November: Pray For The Holy Souls

November: Pray For The Holy Souls

Short stories of Purgatory -A remarkable collection of visits from the souls in Purgatory to various Saints and Mystics…

“I know when you pray for me, and it is the same with all of the other souls here in Purgatory. Very few of us here get any prayers; the majority of us are totally abandoned, with no thought or prayers offered for us from those on earth” (Message from a soul in Purgatory)

Click on the picture to read some amazing stories of apparitions to various saints from souls in Purgatory.

And if you have any stories to add, please do so. Or you may wish to post a novena or some favourite prayer or hymn of your own for the Holy Souls.  OR you may have a question to ask.  All contributions will be welcomed. Whatever, we’d like to think that this thread will encourage us all to pray especially for the Holy Souls today and throughout November, the month traditionally devoted to remembering to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace, amen.

22 responses

  1. How do we get the Plenary Indulgence for the Holy Souls when we don’t have access to the traditional Church?

    • Do you have access to a rosary? a prayer book or are you able to fast in some way. Where is the problem?. With a rosary in your pocket or handbag you carry the traditional church with you at ALL times

    • crofterlady

      If you mean “no access to traditional Mass” (instead of Church) I don’t think that would matter because God knows that the novus ordo is a legitimate rite at this time because it’s been given by the church authorities, so it would be accepted and the plenary indulgence would be granted. Otherwise it would mean no plenary indulgences could be gained by the majority of the faithful. I can’t see that being the case.

    • crofterlady,

      Would you not make an exception to fulfil the conditions of the plenary indulgence? But if not, maybe a spiritual communion would be enough since you are allowed to make a Holy Communion if you can’t get a Mass. I’m guessing if you don’t want to go to the novus ordo Mass you wouldn’t want Communion either, so why not ask a priest if a spiritual Communion would do?

    • For the same works you may instead receive a partial Indulgence, for definite, and I would have thought the efficacy of which would increase depending on how many and how fully the conditions for the plenary indulgence are met.

      As far as I understand it, a plenary indulgence in entirely dependant on the Holy Eucharist, and indeed, the power of the indulgence is essentially an extension of the graces originally received in Holy Communion itself.

  2. I have to say I’ve been reading those stories about holy souls appearing to some of the saints and they are just amazing. We’re left with the same problem as with miracles though – why are some souls allowed to appear to ask for prayers and Masses and not others? That’s actually more difficult to understand than why some people are cured of an illness and not others.

    • Maybe it’s the souls most in need who are allowed to seek prayers. It is a mystery why some and not others but I’d speculate that could be a reason.

  3. This story (see below – Another modern account) from that amazing website really hooked me. I’ve copied it to save people scrolling. It’s made me want to do some research on this to see if I can find other examples of visits from Holy Souls to the living:

    Another modern account: St Gemma Galgani obtains the relief of a soul in Purgatory

    The final account in this article will go to the webmasters favorite Saint: St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903). It is taken from the excellent book “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo C.P.:

    “Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Religious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.

    Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma’s heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest: she fervently offered prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.

    “Jesus, save her,” she was overheard to exclaim. “Jesus, take Maria Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven.”

    And during this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

    “It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: “Gemma,” she said after some moments, “do you know me?” I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: “I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so very much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness.”

    The extraordinary mystic, St Gemma Galgani

    All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: “Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering.” And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints’.”

    And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

    “Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the holy hour I was making was drawing to an end. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Sr. Maria Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: “I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus forever.” She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o’clock in the morning.”

  4. Margaret Mary,

    I don’t have the answers to your question but I’m sure that God is merciful to each one of us in different ways and we have to trust that all will be treated well in justice and goodness.

    Today I was priviledged to pray with family members at the house where their Mum is laid in preparation for her funeral on Tuesday. She died at home at the age of 96 after being cared for for many years by her daughters who took it in turn latterly to have her stay with them. She had 15 children and reared them mostly on her own. Please pray for the soul of Laura RIP.

  5. An excellent Catholic parapsychologist from the Netherlands, Dr Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, has written a fascinating study on the subject of mystical phenomena relating to the Holy Souls, e.g. apparitions, hauntings etc.. Much of the content of the book is drawn from academic sources, and others, for example Rome’s Purgatory Museum, which contains much evidence and artefacts like scorched hand marks on personal possessions. These are essentially the focus of the book. It is published by TAN. It is available on the Carmel Books site.

  6. I’ve always found it curious as to why Protestants don’t devote certain days of the year to honouring and praying for the poor souls, or Church Penitent, in Purgatory. They claim to believe in Sola Scriptura. Not so!!! If they did, then they would know that a place similar to Purgatory is mentioned in both Testaments, if not by name:

    1 Pet. 3:19- ‘In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison’ and Bishop Challoner’s commentary- ‘Spirits that were in prison: See here a proof of a third place, or middle state of souls: for these spirits in prison, to whom Christ went to preach, after his death, were not in heaven; nor yet in the hell of the damned: because heaven is no prison: and Christ did not go to preach to the damned’.

