In the Roman Catholic Church, All Saints Day, observed on November 1 each year, is a solemn liturgical day that commemorates all of the saints in heaven, including those officially canonized by the church, unknown saints and those not yet canonized. The history of All Saints Day lies with Pope Boniface IV, who started the practice in the 609 A.D.
Although All Saints Day celebrates all saints, it primarily focuses on those saints previously canonized by the Catholic Church. Some canonized saints include St. Joseph, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Teresa of Avila.
As of 2015, All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation for many Catholics, meaning that Catholics must attend mass on that day. Bishops in some areas receive temporary waivers for their congregations from the Vatican, such as when the day falls on a Saturday or a Monday. The importance of the day for Catholics rests partly on the Catholic belief that the saints intercede between God and the faithful who pray to them.
All Saints Day is distinct from All Souls Day, celebrated on November 2. All Souls Day commemorates the dead who are yet to enter into heaven.
The Eastern Orthodox Church and some Protestant traditions also observe All Saints Day.