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Vatican backs alternative ‘Night of Light’ Halloween event

The Vatican has offered its support to a worldwide event celebrating Halloween as a Christian festival.

Night of Light, the brainchild of Damian Stayne, founder of Catholic community Cor et Lumen Christi, is an international initiative to reclaim Halloween as a joyful Christian celebration.

Cardinal Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the New Evangelisation, said: “Pope Francis has stated: ‘To be a saint is not a privilege of a few…All of us in baptism have the inheritance of being able to become saints. Sanctity is a vocation for everyone.’ May the Night of Light initiative spark in the souls of many the desire to become saints.”

Damian Stayne said: “The evening of 31 October is the vigil of the Feast of All Saints, when Catholics celebrate the victory of light over darkness.”

“In many countries around the world, children’s celebrations and prayer gatherings are being organised. We are inviting people to place a light in their window to demonstrate they are followers of Jesus Christ.”

Suggested elements of the Night of Light include Eucharistic adoration, wearing a white garment and providing treats and fun for children in celebration of All Saints, such as a bonfire. Children are also invited to dress up as saints.

“All kinds of saints pop up, like Mother Teresa and Padre Pio. We even had a lad turn up as John the Baptist with a table around his head with plate on it and his head on the top of the table. It was hilarious,” Damian Stayne added.

“We have an opportunity with the night of light to give our children positive, happy memories. We can really make a difference and let the light shine on Halloween again.”

Cardinal Fisichella said: “This impetus to remove God has had tragic consequences in the lives of so many who have now lost themselves as a consequence of removing God from their lives. For this reason, I commend you on your Night of Light initiative.”

For more information, visit the Night of Light website: http://nightoflight.org/

Picture: A family celebrate Night of Light

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