For more information on the Preface in general, see The Eucharistic Prayer (2) and The Eucharistic Prayer (3)

This preface is used for All Saints, Masses for Patron Saints, and for any Masses for saints that don’t have a proper or more proper preface.

The action of the Saints

It’s said, sarcastically, that when someone passes away they’ve gone on a “permanent vacation.” When we consider the example of the saints the label fits, but it’s more accurate to say that they’ve gone on a “permanent working vacation.” Since charity toward God is linked to charity toward others, even in the “permanent vacation” of Heaven the saints are at work in various ways, and they don’t mind. In this life they took satisfaction in a holy life lived for God and for others, so it’s no burden for them to continue to love God through loving those whom he loves on Heaven and on earth.

“For in the marvelous confession of your Saints, you make your Church fruitful with strength ever new and offer us sure signs of your love. …”

Sometimes the glossy holy cards and porcelain statues might distract us from the fact that the saints were real-life people who lived an extraordinary life of faith, trust in God, and charity. Whatever their walk of life, married or single, young or old, martyred in a blaze of Heavenly glory or welcomed into the Lord’s embrace at the end of a long and holy life, they testify to the wonders of God in their lives, wonders done out of love. In the Gospels Our Lord often told the beneficiaries of his miracles that it was thanks to their faith; sometimes he almost had to squeeze it out of them. The faith of the Saints not only made miracles happen in their own lives, but in the lives of others as well. Their faith continues to help make miracles happen, even from Heaven, purely for our benefit and God’s glory.

“… And that your saving mysteries may be fulfilled, their great example lends us courage, …”

The saints throughout history have shown us faith in action in a multitude of circumstances, whether in persecution, evangelization, or contemplation. Who they are has a positive impact on the life of each believer striving and struggling to be holy. They are real people who lived real lives in a holy way. Their lives have many points in common with our own; they show us holiness is a possibility in our own lives. Mankind’s history is full of the seemingly impossible being revealed as possible by someone who believed an “impossibility” could be a reality. The saints show us that holiness is not only possible, but possible for us.

“… their fervent prayers sustain us in all we do.”

In Heaven, we have a cloud of witnesses on “permanent working vacation” who know their loved ones still need some help to reach the pearly gates. We attract their attention whenever we ask them to intercede for us before the Lord, but they don’t just wait for us to invoke them. They are spiritually proactive: in spiritual solidarity, with those of us still on earthly pilgrimage they are always putting in a good word for us to help us in the long journey to Heaven.

Let’s thank them for everything they do to help “close the gap” between this life and an eternity with Our Lord and them in Heaven.

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