The Pains of Purgatory

St. Magdalen de Pazzi, in her celebrated vision, where the different prisons of Purgatory were shown to her, saw the soul of her brother, who had died after having led a most fervent Christian life. Nevertheless, this soul was detained in suffering for certain faults, which it had not sufficiently expiated upon earth. These, says the saint, are the most intolerable sufferings, and yet they are endured with joy. Ah ! why are they not understood by those who lack the courage to bear their cross here below ? Struck with this frightful spectacle which she had just contemplated, she ran to her Prioress, and casting herself upon her knees, she cried out, ” O my dear Mother, how terrible are the pangs of Purgatory ! Never could I have believed it, had not God manifested it to me. . . . And, nevertheless, I cannot call them cruel; rather are they advantageous, since they lead to the ineffable bliss of Paradise.“To impress this more and more upon our minds, it has pleased God to give certain holy persons a small share in the pains of expiation, like a drop of the bitter cup which the poor souls have to drink, a spark of the fire which consumes them.

The historian Bzovius, in his History of Poland, under the date 1598, relates a miraculous event which happened to the Venerable Stanislaus Chocosca, one of the luminaries of the Order of St. Dominic in Poland.One day, whilst this Religious, full of charity for the departed, recited the rosary, he saw appear near him a soul all enveloped in flames. As she besought him to have pity on her, and to alleviate the intolerable sufferings which the fire of Divine Justice caused her to endure, the holy man asked her if this fire was more painful than that of earth? ” Ah ! ” she cried, ” all the fires of earth compared to that of Purgatory are like a refreshing breeze” (Tg?ies alii levis aura locum tenent si cum ardore meo comparentur). Stanislaus could scarcely believe it. ” I wish,” he said, ” to have a proof. If God will permit, for your relief “and for the good of my soul, I consent to suffer a part of your pains.” ” Alas ! you could not do this. Know that no human being could “endure such torment and live. However, God will permit you to feel it in a light degree. Stretch forth your hand.” Chocosca extended his hand, and the departed let fall a drop of sweat, or at least of a liquid which resembled it. At the same instant the Religious uttered a piercing cry and fell fainting to the ground, so frightfully intense was the pain. His brethren ran to the spot and hastened to give him the assistance which his condition required. When restored to consciousness, he related the terrible event which had occurred, and of which they had a visible proof. ” Ah ! my dear Fathers,” he continued, ” if we knew the severity of the Divine chastisements, we should never commit sin, nor should we cease to do penance in this life, in order to avoid expiation in the next.”

Stanislaus was confined to his bed from that moment. He lived one year longer in the most cruel suffering caused by his terrible wound; then, for the last time, exhorting his brethren to remember the rigours of Divine Justice, he peacefully slept in the Lord. The historian adds that this example reanimated fervour in all the monasteries of that province.“We read of a similar fact in the Life of Blessed Catherine.One day, when suffering so intensely as to need the assistance of her sisters in religion, she thought of the souls in Purgatory, and, to temper the heat of their flames, “offered to God the burning heat of her fever. At that moment, being rapt in ecstasy, she was conducted in spirit into the place of expiation, where she saw the flames and braziers in which the souls are purified in great torture. Whilst contemplating, full of compassion, this piteous spectacle, she heard a voice which said to her, “Catherine, in order that you may procure most efficaciously the deliverance of these souls, you shall participate, in some manner, in their torments.At that same moment a spark detached itself from the fire and settled upon her left cheek. The sisters present saw the spark distinctly “and saw also with horror that the face of the sick person was frightfully swollen. She lived several days in this state, and, as B. Catherine told her sisters, the suffering caused by that simple spark far surpassed all that she had previously endured in the most painful maladies. Until that time Catherine had always devoted herself with charity to the relief of the souls in Purgatory, but from thenceforward she redoubled her fervour and austerities to hasten their deliverance, because she knew by experience the great need in which they stood of her assistance.

Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.”

