All Saints: The Communion of Saints

All Saints Day—November 1—is a unique opportunity to reflect on divine blessings for us in the communion of saints. The saints in heaven lived holy lives and died in the Lord. They motivate us to do the same.

Some celebrations cater to our bodily and emotional needs. Some inspire confidence and fulfillment. Others promote a sense of community and bonding. Very few do all three, and much more—connecting the heavens and the earth in a holy, joyful convocation. Liturgical celebrations do that, so is the Solemnity of All Saints.

The Solemnity of All Saints is a heartwarming handshake with our heavenly family, our faith kindred spirit in the heavenly places. It is participation in the heavenly testimonial of the complete blessing of lives lived in faith and by grace. Hence, it is a witness. It is also a modeling communion for the living.

All Saints, Heavenly Blessings

Saint Paul writes: “Blessed be the Lord and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).  

What are those heavenly blessings from the heavens?

They are the things we on earth do not have and cannot acquire by our power alone. One might see them as the perfections of the things we can do, but lack fruitfulness and completeness without the heavenly grace. They are the things lifting our earthly incompleteness to heavenly completeness. Also, it is power from above, motivating those knocked-down by weaknesses with heavenly anointing, healing grace.

Essentially, the heavenly blessing is grace—God’s life in us—making us “God’s children,” beholders of the divine glory (1 John 3:1-3). It is salvation, new life in the Divine Communion of Love (Trinity).

Furthermore, heavenly blessings are also our heavenly support systems—the archangels and angels who are by our side as heavenly companions in that communion. They serve wherever God is, for where God is, divine messengers ascend and descend in celestial chants of adoration. So, they serve us who are in the image and likeness of God—nudging us to join in the celestial hymn of adoration to the Lord to whom we belong.

In addition, the heavenly blessings are our family and friends (the saints)—people who started the race on earth and fought the good fight and won the prize. We have a rich and long tradition of witnesses, spiritual giants. We live in communion with them in the communion of love. Those who die in God live in this communion of love, and those who live by faith also unite with them in the heavenly communion.

We’re in Communion

To have God is to have everything. It is to be fully alive, to be complete and want nothing more. It is to be in touch with our eternal home and in communion with whom we belong.

We see others who already live this completeness and are in the eternal communion of love. We have these multitudes of witnesses from every nation, race, people, and language as 1 John 7:9 testifies. Therefore, we are family with these witnesses.

Similarly, they might be our friends and family members—spouse, children, parents, grandparents, friends, or colleagues who died in the Lord, redeemed by God’s grace.

On the other hand, it is unnecessary to know them by name. We might not have lived in the same city with them or shared the same meal. That, too, is not required. But they lived precisely the same way we live and bore witness to the faith through their lives of holiness and service. They are clear testimonies of the unveiling of God’s glory among His people. They are indeed the blessed of the Lord, whose measure is complete (Matthew 5:1-12).

Thus, we hope that one day, our blessings will be complete too. We celebrate their lives. It is a privilege to have the saints in heaven as our trusted friends, companions, and mentors.

Finally, take the opportunity today to light a candle for the saints in heaven. A few minutes of prayerful communion in gratitude to God for the blessings of the saints is a devout gesture. The Mass of All Saints is the best of it all.

God love you. God bless you.

[Readings for All Saints: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12]

Fr. Maurice Emelu

Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria and the Founder of Gratia Vobis Ministries. An assistant professor of communication (digital media) at John Carroll University, USA, Father Maurice is also a theologian, media strategist, and digital media academic whose numerous works appear on television networks such as EWTN. As he likes to describe himself; “I am an African priest passionately in love with Christ and his Church.”


  1. Deborah van Kroonenburg on November 2, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of heaven Father Maurice – those readings lifted us up.

    • Fr. Maurice Emelu on November 2, 2021 at 3:00 am

      Thanks Deborah for kind words. Thanks too for all your beautiful faith-witness to the community.

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