And so we wondered, what if Diocletian's daughter and the head of the Theban Legion had met and fallen in love? What a story that would make! Soon we had a proposal put together, and then a contract, and before we knew it, we were hard at work developing this fictionalized account of combined historical events. In the process, I began to learn more than I'd ever realized about some of the early "saints" of the Church, many of whom gave their lives rather than compromise their faith. It was a real eye-opener to me, and suddenly I wasn't quite so willing to toss out the entire idea of celebrating an "All Saints Day."

According to Wikipedia, All Saints Day is a "solemnity celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown."[1] In honor of all the saints, known and unknown… I like that thought, don't you? And though I may not think of saints in the same way as meant by Catholics in reference to All Saints Day, I have begun to see the celebration of this holiday in a different way. Though as I said, I no longer have young children of my own at home, I do have grandchildren and a grandniece, plus one great grandson, all of whom would certainly benefit from learning about those "saints, known and unknown."

Why not consider incorporating a lesson about one of the early saints or martyrs, or one of the Church fathers, into the candy-and-games celebration of the Harvest festival that has become so popular and widespread among Christians today? As I learned in my studies and research for my new book about the Emperor Diocletian's daughter, Valeria, and the martyred Theban Legion, there are many positive and edifying aspects to honoring the saints…known and unknown. Perhaps you'll discover some you've never even heard of before, and then you and your children can learn about them together.

Meanwhile, happy All Saints Day to all of you, however you choose to celebrate it!

October 5, 2009

Kathi Macias ( is the award-winning author of thirty books, including the Fall 2010 book Valeria's Cross, co-authored with Susan Wales and published by Abingdon Press.


[1] Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia