Hope for the Souls in Purgatory
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As the Catholic Faithful celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day on
November 1st and 2nd, respectively, one of the greatest gifts from God,
through the Catholic Faith, is mostly forgotten.
It is not forgotten because the faithful is derelict in its Christian
responsibilities; it is forgotten because, in many cases, no one ever
took the time to teach them of the Ecclesiastical Treasures contained
within the Indulgences.
In The Enchiridion of Indulgences
issued by the Sacred Apostolic
Penitentiary in 1968 (1)
we read on page 52, Grant No. 13 that:
indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to
the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only
mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to
the 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial.
What is an Indulgence?
According to the same source:
An indulgence is the remission before
God of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven as far as
their guilt is concerned.
An indulgence is partial or plenary, according as it removes either
part or all of the temporal punishment due for sin.
Partial as well as plenary indulgences can always be applied to the
departed by way of suffrage (In this case, as described in Grant No.
13, above). [Norm No. 4 of Apostolic Constitution. The Doctrine
of Indulgences, p. 108]
Who may secure it?
According to the same source:
To be capable of gaining an indulgence
the fundamental concern is for the individual to attach greater
importance to a Christian way of life and to lead souls to cultivate
the spirit of prayer and penance and to practice the theological
virtues, rather than merely to
repeat certain formulas and acts.
Once that condition is fulfilled by the manner we lead our lives, then:
To acquire a plenary indulgence it is
necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached (In
this case, as described in Grant No. 13, above) and, in addition, to
fulfill the following three conditions: (a) Sacramental Confession; (b) Eucharistic Communion; and (c) Prayer for the intentions of the
true Shepherds of the People of God. (2)
A single Sacramental Confession suffices for gaining several plenary
indulgences; but Communion must be received, and prayer for the
intentions of the true Shepherds of the People of God (2) , for the gaining of each plenary
To gain an indulgence attached to a prayer, it is sufficient to recite
the prayer alternately with a companion or to follow it mentally while
it is being recited by another.
If you were in prison, would not you rejoice if someone came and posted
bail for you and set you free?
The souls in Purgatory would welcome such "bail posting" far more than
we could possibly imagine since they cannot earn any merits for
They can, and do intercede in our behalf before God securing for us
Let us give them a hand! It is the Christian thing to do! It is the
Merciful thing to do!
(1) Originally published
by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City - Authorized English
Edition, published by the Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York
(2) The original item (c) "Prayer for the intention of the Sovereign
Pontiff" has been substituted with "Prayer for the intentions of the true
Shepherds of the People of God" since at this point in Time, the individual who appears to
occupy the Chair Of Peter is not the Sovereign Pontiff.
Document published in this
Domain on November 1, 2001 - Feast of All Saints. European Union
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