Three reasons why the Church established the Sunday of all Saints: Patriarch Daniel

During his Sunday homily at Samurcasesti Monastery, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel listed three reasons why the Church established a special day to celebrate the Synaxis of All Saints.

Patriarch Daniel said that the first reason was to indicate that humans can become Saints, ‘to show that the fruit or consequence of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world is the transformation of sinners into Saints.’

The second reason is that even though there are many and various saints from different times and nations, ‘they live in full unity or communion.’

The third reason is that only some Saints are known by the Church and listed in the Synaxaria, ‘but there are many other saints that only God knows and whom he will discover gradually in history, or even at the end of ages.’

On the Sunday dedicated to All Saints, June 3, 2018, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel attended the Divine Liturgy at the Samurcasesti Monastery, where he spoke about sainthood and the work of the Holy Spirit.

He explained that Saints are ‘people in whom the Holy Spirit worked most intensely, by cooperating with their free will.’

‘So the purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world is to sanctify us humans,’ the patriarch noted.

Saints live in unity, communion

His Beatitude went on to reflect on the article in the Creed where we confess our belief in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, stressing the ‘mystical tie between holiness and unity’.

‘The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is first the Church of Saints, of those who are close to God,’ Patriarch Daniel said June 3.

The unity that characterizes saints of different centuries is due to their belief in one God, their witness to the same Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and their illumination and sanctification by the same Holy Spirit, the Romanian Patriarch added.

He also spoke about how the Old Testament prophets saw Christ mystically before his incarnation in history.

Today we see the beauty of the Church

The Patriarch insisted on the communion of Saints saying that ‘the Holy Spirit is the one who gathers different peoples, different persons from different times and places in unity and communion.’

By celebrating all Saints the same day, ‘we see the beauty of Christ’s Church,’ he said.

‘The Saints are the brightest core, the strongest foundation of Orthodox faith. They are God’s closest friends. They are our teachers, intercessors, and protectors,’ His Beatitude noted.

It is by the grace of the Holy Spirit that Saints succeeded to keep their faith steadfast in the face of many tribulations and even death.

‘That is why Saint Basil the Great calls the Holy Spirit the Church’s Architect.’

His Beatitude added that only the place of worship is built of stone. ‘In the face of God, the Church is formed of first the saints and second of those who strive to acquire salvation.’

‘On the Sunday of All Saints, we celebrate the unity of the Church, but not a monotone unity, because every Saint living in the Holy Spirit and in the love of the All Holy Trinity has their own personality, name and countenance,’ the Patriarch said.

Patriarch Daniel surrounded by children at Samurcășești Monastery. ©Mircea Popa/ZL

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel continued his sermon speaking about the unknown saints. ‘The number of Saints God knows is always greater than we think.’

‘God reveals them when he wishes,’ Patriarch Daniel said recalling the fact that Saint Ephraim the New Martyr of Nea Makri was discovered 500 years after his death.

The Patriarch of Romania ended his speech by congratulating all parents ‘who gave birth to children, who bring them up according to the faith and help them cultivate values.’

Photography: Mircea Popa / ZL

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