5 Ways to Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory During Lent
Let us leave no soul behind in purgatory.
It is our duty to pray especially for the souls of our family, friends and benefactors, and we pray especially for our priests and consecrated religious. We tend to “canonize” our loved ones immediately after their death, but Father Frederick Faber tells us:
We are apt to leave off too soon praying for our parents, friends, or relatives, imagining with a foolish enlightened esteem for the holiness of their lives, that they are freed from purgatory much sooner than they really are.
Let us be their advocate by our prayers, sacrifices, sufferings and almsgiving this Lent, and turn their pain into everlasting joy.
I invite you in a special way to make the rest of your Lenten journey the best ever for the release of the holy souls in purgatory. Do you realize how many fresh intercessors you will have at Easter by helping to bring about their release?
Let us leave no soul behind in purgatory. Here are a few suggestions to give “Paradise” to our loved ones and friends for Easter.
1. Who do you miss the most? Who do you wish you could have done more for? Who hurt you? Who are your enemies? Who needs healing in your families? Have a Mass offered for them! The Mass heals the living and the deceased.
Offer Gregorian Masses for your deceased loved ones. Gregorian Masses derive their name from Pope St. Gregory the Great, who was the first to popularize this practice. St. Gregory relates in his Dialogues how, when he finished the series of 30 Masses for a departed monk, the monk appeared to tell he gained entry into Heaven on completion of the Gregorian Masses. Arrange to have these in your will!
2. The Eastern Catholic Church does not celebrate All Souls Day on Nov. 2 but “All Souls Saturdays” during Lent. The Saturdays of Lent are given over to “All Souls” and the Eastern Church remembers them five times when they commemorate them by having a liturgy for souls of all deceased loved ones and the reading out of their names.
These names are put in a book called the “Scroll of the Deceased.” Let us join our Byzantine brothers and sisters during this Great Lent and remember our loved ones on “All Souls Saturdays” so they, too, can rise with Jesus at the Resurrection!
3. Pray the Stations of the Cross for the Holy Souls. Mary stood by when her Son died for the redemption of souls. Through her life she had constantly before her mind the work he had come to accomplish. Now she sees those souls red with the divine blood by which they were purchased. The love of her heart embraces also purgatory. She is the loving Mother of the souls in purgatory.
She, too, has gone through a fire of tribulation, for which she is known as the “Comforter of the Afflicted.” Her life was a sea of sorrow, poverty, exile and persecution and the tragic separation on the Cross. All these sufferings were a real purgatory for her.
A beautiful legend says that when Jesus was bleeding to death on the Cross, an angel asked him to whom the last drop of his heart’s blood should belong, and he answered: “To my beloved Mother, that she may the more easily endure her sorrow.” “Not so, my Son,” Mary is said to have answered, “Grant it to the souls in purgatory, that they may be free from pain on at least one day of the year.”
4. We can practice the Five First Saturdays during Lent in Reparation to her Immaculate Heart as she requested at Fatima.
5. Ite ad Joseph — go to Joseph! Join the Pious Union of St. Joseph dedicated to the suffering and dying. Do you need a conversion in your family, are your children away from the Church, do you want peace of mind, do you need a job, and yes, do you want to sell your home? Go to Joseph and pray for the holy souls in honor of him.
Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen noted, “As we enter Heaven we will see them, so many of them coming towards us and thanking us. We will ask, who they are, and they will say a poor soul you prayed for in Purgatory.”
We have this great power given to us to expiate sins by enduring, suffering, praying for the deceased, and imitating Our Lord. When we emulate him by fasting, by abstaining, by praying and by persevering, we are able to bring our souls and others into the sweet-smelling grace of Our Lord’s mercy and forgiveness, which is the goal of the Great Lent.
Susan Tassone is an award-winning best-selling author of 14 books including: Jesus Speaks to Faustina and You, Day by Day with St. Faustina, St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners, St. Faustina Prayer Book for Adoration, The Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, Day by Day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. She is a popular speaker, and frequent guest on radio and regular guest on EWTN Global Catholic Network.