Jesus Reveals His Love For The Poor Souls To St.Gertrude

On one ocassion as the community over which St.Gertrude presided,recited the Great Psalter for the souls of the faithful departed,the Saint prepared herself for Holy Communion,and prayed for these souls with great fervor.She then asked Our Lord why this Psalter was so acceptable to Him,and why it obtained such great relief for the souls,since the immense number of psalms which were recited and the long prayers after each caused more weariness than devotion.Our Lord replied:”The desire which I have for the deliverance of the souls makes it acceptable to Me,even as a prince who had been obliged to imprison one of his nobles to whom he was much attached,and was compelled by his justice to refuse him pardon,would most thankfully avail himself of the intercession and satisfaction of others to release his friend,thus do I act toward those whom I have redeemed by My death and Precious Blood,rejoicing in the opportunity of releasing them from their pains and bringing them to eternal joys.””But” continued the Saint,”is the labor of those who recite this Psalter more acceptable to Thee”?He replied,”My love renders it most agreeable to Me;and if a Soul is released thereby,I accept it as if I had been Myself delivered from captivity,and I will assuredly reward this act at a fitting time according to the abundance of my mercy.”Then she inquired:”How many souls are released by these prayers?”He answered:”The number is proportioned to the zeal and fervor of those who pray for them”.He added:”My love urges Me to release a great number of souls for the prayers of each religious.”

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A short offering which may be made each morning for the souls in Purgatory:

O my God,deign to accept my every thought,word,and action as a loving petition to Thy mercy on behalf of the suffering souls in Purgatory,particularly ______________.I unite to Thy Sacred Passion the trials and contradictions of this day,which I purpose to bear with patience,in expiation for the sins and infidelities which retain Thy children in the purifying flames of Purgatory.Amen.

Revelations of a Soul in Purgatory 


The following excerpts are taken from a booklet entitled “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory.” 6 This booklet consists of a collection of conversations of a certain Sr. M. de L. C. with a soul in Purgatory which took place in the late 1800’s:

When the soul leaves the body it is as if it were lost in or, if I may say so, surrounded by God. It finds itself in such a bewildering light that in the twinkling of an eye it sees its whole life spread out, and at this sight, it sees what it deserves, and this same light pronounces its sentence. The soul does not see God but is annihilated in His presence. If the soul is guilty as I was and, therefore, deserves to go to Purgatory, it is so crushed by the weight of the faults that still remain to be blotted out, that it hurls itself into Purgatory. (p.30)

Each day thousands of souls come to Purgatory and most of them remain thirty to forty years, some for longer periods, others for shorter. I tell you all this in terms of earthly calculations because here it is quite different. Oh, if people only knew and understood what Purgatory is and what it means to know that we are here through our own fault. I have been here eight years and it seems to me like ten thousand. Oh my God! (p.26)

the fire of Purgatory is a purification prescribed by God’s justice and that [fire] of the earth is very mild compared to that of Purgatory. It is a shadow compared to the furnace of Divine Justice. (p.29) 

Yes, I suffer very much, but my greatest torment is not seeing God. It is a continuous martyrdom. It makes me suffer more than does the fire of Purgatory. (p.3)

While you are on earth, it is impossible to understand what God demands of a soul expiating its sins in Purgatory. You are under the impression that many prayers, well said, will place a soul almost at once in possession of eternal happiness. It is nothing of the kind. Who can fathom the judgments of God? Who can understand how pure a soul must be before He admits it to share His eternal happiness? Alas, if people only knew, it they would only consider it while still on earth, what different lives they would lead!
Seriously reflect how many venial sins one who is careless about her eternal salvation commits in one day. How many minutes does she offer up to God? Does she think of Him seriously at all? Well, there are 365 days in one year, and if there are many such years, that person dies charged with a multitude of venial sins which have not been blotted out because she has not even thought of them.When such a soul appears before God to be judged there is scarcely a spark of love left in that soul when she comes to render an account of her life to Him who demands it back from her. Such all but sterile lives have to be begun all over again, when they reach this place of expiation. Lives lived without love for God will have to be atoned for here in Purgatory with intense sufferings. Whilst on earth, they did not profit by the mercy of God, but lived merely for the sake of the body. Now to regain their first splendor, they have to make satisfaction to the last farthing. That is what happens to indifferent souls. For souls of greater guilt, it is far worse.
Try to love God now so much that you will not have to come here in order to learn how to love Him through sufferings which are without merit. The sufferings and trials on earth are meritorious, therefore, do not lose one of them — but above all, love. Love wipes out many faults and makes one avoid them so as not to give pain to the One we love. That is why a soul that really loves Jesus is constantly on its guard to avoid everything that would grieve His Divine Heart. There are many souls in Purgatory depending on you to deliver them from this place of suffering. Pray with all your heart for them.
To be a friend of Jesus on earth entails suffering of body and soul.
The more He loves a soul, the more He shares with it the sorrow He endured for us. Happy is the soul thus privileged. What an opportunity for merit! That is the short cut to Heaven. So do not shun suffering, rather welcome it, since it unites you more intimately with Him, whom you truly love. Have I not told you before that love makes everything sweet? Sorrows appear bitter because you do not love enough. The infallible means of arriving quickly at close union with Jesus is love, but love united to suffering. You have had up to this time many crosses and yet you do not love them as Jesus wants you to. (p.54-55)

As for plenary indulgences, I may as well tell you that few, very few people gain them entirely. There has to be such a wonderful disposition of heart and will that it is rare, much rarer than you think it is, to have the entire remission of one’s faults. (p.43)

30 Day Devotion for the Holy Souls in Purgatory~Day 6 


Holy Abandonment

 “He wholly followed the Lord.” 

