THE HEROIC ACT:
“O my God! for Your greater glory, and to imitate as closely as possible the generous Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer, and also to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin, my Mother, who is also the Mother of the souls in Purgatory, I place in her hands all my satisfactory works, as well as the fruit of those which may be offered for my intention after my death, that she may apply them to the souls in Purgatory according to her wisdom and good pleasure. Amen.”
EXPLANATION OF THE HEROIC ACT:
This Heroic Act of charity is the completely unselfish offering to God of all the satisfactory value of one’s prayers and good works – plus the value of any that may be offered for one after one’s death – for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory, rather than for oneself. The ‘satisfactory value’ of a good work is its value with regard to making up for our sins and reducing our stay in Purgatory. However, the ‘meritorious value’ of our good works is inalienable, i.e., our merits, which give us a right to an increase of glory in Heaven, cannot be applied to anyone else. Moreover, a person who has made the Heroic Act may still pray for himself, friends and other intentions.
The Heroic Act is revocable at will and is not a vow. Its actual ratification depends on the will of God. By making this act with purity of intention, one is relying upon the mercy of God and the prayers of the Communion of Saints to assist his soul after death. The Heroic Act was approved and encouraged by Pope Benedict XIII (1724-1730).
WORDS OF OUR LORD:
After St Gertrude made the Heroic Act, Our Lord appeared to her and said: “In order that you may know how agreeable your charity for the souls of the departed has been to Me, I remit to you now all the pains of Purgatory which you might have suffered; and as I have promised to return you a hundred for one, I will further increase your celestial glory abundantly, giving you a special recompense for the charity which you have exercised toward My beloved souls in Purgatory by renouncing in their favour your works of satisfaction.”
WORDS OF A POOR SOUL
Whereas the Heroic Act should be made without anticipating a reward, still we know that the Lord cannot be outdone in charity and mercy. In the revelations of the soul in Purgatory recorded in “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory”, we are told that “The Heroic Act is very pleasing to God and of great help to the souls in Purgatory, and very helpful to the generous souls who make it. By giving up a part of their [satisfactory] merits they do not lose, but actually gain.”