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Category Archives: Prayers for the Dying and the Departed

PRAYER TO OUR LORD ON THE CROSS

PRAYER TO OUR LORD ON THE CROSS

My Crucified Jesus, mercifully accept the prayer which I now make to thee for help in the moment of my death, when all my senses shall fail me.

When, therefore, O sweetest Jesus, my weary and downcast eyes can no longer look up to thee, be mindful of the loving gaze which now I turn on thee, and have mercy on me.

When my parched lips can no longer kiss thy Most Sacred Wounds, remember then those kisses which now I imprint on thee, and have mercy on me.

When my cold hands can no longer embrace thy Cross, forget not the affection with which I embrace it now, and have mercy on me.

And when, at length, my swollen and lifeless tongue can no longer speak, remember that I called upon thee now.

Jesus, Joseph, Mary, to you I commend my soul.

[Indulgence of 300 days, once a day. Plenary twice a year. – Pius X, September 4th, 1903.]

– From St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons, Leeds, 1916

 

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NEW WEBSITE: “THE ART OF DYING WELL”

NEW WEBSITE: “THE ART OF DYING WELL”

This new website has been set up by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Sections include: What is dying well? Talking about death. Facing death personally. Losing a loved one. Caring for the dying. The address of this new website is http://www.artofdyingwell.org (external link).

 

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THE ENTRANCE OF THE SOUL INTO HEAVEN

THE ENTRANCE OF THE SOUL INTO HEAVEN

WHAT JOY!

What joy when the soul, freed from the bonds of the flesh, rises triumphant above the clouds, and, passing the starry barrier, presents itself at the gate of heaven!

What joy to cross for the first time the sacred threshold of the heavenly home! The angels and saints going forth to meet the soul, pressing around it, offering it glad congratulations.

What joy to recognise in this happy company so many friends and dear relatives, our glorious patrons, our holy protectors, and, above all, Jesus and Mary!

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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ARCHANGEL MICHAEL, CONSOLER OF THE POOR SOULS

In her beautiful prayers in the Mass for the Dead, the Church with maternal solicitude places the souls of her departed children in the hands of St Michael, that he may lead them into the kingdom of everlasting light. If St Michael is so solicitous for the welfare of souls during their lifetime on earth and at the hour of death, we may be certain that he will also befriend them during their stay in Purgatory and will hasten to bring them consolation.

St Michael helps the Holy Souls in Purgatory

A Cistercian monk appeared to a priest friend soon after his death and told him he would be delivered from Purgatory if during Holy Mass the priest would recommend his soul to St Michael. The priest complied with this desire, and he, together with others who were present, had the consolation of seeing the soul of his friend taken to Heaven by the Archangel.

It is related that a certain priest, one day while offering the Holy Sacrifice for the dead, recommended some souls in a particular manner when pronouncing the words: “May the Prince of Angels, St Michael, lead them into the glory of Heaven.” At the same time he saw the glorious Archangel descend from Heaven into Purgatory to deliver those souls and to conduct them into Paradise.

St Michael conducted the Holy Souls into Paradise

“The prince of the heavenly militia,” says St Anselm, “is all-powerful in Purgatory, and he can assist the Poor Souls whom the justice and sanctity of the Almighty retain in this place of punishment.” “It is incontestably recognised since the foundation of Christianity,” declares St Robert Bellarmine, “that the souls of the Faithful Departed are delivered from Purgatory  through the intercession of St Michael the Archangel.” Let us add to these authorities the words of St Alphonsus Liguori: “St Michael has received the care of consoling and helping the souls in Purgatory.”

– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962

 

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“JESUS, YOU ARE MY FAMILY”: WHAT MY CRUCIFIX MEANS TO ME

We heard faintly from the lips of a dying religious a few stanzas which she murmured while her tearful eyes were fixed on the crucifix in her hand.

We give them, just as we found them in a book belonging to one of the pious sisters.

They were, without doubt, written for the cloister, but why not bring into families from time to time a little of the calm, peaceful, loving atmosphere of religious houses?

To My Crucifix

Come, let me hold thee to my heart, my hope divine/ Thou blessed sign of heavenly happiness/ Thou whom I hold in live ne’er to resign/ Since the vows I profess.

Yes, let me hold thee close; for art thou not my all?/ Art thou not my treasure till my last hour is near?/ Art thou not of the Spouse, whose image thou dost recall/ The tenderest souvenir?

On thee, on thee alone, my fervent hopes I base/ Than sceptres thou more precious dost appear/ And beyond the empire of the world I place/ My crucifix most dear.

