All Souls and All Saints Day
With two major feasts coming upon us we have to remember to pray for all the souls in Heaven and in Purgatory.
All Saints Day
On this day we honor the saints, and thank them for praying for us. We can only imagine the joy that they attain in heaven. We hope that one day we can come to this bliss in heaven and share in the participation of honoring and glorifying our Savior forever. This feast dates back to about the 7th century. Pope Gregory III consecrated a chapel in St. Peters Church to all the saints and martyrs and from that day on May 13th about 731 All Saints Day was celebrated. Pope Gregory IV changed the date in the 9th century to Nov 1st due to very long winters, with a food shortage, so that the great number of people were accommodated who came to celebrate in the Latin Church. The Gospel reading for this day is from Matthew 5: 1-12 The Beatitudes (this is one of my favorite passages in the Bible) . This is what the saints followed so closely and what Jesus asks of His followers. His promise of suffering and sacrifice brings great rewards to those who do His will. As we educate ourselves on the saints lives we can better understand the importance of achieving our ultimate goal of reaching a kingdom where we can live with the Jesus, and Mary, and all the angels. We ask for their continuing prayer for us and those of the whole world. We ask for the intercession of the saints, through Mary, to Jesus, for perfection of our prayers, and for those in need.
All Souls Day
We can't forget the Souls on the feast of All Souls Day and for those suffering in agony and those in Purgatory. Our Lord has stated to St. Gertrude the Great, that if we say this prayer it would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said:
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family, -Amen"
Our Lady asks us to also pray for poor souls and the more we pray for poor souls the more Christ will be with us in Purgatory. We can aasist the release of souls as well by good works and assisting at Mass and sacrifice. Pope Benedict XV granted priests the privilege of offering three Masses on this day. 1. For the particular intention. 2. For all the faithful departed. 3.One for the intention of The Holy Father.
Visiting a cemetery, gains partial indulgences for those in Purgatory. There are also Novenas and other prayers that can be said. There are so many souls who don't have anyone to pray for them, and we must remember them as well.
Eternal rest grant to them O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, Rest in Peace. Amen.
Please prepare for these two feasts. Originally before Vatican II, the vigil of these days was to fast and pray and also deny any laborous tasks remembering those for whom these feast are to be recognized. The fast is no longer a requirement. It could be a good way to sacrifice for poor souls and a way to thank the saints for their continued prayer for us.