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 finally be united 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!
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.”
July 21, 1982 – “There are many souls in Purgatory. There are also persons who have been consecrated to God: some priests, some religious. Pray for their intentions, at least 7 Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s and the Creed. I recommend it to you. There is a large number of souls who have been in Purgatory for a long time because no one prays for them.”
Let us give time today, and every day, to the dearly departed. Let us not forget them when we go to Mass or pray. The Rosary and also the Divine Mercy chapletare the best prayers to help them. We have the means to hasten their way to Heaven, so let’s use them for their sake and the sake of all souls!
Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by 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.
(According to tradition, St. Gertrude the Great was told by Our Lord that this prayer, each time she piously recited it, would release 1,000 souls (or a vast number) from their suffering in purgatory.)
Prayer for the Feast of the Faithful Departed by St. Odilio
O holy souls, I promise never to forget you, and to pray to the Most His for your release. I beseech you to respond to this offering which I make to you. Obtain for us peace of heart, assist us in all our actions, console and defend us in our dangers that we may one day all rejoice together in Paradise.
O God the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of your departed servants the remission of their sins, that they may obtain the joys of Heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.