~JOSHUA 14: 14

Father Hubert writes in The Mystery of Purgatory: Abandonment requires us to rest in Jesus in all the circumstances of our life, without exception, and it has its foundation in divine love. This love appeals to faith and confidence. The more perfectly we endeavor to practice abandonment, the more lovingly and freely we allow God’s love to search out and purify, as by fire, the nooks and crannies of our self-love. This life of abandonment is a kind of purgatory on earth and bears resemblance to life in the true purgatory. This expiatory rest in the midst of trials obtains eternal rest for the holy souls in purgatory. By generously opening to the purifying and maturing influence of divine love in the restful purgatory of abandonment in this life, and by offering for the holy souls the sufferings experienced in that abandonment, we alleviate their pains and may by doing so avoid purgatory after our own death. These silent sufferers plead with us to expiate their failures to rest in Our Lord during their lifetimes by us resting in Him now, in our own lives, through the practice of holy abandonment. The more generous our endeavors to rest in Jesus in the earthly purgatory of abandonment with the intention of helping the holy souls, the more efficacious becomes that sacred rest for them and for ourselves. The happy repose of abandonment through love purifies and matures our own souls, and it is a fitting expiation for the souls in purgatory. 

Begin today to follow Our Lady. Abandon yourself to God!

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied Thy justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

 “The soul’s true life and repose are to abide in God.” 

~ST. ALBERT THE GREAT

30 Day Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory~Day 4 

 Expiation of Sins 

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” ~REVELATION 22: 14


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” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. l030). The Right Rev. G. P. Dwyer says this about the holy souls: They no longer desire anything but God. And yet they cannot reach Him until their debt is paid. The sufferings of the holy souls spring from this double source —longing for God, the realization of sin. On earth we can turn to a hundred things to distract the mind, to muffle the cry of the heart. These escapes are denied the holy souls. Their focus is set on God and God alone! They see themselves as they really are. They see how unfit they are to go to God. They see clearly their sins were an offense against God. They realize at last the malice of sin. Redemptorists Maurice Becque and Louis Becque, in Life After Death, also write: These souls are waiting for God. They see Him better than they did on earth and are aspiring to contemplate Him in the full light of the beatific vision. They are happy at being saved, unhappy at being held back and having to delay. Freed from the burden of matter, they are … All to God, all in God, all for God. 

When you have confessed your sins, the guilt is removed. To remove the “stain,” what charitable work will you take today?

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied Thy justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. 

“By devotion to the holy souls, our progress in virtue and perfection is greatly hastened.” ~VENERABLE FRANCES OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

30 Day Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory~Day 3 

The Mercy of God 


“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.” 

—LAMENTATIONS 3: 22

Mother Mary of St. Austin writes in The Divine Crucible of Purgatory: “Likened unto Christ, the holy souls’ suffering is not merely an expiation; it is also an adoration. They offer their weakness in homage to Omnipotence, their tears to Beatitude, their poverty to Divine Plentitude, their darkness to Light, their silence to the Word, and their loneliness to the ineffable happiness of the Trinity.” Theirs is a love that not only experiences God’s justice but also His “mercy.” Their love experiences Love that pardons, heals, cherishes, elevates, and promises union. Cardinal Allen offers this prayer: “Let us bless God’s name forever, that He has not taken His mercy from us, that He has not dealt with us according to our sins. Our priests have offended, our princes have offended, and our people have offended; yet for His own Name’s sake He has looked upon us, and has kept us within the household of salvation. Glory and honor be to His holy name forevermore. Amen.” God’s mercy is described as inconceivable, inexhaustible, an ocean without limit, and an abyss that is tender, infinite, and compassionate.

 Purgatory is a masterpiece of God’s mercy. How have you shown Christ’s mercy today? 

