Saints, known and unknown

angelico-saints-martyrsToday we celebrate, remember, and honor all the saints, known and unknown. Back in the earliest days of the Church, martyrs were especially esteemed. The local church celebrated the anniversary of a martyr’s death in the name of Christ – on the anniversary date and in the place of martyrdom – it was all part of what people just knew. By the 4th century the list of martyrs was very much longer and the Church was caught between its desire to remember and celebrate the martyr’s witness and death, an ever-expanding geography, and the practical matter of finding days to set aside to celebrate. Very soon there was a movement to find a common day to celebrate martyrs that were important to the Church while leaving the local communities to set aside days for martyrs that loomed larger in local memory. Continue reading