Who are the abandoned souls of Purgatory? The abandoned souls are those who, for whatever reason, have no one to pray for them. Imagine this, you are ill, and you are in a place where no one knows you, where there is no one who speaks your language. You cannot communicate with anyone. You cannot let them know that you are sick and that you need help. Even though you are in this location, you don't know your neighbors. Without being cruel, your neighbors do not know you exist. They don't see you because you are sick and cannot leave where you are. There is no one to help. You are alone and abandoned.
These are the souls in Purgatory who have no one to offer Masses on their behalf, to pray for them, to offer sacrifices for them, to fast for them, to offer works of charity for them. They are the abandoned souls. The reasons for their abandonment may be that those who love them have assumed that their loved ones are already in heaven and have ceased to pray for them or have Masses offered for them. These souls might be souls who, while on earth, made no friends and had no family. They were not only forgotten, these souls were never known. These souls might have died in acts of mass genocide. Their time on earth is not even acknowledged by a marker on a grave. These souls might be souls who lived in foreign countries. They are souls we cannot have known on earth. These souls might be souls who were so unlovable and unlikable that no one would mention their names again.
The sufferings of all souls in Purgatory are unimaginable to us now. One day, we will probably come to know these pains. The souls in Purgatory can do nothing for themselves, yet they rejoice because they realize that one day, they, too, shall see God. They can only pray for us and endure their purification as they wait to be united with God in heaven.
The souls who have people to pray for them are not abandoned. They rejoice and praise God for anyone who offers prayer for them, and they intercede for these souls. They know that through the intercession of those on earth who loved them, their time in Purgatory will be shortened and their pains decreased. They will be purified and soon will see God.
The abandoned souls rejoice that they, too, will see God, but without those of us on earth to pray for them, their time of purgation will be long and their sufferings more intense. Think of the times when you suffered the most. If you felt unloved and abandoned, in addition to your sufferings, were your sufferings not increased even more?
This is how those abandoned in Purgatory feel. They are not in heaven, and they feel the intense pain of that separation from God, God who is Love. In addition to their pain, they feel the lack of love from the souls who could help them, but don't. They cannot pray for themselves.
They can only suffer the pains of Purgatory until their release.
The souls, all of them, need our help. They are as helpless as new born babies. They cannot pray their way out of Purgatory. They need our help. Not only should we continue to pray for those whom we have known and loved, or not loved, but for those souls who have been forgotten and neglected, the abandoned souls.
The most effective prayer for all souls is the Mass. Have Masses offered at your church for your loved ones who have died. Have Masses offered for the forgotten souls in Purgatory. Offer your Masses, not only for the salvation of souls, but also for the souls in Purgatory, particularly for those souls who have been forgotten. The joy in Purgatory will be unimaginable! The souls will intercede for you. They will ask God to bless you abundantly. They will pray for your soul and the salvation of the souls of your friends and family. They will not forget you!
Masses are the gift to give to the souls, but if you cannot offer Masses pray for the souls daily, particularly those who have been forgotten by those of us here on earth. Pray the St. Gertrude prayer. It is said to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time that it is prayed.
I offer you the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son,
In Union with the most holy sacrifice of the Mass
Said throughout the world today,
In reparation for sin,
For the holy souls in Purgatory,
For sinners everywhere,
For sinners in the universal church,
Those within my own home,
Within my family.
(I always add.)
All praise and honor be to the Precious Blood of Jesus,
For it wrought our salvation and our redemption.
So, now, you've offered Masses for the souls. You've prayed for the souls. What else can you do?
You can fast and offer your fast up for the souls. You can eliminate television for a day. You can clean out that closet you've been putting off and offer that up for the souls. You have aches and pains. You can offer them up for the souls. You stub your toe. Offer that up for the souls. Deny yourself that one pleasure you were hoping to enjoy. The souls will find greater benefit from your sacrifice than you will enjoy by obtaining that pleasure.
Give alms to the poor. Visit the sick. Be kind to that unhappy person you know. Offer these gifts of love for the souls. Pray for the most abandoned soul in Purgatory each day. Remind others to pray for the souls. These gifts of love will be received by God with great joy! He will give these gifts to the souls. Our God is not only a God of justice, He is also our God of love and mercy.
The day will come when it will be our turn to stand before the Throne of God in judgment. If we have led lives of great merit and sanctity, perhaps we will enter heaven immediately upon our death. We pray that we never live lives that will see us condemned to hell. We pray that in our judgement, we are allowed to enter Purgatory so that, someday, we will be united with God in heaven. During our time of Purgation, we will hope for masses and prayers to be offered on our behalf. If not, we, too, will be an abandoned soul. Pray, now, that this is not your fate. Pray daily for those who have been forgotten. Offer Masses. Offer sacrifices. Offer acts of charity. Pray that you, too, will not be forgotten.
When you die and enter heaven, the souls whom you helped will greet you. What a joyous reunion you will have, even with those souls whom you have never met! It is then that Jesus will say to you, "Well done My good and faithful servant. Enter into my kingdom."