All Souls Day.

All Souls Day.
Pray for the Holy Souls!
May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

To Labour for the Conversion of Souls, and for Their Relief in the Flames of Purgatory, in Honour of the Holy Angels.

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.

To Labour for the Conversion of Souls, and for Their Relief in the Flames of Purgatory, in Honour of the Holy Angels.

WHAT can we do more agreeable to the angels than to labour with them for the establishment of the glory of our common Master? It is with a view to this glory that the countless host of pure spirits is occupied with watching over miserable mortal creatures with such attention; it is this which, according to the Apostle, detains them all in the service of men. He who knows God can consider nothing mean when it is question of His Divine interests; and if it is difficult to comprehend the charity, the patience, and the diligence of angels in serving such vile creatures as we are, let us cease to wonder when we consider that it is the glory of their Sovereign which makes them do and bear such amazing things. The least degree of God’s glory, the very shadow of His interests, is worth the sufferings of the whole universe and the annihilation of all creatures. O my God! why art Thou not known? Truly our earth is the land of forgetfulness as to all Thou art and all that is due to Thee. It is impossible to think of this without experiencing a longing desire to leave it with all speed, in order to enter the land of light, where we shall perceive, although late, that we ought to have forgotten all things, or to have thought of them only for Thy sake.

Let us, then, with the holy angels, have regard to the interests of God in souls; and let us use all our endeavours that our Sovereign may be glorified in them. A God-Man having given His life amidst an accumulation of unspeakable torments for this end, we must either renounce our Christianity or give all that in our degree we can give to promote His glory in them. Tears of bitter grief ought to stream from our eyes at the sight of what passes around us. What expense is lavished in pampering and adorning a wretched body which every day is hastening to corruption, for the gratification of ambition and vanity! What revenues are every year squandered, what immense sums expended, throughout this earth on that which is nothing but earth! Consider for a moment what profit the men now living will derive from all this expenditure a hundred years hence, and take and meditate a while seriously on this truth. Then let us be lost in astonishment at beholding the small share which the interests of God have in all this outlay. Let us be plunged in an abyss of grief at seeing even those goods which are consecrated solely to the honour of God, the very revenues of the Church, employed—rather let us say squandered away—for every other purpose. Be rent asunder, O ye heavens, and be astounded at the fearful blindness and hardness of the hearts of Christians. In a report concerning Greece which was printed and distributed in the chief places of Christendom, it was stated that an annual revenue of a thousand crowns would suffice to maintain all the necessary missions in that country, and I know not whether throughout all Christendom the sum could be collected. O Christians! it is question of winning new empires to Jesus Christ and to His Blessed Mother: I repeat it, new empires—alas! what will not men do to conquer a single town?—by contributing something towards the foreign missions in the Indies, in China, in Japan, in Canada; and yet you remain unmoved!

Nearly all our country places are made desolate by the reign of sin, and ignorance of our holy mysteries; a small sum spent in giving missions would do much in the way of remedy; but there are very few who trouble themselves about the matter. So it is: money is forthcoming in abundance for a handkerchief, for a dress, for play, for horses, for furniture, for plate, for keeping dogs; it is only when the interests of my God are concerned that no money is to be had, and nothing can be done. O Christians! do you, in truth, know what you are doing? And ye holders of benefices, how can you live in peace, how can you take a moment’s rest, beholding your houses filled with such handsome furniture, fine pictures, and magnificent plate, and the other expenses in which you indulge out of the patrimony of the poor? If you were to take twenty sous from a poor man, nay, but ten sous, to go and make merry with, what would you say? what would others say? If you were to go and take a crown out of the poor-box in the church to spend upon your pleasures, or if you were to help yourselves to the same sum out of the offertory, would you not feel somewhat uneasy in your mind? And yet every year you take from the poor and from churches sums of money beyond what your necessities require to a fearful amount; you have, besides, much hoarded up; and you keep all these splendid sideboards of plate, these pictures, which have been bought with this money; and perhaps you will die in this state, without making restitution, leaving these things to your heirs, and thus pillaging the property of churches and of the poor even after your death: and all this while you laugh, and pass your days without fear. Oh, horror and desolation! Verily, my God, I see the truth of those words of Thine, that few indeed are saved.