    Matt. 12:32-‘And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come’.

    1 Cor 3:15-‘If any man’ s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire’.

    2 Macc. 12:43–45-‘It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins’.

    A good prayer I think for the Church Penitent is: ‘Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy’.

    The souls in Purgatory and the Church Militant are those in most need of His mercy. Fundamentalist Christians claim that Christ’s redemption negated the need for a state of Purgatory. But there are different types of sin, mortal, such as murder or theft, and venial, such as swearing, and if you are in Purgatory, you are going to get to Heaven, you just need purifying of the sins that stain your soul.

    • As far as I know protestants don’t believe there is a difference in sins, ie Mortal or venial. They say that sin is sin. i really dont understand how that can be as it is so obvious that there is a difference between murdur and say a small lie or anger etc.
      Very strange.

    • catholicconvert1,

      I’m always puzzled as well that Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory and think it’s unscriptural. That’s because it’s not named in scripture but I don’t think everything is named that is part of Christian theology.

      Without Purgatory, they have to explain what happens to people who die with even the smallest sin on their soul because nothing defiled can enter heaven. I wonder what Protestant believe about that?

      • Lily,

        Purgatory is in Scripture, in those Bibilical passages quoted above, but never mentioned explicitly. It seems to me that Protestants need a belief to come a bite them on the bum for them to believe in it. That is either extremely ignorant or of weak faith. On Sunday Morning Live, the Rev. George Hargreaves (a Pentecostal un-Priest) said because he was saved, he was going to Heaven because he followed ‘wot’ was in Scripture. Therefore he was a Saint. He said Catholic Canonisations (JPII in this case) were non-Biblical. Has he read Revelation Revelation 5:8? We should all act as if we are going to Hell, and constantly pray for ourselves and the dead. We start coasting if we all think we are going to Heaven. The Protestant Reformation and its ruination of Christian Europe was Satanic in origin.

    • Protestants reject the book of Maccabees. They only accept 66 of the 73 books of the bibles. They never pray for the dead.

      • They only accept 66 books of the Bible, not because, as they say, they ARE NOT AS IMPORTANT as the rest, but because the other 7 books knock their heretical beliefs into the proverbial cocked hat.

  7. I think that many Protestants would have to stop and think, then still not be able to give an answer about the existence of Purgatory.

    I wonder what answers Protestants would give if they were asked this question.
    “If a person who has died and is now in Heaven, he/she has no need of prayers having been admitted to the Beatific Vision of God for eternity

    But, if he/she has died and is now in hell, no amount of prayers will get them released from that place, and are there for eternity.

    Why then pray for the dead?

    I found some questions and answers by Fr. Rumble and Fr. McCarthy in Radio Replies. Both priests, one in America and the other in Australia answered questions over the radio years ago. These sessions ended up printed into 3 volumes. This link shows some questions and answers on Purgatory.

    http://www.radioreplies.info/radio-replies-vol-1.php?t=84

    • Theresa Rose,

      I read your link and it is very good. I also think this priest explains the suffering of Purgatory really well – but how few Catholics really believe in the “fires” of Purgatory? How often do priests preach about Purgatory, even during November?

      http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/e047-Purgatory.htmThe Physical Suffering of Purgatory

      Fr. Paul Sretenovic In his classic work Purgatory Explained, Fr. F.X. Schouppe states that “the Church proposes two truths clearly defined as dogmas of Faith: First, that there is a Purgatory; Second, that the souls which are in Purgatory may be assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, especially by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” (p. 7).

      As regards other questions, such as where is the place, the duration and nature of the sufferings, and the number of souls detained there, the Church does not define, but relies mainly upon the great theologians and mystics to explain these mysteries as much as they can be understood by our human intelligence.

      In the Basilica of Beniajan, Our Lady of Mount Carmel offers relief to the Poor Souls

      My experience has been that, even among Traditionalists, there are those who would prefer to go no further than this because they consider that “the rest is just speculation.” This would seem to represent a practical denial of Purgatory, because it weakens, in practice, one’s understanding of just how much the souls in Purgatory suffer, which can only negatively influence how much one actually does for the Suffering Souls, as those in Purgatory are normally referred to by the Church.

      I believe that such a position is flawed and it reminds me of those who accept the Fatima apparitions in 1917 as historical because the Church has ruled that they are, but then do not accept the heart of the message of Fatima because they consider that “the rest is just speculation.” Yet, just as the Consecration of Russia is delayed no doubt because, as Our Lady once complained to Sister Lucy, “Both the good and the bad ignore my message,” so many souls are detained in Purgatory longer than necessary for lack of assistance from otherwise good Catholics.

      I believe in both cases – the denial of Purgatory as well as the message of Our Lady of Fatima – there is good evidence to refute these doubts. I will focus primarily on how this relates to Purgatory and limit my discussion on Fatima to a minimum, only by way of parallels.

