What happens to my prayers, if the person being prayed for, is already in heaven?

If you are praying for the soul of a particular person who has died and that person is already in heaven, your prayers won’t be wasted. God will apply your prayers to another soul in Purgatory, so it is always valuable to pray for the souls of those who have died, even if they are actually in heaven, because you will be helping another soul in Purgatory.

If the church has declared someone to be a saint: e.g.  St Therese, you do not pray for them, but to them!

Purgatory stems from God’s Mercy.

If there were was no Purgatory, anyone who died with even a slight stain on their soul would go to hell. Purgatory is a place of purification.  Make no mistake about it though, it is a place of great suffering. It is not like a waiting room, where there is air-conditioning, a water cooler, a vending machine with drinks, snacks and some magazines to read while you wait for your appointment. Having said all that, God does not want you to go to Purgatory and you don’t have to. God can give you all the graces that you need to go straight to heaven.  You need to respond to them.

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The Heroic Act (in favour of the Holy Souls in Purgatory)

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.

More ways to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory   and also information on their powerful intercession for their benefactors.