In the early years of the twentieth century, a war called the Great War involved most of the countries of the earth. Millions died as a result of new and terrible weapons. Everyone hoped that it was the “war to end all wars.” A very special time was chosen as the hour when the guns would be stilled and peace declared: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. By this choice, the signers of the peace treaty suggested that humankind had waited until it was nearly too late. The war would come to be known as the First World War.
The day chosen for the beginning of peace was special for another reason. It was the memorial of St. Martin of Tours. Martin had been a soldier in the army until he laid down his weapons. His feast day, Martinmas, was a celebration of peace. That day had also been a thanksgiving festival in Europe since the Middle Ages. Now there was even more reason to be thankful.
In Canada, Armistice Day became known as Remembrance Day after the Second World War. It became a time to honor those who died in both conflicts. In the United States, this day is now called Veterans’ Day. All Americans who have fought in wars during this century – those who survived as well as those who died – are honored.
On this month we celebrate Thanksgiving. We are thankful for those who have served our country. Keep them in your prayers Monday.
Next weekend Fr. Randy Sly will be presiding and preaching at our weekend masses. Fr. Sly is the president of St. Michael the Archangel High School. It is an opportunity for Fr. Sly to talk to us about our Catholic High School. Welcome him to our parish.
Tuesday, November 26th, we will be celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving at 7:00 p.m. If you are not traveling that week, let’s gather as a parish and give thanks for the many ways we have been blessed.