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All Saints’ Day: The history and traditions behind the holiday

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, All Saints Day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Here’s a look at the history and traditions of this holy holiday.
While now observed in November, All Saints’ Day was originally celebrated on May 13, although the origin cannot be traced with certainty, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica. Pope Boniface IV formally started what would later be known as All Saints Day on May 13 in 609 AD when he dedicated the Pantheon in Rome as a church in honor of the Virgin Mary and all martyrs.
The current date of November 1 was established by Pope Gregory III during his reign (731-741 AD) when he dedicated a chapel in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica in honor of all saints.
While this celebration was originally limited to Rome, later in 837 Pope Gregory IV ordered the official observance of All Saints Day every November 1 and extended its celebration to…

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