Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

The following prayer will release 1000 Holy Souls from Purgatory each time it is said. It came from St. Gertrude the Great. This would be a good prayer to memorize.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Psalm 130 – De Profundis

Based on Psalm 130, a cry to God for help from a soul in Purgatory.

Out of the Depths

Out of the depths I have cried unto Thee, O Lord – Lord hear my voice! Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark our iniquities, O Lord, who can abide it? For with Thee there is mercy, and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord. My soul hath hoped in the Lord.

From morning watch even unto night, let Israel hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plentiful redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Let Us Pray

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy departed servants the full remission of all their sins, that through our pious supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired. Thou who livest and reignest world without end.

Amen.

The Rosary

The rosary is a traditional Catholic devotion that was given to Saint Dominic in an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1214. The word rosary is derived from rosarium, which is Latin for “rose garden”. The purpose of this devotion is to meditate on the mysteries in the history of our salvation. It consists of four sets of mysteries which are broken up in five groups (or decades) that consist of 11 beads: 10 for Hail Mary prayers starting with an Our Father and ending with a Glory Be prayer. Its been said that a sign of a true Catholic is devotion to Mary, especially one who carries a rosary in their pocket. This is one of the great devotions in the Catholic faith and I recommend all to pray this daily.

Many people don’t pray the rosary, they just say it. The correct words come out of their mouth while their minds wander. Each decade of the rosary is associated with a mystery to be meditated upon. This meditation is not the same as that used in Eastern religions where they empty their head of all thoughts. Instead, each decade is actively thought about while saying the prayer words. The three prayers in each decade is a timing mechanism which takes about three minutes to complete before moving to the next part of the rosary.

The next question is: what do you think of while praying a mystery? Most of the rosary is based directly on the Bible so its important to read and understand what is written. If you don’t regularly read the Bible, this is a good reason to start.

It takes about 15 minutes to pray the rosary. Everyone has time to pray at least one rosary a day. If not, then spend a day writing down all of your activities, including your idle times. If you don’t have time for prayer your Christian life has to be seriously questioned because your putting worldly affairs ahead of God.

You don’t have to pray all four rosaries everyday. Start with one and try to increase it later. Remember that you are praying this to help the souls in Purgatory. The rosary is most powerful prayer after the Mass and has the advantage of being able to pray it anywhere at anytime.

How To Pray The Rosary

A great place to learn how to pray the rosary is from the group who brought it to us, the Dominican Fathers in their Rosary Center website. The instructions for the rosary can be found at www.rosary-center.org/howto.htm. For the most benefit in praying the rosary, enroll in the Rosary Confraternity through this site. In addition to getting special protection from the Mother of God, you will also get various partial and plenary indulgences.

Fifteen Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary

Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

  1. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
  2. The rosary shall be a powerful armor against Hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
  3. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
  4. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.
  5. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he but just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
  6. Whosoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  7. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
  8. I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.
  9. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.
  10. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
  11. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
  12. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.
  13. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.
  14. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan
Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes, D.D. (Archbishop of New York)

The Miraculous Medal

On July 18, 1830, St. Catherine Laboure was awaked by a child who asked her to come to the chapel. There she saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, who said,

“God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.”

Our Lady returned for a second apparition to St. Catherine on November 27, 1830. This time Mary was within an oval frame and standing on a globe (sorry flat earthers). Rays of light were coming out of gems from the many rings she was wearing. Mary said that these symbolized the graces that are shed upon those who ask for them. The oval frame had these words written around it: O Mary, conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The frame was rotating and on the other side appeared an M under a cross. At the bottom was the Sacred Heart of Jesus with a crown of thorns. Beside it was an Immaculate Heart of Mary with a sword through it. There were stars around the entire image. She noticed that some of these stars weren’t lit and asked Our Lady why. Mary said, “those are the graces which people forget to ask. And then requested that medals be made with these images and all who wear them will receive great graces.

There have been many miracles documented with the Miraculous Medal. One of them was a 74 year old widow in 1834 who had a very difficult time walking after a cripping accident. She also needed assistance sitting and standing. After receiving the medal she went to Confession. Note: prayers are much more effective when in a state of grace. This was followed the next day by First Friday devotions and the start of a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. She also venerated the medal she wore 20 times a day. On the 7th day of the novena, she was miraculous healed and was able to walk, climb stairs, and kneel without help.

You can find miraculous medals at any Catholic gift stores or online. Make sure the medal matches what Our Lady gave us. I’ve seen medals that are different designs or text. A prayer you can say with the medal is one from St. Maximilian Kolbe,

O Mary,
conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you,
and for all who do not have recourse to you,
especially the enemies of the Church
and those recommended to you.

Amen.

You can also say other prayers like the Memorare, or any other devotion. A very simple prayer is the text on the medal,

O Mary,
conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Just put the medal on and brace yoursel for the graces and miracles that will come.

