How To Help Holy Souls

Ten Ways To Bring Relief to the Poor Souls In Purgatory

Beauty So Ancient    April 17, 2020 .11 Comments on Ten Ways To Bring Relief to the Poor Souls In Purgatory


It is our solemn duty to pray for the poor souls in purgatory. They are suffering and longing to be with their God.

What is Purgatory?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Catholics believe in Heaven, Hell, and something called Purgatory that has two purposes: a temporal punishment for sin and the cleansing from the attachment to sin. Purgatory purifies the soul before the soul’s grand entrance into heaven. Purgatory is an often-misunderstood Catholic doctrine. It isn’t considered a spiritual jail or hell with parole. And Catholicism doesn’t teach that everyone goes to purgatory.

On the contrary, the Church believes that many people are purified or purged, hence the term purgatory, in this life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a “purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” which is experienced by those “who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified” (CCC 1030). It notes that “this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC 1031). The purification is necessary because, as Scripture teaches, nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27) and, while we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.

“Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is one of the beautiful ways of experiencing that reality. Purgatory is that state in which people who have died in God’s grace but have not let go of some of the imperfections and attachments of sin go through purification before entering Heaven, where nothing unclean may enter. Even when sins are forgiven, there remains the business of reparation for one’s wrongdoing. (For example, a convicted murder may be forgiven by God, but he must still do his time in prison.) Prayers and offerings from us help atone for those sins committed by those now in Purgatory.

Why Should We Pray for the Souls in Purgatory?


We do not know for sure what form the purification takes, but we know that purification of the soul in purgatory is extremely painful.

Ten Ways to Bring Relief to the Poor Souls in Purgatory

1) Make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the Souls in purgatory

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a 17th Century French nun and mystic, received many apparitions from Jesus during her life.  In one of her visions, he showed her his Sacred Heart and said:

1.Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus 2.Pray the Rosary for the Holy Souls 3.Prayers for the holy souls in purgatory 4.Pray the Eternal Rest prayer. 5.Offer Gregorian Masses for souls in purgatory 6. Pray St Gertrude’s Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory 7.Sprinkle Holy Water on the Ground 8.Alms-giving 9.Sacrifice & Mortification 10. Last but not least: Promote the Mission to Pray for the Souls in Purgatory

There’s only one door out of purgatory for the Holy Souls there. It opens only into heaven. But here’s the catch: they can’t open it themselves. We have to open it for them. We have the key.The question is, will we help unlock it for some of them during November, which the Church dedicates to the Holy Souls? Here’s the beautiful part: The Church hands us not just one key but a whole ring full of them. We can use any number of them to keep unlocking the door for the single-file lineup of souls who are suffering in purgatory. Whenever possible, Sr. Faustina would pray for the release of the Holy Souls from purgatory. During her annual retreat on Jan. 10, 1934, she records Jesus’ desire that she uses her time in saying “short indulgenced prayers for the souls in purgatory” (Diary, 274). Then, Sr. Faustina recorded that right before Midnight Mass in 1934, “I offered the indulgences for the souls in purgatory” (Diary, 346). Thus, the expression “No pain, no gain!” seems apt when it comes to purgatory. The time each soul spends there and the severity of the pains it experiences vary. However, our prayers for these souls can help alleviate their sufferings and help them reach heaven more quickly. Although they can no longer pray for themselves, they can and do pray for us out of gratitude! In addition to saying prayers for souls in purgatory such as these, we can help them by having masses said for the departed and by engaging in works of charity and sacrifice on their behalf. Speaking of charity, this prayer below, known as the Heroic Act of Charity, is especially powerful, calling to mind as it does an especially powerful intercessor with our Lord, His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary: Heavenly Father, in union with the merits of Jesus and Mary, I offer to You for the sake of the poor souls all the satisfactory value of my works during life, as well as all that will be done for me after death. I give You me all through the hands of the Immaculate Virgin Mary that she may set free whatever souls she pleases, according to her heavenly wisdom and mother’s love for them. Receive this offering, O God, and grant me in return an increase of Your grace. Amen.

You don’t need to say a special prayer. You just need to ask the Lord that the graces you would have received at that particular holy communion be applied to the Poor Souls.

4) Offer Gregorian Masses

Here is a place that offers Gregorian Masses.

5) Pray the Eternal Rest prayer.

Get into the habit of praying the “Eternal Rest” prayer whenever remember, like when you pass a cemetery, after your meals, or before you go to bed.


V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.

may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.

R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

6) Pray St Gertrude’s Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Jesus Really Does Pray for All Believers