to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”
1. First, and foremost, attend Masses on their behalf and/or have Masses offered for their relief/release.
2. Pray for them using traditional Prayers for the Dead (see below), the Holy Rosary, or offer the Stations of the Cross... and sprinkle Holy Water frequently with the intent of granting the Poor Souls relief.
3. Perform charitable works on their behalf (e.g. visit a sick person, give to charity, or perform volunteer work).
4. Offer sacrifices or voluntary penances, big or small, on their behalf (fasting is especially effective).
5. Last, but certainly not the least, encourage others to pray for them.
“No soul would want to come back from Purgatory to the earth. They have knowledge which is infinitely beyond ours. They just could not decide to return to the darkness of the earth. Here we see the difference from the suffering that we know on earth. In Purgatory, even if the pain of the soul is just terrible, there is the certitude of living forever with God. It’s an unshakeable certitude. The joy is greater than the pain. There is nothing on earth which could make them want to live here again, where one is never sure of anything.”
My Mom’s Personal Experience
Before ending this post, please allow me to share a true story that happened to my mother concerning my father (right photo) who died from cancer in October, 2008. My mother was missing him terribly after he passed away (they were married for 59 years!) and in early 2009 she called me (from California) to share about an experience she had one morning. My mom relayed that she awoke to see my father standing near her bed surrounded by a soft glow of light. She told me that she recognized him, but added that he looked much younger as though he was still in his prime years... and he was smiling lovingly at her. My mom asked him if he was OK, to which my dad replied:
My mom said that my father then held up a small piece of paper that he had in his hand, but she didn’t understand what it meant nor could she see clearly what the writing on it said. Soon afterwards, he faded from view, leaving my mom with a deep sense of peace and closure in regards to his death.
What made this story all the more remarkable for me was the fact that my dad had told my mother about a certain piece of paper. The fact is... after my father passed away, I enrolled his name in a Perpetual Mass program with the Daughters of St. Paul in Honolulu, and had filled-out a slip of paper for the nuns to process the enrollment with their motherhouse in Rome; I offered the Masses for the repose of my dad’s soul but I never told my mother about it so that’s how I knew she wasn’t just dreaming about the whole thing.
Needless to say, I too felt a sense of relief and gratitude knowing that the Masses had benefited my dad’s soul... and the Lord had generously allowed him to visit my mother to reassure us that he was enjoying peace in the afterlife. Thanks be to God! [For those interested in reading another personal experience involving the Poor Souls, click here.]
After reading this blog, my hope is that viewers will take just a few moments to recite the prayers below for the benefit of our faithful departed. Pray not only for family members who have passed on... but also kindly offer the prayers for those who have no one to pray for them. God will surely be pleased. We may not see the effects of our prayers now... but who knows? Perhaps when our own time comes, we too, will have a special welcoming party made up of family and new friends waiting for us in Paradise.
+ A Traditional Prayer for the Deceased
+ Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great (as revealed to her by Jesus)