Adrian Cruz established the Arimathea Society on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows to gather laypeople together for spiritual works of mercy, prayers for the dead, offering Mass for the poor souls in purgatory and preparing for burials. “Praying for the poor souls in purgatory is often overlooked or regarded as ‘old-fashioned’ in many modern American Catholic minds,” he said.
The phrase “Memento mori” (remember your death) became popular in medieval Christianity – death was especially poignant as the plague spread throughout Europe and Asia, killing millions of people within the span of just a few years. “Memento mori” was such a popular religious theme in this period that it inspired a genre of art, music and literature.
Dance of Death (Danse Macabre) murals typically depicted decaying corpses dancing amid representative figures of late medieval society, ranked highest to lowest: A pope, an emperor, a bishop, a king, a cardinal, a knight and down to a beggar, all ambling diffidently toward their mortal end while the corpses frolic with lithe movements and gestures.