On November 1, Catholics throughout Slovakia observed All Saints' Day, a day when people gather in churches and cemeteries to pray for their departed loved ones.
The history of the All Saints holiday goes back to the beginning of the seventh century, when Pope Boniface IV changed the pagan Pantheon in Rome into a Christian church in 610 AD. He consecrated the church in honour of the Virgin Mary and all the saints who were martyred defending their beliefs and church.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared November 1 to be All Saints' Day. Later, in the 10th and 11th centuries, All Souls' Day, a day of commemoration on November 2, was derived from All Saints' Day.
November 1 is celebrated in Slovakia as a state holiday.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Nov 2007 at 7:00