All Souls Day

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, also known as All Souls Day, is a holy day devoted to remembering deceased loved ones and offering prayers for all of the dead.

Catholics pray that all of those who have died and are now in Purgatory, will soon rest peacefully forever in the presence of God in Heaven.

God’s mercy is necessary for anyone to be with Him and nothing unclean can enter Heaven, so removal of all attachment to sin and cleansing of its effects is necessary first.

The saints in Heaven have no need for our prayers but praying for the holy souls in Purgatory is a powerful Spiritual Work of Mercy that can provide great benefit for those who have gone before us.

All Souls Day is celebrated each year on November 2. 

Praying for the dead is a holy and pious thing:

A day of prayer for all those who have departed:

This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1032

Praying for our brothers and sisters who are in need of purification:

Participating in the purification of the holy souls in Purgatory:

Christian hope, however, is not solely individual, it is also always a hope for others. Our lives are profoundly linked, one to the other, and the good and the bad that each of us does always effects others too. Hence, the prayer of a pilgrim soul in the world can help another soul that is being purified after death. This is why the Church invites us today to pray for our beloved deceased and to pause at their tombs in the cemeteries.

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, November 2, 2008

A day of rememberance, nostalgia, and prayer:

Facing death in a healthy way:

Then under the tunic of each one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was the reason these men had fallen. So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to supplication, praying that the sin that had been committed might be wholly blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of the sin of those who had fallen.

2 Maccabees 12: 40-42

Asking God’s mercy for all of the dead:

Praying for those who have no one to pray for them:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Spreading the furnace of divine love:

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.