Divine Mercy for the Holy Souls

“… After eight days [after the Feast of Easter] let there be another feast observed with honor, the eighth day itself on which He [Jesus] gave me Thomas, who was hard of belief, full assurance, by showing me the print of the nails, and the wound made in His side by the spear.”
St. Thomas the Apostle, writing in The Apostolic Constitutions (Book 5, Chapter 19)

In 1931, Sister Faustina (now a canonized saint) received a vision of Our Lord. Jesus was clothed in a white robe and His right hand was making a blessing while the left was touching His heart. From that point, two large rays of light were emitted. One was red and the other was pale. St. Faustina stared at Jesus with awe and with great joy. Our Lord then said asked her to paint the image of Him that she saw with the text “Jesus, I trust in You” at the bottom. A promise was made that those who venerate this image would not perish and they would also have victory over their enemies, especially at the hour of death. What followed over the next several years were extensive apparitions from Jesus on Divine Mercy. One request from Our Lord was to establish a feast the first Sunday after Easter, “Yes the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy, and I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works” (742). On this day, a remarkable event would take place. Our Lord said that “the soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy” (Diary 1109). In other words, a plenary indulgence may be obtained on the Feast of Divine Mercy. Just imagine. All of your sins that would have led to a lengthy time of expiation in Purgatory can be forgiven. You can skip Purgatory and go straight to Heaven, assuming that you don’t sin from that point onwards. All of your sins up to that point will be forgiven. For those interested in self improvement, this is a great thing to do. An even better thing to do with this indulgence is to transfer it to someone else, more specifically, someone in Purgatory. A partial indulgence given to a holy soul in Purgatory remits part of their sin, shortening their time there by a particular amount (depending on the nature of the indulgence). A plenary indulgence for a holy soul completely remits all of their sins and they immediately enter Heaven. So, instead of applying the plenary indulgence from the Feast of Divine Mercy to yourself, give it to a suffering saint. In order to make a plenary indulgence, three conditions must be met: go to confession, receive communion, and pray for the intentions of the Pope (usually an Our Father and Hail Mary). There is one catch, though. There can be no sin committed, not even a venial one, while attempting to make this indulgence. Doing so would turn the indulgence into a partial one. It’s difficult to make a plenary indulgence. This is why it’s a good idea to perform the conditions close to each other. It may have been a long time since your last confession but this shouldn’t prevent you from receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Lord Jesus said, “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet…. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy” (699). Helping a soul in Purgatory has other benefits. When we pray for them and lessen their time there, they in gratitude will pray for us. Padre Pio said that “if one knew what we may obtain from God by the intercession of the Holy Souls, they would not be so much abandoned.”If our prayers will free a holy soul, they will pray unceasingly in Heaven for our salvation. So on the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, offer your plenary indulgence for a suffering saint and your future eternal life will be secured.

If You Want To Avoid Purgatory

Many Catholics do not consider the existence of Purgatory. This is due mainly to a poor understanding of this doctrine. It is thought that after death one goes either directly to Heaven or Hell. Those who do understand Purgatory believe that it is very difficult if not impossible to avoid it. Fortunately, Our Lord has provided the means to bypass Purgatory and go straight to Heaven.

The reason why Purgatory exists is that in order to go to Heaven, we must be perfectly free of sin since “nothing unclean will enter it” (Revelation 21:27). Every sin that is committed leaves a stain of sin that remains even after we repent and receive forgiveness from it. The first and most important way to avoid Purgatory is to deal with its primary cause, that is, sin. It is sin that stains our souls and this stain must be removed before we can enter Heaven.

There are two types of sin, venial and mortal. They are mentioned in 1 John 5:17, “all wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly”. The sins that are not deadly are venial. They are minor offenses against God that do not destroy the relationship with Him but can lead to related mortal sins if they continue without repentance. Many people do not consider the consequences of minor (venial) sins. After all, a small lie or distasteful joke won’t prevent you from entering Heaven, right? Even venial sins stain the soul. These stains will keep us in Purgatory until they are fully expiated because “you will not get out until you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:25). There are also degrees of venial sins. A sin that occurs due to habit is worse than one that happens due to a moment of weakness. The other sin, mortal, destroys the relationship with God and will lead to eternal separation from Him unless an act of contrition occurs.

Three requirements must be met for a sin to be mortal. The sin must be of a serious nature, the individual needs to be knowledgeable that the sin is serious, and the individual must have the free will to commit the sin. If venial sins cause us to spend some time in Purgatory, mortal sins require a much greater purgatorial expiation. Why is this so severe? Considering that a single mortal sin can cause one to lose their salvation, this would be understandable why a great penance is needed. When sins occurs, it needs to be forgiven. We can confess our sins directly to Jesus or we can confess our sins to Jesus through a priest. Why go to a priest to confess sin? After all, why not save yourself the embarrassment and confess to God privately? Jesus gave priests the authority to forgive sins, “if you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained” (John 20:23).

In addition to having our sins forgiven by confessing to a priest, the priest can advise us how to avoid committing the same sin again in the future. You would not get this sort of guidance through private confession to God. Once sin is forgiven, the stain of that sin remains on the soul. This stain needs to be removed in order to go to Heaven. We can purify our souls while on earth through penance, or we can do it painfully in Purgatory. When sin is confessed to a priest, a penance is given appropriate to the magnitude of the sin. This is another reason why frequent confession is beneficial. The act of penance leads to an indulgence. This is what actually removes the punishment due to sin.

An indulgence can either be partial (only part of the punishment is removed) or plenary (all of the punishment is removed). The majority of indulgences are partial since plenary ones are difficult to obtain. This is because they require the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or confession to a priest), Holy Communion needs to be received, and a prayer for the Pope’s intention (this can be an Our Father and a Hail Mary). No sin can be committed during this process or the indulgence will become partial.

A very good way to avoid Purgatory is to help those who are imprisoned there. The Holy Souls are aware of who prays for them and what role they played in lessening their time in Purgatory. Once they are released into Heaven, they pray constantly for the salvation of their greatest friends who helped them. Your time in Purgatory can be lessened if not eliminated by dedicating yourself to free the suffering saints.

One great thing that can be done for them is to offer the indulgences from all of your prayers with the Heroic Act of Charity. The final sacrament one receives, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, can eliminate all of the time spent in Purgatory. The best thing that one can do with this sacrament is to offer it to the Holy Souls. Such a great deed would no doubt be repaid in a much greater way than if used for one’s personal needs.