After the Holy Church yesterday celebrated the feast of all the saints, today she extends her charity and help with her prayers and suffrages to the Blessed Souls in Purgatory. For it is a dogma of faith that in order to enter heaven, the souls of those who have died in the grace of God with venial sins, or without having made full satisfaction in life for the mortal sins they committed and how much of their guilt they were forgiven, must be purified and purified.
The works by which we can help them are three: the first and principal is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; the second, prayer, especially the recitation of the Holy Rosary; and the third, all the works of charity by which Divine Justice is satisfied, such as almsgiving, fasting, penance, pilgrimages, and the like. In addition to these ways by which particular persons succor the souls in purgatory, the Supreme Pontiff grants indulgences applicable to them, not by way of absolution, but by way of suffrage and as dispenser of the treasure of the Church, which are the works and satisfactions of Christ and the Saints. By gaining for the Blessed Souls these indulgences and by making other suffrages to them, exercising with them the works of mercy. For:
1°. by giving food to the hungry, we relieve those Holy Souls who hunger for God.
2°. By giving drink to the thirsty, we quench the thirst that the Blessed Souls have for God.
3°. We console the sick, because the souls in Purgatory suffer much in that place of torments.
4°. We rescue the captive, because they are captives in that prison of atonement, and We redeem them with indulgences and alms.
5°. We clothe the naked, obtaining from the goodness of God for the Suffering Souls of Purgatory the nuptial and spotless garment, which they need to enter heaven.
6°. We welcome the pilgrim, praying the Lord that by the merits of Christ He may open the doors of His divine palace to the Blessed Souls of Purgatory.
And, finally, is it not a greater gift to lead those souls to the eternal rest of paradise than to give their bodies a burial? But although we should have compassion for all those who are in Purgatory, we should especially help our relatives and friends, our parents and children, our husbands and wives, our brothers and sisters in the flesh and other persons with whom we have had a closer bond of blood or friendship. Finally, much greater care should be taken to fulfill the obligations of justice that belong to them, executing their wills and pious mandates and all that they disposed for the good of their souls.
REFLECTION: While the Lord gives us time, let us try to adjust our lives to the law of God and weep for our faults and make satisfaction for them in this life, let us accept tribulations, as from his blessed hand, in penitence for our faults and let us help our brothers with the good works that we can, so that they may leave Purgatory pure and refined and when they enjoy God they will help us with their prayers and give us their hand to reach the port of health and enjoy together with them eternal bliss.
THE PRAYER: O God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant remission of sins to the souls of your servants and handmaids, so that they may obtain, through our humble supplications, the forgiveness they have always desired. Thou who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.