It’s November and Catholics are reminded to pray for the release of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
While growing up, I was taught to pray and attend Mass on All Souls Day, November 2, for the souls. It wasn’t until I got older that I learned the entire month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls. So I’ve upped my game and include more prayers, sacrifices and masses for the souls in Purgatory.
The Catholic Church has maintained that purgatory exists and urges its members to pray for their release. You may offer prayers for someone who has passed on or for the souls in general. Be assured they are thankful for our prayers.
Purgatory is real
Purgatory is part of Catholic doctrine today and has been from the earliest days of the Church. It is mentioned in the Old Testament as well.
When we die we can no longer pray for ourselves, but others can pray for us. The Bible alludes to the place we call Purgatory in 2 Maccabees: “It is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.” (12:46)
The powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory
St. John Vianney said, “If one knew what we may obtain from God by the intercession of the Poor Souls, they would not be so much abandoned. Let us pray a great deal for them, they will pray for us.”
St. Theresa of Avila said that she always obtained the favours, which she asked from God, through the intercession of the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
St. Pio offered himself as a victim for such souls. While he was kneeling, deep in prayer, he would often see a soul from the dead. Sometimes they were in pain, and sometimes they came in sorrow, but whatever their state, they asked for his prayers.
“I see so many souls from Purgatory that they don’t frighten me anymore,” he said. On another occasion when questioned further on the matter, he replied, “More souls of the dead than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.”
Souls need purification
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.
Our Lady said during a modern-day alleged apparition that we must pray for the holy souls, because they can no longer pray for themselves. However, they can and do pray for us!
If you’ve forgotten to honor the souls by praying, you can start now. There are many prayers and books to help you gain the souls’ entrance into heaven. Purgatory Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints, by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J., depicts saints’ encounters with the Holy Souls.
“The Litany of the Holy Souls” asks Jesus to have mercy on our deceased relatives, confirmation sponsors and friends. Prayers are also included for those who have suffered the most, the spiritually blind, and those who will die within the next 24 hours.
This month as you are preparing for Advent, get a jump start on your spiritual renewal by offering masses and prayers for the holy Souls who will always return the favor.
Copyright © 2012, Mary Mitchell