Reflection on ALL SAINTS

The English word "saint" comes from the Latin "sanctus". The word translated in Greek is "ἅγιος" (hagios), which means "holy". While the English word “saint” originated in Christianity, historians of religion now use the appellation "in a more general way to refer to the state of special holiness that many religions attribute to certain people", with the Jewish tzadik, the Islamic walī, the Hindu rishi or Sikh guru, and the Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva also being referred to as saints. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized either by official ecclesiastical declaration, as in the Catholic faith, or by popular acclamation. In its Original Christian meaning, the term refers to any believer who is "in Christ" and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or on Earth. Distinctly, In Roman Catholicism and some other Christian faith traditions, a saint is a holy person who is known for his or her “heroic sanctity” and who is thought to be in heaven. The official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of Canonization in the Catholic Church or Glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
On 3 January 993, Pope John XV became the first pope to proclaim a person a "saint" from outside the diocese of Rome. On the petition of the German ruler, he had canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg. Before that time, the popular "cults" or venerations of saints, had been local and spontaneous and were confirmed by the local bishop. Pope John XVIII subsequently permitted a cult of five Polish martyrs. However, a decree of Pope Alexander III in 1170 reserved the prerogative of Canonization to the Pope, in so far as the Latin Church was concerned. The Catholic Church teaches that it does not "make" or "create" saints, but rather recognizes them. Proofs of heroicity required in the process of beatification will serve to illustrate in detail the general principles exposed above upon proof of their "holiness" or likeness to God.  Hence, Divine worship is in the strict sense reserved only to God and never to the Saints. One is permitted to ask the Saints to intercede or pray to God for persons still on Earth, just as one can ask someone on Earth to pray for him. Thus, Saints are not believed to have power of their own, but only that granted by God.
Furthermore, the saints of the church are a diverse group of people with varied and interesting stories. Their ranks include martyrs, kings and queens, missionaries, widows, theologians, parents, nuns and priests, and “everyday people” who dedicated their lives to the loving pursuit of God. Religious and nonreligious people alike have found inspiration from their lives; for instance, some saints devoted themselves in service to the poor, sick, and disenfranchised; some were persecuted for their faith; some are revered for their simplicity and humility; some others were renowned writers and thinkers who were outstanding in the “defence of the faith” in the face of heresies and crises. Also, a saint may be designated as a patron saint of a particular cause, profession, or locale, or invoked as a Protector against specific illnesses or disasters, sometimes by popular custom and sometimes by official declarations of the Church.
Once a person has been canonized, the deceased body of the saint is considered holy as a “Relic”. The remains of saints are called holy relics and are usually used in churches. Saints' personal belongings may also be used as relics. Relics of saints are respected, or "venerated", similar to the veneration of holy images and icons. The practice in past centuries of venerating relics of saints with the intention of obtaining healing from God through their intercession is taken from the Early Church.
Most saints have feast days observed by the Catholic Church in which their lives and contributions are formally celebrated, and some have large followings of devotees and even religious orders in their honour. However, on 1st November, the Church venerates all those, known and unknown, whose virtues and efforts in this life are considered to have earned them an eternal reward with God. On this day (formally fixed by Pope Gregory IV), beatifications and canonizations are of people from a variety of backgrounds and countries. The Church on earth traditionally gives thanks for their lives, consider their example, strive to emulate them, and ask for their intercession. Monsignor Robert Sarno, an official of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See, expressed that it is impossible to give an exact number of saints. This shows that there may be over 10,000 saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, though the names and histories of some of these holy men and women have been lost to history.