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All Souls’ Day, also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, is dedicated to remembering and praying for the souls of the deceased who have not yet reached heaven. This day is distinct from All Saints' Day, which honors all saints, both known and unknown. The primary purpose of All Souls' Day is to offer prayers and masses for the departed, with the intention of helping them move from purgatory to heaven.
The origins of All Souls' Day date back to the 10th century when Saint Odilo, the abbot of Cluny Monastery in France, designated a day for the monks to pray for the souls in purgatory. This practice soon spread throughout the Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries in Europe and was eventually adopted by the wider Christian Church. All Souls' Day is particularly significant for Catholics and Anglicans who view it as a day for reflection and an opportunity to remember their deceased loved ones with church services, prayers, and acts of charity.
In many locations, people attend church services, light candles, and lay flowers on the graves of deceased relatives and friends. Some countries, like Poland and Austria, have specific traditions such as lighting bonfires in cemeteries to guide the souls of the deceased. In Spain and Portugal, families often share special meals in memory of those who have passed away. All Souls’ Day is observed annually on November 2nd, following All Saints' Day on November 1st, which is also a public holiday in several European countries.
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In the News and Trending in the EU for All Souls' DayUpdated Charles Spencer Posts Photo of Princess Diana on All Souls Day
people.comPrincess Diana honoured by her brother on All Souls’ Day with ‘deeply poignant’ photo
startsat60.comAll Souls’ Day: Praying for the Faithful Departed
ncregister.comPope Francis on All Souls’ Day: Do you desire heaven above everything else?
All Souls' Day Top Events and Things to Do
Referenceswww.catholic.org: All Souls Day