A British monk by the name of Alcuin was the first to set the date of November 1st as the commemoration of all the saints. However, Pope Boniface IV dragged 28 wagon loads of bones from the catacombs to the old Roman Pagan temple - The Pantheon and rededicated that building as a church sometime in May 609 AD.
The Pantheon was a temple that recognized all of the old Roman/Greek gods and now Christians who had come out of hiding from persecution in three hundred and twenty five years after Christ could recognize those who had been martyred for the Faith, or had lived exemplary lives. My friends, family and neighbors are adding Brian Egan (58) to the canon of saints today at St. Cajetan's Church. This saint was a great guy. There are many great guys and gals interred on consecrated ground, lost at sea, or cremated with ashes scattered all over the globe. Tomorrow, we will recognize our War Dead at the Leo High School Memorial in the courtyard on 79th Street.
We remember the saints - small s.- as well as the Saints -Capital S.
The Pope began to set rigorous standards for official Canonization of Saints in about 990 AD. Five Hundred years ago the process became even more exacting. After Vatican II many Saints - Upper Case S - were taken out of the Canon of Saints; most memorable was the dropping of St. Christopher.
Sainthood is important, but not as important as remembering sainthood - Brian Egan is a great example. He was a guy who showed up to worship, work and play. Brian Egan was accountable. That is the mark of real sainthood. He knew the rules and did not need them.
Another saint once told me, "Don't worry about what Heaven is like; worry about what you are doing."
Do I lie, cheat, neglect, take, ignore, or shirk? Good God, Yes.
Do I give, ease, fix, show up and remember? Not for me to say.