The example of the holy angels is a motive of wonderful power, not only to do all and to give all to promote the glory of God in souls, but also never to grow weary in so doing, nor be discouraged by the sufferings we have to endure. The Apostle teaches us (2 Tim. iv. 2), that we must instruct souls “with all patience and doctrine.” These few words include everything: to say all patience and doctrine is to except neither suffering, nor contempt, nor toil, nor any form of instruction, whether in public or in private, whether by preaching or by catechising. Alas! the angels are ever thinking of us, though we scarcely ever think of them; they are constantly attending on us, notwithstanding the repulses and disregard with which we repay them. After offending God during the whole course of our lives, which is greatly to offend them also, they continue nevertheless to do us good, their love always triumphing over everything. This is why St. Ignatius proposed them as an example to his children, in order to encourage them when they saw no fruit from their labours. And truly all our fervour is like ice, compared with the bright flames of pure love with which these spirits are animated. Where will you find the director, the preacher, who, after giving hundreds of counsels for years together, and receiving nothing in return but insults, will continue to proffer them with the same amiability? and yet the angels persevere with an unalterable fidelity after forty or sixty years, after thousands of millions of inspirations which they have given us. They see clearly that numbers of unbelievers and heretics of whom they have the charge are on the road to hell, and that all their endeavours will prove ineffectual; but this does not prevent their watching lovingly over them to the very last breath of life. Again we ask, where is the gardener who would continue diligently watering a tree if he knew that it would never bear fruit? But the goodness of the angels is beyond all compare. All directors, preachers, confessors, missionaries, and all such as labour in any way for the good of their neighbour, ought to have a special devotion to them, that they may in some measure participate in their charity and indefatigable patience.

As the care which these immortal spirits bestow upon us extends beyond time and after death, they may also be imitated in this persevering love. We shall give them much pleasure by assisting those departed souls who are burning in the fires of Purgatory; and they experience a special consolation when they behold us disposed to relieve them. Help, then, these poor souls by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by mental and vocal prayer, by bestowing alms and visiting the poor for their intention, by fasts and mortifications, and by the indulgences which can be applied to them. If you possess a blessed medal, ascertain what indulgences are attached to it which are applicable to the dead; to this end, procure the little book which contains a list of them, and have frequent recourse to this treasury in behalf of those poor souls. As there are many indulgences attached to medals—I speak of such as are common, and may be applied to the dead by the person who wears them; as, for instance, by reciting the Pater and Ave five times in honour of the Five Wounds of our Lord, or the Pater and Ave three times in honour of the Most Holy Trinity, before an image of our Lord or of our Lady—it will be easy for you to give some relief to these much afflicted souls several times a day.

I know persons who never omit this practice when in church, who never lie down to sleep without performing this act of devotion; and it is an easy thing to do, because all that is required is to wear one of these medals, and a picture of our Lord and of His Blessed Mother may readily be found in all Hours and Breviaries, and other pious books, when there happens to be none in the room we occupy, which, however, ought never to be. I know some persons who pass a considerable time in repeating these prayers over and over again, in order to obtain the more for these souls who are the prisoners of Divine justice; for let us suppose, for instance, that the remission of a hundred days’ penalty, or of ten years’ penalty, were attached to each repetition of these prayers, we should relieve them of many years of suffering if we were to continue to repeat them devoutly for half an hour or an hour. I know persons who, when they desire to obtain something from God, endeavour to move Him to mercy by first performing this act of mercy themselves.

Ah! if a dog had fallen into the fire you would feel compassion for him; if a house were burning, every one would run for water to extinguish the flames; neither darkness nor bad weather would keep people back; crowds would hurry eagerly to the spot: whereas such is the prodigious blindness of Christians, a thing of ordinary occurrence in all spiritual concerns, that souls made to the image of God are enduring the torments of burning—your father, your mother, your husband, your wife, your dearest friend—and no one gives it a thought! For the first few days that follow death people do think of it, because such is the custom, or perhaps even for the space of a year; and after that, the persons to whom you manifested so much affection are left to burn unaided. Oh, how truly do they then estimate the value of your love! and how great a folly it is to rely on the friendship of creatures, and how good it is to attach one’s self to God only, who is the true friend in life, in death, and after death! There are well-authenticated revelations from which we learn that there are souls which are condemned to the fires of Purgatory for hundreds of years, and sometimes, alas! for the indulgence of some vanity—a woman perhaps for her love of dress: and, knowing all this, you forget them so soon and so easily.

