Celebrating All Saints Day

Last Sunday at church, we celebrated All Saints Day. It seems a bit of a funny thing to do – to remember and venerate those that have died.

Saints are generally considered to be a person who has received an official honour from the Christian church, for having lived a good and holy life.

Many schools, churches and places are named after them. Interestingly, many of them lived quite strange, or even extreme lives. St Francis of Assisi, who, although born into a wealthy family, gave away his wealth and lived among the poor. Tradition says of St Mary Magdalene, after whom my church is named, that she was a prostitute.

In more recent times, Mother Teresa, who was canonised in 2016, was a controversial person, choosing to live amongst the poor and dying in Calcutta.

However, there is something about these figures that is fascinating and inspires our Christian life. We can never live exactly like them, but can learn from their example.

It is not just the colourful way they lived, but also the assurance they had that God was close to them and that they had a clear sense of Him in their daily lives.

If we look beyond historical figures to those around us, we will probably find that there are people who have a genuine faith, and who inspire by the example they set. One of these contemporary saints was the Principal of my childrens’ primary school.

When our youngest child was born, and we were in a busy period of our lives, she would have our children to stay overnight, to give us a break and a good night’s sleep. Although busy with her own work and more grown up children, she gave selflessly and freely. I’m still grateful for this, and inspired by her example.

The Bible says that we have a crowd of people of faith watching over us, encouraging us to live life to the full (Hebrews 12:1), so like the saints of long ago and those around us today, let us draw on God’s presence from day to day and live colourful and interesting lives of service, confident that He is close to us.

Mr John Dow


Tatachilla Lutheran College
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