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Month of the Dead: or Prompt and Easy Deliverance of the Souls in Purgatory

Month of the Dead: or Prompt and Easy Deliverance of the Souls in Purgatory

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  • ISBN-13: 9781495478130
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Feb 08, 2014
  • Pages: 298 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.68 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches


THE practice of the Month of the Souls in Purgatory is spreading more and more. It bids fair to become as popular as that of the month of Mary. Its origin is very ancient, and, under a different form, we find it among the Jewish people, long before the Christian era. The proof of this we find in religious journals of our period, and especially in the Opinion du Midi, a French paper. Some years ago, the Abbe Serre, director of an Archconfraternity for the relief of the souls in Purgatory, established at Ninles, thus expressed himself in the above-mentioned journal: "Under the ancient Law the month of the Dead was one of the most general and one of the most usual forms of prayer for the deceased; indeed, devotion towards the dead appears to be one of the most remarkable rites among the Jews. It was decreed after the death of the patriarch Jacob that his sons should mourn him for thirty days. It was the same on the death of the high-priest Aaron, and of his brother Moses; mourning for thirty days was renewed, and the people of Israel believed that they could not better testify their gratitude to these two great men than by offering to God supplications for their souls during a whole month. "This pious practice of praying for the departed during an entire, uninterrupted month became so deeply rooted among the chosen people that Scripture assures us mourning is only complete when the deceased has been sorrowed over during thirty days. 'This period,' says the historian Josephus, 'has been recognized by all the Doctors as just and proper to weep over the loss of those dear to us.' So the Catholic Ch urch, which, from Apostolic times, has shown so much solicitude for her deceased children, never ceasing to pray for them, has also specially encouraged mourning for one month as the strongest expression and the most vivid tribute of the compassion the survivors have for those who are no more. From this comes the holy rite called the Month of the Dead, to which liturgical authors give mystical interpretations. Saint Gregory rendered it more important by adding to it the celebration of thirty Masses on thirty consecutive days, and Innocent XI. enriched it with indulgences. Classed by the monks of Cluny among their pious exercises, it was adopted by the faithful during many centuries and recommended by Benedict XIII.

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