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All Souls (November 2)

The early Christians, like their pagan ancestors, remembered their dead on certain days of the year. The present date for our yearly commemoration of the dead was established in the tenth century. We remember the dead prayerfully so that God will "strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in Christ's resurrection." In the words of Vatican Council II: "Fully conscious of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church on Earth honors with great respect the memory of the dead, and, because it is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be freed from their sins (2 Mac. 12, 46), she [the Universal Church] offers her suffrages for them."

As we remember our loved ones who have become a part of the fabric of our lives, and as we write their names in the Book of Remembrance, let us also remember those souls - whether they were a part of our lives or not - who have no one to pray for them.