November is a time that the Church encourages us to pray for the holy souls in purgatory.
There has been a renewed interest in purgatory lately. Searches on Google show a steady increase of searches for this word since 2004. There was a 19% increase in the number of Google searches for the word purgatory between 2012 and 2020 compared to the eight previous years. There has also been a steady rise in searches for “purgatory prayer” since 2011.
It could be that more people are recognizing the need for souls to be purified after death. This purification occurs so that they can “achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” as the Catechism states. (CCC 1030)
If a person has died in the state of grace (friendship with God) it’s likely that they need our prayers to bring them some consolation during their purification. The Catechism says, “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.” (CCC 1032)
In our modern age when we pride ourselves on our own accomplishments, it’s often thought that the baptized Christian has, upon death, receive a direct ticket to the feet of God. Friends of the deceased are often consoled with the words, “He’s in heaven now.”
Isn’t this presumption? Why not pray for these beloved friends just to make sure? St. John Chrysostom, quoted in the Catechism, says “Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.” (CCC 1032)
By praying for the souls of the faithful departed we are doing them a great favor. What a wholesome and loving thing this is!
November is traditionally the time to pray for the holy souls in purgatory. Why not pray for friends who have passed on, as well as for all the faithful departed?
Vatican Expands Plenary Indulgence for 2020
This year, the Vatican has expanded the traditional days to gain a plenary indulgence when praying for the holy souls from Nov. 1-8 to the entire month of November. This is due to the current circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic. The Vatican website says, “...the Plenary Indulgences for the deceased faithful will be extended throughout the entire month of November, with adaptation of works and conditions to guarantee the safety of the faithful.” See Vatican website for details.
The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy has developed a series of thirty video prayers for each day of the month. These can be prayed during November, which traditionally is the time to pray for the holy souls. These prayers can also be started at any time of the year.
A new promotional video made by the Order of Mercy explaining the need for prayers for the dead is available at the Order of Mercy’s YouTube channel.
Click here to sign up for the email prompts for the “30 Days of Video Prayers for the Souls in Purgatory.”
Friars of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy are present in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and New York. Their charism is Redemptive ministry: setting Christian captives free. Those who feel attracted to the spirituality of the Order should contact Fr. Daniel Bowen, O. de M. at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the Mercedarian friars’ website at www.OrderofMercy.org.