Thank you for all the sacrifices you make...for every moment that you lay down your lives for us. How appropriate it is that today, the Sunday after Pentecost, is commemorated as the Sunday of All Saints. The prayers for the feast especially commemorate the suffering of the martyrs. The Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost gave, and continues to give, strength to Christians to imitate Christ by accepting suffering and even death for the sake of His name. You, fathers, live out this vocation of martyrdom in imitation of Christ in a special way. Thank you for being our saints!
"Taking up their cross in joy and following You to imitate Your passion, O Lord, with courage, the martyrs have rejected the threats of tyrants; without trembling, they faced the sword and fire, hunger, torments, and death" (Canon of Matins for the Sunday of All Saints, Ode 1).Tomorrow we begin a fasting period known as the Apostles' Fast, which will continue until the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29. We invite you to fast with us in some way during this time, asking for the power to proclaim the good news of God's love and salvation, and for the courage to respond to our own particular call to martyrdom.