(262) 385-7485

All Saints Day or Halloween!

Are Halloween and All Saints Day one and the same? Every year, at this time, I will see a number of articles on the internet suggesting that “All Saints Day” is really a Pagan holiday (Halloween). And because of this, they allege that Catholicism is really Paganism and not Christianity at all. They will also suggest that the very honoring of saints is Paganism because the saints who have come before us are dead.

In one such article, "Where did Halloween come from?", the unknown author is claiming that he is showing the true history of Halloween. There is nothing wrong with writing an article on the history of Halloween. However; in this case the author seems to have an agenda. And his agenda draws the conclusion that Halloween and "All Saints Day" are the same. Although, some of what he says about Halloween is true, there is no connection between Halloween and any Christian tradition.

The author says, "During the middle ages (about 600 years ago), the Roman Catholic Church at that time, decided to make the changeover from pagan religion to Christianity a bit easier, and therefore allowed the new converts to maintain some of their pagan feasts. It was agreed however, that from now on they would be celebrated as ‘Christian’ feasts’."

In this statement there is some intellectual dishonesty. If you move from a Pagan feast to celebrating a Christian feast then you are no longer maintaining a Pagan feast. The maintaining of pagan feasts is not Catholic teaching, but anti-Catholic teaching. Associating Halloween with All Saints Day is misrepresentation of Catholic history and teaching.

They simply misrepresent Catholic teaching and history and then disagree with their own misrepresentation.

He goes on to say, "So instead of praying to their heathen Gods, they would now pray to, and remember the deaths of saints. For this reason the Church decided to call November 1 the "Day of All Saints." Note that the author, who made this statement, doesn't give us a Catholic source for it. He is in this case his own source making it up as he goes along.

The origin of All Saints' day did not exist for the purpose of replacing the practice of worshiping heathen Gods. The honoring of Christian Martyrs goes back to the earliest Church. Feast of all saints is instituted to honor all saints, known and unknown, and according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year. The earliest Church honored Martyrs and then later they honored groups of Martyrs because their suffering took place on the same day. There came a time in the Church where there were so many martyrs that a separate day could not be assigned to each. The earliest record of having a common day for all martyrs, go back to a sermon of St Ephrem the Syrian, in the year 373. Gregory the third (731-741)

consecrated a chapel in the basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November.

Gregory the IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The practice of honoring souls actually predates Christianity.

Under the heading "The Origin of All Saints" the unknown author says, "The first of November, celebrated among the pagans in honor of  today celebrated in hundreds of churches "to honor all saints, known and unknown... How did the veneration of saints supposedly alive in Heaven, come to be celebrated on a day in honor of the devil?"

Okay, here we go again, the author seems to be slipping a bit when it comes to intellectual honesty. "All Saints Day" is a Christian Holy day and Halloween is a Pagan celebration. To suggest the two are the same is a misrepresentation of history. To my knowledge there are no Christian Churches who honor Satan, unless of course some of the more extreme Protestants cults do. If this be the case, I am not aware of it.

Halloween is a Pagan festival and it is the evening before All Saints Day! Halloween takes its name (All Hallow e’en) from being the eve of the holy day of “All Saints Day.” The Celts in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany in northwestern France celebrated New Year’s Day on November 1. Among the Celts under the influence of the religious leadership of the Druids, a festival was held the evening before to honor Samhain, their lord of death. Not to differentiate between Halloween and All Saints Day is intellectually dishonest. 

On the one hand there is the claim that on “All Saints Day” we are honoring Satan and on the other hand some are saying we are honoring the saints.  Which one is it when they are saying both? For some people to honor the saints, on “All Saints Day” is not Biblical.  Their mantra is “dead saints can’t do anything because they are dead.”

There has always been some union or communion of the Saints. The Communion of Saints is in the Apostles Creed and is said in Catholic and Lutheran  and other churches every Sunday. This means there is some connection between us, and the people who have passed into the next the world. They are not dead saints as some would allege.

