On the Catholic Priesthood

Wednesday November 20, 2019

Twentieth Day: Love of the Blessed Virgin Towards the Souls in Purgatory

Since our Divine Redeemer gave us Mary as our Mother, when, dying upon the cross, He said to His disciple, "Behold thy Mother," the Blessed Virgin regards us all as her beloved children. But she maintains most tender feelings of maternal love towards the suffering souls in Purgatory. Let us then, please this Mother of Love by offering abundant suffrages for the souls in Purgatory. Taking into consideration the great prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin, and the infinite love of the Holy Trinity towards her, we cannot doubt that by her merits and intercession every penitent suffering soul would be delivered at once from Purgatory, were such according to the inscrutable ways of God.

But God has His own designs founded on His infinite wisdom, justice and mercy. The Blessed Virgin does not pray to have all the suffering souls delivered at once, for her will is in perfect conformity to the Will of God, and she exercises her dominion over the souls in Purgatory in perfect union with this Divine Will.

St. Bernardin of Siena applies to Mary the text of Holy Writ, "I have walked in the waves of the sea," (Eccl. XXIV.8), and adds: "She descends into the sea of fire, quenching the flames for the suffering souls." St. Dionysius, the Carthusian, at tests that the souls in Purgatory experience the same joy and relief, at the mere mention of her name, that consoling words bring to the bedridden sick.

Prayer: O most holy and glorious Virgin Mary, Blessed Mother of our Lord, we place our petitions for the suffering souls in thy hands. Cleanse these souls from all imperfections, and, by thy intercession, obtain for them eternal rest. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls who were most zealous in their devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Say the Litany of the Blessed Virgin for the suffering souls.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907


Tuesday November 19, 2019

Nineteeth Day: Holy Communion of Great Benefit to the Departed

The Holy Doctor and Cardinal, St. Bonaventure, of the Order of St. Francis, who wrote much concerning the holy souls, urges especially frequent Communion in their behalf. "Let love and compassion for your neighbor," so he writes, "lead you to the Holy Table, for nothing is so well calculated to obtain eternal rest for the holy souls.!

This is confirmed by the following example. Ludovio Blosio relates that a pious servant of God, in a vision, beheld a departed friend wrapped in flames, and learned from him that he suffered terribly, because he had received Our Lord in Holy Communion with but little preparation. "Therefore," added this departed friend, "I beg of you, for the love we bore each other, to communicate for the benefit of my soul, but to do so with great preparation and fervor; I then hope certainly to be released from the terrible sufferings that I indeed have well deserved for my negligence towards the Blessed Sacrament." The friend at once complied with the request, and having received Holy Communion with due preparation, he saw the same soul enveloped in light, winging its festive flight to Heave, to behold face to face the King of eternal glory.

Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar hast given us Thine own flesh and blood for the nourishment of our souls, and a pledge of our own future resurrection, grant us the grace always to receive worthily this Most Holy Mystery, that it may be to us and the souls in Purgatory a source of salvation. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls who were negligent in their preparation for Holy Communion

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Monday November 18, 2019

Eighteenth Day: The Efficacy of Holy Mass for the Departed

The Sacrifice of the Mass is the great devotion of the Catholic Church. And of all means to assist the souls in Purgatory none is more valuable or meritorious. For there Jesus Christ offers Himself with His infinite merits to His Heavenly Father, by the hands of the priest, in behalf of the suffering souls. The unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass does not essentially differ from the Sacrifice of the Cross, but only accidentally as to the manner of offering. And no limit can be place to the effect of this great Sacrifice, which contains in itself all grace.

From this inestimable efficacy, however, we may not infer that the offering of one Mass is sufficient to release the souls we love. For, though the Sacrifice on Calvary was infinite we cannot conclude that the application of it through the Mass must also be infinite. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, it was not the intention of Jesus Christ to bestow the full efficacy of His suffering and death, which is commemorated in every Mass, upon us. His merits are applied according to His Adorable Will, for the ways of God are often inscrutable.

