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All Souls' Day
By Melanie Williams (Nov 2, 2016)
Today the Church celebrates the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)
Yesterday, we celebrated the lives of the saints — those who have gone before us and who are in Heaven. Today, we remember those who have died and are suffering in Purgatory. Many, if not all of us, have lost loved ones. As Catholics, we believe in Purgatory, which is explained in a pre-Vatican II dogmatic treatise as "a state of temporary punishment for those who, departing this life in the grace of God, are not entirely free from venial sins or have not yet fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions."
Perhaps some of our loved ones are in Purgatory, unable to help themselves by their prayers, but you can help them. By your prayers and sufferings offered for the repose of their souls, they will be cleansed in Purgatory and enter Heaven.
Praying for the souls in Purgatory is one of the charisms of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Their founder, St. Stanislaus Papczynski, had visions of Purgatory and said to his brothers, "Pray, brothers, for the souls in Purgatory suffer unbearably."
The Marian Fathers are also the promoters of the message of Divine Mercy since 1941. Saint Faustina, who received the message of Divine Mercy from Jesus, was taken to Purgatory seven times in her life to see the souls suffering, and often souls would visit her from Purgatory asking her for prayers and sacrifices.
In this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, we have a particular opportunity to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Pope Francis has decreed a special Jubilee Indulgence, which can be obtained by the faithful by entering through a Holy Door in a Cathedral or designated Church. Also, the normal conditions for receiving an indulgence must be met (Confession, Eucharist, prayers for the Holy Father, detachment from sin). The Jubilee Indulgence will end after the close of the Jubilee Year on Nov. 20, but from now until then, every day you can gain the special Jubilee Indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and help them be cleansed and be ready for Heaven.
Pope Francis wrote regarding offering the Jubilee Indulgence for Holy Souls: "We are bound to them by the witness of faith and charity that they have left us. Thus, as we remember them in the Eucharistic celebration, thus we can, in the great mystery of the Communion of Saints, pray for them, that the merciful Face of the Father free them of every remnant of fault and strongly embrace them in the unending beatitude."
The Jubilee Year is coming to a close in just a couple weeks, take advantage of this time to help the souls in Purgatory, and continue to do so after the Jubilee Year of Mercy by offering your prayers and sacrifices for them.
Visit our website dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory: prayforsouls.org
You can also join our club dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls, The Holy Souls Sodality. The club's spiritual director, Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, teaches on the Holy Souls and praying for them here: