The month of November is dedicated to the poor souls in purgatory but many people stop praying for them after the first 8 days when indulgences can be earned. Does not earning them an indulgence mean you should simply stop praying for them? Of course not! In fact, we should be praying for them beyond the month of November.
Need convincing as to why you should cultivate the habit of praying for them starting this month? Here are 15 saint quotes that will make you think twice before passing on the idea.
Because they’re suffering.
“I come to tell you that they suffer in Purgatory, that they weep, and that they demand with urgent cries the help of your prayers and your good works. I seem to hear them crying from the depths of those fires which devour them: ‘Tell our loved ones, tell our children, tell all our relatives how great the evils are which they are making us suffer. We throw ourselves at their feet to implore the help of their prayers. Ah! Tell them that since we have been separated from them, we have been here burning in the flames!’” – St. John Vianney
“I do not think that part from the felicity of Heaven, there can be a joy comparable to that experienced by the souls in Purgatory. An incessant communication from God renders their joy more vivid from day to day: and this communication becomes more and more intimate, to the extent that it consumes the obstacles still existing in the soul… On the other hand, they endure pain so intense, that no tongue is able to describe it. Nor is any mind capable of comprehending the smallest spark of that consuming fire, unless God should show it to him by a special grace.” – St. Catherine of Siena
“I saw my guardian angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames, which were burning them, did not touch me at all. My guardian angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God.” – St. Maria Faustina Kowalska
“The more one longs for a thing, the more painful does deprivation of it become. And because after this life, the desire for God, the Supreme Good, is intense in the souls of the just (because this impetus toward him is not hampered by the weight of the body, and that time of enjoyment of the Perfect Good would have come) had there been no obstacle; the soul suffers enormously from the delay.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
“If only you knew with what great longing these holy souls yearn for relief from their suffering. Ingratitude has never entered Heaven.” – St. Margaret Mary
“The fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell; the difference between them is that the fire of Purgatory is not everlasting.” – St. John Vianney
Because we can give them hope (and vice versa).
“He who saves a soul saves his own and satisfies for a multitude of sins.” – St. James the Apostle
“If, during life, we have been kind to the suffering souls in purgatory, God will see that help be not denied us after death.” – St. Paul of the Cross
“By assisting them we shall not only give great pleasure to God, but will acquire also great merit for ourselves. And, in return for our suffrages, these blessed souls will not neglect to obtain for us many graces from God, but particularly the grace of eternal life. I hold for certain that a soul delivered from Purgatory by the suffrages of a Christian, when she enters paradise, will not fail to say to God: ‘Lord, do not suffer to be lost that person who has liberated me from the prison of Purgatory, and has brought me to the enjoyment of Thy glory sooner than I have deserved.’” – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
“My love urges Me to release the poor souls. If a beneficent king leaves his guilty friend in prison for justice’s sake, he awaits with longing for one of his nobles to plead for the prisoner and to offer something for his release. Then the king joyfully sets him free. Similarly, I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer!” – Our Lord to St. Gertrude
“If it were but known how great is the power of the good souls in Purgatory with the Heart of God, and if we knew all the graces we can obtain through their intercession, they would not be so much forgotten. We must, therefore, pray much for them, that they may pray much for us.” – St. John Vianney
“Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice (Job 1:5), why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.” – St. John Chrysostom
“The practice of recommending to God the souls in Purgatory, that He may mitigate the great pains which they suffer, and that He may soon bring them to His glory, is most pleasing to the Lord and most profitable to us. For these blessed souls are His eternal spouses, and most grateful are they to those who obtain their deliverance from prison, or even a mitigation of their torments. When, therefore, they arrive in Heaven, they will be sure to remember all who have prayed for them.” – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
Because they will thank us.
“As we enter Heaven, we will see them, so many of them, coming towards us and thanking us. We will ask who they are, and they will say ‘a poor soul you prayed for in purgatory.’” – Ven. Fulton Sheen
As St. Pio of Pietrelcina once said, “We must empty Purgatory with our prayers.” Yes, he was convinced that it can be done… and we should be, too.
Take a moment and recite this prayer given to us by Jesus through St. Gertrude the Great:
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”
Now, get to praying for those poor souls and help empty Purgatory!