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Catholics: Hold Fast!

Two fists held close together. On each knuckle a letter is tattooed. The words "Hold Fast" are spelled out across them.

After years of scandal and controversy, it’s easy to forget how heroic so many of our priests are.  We must support them and pray for them.

And we, Catholic brothers and sisters, must remain brave ourselves, and firm in our Faith!  Tribulations are coming.  One could easily argue (Wuhan Virus, anyone?) that they are here already.

#CatholicsHoldFast

Why I’m no longer attending my Latin Mass Parish weekly

“Take it, lad. You need it more than I do.” – Chaplain George Rentz, giving his life jacket to a seaman following the sinking of USS Houston during the Battle of Sunda Strait, 1942.

Commander George Rentz was a Chaplain aboard USS Houston, a cruiser sunk during a fierce naval battle with superior Japanese forces in the dark days of 1942. Clinging desperately to a hopelessly overloaded piece of wreckage with several other sailors, he relinquished his spot of safety.  Giving his lifejacket to a young seaman with those words, he pushed away, treading water for a while before his strength gave out and he sank below the waves, joining 800 other men from Houston who perished that day. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his action, the only chaplain so honored during the Second World War.

George_S._Rentz-colorrentz

Commander George Rentz was a Navy Chaplain who laid down his life for a fellow Sailor following the sinking of their cruiser in 1942.

Please God that he has received a far greater reward.

Rentz’s words became one of a handful of famous naval sayings which (along with better known phrases like “Don’t give up the ship” or “I have not yet begun to fight”) my Naval Academy classmates and I were ordered to commit to memory over 45 years ago.

It’s funny how those words stick with you. Thinking about it now, those three phrases (which I shouted with gusto as a sweating frightened Midshipman 4th Class whenever prompted by an upperclassman) can apply to us Catholics of a traditional/orthodox bent during these troubling and apocalyptic times for our Church. And surely 2020 will be a year as dark for our beloved Catholic Church as was 1942 for the U.S. Navy, the year Rentz laid down his life.

Hopefully, nobody reading this will be scratching their heads wondering why I lament the state of things in our Church. If you don’t know the situation, you simply haven’t been paying attention. For the rest of us, perhaps those three phrases will seem like good advice.

“Don’t give up the ship!” – I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m abandoning the Barque of Peter, no matter how hot the battle.

Don't Give Up The Ship

The original battle flag flown during the Battle of Lake Erie now hangs proudly in the rotunda at the U.S. Naval Academy. Those fighting words from the War of 1812 ring true for us Catholics today!

“I’ve not yet begun to fight!” – The enemy is demanding our surrender. Far from complying, we’re about to renew the battle with fierce determination.

“Take it, lad. You need it more than I do.” – Well, maybe this one isn’t as clear. Let me explain.

My response to the desperate battle facing us is nowhere near as noble or heroic as what that chaplain (only a month away from full retirement) did amidst one of the fiercest naval battles of World War II. It’s really pretty trivial and cheezy in comparison.

Instead of giving up my lifejacket, I’m giving up my seat at my FSSP parish.

Huh?

My FSSP parish is small. When FSSP was granted permission to have a parish in my city, the small run-down church had been closed and abandoned, stark evidence of Catholicism’s post-Vatican II continual collapse. After three years of effort (including some pretty serious engineering), the building had been restored to its former beauty. The high altar was in place, and all vestiges of the Novus Ordo experiment were gone.

And our little parish began steadily growing. It wasn’t just cranky old timers incapable of “getting with the times,” as the Traditional Mass’ detractors like to paint us. Nope. More and more young families came through our doors. In ten years our little outfit produced five vocations.

The growth was steady but manageable. Then came the Summer of Shame.

When it became evident how rampant the scandals, how deep the rot, how Modernist the hierarchy, and how big the mess confronting our Catholic faith, attendance at my little parish exploded. We ushers saw more and more new faces every week. There were more and more new families showing up. They were curious first-timers, and they had questions which we tried to answer, always encouraging them to come back.

