The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them. St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them. Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory.
Below we’ve put together a gift selection for those who have a devotion to one of our newest (and greatest!) heavenly intercessors. Each of these Catholic gifts commemorating Pope Saint John Paul II will undoubtedly help foster love for and devotion to this new patron saint. And hopefully, with his closeness and intercession, help you to become the saint he desires you to be.
Did you know that there is a tradition among the Catholic faithful that St. Joseph was bodily assumed into heaven? While not a solemnly defined dogma of the Catholic Faith as is the case with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is a piously-held belief that St. Joseph, as a reward for the faithful fulfillment of his duties as the guardian and protector of the Holy Family, did not have to wait until the Second Coming of Christ to have his soul reunited to his body.
The Three Hail Mary novena is a very beautiful prayer recited in honor of three of Mary’s special gifts given to her by God: her power, wisdom, and mercy. In this novena we ask her to use these gifts on our behalf to obtain our petitions from God, and most importantly, to help us lead a holier life.
There is no sacramental or devotion in the Catholic Church that is more widely praised, preached, and practiced than the Holy Rosary. And for good reason . . . it works! Outside of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most powerful prayer is Our Lady’s Holy Rosary. After all, it was given to the faithful as a spiritual weapon by the Blessed Virgin herself!
Below is a tender and powerful litany that St. Faustina wrote to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, her support through the bitter suffering she experienced in her soul, trials allowed by Jesus himself. But first, the strength and beauty of her litany is better appreciated by better understanding the deep interior darkness that her soul was plunged into which produced such a heart-rending prayer.
If you’ve ever been perplexed about choosing just the right rosary for yourself or as a gift for someone else, you may have noticed that finding the right rosary will increase the likelihood of it actually being used for prayer, however silly that may sound. Getting the right look and feel that is attractive to the user is a great way to ensure that the rosary becomes a call to prayer instead of getting lost in a drawer.
Although is commendable to invoke our Guardian Angels and learn how to recognize their promptings, there are a few dangers to avoid when seeking out a closer relationship with them. There is a persistent error among many Catholics when it comes to their Guardian Angels: trying to discover their name or identity, or assigning a name to them.
St. Francis of Assisi was one of the greatest saints in Church history. He the first-known saint to receive the stigmata, the very wounds of Christ. This means that he was so unified with the sufferings of Jesus that his body bore physical witness to the fact. Needless to say, he was an excessively intense saint who lived the Gospel to a radical degree. The real St. Francis is much different from the soft, mellow, forest-dwelling friar that he is often portrayed as today.