Our Duty to Relieve the Souls in Purgatory

Our Duty to Relieve the Souls in Purgatory

In bestowing charity upon any person, we are usually guided by the degree of his poverty; but who is in such great need as he who possesses absolutely nothing, owes a heavy debt, is unable to labor or gain any merit; or even to beg, and must nevertheless suffer the most excruciating torments until the last farthing has been paid? There is a universal law to assist the needy, which extends even to strangers; but here the obligation is greater, because among these souls in Purgatory are such as were intimately connected with us, who suffer perhaps, for having loved us excessively. Among the sufferers are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.

How exceedingly painful for them to be forgotten and deserted even by those whose happiness they promoted during their sojourn on earth; to see the possessions left to their children foolishly squandered, they themselves not receiving the benefit of the least farthing thereof. What proofs of extreme coldness and ingratitude! Were any of these persons afflicted with the least pain upon earth we would do all in our power to relieve them, but, as it is, we are devoid of all sympathy, and leave them in their terrible suffering and anguish.

Prayer:

Have mercy, O Lord, upon the suffering souls in Purgatory, and mitigate the severity of Thy judgment, that they, who during their earthly lives, believed in Thee, hoped in Thee, and loved Thee, may receive the crown of justice in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who are suffering for their negligence in prayer for the souls in Purgatory. Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times.)

Practice: Suffer patiently the disagreeable
occurrences in your intercourse with others.
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

Saint Andrew Avellino

Saint Andrew Avellino

Theatine Priest
(† 1608)

After a holy youth devoted to serious studies of philosophy and the humanities in Venice, Lancelot Avellino was ordained priest by the bishop of Naples. He was assigned to the chaplaincy of a community of nuns, sadly in need of reform; his intrepid courage and perseverance finally overcame many difficulties, and regular observance was restored in the monastery. Certain irritated libertines, however, decided to do away with him and, waiting for him when he was about to leave a church, felled him with three sword thrusts. He lost much blood, but his wounds healed perfectly without leaving any trace. The viceroy of Naples was ready to employ all his authority to punish the authors of this sacrilege; the holy priest, not desiring the death of sinners but rather their conversion and their salvation, declined to pursue them. One of them, however, died soon afterwards, assassinated by a man who wished to avenge a dishonor to his house.

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Saint Theodore Tyro

Saint Theodore Tyro

Martyr in Asia Minor
(† 304)

Saint Theodore Tyro, one of the most celebrated of the oriental martyrs, was born of a noble family in the East, and enrolled while still a youth in the imperial army. Early in 306, when he had just joined the legion and marched with its soldiers into the Pont, the Roman Emperor issued an edict requiring all Christians to offer sacrifice. The young man was faced with the choice between apostasy and death. He declared before his commander that he was ready to be cut in pieces and offer up every limb to his Creator, who had died for him. Wishing to conquer him by gentleness, the commander left him in peace for a while, that he might think over his resolution.

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