Overflow TLM

Taking it to the streets: Undaunted, Catholics unable to find a seat at the Latin High Mass carry on.

And, boy, did they come back! Our job as ushers, of course, included finding seats for our parishioners and visitors. These days we look less like ushers and more like those famous Japanese train conductors who have to pack passengers like sardines! Our three FSSP priests laid on additional Sunday Masses to alleviate the strain, but the crowds kept growing. We’re now at the point where if you don’t show up for Mass at least a half hour early, you’re not going to get a seat…at least not in a pew inside the church.

During good weather (which is abundant in our state), we leave the double doors open and set up two rows of folding chairs under a portable canopy. People sit outside, peering in and listening to the homily broadcast on exterior speakers. During the parts of the Mass where you’re supposed to kneel, they kneel uncomplainingly on the concrete sidewalk. We’ve taken two of our classrooms and made them overflow rooms where the Mass is relayed via WiFi onto large screen displays.

Station workers push a passenger into a crowded subway train at the Ikebukuro station on the Marunouchi line during rush hour in Tokyo

These Japanese train conductors have the makings of excellent ushers at my parish’s wonderfully overcrowded Latin Mass!

A first-time visitor to our parish shouldn’t be forced to watch from such disadvantaged locations, so it isn’t uncommon for parish “regulars” to give up their pew for a visitor.

Such is the state of our little Latin Mass parish.

The good news is that we’re not the only place in our city where the Mass is offered in the Extraordinary Form. Two much larger parishes have brave priests who offer the Latin Mass at least once a week, offering their parishioners the opportunity to attend the Extraordinary Form in addition to their regular Novus Ordo Masses. I say these priests are brave for two reasons: first of all, they haven’t had the extensive training which Latin-only outfits like FSSP, ICKSP, and SSPX seminarians go through. The Latin Mass is beautiful, but certainly difficult for a man not trained from the ground up in saying it. Secondly, our city is home to one of the more liberal bishops in America. So far, he has been tolerant of these pre-1969 Masses being said by his diocesan priests. That, of course, could change at any moment.

I’ve attended these Latin Masses, and they are growing as well. They’re both said in very large churches, so there’s still plenty of room. I’d put the attendees at a Novus Ordo parish Latin Mass at about (this is a very unscientific wag) 40% Traddie and 60% Novie. Many, many families are being exposed to the old rite. It’s good to have a significant number of Traddies in the pews there. We act as guides of a sort, I guess. If you’re a Novie Newbie and are struggling to keep up, it’s helpful to keep an eye on the people wearing mantillas and sporting those massive black missals. When they kneel, you kneel. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

I’ve also struck up a friendship with the pastor of one of these Novus Ordo parishes. He’s a wonderful guy, orthodox in his theology and eager to bring authentic Church teachings to his people. I love encouraging and supporting him. Due to logistical imperatives (dealing with chronically ill family members), my wife and I have been attending separate Masses on Sunday in order to always have somebody at home. She’s been going to this Latin Mass at the big Novus Ordo church for a couple of years now.

Now, I’m doing likewise.

I’m still a member of my FSSP parish, and continue to support them financially. I still plan to get there at least once a month. But I think it’s time to give up my pew there to make room for that next confused and battered Catholic who stumbles through the door in search of the genuine Faith which seems to be evaporating before our eyes in far too many places.

To that Novie looking for a pew where they can experience the full beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, I gladly say, “Take it, lad (or lass). You need it more than I do.”

Three reasons why bishops won’t excommunicate pro-death Catholic politicians

Meme shows Archbishop Becket asking why Cuomo hasn't been excommunicated. Cardinal Dolan tells Cuomo not to worry, because he's convinced everyone that excommunication "isn't a thing" anymore.

Editor’s Note:  This article was originally published in early 2019.  We’re re-publishing it now to coincide with the recently concluded annual March for Life.  

