This information is a duplicate of the information on my website page for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are not able to pray for themselves or do anything at all to relieve their suffering: They rely on our prayers and efforts to help them. It is permissible to believe that they can pray for their benefactors. St John Vianney said: “If one knew what we may obtain from God by the intercession of the Poor Souls, they would not be so much abandoned. Let us pray a great deal for them, they will pray for us”. St Theresa of Avila said that “She always obtained the favours which she asked from God, through the intercession of the Poor Souls in Purgatory”.
Purgatory is real and is alluded to in the bible
When we die we can no longer pray for ourselves, but others can pray for us. That there is a place which we call Purgatory is alluded to in the bible in these words: “It is a holy and wholesome thing to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.” (II Macab. XII., 46)
A Favour granted by the Holy Souls in Purgatory
A lady who I know was in a desperate situation where she faced bankruptcy. The local council was hell-bent on making her property a “heritage listed property” which means that she would not be able to do any changes to it without their permission and that she would not be able to sell it either. This case went on at council meetings for a whole 18 months. On the day of the final showdown council meeting, she was advised to offer her merits for the month for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and to ask their intercession in her property case with the council. At the meeting that night one of the council members suddenly remembered a similar case where the council got their fingers burnt financially when the owner of the property took the case to the Land and Environment Court and won the case. The council got “cold feet over the matter” and she won the case and was allowed to sell her property. (She did not have the money to pay the next month’s mortgage that is why it was so important for her to sell the property almost immediately).
A Speedy Recovery
Susan’s husband Steve* was seriously injured. He sustained many broken bones, and was in lots of pain, because of an accident, in which he was knocked off his push-bike by a car. Susan and her husband made a Novena for the relief of: The Holy Souls in Purgatory, and her husband made a remarkable recovery in a short period of time. Four weeks later Steve’s father was involved in a serious car accident. The Holy Souls in Purgatory were again invoked to help him. He is coping well. Susan’s mother had been cool towards Susan and Steve because of their interest in religion. Her attitude towards her daughter and son-in-law has improved a lot, after she saw the wonderful recovery of her son-in-law Steve. Susan’s brother Luke who is twenty-four, was very impressed with the recovery of his brother-in-law. He is now seeking instruction in The Catholic faith, with a view to receiving the sacrament of Baptism. There has been a domino effect on the attitudes of Susan and Steve’s relatives toward religion, since they have seen the results of the intercession of: The Holy Souls in Purgatory, for Steve.
*(Susan and Steve are not their real names).
A bunch of trouble makers
We were on holidays and were staying at a rented house near the beach. Five days after we arrived a group of men moved into one of the rental houses nearby. On the first night they screamed and kicked up a racket. The next day was even more upsetting. They ran around the balcony nude. There was even worse behaviour which I will not describe here. We closed the blinds so that we would be spared these sights. I thought that our holiday was as good as ruined. I prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked for their intercession to fix the problem. That night they made a bit more noise after they returned from their late night outing. From then on there were no more problems.
The missing sunglasses
Linda prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and asked them to help her to find her daughter’s sunglasses. They were found a short time afterwards, in a place where she had searched the previous afternoon.
The missing mail
I had a wonderful experience with the Holy Souls. They intercede for us in the even the smallest details. I had lost a small stack of mail. In it was a DVD that if I didn’t return by the 7th, I was going to be charged around $20. I was also missing two checks, that, while not quite that urgent, did have expiration dates on them, and I was pretty sure that they were in the same stack of mail. I prayed for several days to St Anthony, but was no closer to finding them. Last night I had an inspiration to make an offer to the Holy Souls in Purgatory: if you help me find the stack of mail with the checks and the DVD, I will use the saved $20 to offer up four Masses for your repose. (This was unusual because while I do offer up Masses for the Holy Souls and I do ask the Holy Souls for help, I hadn’t before this year ever made a connection between the two). In the first place that I looked thereafter, I found them all, not only that, but I found the WalMart employee discount cards (my husband works there) that I’d never even realized had arrived. We had been waiting for them for a few weeks now. I added a fifth Mass to the promised four. So there is definitely a lesson for me: if I feel inspired to offer up Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, no matter what the circumstances, I’m taking it seriously. There is incredible power there. (Dawn)
Protection in accident
Last Friday I was in a terrible car accident, and by all accounts I should be dead, or have every bone on the left side of my body broken, but I walked away without any injury. I was pulling out of a parking lot. The traffic had cleared. While I was pulling out, a car came out unexpectedly. It was speeding. The car slammed right into my driver’s seat door. I didn’t even realize what hit me for a moment. It felt just like a cushioned blow. I was trapped at the time by the seatbelt, which is why I think that I should have been killed. I was horrified to see the car yesterday, when I went to clean it out. With the damage it sustained, one has to ask himself how in the world did I survive this?
I am very very passionate about praying for those souls in purgatory that no one will pray for, and not for my own benefit, but because I would like to see purgatory emptied and all the holy souls go to heaven. I had the distinct impression that it was a holy soul who interceded. While I was cleaning out the car, the first thing I found was a rosary, and on the back of the crucifix, there were and still are spots of dried blood. I DID NOT BLEED ONE BIT DURING THIS ACCIDENT OR AT ANY TIME BEFORE. Interestingly enough, yesterday, first thing in the morning, even before I cleaned out the car, I had read about the purgatory museum in Rome, and how souls would leave a “calling card”. I AM CONVINCED WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT THE BLOOD ON THE CROSS IS A “FINGERPRINT FROM PURGATORY”, something to show me that it certainly was an intercession from a holy soul that saved my life.
