Are you going to help the Holy Souls?
Yesterday we celebrated All Souls Day and for the whole of this month we are asked to step up our prayer efforts for the Holy Souls in Purgatory – those who have died in God’s grace but are still imperfect and being purified. Purgatory leads to Heaven and there is only one door out of it. But the souls being purified there cannot open it themselves. But we have the key, and so in charity we have to unlock it for them. So will you help unlock that door for some souls during this month of November? I hope so. There are so many things we can do, particularly having Masses offered for them.
But this week from 1st – 8th November the Church grants a Plenary Indulgence (that is the full remission of the temporal punishment still due after sins have been forgiven) that can be obtained only for the Holy Souls and which you may apply to a particular deceased person – a parent, spouse, relative, friend, or even somebody unknown. To gain this Plenary Indulgence you must 1. Visit a cemetery and pray there for the dead. If you manage to gain the Plenary Indulgence you will free a soul from Purgatory. 2. Then each time you say the prayer, “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen” you can gain a Partial Indulgence for the souls in Purgatory. This means you help shorten their Purgatory. What could be simpler?
Other Plenary Indulgences which you may gain either for yourself or for the Holy Souls at any time are as follows: 1. Visit the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration lasting at least half an hour. 2. Devoutly recite the Rosary in a church or oratory, in a family or a religious community. 3. Read the Sacred Scriptures as spiritual reading for at least half an hour. If the time is less, the indulgence will be partial. In these cases you choose who the indulgence applies to: either yourself or to a Holy Soul in Purgatory. You cannot apply it to another living person.
To gain any Plenary Indulgence the other conditions you must fulfil are: to be in a state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced act is done and to be free from all attachment to sin. Otherwise, the indulgence becomes partial, not plenary. Then you must go to Confession within eight days, receive Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Pope. One Our Father and one Hail Mary are sufficient.
When you help free a soul from Purgatory they will never forget you. They will be interceding for you and will not cease praying for you until you also arrive in Heaven. So let’s get our skates on and really help to get souls into Heaven this month!
Fr Paul Gillham, IC