      Some people have difficulty accepting the physical nature of the sufferings in Purgatory. Indeed, it seems to them impossible that such sufferings could involve real, and not simply symbolic, fire. This is because the souls in Purgatory are mere spirits and, therefore, do not have physical bodies. Without bodies, they say, nothing material should be able to touch them or cause them harm.

      Various manifestations of souls from Purgatory to saints and mystics, however, prove beyond reasonable doubt that the physical nature of the suffering in Purgatory is real and it is much more intense than anything one can imagine in this world.

      A visible reminder for the living

      Fr. Shouppe relates that Teresa Gesta, a religious of the Franciscan Sisters in Foligno, Italy, who had served many years as a mistress of novices and was a model of fervor and charity, died suddenly on November 4, 1859, of a stroke of apoplexy. Twelve days later, the soul of Teresa appeared to Sister Anna Felicia in the sacristy of the same Convent. Sister Felicia described it:

      “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 mercy of God.’

      Mark of the hand of Sr. Teresa Gesta – From the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross in Foligna

      “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.” (ibid, p. 55)

      Because of this apparition, Teresa Gesta’s body was exhumed, and the hand of the deceased, remarkable for its especially small size, fit perfectly into the impression mark. All of this is well documented. If one were to visit that Convent’s chapel today, he would find that very handprint on the upper panel of the door.

      Such a demonstration should help alleviate the skepticism of those who find such stories to be “fantastic” or even “fanatical” and, therefore, not worthy of belief. Since this apparition, as well as other visitations of suffering souls, took place in the 19th century, this should counter the tendency to view these stories as “medieval” or something out of the so called “dark” ages.

      God sends us such proofs of His justice to counter the skepticism that leads, not just those outside the Church but even otherwise good Catholics within, to consider these divine manifestations unpalatable to modern ears. Our Lord could rightly say of these people what was stated earlier concerning what Our Lady related to Sister Lucy sometime after the Fatima apparitions, “Both the good and the bad ignore my message.”

      Why did the deceased Sister Gesta speak about the mercy of God in her great suffering, demonstrated by the vivid and terrifying burn mark left on the door by her hand? I believe that the sign she left behind was, in fact, a mercy, a warning to us of what awaits those of us who are not prepared at death to enter directly into the presence of God.

      As Fr. Schouppe observed, “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 regard.” (ibid, p.57)

      This example is not unique. Fr. Schouppe reports many such incidents, and I recommend my reader to look for them in his book.

      An encouragement to offer relief

      For persons who are afraid of the justice of God and can become disheartened rather than encouraged by these examples, I believe they could learn something from the example of the three children at Fatima who were shown Hell “where the souls of poor sinners go.” Far from being discouraged at what they saw, they redoubled their efforts to make sacrifices so that sinners could obtain the grace of perfect contrition before death and avoid both the eternal flames of Hell and the transitory flames of Purgatory.

      Souls in Purgatory receiving relief

      Incidentally, Sister Lucy revealed that the souls that she, Francisco and Jacinta saw in Hell were burning from flames that seemed to come from within them. If such is what the three children saw concerning the souls in Hell who are as yet without their bodies, then it should be no problem to accept that the same can be said for the souls in Purgatory.

      While these stories of Purgatory may not impress us as strongly as did the actual apparition of Hell that Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco saw, it can still inspire us to do more for the Poor Souls to relieve them from the fiery torment and help them leave it as quickly as possible.

      We should not become discouraged, thinking, “Well, if that is the case with that holy Sister, then there is no hope for the likes of me.” We must not read these stories making too close a connection with ourselves. When reading accounts of the deceased, it is prudent to recall that, no matter the similarities to our lives in the details of why this soul or that soul is in Purgatory, we are only getting part of the story.

      It is the whole life of the person that is the subject of one’s Particular Judgment, which includes not just virtues and vices, but circumstances of upbringing, education and any number of other factors that have played a part in making someone what he is at the Judgment.

      Therefore, it is important that we take from these stories what they are meant to instil: an increase in charity and devotion towards the Suffering Souls, and not a morbid curiosity or exact idea of what our own particular judgments will be.

  8. May I offer this website for your consideration
    http://www.knocknovena.com/index.htm

    Praying for the holy souls is a very basic duty of Catholics, so it is sad that so many souls are languishing, forgotten, in Purgatory, going by the private visits of so many to earth seeking spiritual help.

    The stories on the Mystics website are awesome and I’ve heard many more like them. We should never forget that we may be in Purgatory some day, depending on prayers.

  9. A ‘TRIAGE’ OF PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SOULS. In recent times, this is something I have done on occasion for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and I thought I might share the idea with others.

    Visit a Church (if possible) and set aside a little time to complete the following:

    1. Say the Stations of the Cross for the Holy Souls.
    2. Recite the 5 decades of the Rosary.
    3. Do a Holy Hour for the relief of the Holy Souls.

    If three people get together, then they can EACH do the above in turn, and so obtain a great many indulgences for the Holy Souls. 3 sets of Stations, the entire 15 decades of the Rosary, and 3 Holy Hours!

    ‘May they rest in peace. Amen’

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