What do All Saints Day and Halloween have in common?

by James Martin, SJ

It’s downright “scary” how much James Martin, SJ knows about the saints, so who better to explain the connection between Halloween and All Saints Day? In the whimsical video below, BustedHalo.com, an online magazine for spiritual seekers, asked Fr. Martin to explain how these two back-to-back days relate to each other. The best-selling author of My Life with the Saints also answers such common questions as, How does someone become a saint? What is a patron saint? and Do Catholics worship the saints? Courtesy of Busted Halo.

James Martin, SJ

James Martin, SJ

James Martin, SJ, is associate editor of America magazine and a prolific author, writer, and editor.

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Patron Saints

The saints intercede for all of us, but sometimes the Church encourages certain people to turn to certain saints for special intercession. We call them patron saints, and they can be named officially by a pope or unofficially by any group that wants to seek the protection of a particular saint. A saint can be patron of a diocese, such as Rochester, NY (St. John Fisher), a country, such as Canada (St. Isaac Jogues), a profession, such as dentists (St. Apollonia), an animal, such as cats (St. Gertrude of Nivelles), groups or classes of people, such as expectant mothers (St. Elizabeth), good causes, such as public schools (St. Martin de Porres), and protection from threats, such as cancer (St. Peregrine Laziosi). It is not our faith that patron saints keep bad things from ever happening to us. We do believe, however, that they help us face the difficult challenges of life.