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied Thy justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

“My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world.… I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of Mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart.” —WORDS OF OUR LORD TO ST. FAUSTINA

~”30 Days Devotion for the Holy Souls in Purgatory” by Susan Tassone 

30 Day Devotions for the Holy Souls~Day 2 

Benefits of Devotions to the Holy Souls

“Keep yourselves in the love of God;wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ into eternal life”

~Jude 1:21


The saints have understood this devotion well throughout the history of the Church.There seems to be not a single chosen soul upon whom the Lord has not impressed His desire that every possible spiritual help be given to the souls of the departed.

This charity,issuing into a lifelong dedication to the souls in purgatory,dilates the heart with love for God,and for our neighbor on earth and in purgatory.

“Entirely centered in God,the love embodied in devotion to the Holy Souls purifies the affections of the mind and heart”,writes Ladislaus Boros,S.J.,in Pain and Providence.”It confers on its clients a most loving awareness of the nearness of the Holy Souls,the severity of their sufferings,the tremendous urgency for our prayers,the eloquence of their silence,the intensity of their love,the purity of their worship,the grandeur of their patience,the majesty of their gifts,and the greatness of their destiny.Our intercessions are never too late,even if we are praying decades after death,since God by his very nature knows no before and after.For God is all present.

This devotion helps us to see the Holy Souls through Our Lord’s eyes,with His love,justice and mercy.The love that inspires the Apostolate of purgatory dares to imitate even the charity of God himself.It is filled with Jesus,with His Spirit,with His work,with His peace,and with His victories.

Jesus is so greatful for the charity shown to His blessed souls that He cannot help anticipating for their Helpers in this life,a certain measure of the rewards of eternity.

Meditate today on the importance of the Holy Souls to Our Lord.

Graciously hear O God,the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the Suffering souls in purgatory,who not having satisfied Thy justice,confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions.Extend unto them Thy consolations,and redeem them through Christ Our Lord.Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon them.May they Rest In Peace.Amen.

It is charity that gives unity to all the virtues that make a man perfect”

~St.Alphonsus Liguori 

~Excerpt:”Thirty Day Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory”by Susan Tassone 

Thirty Day Devotions for the Holy Souls~Day 1 

Praying for the Dead

“In truth we are guilty concerning our brother,in that we saw the distress of his soul,when he besought us and we would not listen;therefore is this distress come upon us.”

~Genesis 42:21


As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect,which is entirely different from the Punishment of the damned.The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent.The tradition of the Church,by reference to certain texts of Scripture,speak of a cleansing fire….This teaching is also based on the practice of the prayer of the dead,already mentioned in Sacred Scripture:”Therefore,[Judas Maccabees] made atonement for the dead,that they might be delivered from their sin”(2 Maccabees 12:45).From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the Dead,and offered prayers in suffrage for them,above all the Eucharistic sacrifice,so that thus purified,they may attain The beatific vision of God.The Church also commends almsgiving,indulgences,and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead.

Do all in your power to relieve and liberate these blessed souls.Remember the Holy Souls year round.One traditional belief is that most souls are released on Christmas Day,not on All Souls Day.By remembering the Holy Souls in your daily prayers during the summer months,you are giving them “Christmas in July”.Pray the stations of the cross for the Holy Souls,especially during Lent.Do this Novena for the Holy Souls prior to Our Lords feast days and major Marian feast days.Offer Holy Mass for them once a month.The Holy Souls never rest.They suffer Day and night.

And what becomes of all the merit of those masses,and other suffrages that are offered for souls which are not in purgatory?No prayer is ever wasted.Our Lord applies them to the souls as He sees fit.

Graciously hear O God the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the Suffering souls in purgatory,who,not having satisfied Thy Justice confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions.Extend unto them Thy consolations,and redeem them,through Christ our Lord.Amen.

Eternal Rest grant unto them,O Lord,and may perpetual light shine upon them.May they Rest In Peace.Amen.

“I will without delay,immeadiately come to the relief of the souls in purgatory;with sons and sighs I will invoke the Lord;with tears I will entreat Him;I will be their advocate by my prayers;I will especially offer up for them,or have offered for them,the Holy Sacrafice of the Mass and the prayers of the Rosary,in order that the Lord,with the eyes of His unspeakable mercy,may look down upon them,changing their desolation into comfort,their misery into joy,and their pains into everlasting glory and bliss.

