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.
If you walk into any store or shop online between now and December 25th, you will see an increasing amount and variety of Christmas cards. Snowmen, snowy landscapes, reindeer, wrapped presents, snow-covered evergreen trees, Santa Claus, cute baby animals in the snow . . . so on and so forth. After evaluating the images, you […]
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.
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.
We probably all know at least one person who has fallen away from the Catholic faith, whether it be after a tragic event, a pulling away from family and tradition, or after having doubts about the Faith that have grown over many years. Our hearts ache to see this, because the very strength these people […]
At Mass and other liturgical services we see the altar servers and priests swinging censers, sending clouds of incense wafting through the air. In Catholic liturgy, everything symbolizes a theological truth. So, what does incense symbolize?
Pope Pius VI named John Carroll the first bishop of the United States of America in 1789. His cousin, Charles Carroll, was one of America’s Founding Fathers and the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. Archbishop Carroll wrote the following prayer for our newly formed government on November 10, 1791, to be recited in parishes throughout his diocese.
This hymn is traditionally sung in the liturgy for the feast of Pentecost, and other occasions when the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked. The Veni, Creator Spiritus is also the official opening prayer for Church councils and synods.
According to tradition, towards the end of her life the Blessed Virgin moved from Jerusalem to Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). No longer able to retrace the steps of her Son’s passion where they actually occurred, she set up an identical Stations of the Cross on her property using stones and markings. This became the first devotional Stations of the Cross. This is described in detail by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich according to her visions.
Historically, the Solemnity of the Ascension is an ancient and major feast for the Church (thus, its status as a holy day of obligation). In order to think of it and treat it with the same reverence as Christians of days past, it helps to understand it more deeply. Here are three aspects of Ascension Thursday that we can reflect on today.