For thou dost take the place of riches and of home/ All that I’ve left thou dost become for me/ My love, my only good, wherever I may roam/ My family ‘this thee.

Beyond the nails and tears naught wish I to possess/ What are the world’s most dazzling favours worth?/ One sigh breathed at thy feet for me doth more express/ than loud songs of mirth.

Thou ne’er wilt leave me when the last hour’s at hand/ My dying glance thy holy face will seek/ For the mute prayer thou sure wilt understand/ I am too weak to speak.

When this poor frame lies motionless and cold/ My rigid fingers still will clasp my all/ When friends have left, thou still thy watch wilt hold/ Beneath my funeral pall.

Ah! yes, come to my heart, thou holy, wondrous sign!/ Speak of my God, whose love is ever high/ May I love Him, and follow, suffer, ne’er repine/ To my last earthly sigh.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

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READ ME OR RUE IT

Help, help, they suffer so much!

I. We can never understand too clearly that every alms, small or great, which we give to the poor we give to God.

He accepts it and rewards it as given to Himself. Therefore all we do for the Holy Souls God accepts as done to Himself. It is as if we relieved or released Him from Purgatory.

What a thought! How He will repay us!

II. As there is no hunger, no thirst, no poverty, no need, no pain, no suffering compared in the Church with what the Souls in Purgatory endure there is no alms more deserving, none more pleasing to God, none more meritorious for us than the alms, the prayers, the Masses we give to the Holy Souls.

III. It is very possible that some of our own nearest and dearest ones are still suffering the excruciating pains of Purgatory and calling us piteously for help and relief.

Is it not dreadful that we are so hardened as not to think more about them, that we are so cruel as to deliberately forget them!

For the dear Christ’s sake let us do all, but all, we can for them.

Approval of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon

We approve and recommend with all our heart the beautiful little book “Read Me or Rue It” by E.R.M. Although small it is destined to do great good among Catholics, many of whom are incredibly ignorant of the great doctrine of Purgatory. As a consequence they do little or nothing to avoid it themselves and little to help the poor souls who are suffering there so intensely, waiting for the Masses and prayers which should be offered for them. It is our earnest desire that every Catholic should read this little book and spread it about as widely as possible. 4/6/1936 (signed by His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon)

“READ ME OR RUE IT”

Foreword

This title is somewhat startling, yet, dear Reader, if you peruse the little book you will see for yourself how well deserved it is.

The book tells us how to save ourselves and how to save others from untold suffering.

Some books are good and may be read with great profit. Others are better and should be read without fail.

There are, however, books of such sterling worth by reason of the counsels they suggest, the conviction they carry with them, the urge to action they give us that it would be sheer folly not to read them.

“Read Me or Rue It” belongs to this class.

It is for your best interest, dear friend, to read it and re-read it, to ponder well and deeply on its contents. You will never regret it, rather great and poignant will be your regret if you fail to study its few but pregnant pages.

 

Index

[The little book can be read by navigating via the “next chapter” link at the bottom of each chapter to “turn the page”. Please click here to begin reading Chapter I. In addition, you can find the chapters listed below as arranged in the booklet]

I. “Have Pity On Me, At Least You, My Friends!”

II. Purgatory: The Soul Craves With All Intensity For God

III. Deliberately Not To Think Of Purgatory Is Asking For A Long Purgatory

IV. Case Studies: The Atheist Author-To-Be

V. “I Neglected To Offer Suffrages For The Souls In Purgatory”

VI. How Long Do Souls Remain In Purgatory?

VII. …Until We Shall Have Paid The Last Farthing

VIII. Worldly Attachment: “Many Around Us Live In Hunger And Misery While We Spent Lavishly And Needlessly On Ourselves”

IX. Who Can Have More Claim On Us?

X. Why Pray For The Souls In Purgatory?

XI. The Holy Souls Will Repay Us A Thousand Times Over

XII. How We Can Help The Holy Souls In Purgatory

XIII. What The Holy Souls Do For Those Who Help Them

XIV. Further Examples Of The Most Amazing Help Afforded By The Holy Souls

XV. The Holy Souls Are Second To None In Generosity

 

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THE HOLY SOULS ARE SECOND TO NONE IN GENEROSITY

Previous chapter

The more we give, the more we get

A business man in Boston joined the Association of the Holy Souls and gave a large sum of money annually that prayers and Masses might be said for them.

The Director of the Association was surprised at the gentleman’s generosity for he knew that he was not a rich man. He asked kindly one day if the alms he so generously gave was his own offering, or donations gathered from others.

“What I offer, dear Father,” he said “is my own offering. Be not alarmed. I am not a very rich man and you may think that I give more than I am able to do. It is not so, for far from losing by my charity the Holy Souls see to it that I gain considerably more than I give. They are second to none in generosity.”