It is very salutary therefore, to have the Holy Sacrifice offered frequently for the repose of a soul. Should the souls who are dear to us and for whom we intercede in this manner, be already in the enjoyment of eternal bliss, Divine Wisdom and Goodness will bestow the merit of the Masses offered on other suffering souls.

Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst institute the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass in commemoration of Thy Sacrifice upon the Cross, we beseech Thee, bestow the merits of this Holy Sacrifice upon the souls in Purgatory, that they may soon be released from their pains. Thou Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who were the most zealous to assist at Mass.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Assist at Mass for the relief of the suffering souls.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Sunday November 17, 2019

Seventeeth Day: The Manner in which the Church bestows Indulgences upon the Souls in Purgatory

The Church does not apply indulgences to the souls in Purgatory as she does to the faithful upon earth through the tribunal of penance and absolution, but confers them simply through pious supplications and sacrifices offered in their behalf; thus they are relieved indirectly. Holy Church opens her rich treasures of merit and satisfaction in proportion to the suffrage of the faithful, who offer expiation and fervent prayers to God for the relief of the suffering souls.

God has reserved to Himself the right to accept entirely, or in part, the satisfaction offered for any soul in Purgatory. This acceptance depends upon His holy and adorable Will, and perhaps, in great measure upon the care of the soul to render herself worthy of the Divine Assistance during her earthly career. Besides, there may be some obligation neglected by the person who intends to gain the indulgence, owing to ignorance or forgetfulness on his part.

Therefore, we have no assurance whatever that an indulgence given by us to the souls has had the desired effect. Considering this, we should prepare most carefully, and fulfill all obligations required for gaining an indulgence. However, let us place with entire confidence in the tender hand of Divine Mercy the application of indulgences to departed souls who are especially dear to us.

Prayer: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the suffering souls in Purgatory; mitigate the severity of Thy judgments; let the infinite merits of Thine only begotten Son and those of Thy saints assist the holy souls and deliver them from their sufferings. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who neglected to gain indulgences for the souls in Purgatory.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Offer all indulgences you may gain today for the souls in Purgatory.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Resource on Indulgences:

Saturday November 16, 2019

Sixteenth Day: The Efficacy of Prayer for the Suffering Souls

"It is holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins." (2 Mach. XII, 46)

Prayer for the dead is holy because pleasing to God; wholesome, because through the merciful goodness of God it accomplishes its sublime and charitable object. Nothing is so pleasing to God as the sacrifice of love and mercy, especially when offered for the suffering souls, whom He loves most tenderly, because they are holy and sure of Heaven.

To relieve the suffering souls we can do nothing more salutary than to gain indulgences applicable to them, offering to God the perfect satisfaction of Christ and the saints, and performing good works in their behalf, that they may be comforted or delivered from the pains of Purgatory.

A suffering soul may receive an entire or a temporary remission of her penalty, according to the indulgence applied.

Prayer: Open, O Lord, the rich treasures of Thy holy Church, in favor of the souls in Purgatory that they may receive full pardon, or at least, some relief in their pains; and grant us grace to deliver and to comfort a great number of suffering souls by prayer and good works. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls, who during their earthly career, endeavored to gain many indulgences for the faithful departed.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Apply all the indulgences you can gain to the souls in Purgatory

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Friday November 15, 2019

Fifteenth Day: The State of Grace Necessary to Assist the Souls in Purgatory

Holy Church teaches us that the state of grace is necessary to perform good works acceptable to God and of merit to the souls in Purgatory. There are some good works, the value of which does not depend upon the spiritual condition of the one who offers them. A person who may be, unfortunately, in the state of mortal sin, can have Masses said for the faithful departed. He himself will acquire no merit, thereby, but the suffering souls will derive the full benefit of the Holy Sacrifice. In all other good works offered for them, the state of sanctifying grace is requisite.

