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Berwyn, Illinois St Odilo Catholic Church & National Shrine of Souls in Purgatory

About Saint Odilo:

St. Odilo was the abbot of the Benedictine Abbey in Cluny, France from the year 994 until his death on January 1, 1049. On the day after All Saints’ Day, Saint Odilo instituted for all the monasteries dependent on the Abbey of Cluny an annual commemoration of all the faithful departed, to be observed with alms, prayers, and sacrifices for the relief of the suffering souls in purgatory. St. Odilo decreed that those requesting a Mass to be offered for the faithful departed should make an offering for the poor, thus linking almsgiving with fasting and prayer for the dead. From there the November 2nd custom of offering prayers, Masses, fasting and almsgiving for the souls in purgatory spread to other Benedictine monasteries. As word of this pious practice spread to local bishops, those bishops instituted the All Souls Day practices in their particular dioceses.

Eventually, the practice of dedicating November 2nd to the souls in purgatory had made its way to the Vatican, and the Pope instituted that day as a universal day of prayer for the holy souls in purgatory for the Catholic Church throughout the world. Thus November 2nd became known as All Souls Day in the universal Church.

About Saint Odilo Catholic Church

When the parish was founded under the patronage of St. Odilo, Cardinal Mundelein, the Archbishop of Chicago at that time, had the church officially declared the National Shrine of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.


As the cover of their bulletin, aptly entitled The Shrine, states: “St. Odilo is the only parish in the United Stated dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory. It was founded and sanctioned as the Shrine of the Poor Souls by His Eminence, George Cardinal Mundelein, in 1928, with a special indulgence of 200 days granted upon each visit to the shrine.” Anyone who visits their grace-filled church and prays for the souls in purgatory receives this indulgence for them. What an efficacious blessing!

Finding Saint Odilo Catholic Church in Berwyn, Illinois:

Berwyn is approximately 11 miles weat of Chicago.  There is commuter rail service from Chicago to Berwyn.

Address:  2244 East Ave., Berwyn, IL 60402

Tel: +1 (708) 484-2161

Click here for the official website of Saint Odilio Catholic Church in Berwyn, Illinois

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