The Poor Souls In Purgatory

Read It or Rue It


A Book Written by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P. (E.D.M.) and given to me by my dad.
Shows how to easily assist the Poor Souls in Purgatory and to receive abundant favors from them in return.

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"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." --2 Machabees 12:46

How Long Do Souls Remain In Purgatory?
The length of time souls are detained in Purgatory depends on:
  1. the number of their faults
  2. the malice and de3liberation with which these have been committed
  3. the penance done, or not done, the satisfaction made, or not made for sins during the life
  4. Much too, depends on the suffrages offered for them after death

What can safely be said is that the time souls spend in Purgatory is, as a rule, very much longer than people commonly imagine.

Why Pray For the Poor Souls?

Our Lord's Great Law is that we must love one another, genuinely and sincerely. The First Great Commandment is to Love God with all our heart and soul. The Second, or rather a part of the First, is to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is not a counsel of a mere wish of the Almighty. It is His Great Commandment, the very base and essence of His Law. So true is this that He takes as done in Himself what we do for our neighbor, and as refused to Himself what we refuse to our neighbor.

We read in the Gospel of St. Matthew (Matt. 25:34 46) the words that Christ will address to the just on Judgment Day:

Then shall the king say to them that shall be on His right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in:

Naked, and you covered me; Sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me...

We Are Bound To Pray For The Holy Souls

We are always bound to love and help each other, but the greater the need of our neighbor, the more stringent and the more urgent this obligation is. It is not a favor that we may do or leave undone, it is our duty; we must help each other.

It would be a monstrous crime for instance, to refuse the poor and destitute the food necessary to keep them alive. It would be appalling to refuse aid to one in direst need, to pass by and not extend a hand to save a drowning man. Not only must we help others when it is easy and convenient, but we must make every sacrifice when need be, to succor our brother in distress.

Now, who can be in more urgent need of our charity than the souls in Purgatory?

The Holy Souls Will Repay Us A Thousand Times Over

What shall we say of the feelings of the Holy Souls themselves? It would be utterly impossible to describe their unbounded gratitude to those who help them! Filled with an immense desire to repay the favors done them, they pray for their benefactors with a fervor so great, so intense, so constant that God can refuse them nothing. St. Catherine of Bologna says: "I received many and very great favors from the Holy Souls."

When they are finally released from their pains and enjoy the beatitude of Heaven, far from forgetting their friends on Earth, their gratitude knows no bounds. Prostrate before the Throne of God, they never cease to pray for those who helped them. By their prayers they shield their friends from the dangers and protect them from the evils that threaten them.

They will never cease these prayers until they see their benefactors safely in Heaven, and they will be forever their dearest, sincerest and best friends.

Did Catholics only know what powerful protectors they secure by helping the Holy Souls, they would not be so remiss in praying for them.

The Holy Souls Will Lessen Our Purgatory

Another great grace that they obtain for their helpers is a short and easy Purgatory, or possibly its complete remission!

"Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because the hand of the Lord hath touched me." (Job 19:21)

This is the touching prayer that the Poor Souls in Purgatory address to their friends on Earth, begging, imploring their help, in accents of the deepest anguish. Alas, many are deaf to their prayers!

It is incomprehensible how some Catholics, even those who are otherwise devout, shamefully neglect the souls in Purgatory. It would almost seem that they do not believe in Purgatory. Certain it is that their ideas on the subject are very hazy.

Days and weeks and months pass without their having a Mass said for the Holy Souls! Seldom, too, do they hear Mass for them, seldom do they think of them! Whilst they are enjoying the fullness of health and happiness, busy with their work, engrossed with their amusements, the Poor Souls are suffering unutterable agonies on their beds of flame.

What is the cause of this awful callousness? Ignorance: gross, inexplicable ignorance.

People do not realize what Purgatory is. They have no conception of its dreadful pains, and they have no idea of the long years that souls are detained in these awful fires. As a result, they take little or no care to avoid Purgatory themselves, and worse still, they cruelly neglect the Poor Souls who are already there and who depend entirely on them for help.

Dear Reader, peruse this little book with care and you will bless the day that it fell into your hands.

What Is Purgatory?

