In matters of taste, this would be a NO, and we are sorry if you have been led to believe that the Catholic devotion behind “Halloween” has led to the disaster of decoration in front yards across the United States which this photo illustrates well. To be clear…
All Saints’ Day in the Roman Catholic Church is officially the Solemnity of All Saints. It is also called All Hallows or Hallowmas, “Hallows” meaning “saints,” and “mas” meaning “Mass”. The preceding evening (Halloween) is the “Vigil or Eve of All Hallows”… The feast day, often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. Catholic Online
The Catholic Church has identified (canonized) certain people throughout time who, by God’s grace, reached the heights of holiness. When we venerate the saints, we are, in a very real sense, honoring God. So let’s take a look at some apps out there which help us to get to know some of our heroic saints whose lives we may emulate.
The queen of all saints is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us begin with an app devoted exclusively to her:
Mary App (Free) Apple The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception who brought you the Divine Mercy app (above) have produced a full-resource Marian app. Our Blessed Mother is a big topic, so developers broke the subject of Our Lady into three categories: Doctrine (Church/Scriptural teachings about her and reasons for our devotion with FAQs); Devotion (including various prayers – audio rosary included- and feast days etc); and Mary Plus (images, pilgrimage sites, apparitions, etc.). As one reviewer put it, this app is comprised of three great apps rolled into one. Why are apps like this important to have on your device? As the Fathers state on their web site: Mary’s whole task is to lead us closer to Jesus. The more we get to know her and have a fervent devotion to her, the better she can lead us to her Son. For this reason, the Second Vatican Council states, “Everyone should have a genuine devotion to [Mary] and entrust his life to her motherly care.”
Saint of the Day ($2.99) iOS St. Anthony Messenger’s most popular Web feature since 1997 is now available as an iPhone app. Saint of the Day allows you to carry the wisdom of the saints with you everywhere you go. SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio option included; Saints for every day of the year; Revised and updated to include both new and classic saints; Extensive searchable database (by saint or cause); List of patron saints; Interactive calendar.
Saint of the Day for Kids ($1.99) iOS A child-friendly app to help kids learn about saints. Looking for an alternative to mindless games? This is a wonderful substitute because it introduces children to real-life, extraordinary heroes with whom they can foster a devotion. The attractive illustrations can also be printed out into coloring pages! Saints are sorted out by the Roman Rite Catholic calendar or by a random pick or by alphabetical search. Save the ones you most like to the Favorites tab.
Little App of Saints ($.99) iOS An app for children ages 5 to 11 and even teens, according to the developers, Daughters of St. Paul (Pauline Books and Media). Here’s how it works: kids put together a puzzle of a picture of one of 12 saints (three levels of difficulty) and then get rewarded with the choice of three gifts– a brief story of the saint, a Gospel verse in rap or a message from the saint. Go ahead and give those special children in your life your iPhone or iPad to play with because you’ve got an app that introduces them to exceptional people who lead us to Jesus–real-life super heroes to capture their imagination and enrich their spiritual zeal. In addition to all that, developers note that the app helps to teach spacial concepts and shape recognition along with aiding fine motor skills in users.
Patron Saints (.99 cents) iOS Here’s a handy app brought to you by the folks at Our Sunday Visitor. Search for saints by feast day, what they are patron of, your particular needs or the saint’s country of origin. You can sort male or female. This also has an option to create a “favorites” list so you can access your list of favorite saints with ease. From developers: “…with a body of saints stretching into the thousands, it has not always been easy to know which saint to turn to for what. The Patron Saints app seeks to put all this information right in your hands, providing you with the names and information for over 1,000 saints.
Evotions ($.99) iOS and Android–eVotions are a series of digital devotions designed for tech savvy Catholics. Each Evotion is its own app based on one saint. So, you have to download/pay for them individually. These prayer apps are packed with image galleries, streaming video, and push notifications for praying novenas. The apps also feature common prayers, introductions by well-known Catholics, and writings on the tradition and history of each saint and blessed. You get to customize your novena experience; receive reminder alerts for saying your novenas; use prayers by and for the saint or blessed. We tried two of these: Blessed John Paul II and St. Francis of Assisi
Universalis ($13.33) iOS , Android — Roman Calendar, Liturgy of the Hours, Roman Missal (English 3rd Edition), Saint of the Day, and more! For other platforms, you can go to their web site where they suggest setting up the daily email service, or creating your own e-book of their extensive offerings to read on your device. Of course, you can view everything on line for free; it is set up for mobile viewing. Once you download the App, you get it all forever–equivalent of 5,000 pages! And this one-time subscription covers all your devices. YOU GET… liturgical calendar for every year from 1970 to 2300 and beyond. Feasts and celebrations according to the General Calendar and the local calendars of the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Ireland, and others. Also features “About Today” pages giving more information about the saint of the day.
Laudate (Free) iOs and Android. Among the many resources imbedded in this app is a Saint of the Day which it gleans from the app, Universalis. Available in English, Español, Português, Italiano, Bahasa and Polski. You also get Daily Mass Readings, New American Bible, Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy (on Rosary screen), Stations of the Cross, various prayers and prayers in Latin with English translation. Podcast for Rosary and Stations. Daily Meditations. Podcasts of Daily Readings and meditations. Launcher for iCatholicRadio. Ability to bookmark prayers and create own categorized prayers. Export/Import for prayers.. My Prayers lets you store your own prayers. About the rosary on this app…it is unique in that it is a giant photo of a rosary with animated hot spots that indicate which one you are to touch to pray. It visibly keeps track of the beads for you as you pan the screen to cover the rosary that is pictured in its entirety. Consider it a 2-D version of the rosary.
iPieta.($2.99) Full version in iOS. Android version is split up into several lite apps. This major app is loaded and includes Butler’s Lives of the Saints –complete with an optional audio version (English) you can download separately for each saint or holy day. You will find this feature under the Veritas tab. Click Butler’s Saints (1894). You can also search saints by name or by type (martyr, doctor of Church, pope, priest, virgin etc.) You also get with this app an entire library of Catholic prayers and devotions and teachings including Bibles, catechisms, liturgical calendar, papal documents, a library of spiritual writings, Mass readings for the day and much more.
Liturgical Calendar Android only (free) This app form of the Liturgical Calendar contains all the basic information you need each day–season, holy day, feast, saint, liturgical color. Get calendar dates of the seasons, holy days and liturgical feasts. The Liturgical Calendar application is in English language. Developer has stated for quite some time that multiple languages will be added and published in the future. Video promoting this app here.
To repeat, do not blame Catholics for this: