November: Month of the Holy Souls…editor
“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing…” (St Teresa of Avila)
As ever, we remember the souls of the faithful departed during the month of November, praying for them and perhaps seeking indulgences to be applied to them. So, share your favourite prayers and hymns, quotes from saints, books and edifying stories which may help us to understand better the reality of Purgatory – in order to
1. prepare for it Or
2. avoid it altogether [recommended!]
My favourite Holy Souls hymn? Well …
They are waiting for our petitions
They are waiting for our petitions silent and calm,
Their lips no prayer can utter, no suppliant psalm.
We have made the all too weary, with long delay,
For the souls in their still agony, good Christian pray.
Requiescant in pace, requiescant in pace.
For the souls thou holdest dearest, let prayers arise,
The voice of love is mighty and will pierce the skies.
Waste not in selfish weeping one precious day,
But speeding thy love to heaven, good Christian pray.
Requiescant in pace, requiescant in pace.
My favourite, too, and I am just astonished that it is STILL not available to hear on YouTube. Amazing.
Truth be told, we should pray for the Holy Souls every day in the hope that at least one of them prays for us when they reach Heaven. I pray the prayer of St Gertrude and offer Holy Rosary daily for the Holy Souls. In November, we should redouble our efforts ….
That’s wonderful, to offer a daily Rosary specifically for the Holy Souls. I do remember them, but (perhaps selfishly) naming deceased family members and friends, not more generally. At school we were taught to pray for the soul most in need, furthest away from Heaven and also the soul closest to entering Heaven. I occasionally remember that, but I can’t pretend to be as devoted to the Holy Souls as I ought to be – which I hope doesn’t come back to haunt me (literally) in due course 😀
You mention the prayer of St Gertrude the Great so I thought I’d copy it to paste here for those who may not know it (although it is published in the link to the indulgences page in my introduction above):
Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for all sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
I agree, Ruddy Farmer, and I think most Catholics do pray for the Holy Souls regularly apart from November. I know I do.
Here is one of my favourite November hymns, although this priest is singing a different tune to the one I know – still nice, though:
A lovely hymn but not one I’ve heard in any parish in which I’ve lived.
I’ve been reading some amazing stories about apparitions from Purgatory. There are stories about Padre Pio being visited by souls from Purgatory at this link
But I found the section on “degrees of Purgatory” really rivetting. That section begins with this very encouraging evidence that even the most unexpected souls can be saved, through God’s mercy:-
“I can tell you about the different degrees of Purgatory because I have passed through them. In the great Purgatory there are several stages. In the lowest and most painful, it is like a temporary hell, and here there are the sinners who have committed terrible crimes during life and whose death surprised them in that state. It was almost a miracle that they were saved, and often by the prayers of holy parents or other pious persons. Sometimes they did not even have time to confess their sins and the world thought them lost, but God, whose mercy is infinite, gave them at the moment of death the contrition necessary for their salvation on account of one or more good actions which they performed during life. For such souls, Purgatory is terrible. It is a real hell with this difference, that in hell they curse God, whereas we bless Him and thank Him for having saved us.
Some very striking stories in that link – I’ve not had time to read them all, but very interested in doing so later.
Here’s one which I heard first hand from a priest who was visiting my grandfather some years ago.
He told us that when he used to visit a convent to offer morning Mass, he would sometimes see one of the Sisters, whom he didn’t recognise, at the garden gate, working quietly/pottering around – I’m not sure what she was doing.
She would say “Good morning, Father” and he would reply, but after a few days he noticed that she was never at the Mass in the convent chapel, so he asked the Superior about her.
The Mother Superior said “Oh, so you’ve seen her?” Then she told him that the Sister had been a member of the Community who had died some years previously but every now and then she appeared in and around the convent.
Father promised to offer Mass for her, believing she was a troubled soul from Purgatory, and, sure enough, after he had offered the Mass, she did not appear again.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light, shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.
Next time you’re in Rome, visit the Holy Souls museum in a small church not far from the Vatican. The evidence that Purgatory exists is there for all with eyes to see.
A command under obedience from the holiest ever pope on earth (still to come, obviously!) would not encourage me to visit Rome ever again. I’ve been twice and the fact that I survived the horrendous road conditions, with drivers ignoring traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, means that it is nothing short of a miracle that I’m still here.
So, thank you for that information, but I have a feeling that it won’t be all that long before I see the evidence for Purgatory, first hand.
