Tag: Holy Souls

The Heroic Acts Of Charity For The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Heroic Acts Of Charity For The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Heroic Act of Charity for the Holy Souls In Purgatory.

When a good, even minimal work is accomplished, a degree of eternal glory is acquired, which can be lost only through mortal sin, this merit cannot be given to others.

The same good work accomplished puts the soul in a position to receive graces from God. Besides this, this good work makes up partly the temporary penalty due to sins.

This last merit, called “satisfactory”, can be yielded either partially or totally.

Whoever yields the satisfactory merit of every good work done in life and also yields the suffrages that he can receive after death, performs an extremely excellent work, commonly called the Heroic Act of Charity.

Those who do this act should then serve all the punishment due to their faults in Purgatory. But there is something to be gained in this. To an ignorant person it seems useless, even harmful, to give his money to the bank, yet this is a good means not only to preserve capital, but also to increase it. The same happens in the spiritual order. Their own merits are put into the hands of God and of Our Lady for the benefit of the souls in purgatory and their merits of eternal glory are increased, because they are supported by charity. It is commonly believed that those who make the Heroic Act, have little time in Purgatory, in the hope that the Lord will use their mercy towards the souls in purgatory. It is based on the words of Jesus: “with the measure, with which you have measured others, it will be measured back also to you! … Give one and you will receive a hundred!”.

As can be seen, one gains in doing the Heroic Act. No special formula is required to issue this Act, it can also be done mentally. However, the following short formula could be used:

“My God, I place in your hands and those of Our Lady all my fulfilling works that I will do in life and those that others will do for me after my death, so that they may serve the souls of Purgatory. I entrust myself to your Mercy”.

The Heroic Act can be annulled or withdrawn without being guilty of sin.

It is good to note that even after this offer, you can pray for whatever you need.

May the Lord inspire many to fulfill the heroic act of charity!

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 might 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 [17241730]. 

According to the Raccolta of 1932: “The faithful who make the Heroic Act in favor of the Souls detained in Purgatory, may gain an indulgence.” At the time this was a plenary indulgence with special conditions attached, such as attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion in supplication for the Holy Souls, etc. 

His Holiness, Leo XIII, Jan. 17, 1888, granted to the faithful who shall perform some pious practice for the relief of the Souls in Purgatory, every day during the whole month of November, whether in public or in private, an indulgence of seven years and as many quarantines on each day of the month, a plenary indulgence, once during the same month, on any day of the month, on the usual conditions: confession and communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory, and there praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. 

THE HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY PRAYER:

O MY GOD! for Thy 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 Mary, 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 all 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.

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace and the joy of Purgatory.

The will of the Holy souls are in accordance in all things with the will of God, who therefore sheds on them His goodness, and they, as far as their will goes, are happy and cleansed of all their sin.

As for guilt, these cleansed souls are as they were when God created them, for God forgives their guilt immediately who have passed from this life ill content with their sins, having confessed all they have committed and having the will to commit no more. Only the rust of sin is left in them, and from this, they cleanse themselves by pain in the fire. Thus cleansed of all guilt and united in will to God, they see Him clearly in the degree in which He makes Himself known to them, and see too how much it imports to enjoy Him and that souls have been created for this end.

Moreover, they are united in conformity with God, and are drawn to Him in such a way, that his natural instinct towards souls working in them, that neither arguments nor figures nor examples can make the thing clear as the mind knows it to be in effect and as by inner feeling it is understood to be. I will, however, make one comparison which comes to my mind.

A comparison to show with what violence and what love the souls in Purgatory desire to enjoy God.

If in all the world there were but one loaf of bread to feed the hunger of all creatures, and if they were satisfied by the sight of it alone, then since man, if he be healthy, has an instinct to satisfy his hunger, if he neither ate nor sickened nor died, would grow unceasingly for his instinct to eat would not lessen. Knowing that there was only that loaf to satisfy him and that without it he must still be hungry, he would be in unbearable pain. All the more if he went near that loaf and could not see it, would his natural craving for it be strengthened, his instinct would fix his desire wholly on that loaf which held all that could content him; at this point, if he were sure he would never see the loaf again, he would be in Hell. Thus are the souls of the damned from whom any hope of ever seeing their bread, which is God, the true Savior, has been taken away. But the souls in Purgatory have the hope of seeing their bread and wholly satisfying themselves therewith. Therefore they suffer hunger and endure pain in that measure in which they will be able to satisfy themselves with the bread which is Jesus Christ, true God and Savior and our Love.