~St.Bernard

~Excerpt from “Thirty Day Devotions for the Holy Souls” by Susan Tassone~

November~Month of the Holy Souls 


There is a Mexican saying that we die three deaths: the first when our bodies die, the second when our bodies are lowered into the earth out of sight, and the third when our loved ones forget us. Catholics forestall that last death by seeing the faithful dead as members of the Church, alive in Christ, and by praying for them — and asking their prayers for us — always. Cardinal Wiseman wrote in his Lecture XI:

“Sweet is the consolation of the dying man, who, conscious of imperfection, believes that there are others to make intercession for him, when his own time for merit has expired; soothing to the afflicted survivors the thought that they possess powerful means of relieving their friend. In the first moments of grief, this sentiment will often overpower religious prejudice, cast down the unbeliever on his knees beside the remains of his friend and snatch from him an unconscious prayer for rest; it is an impulse of nature which for the moment, aided by the analogies of revealed truth, seizes at once upon this consoling belief. But it is only a flitting and melancholy light, while the Catholic feeling, cheering though with solemn dimness, resembles the unfailing lamp, which the piety of the ancients is said to have hung before the sepulchres of their dead.”

Though we should daily pray for the dead in Purgatory, above all for our ancestors, today is especially set aside for hanging that “unfailing lamp before the sepulchres of our dead” as we are told to do by Sacred Scripture:

II Machabees 12: 43-46 :

And making a gathering, [Judas] sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

At the three Masses offered today, the glorious Sequence “Dies Irae” (also used in Requiem Masses, i.e., Masses for the Dead) will be recited after the Epistle, Gradual, and Tract (“Dies Irae” means “Day of Wrath”).

Between Noon of November 1 and Midnight November 7th a person who has been to confession and Communion can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, for the poor souls each time he visits a church or public oratory and recites the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father six times. This is a special exception to the ordinary law of the Church according to which a plenary indulgence for the same work can be gained only once a day. Because of this, some of the customs described below may be begun on All Saints Day. 

Also, the faithful who, during the period of eight days from All Saints Day, visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, on each day of the Octave, applicable only to the dead. Here is a simple invocation for the dead, called the “Eternal Rest” prayer:

Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.

Latin version: 

Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen.

Catholics also pray this prayer for the dead anytime throughout the year, and whenever they pass a cemetery. Many families pray a Rosary nightly for the dead throughout the Octave of All Saints, replacing the Fatima prayer with the Eternal Rest prayer. 

Catholic Customs of the Feast of Holy Souls 

It is practically universal folk belief that the souls in Purgatory are allowed to return to earth on All Souls Day. In Austria, they are said to wander the forests, praying for release. In Poland, they are said to visit their parish churches at midnight, where a light can be seen because of their presence. Afterward, they visit their families, and to make them welcome, a door or window is left open. In many places, a place is set for the dead at supper, or food is otherwise left out for them. 

During our visits to their graves, we spruce up their resting sites, sprinkling them with holy water, leaving votive candles, and adorning them flowers (especially chrysanthemums and marigolds) to symbolize the Eden-like paradise that man was created to enjoy, and may, if saved, enjoy after death and any needed purgation. 

Today is a good day to not only remember the dead spiritually, but to tell your children about their ancestors. Bring out those old photo albums and family trees! Write down your family’s stories for your children and grandchildren! Impress upon them the importance of their ancestors! Bring to their minds these words from Ecclesiasticus:

Ecclesiasticus 44:1-15:

“Let us now praise men of renown, and our fathers in their generation. The Lord hath wrought great glory through his magnificence from the beginning. Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great power, and endued with their wisdom, shewing forth in the prophets the dignity of prophets, And ruling over the present people, and by the strength of wisdom instructing the people in most holy words. Such as by their skill sought out musical tunes, and published canticles of the scriptures. Rich men in virtue, studying beautifulness: living at peace in their houses. All these have gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days. They that were born of them have left a name behind them, that their praises might be related: 

And there are some, of whom there is no memorial: who are perished, as if they had never been: and are become as if they had never been born, and their children with them. But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed: Good things continue with their seed, Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the Church declare their praise.
Prayers and Devotions For The Month of November 


Eternal Rest 

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayers For The Holy Souls For Every Day Of The Week

Sunday 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood, which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

On Sunday, we offer our prayer for the souls in Purgatory through the Precious Blood of Christ. We remember especially the most forsaken soul in Purgatory—the one who has no one else to pray for him.

MONDAY 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

We offer our prayer again through the Precious Blood of Jesus, especially that shed during his scourging, and we remember in a special way today that soul which is closest to leaving Purgatory and entering into the Kingdom of Heaven.

TUESDAY 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, particularly that soul which is in the greatest need of our prayers, in order that it may not long be delayed in praising Thee in Thy glory and blessing Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

Christ shed His Precious Blood for us when He was crowned with thorns, and we offer our prayer today through that Blood for the soul in Purgatory that is most in need of our prayers.

