This Sunday we remember in a special way the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Each year, on November 2, we have a special day dedicated to remembering the Holy Souls.
We remember them because they are in need of our special assistance and because they cannot help themselves. We can help them move toward and into Heaven through our petitions to God and our sacrifices offered to God in hope for His mercy for them. Here is
what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about the state of Purgatory (#1030-1032):
“All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven."
The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. (Council of Florence, year: 1439 and Council of Trent, year 1563) The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire (1 Corinthians 3:15; 1 Peter 1:7):
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.
(St. Gregory the Great)
This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture:
"Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." (2 Maccabees 12:46)
From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in
suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. (Council of Lyons II, year: 1274) The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them. (St. John
Let us join together in praying for the Holy Souls!
They need our help and, upon receiving the aid of our prayers before God, they can help us on our way to Heaven!
Eternal rest grant unto (him, her or them) O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon (him, her, or them).
May (he, she, or they) rest in peace. Amen. May all
the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of
God rest in peace. Amen.
Through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the souls in Purgatory and Queen of Heaven, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul may the souls in Purgatory know the peace of Heaven and may we courageous strive toward our heavenly homeland with the help of God’s
In Christ through Mary,
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