All Souls’ Day


November 1 and 2 are important days for our Catholic faith. We profess: “I believe in the Catholic Church, the communion of Saints.” November 1 we commemorate all the saints who we believe entered heaven. Rev. 7:3-8 tells us that a seal was put on the foreheads of 12,000 from every tribe of Israel, totalling to 144,000. Then in v.9 it says: “A great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.”  And v. 14 says: “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  These are the ones “whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27). These make up the Triumphant  Church. The saints in heaven are capable of interceding for us and for the souls in Purgatory. All we have to do is ask them to pray for us. Today, November 2, we commemorate those who have died in the Lord but who still need to make atonement for sins. We have a passage in 2 Macc. 12:42-46, where it is said of Judas Maccabaeus and his soldiers, “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. He took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. …he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness…Thus he made atonement for the dead….” The souls in Purgatory make up the Suffering Church. We who are still alive here on earth make up the Militant Church. We honor the saints who are already in heaven and ask for their intercession both for ourselves and the souls in purgatory. We also can intercede for the souls in purgatory. We can relieve their sufferings and speed them on to heaven by our prayers for them, by the Masses we offer for them and by the indulgences granted by the Church that we can apply to the souls in purgatory. This interaction of the three groups making up the whole Church: the Triumphant, the Suffering and the Militant, is what we call the Communion of Saints. This mystery of our faith we commemorate on these first two days of November. This is the beautiful mystery of the whole Church which Satan wants to erase by commercializing the Halloween. Beginning today let us be more conscious of the Communion of Saints to combat witchcraft and satanism that is slowly infiltrating and obscuring our Catholic faith.

With these thoughts in mind, let us pray for our beloved Recollect priests and brothers, our OAR nuns, our AR sisters, and our SARF members and former seminarians who have gone ahead of us, that the Lord may receive them soon into his Kingdom. We also ask the intercession of our OAR family members already in heaven for the OAR family members still in purgatory, and for us still on earth, to live faithfully our Christian commitments. Let us live in full circle our Communion of Saints in the OAR Family.

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Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.