Sorry, Your Eminence.  Despite your best efforts to downplay the scandal, excommunication very much remains “a thing!!”   It is considered a harsh remedy for the salvation of a soul in desperate danger of damnation, but it is still very much a tool which a caring shepherd can use in a situation like this.

Notwithstanding our silly little meme which opens this article, why haven’t our bishops acted to excommunicate notable (and notorious) Catholic politicians who actively support infanticide and abortion?  Here are three reasons.  You might find Reason #1 hard to take, but please consider it.

Reason #1:  “It’s not ‘pastoral.'”

“Pastoral” is one of those handy post-Vatican II buzzwords that can mean pretty much just about anything the priest, bishop, or trendy theologian using the word wants it to mean.  In its most common use, “pastoral” appears to mean “we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”  If you pair this word up with the equally-potent term “mercy,” you have a powerful incantation which permits you remain inactive, even if public figures in your diocese are actively defying Church teachings, committing egregious mortal sins, and encouraging everyone around them to do likewise.

“We must show mercy.  We must be pastoral.”  That’s number one on on our hit parade.  Upon further considerations, that really isn’t a reason, so much as it’s an excuse.

Mercy is absolutely essential to our salvation, there’s no debating that point.  What is conveniently overlooked by so many of our modern theologians, prelates, and celebrity priests is the fact that mercy as a concept is meaningless if it does not remain paired with the concept of justice.  A person who sins (that’s all of us) will be subject to the Divine Justice unless they are saved by the Divine Mercy.  Mercy manifests itself through the sacrament of Reconciliation:  you acknowledge your sins in the confessional, you show true sorrow and perform penance, and you are once more under the protection of Mercy because you’re once more in a state of sanctifying Grace.

In His earthly ministry, Jesus showed true pastoral care and mercy towards His lost sheep by living among them, sharing meals with them, and calling them to repentance.  When He was dining with publicans and sinners, he wasn’t “accompanying them on their journey.”  While he was eating with them, He wasn’t affirming their present lifestyle; he was calling them out of it.  And in his preaching, Jesus made it abundantly clear what would happen to their souls if they failed to turn away from sin; if they failed to repent and follow Him.

He reminded them of the reality of hell, and of the horrifying consequences of dying in a state of mortal sin.  He offered them a way out of this eternal damnation which they had earned, if only they repented and accepted His gift of salvation through the Cross.  Now that’s being pastoral!

That’s what excommunication does:  it points out–in no uncertain terms–the state of danger a person’s soul is in as a result of mortal sin and calls that person to repentance.  And not only the person who is the object of this public call to repentance…an excommunication serves as an exhortation for all of us to repent, confess our sins, and to avoid the types of sins which have produced this grave set of circumstances for the public figure who is the object of this harsh remedy.

Bishops and cardinals:  you want to be pastoral?  Then call your people away from sin through whatever means necessary–including excommunication–in order that they may benefit from Christ’s divine Mercy!

Reason #2:  They don’t want to upset the applecart.

These bishops have a pretty good racket going.  They’re respected (well, maybe not so much these days), they’re considered pillars of the community, and they perceive themselves as being beloved of their people.  If they’re a big-city bishop, they’re probably rubbing elbows with the rich and famous.  They’re accepted by the local glitterati, and just might be considered a major celebrity in their own right.  They’re like the unpopular kid in school who suddenly finds themselves accepted by and hanging out with all the kids in the highest rung of the social ladder…jocks, cheerleaders…heck, they might even get chosen to have a big role in Homecoming!

And, equally important, there are those financial considerations.  Dioceses and archdioceses are big money operations.  Many of them receive government money to engage in social and charitable work.  These are not insignificant sums.  Initiating a God-vs.-Caesar type of conflict by excommunicating a very powerful politician could have some very serious financial implications.

