A Christian Duty

An Angel Frees a Soul of Purgatory - by CARRACCI, Lodovico from Pinacoteca, Vatican

As God sits on His Throne-of-Mercy, an Angel prepares-to Lead a Soul from-Purgatory to-Heaven, as Saints in Heaven Pray-for God's Mercy on those Souls remaining-in Purgatory.


Charity 'Obliges' us to Help our Neighbor, when he Requires our Aid. Now it is certain that among our Neighbors, are to be Counted the Souls in Purgatory, who Share-in the Communion of Saints. They are Destined-to Reign-with Christ, but they are 'Withheld'-from taking Possession-of their Kingdom, until the Time-of their Purifying is 'Accomplished'.


A Christian Duty

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

The Practice-of 'Recommending' to-God the Souls in- Purgatory, that He might Mitigate the Great Pains which they Suffer, and that He may soon 'Bring' them to His Glory, is most-Pleasing to the Lord, and most-Profitable to us. For these Blessed Souls are His Eternal Spouses, and most-Grateful are they, to those who Obtain their Deliverance-from Prison, or even a Mitigation-of their Torments. When, therefore, they Arrive-in Heaven, they will be sure to-Remember all who have Prayed-for them. It is a Pious Belief, that God 'Manifests'-to them our Prayers, in their Behalf, that they may also Pray-for us. It is True, that these Blessed Souls, are not in a State-to Pray-for themselves, because they are Atoning-for their Faults. However, because they are very Dear-to God, they can Pray for us, and 'Obtain'-for us, the Divine Graces. Saint-Catherine-of-Bologna, when she Wished-to 'Obtain' any Grace, had Recourse-to the Souls-in Purgatory, and her Prayers were 'Heard' Immediately. She declared that, by Praying-to those Holy Souls, she 'Obtained' many Favors, which she had Sought-through the Intercession-of the Saints, without 'Obtaining' them. The Graces which Devout Persons are said to have Received-through these Holy Souls, are Innumerable.

But, if we Wish-for the Aid-of their Prayers, it is Just, it is even a Duty, to-Relieve them by our Suffrages. I say, it is even a Duty: for Christian Charity 'Commands' us to- Relieve our Neighbors, who stand-in Need-of our Assistance. But who among all our Neighbors, have so-Great Need-of our Help, as those Holy Prisoners? They are Continually-in that Fire, which Torments more-Severely than any Earthly Fire. They are Deprived-of the Sight-of God, a Torment far-more Excruciating than all other Pains. Let us Reflect-that, among these Suffering Souls are Parents, or Brothers, or Relations and Friends, who look-to us for Succor. Let us Remember, moreover, that being-in the Condition-of Debtors-for their Sins, they cannot 'Assist' themselves. This Thought should Urge us Forward-to Relieve them, to the Best-of our Ability. By Assisting them, we shall not only give Great Pleasure to-God, but will Acquire also, Great Merit for ourselves. And, in Return-for our Suffrages, these Blessed Souls, will not Neglect-to Obtain-for us, many Graces from God, but particularly the Grace-of Eternal Life. I hold for-Certain, that when a Soul, delivered-from Purgatory, by the Suffrages-of a Christian, enters Paradise, she will not Fail to-say to- God: "Lord, do not Suffer that Person to be Lost, who has Liberated me from the Prison-of Purgatory, and has Brought me to the Enjoyment-of Thy Glory, sooner than I had Deserved".

If Charity 'Obliges' us to-Assist All, it 'Commands' us still-more Strictly, to Relieve those who are in the Greatest Need; such as the Souls in Purgatory. Saint Thomas teaches, that Charity extends not only to the Living, but also to the Dead. Hence, as we ought-to Assist our Neighbors who are in this Life, so we are bound-to 'Give' Relief-to those Holy Prisoners, who are so-Severely Tormented by Fire, and who are Incapable of Relieving themselves. A Deceased Monk of the Cistercian Order, appeared-to the Sacristan of his Monastery, and said to him: "Brother, Assist me by your Prayers; for I can do nothing for myself". Let us, then 'Assist', to the Utmost-of our Power, these 'Beloved Spouses' of Jesus Christ, by Recommending them every-day to God, and by sometimes getting Mass Offered-for their Repose. There is nothing which gives so much Relief-to those Holy Souls, as the Sacrifice of the Altar. They certainly will not be Ungrateful; they will in-return, Pray for you, and will Obtain-for you, still Greater Graces, when they shall have Entered-into the Kingdom-of-God.


- End of Liguori Discourse -


Liguori Prayer for the Repose of Souls

My God! I Recommend-to Thee the Souls of my Relations, my Benefactors, my Friends and my Enemies, and of those who are in Purgatory, on my account.

I Recommend-to Thee the Souls of Evangelical Laborers, of Religious and Priests, and especially of those who had Charge-of my Soul.

I Recommend-to Thee the Souls of those who were most Devout-to the Passion-of Our Lord, to the Blessed Sacrament, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Souls who are most Abandoned, those who Suffer-most, and those who are Nearest-to the Entrance-into Paradise. So I Hope. So may it be.



Liguori Prayer for Souls in Purgatory

O God of Love, Father-of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on this Altar, Behold the Unbloody Sacrifice-of the Body and Blood-of Thy Son, Representing that of His most Holy Death and Grievous Passion, which He, the Great High Priest, Offered Thee on Calvary. In consideration-of this Holocaust-of Sweet Odor, have Mercy-on the Souls-in Purgatory; Open-to them the Gates-of Heaven, that they may Love and Praise Thee, and Enjoy Thee Eternally-in the Abode-of the Saints.

Together with the Sufferings-of Thy Divine Son, I likewise Offer Thee the Sorrows-of His Blessed Mother, whose Soul was Crucified-at the Foot-of her Sonís Cross; for the Lance which Pierced the Side and Heart-of Jesus, Thine Adorable Son, also Transfixed the Soul and Heart-of Mary, according to Simeonís Prophecy, and made her the Queen-of-Martyrs.

Behold then, O Heavenly Father! The Disfigured Countenance-of Thy Son on the Cross and the Crucified Heart-of His Mother, at the Foot-of this same Cross; and by the Merits-of all the Sufferings of that Son and that Mother, Grant Eternal Repose to the Souls-in Purgatory. So I Hope. So may it be.