"He that abideth in Me," says Christ, "and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, for, without Me you can do nothing." If, then, we are incapable of gaining merit for ourselves, how can we bestow any upon others? St. Francis Xavier says: "Before being intent upon delivering souls from Purgatory, take heed to redeem our own souls from Hell!" and here we may add the word of the Lord spoken by His prophet: "Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your device from my eyes: cease to do perversely." (Isaiah I. 16)

Prayer: Grant us the grace, O Lord, to avoid sin at all times, and confirm us in Thy charity, that, by Thy bounty, our supplications for the suffering souls may be acceptable to Thee and beneficial to them. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who were careful never to lose the grace of God.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Make an act of perfect contrition.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Thursday November 14, 2019

Fourtheenth Day: The Special Duty of Children towards their Deceased Parents

"Honor thy father, and forget not the groaning of thy mother. Remember that thou hadst not been born but through them, and make a return to them; as they have done for thee." (Eccl. VII. 29-30) Next to God, our parents are our greatest benefactors, entitled to most tender love and gratitude, which is the sacred duty of every child. This duty does not end with this life; it is extended even to eternity. Should our departed parents find no relief in their pains? Must they cry out in bitter anguish: "I have reared sons and daughters, but they have forgotten me?"

If we compassionate the misery of strangers, if we do not heartlessly send a beggar from our doors, oh, let us remember how near and dear father and mother are to us, and how greatly we are indebted to them. After their death, we owe them prayers, alms, good works, and Masses. They cry out to us for mercy. Would it not be the lowest degree of ingratitude were we to forget those who bestowed their best love and care upon us in life? The commandment of God, "Honor thy father and thy mother," is an obligation also towards our deceased parents.

Prayer: O God, Who hast commanded us to honor father and mother, look in loving kindness upon the souls of my father and mother, and forgive them their trespasses and grant unto my the joy of being re-united to them in the glorious light of everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of parents who have been forgotten by their children.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Mortify yourself by an act of obedience

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Wednesday November 13, 2019

Thirtheenth Day: The Special Duty of Everyone to Aid the Faithful Departed

Besides the general duty imposed upon us by the divine law of charity, there is a special obligation incumbent upon every one to assist particular souls. This duty devolves upon us in consequence of the personal relations with such souls during their earthly career; for whatever be the condition of man in life, he will have among the souls departed, who may be suffering in Purgatory, some to whom he is indebted for particular favors and benefits.

But what could more forcibly elicit our charity and gratitude than to behold our loved ones and our benefactors in extreme distress, while we have the means of alleviating their suffering! That person does not possess a spark of Christian charity, who, from neglect or indolence, suffers the souls of his friends to be tormented in the flames of Purgatory.

Prayer: Revive, O Lord, within the hearts of Thy faithful an active commiseration for the brethren gone before us, that they may not, by our indifference or neglect, suffer without relief and assistance. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who are neglected by their relatives and friends.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Bestow alms for the relief of the suffering souls.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Tuesday November 12, 2019

Twelfth Day: Grand Display is of no Value to the Holy Souls

In Regard to pompous displays for the departed, St. Augustine says: "Costly funerals and expensive displays may afford the living some consolation, but are of no benefit to the departed." He adds, however: "Let care be bestowed upon funerals and the erection of monuments: for Holy Writ reckons these among good works. Let all perform these last services for their departed, and hereby relieve their own sorrow; but let them show greater zeal, care, and generosity in succoring the souls of the departed, by Masses, prayers and alms, and thus give evidence not only of a temporal, but also a spiritual love for those who are departed in body only, bu not in spirit. According to a rule of the Church, flowers should be used at funerals of children only; circumstances may at times justify a deviation from this rule, bu, at all events, it is unpardonable if the expense connected with this display deprives the soul departed of any spiritual assistance.