And that’s unfortunate.  The role of a bishop is first and foremost to defend his sheep and do everything they can to help them get to Heaven.  When their excellencies and eminences look into the mirror each morning, they’re supposed to see shepherd willing to lay down his life for the sake of his sheep staring back at them.  Instead, too many of these men instead see the CEO of a charitable NGO (non-governmental organization) with obligations to “the bottom line”…and that vision informs all their actions.

Yes, there are certainly going to be consequences to a public excommunication.  Reason #2 means you’re more concerned with the temporal consequences than you are with the eternal ones.

Reason #3:  Moral cowardice and/or lack of supernatural faith.

Lacking the guts to do the right thing and call a Catholic politician who is endangering their own soul (and countless souls around them) to Judgement and everlasting fire…what can that be called other than cowardice?  This ties in with Reason #2 to a great extent; something as profound as a public excommunication is going to have consequences.  If the fears of earthly retaliation (social, political, economic) are strong enough, the prelate fails to act…even if he knows in his heart he is doing the wrong thing; knows in his heart that souls are in danger but he simply can’t muster the courage to do the hard thing…the right thing.

Pray for these men.  They are like the Apostles who dearly loved Jesus, but fled in terror from Gethsemane when confronted with the specter of temporal suffering which would arise from remaining at their Savior’s side.  They love their Lord, and may yet find their backbones.  Pray for them, support them, and encourage them to do the right thing.

And the other component of reason number one is a most terrifying theory:  what if these men simply don’t believe that it matters?

Has their faith been deadened to the point where they really don’t believe in the consequences of personal sin?  What if “mercy trumps all” dominates their mind to the point where they completely disregard justice?  Have they convinced themselves that there truly is “a reasonable expectation that all people go to heaven,” and–that aside from Hitler and people who throw plastics into the ocean–nobody will merit everlasting punishment?  It almost seems as if some of them are acting that way.

Pray for these men as well.

And, by all means, pray for the souls of those who promote, procure and perform abortions, as well as for those who support or assist them.  They–along with us–are being called to accept God’s eternal Mercy, but if they reject the gift of the Cross, what happens then?  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)

Your Excellencies and Eminences, listen to Hank Igitur in this video.  He’ll explain it to you…

 

Have the Bishops gone “Full Modernist”???

Take a close look at this “O-Antiphon” tweet by the USCCB from Wednesday, 18 December.  Do you see any symbology which looks a little…well…Masonic?

And, yes, I do know that the eye within the triangle, the “All-Seeing Eye of God” has a Catholic history.  You can see it displayed in the artwork of old churches and manuscripts.  But for the last several hundred years, it has been co-opted by the Lodge as a distinctly Masonic symbol.  As such, it has gained a fair degree of toxicity. It’s no different than the rainbow.  What was once thought of as the universal sign of God’s pledge never again to destroy the world with water, it has now become the universal sign of something rather different, hasn’t it?  So it is with this symbol.

The question begs itself:  was this simply a slip-up by the poor seminarian whose collateral duty it is to pretend he’s tweeting on behalf of all the bishops in the USCCB?  Or was the symbology fully understood ahead of time.

Has the USCCB, in fact, gone “full Modernist?”

 

Setting the Record Straight on What Catholics REALLY Believe!

Confused about some of the perplexing pronouncements being issued from press conferences in aircraft or even papal documents?  You’re not alone!

There has been quite a bit of “churn” over the past few years, and the tempo seems to be increasing daily.  What has the Catholic Church always taught about things like divorce, homosexuality, the legitimacy of other religions, or even the death penalty?  If you’re attempting to follow the news coming from Rome (whether through official press releases, established news organizations, or the blogosphere), it’s small wonder if you reach the troubling conclusion that doctrine is “up for grabs” and subject to modernization.

Well, it isn’t.  If you want some reassurance on that point, read on.

It’s only eight pages, but if the last few years have left you feeling confused or uncertain about the true teachings of the Church, you owe it to yourself to read   Declaration of the Truths Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time.”

Read New ‘Declaration of Truths’ Affirms Key Church Teachings in the National Catholic Register.

