Friday 30 October 2020

Mass on All Souls Day for deceased members and friends of the Order

On Thursday morning at the Basilica of Our Lady at Nice in southern France, there was a terrible attack on those attending Mass. Three people, the sacristan, Vincent, who was 55 years old and a father of two daughters, who had served the basilica as sacristan for 10 years, and two women Mass goers, one 44, the other 60 years old. It appears to have been a terrorist attack and the murders targeted those going to Mass - a clear case of their deaths being “in odium fidei”, which is to say, carried out in hatred of the faith. This is one of the attributes of a death that carries with it the idea of martyrdom and is one of the conditions accepted in the beatification process.

On All Saints Day this Sunday we celebrate all those who are in the presence of God whose names we do not know. We only know for certain those in Heaven, when they are raised to the altar at canonization. But surely we can have a strong hope that these three people are among those we celebrate today and give praise to God for.

We praise thee, O God: we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee.

This Monday 2nd November is the Feast of All Souls - the Commemoration of all the faithful departed. The soul of a person who dies can go to one of three places. The first is heaven, where a person who dies in a state of perfect grace and communion with God goes. The second is hell, where those who die in a state of mortal sin are naturally condemned by their choice. The third option is purgatory, which is where most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser (venial) sin, must go.

Purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven. Made fir to see God face to face. There is scriptural basis for this belief. The primary reference is in 2 Maccabees, 12:26 and 12:32. "Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out... Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin."

There will be a Missa Cantata at 7pm at the Church of St Catherine LabourĂ©, Leyland, for deceased members and friends of the Order for any members who can make it. If you have any special intentions, please contact Fr Simon, who will add them to those who are remembered.

We pray that like St Lazarus, Our Lord will raise them up to new life.