The fact that I was uninjured is a true miracle, if you could only see the HUGE dent in the driver’s side door. I should have been crushed to death. I hope that every soul that I have prayed for is now in heaven. I pray particularly for the poor Protestants in purgatory whose family members on earth, do not believe in purgatory, and who therefore do not pray for them.* I never do this with the intention of getting any personal gain. Every daily mass that I go to, and all the indulgences that I gain are never for me, as I don’t believe that I am going to purgatory.
St. Therese the Little Flower said, and I believe this firmly; Quote: If you look for God’s justice your soul will get what it wants. Instead I look for His forgiveness and His mercy, as Jesus died on the cross for that, not so that I can go to purgatory. I believe most people go to purgatory, because their faith is so bad, that they don’t believe in God’s forgiveness. If we have true faith, the blessed mother will be with us the last hour of our life and pray for all the graces that we need to go to heaven and to bypass purgatory. Our souls will be purified right there on the spot, even if we didn’t live perfect lives. End of quote (Frank)
Healing of illness
I would like to publish my thanksgiving to the Holy Souls in Purgatory for my son’s blood test for Hepatitis C coming back negative. I have been saying the Prayer of St. Gertrude and the prayer offering my merits for the Holy Souls. I am so grateful for their intercession. Thank you. (Lisette)
Healing of illness and help to overcome drug and alcohol additions
I gave the Holy Souls in Purgatory Novena to my mother and she has been praying it, and asked me to publish her thanksgiving to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and to St. Gertrude the Great for her grandson’s blood test coming back negative, and also for the help they are giving him in battling his drug and alcohol addiction and helping him to stay sober. Thank you so much. (Lisette)
Update: My son had completed his first phase of rehab for drug and alcohol addiction and did not want to go on to the second phase. I have been praying the Novena to the Holy Souls that God would guide him to make the right decision through the intercession of the Holy Souls, and he changed his mind and has now moved on to the second phase. I am so grateful for the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and wil continue to pray the novena and prayer of St. Gertrude the Great to help my son, myself, and all my family. (Lisette)
Help with infertility problem
My daughter and son-in-law wanted very much to start a family. Her doctor said that she thought that it was going to be difficult for my daughter to conceive. I have been praying the Holy Souls in Purgatory novena and yesterday, my daughter’s doctor confirmed that my daughter is pregnant. I am so happy and grateful to the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their intercession. I will keep on praying for a healthy baby. Thank you. (Lisette)
Healing of Cysts
There was a large cyst on the side of my face. People kept commenting on it. My doctor suggested that I have plastic surgery to have it removed. I prayed a novena for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory and gradually the cyst went right down. The need for surgery was no longer there. Since then people have asked: when did I have the cyst removed! I continued to pray novenas for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory, asking for their intercession and more cysts on other parts of my body (arm, back, etc.) have either gone down or have gone completely. Thank You Holy Souls. (Kerri Anne)
Acceptance and friendship
A member of a religious order for many years was not liked and accepted by the other members of the order. A friend who learned about this made a novena for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory asking them to give help in the matter. The tide turned and a warm friendship was extended to the religious from other members of the order.
Success in project
Christina has been praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and asking for their intercession for the success of a project for some time. She had a modest amount of success, then she had a Mass offered for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and within days the project flourished big-time.
A weight loss crisis
My son John has been in a group home since the age of 18. He is very autistic, however he is verbal. There were times when he became violent. Now he is on various medications, but occasionally he still flares up. We visit him each week. Over a year ago John started losing weight. Something was very wrong. John is a very tall boy. The home said that he was eating lots of food, and knowing John that would be true, he has a big appetite, but the weight loss continued and he ended up looking like a thin cancer patient. I was literally out of my mind praying for help, because no one knew why this was happening. I prayed to all the saints etc, but especially to the Holy Souls in Purgatory because I really feared that John would die, because he just kept dropping weight. Did he have cancer or worms or something else? Doctors could not find anything wrong with John to explain the weight loss. It was a nightmare. The carers at the home eventually found the answer. After John’s meals he went to the toilet and put his finger down his throat and for the fun of it, he vomited up all the food. John was cunning enough to flush the toilet while he was doing this, so that the carers would not know what was happening. When this was discovered, the carers “kept John prisoner” after each meal for a few hours to let him digest the food.
They continued this for many months and John grew out of the “need” to vomit up the food. I can assure you I was really scared and even felt ill on account of John’s weight loss crisis. It was terrifying. John regained the weight that he had lost. Please pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and ask them for their intercession in all your needs, spiritual and temporal. (Mary Ann), Australia.
Speedy help with finding a lost item
Today my autistic daughter took the smart card out of the box above the TV. This means that no TV could be viewed. (It is cable pay TV). She could not tell us where she put it. We have a big house and looked around for the card. I said a prayer to St Anthony and then prayed the St. Gertrude prayer for the Holy Souls several times. It was found quickly. My daughter had put it under the TV box. My husband lifted this up and found it. This is the last place that the rest of us would have ever thought of looking for it.
Employment in a specified location
Monica was in need of a job. She prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked them to intercede for her, that she would find employment in a particular shopping complex located in a nearby suburb near the railway station. The favour was granted.
The healing of family relationship
Kim’s family refused to have anything to do with her for a whole year due to their own disturbed attitudes. Kim was really distressed. She offered up a whole month of her merits for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and repeated this offering for nine days in a row, (as is the custom when saying a novena). On the tenth day she was reconciled with her family.
