The Holy Church commemorates Saints every day. But because there have been God-pleasers who struggled in obscurity and were not revealed to the Holy Church, the Church has set a day on which we praise all those who have pleased God throughout the ages, that they all might be glorified by the Church.
The Church instituted this commemoration immediately after the descent of the Holy Spirit, because all saints have been made and are being made saints by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The grace of the Holy Spirit brings repentance and the forgiveness of sins; it leads one into battle with the passions and lusts, and crowns this labor with purity and passionlessness. And thus a new creature appears, fit for a new heaven and new earth.
Let us be zealous to follow the saints of God. Today’s Gospel reading teaches us how to do this: it demands fearless confession of faith in the Lord, particular love toward Him, raising the cross of self-denial, and heartfelt renunciation of everything. Let us place a beginning according to these instructions.
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year by St. Theophan the Recluse