This feast was originally celebrated in the Eastern Church to honor all witnesses of faith who died for Christ in an effort to propagate the Christian faith. In the Western Church, especially in Rome, this feast began in 609 when Pope Boniface IV overhauled the Pantheon, the place of pagan worship for Roman gods, into a church. This church is dedicated to Santa Maria with the Apostles. Formerly in Rome, this feast was usually celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost. Eventually, this party became popular in honor of the Saints, both those who had been officially recognized by the Church and those who had not and were unknown.

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