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``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

All Saints' Day
(All Hallows' Day, or "Hallowmas")

This is a Holy Day of Obligation on which we celebrate the Church Triumphant -- all the Saints in Heaven, canonized or unknown. Some may prepare for this feast by praying the All Saints Novena starting on October 23, and ending on October 31.

After Noon today, and until Midnight tomorrow, a person who has been to confession and Communion can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, for the poor souls in Purgatory (who will be commemorated tomorrow) each time he visits a church or public oratory and recites the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father six times. This is a special exception to the ordinary law of the Church according to which a plenary indulgence for the same work can be gained only once a day. Some of the grave-visiting customs described on the entry for All Souls Day, then, may begin today in some places.

In anticipation of All Souls' Day tomorrow, when night comes on All Saints, we darken the room, light a candle (one blessed at Candlemas if possible), and pray the Rosary for our dead. Praying the 129th Psalm (the De Profundis) and/or the Litany of the Saints would also be lovely.

As to special foods for this feast, in Austria and Bavaria, Germany, a sweet yeast bread called Allerheiligenstriezel -- "striezel" for short -- is given by godparents to their godchildren on this day.


1 packet of dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk, divided
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs room temperature
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. raisins
2 tablespoons rum

For the top, before baking:
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk
Sliced almonds
Coarse sugar

Dissolve yeast in a small bowl with 1/3 c. of the milk and a pinch of sugar and let sit for 10 minutes 'til foamy.

Combine the remaining 2/3 c. milk with the melted butter, then add the eggs and whisk together. Separately, in a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed, combine the milk mixture with the yeast mixture and half of the flour mixture. Once the flour is incorporated, add the rest of the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, continually kneading on low speed, until all of the flour is incorporated. Turn dough onto work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes. If the dough sticks to hands and work surface too much, knead in 1-2 handfuls of flour.

Place dough into a large greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down, knead it and let it rise again.>

In the meantime, soak the raisins in the rum. After the second rise, knead the raisins into the dough. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Roll pieces into equally long strands (about 16-17 inches). Braid the strands together, brush with egg-milk mixture and sprinkle with sliced almonds and coarse sugar. Preheat oven to 350F, and let bread sit while the oven's heating. Bake for 30 minutes.

In Tuscany, a bread called Pane Coi Santi is eaten -- but it must be prepared starting two days before, including a day for the bread to rest and "ripen," so be warned!

Pane Coi Santi (Pan Co' Santi)

For the starter, two nights before All Saints Day:
1 1/2 c. bread flour
3/4 c. water, divided
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

The morning of the day before All Saints:
1 1/2 c. raisins, packed
1/2 c.  extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 c. walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 c. sugar, divided
1/4 c. + 1 tsp. lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. red wine
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk, beaten

The night before you plan to bake the bread, stir together half of the water, the sugar, and the yeast and let it stand until creamy and froth, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and the rest of the water and mix with a whisk until roughly combined. Cover with a damp towel and let rise at room temperature overnight or for 8 to 12 hours. By morning, it should be bubbly and doubled in size.

The next morning, soak the raisins in a bowl of water for 15 minutes or so, then drain.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the drained raisins, the walnuts, and the sugar. Warm up so the oil takes on the flavor of the raisins and nuts, then take off the heat and cool.

In a small bowl, stir together the water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the yeast and let it stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, add the starter made the night before, the flour, and the activated yeast, along with the nuts and raisins. Knead on low speed, adding the wine a little at a time, until the dough is well combined. It should be smooth to the touch and come away easily from your hands. Lastly, add the salt and pepper and knead for another minute.

Turn the dough out onto an oiled pastry board. Form a round ball of dough, cover with a damp towel, and let rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in size. When the dough has doubled in size, knead it again, then divide and form 2 round bread loaves. Arrange the loaves, well-spaced, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut a cross into the tops of each with a knife and let rise again until doubled in size, covered with a damp towel. Preheat oven to 3500F. Brush the bread loaves with a beaten egg yolk, transfer to the oven, and bake for about 50 minutes until dark brown and glossy. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool thoroughly. Wait at least one day before consuming.

From Naples via Sicily come chocolatey-spicy, cake-like cookies called Rame di Napoli, or "Neopolitan Coppers," They're often given to children as gifts "from" their ancestors and relatives who've died:

Rame di Napoli (Coppers of Naples)

1 3/4 cups flour (00 flour if you can get it)
3 1/2 tbsp butter melted
1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
zest from 1/2 orange, finely grated
2 tsp baking powder

For the topping:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
4 tbsp + 1 tsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp orange marmalade
2 tbsp finely chopped pistachios

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Place the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder in a large bowl and stir to combine. Then sift the cocoa powder over the top, add the orange zest, and mix to combine.

Add the honey and melted butter and stir until the mixture is just about combined.

Sift half the flour on top and pour in half the milk and mix until just about combined.

Sift the remaining flour and add the remaining milk and stir until everything is well combined and the mixture glossy and still quite wet.

Then, using about 2 TBSP for each cookie, shape into balls and place on the cookie sheets with room in between for the cookies to spread a bit. Bake for 10-15 mins (they will rise), depending on your oven and the size of the cookies. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray and then transfer to a wire rack.

Melt the chocolate and butter together, in a double-boiler or in a microwave, and mix together well. Warm the marmalade so it's spreadable, then brush onto the top of each cookie. Dip each cookie in the chocolate to coat the top, then dip the wet tops in the pistachios. Let them harden before serving.

