Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial day is a secular American holiday to honor those men and women of the Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives fighting for the United States of America.

Catholics remember the dead in their prayers, asking God to show his mercy and to grant them everlasting life.

The holiday originated in the years following the Civil War and was originally called Decoration day.

It became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Memorial day is celebrated on the last Monday of May each year.

Our dead are not Unknown Soldiers.
We know who they are and wither they seek to go.
We know that some may languish in Purgatory until the last earthly stain is wiped away and until the last earthly injustice is repaired .
We also know that we can speed their passage from a Purgatory of shadow and pain to a Paradise of Happiness and light . We can hasten the dawn of eternal rest and the rays of perpetual light.
Our prayers and Masses and works of charity can assist our dead in gaining entrance into the blessedness of heaven.
We love our dead.
We can help our dead.
Let us pray for them always.
Flowers wither upon their graves.
A daily garland of prayers is better than an armful of roses.
As we approach the Golden Memorial hour of the Catholic War Veterans, Eleven o’clock,
Stand for a moment in silence and let there rise from your heart a prayer beseeching Almighty God, the Father of us all, to grant to the souls of our departed comrades, a peace and a glory that is theirs because of the sacrifice they made that other men might live.

Memorial Verse of the Catholic War Veterans, by Rev. Edward Lodge Curran

We ask the Lord to bless those who gave the ultimate sacrifice:

Remembering those who rendered that “last full measure of devotion”:

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15: 13

Remembering those who gave all for our freedom:

Deserving to be honored in a special way:

The second thought, is the graves. These people — good people — who died in the war, they died because they were called to defend their homeland, to defend values, to defend ideals and, many other times, to defend sad and lamentable political situations. And they are the victims, the victims of war, that eats the children of the homeland. And I think of Anzio, of Redipuglia; I think of the Piave River in 1914 — so many were left there —; I think of Normandy beach: forty thousand, in that landing! But it doesn’t matter, they fell…. I stopped in front of a tomb: “Unknown. Died for France 1944″. Not even the name. In God’s heart is the name of all of us, but this is the tragedy of war. I am sure that all these who went in good will, called by their homeland to defend it, are with the Lord.

Pope Francis, Visit to French Military Cemetery in Rome, November 2, 2021

Religious overtones of a civil holiday:

Memorial Day as a sacred observance:

We recognize that authentic peace is much more than the absence of violence, or a situation of “cold war”. The dimension of biblical justice is also a part of peace. That indicates being in a “right or balanced relationship in a four-fold way: with God, with self, with others, and with the created world.” So we gather to pray for the repose of the souls of the priests who have served the Armed Forces, both on active duty and contract and in the Department of Veterans Affairs. We remember all of those service men and women who have died, either in battle, from wounds, or after the normal journey of life. We pray for their loved ones—many left behind and seeking consolation and understanding.

Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, Homily, May 22, 2022

Honor those who died during war by committing to peace:

The Church prays that no one should be lost: “Lord, let me never be parted from you.” If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God “desires all men to be saved”, and that for him “all things are possible”.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1058

Remembering deceased heroes with reverence, honor, respect, and gratitude:

Remembering those we have lost in the service of country and community:

A virtual retreat for Memorial Day.

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