A Prayer For The Souls In Purgatory
O most gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of Thy departed servants. Be not severe in Thy judgements, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And do Thou, O Merciful Savior, send Thy holy angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.
During this month of November, the Holy Mother Church calls the faithful, who are also called the Church Militant, to offer prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, who are also referred to as the Church Suffering. The Church teaches that it is a Spiritual Work of Mercy to pray for the souls of the faithful departed, imploring God to purify the souls of the dead “by the fire of His charity” and to bring them at last to their Heavenly Home.
November 2nd is actually the day recognized as the Feast of the Holy Souls. But the month as a whole, is dedicated to the souls in purgatory and we are called throughout the entire month attend extra Masses and offer up extra prayers and sacrifices for the faithful departed, especially those members of our extended families. As the Church Militant we have to remember that our loved ones who have died are relying on our prayers, as they can no longer offer prayers for themselves. It is part of our obligation as a faithful catholic to pray for the dead.
A good practice during this month, is to visit a cemetery while praying for the holy souls. Even if your family members are not buried there, you can still offer prayers on their behalf. Not only does it benefit our own deceased family members, but it is considered an act of charity to pray for all the faithful departed. The Church teaches that we should never assume that our loved ones have gone straight away to heaven. Rather, in Her wisdom, She teaches us that we are obligated to pray for the souls until we are no longer able. What a beautiful, yet simple act of charity that any of us could do, and yet many of us fail to pray for the dead, let alone our own family members.
This is a duty that should not go neglected, as we would hate to find out that our loved ones have been suffering the fate of purgatory and we did nothing to ease their pains. Searching online, we are able to come up with a variety of prayers that can be said on their behalf, and we can also offer Masses or make other sacrifices for their benefit.
Saint Gertrude, who was a holy mystic, was given special graces by the Lord. One of these graces were mystical visions. During one such vision she was given a glimpse of purgatory. It was there she saw a man she was praying for and his soul appeared as a toad, suffering from the sins he committed on earth. After reciting a short prayer for him, she asked Jesus if it had any effect. He replied by saying, “Certainly, the souls in Purgatory are lifted up by such supplications, but also brief prayers that are said with fervor are of even greater benefit for them.”
During another of these visions, Gertrude was given a prayer by Jesus for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. It is piously believed that 1,000 souls are released from purgatory by praying this payer with the heart. Can you imagine the joy that one simple act of charity can have on so many souls!!
Below is this powerful prayer, when praying it, one trusts in the unfathomable mercy of God, which was poured out for us on Calvary.
Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for all sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
If up until now, you have neglected your duty in praying for the dead, it is not too late to start. Remember, if you begin today and pray as often as you can throughout the month, there is a good chance that you will continue this holy and charitable practice long after November has ended, making it not only beneficial for the holy souls, but for your holy soul as well. Make it a beautiful November and God bless.