– Reasons for the sanctification of this month –
The origins of the Month dedicated to the dead go back to the Old Testament, to the people of Israel. This people in fact, who alone possessed the true Spirit of God, were not content with simply proclaiming in its holy books that it was a holy and salvific deed to pray for the dead. The people of Israel also determined the duration of such prayer. It was agreed that mourning would not cease until each of the deceased had been mourned for one month. Thus, after the death of Jacob, his sons mourned him and said prayers for him for one month.
Inspired by such an ancient and authorised practice, the piety of the faithful has consecrated a whole month to the relief of the souls in Purgatory. The Church celebrates the commemoration of all the deceased on the 2nd of November.
That month seems the most suitable for such devotion. The month consecrated to the souls in Purgatory and recommended by the Holy Pontiffs and enriched with spiritual favours is publicly celebrated by a large number of religious communities and Christian parishes.
Welcome with great joy the dawning of this month which so admirably responds to the needs of the heart. It will remind you of most tender family memories, most sacred promises, the most touching farewells. It will develop your compassion for family and friends who because of their suffering and wretched state have become dearer to you.
Yes, the dignity of these unfortunate souls, the severity of their suffering, their inability to save themselves, the Glory of God, your personal interest everything cries out for you to visit them and to come to their aid, each day of the month.
It is the month of charity and gratitude, the month of the living and the month of the dead, the month of true liberation!
Full of enthusiasm at the beginning of such a month, a saint once exclaimed, Let us empty Purgatory. Dedicate this month to the souls in Purgatory and pray for their relief. Do not neglect this duty of yours!
– Means of sanctifying this month –
In order to fully celebrate this month of the dead, make the following resolutions and be faithful to them. Every morning, offer God the merits of your labour and suffering for the souls in Purgatory and the relic of your deceased relatives. Set aside a specific time during the day to read your “Month with the Souls in Purgatory”. This reading will enlighten your mind and soften your heart. Do not omit these readings. Go to the cemetery from time to time and pray over the graves of those who were dear to you. Your prayers will bring them consolation. It is good to pray! Consecrate a special day every week to the souls in Purgatory and attend Holy Mass for their intention. During the month, go to confession and offer your masses for their intention. Yes, do this and at the end of that month of liberation, you will have sent to the triumphant Church in Heaven a great number of souls who were weeping and suffering in the purifying flames of the “Suffering Church”. What consolation! What a bond of hope! Arise, cried out St. Bernard, Fly to the rescue of the souls in Purgatory. Invoke Divine clemency upon them, especially through the Holy Eucharist. Beg for mercy upon them by your own penance and intercede for them through your prayers.
– Example –
The following is an account of an extraordinary healing obtained through the intercession of the souls in Purgatory during the month of November.
For years, I was the victim of a cruel disease which had reduced my body to a mere skeleton and which caused me to suffer excruciating pain. A long list of medical specialists were unable to do much more than to prescribe medication which rarely brought more than a little relief if any, and which left me weaker and depressed. Unable to obtain any permanent comfort from medical sources, I abandoned all medication and I had recourse to the souls in Purgatory. The month of November, which is consecrated to them, was just beginning. I decided to celebrate that month with as much fervour as possible. My relatives and friends joined their prayers to mine. Every night, gathering in my room before a statue of St. Joseph, we asked with confidence for two graces: deliverance for the souls in Purgatory and my physical healing. Towards the end of the first week, I had already noticed an improvement. The last day of the month found us in church, full of joy, happiness and thanksgiving. My healing was complete. There was no trace of the disease which had tortured me for so long and which according to the doctors was incurable. They were amazed at my healing. May God bless the souls in Purgatory whose intercession had obtained such a grace for me!
How many graces will we all receive if we pray during one month for the holy souls in Purgatory! Have courage and faith!
Let Us Pray
Gracious and merciful God hear our fervent prayers during this month of blessings. We consecrate each day and each hour for the relief and the liberation of those captive souls who cry unto You and unto us from their dark prison. Lord, call your children and our brethren to eternal rest and may the light that never dies shine upon them! May they rest in peace