COMMEMORATION OF ALL SOULS and
SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS

Solemnity of All Saints: This feast day originated in the West when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Roman Pantheon to the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 13th 609AD. Pope Gregory III (731-41) changed the date to November 1st when he dedicated a chapel in honor of all the Saints in the Vatican Basilica, and in 744AD Pope Gregory IV extended the feast to the universal Church. This feast day is a holy day of obligation in remembrance of all who have entered into the Beautific Vision.

The Commemoration of All Souls: This feast commemorates on November 2nd the faithful departed, both the Church glorified and the Church suffering in Purgatory. Begun in France in 998AD, this commemoration gradually was adopted by the whole Church. Pope Benedict XV granted all priests the privilege of offering three Masses on this feast day: one for all the poor souls, another for the Pope's intentions, and a third for the intentions of the priest.

Sheol (Hebrew for "the abode of the dead"): Abraham's Bosom in Luke 16:22-26 (Greek = Hades). In the O.T. the name of the underworld. In addition to death and the grave, Sheol is the last end of man after the fall of our original parents and before the Resurrection of the Christ. Sheol is a place of purification which is the abode of both the righteous in need of further purification (original sin, etc.) and the wicked who are being punished for their sins (see Wisdom 3:1-12; 2 Maccabees 12:38-45); both of whom awaited the coming of the Messiah (see 1 Peter 3:18-22; 4:6). Sheol/Hades will be destroyed after the Second Coming and the Final Judgment (see Revelation 20:13-15).

CCC# 633: Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell"-Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek-because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell." Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

CCC#1026: By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. [..].

CCC# 635: Christ went down into the depth of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."

[..]. See Matthew 3:16; John 5:25; Matthew 12:40. Romans 10:7; 1 Peter 3:18-19; 4:6.

Hell of the damned: Gehenna. There is no mention of eternal blessings or eternal punishment until the coming of the Messiah. Jesus speaks of both in His discourse on the Last Judgment in Matthew 25:31-46: And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life (Matthew 25:46). Gehenna is a place of fire (Matthew 5:22; 18:9; James 3:6). The fire is unquenchable (Mark 9:43). The punishment of eternal fire is also mentioned in Matthew 3:10, 12; 7:19; Luke 3:9, 17. It is a pit into which the wicked dead are cast (Matthew 5:29; 10:28; 18:8-9; Mark 9:45, 47; Luke 12:5). It was a place prepared for the devil and his fallen angels (Matthew 25:41). It is the final destination of all the wicked in the "second death" (Revelation 19:20; 20:9-15; 21:8; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). It is a place of misery, "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30) and a place where "the worm does not die" (Mark 9:48 quoted from Isaiah 66:24).

Michal Hunt, Copyright 2011 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.