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

UD in Service: Ph.D. Students Share 'Confessions' in South Irving

UD students not only read St. Augustine's Confessions in Rome, traveling to Ostia to marvel at the place in which, according to Book IX, St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica, had a joint mystical vision of God -- they also travel 4.4 miles from the Irving campus to read the text with residents of South Irving.

+ Read More

How to Build a Shortwave Radio

As you know if you’ve read even some of our first UD Reads book, "All the Light We Cannot See," it’s possible to build a radio from random, scavenged parts, as long as you can find the necessary random, scavenged parts, as Werner does in the book. This is also essentially what Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Physics Jacob Moldenhauer did as well: He scavenged parts from the Physics Department, and built a radio.

+ Read More

Thomas S. Hibbs Appointed President of University of Dallas

The University of Dallas Board of Trustees announced today that it has unanimously selected Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, to serve as the university's ninth president. The first alumnus of UD to be president, Hibbs has served as dean of the Honors College and distinguished professor of ethics and culture at Baylor University since 2003.

+ Read More