WEDNESDAY 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem whilst He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in purgatory and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

Today, we pray in a special way for that soul in Purgatory which has the greatest merit, and we offer our prayer through the Blood that Christ shed when He carried His Cross to Calvary.

THURSDAY 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He Himself on the night before His Passion gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His Holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise Thee therefor, together with Thy divine Son and the Holy Spirit in Thy glory for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

On Thursdays, we remember Christ’s institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, and so we offer our prayer today through the Body and Blood of Christ. We offer it especially for the soul in Purgatory most devoted to the Eucharist.

FRIDAY 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Jesus Thy divine Son did shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred Hands and Feet, deliver the souls in purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders Thee from admitting it quickly to the possession of Thy glory where it may praise Thee and bless Thee for evermore. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

Christ died on the Cross on Good Friday, and our prayer today is offered through the Blood He shed on that day. We remember especially that soul for whom we have the greatest obligation to pray—someone we knew who has died and who is in need of our prayers

SATURDAY 

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred Side of Thy divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory and among them all especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee through all the ages. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.

As our week of prayer for the faithful departed comes to a close, we offer our prayer today especially for that soul in Purgatory most devoted to Mary, the Mother of God, and we offer it through the Precious Blood that she saw flow from her Son when the spear was thrust into His side on the Cross.

A Prayer For Deceased Mother 

O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the soul of my mother, and forgive her her trespasses; and make me to see her again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Prayer For A Deceased Father 

O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the soul of my father, and forgive his his trespasses; and make me to see him again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

De Profundis 

Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.

Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.

If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?

But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered.

I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word.

My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord,

For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption;

And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Chaplet of the Holy Souls

This Chaplet can be prayed on a set of Rosary Beads. 

Begin with: The Creed, then 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 

1 Glory Be for the Pope’s intentions. 

On the large beads of the Rosary recite:
“O holy Souls draw the fire of God’s love into my soul to reveal Jesus crucified in me here on earth rather than hereafter in Purgatory. Amen.”

On the small beads of the Rosary recite:

“Crucified Lord Jesus, have mercy on the souls in Purgatory. Amen.”

At the end of the entire prayer: (3 times)

“Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. 

Amen.


The Way of The Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory


Rosary For The Holy Souls In Purgatory
Sign of the Cross

V. O Lord, open my lips.

R. And I shall praise your name.

V. O God, come to my aid.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

R. As it was in the beginning…

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty…

For the intentions of our Holy Father, the Pope:

Our Father, Hail Mary (x 3), Glory be…

Pray The Decades As Follows:

Lord Jesus Christ…

Our Father…

Hail Mary…(x 10)

Glory be…

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Your mercy. (Fatima Prayer)

The Sorrowful Mysteries

1. The Agony in the Garden

Lord Jesus Christ, through Your bloody sweat of fear that You shed on the Mount of Olives, we ask You to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Bring to completion their purification and console them with the Cup of heavenly comfort.

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

Lord Jesus Christ, through Your painful Scourging which You tolerated so patiently for us sinners, we ask You to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory! Bring them to live for ever with Christ and give them eternal relief.

3. The Crowning with Thorns

Lord Jesus Christ, through Your painful Crowning which You suffered so patiently for us sinners, we ask You to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory and give them the crown of eternal delight.

4. The Carrying of the Cross

Lord Jesus Christ, through Your painful Carrying of the Cross, which You suffered so patiently for us sinners, we ask You to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory! Bring them to the everlasting peace of perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity and lead them into eternal joy.

5. The Crucifixion of Jesus

Lord Jesus Christ, through Your painful Crucifixion, which You suffered so patiently for us sinners, we ask You have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory! Turn Your Holy Face towards them and let them be in Paradise with You today.

After the fifth decade we pray:

Lord, Jesus Christ, through Your five Holy Wounds and through all of Your Sacred Blood that You shed, we ask You to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and in particular on our parents, spouses, relatives, spiritual guides and benefactors. Complete the healing of their purification and let them enjoy and participate fully in Your Salvation. Amen.

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to Thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy towards us and after this, our exile, show onto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

O God, Whose only begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled unto Thy protection, implored Thy help or sought Thine intercession, was left unaided by Thee. Inspired by this confidence I fly onto Thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To Thee I come, before Thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. Do not, O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise my petitions but, in Thy clemency, hear and answer me. Amen.

St Michael Archangel, defend us in the hour of conflict, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust Satan down to hell and with him all the wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.