Priest’s strong sermon who mentions quote from St John of the Cross ” it is easier for God to create a soul from nothing than it is to purify it”
I’ve not had time to hear that entire sermon but I took a quick look at the comments below and noticed this one:
The priest didn’t make any error, but just to clarify (14:20) St. Faustina is not in purgatory until the end of time. Quote from her diary… “Which do you prefer, suffer now for one day in PURGATORY or for a short while on earth? I replied, ‘Jesus, I want to suffer in PURGATORY, and I want to suffer also the greatest pains on earth, even if it were until the end of the world.’ Jesus said, One [of the two] is enough; you will go back to earth, and there you will suffer much, but not for long…'”
I think it’s important to note that the Divine Mercy devotion & Sr Faustina’s canonisation may well be among those which will be re-examined in the future, when sanity is restored to Holy Mother Church. We have a policy here of not drawing on any of the modern / fast-tracked “saints” unless it is clear that they would have been canonised under the traditional system – when each candidate was rigorously examined, not least by the Devil’s Advocate.
For your interest, below is a link to our blog discussion on this topic, back in 2014…
I’m sure the sermon is helpful but I just want us all to remember that modernism is so widespread and errors abundant, not least in the uncritical acceptance of certain alleged private revelations and canonisations, that we need to – as I heard one priest say some years ago – “listen to everything with three ears”! Goodness only knows what he’s saying now!
I tend to agree with you about the divine mercy devotions.The picture of Our Lord in the devotion was off putting and maybe was meant to deflect from The Sacred Heart.
Therefore I have never read any of the divine mercy devotions.
Great! Glad you’re wary…
When I lived in the north of England, one of the disco-type clubs used the DM picture in their advertising. They would distribute them at the local Catholic sixth form college, obviously trying to recruit students to their club by giving the impression of a “Catholic” connection. Needn’t have bothered. Most of the students were lapsed, anyway! Still they had some nerve to do that – it wouldn’t have worked with the traditional image of the Sacred Heart… underlines, for me, that there is something definitely “off” about that “new” image of Our Lord.
Is there anything, anything at all, I ask myself, to which the adjective “new” cannot be applied in the post-Vatican II Church? Answer: not much!
Having been raised in the modern Church, (where they are busy with their LGBT masses), the idea of winning indulgences for the Holy Souls is still fairly new to me. (As indeed, is purgatory, haha!).
But is it all of a worthwhile, charitable, comforting and rewarding endeavour.
It is is a shame I cannot usually get to mass every day of the first 8 days in November, to meet all of the conditions to win an indulgence for the Holy souls), but I normally manage on at least approx half of the days.
A few years back I read a book on Purgatory and the Holy Souls. It is called “Hungry Souls” (TAN Books) by Gerard J. M. Van Den Aardweg.
I would highly recommend it. It includes information on the museum mentioned by Ruddyfarmer above – I would certainly like to visit it.
This year’s SSPX November newsletter for Scotland showed daily masses in Edinburgh in the early part of the month, but few in Glasgow – this was described as “work week in edinburgh” – does anyone know what they means?
N O T I C E . . .
I have received the following email from our blogger in America, Margaret USA. On another thread we have been promising prayers for her mother who has been very ill. Margaret’s mother has now passed away…
EMAIL FROM MARGARET…
My mother Helen passed away this evening, 17 November 2019 at 7:25 p.m. EST. She passed away wearing the Brown Scapular and received the Last Sacraments. Father gave her absolution again today.
A heartfelt Thank You to you and everyone who has been praying for my mother Helen. May God bless all of you richly in this life and in the next.
Please pray for the repose of her soul. Eternal memory!
Yours in Christ the King,
Eternal rest grant unto her Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her, may she rest in peace.
Dear Margaret, be assured of my prayers for the soul of your mother, Helen. May she rest in peace.
Thank you! Sending you a (virtual) hug.
Thank you, Margaret – we are all with you at this very sad time.
I’m very sorry indeed to hear about your mother’s passing. I will keep her (and you) in my prayers. May she rest in peace, and may Our Lady of Consolation, be at your side in these sad days.
Sorry I’ve taken so long to write my condolences. Prayers for your mum, and you are in my thoughts.
In case you miss it, I put your request for prayers on the lead thread
Before the Month of the Holy Souls ends, I thought bloggers might be interested in this story of a miracle associated with Purgatory
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