Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November, Month of the Holy Souls In Purgatory

During the month of November it is a tradition to pray each day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

This belief, held from the beginning of the Church, is sometimes forgotten or ridiculed by even Catholics, who should know better.

Our monastic community visits the cemetery each day from November 2nd to the 10th with prayers, psalms, and Scripture to pray for the Faithful Departed and to gain a plenary indulgence for the Holy Souls. It is our privilege to pray for all of the deceased in this way. But all the faithful should make a point to do the same, even if only for one or two days.

I am convinced that Purgatory is God's Mercy made manifest; how can we even think that most of us (including religious, even monastics!) can enter Heaven with all of our "baggage"...the resentments, the attachments to creatures and creaturely things, the lack of charity and our own sinful tendencies? God wants us to be completely FREE...completely HIS! And our lack of devotion and attentiveness to His Will is a constant obstacle to being free.

Purgatory is a great Mercy.

We should not forget our loved ones, our friends, our enemies, and the most forgotten...those who have no one to pray for them after death. It is a great act of charity to remember the souls of the faithful departed. Not just in November, but always.

Not to bring attention to myself, but I always try to remember those most forgotten at the Memento of the Dead at Holy Mass. Hopefully, when I die, they will be there to escort me to my place of purification, and ultimately, to the Kingdom of God.

Pray for the dead.

They will be eternally grateful. And you will make friends for everlasting life.


saintos said...

Each November 25 - December 25 our family prays the Month for the Souls in Purgatory and last year we took it online inviting people to send us their souls, as it were. We prayed for well over 1000 people last year. It is said that our Holy Mother releases many souls on December 25th and we pray the 30 days to that end.

The web location may be different this year but last year we hosted at

God bless you.

Mary Ellen said...

I'm so glad to hear about your prayers for the souls in Purgatory. My oldest brother and I have a pact that whoever is left will die for the one who passes first. We're the only two of five who are still practicing Catholics. One brother passed away when he was a teenager.

Also, when I was teaching catechism to 4th, 6th, and high schoolers, we always ended our class in prayer for the "poorest soul in Purgatory"...the soul who never received any prayers from anyone else. I wasn't sure if this would stick in their minds, but ran into one of my students years later and he said he never forgot that.

I love the idea of going to a cemetery and saying prayers. I have a cemetery near me (in town) and I think I'll be making some stops there this month. Thanks for the great idea!

Oh...Nazareth Priest, I also want to thank you for the prayers you offered for my deceased family members. I wasn't able to get to my computer for a couple of days...crazy family stuff to deal with, but I did see the comment today. Thank you and God Bless you for your kindness, it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. :-)

TraciC. said...

St. Gertrude said that our Lord gave her this prayer to pray for the souls in purgatory. It would deliver 1,000 souls each time it is said. "Eternal Father,I offer you the most Precious Blood of your Divine Son Jesus, in union with all 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." A large family I know prays this every hour each day. They have a little chime clock that reminds them to stop and pray. They call it their "Mary Clock." I thought that was such a good idea!

Mary Ellen said...

Thanks for that prayer, Traci. I think I'll post it in the sidebar of my blog and that way every time I glance at it, I can say the prayer.

nazareth priest said...

saintos: Thank you for the information and for your kind words.

Mary Ellen: You are most welcome. And don't give up!...God is ever greater!

Traci: Thanks for that prayer. It is very beautiful and powerful!

Gabriella said...

Where are you, Nazareth Priest?
Miss you!

nazareth priest said...

I'm here, Gabriella!
Thanks for missing's been a rough two weeks.
Hope to be back in a regular basis.
Appreciate your kindness!