Saturday, September 15, 2007

Purgatory Newsletter

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Can We Help the Souls in Purgatory?

Christian charity compels us to have mercy on the Souls in Purgatory and to assist them as much as we can. The Council of Florence says that “the souls are cleansed by purgatorial pains after death, and in order that they may be rescued from their pain, they are benefited by the suffrages of the living faithful, namely: the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, alms and other works of piety.”

Ways of helping the Souls in Purgatory are through Mass, Holy Communion, Stations of the Cross. Prayer, the rosary, good works, almsdeeds, indulgences and the Heroic Act of Charity.

The Mass

The best means for benefiting the Poor/Holy Souls in Purgatory is the Sacrifice of the Mass, for it is the same as the Sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross, which was of infinite value. A holy Franciscan, John of Alvernia : While celebrating Mass for the departed on All Souls’ Day he beheld Purgatory open, and souls coming forth, as it were, like innumerable sparks from a great furnace.

St. Bernard, a monk of Clairvaux, appeared after his death to his brethren in religion thanking them for having delivered him from Purgatory. On being asked what most contributed to free him from Purgatory, he led them to the Church where a priest was saying Mass. “Look,” he said, “this is the means by which my deliverance has been effected. This is the power of God’s mercy. This is the saving sacrifice which takes away the sins of the world.”

St. Monica’s dying request to her son, St. Augustine: “Lay this body anywhere. The one thing I ask of you is that you remember me at the altar of the Lord.”

The souls in Purgatory for whom the priest is wont to pray at Mass,” says St. Jerome, “suffer no pain while Mass is being offered; and after every Mass is said for the souls in Purgatory some souls are released.”

To hear or to have Mass said for the Poor Souls is their greatest consolation. By the cooling tide of Jesus’ Blood they are relieved and ushered, when cleansed, into the Presence of the All Holy God.

St. John Chrysostom recommends that every Catholic family have a box at some convenient place in the house into which loose change can be dropped to be used for Masses for the Poor Souls.

Holy Communion

Many revelations of the Saints assure us that Communion hastens the time of deliverance of a soul in Purgatory. This is the holiest work which a Christian can perform. The whole time the soul is with Our Lord, it is being unceasingly purified and sanctified and its acts are more fervent and meritorious than at other times. Through Holy Communion a more abundant application of Christ’s merits is made to our souls. In other words, to receive our Divine Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar is the holiest work a Christian can accomplish. If we could only realize this better, how much more fervent would our Holy Communions be.

It is related of St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi that her brother after his death made her understand that he wished her to offer up a certain number of Holy Communions for the release of his soul from Purgatory, and that the Saint complied with this request, thereby giving an example which we can all very well follow and which is within the reach of us all.

Stations of the Cross

Making the Way of the Cross is one of the most excellent ways of meditating on the Passion of Christ. Our Lord appeared to His servant, Ven. Mary D’Antigna, and reproached her for her negligence in saying the Stations. He said that the Stations of the Cross are most profitable to the Holy Souls. He then charged her to make known to all what a treasure of relief for the Holy Souls was the devotion of the Way of the Cross.

When it is impossible to say the Stations in Church, you may use an indulgenced Crucifix. In this case the following prayers must be said: Fourteen Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorias in honor of the fourteen stations; five in honor of the five Wounds of Christ, and one for the intentions of the Holy Father.


How great is the mercy of God who binds together in the bonds of charity the living and the dead. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,” (Apoc. 14, 13) for their eternal happiness is assured. The Church does not forget her children, even when the world to come has already received them stripped of their mortal bodies, but she still watches over their welfare as a tender mother and as we should. Her priests always pray for the dead when they offer up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Church teaches that the Holy Sacrifice may be offered up on their behalf, and has adapted this liturgy to this end.

Every year when November comes around, the Church turns its thoughts and prayers to the suffering souls and consecrates the rest of the month to their relief.

Even though you may have a longer period of suffering in Purgatory, you may receive a higher degree in Heaven because of your generosity and charity for the Poor/Holy Souls in Purgatory. If you have helped the suffering souls during your earthly life by your prayers and good works, you may safely believe that, when you reach that blessed place of purifying pain, others will be found on earth to do the same for you, so that you may be admitted more quickly to the joys of heaven.

St. Francis de Sales had said that we should practice all the works of mercy together. We should visit the sick, give drink to those who thirst for the vision of God, feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted and practice all the works of mercy.

St. Thomas says: “Suffrages for the dead are more agreeable to God than suffrages for the living because the former, not being able to help themselves like the living, stand in more urgent need.

And then St. Ambrose reminds us: “All that we offer to God in charity to the dead, is changed into merit for ourselves, and we shall find it increased a hundredfold after our death. Generosity towards the departed is always repaid.

Let us then do what we can for the faithful departed. As St. Augustine has said: “By saving a soul, you assure your own salvation.” Let us speed many souls onward to Heaven by acts of charity. They will be mindful of us and will richly reward us, their benefactors. And finally our Divine Savior has assured us on His word of unfailing truth: “Amen, I say unto you, as long as you did it to the least of my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”

News from the Central Office

Soon the summer months will be over and we will get back to our usual schedule. The children will be returning to school and we will be thinking of the coming months, especially November, the month dedicated to the Poor/Holy Souls. As we settle back into our daily routine it is worth mentioning once again what St. John Chrysostom recommended. Let us all have a box or jar at some convenient place
in the house where you can throw loose change each day from your pocket or wallet to be used to have masses said for the Poor/Holy Souls in Purgatory. One of those masses may be just the one that a family member may need to be released from Purgatory.
We are continuing to receive church bulletins and obituary pages from the newspapers from many of you Prayer Warriors. We enroll all names in the Golden Book and they share in the masses offered each week for the repose of their souls. While we cannot write individually to each of you thanking you for sending this information to us, please know that we are extremely thankful. Also if any of you are now connected to email p
lease let us know and we can email the newsletter to you rather than land mail.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us and we will answer any questions to the best of our ability. You may write or email us. Please also remember to check our website often as we continue to add more items of interest about the Souls in Purgatory, how to shorten our own Purgatory and how to shorten the Purgatory of our family and friends.

Friends of the Poor Souls

Established September 15, 2004

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Robert & Mary Ann Luetkemeyer, Coordinators

For more information, please write us at:

436 Vasey Oak Dr.

Keller, TX 76248


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