Skip to comments.Prayer to Release the Souls of Purgatory
Posted on 03/25/2005 9:15:48 PM PST by murphE
To be said on Fridays.
Pope Pius IX declared that by reciting this prayer 5 times on Friday, we release 5 souls from Purgatory and we release 33 souls from Purgatory by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a Crucifix, with a contrite heart and praying a few moments for the Pope.
I adore you, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with Blood. I adore you, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.
I don't think I can even understand all that, or figure it out. Maybe if Petronius Maximus would color code it, it would become clearer.
I offer every Mass I go to for the souls in Purgatory.
Just a thought: I've often thought it a little presumptuous to pray for the release from Purgatory those souls that are presumably there to atone for their sins. My reasoning (though maybe faulty) is that Neither I nor they would want to leave before everthing is accomplished.
The only situation I can imagine (in my finite mind) where prayer would release them is that souls would be languishing there after their purification is complete.
Of course purgation would have to be accomplished in order for a soul to go to heaven, but Our Lord can accomplish anything in an instant if He so chooses, no?
pascendi, the jurisdiction of the Church (binding and loosing) does not extend to the souls in purgatory: And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. Catholic Encyclopedia ("Indulgences"):
To say that an indulgence of so many days or years is granted means that it cancels an amount of purgatorial punishment equivalent to that which would have been remitted, in the sight of God, by the performance of so many days or years of the ancient canonical penance. Here, evidently, the reckoning makes no claim to absolute exactness; it has only a relative value.
God alone knows what penalty remains to be paid and what its precise amount is in severity and duration. Finally, some indulgences are granted in behalf of the living only, while others may be applied in behalf of the souls departed. It should be noted, however, that the application has not the same significance in both cases. The Church in granting an indulgence to the living exercises her jurisdiction; over the dead she has no jurisdiction and therefore makes the indulgence available for them by way of suffrage (per modum suffragii), i.e. she petitions God to accept these works of satisfaction and in consideration thereof to mitigate or shorten the sufferings of the souls in Purgatory.
I'm of the opinion that 12.7 angels can dance on the head of a pin.
PM, do you want to start a thread to discuss indulgences?
***PM, do you want to start a thread to discuss indulgences?***
Purgatory/Indulgences? Sure. I am willing to discuss it.
That is interesting arithmetic; However, it is up to God to apply indulgences. We do not control Him in the execution of His justice in purgatory. For example, let's say that my uncle died, and I pray for him to come out of purgatory. It is up to God to accept those prayers on his behalf. God may very well say 'no' to those prayers and instead apply the spiritual benefits of such prayer to another soul. It is all up to God. While it is generally accepted that God will apply the merits of such prayer to the souls we pray for, this is not absolutely certain.
"pascendi, the jurisdiction of the Church (binding and loosing) does not extend to the souls in purgatory..."
...to which you responded with the Scriptural passage which is at the bottom of this post, but addressing the same you also responded with this quote:
"...Here, evidently, the reckoning makes no claim to absolute exactness; it has only a relative value."
You're mixing two things:
1. Whether the pope can specify the exact number of souls released from purgatory, and
2. Whether the pope can declare that an indulgence can be applied to the holy souls in Purgatory, and more to the point, whether this is an action of "binding or loosing".
The latter is what the text I provided indicates. As to #1? I'm not sure. I can neither confirm nor deny that.
But your statement that the binding and loosing has nothing to do with Purgatory... to the contrary. It does include it, and the text I provide jives with that assumption.
The only disagreement here that I can tell is over this:
"And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
As to whether this includes those in Purgatory. I say it does; you may say otherwise.
It's a good question. I'm interested in it.
There's always the prayer of St. Getrude the Great, which is supposed to release 1000 souls each time it is said:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, Those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
(see Catholic Online:)
On the contrary: the "binding and loosing" there applies to what is "granted to all the faithful of your dioceses who accomplish the following acts".
From the Catholic Encyclopedia ("Purgatory"), which has more of the opinions of the doctors:
(2) St. Bonaventure (IV, Sent., dist. xx, p. 2, q. v) agrees with St. Thomas, but adds that such "relaxation cannot be after the manner of absolution as in the case of the living but only as suffrage (Haec non tenet modum judicii, sed potius suffragii). This opinion of St. Bonaventure, that the Church through its Supreme Pastor does not absolve juridically the souls in purgatory from the punishment due their sins, is the teaching of the Doctors. They point out (Gratian, 24 q. ii, 2, can.1) that in case of those who have departed this life judgment is reserved to God; they allege the authority of Gelasius (Ep. ad Fausturn; Ep. ad. Episcopos Dardaniae) in support of their contention (Gratian ibid.), and they also insist that the Roman Pontiffs, when they grant indulgences that are applicable to the dead, add the restriction "per modum suffragii et deprecationis". This phrase is found in the Bull of Sixtus IV "Romani Pontificis provida diligentia", 27 Nov. 1447.
The phrase "per modum suffragi et deprecationis" has been variously interpreted by theologians (Bellarmine, "De indulgentiis", p.137). Bellarmine himself says: "The true opinion is that indulgences avail as suffrage, because they avail not after the fashion of a juridical absolution 'quia non prosunt per modum juridicae absolutionis'." But according to the same author the suffrages of the faithful avail at times "per modum meriti congrui" (by way of merit), at times "per modum impetrationis" (by way of supplication) at times "per modum satisfactionis" (by way of satisfaction); but when there is question of applying an indulgence to one in purgatory it is only "per modum suffragii satisfactorii" and for this reason "the pope does not absolve the soul in purgatory from the punishment due his sin, but offers to God from the treasure of the Church whatever may be necessary for the cancelling of this punishment".
If the question be further asked whether such satisfaction is accepted by God out of mercy and benevolence, or "ex justitia", theologians are not in accord--some holding one opinion, others the other. Bellarmine after canvassing both sides (pp. 137, 138) does not dare to set aside "either opinion, but is inclined to think that the former is more reasonable while he pronounces the latter in harmony with piety ("admodum pia").
On the other hand the quote from Bellarmine would seem to indicate that the Pope could make an indulgence that would release a certain number of souls from purgatory; but Paul VI's Indulgentarium Doctrina divides them into plenary and partial indulgences, and there are no categories for some sort of "super-plenary" indulgence that would free multiple souls from all their sins.
Still, I'd be interested in seeing that indulgence grant by Bl. Pius IX, if it actually exists. (although it would be abolished now anyway by the publication of the new Enchiridion of indulgences, as I understand it?)
That's pretty much exactly what I had in mind. The pope, in virtue of his authority to bind and loose, can make available indulgences to the Church Militant, which can be applied to the Church Suffering in purgatory.
We'd all best get off our collective lazy butts and commit ourselves to this task.
My own lazy butt included, without a doubt.
There was one saint, I forget which one, who had forfeited all the merit of all their indulgences and instead applied them to the Church Suffering. On the saint's deathbed, near the moment of death, a devil was hounding the saint; one of the devices he used was to try to scare the saint into wishing they had not passed away from him/herself the merit of the indulgences. At which point God stepped in and not only retained the merit which was offered to the holy souls, but also applied the merit for the saint's own benefit as well.
That's by memory; can't recall which saint it was, or the exact details, but merely the principles at work in the situation.
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