If you want to purchase a hard copy (might make a dandy Christmas or birthday gift), you can pick it up for just a few bucks at MarianCatechist.com.

Christmas and “Cultural Appropriation”

Large Hand grabbing a Nativity Scene

It’s a thing that’s all the rage in our politically-correct culture (“rage” in the sense that it’s wildly popular and also “rage” in the sense of those who delight in virtue-signaling their imagined outrage at something unspeakably offensive):  If you dare to don a sombrero but you’re not Mexican, that’s “cultural appropriation.”  It’s a BIG no-no these days.  At best, those guilty of cultural appropriation are insensitive and ignorant.  At worst, they’re intentionally evil bigots or racists, probably both.  It’s all part of the Snowflake Syndrome rampaging through college campuses and trendy social circles.

And that got me thinking.  If it’s inappropriate for somebody to wear garb considered unique to one particular race, nation, or culture, why is it not considered inappropriate to hijack the second most important holiday for a billions of Christians and use it as an occasion for commercial profiteering, donning the stylized garb of a completely misunderstood/mischaracterized Catholic saint, or trivializing it with the addition of reindeer and dancing snowmen?

Take that peppermint chip off your shoulder.  

Should Christians take offense when we see people who are obviously clueless about our holiday going to great lengths to appropriate the holiday for their own use, tossing out doctrines they find uncomfortable while retaining the emotionally-satisfying portions (and adding ridiculous components of their own invention to boot)?  Would a Muslim tolerate such behavior by the population at large during Ramadan?  (Imagine for a moment a clever ad agency executive who invents “Robbie the Ramadan Raccoon” as an appealing way to sell toys and seasonal apparel to celebrate the holiday…that kind of hijacking of a religious holiday probably wouldn’t be too well-received.)

If we’re bold in proclaiming our faith, we might respond with a gentle reminder like “Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” and leave it at that.  It’s a subtle way of saying, “Hey, Christmas is important to me, and maybe it should be important to you as well.”  But that’s about as far as it goes.

Do I think we should all put a big peppermint chip on our shoulders starting the first Sunday of Advent and stomp around just daring anyone to knock it off, then howl “cultural appropriation!” when they do?

Of course not.  The Christmas message is meant for the entire world.  And while committed Christians understand that the Crib leads to the Cross, this most essential aspect of Christmas is pretty much entirely lost to our secular friends and neighbors.  Throwing a hissy-fit because secularists have hijacked Christmas to suit their own materialistic and/or self-satisfying ends doesn’t do anything to promote the salvation of their souls.  We just need to figure out a way to re-direct the world’s attention away from the cash register and back towards the Creche (and ultimately, the Cross).  And, considering that for so many people, a Nativity scene has value only if it can serve as a backdrop for that awesome Christmas selfie to go on Instagram, this is quite a challenge.

A chance to evangelize…just a little, anyway!

Should we, as believing Christians, take advantage of the numerous teaching moments presented to us as a way to share our faith, and just maybe evangelize the lost and unbelieving world which surrounds us?

Yeah, probably.

Here’s an example of one potential “teaching moment:”

“Do you know what the origin of your candy cane is?  It’s based on something called a crozier, the staff carried by Catholic bishops like Saint Nicholas.”

That lead-in sentence, inoffensive and disarming as it appears on the surface, would allow me to enter into a broader discussion on the real St. Nicholas, tying the entire modern and utterly ridiculous “Cult of Santa Claus” back to an authentic historical (and Christian) origin.  Such a conversation isn’t an In-Your-Face/Take-This-Pamphlet type of event.  It’s more of a non-threatening “fun fact” type of thing which nonetheless diverts the listener’s attention back in the general direction of our Christian understanding of Christmas…even if tangentially, and even if only for a moment.

They’re on OUR turf now!

