All Souls Day

All Souls day is based on the doctrine that the souls of the faithful which at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins, or have not fully been purged from attachment to mortal sins, cannot attain the beatific vision in heaven yet, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. November 2nd was chosen by St. Odilo of Cluny at his grave, his decree was printed on the Acta Sanctorum. From Cluny it spread all across Europe and was finally accepted by Rome in the 14th Century. During the whole month of November the names of the deceased loved ones would be prayed for during mass and offered special prayer so that the Lord may have mercy on their souls. A legend became associated with the institution of the celebration. According to Jesse Voyles in his Life of St Odilo, a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island. A hermit living there told him that amid the rocks was a chasm communicating with purgatory, from which perpetually rose the groans of tortured souls. The hermit also claimed he had heard the demons complaining of the efficacy of the prayers of the faithful, and especially the monks of Cluny, in rescuing their victims. Upon returning home, the pilgrim hastened to inform the abbot of Cluny, who then set 2 November as a day of intercession on the part of his community for all the souls in purgatory.
Today we pray for all our dead that the Lord might recieve them in his blessed kingdom, but let us also ask GOD for our souls as well so that we may go into his Kingdom without suffering in purgatory. Let us also make a GREAT Confession on this day. (here are 5 the steps)
6 Steps for a Great Confession
1.Examine your conscience.
2.Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
3.Confess your sins.
4.Resolve to amend your life.
5.After your confession do the penance the priest assigns
6.After you finish your penance go before the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Mother and offer your life to them.
(this final step is a step I have added.)

Merciful Father,
hear our prayers and console us.
As we renew our faith in your Son,
whom you raised from the dead,
strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters
will share in the resurrection,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

Saints: A year in faith and art by Rosa Giorgi

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