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.
Exemption from 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.
Exemption from Purgatory.
Prelude.—Let us represent to ourselves the torments of Purgatory, and try to conceive a great fear of them, so as to excite ourselves to devotion for the souls who suffer there.
Meditation.—In offering up our good works and satisfactions for the holy souls, we ought to have a certain hope of being exempted from the sufferings of Purgatory, or that we shall soon be delivered, if condemned to them. This hope is founded, first of all, on texts from the Old and New Testaments, by which it is affirmed that charity covereth sins, that “charity covereth a multitude of sins;” that “charity covereth all sins;” that “alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness;” that “blessed is he that understandeth concerning the needy and the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the evil day;” that “as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;” that “blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy;” that, if you give unto others, “it shall be given unto you: good measure and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over,” etc.
And, besides, as we have already seen several times during these exercises, the souls which we have delivered are our patrons and advocates with God, and seeing us in the same strait out of which we drew them, they will come and assist us at our death, and will not fail to make the best of the good offices which we have been able to render them.
Resolution.—Keep ourselves in great fear of the sufferings of Purgatory.
Aspiration.—“Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom.” (Gospel according to St. Luke vi. 38.)
BEAUTIFUL INSTANCE OF GENEROSITY.
In our own days the Archduchess Sophia, mother of the Emperor of Austria, has given a beautiful and excellent example of Christian charity. When she heard the announcement of the execution and death of Lebenyi, who, as every one knows, had attempted the life of the young and chivalrous Emperor Francis Joseph, and had grievously wounded him, she said:
“Will any one think, in this vast empire, of praying for the soul of this unfortunate man? Well, then, I will undertake this duty, which our holy religion prescribes; I will forget that he has caused me the greatest sorrow which can strike the heart of a mother, anxious about her son’s life, and as a Christian I am resolved to have celebrated, beginning from to-day, anniversary Masses for the repose of his soul’’ (Journal du Peuple.)
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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