A healthy baby despite difficult a pregnancy
I have been praying the Holy Souls in Purgatory Novena and Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great for my daughter and son-in-law to have a healthy baby. I am so grateful for the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for my grandson. My daughter had many health problems during her pregnancy, I am so grateful that she and the baby are both fine. Thank You. (Lisette)
Car that was completely “dead” is now running well
Right now I am feeling total awe, immense gratitude and the overwhelming feeling of just WOW. I say the St Gertrude prayer for The Holy Souls in Purgatory many times a day, since I found it on your web site. Yesterday (Saturday) when I was ready to go to Mass, I tried to start my car and there was nothing. It just would not turn over. I tried it several times during the day and my son tried it before he went to bed, but it still would not start. Before going to Mass this morning, I went to your web page, (as I do every morning before Mass) to say the prayer. I decided to read some of the things on the web page, which I did the first time that I found your web site, but have not done since then. I read about you not being able to open the lock on your door and about your husband helping. I thought that “I should pray to The Holy Souls in Purgatory about my car”, so before I went out, (I was intending to walk to Mass), I asked them to please pray that my car would start. I put the key in the ignition and said “please Holy Souls, pray that it starts”, I turned the key and my car started! I was what you could call struck dumb. I could not believe it, they actually heard me and answered my prayer, so I offered up my Mass and my Eucharist for them. I pray that more and more people pray to and for The Holy Souls, they need our prayers, and they DO listen to us and pray for us. Just ask my car. (Betty Myers, Centerach NY, USA)
Successful day at Court
I have been praying the Holy Souls novena and the prayer of St. Gertrude the Great that my son would have a successful court date and everything went fine. I am so grateful to the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and will continue my prayers.
Thank you. (Lisette)
Relief of Chronic insomnia
I have chronic insomnia that doesn’t respond to sleep aids, nor do I like taking them. It is very difficult for me to get to sleep, to stay asleep, or get back to sleep once woken. A year ago, when I woke up, I started praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. I prayed specifically, for the soul who was the closest to completing its Purgatory, the soul who was the farest away from completing it, the soul who was there the longest, the soul who was the most recently arrived, the souls who are most abandoned by those on earth, the souls of all priests and religious, then I prayed for my family and friends who have died. I prayed for each of them by name. Every time that I have completed this prayer, I have fallen into a deep sleep. I have never specifically asked the Holy Souls to pray for the relief of my insomnia, but I just might start. (Cari)
I offered up a plenary indulgence for whoever (in purgatory) God would give it to, and then my husband, whom I have known for 15 years and who has never been interested in becoming a Catholic, (the opposite in fact), decided to start going to weekly mass, learning more about the church, and he asked me to register our children in a Catholic school, Miraculous! I had been praying fervently for this for years! This miracle could have also been the result of many years of prayers said by myself, our children, relatives and friends. In addition, my 14 year old son, decided to enter into a more prayerful life for lent and felt that he had few things to pray about – the most important of these intentions was for his dad’s conversion. It was during lent that this conversion occurred. The day that I offered up my plenary indulgence was on February 11, the 150th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette. (anonymous)
Favours granted through the intercession of The Holy Souls and the Saints in heaven
I would like to let you know, that I’m very thankful to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and to the saints. I had an urgent prayer petition. I prayed several novenas at the same time, having great faith and confidence. I prayed to the saints, (St Jude, St Philomena, St Rita, St Therese, and a few more). I promised that I would publish my thanks. Similarly, I made a novena to the Holy Souls in Purgatory to ask for their help. I promised that I would offer up a Mass for them. Now, I have Masses offered for them every now and then, usually once a month.
I told them that I would have a Mass offered this Sunday and of course, gaining indulgences for them as often as I can, offerings of the Precious Blood, the way of the Cross, other prayers, sacrifices and penances. I also promised to encourage other people to have a devotion to them and to pray for their swift deliverance from purgatory. They heard my prayers and interceded for me. As promised, I had a Mass offered for them yesterday. I really encourage everyone to pray earnestly for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. They are sufffering and they need our help. We can ask for their prayers and they are very generous in helping us. I asked my brother to make a novena to St. Jude. He was able to succeed in that important requirement for school. I express my profound thanks to St. Jude for his help. I prayed to St Philomena everyday for a stranger. This family had a son/brother who worked abroad and they haven’t heard from him in thirty years. I prayed to St Philomena that this man would contact his family or would return home. After some months, I sent a text message to his sister. (Their story was published in the newspaper; that’s how I got to know the contact number). I told them that I read their story in the newspaper, and that I am praying for them. I also told them to ask for St Philomena’s help. I was very surprised and glad to read that they were able to get some information about him. His papers were being processed so that he could return home. This is a testimony of St. Philomena’s powerful intercession. (J. T.) Philippines.
Help with a house sale
My husband is a US Marine, who was transferred to another duty station over six months ago. We are expecting our first baby in July and it’s been difficult being here without my husband and without any real friends or family. Money has been tight and we have had the house up for sale for two months, with no success. I was getting worried that I’d have to remain behind by myself and have the baby all alone. I had been praying to the Holy Souls in Purgatory for help, but felt especially called to pray a Rosary for them today. This evening we got a good offer on our home (and it’s a tough time to be selling)!!!! I am convinced that the Holy Souls in Purgatory were interceding for us. Now I can go and be with my husband and have the baby where he is. I am going to propagate praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory to all my family.
Theresa K., Yuma, AZ USA
Healing from fear, obsession and from the flu
A twenty-one year old girl developed an obsession which caused her to become very fearful. A friend told her to say the Saint Gertrude Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory many times a day to ask for their intercession in this matter. At first the girl did not want to say the prayer because she is a Protestant, but then she gave in and said the prayer and was freed of the fear and obsession. This convinced her of the powerful intercession of The Holy Souls in Purgatory for those who help them. She gave the Saint Gertrude Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory to a girl was suffering from a very bad dose of the flu complete with a high fever. The sick girl had been planning to go on a trip with some friends but that seemed to be out of the question. She too said the prayer and by the next morning she was completely free of the flu. She went on the trip and felt really well. (A. R.) Norway.
I am writing in thanksgiving to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, through their intercession my son got the job that he wanted. It is a very good job. I have been praying the Novena for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory and the Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great. Thank you so much for your intercession dear Holy Souls. (Lisette)
The following favour was originally sent for the webpage on this website that has been set up to organise prayers for those who are suffering from cancer, but I thought that it would be appropriate to publish it here also.
