All Saints' Day, feast of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and day on
which churches glorify God for all God's saints, known and unknown. It is
celebrated on Nov. 1 in the West, since Pope Gregory IV ordered its church-wide
observance in 837. Its origin lies earlier in the common commemorations of
martyrs who died in groups or whose names were unknown, which were held on
various days in different parts of the Church; over time these celebrations came
to include not only the martyrs but all saints. During the Reformation the
Protestant churches understood “saints” in its New Testament usage as including
all believers and reinterpreted the feast of All Saints as a celebration of the
unity of the entire Church. In medieval England the festival was known as All
Hallows, hence the name Halloween [=All
Hallows' eve] for the preceding evening.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Found at: http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0803428.html
Now that we have discussed what All Saints' Day is; the following information that I found on one of my feeds really makes this event happening on All Saints' Day so appropriate. Now my question is--Did God plan it this way? Did Michelangelo plan it this way? I highly doubt that one--as he was no longer in the best condition by the time he finished it. He was almost blind from all the paint and oils that fell into his face/eyes while lying on his back painting. But he may have planned it that way--making the finishing touches "drag out" so that it would be finished on November 1st. At any rate, read on... compliments of The Free Dictionary.
This Day in History: Ceiling of Sistine Chapel Completed (1512)In 1508, PopeThis Day in History provided by The Free Dictionary
Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The work was completed in 1512 and features over 300 biblical figures and nine
episodes from the Book of Genesis. Below these scenes are the statuesque figures
of prophets and sibyls, with episodes from the Old Testament in the spandrels.
The last great work Michelangelo executed in the chapel was The Last Judgment.
Where in the chapel did he paint it? More...
If you have never seen the Sistine Chapel, you have missed the site of a life time. When I was a sophomore in high school, I went with people from the base chapel where we lived in Germany. My mother and I took a week-long tour of Rome--sponsored by the Catholic priest stationed at the base--as the other Protestant chaplain that was stationed there was on the tour with us, Dad could not go on the tour with us. We visited the catacombs and saw so much of Rome outside of the Vatican.
But the best part of the tour really was getting to go to the Vatican and tour the Sistine Chapel. In addition, we were invited to take part in a mass inside the Vatican, with 3 of our group chosen as acolytes. While there we also were able to sit in the front row of one of the open mass with Pope John (whatever number he was--I can't ever remember--if it helps you, this would have been in late 1976 or early 1977). As exciting as it was to be present at a mass presided over by the Pope, it still did not live up to the solemnity, reverence, beauty, spirituality, and so many more adjectives that I could add, of the Sistine Chapel.
Obviously, as long ago as that was, it was LONG before the restoration project. Yet it was beautiful. I think we could have spent hours and hours in there and I never would have seen as much of it as I would have liked. My husband went to Rome while he was deployed a few years ago. He saw it after it had been restored and like me, could not say enough about it. Of course, he was with a group of sailors that didn't exactly have the time to stop and look for too long. But all of them agreed that it was the highlight of their trip.
Amidst all of the controversy about the body parts that were later "covered" by another artist who was dubbed as the "breeches painter" because he clothed many of the males genitilia; Amidst all of the controversy about the restoration; Amidst all of the controversy about the varnish, electric lighting, candles and natural lighting---the Sistine Chapel remains one of the most well known pieces of art, one of the largest pieces of artwork, one of the most beautiful pieces of art, one of the most controversial pieces of art, and one of the most spiritual pieces of art.
I truly believe that Michelangelo was given the talent and the vision for the artistry in that chapel by God himself--of course the talent was given to him by God; but not all would agree that his vision was given by God. So in honor of all of the saints that have gone before us and in honor of Michaelangelo's finishing the work, I hope that this All Saints' Day has been one of reverence, rememberance, and prayers for those that have gone before as well as for those who are still among us that may precede us or may follow us to our place next to God. May God be with each and all of you today and always.