Jesus never claimed that those who have died are "dead saints." He understood well that when someone dies, they will live and in fact those who live and believe in him WILL NEVER DIE. Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this" (Jn. 11:23-26)?  

Who will you follow the anti-Catholics who refer to those who have died as dead saints or Jesus who calls them very much alive?

For more information on saints who "will never die" go to the article; "Are saints who have physically died “dead saints” or are they alive with God? http://catholicmilwaukee.com/dead-saints-or-are-they-alive--.html

In fact the unknown author scores some very good points here.  He quotes Jesus, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Mt. 22:31-32). It is true that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have all physically died; however,

Jesus never referred to them as dead saints because He said “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  

Some traditions continue to claim that dead saints can’t do anything; however, the Bible says otherwise. For example, Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration; “and behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah" (L. 9:30). How could these two men, who have died, be conversing with Jesus if they were in fact dead saints? In Sirach we have Elisha after death doing marvelous deeds. “But when the man came in contact with the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet” (Kings 13:20-21).  Jesus didn’t believe in dead saints. In fact He says, “Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this" (Jn. 11:23-26)? Evidently, those who believe in dead saints don't believe Jesus when he says this.  

How do you convince people that honoring saints on “All Saints Day” is Pagan?   First you cite a tradition, not in the Bible, that claims, saints who have gone before us are dead. You further claim that because they are dead, these saints cannot do anything. You then leave out all the verses in the Bible that show the saints alive doing things.  And finally, you hope that the person you are talking to does not know any of verses that show the saints ALIVE and doing things!  This method is not intellectually honest; however, some times it actually works.

"Jesus Alone or is He": There are those, who insist that the "Jesus alone" concept apart from the saints, is Biblical; however, no place in Scripture does it say, Jesus alone apart from the Saints. Part of this "Jesus alone" concept has already been discussed, this is why people insist that those who have died are dead saints when in fact Jesus says they are alive.

However; they don't stop there. There are those who insist we should not bless the saints, only Jesus; we should not exalt the saints, only Jesus. This again is man-made tradition that is at odds with the Bible. Many varied man-made traditions teach this as though it is a Biblical truth when in fact it cannot be found in the Bible. And so another one of the pillars of the Protestant Reformation, "Jesus alone" fails under the weight of Scripture. Mary is blessed and all of us, who humble our selves before the Lord will be exalted.

Mary is blessed along with Jesus (Lk. 1:46).                               Those who Humble themselves will be exalted (Jm. 4:10).        http://catholicmilwaukee.com/mary--how-do-you-call-her-blessed-.html

The dangerous message of Halloween! If there be any doubt about how the Catholic Church sees Halloween, Pope Benedict XVI referred to it as dangerous. “In an article entitled The Dangerous Messages of Halloween, the Vatican's official newspaper L'Observatory Romano quoted liturgical expert Joan Maria Canals as saying: 'Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian” (Halloween is ‘dangerous’ says the Pope as he slams ‘anti-Christian festival; Nick Pisa, 30 October 2009).  http://frstephensmuts.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/pope-benedict-xvi-condemns-halloween/  http://catholicism.about.com/od/Halloween/fl/Did-Pope-Benedict-XVI-Condemn-Halloween.htm.

The unknown author of the article, "Where did Halloween come from?", claims he is writing on the history of Halloween.  He is in fact writing an article maligning “All Saints Day” and confusing it with the Pagan celebration of Halloween in an attempt to discredit the Catholic Church. I don't believe that the author meant any harm. He believed that he was presenting the truth; however, he does does not seem to be aware of the difference between anti-Catholic tradition and real Catholic Christian history.

For more on Halloween and All Saints Day click below:

Catholic Ansswers: Is Halloween a Pagan Festival? https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/is-halloween-a-pagan-festival?utm_source=Catholic%20Answers%20Daily&utm_campaign=f8227361d2-CADaily103118&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6b4f9e3af2-f8227361d2-213044541&mc_cid=f8227361d2&mc_eid=c6d025ca31