All Saints Feast Originates in Early Church

All Saints Feast Originates in Early Church

As Catholics and Christians throughout the world honor saints both known and unknown during the Nov. 1 Feast of All Saints, they participate in a celebration as old as the Church itself. The tradition originated locally with individual churches celebrating the anniversaries of the deaths of local martyrs.

As churches exchanged relics and stories of martyrs with each other, the number of feast days commemorated began to multiply. However, after the Christian persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian ended in 313, it began to be difficult to celebrate each martyr.

"There were too many martyrs," said Ron Rombs, associate professor of theology.

By the end of the fourth century, churches had begun to assign individual days to commemorate all the martyrs together, Rombs explained. Rome Program alumni will recognize the first church dedicated collectively to martyrs: Santa Maria ad Martyres, also known as the Pantheon.

"Then, after the persecutions ended, martyrdom morphed into sanctity," said Rombs.

With fewer Christians being martyred, believers turned to venerating the saints for their example of holy belief.

By the early 700s, Pope Gregory III had established an annual commemoration of all the saints on Nov. 1 for Roman Christians. Pope Gregory IV extended it to the entire church in the ninth century, and so it is celebrated today.

News

University Welcomes Leading Catholic Intellectual to Campus

On Friday, Sept. 13, the university community welcomed George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the father of two UD alumnae. Celebrated for his two-volume biography of St. John Paul II and many other intellectual contributions, Weigel presented an exploration of the current Catholic situation in light of a new interpretation of the past 250 years of the church's interaction with social, cultural, economic and political modernity.

+ Read More

Recent DBA Alumnus Begins Tenure-Track Position at UNI

Gabe Dickey, DBA '19, recently successfully defended his dissertation, titled "Exploring the Human Side of Audit Quality: Team Engagement and Partner Leadership Behaviors," for UD's Doctor of Business Administration. Dickey has spent his career in the accounting profession, the vast majority as a certified public accountant working in auditing. He began UD's DBA program three years ago, drawn in by his interest in broader business issues and the program's practitioner-oriented focus.

+ Read More

Longtime Campus Safety Officer Sworn In to UDPD

Carlos Tijerina came to UD as a Campus Safety officer 23 years ago. He has loved the camaraderie of the CSO, but it has always been his dream to become a police officer. Then, a little over a year ago, UD finally got a police department. On Sept. 10, Tijerina was sworn in by President Thomas Hibbs as an official part of the UDPD team.

+ Read More