The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, not simply to remember them, but with a view to encouraging the faithful to take spiritual steps to assist their release into Paradise.
From the beginning the Church has honoured the memory of the faithful who having died in grace and communion with God, still need purification for their venial sins and for the temporal punishment incurred by them and not yet satisfied in their earthly life, and has offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attend the beatific vision of God.
This practise of praying for the dead was already practised in the Old Testament: “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (II Machabees, xii).
The Feast of All Souls, the general commemoration of the faithful departed, was first instituted by St Odilo, the fourth Abbot of Cluny, who selected the date of November 2, still observed today. That edifying feast came to be adopted by the whole Church.
This commemoration is an expression of the Communion of Saints, uniting the Church Militant on earth with the Church Suffering in Purgatory. The doctrine of Purgatory is a dogma of faith rooted in the Bible and in the Tradition of the Church and has been formally define by the solemn magisterium of the Church.
In St. Rita’s Centre we use to offer a daily Mass during the whole month of November for all the dead our benefactors have listed in our November Dead List.
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