On All Souls' Day, November 2, Roman Catholics commemorate and pray for the holy souls in Purgatory, undergoing purification of their sins before entering heaven. It is a great act of charity to pray the poor souls and it is very much needed. St. John Chrysostom instructs us: “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” (Homilies on 1 Corinthians 41:5 [A.D. 392]). St. James the Apostle says: “He who saves a soul saves his own and satisfies for a multitude of sins.” Finally, St. John Vianney said: "We must say many prayers for the souls of the faithful departed, for one must be so pure to enter heaven."
Our Lord appeared in a vision to St. Gertrude, and emphasized the necessity of prayer for the poor souls: “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!”
Here are ten ways to pray:
1. Pray the Chaplet of the Holy Souls.
2. Pray the Chaplet of St. Gertrude.
3. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
4. Recite this simple but powerful prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
5. Pray a Heroic Act of Charity:
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 my 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. Recieve this offering, O God, and grant me in return an increase of Your grace. Amen.
6. Pray this prayer:
O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligences, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
7. Pray this prayer for mercy.
Prayer for Mercy on the Souls in Purgatory
My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine agony in the Garden, in Thy scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary, in Thy crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in paradise.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal Rest, etc.
8. Pray for your deceased parents.
A Prayer for Deceased Parents
O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my father and mother, and forgive them their trespasses; and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
9. Pray for all the deceased.
Prayer for all the Deceased
By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.
10. Have Masses said for the deceased.