Today the Church observes All Souls’ Day. A holy day set aside to honor the souls of the departed waiting to enter Heaven. Unlike All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day is not a Holy Day of Obligation.
According to traditions and teachings, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful here on earth, the souls in purgatory are cleansed of their sins and lifted up to Heaven.
This is an obligation all Christians should take to heart. Just think of the number of souls just waiting to be reunited with the Holy Trinity in Heaven; friends, relatives, neighbors, even priests and religious life. We can help them with our efforts! Through prayer, Mass, and almsgiving we can release so many souls from purgatory!
And in return they intercede for us in a special way, and we receive great mercy from the Lord for our prayers. Oh, how we so need the prayers of the Holy Souls! Our Lady of Medjugorje has also asked us not to forget to pray for them as well:
November 6, 1986 – “Dear children! Today I wish to call you to pray daily for souls in purgatory. For every soul prayer and grace is necessary to reach God and the love of God. By doing this, dear children, you obtain new intercessors who will help you in life to realize that all the earthly things are not important for you, that only Heaven is that for which it is necessary to strive. Therefore, dear children, pray without ceasing that you may be able to help yourselves and the others to whom your prayers will bring joy. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Let us give time today, and every day, to the dearly departed. We benefit not only them, but ourselves. Here is a well-known prayer for the souls in purgatory from St. Gertrude the Great. According to tradition, the Lord promised her that 1000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly.
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.