 

The Printer of Cologne

The celebrated printer of Cologne, William Freyssen, gives us the following account of how his wife and child were restored to health by the Holy Souls.

William Freyssen got the order to print a little work on Purgatory. Correcting the proofs his attention was caught by the facts narrated in the book. He learned for the first time what wonders the Holy Souls can work for their friends.

Just at that time his son fell grievously ill and soon the case became desperate. Remembering what he had read about the power of the Holy Souls, Freyssen at once promised to spread, at his own expense, a hundred copies of the book which his firm was printing. To make the promise more solemn he went to the Church and there made his vow. At once a sense of peace and confidence filled his soul.

On his return home, the boy, who had been unable to swallow a drop of water, asked for food. Next day he was out of danger and soon completely cured.

He was completely cured

At once Freyssen ordered the books on Purgatory to be distributed, feeling sure that it was the best way to obtain help for the suffering souls, by interesting a hundred people in them. No one who knows what they suffer can refuse to pray for them.

A new sorrow

Time passed, and a new sorrow fell to the share of the printer. This time his dear wife was stricken down and, despite every care, grew daily worse. She lost the use of her mind and was almost completely paralysed, so that the doctor gave up all hope.

The husband, bethinking him, of what the Holy Souls had done for his boy, again ran to the Church and promised to distribute 200 of the books on Purgatory, begging in exchange the urgent succour of the Holy Souls.

A complete recovery

Wonderful to relate, the mental aberration ceased, his wife’s mind became normal, she recovered the use of her limbs, and of her tongue. In a short time she was perfectly restored to health.

The Cure of Cancer

D. Joana de Menezes thus tells of her cure.

She was suffering severely from a cancerous growth in the leg and was plunged into grief.

Remembering what she had heard of the power of the Souls in Purgatory she resolved to place her confidence in them and had nine Masses offered for them. She promised, moreover, to publish her cure if it were granted.

Gradually the swelling went down and the tumour and cancer disappeared.

An escape from Brigands

Father Louis Mamaci, zealous Missionary, had great devotion to the Souls in Purgatory. He found himself obliged to set out on a dangerous journey but confidently asked the Holy Souls to protect him in the dangers that he was likely to meet with. His road lay through a vast desert which he knew to be infested by brigands.

Whilst plodding along, saying the Rosary for the Holy Souls…

Whilst plodding along, saying the Rosary for the Holy Souls, what was not his surprise, on looking round, to find himself surrounded as by a bodyguard of blessed spirits. Soon he discovered the reason. He had fallen into an ambuscade of brigands but the Holy Souls at once surrounded him and drove off the miscreants who sought his life. The Holy Souls did not abandon him until he was well out of danger.

A return to life

The Prior of Cirfontaines gives us his story.

A young man of my parish fell dangerously ill with a typhoid fever. His parents were overcome with grief and asked me to recommend him to the prayers of the members of the Association of the Holy Souls.

It was Saturday. The boy was at death’s door. The doctors had recourse to every remedy. All in vain. They were in despair.

I was the only one who had hope

I was the only one who had hope. I knew the power of the Holy Souls, for I had already seen what they could do.

On Sunday I begged the Associates of the Holy Souls to pray fervently for our sick friend.

On Monday the danger passed. The boy was cured.

 

Read and Wake Up

In my long life, writes a priest, I have noticed with amazement how few Catholics give generously to the poor and needy, notwithstanding what Our Blessed Lord commands them to do.

I have also remarked that some Catholics are, indeed, very generous and good. Some care for the poor, others look after the sick. Lepers, consumptives, cancer patients, the mentally deficient, all have their friends. Some prefer to help the young, the hearts of others go out to the old. All the various classes of the poor and needy find champions though, generous as they should be.

The strangest thing of all

The strangest thing of all is that I have never met one man or woman who has dedicated himself entirely, wholeheartedly to the greatest of all charities, to the greatest of all the needy – viz the Holy Souls of Purgatory.

There may be a few who do so but in my long and very varied experience I never met any.

Alas! the words of this good priest are only too true.

We appeal to those who have not as yet dedicated themselves to any particular form of charity to dedicate all their energies to the Holy Souls. Let them do what they can personally and also induce others to help.

The best way is to spread about hundreds of copies of this little book [or print off the text and spread the word] and so make hundreds of friends for the Holy Souls. Who can read it and refuse to help them?

 

– From: Read Me or Rue It , by E.D.M., approved of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon 4/6/1936, printed by Kerryman, Co Kerry, Ireland

 

 

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