Each year on the first two days of November, Catholics throughout the world celebrate the Communion of Saints. The first day of November we call the Feast of All Saints; the second day of November we call the Commemoration of All Souls.

The community of the Church reaches beyond earthly boundaries to all who have died in the peace of Christ. By baptism we all become members of one Christian family that not even death can separate. The divine life that we receive as Christians unites us all in a real bond of love in Christ. That bond of Christian love extends beyond death into everlasting life.

This is the Communion of Saints. We profess our belief in it each time we say the Apostle's Creed.

'We believe in ... the Communion of saints'

It means that there is a living spiritual link between the members of the pilgrim Church here on earth and all that have died in God's friendship. That link is maintained and strengthened through prayer.

Every community holds its heroes in great honour. The believing Christian community is no exception. From the earliest days it honoured the Apostles and Christian martyrs who had given supreme witness of faith both by their virtuous lives and by their heroic deaths. Soon the Church added others to that list of great ones, so that the whole community might meditate on their outstanding practice of Christian virtue and strive to imitate their good example.

The whole aim of our lives is to be Christlike. The saints help us by their example to do this. They spent their lives in close imitation of Christ. By trying to follow in their footsteps, we too can achieve a deeper knowledge and love of Jesus.