Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Are you grieving after the death of a loved one? Prayers for souls in purgatory can help them and console you! While we can derive great comfort from the hope that our loved ones are enjoying Eternal Life with God, it never hurts to pray for their souls in any case.
In purgatory, the souls of many of those who have died in God’s grace undergo purification so that they may enter heaven.
The Church invites the faithful to pray especially for the holy souls in Purgatory during the month of November. We are blessed to be able to offer prayers, to offer up our sufferings, to do works of penance, and to give alms to those in need all for these suffering souls who cannot help themselves.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the teaching on Purgatory this way: “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.” (CCC 1030)
“This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: ‘Therefore Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” (CCC 1032)
“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: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.” (CCC 1032)
The Prayer of St. Gertrude, below, is one of the most famous of the prayers for souls in purgatory. St. Gertrude the Great was a Benedictine nun and mystic who lived in the 13th century. According to tradition, our Lord promised her that 1000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly. Whether or not this is actually the case, this is a great prayer for focusing on helping the Holy Souls in Purgatory nonetheless.
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
Eternal Rest Prayer
V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. 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.
May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.BACK TO LIST