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:

The CatholicTV Network

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

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

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

John 15: 13

Memorial Day introduces us to Jesus’ sacrifice:

Deacon Richard Handing On the Faith

Religious overtones of a civil holiday:

Catholic News Service

Memorial Day as a sacred observance:

Currents News

There are thousands of them; they belonged to various nations, various races, and various religions: they were men, that is, sons of God and, therefore, brothers in Christ! Their relatives still mourn them, and ask themselves the reason for the violent end of these young men, who certainly dreamed of life, not death, of love, not hatred, of joy, not suffering, of peace, not war! With the depth of my being as man, Christian, priest, Bishop and Pope, I come therefore to join in the ardent prayer, the agonizing memory and the still keen grief of those who were left with a great void that could not be filled in their hearts and in their homes.

Pope John Paul II, Address at the Cemetery of Monte Cassino, 18 May 1979

Recovering the fundamental meaning of the holiday:


Remembering those who gave all for our freedom:

Catholic Cemeteries

Our role as a community of faith is to continue to pray for those who sleep in death so that they might enjoy the fullness of life, to which we all aspire. We also want to offer consolation to those who lost loved ones in the tragic circumstances of war, which, although often inevitable, is always a defeat, a loss, and an unnecessary expenditure of precious resources, beginning with the lives of our young men and women.

Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, Homily, 18 May 2014

Honor those who died during war by committing to peace:

Diocese of Sacramento

By virtue of the “communion of saints,” the Church commends the dead to God’s mercy and offers her prayers, especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, on their behalf.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1055

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

Catholic Salt Lake City

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

A virtual retreat for Memorial Day.

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Where love begins:

Kansas Monks

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