Solemn Holy Days of November
As we enter this holy month of November we begin it with two sacred Holy Days, All Saints and All Souls Days. All Saints Solemn Feast Day is the one day each year when we honor all the Saints in heaven. This includes all the canonized saints of the Catholic Church and also those who God has justified to be in heaven as the unknown saints. This number includes the unnamed martyrs, those just and holy ones that the Old Testament speaks of who awaited the coming of the Savior- as well as all those who Saint Peter says, “I truly see that God shows no partiality, but in every age in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34).
The greatest of the Saints is the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, and Earth. Next to her is Saint Joseph, her Most Chaste Spouse. We ask the prayers of all the Saints and Angels throughout this month.
On November 2nd we honor all the Souls in Purgatory and pray for our beloved dead. The whole month of November is a month of remembrance for the dead. We get this notion of praying for the dead from the Wisdom literature, and most especially, from the 2nd Book of Maccabees in the Old Testament which says, “They purified themselves according to Jewish custom and then observed the holy day. By the following day it was urgent that they gather up the bodies of the men who had been killed in battle and bury them in their family tombs. […] they praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge, […] and they begged him that this sin might be completely blotted out.” (2 Macc. 12:38 – 42)
Praying for the dead is one of the spiritual works of mercy that the Lord calls us to do, as when Jesus prays, “Father, I desire that they too, may be with me where I am with you.” (John 17:24)
This whole month of November is a sacred and holy month to call for the assistance of the Saints in heaven and to pray for the souls who need our prayers to get to heaven. To offer sacrifice requires a body, and the poor souls in Purgatory need us to make a sacrifice for them, for they are separated from their bodies. So just as Jesus offered his body on the Cross, so we offer our sufferings this month for those poor souls in Purgatory. Eternal rest grant unto to them O Lord. May they rest in Peace.
Fr. Will Rev. William Wuenschel, Chaplain