Prayer: We beseech Thee, O Lord, by Thy infinite mercy, do not despise our prayers in behalf of the souls in Purgatory, by grant them the peace and consolation we desire for them. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who were remembered by a pompous funeral only, and have no relief in their pain.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Accompany the funeral of a poor person, at the first opportunity

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Monday November 11, 2019

Eleventh Day: Our Duty to Relieve the Souls in Purgatory

In bestowing charity upon any person, we are usually guided by the degree of his poverty; but who is in such great need as he who possesses absolutely nothing, owes a heavy debt, is unable to labor or gain any merit; or even to beg, and must nevertheless suffer the most excruciating torments until the last farthing has been paid! There is a universal law to assist the needy, which extends even to strangers; but here the obligation is greater, because among these souls in Purgatory are such as were intimately connected with us, who suffer perhaps, for having loved us excessively. Among the sufferers are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. How exceedingly painful for them to be forgotten and deserted even by those whose happiness they promoted during their sojourn on earth; to see the possessions left to their children foolishly squandered, they themselves not receiving the benefit of the least farthing thereof. What proofs of extreme coldness and ingratitude! Were any of these persons afflicted with the least pain upon earth we would do all in our power to relieve them, but, as it is, we are devoid of all sympathy, and leave them in their terrible suffering and anguish.

Prayer: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the suffering souls in Purgatory, and mitigate the severity of Thy judgment, that they, who during their earthly lives, believed in Thee, hoped in Thee, and loved Thee, may receive the crown of justice in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who are suffering for their negligence in prayer for the souls in Purgatory.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Suffer patiently the disagreeable occurrences in your relations with others.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Sunday November 10, 2019

Thenth Day: The Duration of Purgatory

Concerning the duration of Purgatory, the Church simply tells us that it is not a place of everlasting pain, but will end at the last judgment; neither are we informed of the length of time required for the purification of a soul. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the souls, to be reunited to her Creator in Heaven, must be in the state of primitive innocence which adorned her when she proceeded from His hand. The image of God must be entirely restored within her, commensurate with the degree of glory awaiting her in Heaven.

From this it is evident that the suffering souls cannot enter Heaven until perfectly cleansed, either by their pains or by the suffrages of the faithful. With the royal Prophet they cry out in plaintive voices: "As the heart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after Thee, O God! When shall I come and appear before the face of God?" (Ps. XLI, 2-3) They suffer until entirely purified, until the last farthing of their debt is paid. Increased and intensified pain will probably supply the want of time for the souls who will not have rendered full satisfaction before the last day.

Prayer: O God! the Bestower of forgiveness and the lover of human salvation, we implore Thee, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin May and all Thy saints, grant to the souls of our brethren, relatives, benefactors, and all the faithful departed, the joys of eternal bliss. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls who are most desirous of obtaining help from you.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Modify your curiosity.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Saturday November 09, 2019

Ninth Day: The Pain of Fire in Purgatory

The Church has given no decision regarding the word "fire" in relation to Purgatory; but, according to Theologians and Doctors of the Church, we are to understand a material fire. Concerning this, Bishop Colmar of Mayence, a great friend of the holy souls, writes: "Besides being deprived of the vision of God, the souls in Purgatory must endure the torture of a fire, the effects of which are so much more painful because it is an instrument in the avenging hand of God"; a fire, as St. Augustine says, in comparison to which our material fire is as nothing; a fire that entirely penetrates the soul, in whatever manner this may be accomplished.

How, and to what extent this is done, we know not, but may draw our conclusion from similar instances. St. Gregory the Great says: "As the fallen angels, although pure spirits, are tormented by the material fire of Hell, so may a similar fire torture the souls of the departed in Purgatory." The justice of God can punish a spirit by means of a material substance as well as He can in His omnipotence give life to a body by the agency of a spirit. According to the holy Fathers, the fire of Purgatory does not differ from the fire of Hell, except in point of duration. "It is the same fire," says St. Thomas, "that torments the reprobates in Hell, and the just in Purgatory. The least pain in Purgatory," he adds, "surpasses the greatest sufferings of this life." Nothing but eternal duration makes the fire of Hell more forcible than that of Purgatory. 

