- skip - Brewer’s

All Soulsʹ Day


The 2nd of November, so called because the Roman Catholics on that day seek by prayer and almsgiving to alleviate the sufferings of souls in purgatory. It was first instituted in the monastery of Clugny, in 993.

According to tradition, a pilgrim, returning from the Holy Land, was compelled by a storm to land on a rocky island, where he found a hermit, who told him that among the cliffs of the island was an opening into the infernal regions through which huge flames ascended, and where the groans of the tormented were distinctly audible. The pilgrim told Odilo, abbot of Clugny, of this; and the abbot appointed the day following, which was November 2nd, to be set apart for the benefit of souls in purgatory.

previous entry · index · next entry


Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

All Hallows Eve
All in all
All in the Wrong
All is lost
All is not gold that glitters or glisters
All my Eye (and) Betty Martin
All one
All Saints
All Serene
All Souls Day
All the go
All there
All this for a Song!
All to break (Judges ix. 53)
All waters (I am for)
Alla or Allah (that is, al-ilah)
Alla Akbar

See Also:

All-Souls' Day