January 16 – Commemoration of the Deceased Relatives of Members of our Order

Today we remember all of the deceased relatives of members of the Order of Saint Augustine. We recognize that many of them were particularly influential in accompanying us in our journey to and through religious life. Our indebtedness to them, as well as our natural affection for them through the ties of blood, moves us to pray in a special way for their eternal happiness and peace.

Since the earliest days of our Order’s history, a special remembrance in prayer was prescribed each year on “the anniversary of our deceased fathers, mothers, relatives and benefactors” (Constitutions of Ratisbon, 1290). This annual commemoration is presently held on January 16 for deceased relatives and on October 13 for deceased benefactors. The example of Saint Augustine himself, who recalled with great sentiment in Book 9 of his Confessions, his own departed mother and father, asking that they not be forgotten, instructs us:  “Inspire, O my Lord, my God, inspire your servants my brethren, your sons my masters, whom with voice and heart and pen I serve, so that as many of them as read these words may at your altar remember Monica, your handmaid, together with Patricius, sometime her husband, by whose flesh you brought me into this life…” (Confessions, IX, 13, 37).

In the long tradition of our Catholic faith, prayerful remembrance of our departed at the Eucharist holds a special place, inasmuch as this sacrament celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus and is the promise of eternal life for those whom, by this mystery, he has redeemed. We do not fail to remember at each celebration of the Eucharist those who have gone before us, among whom in a special way, are those to whom we have been most closely joined on earth.