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November - The Month of the Poor Souls

The month of November, the last month of the liturgical year, quite naturally is devoted to the “last things.”  Consequently, the month is marked by prayers for the Poor Souls and with all the Saints who have gone before us in the quest for holiness, the universal vocation. 

The last things are generally noted as: the last rites of the Church, physical death, particular judgment, heaven, hell, purgatory, and the second coming of Jesus with the general judgment. 

We will all die one day.  However, while physical death is part of the life of every created thing, that which St. Francis of Assisi calls the “second death” is something we can avoid.  In his Canticle of the Creatures, St. Francis of Assisi wrote:

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

If we plumb the depths of the Scriptures, it quickly becomes evident that the Word of God identifies “death” as life without God.  Those who are in right relationship with God will never die.  For Jesus has told us: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live” (John 11:25). 


A Short Litany for the Poor Souls

Prayer to our Suffering Savior for the Souls in Purgatory

“O most sweet Jesus, through the bloody sweat which Thou didst suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane, have mercy on these Blessed Souls.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel scourging, have mercy on them.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most painful crowning with thorns, have mercy on them.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy cross to Calvary, have mercy on them.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel Crucifixion, have mercy on them.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross, have mercy on them.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the immense pain which Thou didst suffer in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul, have mercy on them.

Have mercy on them, O Lord.”

Blessed Souls, I have prayed for thee; I entreat thee, who are so dear to God, and who are secure of never losing Him, to pray for me a miserable sinner, who is in danger of being damned, and of losing God forever.

Amen.

Prayer Intention of the Holy Father for October, 2019

Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Near East

That a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Near East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together.

November

The ninth month of the old Roman year, which began with March.  The 11th of November was held to mark the beginning of winter.  The Anglo-Saxon name for November was “Blot-monath,” (Blood Month), the latter name probably alluding to the custom of slaughtering cattle about Martinmas for winter consumption.

November 1: All Saints’ Day
November 2: All Souls’ Day
November 11: St. Martin
November 22: St. Cecilia
November 25: St. Catherine
November 30: St. Andrew

Mottos:

November take flail,
Let no ships sail.

If there’s ice in November that will bear a duck,
There’ll be nothing after, but sludge and muck.

He descended into Hell