I said in my book on “The Admirable Mother of God,” how profitable a thing it is to place all our good works in her sacred hands, that she may apply them to such souls as she pleases: do you at least place at her disposal the good works of some months or years of your life; perhaps, for what you know, all that is wanting to deliver a soul from Purgatory is some one single good action. Father de Coret, of the Company of Jesus, in his work on “Devotion to the Holy Angel Guardians,” relates two very striking incidents bearing on this subject. He says that a soul suffering in Purgatory learned from his good angel that a child just born would one day be a priest, and would deliver him from that place of suffering by his first offering of the Holy Sacrifice. He adds, what I have already related, that in the year 1634, in the city of Vienna, three other souls appeared to a Jesuit, and told him that at his birth their good angels had brought them the news in the flames of Purgatory, assuring them that one day he should be their deliverer. St. Teresa has written that she had a revelation that the soul of one of her benefactors was to come out of Purgatory on the day that the first Mass should be celebrated in one of her houses; and this made her feel very anxious to hasten on the completion of that house, knowing that this soul would continue to burn until the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass could be celebrated within its walls. I leave you to make such reflections as these revelations may suggest, if only your mind be a little enlightened; they will furnish many and most profitable thoughts.

Nihil Obstat:
Henricus S. Bowden.
Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur:
Edm. Can. Surmont,
Vic. Gen.
Westmonasterii,
Die 9, Martii, 1911.

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.


PSALM: DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord! Lord hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by rea­son of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. 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 to the souls of thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through the devout prayers of Thy Church on earth, they may obtain that remission of pain which they have ever desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XII., by a brief, Calestes Ecclesia thesauros, Aug. 11, 1736, granted:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS to all the faithful who, at the sound of the bell, at the first hour after nightfall, shall say devoutly on their knees the psalm De profundis, or the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Requiem æternam.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a year, to those who shall have performed this pious exercise for a year, on any day when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall pray for peace and union among Christian princes, for the extirpation of heresy and for the triumph of holy Mother Church.
The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of the Propaganda, March 18, 1781, granted these indulgences to all the faithful who may happen to dwell in a place where no bell for the dead is sounded, provided they shall say the De profundis, or the Our Father, and the Hail Mary, etc., about nightfall.
The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 18, 1877, declared that these indulgences can be gained on the recital as aboye of the De profundis, or the Our Father, etc., before or after nightfall, provided that the bell is sounded at such hour, according to the custom of the church or place.
Moreover, His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Feb. 3, 1888, granted to all the faithful who shall recite the above Psalm, adding the versicle Requiem æternam dona eis Domine ei lux perpetua luceat eis, AN INDULGENCE OF FIFTY DAYS, three times a day.

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.
R. Amen.
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.
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.
R. Amen.

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).


RECITING THE ROSARY FOR THE HOLY SOULS.

Pius IX, has granted an Indulgence of Ten Years and Ten Quarantines once a day to the faithful who devoutly recite in company with others, either at home or in church, in public or private oratories, a third part of the Rosary of Saint Dominic; and a Plenary Indulgence on the last Sunday in every month to all who are in the habit of saying with others at least three times a week, the third part of the Rosary, without belonging to the confraternity of that name. (Visit.)
Benedict XIII granted an Indulgence of One Hundred Days for every Our Father and every Hail Mary, and a Plenary Indulgence once a year, to those who recite the third part of the Rosary every day; the same Indulgence of One Hundred Days had been granted for the Chaplet of Saint Bridget. Those who recite at least once a week the Chaplet of our Lord, or that of the Blessed Virgin, enriched with Apostolic Indulgences, gain numerous Indulgences on the feast indicated in the calendar, besides an Indulgence of One Hundred Days each time. (Take particular notice that it is necessary to recite the whole Chaplet without remarkable interrruption.) – Month of the Dead.


CATHOLIC LEAGUE OF PERPETUAL SUFFRAGE FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY.

