Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The feast of All Saints is very ancient in the Oriental churches, and is assigned to the Octave of Pentecost, the Anglican Trinity Sunday. See Neale, Eastern Church, vol. ii. pp. 734, 753. In the West it was instituted when Boniface III. (who accepted from the Emperor Phocas the title of "Universal Bishop," a.d. 607) turned the Pantheon into a church, and with a sort of practical epigram called it the church of" All the Saints." It was a local festival until the ninth century, when the Emperor Louis the Pious introduced it into France and Germany. Thence it came to England. It falls on the 1st of November.
The gates of the church at Rome are the same which once opened for the worship of "all the gods." They are of massive bronze, and are among the most interesting of the antiquities of the city.
The modern gates of St. Peter's, at Rome, are offensive copies of heathen mythology; and among the subjects there represented, is the shameful tale of Leda,-a symbol of the taste of Leo X.
Next: On the Gospel According to Matthew.
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