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All Saints

Solemnity of All Saints

“I travel slowly, one step at a time, because I am carrying two big suitcases. One of them contains my sins, and in the other, which is much heavier, are the infinite merits of Jesus. When I reach heaven I will open the suitcases and say to God: ‘Eternal Father, now you can judge.’ And to St. Peter: ‘Close the door, because I’m staying.’”

― St. Josephine Bakhita

St Michael the Archangel

Michael, Archangel
Of the King of Kings,
Give ear to our voices.

We acknowledge thee to be the Prince of the citizens of heaven:
And at thy prayer God sends
His angels unto men,

That the enemy with cunning craft shall not prevail
To do the hurt he craves
To weary men.
Yea, thou hast the dominion of perpetual Paradise,
And ever do the holy angels honour thee.

Thou wert seen in the Temple of God,
A censer of gold in thy hands,
And the smoke of it fragrant with spices
Rose up till it came before God.

Thou with strong hand didst smite the cruel dragon,
And many souls didst rescue from his jaws.
Then was there a great silence in heaven,
And a thousand thousand saying “Glory to the Lord King.”

Hear us, Michael,
Greatest angel,
Come down a little
From thy high seat,
To bring us the strength of God,
And the lightening of His mercy.

And do thou, Gabriel,
Lay low our foes,
And thou, Raphael,
Heal our sick,
Purge our disease, ease thou our pain,
And give us to share
In the joys of the blessed.

– Alcuin, Sequence for St Michael (translated by Helen Waddell, Medieval Latin Lyrics (New York, 1948), pp.91-3;

Blessed Margaret Pole

Blessed Margaret PoleBlessed Margaret Pole, daughter of the Duke of Clarence and niece of King Edward IV and King Richard III of England. Margaret was married to Sir Richard Pole in 1491 and the mother of five, one of whom became a cardinal. As her guardian, King Henry VIII, granted her the title of Countess of Salisbury and governess to his daughter, Princess Mary.

Margaret opposed King Henry‘s plan to marry Ann Boleyn and as a consequence was driven from his court in disfavor. Her son, Cardinal Reginald Pole, wrote against Henry‘s presumptions to spiritual supremacy which led the king to reject the family. Margaret’s two sons were executed in 1538 for the crime of being the brothers of the Cardinal.

In 1539, falsely arrested and charged with plotting revolution and was sent to the Tower of London for nearly two years before in 1541 had a weak trial and was martyred by beheading. The axman could not lop off her head and she had suffered greatly.

Pope Leo XIII declared Margaret blessed on 29 December 1886.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Saint Therese of Lisieux 1896‘In spite of my littleness, I would like to enlighten souls as did the Prophets and the Doctors. I have the vocation of the Apostles. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your Name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But…one mission alone would not be sufficient for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all the five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only, but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.’

(The Story of a Soul: the Autobiography of St Thérèse of Lisieux)

May the Saint intercede for the missions, at home and abroad.

Tradition implies uncompromising and total faithfulness to apostolic preaching

Sometimes others can reflect back to us our own perduring mission and charism given by the Spirit. Here Orthodox theologian Father John Meyendorff gives a trajectory for us to comprehend, and to recover.

“. . . all true civilizations have discovered that the energy of youth should not be immediately directed to action, but should first given the opportunity to learn at the school of experience of others, in order to benefit future responsible service from the wisdom of the past. In the Orthodox Church this rather obvious truth is not simply matter of common sense. It has absolute, theological dimension, because we believe that there is no church without Tradition. The Orthodox faith is not a sect improvised by an enthusiastic preacher in the American Bible-belt; it is the catholic faith of the Apostles, the Fathers, the councils, the saints of all ages, and there is no way in which one can live it, or preach it, before learning first and becoming rooted in Holy Tradition. This requires responsible effort and patience. To bypass this responsible process, by simplified “super-Orthodox” heresy-hunting, by growing of beard and hair, or the formal preservation of the nineteenth-century liturgical minutiae would be caricature of traditionalism. Indeed – as anyone cognizant of the early Church, or of St Basil the Great, or of Photius of Constantinople, or of Orthodox historical and theological literature of the last two centuries knows – one cannot preserve Holy Tradition by freezing it in forms and formulae of one particular historical moment. If one does that, one cuts oneself from the past, as well as from the living responsibility of the present: the Russian Old Believers are a tragic example of this. Holy Tradition implies uncompromising and total faithfulness to the apostolic preaching, unchanging, but also living and saving. It alone teaches how to avoid the pitfalls – so typical of Protestantism – of fundamentalism and liberalism. It alone allows us to separate not only Truth from falsehood, but also the essential from secondary. Maintained by the succession of bishops, it also requires knowledge and discernment by all. In our youthful enthusiasm to build the Church in this country, let us build the Church catholic – which is two thousand years old – and fight the dangers of ignorant amnesia.”

John Meyendorff. Witness to the World (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1987),192-193.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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