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace and the joy of Purgatory.

The will of the Holy souls are in accordance in all things with the will of God, who therefore sheds on them His goodness, and they, as far as their will goes, are happy and cleansed of all their sin.

As for guilt, these cleansed souls are as they were when God created them, for God forgives their guilt immediately who have passed from this life ill content with their sins, having confessed all they have committed and having the will to commit no more. Only the rust of sin is left in them, and from this, they cleanse themselves by pain in the fire. Thus cleansed of all guilt and united in will to God, they see Him clearly in the degree in which He makes Himself known to them, and see too how much it imports to enjoy Him and that souls have been created for this end.

Moreover, they are united in conformity with God, and are drawn to Him in such a way, that his natural instinct towards souls working in them, that neither arguments nor figures nor examples can make the thing clear as the mind knows it to be in effect and as by inner feeling it is understood to be. I will, however, make one comparison which comes to my mind.

A comparison to show with what violence and what love the souls in Purgatory desire to enjoy God.

If in all the world there were but one loaf of bread to feed the hunger of all creatures, and if they were satisfied by the sight of it alone, then since man, if he be healthy, has an instinct to satisfy his hunger, if he neither ate nor sickened nor died, would grow unceasingly for his instinct to eat would not lessen. Knowing that there was only that loaf to satisfy him and that without it he must still be hungry, he would be in unbearable pain. All the more if he went near that loaf and could not see it, would his natural craving for it be strengthened, his instinct would fix his desire wholly on that loaf which held all that could content him; at this point, if he were sure he would never see the loaf again, he would be in Hell. Thus are the souls of the damned from whom any hope of ever seeing their bread, which is God, the true Savior, has been taken away. But the souls in Purgatory have the hope of seeing their bread and wholly satisfying themselves therewith. Therefore they suffer hunger and endure pain in that measure in which they will be able to satisfy themselves with the bread which is Jesus Christ, true God and Savior and our Love.

How St. Gemma Galgani Freed A Religious Nun From The Flames Of Purgatory 

How St. Gemma Galgani Freed A Religious Nun From The Flames Of Purgatory 

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903). 

This testimony is taken from the excellent book “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo C.P.:

“Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Religious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.


Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma’s heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest: she fervently offered prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.


“Jesus, save her,” she was overheard to exclaim. “Jesus, take Maria Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven.” 

And during this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

“It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: “Gemma,” she said after some moments, “do you know me?” I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: “I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so very much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness.”

All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: “Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering.” And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints’.”

And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

“Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the holy hour I was making was drawing to an end. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Sr. Maria Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: “I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus forever.” She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o’clock in the morning.”



In closing, I would like to bring forth one final comment concerning where it is has been revealed by at least one mystic that the souls in the lowest level of Purgatory are not allowed to receive any benefit from prayers and offerings made to them by people here on earth. While it may very well be that the souls in the lowest part of purgatory do not receive any relief from our prayer until they reach the next highest level, but that is not to say that they do not receive any benefit. 


While it is believed that for all souls in purgatory, except for the ones in the lowest level, when we pray for them they receive a two-fold gracefirstly, they receive a lessening of some of their time they were assigned to be in purgatory (kind of like lessening the sentence of a prisoner here on earth) and then too they also receive a certain relief from the pain of the purification that they are experiencing (kind of like giving a glass of water to someone who is very thirsty). 


So allegedly according to at least one mystic, the souls in the lowest level of purgatory do not receive the second grace I just mentioned, only the first. But once they elevate to the next higher region of purgatory, they would receive both graces from our prayers.


Always Offer up Masses and Prayers for the souls in Purgatory.

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