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 are most indebted for their generosity.
The commemoration of deceased benefactors was prescribed by the Ratisbon Constitutions of 1290 in order to remember in prayer those who in various ways have supported the Order in its style of life and its works. Until 1672 this commemoration was joined to that of the deceased relatives of members of the Order. In that year, however, a separate commemoration was instituted for deceased benefactors and was given the date of July 7, while that of deceased relatives was transferred to November 14. Several other changes of date were made over the years before the present day was established in recent times.
"Each year, in all communities, on the days determined in the calendar of the Order, Mass is to be offered for ... 3) our deceased benefactors. On these days every priest is to celebrate Mass for this intention, and the other friars are to participate in Mass for his intention. Every month in which some anniversary of the Order does not occur, in all communities Mass is to be offered for the deceased brothers and sisters and benefactors of the Order (Const. 101, e., f.).