Dear Mary Ann,
I wanted to let you know of the good news we have received. I think it’s significant that all this happened during the (January 2009) novena! Of course, the first concern we have had is for our daughter’s health and for her life. Along with those concerns, we’ve also been facing some heavy concerns about how to pay for her treatment. Here in the US, most health insurance comes from our employers. Because our daughter only committed to her job for six months, her health insurance policy will expire on March 1. Treatment is very expensive, and we really didn’t know how we’d pay for her care. On Tuesday, our daughter discovered a tiny clause in her health care contract that says if she’s totally disabled (i.e. unable to work) then her coverage can be extended for 6 more months! That will cover her until all her treatment is finished!!!! At that point, she should be able to go back to work and again have health insurance. As significant as that is for us, it pales in comparison with our other news. At our daughter’s examination on Wednesday, it was found that her primary tumor has shrunk to less than 1cm, and one of her cancerous lymph nodes looks normal on the sonogram. Praise be to God!!!!! Thank you to the Holy Souls in Purgatory!!!! Thank you to the Infant of Prague!!!! Thank you to St. Therese!!!!! Thank you to St. Peregrine!!!! Thank you to all the other saints who have been interceding on behalf of my daughter!!!!! I thought you’d want to know how well the novena is working already! With deep gratitude, T. C., California. USA
Update to the previous testimony
The prayers are definitely working! At our daughter’s last two doctor appointments, the doctors said that they could no longer feel the tumor. That doesn’t mean the cancer is completely gone, but it is the best possible news we can get at this stage. T. C. California. USA
A strange story
I will tell you a strange story that a mother and her daughter told me. You can decide for yourself what to make of it. Each night a friend would telephone them late in the night and ask them to pray the Rosary for her, which they did. When they mentioned this sometime later to another person, they were stunned to be told that the friend who had been telephoning them each night, had been dead for about six months! If the story that the mother and daughter told me is correct, then I can only assume that the friend who was telephoning each night asking for a Rosary to prayed was actually a soul in Purgatory.
The following formula can be used to make the offering:
Heavenly Father, I offer you all my merits, prayers, sufferings and joys of this month, in union with the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and I ask You for the following favours (state the favours) through their intercession. Amen.
The Holy Souls in Purgatory
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are suffering in great pain.
Please send them your good works and prayers
So heaven they’ll attain.
Ask them for all the favours of which you are in need;
And now; just as later; when in heaven;
For you they’ll intercede.
When at last; they reach heaven;
and see God face to face;
Gratefully they’ll obtain all you ask;
And even lots more grace.
From heaven they’ll watch over you;
as on the earth you still roam;
and do all in their power to lead you safely;
Towards your heavenly home.
by Mary Ann Matulis
Our Lord dictated the following prayer to
St Gertrude the Great to release many souls
from Purgatory each time it is said.
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
Some reflections on the prayer of St. Gertrude the Great which is displayed in the previous paragraph.
Many souls who are in Purgatory need only one prayer for their release, and unfortunately they are detained until this prayer has been offered for them. The fact that the “St. Gertrude” prayer releases many souls each time it is said indicates how great is the Mercy of God. It also shows that God is making allowances for weak human nature that tends to run away from anything that looks like penance. The fact that many souls can be released by the “St Gertrude” prayer is a large incentive to the living to say this easy prayer as often as possible; thereby increasing their merit, reducing their own Purgatory, and obtaining the assistance of the Holy Souls in their needs.
The above prayer was given approval in 1936 by the Bishop of Liera, Portugal. This prayer is widely publicised with the claim that 1000 souls are released each time it is said. However, “1000 souls” was replaced from the original word “many” and “those in my own home and within my family” had been added after 1936.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I ask you through the intercession of your most holy Mother Mary, and all the angels and saints, to inspire many people with an ardent charity for the relief of the poor souls.
More ideas for helping the Holy Souls in Purgatory
There are people who work as organisational experts, who advise people how to organise their life with housework and errands etc. so that we get things done quicker and more efficiently, and use up those “dead moments”. One of their good ideas is that we take our writing pad and pen, and catch up with writing notes to family and friends, while we are waiting in the doctor’s reception room or waiting for the train, or take with us a book that we otherwise don’t have time to read, or our knitting, crocheting kit etc. They advise us to use the “dead time”, those boring moments when we are stuck waiting for someone and we can’t do the laundry, or sweep the floor or catch up with something else.
Their ideas are good, but I think that to pray the St Gertrude prayer for the Holy Souls (silently), while we are waiting for the doctor, or walking along the street, hanging out the washing, (which is not strictly a do nothing moment, but is the kind of activity that you can do while praying at the same time), would be really beneficial to them and to our own souls. It would beat writing your thank you letters or making your to-do lists, during the waiting times. A printed out copy of the prayer would help you to focus better, but watch out for the cars if you are crossing the road!
An extra tip: As well as helping the Holy Souls in Purgatory yourself, ask the saints to pray for them also.
A small homegrown prayer, which I would like to share with you, and which I hope that you will make your own
Merciful Jesus, Please grant that I and my family and a vast number of people throughout the world, will have an ardent charity for the Poor Souls in Purgatory and will encourage others to pray for them also. Amen.
The Heroic Act
There is a way which you can help the Holy Souls in Purgatory after your own death. The following information will show you how to do this.
The Heroic Act, consists in offering to God in favour of the Souls in Purgatory all the works of satisfaction we practice during life and all the suffrages that will be offered for us after death. If God rewards so abundantly the most trifling alms given to a poor man in His name what an immense reward will he not give to those who offer all their works of satisfaction in life and death for the Souls He loves so dearly. This Act does not prevent priests from offering Mass for the intentions they wish, or lay-people from praying for any persons or other intentions they desire. We counsel everyone to make this act. Will you be disadvantaged by doing this? The following story shows that this is highly unlikely.
