I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads.”
And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel: After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The first week of November has always been a time of festivals and celebrations marking the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. November 1st is the Feast of All Saints and used to be known as All Hallows (Hallow being an old word meaning saint or holy person). Shakespeare called the day Hallowmas. Many Christians around the world use the day to remember departed family members, and visit and tend to their graves.
In each of the readings we hear at today’s Mass, there is a depiction of striving to be worthy and good. The Book of Revelation (or the Apocalypse of John) is mysterious, holy people are clothed in washed, white robes. From 1 John: “we are called, we are sons of God” (1 Jn 3:1-3). Disciples sanctify (purify) themselves. In the Sermon on the Mount and Beatitudes, we hear Christ’s voice helping us see how suffering in life may be transformed into blessings (Mt 5:1-12A). “They persecuted the prophets that were before you.” This is our reminder of the Christian saints and martyrs, and a call to be steadfast in faith and discipline.
Ignatius Loyola, our holy founder, man of great desires and perfect humility…pray for us.
Francis Xavier, courageous warrior ever seeking new souls for Christ…pray for us.
Peter Faber, first companion of Ignatius and cherished friend of all…pray for us.
Stanislaus Kostka, of ready heart and single mind…pray for us.
Francis Borgia, nobleman of poverty, model of indifference…pray for us.
Edmund Campion, fearless orator and source of courage to the persecuted…pray for us.
Aloysius Gonzaga, consolation and care for the sick and the dying…pray for us.
Robert Southwell, prisoner-poet of comfort and strength…pray for us.
Peter Canisius, scholar, builder, and teacher of little children…pray for us.
Nicholas Owen, clever carpenter, companion loyal to the death…pray for us.
Alphonsus Rodriguez, mystical friend, model of hospitality…pray for us.
Robert Bellarmine, rich of mind yet poor of spirit…pray for us.
—Excerpt of Litany of Jesuit Saints by Louis J. McCabe, SJ, and Philip G. Steele, SJ, published in Hearts on Fire: Praying with the JesuitsPlease share the Good Word with your friends!