On this feast of all Saints, we honour not just those famous men and women whose heroic and Holy lives have had such an effect on the world and on the Church itself, but also the unknown Saints. Those whose quiet path to Sainthood, whose gentle entry into the Kingdom of heaven is not known by the Church with certainty. Amongst them may well be some of our Parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, priests and teachers we have known.
Today we honour them and we remind ourselves to ask them for things, to ask them to pray for us, to ask for their help. This is as natural as asking a member of your family here on earth to pray for you, to help you or support you. The Saints are members of our family, they are in heaven we are on earth, but we are all united in Christ along with the saints in waiting, the Holy Souls in purgatory.
A saint is now utterly and completely what God made them to be. The purpose of his or her life, the reason he was created, the true desire at the heart of everything he ever wanted is fulfilled. For we are made for loving union with God, we are made to know God and be like God. In loving union with Christ Our Saviour the saint now dwells at the heart of God, that which every human being desires and needs, longs for and struggles for is granted to him. He is supremely perfectly happy - he knows love. And like love, that is - like Christ, the Saint must love; he must give himself in love for the sake of those Christ loves. This is the perfection of Our Lord’s call to take up your cross and follow me. On earth it will involve struggle and suffering but for the Saint in heavenly unity with Christ, it is simply the joy of giving yourself with Christ in love for love.
When we ask a Saint to pray for us, to grant us favours, to protect us we are simply asking them to continue to love us, to give themselves in Christ and with Christ for us. Something they did on earth with struggle and difficulty and even suffering but something they now do in the utterly fulfilling joy and happiness of love. In a saint, what they did on earth is fulfilled and perfected in heaven.
This is part of the reason for patron saints. A patron Saint knew what it was like to work, to be a Doctor, or a soldier , a mum or a dad or a parish priest, they knew what it was like to suffer injustice, illness or poverty, they were especially kind to the poor or noted for their ability to pray or to teach. Whatever their gifts or vocation here on earth - that is perfected in heaven and it makes sense to ask them to help us who are still not perfect in those areas.
Don’t neglect the Saints. Ask for their help and intercession, honour the Saint you are named after. Above all of course honour and love Our Lady who was and is the Mother of God. Our Lord loves them and they love him and all those he loves. In union with Our Lord there is nothing good the Saints will not do for us.