Ave Maria Meditations
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are those which, at the time of death, were in a state of grace, but who need to be purified before they enter the beatific vision. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1030 – 1031) teaches that all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
November is the month especially dedicated to praying for the souls in Purgatory. The website: http://www.Catholiccompany.com
shares: 20 WAYS TO PRAY FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY
- Pray the Novena to the Holy Souls.
- Offer up your Holy Communions for the souls in purgatory.
- Have Masses said for your departed loved ones, especially on the anniversary of his or her death.
- Pray The Way Of The Cross for Souls in Purgatory.
- Pray the special Holy Souls Rosary. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Rosary is the most powerful prayer.
- Obtain indulgences: Indulgences reduce or cancel the temporal punishment that we incur through sin.* There are many ways to obtain indulgences through pious actions, and we can apply their merits to the dead. You can find a partial list of indulgences here.
If you visit a church or oratory on All Souls Day and there recite the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, you can earn a plenary (full) indulgence applicable only to the souls in purgatory (under the usual conditions).*
- Give alms: The giving of material assistance to the poor has always been considered a penance that can be offered for the Holy Souls. “For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin” (Tobit 12:9).
- Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the intention of the Holy Souls.
- Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Holy Souls: this prayer is attributed to St. Gertrude the Great and was the prayer by which she obtained the release of many souls from purgatory.
- Sprinkle holy water on the ground: St. John Macias, a great friend of those in purgatory, would often sprinkle holy water on the ground for the spiritual benefit of the suffering souls.
- When passing by a cemetery, pray the short Eternal Rest prayer. This prayer carries a partial indulgence applicable to the poor souls:
“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
- Practice the tradition of praying the Eternal Rest prayer (above) before and after your meals as an easy way to remember to pray for the holy souls every day. You can also pray the prayer between the decades of your daily rosary.
- Visit a cemetery: Pray over the graves of your departed loved ones, or visit a random graveyard and pray for those who may have no one to pray for them. Simply doing this gains a partial indulgence for those in purgatory.* While you’re there, sprinkle holy water on the graves. If you make this visit during the first eight days of the month dedicated to the Holy Souls (November 1-8) you can gain a plenary indulgence applicable to the souls in purgatory.
- Eucharistic Adoration: visit the Blessed Sacrament to make acts of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on behalf of those in purgatory.
- Sacrifices: practice small acts of self-denial throughout your day and offer these penances up for the poor souls.
- Pray the Office of the Dead. You can find this in your volume of the Liturgy of the Hours or online here.
- Ask for the intercession of saints who were known to be great friends of the Holy Souls during their lifetime to join you in prayer for the faithful departed: St. Nicholas of Tolentino, St. Gertrude the Great, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Padre Pio, St. Philip Neri, St. John Macías, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Joseph, Our Lady, and others.
- Special prayers: Throughout your day, offer up short and spontaneous prayers (ejaculatory prayers) for the holy souls. Consider buying purgatory books with more prayers and special devotions for the Holy Souls.
- Repent of your offenses against God and go to confession: Confessing your own sins makes your prayers for souls of others more effective.
- Spread devotion to the Holy Souls: Make others aware of the great need these suffering souls have for our prayers.