Fr Igor KASSAH, Parish Administrator
Saint Martin of Tours,
Every year the church invites us to celebrate on the 1st and 2nd November, the mystery of our Redemption by means of the festivity of All Saints (1st November) and the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed (2nd November). By means of these devout celebrations, the liturgy opens our eyes to the church and its triple theological dimension: the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. During these celebrations, God’s people, still in pilgrimage on this earth, lift their prayers to the Lord on behalf of all the faithful departed in order to praise Him and invoke His mercy.
The church of the Diocese of Natitingou, tigether with the universal Church, has not failed to celebrate these different feast days. It recalled, in addition to all the recognized saints, all its Christian sisters and brothers who have led an exemplary life of faith based on the Gospel. Among the latter, we can surely mention the many missionaries of the Society of African Missions (S.M.A) thanks to whom we received the first evangelical announcement, those priests, those brothers and sisters, those catechists who devoted their life to ensure the deeply rooted establishment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of them, by means of their pastoral activities, also devoted themselves to peace, to the fight against poverty, to the fight against the extreme poverty still present in certain villages and towns, to the fight against the exploitation of children. Many are those who have sought to protect and assist married couples often threatened by masonic ideologies. All those who make up the procession of saints whom we call «our anonymous saints» who also, indubitably, intercede forcefully for us as they experienced our human condition.
On the afternoon of 1st November, all the faithful from the parishes of the city assembled at the Catholic cemetery to pray during the commemoration of the departed and blessing of the tombs. With this gesture, we recommend all our Christian departed to the Divine Mercy.
On 2nd November, devoted to the commemoration of the departed, the faithful formulated their requests which were all read out before the Holy Communion; in order to avoid that the reading of the long list of request prolong the duration of the Holy Mass, we started the celebration earlier (by about 15 to 30 minutes).
In my Parish, Saint Martin of Tours, there is a prayer group which goes to the homes of the faithful who so wish; this group prays with the families and implores the intercession of the Virgin Mary, our Lady of Sorrows, that God may save the souls in Purgatory.