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All Souls Day; Time for Prayer and Celebration

all souls Today we celebrate All Souls Day. Yes, I said “celebrate.” This day is set aside for us to remember and celebrate God’s mercy. This day is meant for remembering all souls who have departed this life and now reside in Purgatory, where they are in the process of having their venial sins cleansed, as well as experience the temporal punishment for confessed mortal sins. As Catholics, we know that to see the face of God, we must first be purified by the fires of Purgatory, where we are cleansed of our sins; refined like fine gold – Only then may we enter the gates of Heaven and see the face of God.

Praying for all souls, on this dedicated day, can only help them. Need some proof that your prayers actually help those in Purgatory? Okay, here is an excerpt from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, a 20th century saint from Poland:

One night, a sister who had died two months previously came to me. She was a sister of the first choir. I saw her in a terrible condition, all in flames with her face painfully distorted. This lasted only a short time, and then she disappeared. A shudder went through my soul because I did not know whether she was in purgatory or in hell. Nevertheless, I redoubled my prayers for her…After some time she came back again to me during the night, but already her appearance had changed. There were no longer flames, as there had been before, and her face was radiant, her eyes beaming with joy. She told me that I had a true love for my neighbor, and that many other souls had profited from my prayers. She urged me not to cease praying for the souls in purgatory, and she herself added that she would not remain there much longer. How astounding are the decrees of God!1

Purgatory is a gift of God’s mercy. Think about the alternative: eternity without God! For all that we have done in our lifetimes, God is willing to forgive us, and give us the opportunity to have our souls cleansed in Purgatory. Once cleansed, we may enter heaven for eternity and live with God.

Learn from those who have gone before us. If you have vice in your life today, then take the necessary steps to rid yourself of said vices. Embrace virtue. Perhaps, just perhaps, such an action might minimize your time in Purgatory.

All Souls Deserve Our Prayers

Praying for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy. Your prayers do merit those in Purgatory. Let’s begin by saying this short prayer:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


1 Kowalska, Maria Faustina. Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. Stockbridge: Marian Press, Print, 1981, p. 30, notation 58.

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs

4 Responses to All Souls Day; Time for Prayer and Celebration

  • I think praying for the soul of departed one is one of spiritualwork. We Catholics believe that there is hell and purgatory, what about those who neither believe and wish to hear about it?
    My wife is one of those who don’t accept and believe in it and I feel so sorry for her but I don’t give up to pray for her.

    • Hi Augustine: Praying for the dead is considered a spiritual work of mercy. The more that you pray for your wife now (while she is alive), the better off she will be once she passes from this life to the next. Your prayers are a true expression of love for her. She is one lucky woman to have you. Just because she chooses not to believe in Purgatory, doesn’t make it not exist. Once we all receive our final judgments, I think we all will be filled with gratitude to learn that there is a place where we can be refined and cleansed of our sins; made pure in the sight of God, prior to entering Heaven for all eternity. Considering the alternative (hell), I’ll take Purgatory; for none of us are worthy to see the face of God (at the moment of our passing) given our sinfulness throughout life. His mercy offers us Purgatory. – Peace, Virginia

  • I am glad I stumbled on this blog. I am not a blogger. However, I do read Catholic blogs and I do not comment too often. But, after I read this quote, it spoke to me as if it was a from my ex sister-in-law. I believe that she is grateful for my prayers. I know her family never really went to Mass. However, when my daughter told me that her aunt passed away, 3 weeks ago, and that her husband was not going to even give her a Mass, it was sad. Therefore, I took it upon myself to begin to pray for her eternal soul. I know she didn’t really go to Mass at all, though she was raised Catholic. My heart just broke. She was a person that lived and no one cared to give a blessing. That is when I really meditated as I prayed the rosary: “may all souls go to heaven especially those in most need of your mercy.” This really spoke to me.

    How lovely was your quote. God used you to talk to me, to tell me that what I was doing was a good thing. I know God is always talking to us though other people, but we don’t hear him because we are not looking for his signs. We are not really listening, but God is always talking to us through other people. That is why the book of John is all about signs. Jesus wanted us to be aware of God; his signs.

    Sorry if I made this comment so long. I hope I made since.
    In – Texas 🙂

    • Hi Marina: You make perfect sense! Not only will your ex sister-in-law thank you one day for your prayers, but Jesus and His Blessed Mother will thank you for them as well. Keep praying! Peace, Virginia

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