And, of course, the few remaining Nativity scenes I might see in public offer me a similar opportunity for a casual, two to three sentence evangelization opportunity.  In a way, we can consider somebody stopping to admire a Creche (even if only pausing for that all-important Instagram selfie) as having stepped onto “our turf,” and speaking to them in a friendly manner about the display’s meaning is not an intrusion.  If they’re showing even passing interest in the trappings associated with Christendom’s second most important holy day, then in a way, they’re pretty much “fair game.”

Imagine yourself stopping to admire some brightly colored lights strung up for the commemoration of Ramadan.  If you stopped to admire them, and a well-meaning Muslim came up to you and said, “Hi.  Do you know why we celebrate Ramadan?” would you take offense?  Probably not.  If you have any manners at all, you’d probably listen politely, and perhaps even engage in a friendly conversation.

We can take that attitude as well.

IF I have to guts to actually go through with it.

We “don’t worship Jesus” at Mass?!?

I get excited when I see a bishop brandishing a Louisville Slugger.  I’m hoping that he’s going to smash a couple of those Pachamama statues, but alas, that’s rarely the case these days.  It’s more likely that he’s going to take a swing at Catholic dogma instead.

Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville made waves on social media the last week of November 2019 by making some outlandish statements on Twitter regarding the worship of Jesus during Mass.  As of the time of this posting, you can’t find those direct quotes on Twitter (they’ve been taken down, it seems), but as they say, “The Internet is forever.”

Here they are for your consideration:

Stika Twitter

OK, so there’s that.  Odd.

Very odd.

And certainly heterodox.  Why would a bishop even say such a thing?  Is he one of those post-Vatican II “the Mass isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a community meal” kind of guys?  Did he simply misspeak?

Anyone can make a mistake on Twitter, especially with that darned talk-to-text feature!  (Who hasn’t gotten themselves into trouble using that on a smart phone?!)

But we also have this:

Stika Adore Jesus

Whaaaaaat?!

As a bit of a rebuttal to the good Bishop (whom we should all pray for), please consider this short video:

 

 

Resisting the Pope: Is it time?

Wow.

I thought we had hit rock bottom in 2018, but boy, was I wrong.  2019 has been one whopper of a year when it comes to inexplicable and hurtful actions by our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

With a sad smile to my sedevacantist friends, yes I still do call him my Holy Father.  Abusive as my spiritual father may be, I still need to pray for him.  It’s difficult to simply pray for “the intentions of the Holy Father,” because I frankly mistrust his intentions.  What I do pray for is his conversion.  For his return to orthodoxy.  For God to mold him into the man He truly intends for him to be.

And, in the meantime, I will–to whatever extent I am able, pathetic though it might be–resist the Holy Father when he’s wrong.

It’s difficult for me to put into words the pain and sense of betrayal I feel when I consider how Pope Francis has led our Catholic Church.  Perhaps you feel the same way.  May I recommend the Open Letter to Pope Francis penned by Michael Matt of The Remnant newspaper.

You can read the letter at the link above, or you can hear it in this moving video:

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned!”

“We should be introducing — we were thinking — in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, ecological sin against the common home, because it is our duty.” So said Pope Francis in an off-the-cuff remark to a gathering of prosecutors and criminologists in Rome on November 15th.

According to the much-respected (among Modernists, anyway) America Magazine:

Today’s throwaway culture, as well as other “psycho-social phenomenon” pose threats to the common good while insidiously promoting a “culture of hate,” he said. These threats, he added, often take the form of “symbols and actions that are typical of Nazism.”…

Chief among those crimes, he added, are acts that “can be considered as ‘ecocide’: the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem.”

Pope Francis also called on the international community to recognize ecocide as a “fifth category of crime against peace.”

How about you, friend?  Are you a wretched sinner, guilty of transgressions against our common home?  Repent now, or you will face Mother Earth on the terrible Day of EcoJudgement.