St. Gertrude was fiercely tempted by the devil when she came to die. The evil spirit reserves dangerous and subtle temptations for our last moments. As he could find no other ruse sufficiently clever with which to assail the saint, he thought to disturb her beautiful peace of soul by suggesting that she would surely remain long years in the awful fires of Purgatory since, he reminded her, she had made over long ago all her suffrages to other souls. Our Blessed Lord, not content with sending His angels and the thousands of souls, she had released, to assist her, came Himself in person to drive Satan away and comfort His dear saint. He told her that in exchange for all she had done for the Holy Souls He would take her straight to heaven and would multiply a hundredfold all her merits.
One of the ways that you can gain a Plenary Indulgence
You can gain a plenary indulgence by saying The Rosary (five decades)
and by fulfilling three other conditions.
1. Sacramental Confession
2. Eucharistic Communion
3. Prayers for the pope’s intention.
In addition it is necessary to be free from all attachment to sin.
One Sacramental Confession suffices to gain several plenary indulgences, but for each plenary indulgence Communion must be received and prayers for the Pope’s intentions must be said.
One Our Father and One Hail Mary fully satisfy the condition of praying for the pope’s intentions.
(A plenary indulgence is granted, if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, or in a religious community of pious Association. A partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances.)
Special note: When you wish to gain an indulgence you must make this intention in advance, e.g. Dear Jesus I wish to gain all the partial and plenary indulgences that I can and offer them for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
An explanation of what is meant by: the temporal punishment left over after sins have been forgiven
To illustrate what temporal punishment left over after sins have been forgiven means, I will use an everyday example. You can liken a sin to a violation of the speed laws for driving on the road. There is a sign that says: Speed Limit 55 miles per hour. It has been put there for a good reason. (If you drive faster than that it would be dangerous, because the road is only a dirt country road, and it also has a few potholes). However you drive your car at 65 miles an hour. You have committed a violation of the driving laws, (a sort of “sin” against the state government). The police officer comes along on his motorbike and orders you to pull over to the side of the road. He issues you with a speeding ticket, which will cost you $300. The speeding ticket can be compared to the temporal punishment which is left over after your sin has been forgiven. In the case of speeding the state government has “forgiven” you. They have allowed you to keep your driver’s license and to continue to drive, but they had penalised you to the amount of $300.
When we sin, and then ask God for forgiveness, He forgives us, but there is a penalty which we have to make up for either in this world, or in Purgatory. That is what is meant by temporal punishment. The penalty: the temporal punishment which is left over after our sins have been forgiven, is based on the number of sins we have committed and their gravity.
More favours granted by the Holy Souls in Purgatory
This morning I was unable to open my home office door from the adjoining room using the key so I went to the outside of my house and tried to open the front door leading to it. This failed also, (So both doors leading to the office were unable to be opened). I said a few prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and asked them to help me to get into my home office. I promised them that if they helped me immediately I would publish the favour. The publication of favours granted by the Holy Souls in Purgatory encourages other people to pray for them and to ask for their help.
I informed my husband of the problem. He asked me for the keys and went to open the door leading from the adjoining room. This door has been a problem for a long time and I usually avoid the situation where I would have to use the key on it by just making sure that it is not fully locked but simply closed. My husband tried anyway and it would not open as usual. There is obviously a fault in the lock. He pulled the door handle towards himself and tried to open it again. The door opened. Until the lock on the inside door is repaired I will use his technique to get around the problem. Thank you Holy Souls for granting this favour to me.
Thank you Holy Souls in Purgatory for interceding for me, and for obtaining for me the speedy alleviation of pain, inflammation and tingling in my arms and legs.
Before I left the house on Saturday night to go the vigil Mass, my EWTN television (via a small satellite dish on the roof) was working well. There was a thunderstorm at the time. When I returned home at 20 minutes to 8 pm, it was not working properly. The sound was alright, but the picture on the screen was a digital mess. I tried to remedy this by turning off and on the TV set with the remote control every few minutes. This did not help. Then I tried moving around the AV receiver on the top of the TV. This also did not improve things. During this time there were two programs on that I was not particularly interested in. At nine o’clock my favourite programme of the week was scheduled. The chance of watching it was slim. I thought that the thunderstorm might have somehow upset the position of the satellite dish. At five minutes to nine I started praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and I asked their intercession to fix the problem so that I could watch the programme. At 9 pm I tried the TV again. The situation was still the same. For five minutes I just listened to the programme. I then informed my husband of the problem. He came and had a look at the situation and indicated that he did not know how to fix it. My husband tried the same things that I had tried. Then he asked me for the other remote control. He then changed the channel on the satellite and then changed it back again to EWTN and the problem was fixed up and I was able to watch the programme!
The holy souls in Purgatory can obtain every kind of favour for those who pray for them and ask for their help.
If you have received any favours through the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory please email me and tell me about them and I might be able to publish them on this page. This will encourage more people to pray for their release.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
An extract from the book: Read Me or Rue It.
by Father Paul O’Sullivan O.P.
The cure of a cancer
D. Joana de Menezes thus tells of her cure. She was suffering severely from a cancerous growth in the leg and was plunged into grief. Remembering what she had heard of the power of the Souls in Purgatory she resolved to place all her confidence in them and had nine Masses offered for them. She promised moreover to publish her cure if it were granted. Gradually the swelling went down and the tumour and cancer disappeared.
How Pius IX cured a bad memory
The venerable Pontiff Pius IX appointed a holy and prudent religious bishop of a diocese. The priest alarmed at the responsibility put on him begged earnestly to be excused. His protests were in vain. The Holy Father knew his merits. Overcome with apprehension the humble religious solicited an audience with the Pope, who received him most graciously. Once more he pleaded earnestly to be excused but the pope was immovable.
