“The devotion to the memory of the dead is one of the most beautiful expressions of the Catholic spirit.”
– Pope Saint John XXIII –
The Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of November to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. November 2nd is All Souls Day, sometimes called the Day of the Dead. During this entire month we pray for the souls of the faithful departed, especially those whom we have known and loved.
Those in purgatory die in the mercy of God; however, because they still had attachment to sin at the time of their death, they must undergo the spiritual purification of their souls before they are able to fully love God with their whole heart, mind, and soul for all eternity. For more information, read What Do Catholics Really Believe About Purgatory?
Those in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, this is why they are called “poor” souls. They can no longer merit anything for themselves and rely entirely on others to pray and make sacrifices on their behalf. As they are nevertheless part of the communion of saints, they depend upon us to help ease their suffering and quickly advance them through their purification so that they can join the saints in heaven.
Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them.
Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory:
5. Pray the special Holy Souls Rosary. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Rosary is the most powerful prayer.
6. Obtain indulgences: Indulgences reduce or cancel the temporal punishment that we incur through sin. There are many ways to obtain indulgences through pious actions, and we can apply their merits to the dead. You can find a partial list of indulgences here.
Welcome to the Blog! I am a Salesian of Don Bosco and was ordained to the priesthood on August 26, 2000. I hope this site is a place of interest for you where you will find ideas and information on the Catholic faith and on Salesianity.