“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.”
(2 Machabees 12:46)
Who is in more urgent need of our charity than the souls in Purgatory? What hunger, or thirst, or dire sufferings on Earth can compare to their dreadful torments? Neither the poor, nor the sick, nor the suffering, we see around us, have such an urgent need of our help. Yet we find many good-hearted people who interest themselves in every other type of suffering, but alas! scarcely one who works for 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 many dangers and protect them from the evils that threaten them.
HAVING MASSES SAID FOR THE HOLY SOULS IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL THE CHURCH MILITANT HAS IN FREEING THEM
Blessed Souls, I have prayed for Thee;
I entreat Thee, who are so dear to God,
and who are secure of never losing Him,
to pray for me a miserable sinner,
who is in danger of being damned,
and of losing God forever. Amen.
A SOUL IN PURGATORY BEGS FOR MASSES
Blessed Henry Suso, of the Dominican Order, made a compact with a fellow religious to the effect that, when one of the two died, the survivor would offer two Masses each week for his soul, and other prayers as well.
It so fell out that his companion died first, and Blessed Henry commenced immediately to offer the promised Masses. These he continued to say for a long time. At last, quite sure that the soul of his saintly friend had reached Heaven, he ceased offering the Masses.
Great was his sorrow and consternation when the soul of the dead brother appeared to him suffering intensely and chiding him for not celebrating the promised Masses. Blessed Henry replied with deep regret that he had not continued the Masses, believing that his friend must be enjoying the Beatific Vision but he added that he had ever remembered him in prayer.
“O dear Brother Henry, please give me the Masses, for it is the Precious Blood of Jesus that I most need!” cried out the suffering soul. Blessed Henry began anew and, with redoubled fervor, offered Masses and prayers for his friend until he received absolute certitude of his delivery.
Then it was his turn to receive graces and blessings of all kinds from the dear brother he had relieved, and very many times more than he could have expected.