The Pontifex Maximus is dead serious about these crimes against Holy Mother Earth.  Methinks Hank Igitur and Mr. Dogma are in BIG TROUBLE…

https://catholiccyber-militia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Environmental-Sinners.mov

Or…follow the link to see Hank’s environmental crimes on YouTube here:

 


Further Reading:

Pope Francis condemns ecological sins and Nazi-inspired rhetoric, Religion News Service

Pope Francis: Catechism will be updated to define ecological sins, America Magazine

Holy Souls Starter Kit

People surrounded by flames being aided by angels as two ranks of people look on.

During the month of November, let’s remember to pray for our dead.  “Holy Souls” is the term for those Christians who have died but are not yet in the full presence of God.  Due to sins and imperfections in life, they are undergoing a process of spiritual purification (a purgation).  Purgatory has often been compared to the process of refining precious metals.  Gold or silver are melted in a furnace, and impurities are burned away.  What’s left is a pure precious metal.

Praying for the Holy Souls to aid them in their time of suffering is a time-honored tradition in our Church (and indeed, before our Church!  In the Old Testament Book of Maccabees, we see prayers being offered for the dead there as well).

An alert reader (thanks, Scott!) has provided the Catholic Cyber-Militia with an excellent set of prayers for just this purpose!  We offer this list for your consideration.  If you see any prayers which touch your heart in a particular way, please take advantage of them.  In addition to benefiting the Holy Souls in Purgatory, it’ll doubtless do your soul some good as well!

Let’s all get started!



The De Profundis

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall abide it. For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and because of Thy law, I have waited for Thee, O Lord. My soul hath waited on His word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

( Indulgence of 100 Days)

A Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory

O most gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of Thy departed servants. Be not severe in Thy judgments, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And do Thou, O Merciful Savior, send Thy holy angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light, and peace. Amen.

Prayer for the Dead

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy departed servants full remission of all their sins, that through the help of our pious supplications they may obtain that pardon they have always desired, Thou who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

  1. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May they rest in peace. Amen.R. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer for our Dear Departed

O Good Jesus, Whose loving Heart was ever troubled by the sorrows of others, look with pity on the souls of our dear ones in Purgatory. O Thou who didst “love Thine own,” hear our cry for mercy, and grant that those whom Thou hast called from our homes and hearts may soon enjoy everlasting rest in the home of Thy love in Heaven. Amen.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord.R. And let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen.

Prayer for Deceased Parents

O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother, in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my father and mother, and forgive them their trespasses, and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

— The Roman Missal

Prayer to Jesus and Mary

O most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee that Thou wouldst Thyself offer to Thine eternal Father, on behalf of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, Thy Most Precious Blood, which poured forth from the Sacred Wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto the Heavenly Father, together with the dolorous passion of thy dear Son, Thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of Purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in Heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that by Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light. Amen.

  1. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. From the gates of Hell,R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
  3. May they rest in peace.R. Amen.
  4. O Lord, hear my prayer.R. And let my cry come to unto Thee.

Let us pray

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Thou Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Eternal rest, etc.

Prayer for the Poor Souls

My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine agony in the Garden, in Thy scourging and crowning with thorns, on the way to Calvary, and in Thy crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in Purgatory, and especially those that are most forsaken; do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer for the Poor Souls form the Canon of the Mass

Remember, O Lord, Thy servants and handmaids, N. and N., who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace. To these, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of comfort, light, and peace. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to God the Father

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in satisfaction for my sins, in supplication for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for the needs of the Holy Church. Amen.

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

O 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 Soul in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere – for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within my family. Amen.

