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The Great Cloud of Witnesses

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2)

November 1 and 2 are set aside by the Church to celebrate and remember the “great cloud of witnesses,” those who have gone before us in the race with their eyes fixed on Jesus.  The sacred writer identifies Jesus as the goal line, the reason for the race. 

Each group letter in our beloved apostolate identifies one member of the cloud of witnesses as its patron.  Each day of the liturgical calendar is inscribed with the names of those witnesses who have gone before us in faith.  Every human concern, every human occupation, every human community, country, diocesan see, bears the name of a patron saint who exemplifies or characterizes the ideals of that entity. 

The great Junipero Serra placed the patronage of El Camino Real, the highway of the King, in the hands of the great Franciscan saints.  Thus California prays a litany as it enumerates its cities.  San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Inez, San Juan Capistrano, Senhora de los Angeles (Our Lady of the Angels), San Jose, Santa Clara, etc.

All around us there are reminders of the saints who beckon us to follow them to our destiny – life with God who has names us “children of God.” 

Let us pray. . .  Almighty, ever-living God, we are celebrating with joy the triumph of your grace in all the saints.  With so vast a multitude praying for us, may we receive from you the fullness of mercy we have always desired through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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