Prayer: Refresh, O Lord, the suffering souls in Purgatory, with the dew of Thy grace, that their pains may be relieved, and, in Thy mercy, hasten the moment of their deliverance, that they may meet Thee in Heaven where no fire but that of Thy holy love shall consume them. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for all the souls in Purgatory, particularly for those who are forgotten by their relatives.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Endeavor to spread the devotion for the holy souls in Purgatory as much as possible.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Friday November 08, 2019

Eighth Day: Pain of Helplessness and Desolation

The souls in Purgatory have entered into the realm of Divine Justice. The penance and satisfaction due for their faults must be made, either by the pain of Purgatory itself, or by the suffrages of the faithful, consisting in prayer, good works and the spiritual treasure of indulgences bestowed upon them; for the suffering souls can no longer merit and are entirely unable to assist themselves. A sick man and a beggar have a tongue to ask for help, and the very sight of their misery will move others to compassion. The suffering souls, however, have no resource but that of patience, resignation and hope. To all their moans there is but one answer, "the night hath come, in which no man can work."

Hence in their extreme desolation and distress, they incessantly cry out to us for relief and assistance. But since they cannot do this in a manner perceptible to us, holy Church does it for them by instituting many touching devotions in their behalf. Can we, then, be cold and heartless towards these souls? "A hard heart will fare evil at the last." Be not, then, indifferent to your own interests.

Prayer: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the suffering souls in Purgatory, in their helplessness and desolation. Comfort them by the prayers and petitions of the just in Heaven and upon earth; shorten the time of their suffering, and reward them with joys eternal. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the most forsaken and helpless souls.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Deny yourself a little comfort, or some special consolation, and offer it for the most forsaken souls in Purgatory

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Thursday November 07, 2019

Seventh Day: Pain or Sorrow for Sin

The soul departed, before the judgment set of God, is enlightened with a perfect knowledge of the purity and sanctity of her Divine Judge, clearly perceiving the stains with which she is sullied, and her extreme unworthiness of union with God, the thought that I have offended God who is eternal beauty and perfection; I am not yet worthy to appear before the face of the Lord, who is infinitely holy, not worthy to take possession of my dwelling place in Heaven, is the greatest sorrow of the suffering souls. Much more clearly than during their earthly lives do these holy souls comprehend the perfections of God and love Him above all things; therefore, the thought of having offended Him is a piercing sorrow which surpasses all their other sufferings. 

St. Ambrose tells us, there is no greater agony than remorse of conscience caused by sin. There are examples on record of men who died from the effects of this vehement sorrow. yet how much more intense must be the contrition of the suffering souls, who fully understand the great malice of sin! We know by our own experience that the depth of sorrow for having offended a person is equal to the love we bear him. The holy souls in Purgatory, being inflamed with a perfect love of God, their perfect contrition for sin is their greatest sorrow.

Payer: O God, Father of grace and mercy, graciously regard the deep sorrow of the suffering souls in Purgatory. Deign to accept their love and grant them remission of their punishment, that, united with Thee, they may praise Thy goodness forever. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for those who while on earth, loved God most ardently.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Try to make an act of perfect contrition for your sins.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907

Wednesday November 06, 2019

Sixth Day: The Pain of Loss

The spiritual suffering, or the pain of loss, is the greatest pain of Purgatory, according to the Fathers of the Church. No one can comprehend the great suffering of a soul departed, which, in all its ardent desire for the highest and only good, sees itself ever repulsed as an object of God's avenging justice.

St. Alphonsus writes: " Far greater than the pain of sense in Purgatory is that pain which the holy souls must endure in being deprived of the vision of God. Because these souls are inflamed, not only with natural, but with a supernatural love of God, they are so vehemently attracted to union with their highest good, that in being repulsed through their own fault, they experience so violent a pain that it would kill them instantly if death were possible to them." "Therefore," says St. Chrysostom, "this pain of being deprived of God is far greater pain for them than the pain of the senses. The fire of Hell increased a thousand times would not cause them such great suffering as does this pain of the loss of God."

Prayer: O God! Father of Mercies, grant the ardent desire of the souls in Purgatory who yearn to behold Thee. Send down to them Thy holy angel with the joyful tidings that the moment of their deliverance has come, that their exile is ended; and bless them with perfect union with Thee forever. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.

Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls who are punished for their forgetfulness of the holy presence of God during their life.

Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)

Practice: Try to remember at all times the holy presence of God.

Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907


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