October 31 found its way through many different loops through the Christian ages, but moe or less, this is how we get to the feasts surrounding the final day of October into November. The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated on the first of November, a holy day (holiday) of obligation in which the whole communion honors the saints in heaven. We celebrate those in the official canon of the Church and those who are not enrolled. It’s a family day of celebration whereby we celebrate all who belong to the Mystical Body of Christ. This is also known as the Communion of Saints.
We look to these men and women and rejoice that they have reached their eternal goal. We ask for their inspiration, prayers, and help on our behalf, so that we may join them one day for all eternity.
Honoring saints began in the fourth century when the young Church honored all Christian martyrs of the Faith on May 13. Pope Boniface IV in 615 called this celebration, “Feast of All Martyrs” commemorating the dedication of the Pantheon which was an ancient Roman temple converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the martyrs. By 741, the feast shifted its focus from the martyrs to all the saints in heaven as well, changing the title to “Feast of All Saints” by 840.
Pope Gregory IV in 844 transferred the feast to November 1st which was the time of the harvests. The harvests provided food for the pilgrims. Some scholars believe this was to substitute a feast for the pagan celebrations during that time of year. Pope Sixtus IV in 1484 established the first of November as a holy day, giving it a vigil which we know as “All Hallows’ Eve” or “Hallowe’en”.