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    The mystery of All Souls' Day

    The Catholic Church remembers on November 2 in the liturgy all believers in Christ who have departed from this world and are now in purgatory.

    The tradition of praying for the dead who are waiting to meet God in heaven dates back to biblical times. The first references to praying and offering an atoning sacrifice for those who have departed from this world are in the Old Testament.

     

    In Poland, the tradition of All Souls’ Day began to form as early as the 12th century, and by the end of the 15th century, it was known throughout the country. Before the adoption of Christianity, the cult of the dead accompanied almost all celebrations. As late as in the 19th century, sacrificial ceremonies were held in eastern Poland to evoke the dead, called “dziady”. These rituals became the inspiration for the creation of “Dziady” by Adam Mickiewicz.

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