Prayer For Specific Souls in Purgatory

O Jesus, You suffered and died that all mankind might be saved and brought to eternal happiness. Hear our pleas for further mercy on the souls of:

Response: Jesus, have mercy!

My dear parents, grandparents and spouse,

My brothers and sisters and other near relatives,

My Godparents and sponsor of Confirmation,

My spiritual and temporal benefactors,

My friends and neighbours,

All for whom love or duty calls me to pray,

Those who have suffered disadvantages or harm through me,

Those who are especially beloved by You,

Those whose release is near at hand,

Those who desire most to be united with You,

Those who endure the greatest sufferings,

Those who are least remembered,

Those whose release is most remote,

Those who are most deserving on account of their services to the Church,

The rich, who now are the most destitute,

The mighty, who now are powerless,

The once spiritually blind, who now see their folly,

The frivolous, who spent their time in idleness,

The poor who did not seek the treasures of heaven,

The tepid, who devoted little time to prayer,

The indolent, who neglected to perform good works,

Those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments,

The habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace,

Parents who failed to watch over their children,

Superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them,

Those who strove for worldly riches and pleasures,

The worldly-minded, who failed to use their wealth and talents in the service of God,

Those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own,

Those who did not provide for the life hereafter,

Those whose sentence is severe because of the great things entrusted to them,

The Popes, kings and rulers,

The Bishops and their counselors,

The Priests and Religious of the Catholic Church,

My teachers and spiritual advisers,

The defenders of the holy faith,

Those who died on the battlefield,

Those who fought for their country,

Those who were buried in the sea,

Those who died of apoplexy,

Those who died of heart attacks,

Those who suffered and died of cancer or AIDS,

Those who died suddenly in accidents,

Those who died without the Last Rites of the Church,

Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,

My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before your judgment seat,

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them with your Saints forever more because You are gracious.

Priest / Leader: The Lord be with you.

Response: And with your spirit.

Let us pray:

May the prayer of Your suppliant people, we beseech You, O Lord, benefit the souls of Your departed servants and handmaids, that You both deliver them from all their sins and make them partakers of Your redemption. Amen.

May the divine assistance remain always with us. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sign of the Cross

Prayer to St Nicholas for the Deceased

Saint Nicholas, you were attentive to the pleas of many needy souls and through your prayer and penance you hastened their enjoyment of the vision of God. Look with compassion on our beloved deceased, and obtain for them by your prayers the full forgiveness of their sins so that they may experience the happiness and peace of the Father’s presence. Amen.

Jesus and Mary, I love you, save souls! (x 3)

Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, pray for us.

Prayer of Saint Gertrude

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.


Prayer of Cardinal Newman

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 Your servants. Bring them from the shadows of exile to Your bright home in Heaven, where we trust that You and Your Blessed Mother have woven for them a crown of unfolding bliss. Amen.
Saint Nicholas (Carruti) of Tolentine (1245-1305)

Nicholas was a simple priest and Augustinian friar who touched the lives of many. His spirit of prayer, penance and devotion to the Holy Souls was notable. He often fasted and performed other works of penance, spending long hours in prayer. He received visions, including images of Purgatory, which friends ascribed to his lengthy fasts. He had a great devotion to the recently dead, praying for the souls in Purgatory as he travelled around his parish, and often late into the night. The story is told that Nicholas, while asleep in bed, heard the voice of a deceased friar he had known. This friar told Nicholas that he was in Purgatory, and urged him to celebrate the Eucharist for him and other souls there, so that they would be set free by the power of Christ. Nicholas did so for seven days. The friar again spoke to Nicholas, thanking him and assuring him that a large number of souls were now with God. In 1884 Saint Nicholas of Tolentine was proclaimed Patron Saint of the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Pope Leo XIII.

~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.

Pray the Office of the Dead

Office of the Dead


~ Sacrifices: practice small acts of self-denial throughout your day and offer these penances up for the poor souls.

~Eucharistic Adoration: visit the Blessed Sacrament to make acts of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on behalf of those in purgatory.

~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.

~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.

~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.” 

~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

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.

The Suffering of the Souls in Purgatory  


There was at the convent of Franciscan Tertiaries in Foligno, a sister named Teresa Gesta, who had been for many years mistress of novices, and who at the same time had charge of the sacristy of the community. She was born at Bastia, in Corsica, in 1797, and entered the monastery in the year 1826.
Sister Teresa was a model of fervour and charity. We need not be astonished, said her director, if God glorifies her by some prodigy after her death.She died suddenly, November 4, 1859, of a stroke of apoplexy.

