A grand, beyond this world, parade raises within the spiritual firmament of the Church on Sunday’s All Saints. It is the army of our saints, marching in triumph before the throne of the Holy Trinity. It’s admired by the angelic forces; it’s applauded by the heavenly world. But also by the eyes of those who insist on not compromising with the finite, who remain lovers of God and nostalgic of heaven, they shore up with admiration at this, beyond the universe, parade of saints.
First, the Virgin Mother of our Lord and right behind St John the Baptist, the prophets and the righteous of the Old Testament, the holy apostles of Christ, fathers, teachers, martyrs, saints, ascetics, confessors, the new-martyrs • the saints of the early first centuries but also of our recent times who all together make up the triumphant church and partake in the parade.

They are all God’s friends, his colleagues in the work of salvation. The God who created ex nihilo universes and alone made everything "very good" for the reformation of the fallen world called and used the collaboration of mankind:

  • The intangible God borrowed human flesh from the Virgin Mary, to become God-man. He established His Mother the first godly person, the first human god, the idol and model of the redeemed in Christ.

But all others, whom we admire and honor, recognizing them with the characteristic of sainthood, have offered something to carry out God's plan:

  • The sweat, the toil, the agony and the whole effort of the apostles and missionaries who fought, to spread the word of the Gospel throughout the earth.
  • The blood of the martyrs that watered this tree of faith and cemented and stretched into the world the church of Christ.
  • The ink of illuminated manuscripts by fathers. With their wise teachings they led souls to the light of truth. With their struggle they kept intact from the heretical falsehoods the "once delivered" faith, in order to bequeath to future generations intact and alive.
  • The tear of repentance of all. With the astonishing repentance sinners changed their life, they accept the grace of God and became saints. With lifelong repentance the ascetics became enlightened and "plowed the barren desert."

Sanctified by repentance and the mercy of God, the saints became the irrefutable evidence of the resurrection of Christ. If Christ was not resurrected, what meaning would the carnage of the martyrs of the faith have? For what reason would they have endured the torment of conscience subjugating the body and subjecting it to the dictates of Christ? The saints testify the truth of Resurrection with their resurrected life, which many of them sealed with martyrdom. They sign it with their honorable relics, this unwavering testimony of imperishability of the mortal human body.

The Saints are the living and applied Gospel. Their life and history proves that the Gospel of Christ is not an unworkable utopia but a concrete reality. As much unintelligible though they may sound in the ears of our astray society, concepts such as love, purity, tolerance, forgiveness, sacrifice, and all the great & high that are preached by the word of God, are certainly not unrealistic and impractical. They were implemented by our saints. We can and should implement them we as well, those who recognize as word of God the gospel.


The saints are still the guarantee that the church shall win. As much as the godless world may rage, as much as the storm of infidelity may rage, as much as the dark forces may over joy, victory belongs to the faith. All enemies of the faith existed in the years of the saints and fought fiercely. They were battered and abused in every way, but eventually their pursuers admitted defeat, and the faith of the saints triumphed.

With their given recognition the saints stand in our way to heaven as signposts. They are the experienced walkers who by following the footsteps of Christ reached as winners in the heavenly end. They know and can guide us infallibly. They can become the basis of faith and the litmus test for control of our spiritual path. And they are so accessible to all sexes, all ages, all races and all classes of people. Among the chorus are men and women, respected elders and young children and adolescents. People from all professions: super-rich nobles, prominent officials, glorious generals, famous scientists and poor, illiterate and insignificant who dazzled humanity by their sanctity. There are Saints that were sanctified from the time they were conceived in the innards of their mother and others who rolled in the muck of sin and were wounded right in the chest by its arrows, but eventually recovered and became saints.

It is a serious mistake to pull the Saints out of our place, to place them on an inaccessible pedestal and usually indifferent to the common man. They stand close, very close to us and the saints intercede for us to the Lord. In the book of Revelation a wonderful picture is presented: In front of the throne of the Triune God prayer as incense is reached from members in arms of the church. There it is joined with the prayer of "tortured (axed)" martyrs of the triumphant church, who are beneath the altar and cry unceasingly to the Lord seeking His intervention.

The saints, God’s friends, are our good friends also. They stand by our struggles in life, they comfort us, advise us, encourage us and inspire us. Repentance and faith in God's mercy, effort and unceasing struggle to implement the will of God is their message to us. And when in this race we become weary, do not forget that the saints say to the Lord of our requests. If it is an honor and pleasure to have a friend, one of your persons in the House of Parliament, and gives you courage to think that he will support your matters of concern, how much more joy, honor and comfort is the intercession of the saints! They represent us in God’s "House of Parliament" and follow with interest our struggle in this life, waiting for us to enjoy the glory of paradise.

Author: Stergios N. Sakkos

Professor of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki