Javascript is currently disabled. This site requires Javascript to function correctly. Please enable Javascript in your browser!

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
  • Century: -
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: November 2nd

All Souls Day commemorates the faithful departed.  This day is observed in the Catholic Church.  The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins, and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in Heaven.  They may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass.  In other wards, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven.  This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory.  

The official name of the celebration in the Roman Rite liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is “The commemoration of All the Faithful Departed”.  Another popular name is Feast of All Souls.  In some other languages it is known as the Day of the Dead.  In the West, the celebration on November 2nd, always follows All Saints Day.  In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, if November 2nd falls on a Sunday, the Mass is of All Souls, but the Liturgy of the Hours is that of the Sunday.  In the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and in the Anglican Communion, All Souls Day is instead transferred, whenever the November 2nd falls on a Sunday, to the next day, November 3rd.  

In the Church, November is especially dedicated to suffrages made on behalf of the poor souls in Purgatory.  The most efficacious prayer, of course, is that of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, followed by the daily Rosary.  Still, there are other sacrifices we can offer.  One prayer most commonly called “St. Gertrude’s Prayer”, was dictated by Our Lord to St. Gertrude the Great, a Benedictine cloistered Nun and Mystic.  In the twelfth century, the Lord told the Saint that this prayer releases 1,000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is offered.   Here is the “St. Gertrude Prayer”.  (Approved and recommended by M. Cardinal Pahiarca of Lisbon, Portugal on March 4, 1936

“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.”

St. Gertrude’s life was the mystic life of the Cloister – a Benedictine nun. She meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her many times. She had a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and was very devoted to the suffering souls in Purgatory. She died in 1334. Her feast day is November 16th.