Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
November 8th, 1992
Brother John Raymond
The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in
Purgatory. The Church has defined as a dogma of the Faith (which
every Catholic must believe):
1. That there is a Purgatory.
2. That the souls which are in Purgatory may be assisted by the
prayers and good works of the faithful, especially by the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass.
Many of the Saints went in spirit to visit Purgatory or were
visited by these suffering souls who implored their help. Here are
some Saints who had these experiences: St. Teresa of Avila, St.
Louis Bertrand, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, St. Frances of Rome, St.
Lidwina of Schiedam, St. Catherine of Genoa, Blessed Catherine of
Racconigi, St. Antoninus, Blessed Quinziani, St. Perpetua, St.
Gertrude, St. Margaret Mary, St. Bernardine, St. Corpreus, St.
Lutgarda, St. Peter Claver, St. Bridget, St. Catherine of Sweden,
St. Elizabeth, St. Bernard, St. Hugh of Cluny, St. Severin of
Cologne, St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Louis Bertrand, St.
Stanislaus, St. Catherine de Ricci, St. Peter Damian, St. Nicholas
of Tolentino, St. Malachy, and numerous others.
Although our Faith does not tell us the location of Purgatory
most theologians agree that it is not far from Hell in the center of
the earth. The saints in their visions agree with this opinion. St.
Teresa of Avila, who had a great charity toward these souls, would
see the souls she had delivered from Purgatory rise from the
interior of the earth.
The nature of the pains in Purgatory are twofold: the separation
from God and sensible suffering. St. Augustine, St. Gregory,
Venerable Bede, St. Anselm, St. Bernard and St. Thomas Aquinas tell
us that the sufferings of this life are nothing compared to those in
Purgatory. The testimonies of the above-mentioned saints also attest
to this fact. The Holy Souls in Purgatory are perfectly resigned to
God's will, cannot sin and are assured of their eternal salvation.
Thus there is a certain internal satisfaction the soul experiences
which surpasses every contentment and prosperity upon the earth.
These souls are those people who died in the state of grace. Yet
they did not attain the degree of purity necessary to enjoy the
vision of God. Also, they have not completely expiated their faults.
By the mercy of God we can help them. If we offer to God any of the
good works which we perform in the state of grace we can relieve
these souls. This is because each good work we do possesses a triple
value in the sight of God:
1. The work is meritorious; it increases our glory in Heaven.
2. It is impetratory; it obtains for us some grace from God.
3. It is satisfactory; it can satisfy Divine Justice and pay our
debts of temperoral punishment before God.
The satisfactory value of our good work is what God uses to alleviate
souls in Purgatory. So we can offer Holy Communion, prayers, alms,
fasts and penances of any kind, indulgences, the Holy Mass, etc. for
What is known as the Heroic Act of Charity towards the Holy Souls
is when we offer to God the satisfactory value of all the works of
our whole life and those offered for us after our death. We place
all this in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary that She may
distribute them as She wishes to the souls in Purgatory.
Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great that the following prayer
would release 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said:
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. Amen. (Approval
and Recommendation by Cardinal Pahiarca, Lisbon, Portugal, March 4,