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All Souls day

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All Souls day November 2

 

 

All Souls day

November 2

 

This is a day annually set aside by Holy Mother the Church to remind us of the value intrinsic in recalling our dear departed, indeed, all the departed in purgatory, and praying for the repose of their souls. The feast was established in 998 by St Odilo, first Abbot of Cluny, to enable his monks to offer special prayers for the departed. This Cluniac practice gradually gained popularity and spread to parts of Europe and Latin America.

 

The date, which became practically universal by the end of the 1 3th century, was so chosen as to immediately follow the feast of All Saints. Thus, having honoured the Church Triumphant in heaven on 1 November, the very next day the Church Militant on earth, with due concern, turns her gaze onto the members of the Church Suffering in Purgatory, thus demonstrating in no unmistakable terms the supernatural bond of the Communion of Saints. The Council of Trent officially declared that the souls in Purgatory benefit from and need the prayers and works of charity of all Christian believers as spiritual helps in eventually srmountiflg their spiritual separation from God. Catholic tradition regarding All Souls Day centres on the belief that even though some people who have died are presently in a painful state, they nevertheless experience some joy in knowing that they will, in time, be fully united with the Creator in His glory and happiness. Accordingly, the Church has enriched with a Plenary Indulgence the custom of visiting the cemetery to pray for the deceased during the octave 1-8 November, and a Partial Indulgence on other days. Besides, on 2 November, one Plenary Indulgence applicable to the dead can be gained under the usual conditions [visiting a Church, receiving the sacraments, praying for the Pope’s intentions].

 

For the succour of the innumerable dead in World War I, Pope Benedict XV, by a decree dated 10 August 1915, granted each priest the blessed privilege of celebrating three Masses on this day—one for his own intentions, another for the Souls in Purgatory and a third one for the intentions of the Holy Father. In the final analysis, this day is a day of hope for the entire Church, focusing as it does on the fullness of the Paschal Mystery enveloping every believer in its redeeming embrace.

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