While on pilgrimage to France in 2019, Father Dave preached on All Saints’ Day about what the Church teaches about these holy men and women that we celebrate today.
He describes that while canonized saints are like the “retired jerseys that are hanging from the rafters in our Catholic stadium,” it is much more than that. He says, “It’s not just that these folks lived a long time ago, and let’s look at how they lived and try to emulate that. We believe that the saints, for us, are actively involved in our faith life.”
Father Dave explains how the Church further reveals this teaching in today’s preface to the Eucharistic prayer during Mass. He recites part of the prayer, “God, almighty Father, you are praised in the company of your saints. And in crowning their merits, you crown your own gifts.”
He reflects on this saying, “By communion with them you give us companionship – we are not alone…By their intercession, you give us support.”
He notes a common misconception that Catholics worship or “pray to” saints, and instead illustrates what we mean when we ask for their intercession. “We ask in the same way that you might ask your grandmother or somebody that you know. If there’s some big need in your life, you go to that person and ask them to pray for you. That’s what we do with the saints.”
Father Dave describes how saints are like “personal trainers” for our faith and that “all these thousands and millions of saints are encouraging us, they’re cheering us on.” He continues, “They are crucial to our faith walk, our living the journey of pilgrimage that is our faith life, which is difficult. They can help us. Why not take advantage of it?”
Preached at the Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours in Tours, France on 11-1-2019.