Allsaints Day

All-saints' Day a festival celebrated by the Greek Church the week after Whitsuntide, and by the Roman Catholics on the 1st of November, in honor of all saints and martyrs. Chrysostom (Hom. 74 de Martyribus) seems to indicate that it was known in the fourth century, and that it was celebrated on Trinity Sunday, called by the Greeks Κυριακὴ τῶν ἁγίων (the Sunday of the Martyrs). It was introduced into the Western Church in the beginning of the seventh century by Boniface. The number of saints being excessively multiplied, it was found too burdensome to dedicate a feast-day to each, there being, indeed, scarcely hours enough in the year to distribute among them all. It was therefore resolved to commemorate on one day all who had no particular days. By an order of Gregory IV, it was celebrated on the 1st of November, 834; formerly the 1st of May was the day appointed. It was introduced into England (where it is usually called All-hallowmas) about 870, and is still observed in the English and Lutheran Churches, as well as in the Church of Rome, on 1st November. — Itlig, De Festo Omnium Sanctorum, in the Miscell. Lips. 1, 300 sq.; Farrar, Eccles. Dictionary, s.v.; Bingham, Orig. Eccles. b. 70, ch. 7, § 14.

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