Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Prayers of the Souls in Purgatory.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Prayers of the Souls in Purgatory.
Prelude.—Let us transport ourselves to Purgatory. There in the midst of their torments the holy souls cease not to fulfil the duty of prayer.
Meditation.—Cardinal Bellarmine observes that we may well believe that the souls in Purgatory pray and obtain graces for us, since the rich man in hell prayed for his brothers, although he suffered much more than they suffer in Purgatory. And Suarez, who praises this opinion as pious and probable, confirms it by these words: “The souls in Purgatory can pray for those who earnestly implore their deliverance of God, and who endeavour to obtain it by good works. For their prayers can but be useful to those persons whom they do not know, but whom God knows. Nothing then prevents them from begging God to assist these persons in necessity, to forgive their offences, to preserve them from temptations, etc.
This is therefore another reason for believing that our good works applied to the dead have more power to draw down on us great gifts from heaven. For although the dead may not know in particular who we are, nor of what we stand in need, they can always recommend their benefactors to God, and implore Him to give them what they desire for His glory and for their salvation. “It is, in fact,” says Suarez “a duty of charity and gratitude; why then should they refuse to acquit themselves of it? We have then,” concludes the same Doctor, “a holy and real reason for doing good to the souls in Purgatory, so that we may have a greater share in their prayers.”
Resolution.—Have confidence in the intercession of souls in Purgatory.
Aspiration.—“But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven.” (Gospel according to St. Matthew iv. 26.)
An author, recommended by his piety and his knowledge relates that every time that he wished to obtain some particular graces from heaven, he was in the habit of recommending to God the souls of the dead, and he asserts that in this way he obtained for himself and for others everything that he desired. (Le P. Alexis de Salo, II part.)
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.
Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.
V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.
An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).
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