As a last recourse Padre Tomaso told the Holy Father that he had a very bad memory which would naturally prove to be a grave impediment in the high office put on him. Pius IX answered with a smile: “Your diocese is very small in comparison with the Universal Church, which I carry on my shoulders. Your cares will be very light in comparison with mine. I, too, suffered from a grave defect of memory but I promised to say a fervent prayer daily for the Holy Souls, who, in returned, have obtained for me an excellent memory. Do you likewise, dear Father, and you will have cause to rejoice.”
The following account comes from the Book:
Read me or Rue It.
A group of priests were called to Rome to treat of a grave business matter. They were bearers of important documents and a large sum of money was entrusted to them for the Holy Father. Aware that the Appenines, over which they had to pass, were infested by daring bandits, they chose a trusty driver. There was no tunnel through the mountains nor train in those days. They placed themselves under the protection of the Holy Souls and decided to say a De Profundis (prayer) every hour for them. When right in the heart of the mountains the driver gave the alarm and at the same time, lashed the horses into a furious gallop. Looking around the priests saw fierce bandits at each side of the road with fixed rifles ready to fire. They were amazed that no shot rang out. They were completely at the mercy of the bandits.
After an hour’s headlong flight the driver stopped and looking at the priests said: “I cannot understand how we escaped. These desperadoes never spare anyone.” The Fathers were convinced that they owned their safety to the Holy Souls a fact that was afterwards confirmed beyond doubt. When their business was concluded in Rome one of their number was detained in the Eternal City, where he was appointed chaplain to a prison. Not long after one of the fiercest brigands in Italy was captured, condemned to death for a long series of murders and awaited execution in this prison. Anxious to gain his confidence the chaplain told him of several adventures he himself had had and finally of his recent escape in the Appenines. The criminal manifested the greatest interest in the story. When it was ended he exclaimed: “I was the leader of that band. We thought that you had money and we determined to rob and murder you. An invisible force prevented each and all of us from firing, as we assuredly would have done had we been able.” The chaplain then told him of how they had placed themselves under the protection of the Holy Souls and they ascribed their deliverance to their protection. The bandit found no difficulty in believing it. In fact it made his conversion easier. He died full of repentant.
Giving something back and gaining a sense of acheivement
Sometimes people express the need to, as they put it: to give something back to the community. This means that they have received benefits: education and other good things such as help to become musicians, or to excel in sports etc. Helping the Holy Souls in Purgatory by praying for them is a way of giving back. You would not have the Catholic faith if it were not for the people who went before you. Helping those who have contributed to your existence i.e. your ancestors and those who taught you the Catholic faith, who have now passed on, i.e. priests, brothers nuns, and others, is a way to repay them and it is also an obligation in charity, not just an optional extra.
There are people in Purgatory who might have done nothing for you, but you should still help them as well. Our Lord said that: Whatever you do to the least of My brethren you do unto Me. There are people in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them, especially include them in your prayers. If you don’t feel like you are doing anything of any real worth, if you pray regularly for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, you won’t feel worthless anymore. You will have a real sense of achievement and will get an ever increasing zeal for this cause.
Novenas for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory
A pious lady was praying for the recovery of her health. She had exhausted every means and made novena after novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to St Joseph. etc. without success. But she was advised to commence novenas for the relief of the “Poor Souls” in Purgatory. She did so and entirely recovered. She was accustomed to say: “All that I ask through the intercession of the “Poor Souls” I obtain easily. With them I am never discouraged and I hope against hope.”
Extract from the booklet: Novena for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory
This booklet has a special nine day novena for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory that consists of mediations on various aspects of Purgatory and special prayers for the Holy Souls.
Novenas for the relief of the Poor Souls in Purgatory can take many different forms. All sorts of prayers e.g. the Rosary, The Divine Mercy Chaplet, the De Profundis (ps. 129.) can be utilised to make a novena for this purpose, Including the following one.
A Novena of Meditations
The power of effectiveness of this novena, when offered for the Poor Souls have already been tested. A priest in a neighbouring state has suggested this novena to many hundreds of people from all walks of life, who seek his advice and aid. Many favours have been granted-peace restored in the home; health recovered: employment found; relatives returned to their religious duties; property sold; success attained in business and professional life; an intensified spiritual life granted-all these and many others have been granted in response to the novena of mediations based upon the “City of God.”
Extract from the Book: Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary, based on the revelations in the book: City of God, which was revealed to Venerable Mary of Agreda by The Blessed Virgin Mary.
The novena consists of reading several pages a day of the “City of God” and meditating upon the minute and authentic account of each event in the life of our Blessed Lord and in that of His Mother, (in order to increase our love of God). The kinds of favours that are granted through this novena, could also be obtained through other types of novenas which are said for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Some more books on Purgatory
Charity for the Suffering Souls
An explanation of the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory
by Rev. John A. Nageleisen
(distributed by Tan Books)
Explained by the lives and legends of the saints
by Fr. F. X. Schouppe, S.J.
(distributed by Tan Books)
Here is another way to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Great benefits are conferred by the Sacred Wounds on the Holy Souls.
Promise of Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha Chambon:
‘The soul who during life has honoured and studied the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ and has offered them to the Eternal Father for the souls in Purgatory, will be accompanied at the moment of death by the Holy Virgin and the angels: and Our Lord on the Cross all brilliant in glory will receive her and crown her.”
Offer the following prayers for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory
The Rosary of the Holy Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ also known as the Chaplet of Mercy
(May be said on the Rosary beads)
On the large beads: Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the wounds of our souls.
On the small beads: My Jesus, pardon and mercy through the merits of Thy Holy Wounds.
