Christians around the world are remembering Christian saints, martyrs and dead loved ones to mark All Saints’ Day 2017 today.
The feast day, sometimes called All Hallows’ Day or the Feast of All Saints, is celebrated by Anglicans, Catholics and other Christians around the world.
The Church of England’s Twitter account said: “Today many churches celebrate All Saints’ day, where we remember all the saints of the church, both known & unknown.”
Candles are lit during the religious holiday and it is a time to remember dead relatives and loved ones in many Christian countries.
In Poland, people pay respect to the dead family members, clean their tombs and place flowers and candles on top of their graves.
The French version of the day, known as La Toussaint, is also marked by placing flowers and wreaths on tombs and graves.
Over in the Philippines, Catholic families pray at the grave of departed loved ones and remember their dead relatives.
Christians around the world also go to church services to remember the saints who dedicated or sacrificed their lives for Christianity.
All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, falls today (November 1 2017) in most Western churches.
But All Saints’ Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of Pentecost in May or early June in many Eastern churches.
The origins of All Saints’ Day remain shrouded in mystery because it has been observed on different days in various places.
But it is thought to have grown out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints during Roman times.
Back in the 9th Century, Pope Gregory IV ordered the general observance of the feast day on November 1 each year.
All Saints’ Day falls on the day after Halloween, which is used to be called All Hallows’ Eve, on October 31.
The religious festival is followed by All Souls’ Day – a Catholic day to remember the dead – on November 2.
In an All Saints’ Day address in St Peter’s Square in Rome, the Pope said he was praying for the victims of attacks in New York, Somalia and Afghanistan.
“I am profoundly saddened by the terrorist attacks in these recent days in Somalia, Afghanistan and yesterday in New York,” the Pope said.
“We ask God to convert the hearts of terrorists and free the world of hatred and of mad murder that abuses the name of God to disseminate death.”
Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations, from October 31 to November 2, are also a time to remember deceased loved ones.
SOURCE: ALICE FOSTER