Thursday, November 1, 2007

Indulgences for the Octave of All Saints

During the week of November 1 and November 8 Catholics have a wonderful opportunity for some indulgences (applicable to the souls in Purgatory, which grant the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin which has been forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance).

In general, indulgences spare us some of our time in Purgatory if we avail ourselves of them.

The Church and many prominent saints teach us that a person's stay in Purgatory can last many lifetimes, even centuries. Therefore, it is very important for us to help our fellow Catholics who are being purified with our prayers. We should focus not only on our friends and family, but especially those who have no friends to pray for them. On All Soul's Day (November 2nd), a plenary indulgence (applicable only the Souls in Purgatory), is granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory and recite one Our Father and the Creed while there.
Needless to say, attending Mass would fulfill the requirements and you would free a soul or souls from Purgatory.

One can also gain a plenary indulgence (again, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory) by visiting a cemetery and praying devoutly for the souls between November 1 and November 8. (The Octave of All Saints)

There is no specific prayer prescribed by Holy Mother Church, but wouldn't the Novena for the Holy Souls be especially appropriate?
Keep in mind the usual requirement for indulgences:

  • that one be in a state of grace, and that one attends the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist within 8 days of fulfilling the other requirements.
  • A person must also be detached from all venial sin. That is, one must sincerely reject all the venial sins and habits that a person has.
This is very hard to don't let this stop us from trying to gain the indulgences for the Holy Souls. Taking advantage of these indulgences is a great act of charity for the Souls in Purgatory.

When any of us prays for them, some dear sufferer cries to Heaven,
Grant them what they ask for, for they have done great things for us!
Can anyone doubt how efficacious our own prayers would be, aided by the souls whose suffering we have eased up in Purgatory?
St. Catherine of Bologna said of this:
When I wish to obtain some favor from the Eternal Father, I invoke the souls in their place of expiation, and charge them with the petition I have to make to Him, and I feel I am heard through their means.
If all of us could hasten but one soul to heaven, the graces would be monumental and who knows what unforeseen changes for the good could occur?

sources of inspiration and information for this post comes from:
Traditio in Radice

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