These two invocations were taught by Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha Chambon, deceased, in the Visitation of Chambery, France, March 21, 1907. The sister received from Our Lord a double “mission”, constantly to invoke the Holy Wounds herself, and to revive this devotion in the world.
Promise of Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha: “I will grant all that is asked of Me by the invocation of My Holy Wounds. You must spread the devotion.”
(Sources consulted: Devotion to Christ’s Sacred Wounds and the Pieta Prayer book).
THE PORTIUNCULA INDULGENCE
August 2nd. CONDITIONS:
1. Visit on the day of the feast a Franciscan Church or your Parish Church – there pray one Our Father and the Creed.
2. Make a firm resolution to avoid all occasions of sin.
3. Pray for the intention of the Holy Father – one Our Father, Hail Mary and another prayer of your choice.
4. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
5. Receive Holy Communion.
N.B. Conditions 3, 4, 5 may be fulfilled within the seven days before or after the feast. However it is best to go to Holy Communion and say the prayers for the intention of the Holy Father on the day of the feast itself.
Mass Offerings for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
If you live in Australia, you can send Mass offerings to:
Aid to the Church in Need
PO Box 6245
BLACKTOWN DC NSW 2148
Please write a letter stating how many Masses you require to be said. If you have a special intention, that can be mentioned e.g. for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
The recommended offering is $10 (Australian) if you can afford it.
A good way to assist the Holy Souls in Purgatory is to have Masses offered for them through: Aid to the Church in Need. You can contact them at:
This is an American website. (The other website mentioned on this page is for people who live in Australia).
Having Masses offered through this organization is a good way of multi-tasking. You assist the Holy Souls in Purgatory, you support priests in poor areas of the world. The Mass offerings go much further than they would in a developed country.
For instance the recommended minimum Mass offering in some areas of Australia is $10 (Australian currency). In Australia this does not go very far, but in a third world country I have been told that it can buy a large sack of rice and feed many people for a week. The people in these third world areas are usually so poor that they can hardly support themselves, yet alone the local priest, going back to the theme of multi-tasking, you are supporting the building up of the Catholic Church in these areas and are in the process fulfilling one of your important obligations as a baptized Catholic.
You are also building up these communities with their education, infrastructure, health and housing and protecting them from the threat of communism (which will promise them the world and will deliver them misery) and are ensuring that they stay Catholic and not join some other religious denomination. In South American countries, poor Catholics are being diverted in droves into other religious dominations that have lots of financial backing.
You can also ask the Holy Souls for necessary favours as well, perhaps for conversions and for an end to the culture of death. This last petition is an ever increasing need. On the TV news last night there was a very unwell man who is planning to go to Switzerland to end his life, because thankfully euthanasia (murdering yourself) is illegal in Australia, although there are definite pushes to have it legalized.
I muted the sound of this manipulative TV news item so that my children could not be affected by it and told them that this man probably has someone encouraging him to do this. I had a particular Australian doctor in mind who we refer to here as “Dr Death”. I don’t know why he is not put in jail. Then the camera angle changed and sure enough there was the doctor that I had in mind. He was behind this unwell man urging him to end his life, just as he had urged others to do so. Unfortunately some of them have listened to him and have ended their lives. Please pray for the conversion of this doctor.
The teaching of St Therese of the Child Jesus, on avoiding Purgatory
St Therese of the Child Jesus (who is a doctor of the Church) has taught extensively on Purgatory. She teaches us how to avoid it entirely and go straight to heaven. Father Dr. Hubert van Dijk has written a summary of these teachings. They are really worth studying. Read the teachings carefully until you understand them and review them from time to time. Apply them.
You can find Father Dr. Hubert van Dijk’s article on the teaching of St Therese on Purgatory at the following location:
Please avail yourself of this teaching.
Visual and audio reminders to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Use visual reminders to help you pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. One of the most obvious of these is a cemetery. Make a resolution to pray for the Holy Souls whenever you are passing a cemetery. Print out the St. Gertrude prayer for the Holy Souls and put it on your fridge door. Always put: Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, on your to-do lists. When praying for the Holy Souls remember that there are many souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them. Among this group are Protestants. That is because Protestants don’t believe in Purgatory, so they don’t pray for the souls of their deceased relatives. Recommend to the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory an end to the culture of death.
Also use audio reminders. The audio reminders that I am thinking of are radio advertisements for funerals. Some of them are very funny. They include dad’s flashy motor cycle taking pride of place outside the funeral director’s chapel and then there is the unique funeral for your loved one. In this add we are told about how the poor lady elephant on the African savanna is surrounded by her fellow elephants and we are given the details of how the elephant funeral went. Then there is the grand-daughter who finds it too hard to say something in front of all those people on grand-dad’s day i.e. the day of his funeral, so she asks her mother if she can make a DVD with her speech on grand-dad’s life to be screened at the funeral. All this is good for a laugh. When you are finished laughing remember to say a prayer for relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory who don’t care about flashy motor bikes, DVD’s and elephants. Their only desire is to enter into heaven and to see God.
Quote from St Therese of Lisieux
“The chief plenary indulgence, which is within reach of everyone, and can be gained, without the ordinary conditions, is that of charity which ‘covers a multitude of sins.’”
The plight of the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Try the following imagination exercise to help you to imagine the plight of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. (It won’t be sufficient, but it will be useful). I have taken these examples from real life scenarios involving relatives. Put yourself in the following scene: you are over eighty years old and live by yourself in a small house in a retirement village. You have a fall and break your hip and lay in agonising pain on the floor for three days, unable to reach the telephone and call for help. You have no food and drink for three days and there are other problems. (Use your imagination to fill in the gaps here). You cannot be heard when you call for help and are terrified that no one will find you and you will die there all alone. Three days later someone notices that you are not around and goes to investigate and rescues you. The Holy Souls are much worse off than that and are waiting for your prayers and sacrifices to rescue them, relieve their pain and deliver them from Purgatory.
