All Souls' Day 2022: History, significance and a prayer to offer

All Souls Day is observed in honour of the dead. This day is followed by All Saints' Day and Halloween. Know everything about this day and its significance.

All Souls' Day 2022: History, significance and a prayer to offer

All Souls' Day 2022: All Souls' Day is observed on November 2 by Catholics all across the world. In Roman Catholicism, All Souls' Day is a significant occasion. This date was chosen so that it would fall after All Saints Day-  as a part of the celebrations of "Allhallowtide".  Allhallowtide includes Halloween on the last day of October, All Saints' Day on November 1, and All Souls' Day on November 2.

The day was chosen to fall after All Saints' Day- when a feast is conducted to remember church members who have attained eternal life. The church turns to pray for the souls it believes are suffering in purgatory after this feast.

All Souls' Day: History

The legend connected with its foundation is given by Peter Damiani in his Life of St Odilo: a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island. A hermit living there told him that amid the rocks was a chasm communicating with purgatory, from which perpetually rose the groans of tortured souls. 

The hermit also claimed he had heard the demons complaining of the efficacy of the prayers of the faithful, and especially the monks of Cluny, in rescuing their victims. Upon returning home, the pilgrim hastened to inform the abbot of Cluny, who then set 2 November as a day of intercession on the part of his community for all the souls in Purgatory.


Also Read: All Saints Day 2022: Day, history, significance and why this day is celebrated

All Souls' Day: Significance

A person's soul can depart from this world in one of three ways, according to Catholic beliefs. A person who passes away in a state of complete grace and communion with God goes to heaven, which is the first option. The second is hell, where those who pass away while still committing mortal sin are inevitably damned by their own free will. 

Purgatory is supposed to be the final choice for those who are not yet in mortal sin but are still in a condition of lesser (venial) sin. Purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter heaven as per scriptural beliefs.

All Souls' Day: Prayer

"Blessed are those who have died in the Lord; let them rest from their labours for their good deeds go with them." -Gospel Verse, Rev 14:13