True, he was buried in a mound long ago, and being mortal lies hidden in the covering earth; yet a living grace quickened by God outlives his limbs, and brings fame to the martyrs bones which exhale divinity. He is buried, but the power of his merit lives on among his folk, so that dense crowds from different regions constantly venerate the tiny tomb of the great confessor.

But since God is father of all men, he allowed this helped to pass from his Saints to all lands, so that the blessed martyrs could now provide kindly presents from their tombs, and the buried could attend the living. But the Lord did not content himself with allowing the martyrs to bring Radiance with their names or assistance only to their own regions. He multiplied the memorials of the saints from these tombs, and in his pity conferred the same martyrs on many regions. I shall state from the beginning the various occasions from which this blessing has originated in various countries.

Since the faith had initially not been spread through the whole world alike, many areas of the earth were without martyrs. This I think is why Christ has both inspired princes (in the first place when Constantine was Caesar) and acquainted his servants with his most generous decision to summon martyrs from their earlier homes and translate them to fresh lodgings on earth. So, for example, we know of the recent action of the holy Bishop Ambrose; relying on this gift, he translated and set in a different church saints who were earlier unknown but whom he later identified on the information of Christ, and thus he has confounded the raging queen with the light he has uncovered.

When Constantine was founding the city named after himself, and was the first of the Roman kings to proclaim himself a Christian, the godsent idea came to him that since he was then embarking on that splendid enterprise of building a city which would rival Rome, he should likewise emulate Romulus’ city with a further endowment – he would eagerly defend his walls with the bodies of apostles. He then removed Andrew from the Greeks and Timothy from Asia; and so Constantinople now stands with twin towers, vying to match the hegemony of great role, and more genuinely rivaling the walls of Rome through the evidence that God bestowed on her, for he counterbalanced Peter and Paul with a protection as great, since Constantinople gained the disciple of Paul and the brother of Peter.

In widely separated regions along that road greatly increased help was afforded by these Saints to the tasks of human living, and those regions demonstrate this even today. Where ever the carriage, equal to its holy burden, halted at an established post station, wherever the holy bodies lodged and the bearers of their consecrated ashes rested, the evidences of miracles cry out in each and every place. God’s hand is at work with healing strength along all the roads where the holy bodies imprinted their living traces on that sacred journey.

This, then, was the means by which the faithful and zealous escorts of the relics were afforded a chance at promoting of faith to break off some keepsakes from the holy bones as their deserved reward, so that they could individually bear back home for their personal protection the reward for their service and the payment for their toil. As a result, the sacred ashes have been scattered over different areas like life-giving seeds. Wherever a drop of view has fallen on men in the shape of a particle of bone the tiny gift from a consecrated body holy grace has brought forth fountains in that place, and the drops of ashes have begotten rivers of life.

From this source Christ’s abundance, so rich in its tiniest forms, has fallen on us also; for we, too, have received, in the form of a fragment of dust, the sacred tokens of the apostles’ flesh. St. Felix, Lord and father of our lodging, guardian of our soul, protector of our salvation, has accepted these in the neighboring shrine close by.

I warmly recommend an apostolate run by a friend of mine, Fr. Carlos Martins, called Treasures of the Church.

BTW… in that same poem of Paulinus, he describes the reaction of demons who possessed people to the presence of holy relics.  There had been pagan worship and people were affected.  REMEMBER: Every pagan god and idol is a demon (e.g., Pachamama = demon).  The relics of St. Felix put demons into agony, and the ergumens manifested the same symptoms that exocists see today.  More from Paulinus:

The demons who were worshiped as deities in all the shrines are disarmed and tormented throughout God’s temples, and those who presumed to accept honors appropriate to the gods are now beaten and subjected to the laws of men. These demons whom we observe in the crowded church of Felix being tormented, crying out, and being pulled along in the bodies they have captured, are kept in prison in those very bodies into which they trusted themselves; thus their own decision devised for them human torments. So now they play the part of the guilty, and hollow at their punishment, whereas before they had been gods of spurious divinity. Before God was worshiped, they had with their counterfeit godhead devoted to their own the service living men who saw no sign from heaven; but now that true faith has been exposed by Christ’s light, they cannot withstand even men enclosed in the tomb.

The nature of the demons voices makes it more manifest that they who are tortured before the thresholds of tombs of the saints are the same as those to whom the enslaved human race once sacrificed and insanely offered sacred reference; for they quite often groan with the same voices, so that one can recognize from the shouting their habitual madness. Usually their mouths appear to hang open quite loosely, they gnash their teeth, foam at the lips, cause their hair to stand on end. Their hands pull at their hair and shake it heavenward; they stand on tiptoe, feet and hair erect. From time to time they remember those ancient rights in which they used to lick the entrails of slain cows, to feed on the sacrificial offering, to lead wanton bands in ivy-clad processions. Even now they attest that theirs was the ritual at which the drunken mob uttered the crazed shout “Euhoe”; they gaspingly ape this cry of Bacchus with effeminate voices and swivel there necks with slow circular movements.

As I read this, I recalled a post of some years ago.  Jesuits like homosexualist activist James Martin were promoting Jesuit yoga – no, really.  Fr. Gabriel Amorth, long-time late exorcist of Rome, said that yoga opens people up to demons.  The CDF commented on yoga.  And yet the homosexualist activist promoted their “Ignatian Yoga Retreat”… Jesuit Yoga, I guess, with its appropriately and “downward facing dog”.

Brrrr.   My exoricst friends tell me about how demons react to relics, and certain demons to relics of particular saints.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. maternalView says:

    I love the presentation of the relics idea!

  2. iPadre says:

    Fr. Martin’s is coming to my parish in two weeks – November 19th. Really looking forward to the graces God will shower through His saints.

  3. Liz says:

    iPadre, I have been twice to his Treasures of the Church and both times were so moving. I cannot get over the number of saints but also which saints are among them! Also, I have been when he was touring with the relics of St. Maria Goretti. Please make sure that your parish goes to his talk about St. Maria Goretti before venerating the relics. It’s so touching. I heard details I’ve never heard before about this sweet little saint. God bless Fr. Carlos Martins and God bless you! :)

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    This is a great idea Fr. Z.

  5. Pingback: CatholicSaints.Info » Blog Archive » Feast of All Saints

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