As to music, the classic for the day is "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones" about the angels and Saints who guard and pray for us:

Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
bright seraphs, cherubim, and thrones,
raise the glad strain, Alleluia!
Cry out, dominions, princedoms, powers,
virtues, archangels, angels' choirs:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O higher than the cherubim,
more glorious than the seraphim,
lead their praises, Alleluia!
Thou bearer of th' eternal Word,
most gracious, magnify the Lord:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
ye patriarchs and prophets blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Ye holy twelve, ye martyrs strong,
all saints triumphant, raise the song:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O friends, in gladness let us sing,
supernal anthems echoing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And for the car ride home after Mass, there's the most requested jazz standard in the world, a song that began as a spiritual: When the Saints Go Marching In. There are a million versions with lyrics variations, but I'll include some of the most common verses below, along with a recording by the great Louis Armstrong:

Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

O when the sun refuse to shine,
O when the sun refuse to shine,
O Lord, I want to be in that number
when the sun refuse to shine.

Oh, when the moon turns red with blood
Oh, when the moon turns red with blood
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

Oh, when the stars fall from the sky
Oh, when the stars fall from the sky
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

Oh, when the drums begin to bang
Oh, when the drums begin to bang
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

Oh, when the horsemen begin to ride
Oh, when the horsemen begin to ride
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

Oh, brother Charles you are my friend
Oh, brother Charles you are my friend
Yea, you gonna be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

For lots to read about the Saints, see this site's Catholic Library for free books in pdf format.


On All the Saints
By St. Gregory Thamaturgus

Grant thy blessing, Lord.

It was my desire to be silent, and not to make a public display of the rustic rudeness of my tongue. For silence is a matter of great consequence when one's speech is mean. And to refrain from utterance is indeed an admirable thing, where there is lack of training; and verily he is the highest philosopher who knows how to cover his ignorance by abstinence from public address. Knowing, therefore, the feebleness of tongue proper to me, I should have preferred such a course.

Nevertheless the spectacle of the onlookers impels me to speak. Since, then, this solemnity is a glorious one among our festivals, and the spectators form a crowded gathering, and our assembly is one of elevated fervour in the faith, I shall face the task of commencing an address with confidence. And this I may attempt all the more boldly, since the Father requests me, and the Church is with me, and the sainted martyrs with this object strengthen what is weak in me. For these have inspired aged men to accomplish with much love a long course, and constrained them to support their failing steps by the staff of the word; and they have stimulated women to finish their course like the young men, and have brought to this, too, those of tender years, yea, even creeping children. In this wise have the martyrs shown their power, leaping with joy in the presence of death, laughing at the sword, making sport of the wrath of princes, grasping at death as the producer of deathlessness, making victory their own by their fall, through the body taking their leap to heaven, suffering their members to be scattered abroad in order that they might hold their souls, and, bursting the bars of life, that they might open the. gates of heaven.

And if any one believes not that death is abolished, that Hades is trodden under foot, that the chains thereof are broken, that the tyrant is bound, let him look on the martyrs disporting themselves in the presence of death, and taking up the jubilant strain of the victory of Christ. O the marvel! Since the hour when Christ despoiled Hades, men have danced in triumph over death. "O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory?" Hades and the devil have been despoiled, and stripped of their ancient armour, and cast out of their peculiar power. And even as Goliath had his head cut off with his own sword, so also is the devil, who has been the father of death, put to rout through death; and he finds that the selfsame thing which he was wont to use as the ready weapon of his deceit, has become the mighty instrument of his own destruction.

Yea, if we may so speak, casting his hook at the Godhead, and seizing the wonted enjoyment of the baited pleasure, he is himself manifestly caught while he deems himself the captor, and discovers that in place of the man he has touched the God. By reason thereof do the martyrs leap upon the head of the dragon, and despise every species of torment. For since the second Adam has brought up the first Adam out of the deeps of Hades, as Jonah was delivered out of the whale, and has set forth him who was deceived as a citizen of heaven to the shame of the deceiver, the gates of Hades have been shut, and the gates of heaven have been opened, so as to offer an unimpeded entrance to those who rise thither in faith.

In olden time Jacob beheld a ladder erected reaching to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it. But now, having been made man for man's sake, He who is the Friend of man has crushed with the foot of His divinity him who is the enemy of man, and has borne up the man with the hand of His Christhood, and has made the trackless ether to be trodden by the feet of man. Then the angels were ascending and descending; but now the Angel of the great counsel neither ascendeth nor descendeth: for whence or where shall He change His position, who is present everywhere, and filleth all things, and holds in His hand the ends. of the world? Once, indeed, He descended, and once He ascended,--not, however, through any change of nature, but only in the condescension of His philanthropic Christhood; and He is seated as the Word with the Father, and as the Word He dwells in the womb, and as the Word He is found everywhere, and is never separated from the God of the universe.

Aforetime did the devil deride the nature of man with great laughter, and he has had his joy over the times of our calamity as his festal-days. But the laughter is only a three days' pleasure, while the wailing is eternal; and his great laughter has prepared for him a greater wailing and ceaseless tears, and inconsolable weeping, and a sword in his heart. This sword did our Leader forge against the enemy with fire in the virgin furnace, in such wise and after such fashion as He willed, and gave it its point by the energy of His invincible divinity, and dipped it in the water of an undefiled baptism, and sharpened it by sufferings without passion in them, and made it bright by the mystical resurrection; and herewith by Himself He put to death the vengeful adversary, together with his whole host.

What manner of word, therefore, will express our joy or his misery? For he who was once an archangel is now a devil; he who once lived in heaven is now seen crawling like a serpent upon earth; he who once was jubilant with the cherubim, is now shut up in pain in the guard-house of swine; and him, too, in fine, shall we put to rout if we mind those things which are contrary to his choice, by the grace and kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the power unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

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