In order to maintain and diffuse ever more and more among the faithful the holy and salutary thought of praying for the departed, some pious Romans projected and proposed a so-called Catholic League of perpetual suffrage for the holy souls in purgatory, to which any one may belong by reciting each day, three times, Give them eternal rest, etc., in behalf of the holy souls.
His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Aug. 19, 1880, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, recite, three times, Give them eternal rest, etc.:
AN INDULGENCE OF TWO HUNDRED DAYS, once a day. – Raccolta 1898

THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, January 17, 1888, granted to the faithful who shall perform some pious practice for the relief of the souls in Purgatory, every day during the whole month of November, whether in public or in private,
AN INDULGENCE OF SEVEN YEARS AND AS MANY QUARANTINES on each day of the month;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once during the same month, on any day of the month, on the usual conditions: Confession and Communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory, and there praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. – Raccolta 1898.


PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED.

These prayers should be recited on All Souls’ Day, when visiting the grave of some person we have known, on anniversaries, in seasons set apart for the commemoration of the departed, and for a certain time daily after the death of a relative.

DELIVER me, O Lord, from eternal death, in that tremendous day;
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
When Thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
I am in fear and trembling, until the trial cometh, and the wrath to come:
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
That day, a day of wrath, calamity, and misery;
a day great and very bitter;
When Thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death, in that, tremendous day;
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
Let us pray for the faithful departed in Christ:
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
Antiphon. If Thou, Lord, shalt observe iniquities, Lord, who shall endure it?

Prayers for the Dead.

FOR A DECEASED PRIEST.

O GOD, Who wert pleased that in the apostolic priesthood Thy servant, N., should be invested with sacerdotal dignity, grant also, we beseech Thee, that he may be joined forevermore to the fellowship of that priesthood in heaven. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

FOR DECEASED PARENTS.

O GOD, Who hast commanded us to honor our father and mother, we pray Thee that Thou wouldst of Thy clemency grant to the souls of my father and mother the remission of their sins, and grant that I may see them again in the enjoyment of eternal glory. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

FOR DECEASED RELATIVES AND FRIENDS.

O GOD, the Bestower of pardon and the Lover of man’s salvation, we pray that, through the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, and all Thy saints, Thou wouldst of Thy clemency grant unto such of our brethren, relatives, and benefactors as have passed out of this world to arrive at the common enjoyment of everlasting blessedness. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

FOR DECEASED FOUNDERS AND BENEFACTORS.

O GOD, we commend to Thy mercy the souls of those who by charitable institutions have actively promoted Thy glory and the good of their brethren. Recompense them with eternal goods for the benefits they have conferred on their needy brethren, and grant that in everlasting bliss they may enjoy the treasures they have laid up in heaven by their good works. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

FOR A MAN OR WOMAN DECEASED.

DO Thou of Thy goodness, O Lord, take pity on the soul of Thy servant; that being dead to this world, it may live unto Thee. Cleanse it, by Thy infinite mercy, from the defilement which by mortal frailty it has contracted during this earthly life. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED.

O GOD, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of their sins; that through our pious supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired. O Thou that livest and reignest, etc. Amen.
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

TO BE SAID IN A GRAVEYARD.

O LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Saviour and the Redeemer of all the faithful, Who camest not for the destruction of souls, but to save them and to give Thy life a ransom for many, we earnestly beseech Thee, that by Thy infinite mercy and clemency Thou wouldst look with kindness and compassion on the souls of all the faithful departed, who are still suffering in the purifying fire, that although their pains are not unmerited, yet they may be released from them by Thy tender loving kindness. In Thy mercy come to the assistance of the souls whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy Precious Blood; and for the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints be propitious unto them, deliver them from their torments, clothe them with the garment of glory and immortality, and admit them to the joys of paradise, where Thou, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
O all you souls of the faithful departed, who have fallen asleep in the peace of the Lord and whose remains are interred here or elsewhere in the sweet name of Christ, may God the Father bless you, may God the Son redeem you, may God the Holy Ghost comfort you. May the Lord God grant unto you eternal rest through the bitter Passion and death of His beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ; may Mary, the ever-blessed Mother of God, and all the heavenly hosts intercede in your behalf. And when you are in the presence of God, O Christian souls, pray for me a miserable sinner. Amen.

Nihil Obstat:                 Imprimatur:
Thomas L. Kinkead,          Michael Augustine,
                                         Censor Librorum                Archbishop of New York.
New York, October 5, 1899.
†††††

ALL ye, who would honor
The saints and their Head,
Remember, remember,
To pray for the dead;
And they, in return,
From their misery freed,
To you will be friends
In the hour of need.


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