When I was a girl I would constantly mix up these observances (probably because I went to public and not parochial school!) They both involved remembering dead people in some way, but beyond that I was lost. I also figured the holy day coming smack up against the fun of Halloween had something to do with competing against this old pagan holiday.
November 1st is the day Roman Catholics and Anglicans remember all the saints known and unknown. It was officially designated by Pope Gregory IV in 837 A.D. , although dedicating a specific day to them had been a Christian tradition since the 4th century.
I decided to honor the day by remembering not one of the popular saints like St. Francis, but some obscure saint on the rolls. Like any good Catholic needing a quick religious answer I googled “obscure Catholic saints” to see who I would draw. I took a quiz to decide…
“OK, now you have a beautiful garden. Who would you pray to to keep out the moles?”
“Your answer: St. Giles”
“The correct answer was St. Ulric”
“St. Ulric was born in 890 and died in 973. He can be represented by a bishop holding a fish, or giving the fish to a beggar, or even giving a goose leg to a messenger. Remember to pray to him on July 4 to keep your yard independent of moles.”
The 4th of July will be an easy day to remember. I hope he works for Japanese beetles, too…