It is a prison of fire in which nearly all souls are plunged after death* and in which they suffer the intensest pain.

Here is what the great Doctors of the Church tell us of Purgatory: So grievous is their suffering that our minute in this awful fire seems like a century.

St. Thomas Aquinas, the Prince of Theologians, says that the fire of Purgatory is equal in intensity to the fire of Hell, and that the slightest contact with it is more dreadful than all the possible sufferings of this Earth!

St. Augustine, the greatest of the Holy Doctors, teaches that to be purified of their faults previous to being admitted to Heaven, souls after death are subjected to a fire more penetrating, more dreadful than anything we can see, or feel, or conceive in this life.

"Though this fire is destined to cleanse and purify the soul," adds the Holy Doctor, "still it is more acute than anything we could possibly endure on Earth."

St. Cyril of Alexandria does not hesitate to say that "it would be preferable to suffer all the possible torments of Earth until the Judgment day, than to pass one day in Purgatory.",

Another great Saint says: "Our fire, in comparison with the fire of Purgatory, is as a refreshing breeze."

The other holy writers speak in identical terms of this awful fire.

  1. We can never understand too clearly that every alms, small or great, which we give to the poor, we give to God. He accepts it and rewards it as given to Himself. Therefore, all we do for the Holy Souls, God accepts as done to Himself. It is a if we had relieved or released Him from Purgatory. What a thought! How He will repay us!
  2. As there is no hunger, no thirst, no poverty, no need, no pain, no suffering to compare with what the Souls in Purgatory endure, so there is no alms, the prayers, the Masses we give to the Holy Souls.
  3. It is very possible that some of our own nearest and dearest ones are still suffering the excruciating pains of Purgatory and calling on us piteously for help and relief. It is not dreadful that we are so hardened as not to think more about them, that we are so cruel as to deliberately forget them! For the dear Christ's sake, let us do all, but all we can for them.
    Every Catholic ought to join the Association of the Holy Souls, Dominican Nuns of the Pertpetual Rosary, Pius XII Monastery, Rua do Rosario 1, 2495 Fatima, Portugal.

How We Can Help The Holy Souls

  1. The first means is by joining the Association of the Holy Souls. The conditions are easy:
    1. Have your name registed in the Book of the Association
    2. Hear Mass once a week (Sunday is okay) for the Holy Souls
    3. Pray for and promote devotion to the Holy Souls
    4. Contribute once a year an offering to the Mass Fund, which enables the Association to have perpetual Masses said every month

Those who wish to join and do not have the Association in their parish can send their name, address and annual alms to:

The Association of the Holy Souls
Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, Pius XII Monastery
Rua do Rosario I
2495 Fatima, Portugal

Other ways to help the Holy Souls follows:

  1. Have masses offered for them. This is certainly the most efficacious way of relieving them.
  2. Those who cannot afford to have masses offered should assist at as many Masses as possible for this intention
  3. Attend as many Masses as possible with this intention
  4. Recite the Rosary with its great indulgences and make the Way of the Cross which is also greatly indulgenced.
  5. Another easy and efficacious way is by the constant repetition of short indulgenced prayersI (applying the indulgence to the Souls in Purgatory). Many people have the custom of saying 500 or 1,000 times each day the little ejaculation, "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee!", or the one word, "Jesus." These are most consoling devotions; they bring oceans of grace to those who practice them and give immense relief to the Holy Souls.

    Those who say the ejaculations 1,000 times a day gain 300,000 days Indulgence! What a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will it not be at the end of a month, a year, 50 years? And if they do not say the ejaculations, what an immense number of graces and favors they shall have lost! It is quite possible--and even easy--to say these ejaculations 1,000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1,000, let him say them 500 or 200 times.

  6. Here is another powerful prayer:

    "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Preciousl Blood of Jesus, with all the Masses being said all over the world this day, for the Souls in Purgatory."

  7. We shall deliver countless Souls from Purgatory, who will repay us ten thousand times over by doing the following:
    1. Let us give all the alms we can afford
    2. Let us have said all the Masses in our power
    3. Let us hear as many more Masses as possible
    4. Let us offer all our pains and sufferings for the relief of the Holy Souls

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