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I've noticed that recently sermons in my local church have focused particularly on the life of Saints. I have observed this in other churches I've recently attended too (at least in 3 different churches). A friend of mine has also noted this in several churches in a different continent (and country, and language). (Incidentally, just yesterday I received a new edition of a Catholic magazine, and voila, the focus on Saints was forefront, and this seemed not connected to the upcoming feast of All Saints. Rather, it is asking the reader to write back which is his/her favourite saint(s).)

All this might suggest that there was some form of informal or formal direction from the Vatican to focus homilies on the life of Saints. I've searched the Vatican website for this but cannot find anything about it. Sections of the Roman Curia I've checked include the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Congregation for Divine Worship, Secretariat for Communication, and many many other (full (?) list here).

So, my questions are:

  1. Have you also noticed this in your local church?
  2. If so, has there been a formal/public communication from the Vatican about it?
  3. If not, then this might have been a form of private communication. Is there a precedent about this type of communications regarding homilies?

Maybe this is a specific issue motivated by the upcoming All Saints' celebration (although I observed this earlier than October), or perhaps by the March 2018 Apostolic Exhortation by the Pope, on the call to holiness, or both! All in all, the sudden change of focus might still indicate a formal type of direction from the Vatican.

  • Or maybe the devotion to the Saints is so heavily part of Catholicism that it would naturally appear to pop-up all over the Church? – eques Nov 2 '18 at 19:19
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The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship has released a Homiletic Directory, designed to help priests improve their preaching.

Introducing the new document at a February 10, 2015 news conference, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said: “The Directory was not born without a reason. The aim is to respond to the need to improve the service of ordained ministers in liturgical preaching.”

The introductory Vatican decree was signed by Cardinal Canizares and was actually dated June 29,2014.

An English translation on the preaching directive from the Vatican can be found here: Homiletic Directory.

  • This directive is and will always remain a tool to help priests improve their homilies. Priest are still free to preach about saints at Mass as the Holy Spirit directs them to do so. – Ken Graham Oct 31 '18 at 13:01

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