Twelve days later, on November 16, a sister named Anna Felicia, who succeeded her in office, went “to the sacristy and was about to enter, when she heard moans which appeared to come from the interior of the room. Somewhat afraid, she hastened to open the door; there was no one. Again she heard moans, and so distinctly that, notwithstanding her ordinary courage, she felt herself overpowered by fear. ” Jesus ! Mary !” she cried, ” what can that be ? ” She had not finished speaking when she heard a plaintive voice, accompanied with a painful sigh, ” Oh ! my God, how I suffer ! Oh I Dio, che peno tanto I ” The sister, stupefied, immediately recognised the voice of poor Sister Teresa. Then the room was filled with a thick smoke, and the spirit of Sister Teresa appeared, moving towards the door, and gliding along by the wall. Having reached the door, she cried aloud, ” Behold a proof of the ?nercy of God” Saying these words, she struck the upper panel of the door, and there left the print of her right hand, burnt in the wood as with a red-hot iron. She then disappeared.

Sister Anna Felicia was left half dead with fright. She burst forth into loud cries for help. One of her companions ran, then a second and finally the whole community. They pressed around her, astonished to find a strong odour of burnt wood. Sister Anna Felicia told what had occurred,and “showed them the terrible impression on the door. They instantly recognised the hand of Sister Teresa, which had been remarkably small. Terrified, they took to flight and ran to the choir, where they passed the night in prayer and penance for the departed, and the following morning all received Holy Communion for the repose of her sou). The news spread outside the convent walls, and many communities in the city united their prayers with those of the Franciscans. On the third day, November 18, Sister Anna Felicia, on going in the evening to her cell, heard herself called by her name, and recognised perfectly the voice of Sister Teresa. At the same instant a globe of brilliant light appeared before her, illuminating her cell with the brightness of daylight. She then heard Sister Teresa pronounce these words in a joyful and triumphant voice: ” I died on a Friday, the day of the Passion, and behold, on a Friday, 1 enter into eternal glory I Be strong to bear the cross, be courageous to suffer, love poverty.” Then adding, affectionately, “Adieu, adieu, adieu!” she became transfigured, and like a light, white, and dazzling cloud, rose towards “Heaven and disappeared.

During the investigation which was held immediately, November 23, in the presence of a large number of witnesses, the tomb of Sister Teresa was opened, and the impression upon the door was found to correspond exactly with the hand of the deceased. “The door, with the burnt print of the hand,” adds Mgr. Segur, ” is preserved with great veneration in the convent. The Mother Abbess, witness of the fact, was pleased to show it to me herself.”

Wishing to assure myself of the perfect exactitude of these details related by Mgr. Segur, I wrote to the Bishop of Foligno. He replied by giving me a circumstantial account, perfectly according with the above, and accompanied by a facsimile of the miraculous mark. This narrative explains the cause of the terrible expiation to which Sister Teresa was subjected. After saying, ” Ah ! how much I suffer ! Oh ! Dio, che peno tanto ! ” she added that it was for having, in the exercise of her office of Sacristan, transgressed in some points the strict poverty prescribed by the Rule. 

Thus we see Divine Justice punishes most severely the slightest faults. It may here be asked why the apparition, when making the mysterious mark on trie door, called it a proof of the mercy of God. It is because, in giving us a warning of this kind, God shows us a great mercy. He urges us, in the most efficacious manner, to assist the poor suffering souls, and to be vigilant in our own regard.

Whilst speaking of this subject, we may relate a similar instance which happened in Spain, and which caused great rumours in that country. Ferdinand of Castile thus relates it in his ” History of Saint Dominic.”A Dominican Religious led a holy life in his convent at Zamora, a city of the kingdom of L£on. He was united in the bonds of a pious friendship with a Franciscan brother like himself, a man of great virtue. One day, when conversing together on the subject of eternity, they mutually promised that, if it pleased God, the first who died should appear to the other to give him some salutary advice. The Friar Minor died first ; and one day, whilst his friend, the son of St. Dominic, was preparing the refectory, he appeared to him. After saluting him with respect and affection, he told him that he was among the “elect, but that before he could be admitted to the enjoyment of eternal happiness, there remained much to be suffered for an infinity of small faults of which he had not sufficiently repented during his life. “Nothing on earth,” he added, “can give an idea of the torments which I endure, and of which God permits me to give you a visible proof.” Saying these words, he placed his right hand upon the table of the refectory, and the mark remained impressed upon the charred wood as though it had been applied with a red-hot iron.
~Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.” ~