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All Saints Day and Veterans Day share similarities

St. Joseph News-Press - 11/3/2018

Nov. 03--At just 10 days apart, All Saints Day and Veterans Day share more in common than you might think.

All Saints Day, held on Nov. 1, recognized the unnamed saints who the church may not have formally recognized.

The process of canonization of a saint requires a fair amount of meticulous research, documentation and the attribution of miracles to said candidate. All Saints Day covers those who haven't gone through that process, yet may deserve to be recognized.

"We know there's a lot of good people who live good, holy lives -- ordinary people who are saints," the Rev. Christian Malewski, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, says.

He says the holy day of obligation is important in that it reminds people, even after it's over, that we all are called to be saints.

"It's a reminder that the church is bigger than just what we see," he says. "The church is also heavenly. We have members of the church who have attained their reward and intercede for us. That's kind of a beautiful thing to think about."

He goes on to explain people can become holy even in the most ordinary of circumstances, and that sanctity is for everybody, not just the extraordinary.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, the country will recognize those who have laid down their lives to defend our country. But doesn't the idea of war and violence clash with what a large number of religions hope to preach?

"We can never say that war is a good thing, but sometimes we know circumstances can be as such that it's unavoidable because there's an outside threat that needs to be put at bay," Malewski says, referencing the evil intentions of various groups throughout history. "Those who have defended our freedoms and defended our country have also put themselves in harm's way. They're risking their lives for our defense. That's a great sacrifice that we should be grateful for."

And it's a sacrifice that many saints made in their lifetime.

"There are some saints that were soldiers," Malewski says. "I think of St. Ignatius of Loyola ... St. Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier. Even in our tradition, we have saintly soldiers."

Malewski then turns to a passage in the Bible from Revelations.

"'These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' Obviously we're speaking about saints there, but it makes me think about men and women in the armed forces who have sacrificed their lives," Malewski says. "Our lord said, 'No greater love than to lay down your life for one's friends.'"

Daniel Cobb can be reached

at daniel.cobb@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowCobb.


(c)2018 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)

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