Next example: you are in jail for over a year and a half, but receive only two visitors (very close family members), but other relatives don’t know that you are in there, because it has been covered up due to family shame and your friends don’t want to know you anymore. Finally two relatives learn of this and rescue you for the last six months of your jail term by sending letters and photographs to cheer you up. (You are helped by this). It is not possible for these two relatives to visit you because the jail is a long distance from where they live, but they do what they can to help you.
The Holy Souls are in a jail like that waiting to hear from you (receive your prayers and sacrifices) to alleviate their pain and suffering and deliver them from Purgatory so that they can enter heaven), however unlike the jail that the relative was in, their jail does not have good meals, a TV set for good behaviour and a library and a chapel with a statue of Mary and Jesus in it, a reflection garden and a Catholic chaplain to help. The Holy Souls are in a terrible place with no comforts.
To the Holy Souls in Purgatory, the people still living on this earth are like millionaires. The people living on the earth have access to the spiritual treasures of the Church and to the merits of Our Lord’s Passion. If they are in a state of grace, they can freely avail themselves of those treasures.
The living can and should bestow these spiritual treasures upon The Poor Souls in Purgatory, just as a wealthy man can and should give some of his wealth to the poor. A millionaire can easily help the poor. We can easily help the Poor Souls in Purgatory. If this is not done, when it can be done, an account of this neglect will have to be given to God at our judgement. Think about it: how much time and effort does it take to say prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory each day. The answer is: very little time and effort.
Pray for the souls of deceased priests
Don’t forget to include in your prayers for the dead, the souls of priest. They are often overlooked because people think that they went straight to heaven. No doubt some of them did, but not all of them. They are human beings like us, with merits and faults. I read somewhere the comment of a priest, that there is nothing so dead as a dead priest. What he means is that when priests die there is a tendency to canonise them immediately, because people think that such a good priest does not need any prayers for his soul. This even happens when they are alive. A priest asks someone to pray for them and sometimes the response is along these lines: ‘Father you don’t need my prayers. Say one for me instead’. This is simply not so. Everyone needs prayers.
A prayer for a deceased priest
O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, N., to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy holy presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labours. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer to the Poor Souls in Purgatory
O holy souls in Purgatory, thou are the certain heirs of Heaven. Thou are most dear to Jesus, as the trophies of His Precious Blood and to Mary, Mother of Mercy. Obtain for me, through thine intercession, the grace to lead a holy life, to die a happy death and to attain to the blessedness of eternity in Heaven. Dear suffering souls, who long to be delivered in order to praise and glorify God in Heaven, by thine unfailing pity, help me in the needs which distress me at this time, particularly (here mention your request), so that I may obtain relief and assistance from God.
In gratitude for thine intercession, I offer to God on thy behalf the satisfactory merits of my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day (week, month, or whatever space of time you wish to designate). Amen.
Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is an excellent way of getting over disappointments and mending a broken heart
I once took a sewing course. The sewing teaching was a lady who dispensed wisdom as she taught sewing. She told us about a girl that she knew, who was heartbroken after breaking up with her boyfriend. Someone asked the girl to sew a wedding dress. The girl got to work on this project and had such a great time making the dress that she got over her boyfriend in a week! If something does not work out the way that you hoped that it would, find something else to concentrate on and put your energy into that and you will recover much faster from your disappointment and heartache. I suggest concentrating on praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and this will help you to recover from disappointments, even bereavement. In addition you will be doing something really worthwhile and charitable.
The custom of observing a moment of silence for the dead (what is behind this)
The custom of observing a moment of silence for the dead, has always appeared to me to be silly and useless, but now that I know that it was practiced by my Irish ancestors and that it has a real meaning and purpose, (offering silent prayers to God for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory), I am ashamed of myself for thinking that. The explanation of the practice is helpful, but a lot of people will still stand for the moment of silence with some vague thoughts of the deceased, which will accomplish nothing except to make them feel emotional and also many people don’t believe in the doctrine of Purgatory. Not believing in something that is real, does not make it go away. A devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory should be part of the life of every Catholic. If you don’t want to go there after death, you should do what you can now, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. From what I have read based on visions of saints and holy people, when souls are being released from Purgatory, the ones who were devoted to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, when they were living on this earth are usually released before the souls who did not have this devotion.
This is a link to the teaching of St Therese of the Child Jesus on how to avoid Purgatory and go straight to heaven.
People have told me how grateful they were to get to read this information. For those of us who take Purgatory seriously, there can be considerable worry about spending time there. There needn’t be. The teachings at the link provided will explain why.
(St) Padre Pio and the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Padre Pio was a great benefactor of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Souls from Purgatory often appeared to him, to ask for his prayers. One night there was lots of noise coming from Padre Pio’s room. The priest in charge of the monastery thought that there was a party going on in there.
He called out to Padre Pio for an explanation. Padre Pio told him, that the voices that he could hear, were actually the souls of soldiers, who had been delivered from Purgatory and who had come to thank Padre Pio for his prayers.
Our Lady of Fatima (regarding Purgatory)
Our Lady of Fatima said that a girl named Amelia would stay in Purgatory until the end of the world. This is a sobering thought. If we pray for Amelia, her time in Purgatory might be shortened. Remember that Sister Lucia said that missing one Sunday Mass (deliberately) can send one to hell for all eternity. The same applies for missing a Mass deliberately on a Holy Day of Obligation.
In view of this, it is good to remember St Therese’s teaching on avoiding Purgatory and going straight to heaven. The teachings are summarized here:
Become a promoter of this apostolate
Please promote this apostolate to your email groups and on your blogs and websites. Give people the link to this web page. This will be a practical way of helping the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Our Lord will reward your good deeds.
Read my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer) free on-line