 Prayer for the Holy Souls by Pope Pius IX

I adore You, oh Glorious Cross, Which was adorned with the Heart and the Body of my Savior, Jesus Christ, stained and covered with Blood. I adore You, oh Holy Cross out of love for Him, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer 5 times on Friday, will free 5 souls in purgatory, and 33 souls by reciting this prayer on Good Friday: This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with contrite heart and praying a few moments for the Poor Soul in Purgatory)

Novena for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

(Prayers from the Raccolta, 594-595)

Prayer to be said every day of the Novena

  1. O Lord, hear my prayer;R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,

  1. R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Monday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, particularly that soul which is in the greatest need of our prayers, in order that it may not long be delayed in praising Thee in Thy glory and blessing Thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem, whilst He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

 Thursday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He Himself, on the night before His Passion, gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in Purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise Thee therefore, together with Thy divine Son and the Holy ghost in thy glory forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Friday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Jesus Thy divine Son did shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred hands and feet, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders Thee from admitting it quickly to the possession of Thy glory, where it may praise Thee and bless Thee forevermore. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Saturday

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred side of Thy divine Son Jesus in the presence of and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee, through all the ages. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

  1. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
  2. May the divine assistance remain always with us.R. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

A Short and Efficacious Prayer for the Faithful Departed

O Most compassionate Jesus, have mercy on the souls detained in Purgatory, for whose redemption Thou didst take upon Thyself our nature and endure a bitter death. Mercifully hear their sighs, look with pity upon the tears which they now shed before Thee, and by virtue of Thy Passion, release them from the pains due to their sins. O most merciful Jesus, let Thy Precious Blood reach down into Purgatory and refresh and revive the captive souls who suffer there. Stretch out to them Thy strong right hand, and bring them forth into the place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.

Prayer to the Poor Souls in Purgatory

O holy souls in Purgatory, thou art the certain heirs of Heaven. Thou art most dear to Jesus, as the trophies of His Precious Blood, and to Mary, Mother of Mercy. Obtain for me, through thy intercession, the grace to lead a holy life, to die a happy death, and to attain to the blessedness of eternity in Heaven.

Dear suffering souls, who long to be delivered in order to praise and glorify God in Heaven, by thy unfailing pity, help me in the needs which distress me at this time, particularly (here mention your request), so that I may obtain relief and assistance from God.

In gratitude for thy intercession, I offer to God on thy behalf the satisfactory merits of my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day (week, month, or whatever space of time you wish to designate.) Amen.

Litany for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

O Jesus, Thou suffered and died that all mankind might be saved and brought to eternal happiness. Hear our pleas for further mercy on the souls of:

My dear parents and grandparents, My Jesus Mercy

My brothers and sisters and other near relatives, My Jesus Mercy

My godparents and sponsors of Confirmation, My Jesus Mercy

My spiritual and temporal benefactors, etc.

My friends and neighbors,

All for whom love or duty bids me pray,

Those who have suffered disadvantage or harm through me,

Those whose release is near at hand,

Those who desire most to be united to Thee,

Those who endure the greatest sufferings,

Those whose release is most remote,

Those who are least remembered

Those who are most deserving on account of their services to the Church,

The rich, who are now the most destitute,

The mighty, who are now powerless,

The once spiritually blind, who now see their folly

The frivolous, who spent their time in idleness,

The poor who did not seek the treasures of heaven,

The tepid who devoted little time to prayer,

The indolent who neglected to perform good works,

Those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments,

The habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace,

Parents who failed to watch over their children,

Superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them,

Those who strove for worldly riches and pleasures,

The worldly minded, who failed to use their wealth and talent for the service of God,

Those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own,

Those who did not provide for the life hereafter,

Those whose sentence is severe because of the great things entrusted to them,

The popes, kings, and rulers,

The bishops and their counselors,

My teachers and spiritual advisors,

The priests and religious of the Catholics Church,

The defenders of the Holy Faith,

Those who died on the battlefield,

Those who fought for their country,

Those who were buried in the sea,

Those who died of apoplexy,

Those who died of heart attacks,

Those who suffered and died of cancer,

Those who died suddenly in accidents,

Those who died without the last rites of the Church,

Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,

My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgment seat,

PRAYER

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them: For evermore with Thy Saints, because Thou art gracious.

P. The Lord be with you.

S. And with thy spirit.

May the prayer of Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, benefit the souls of Thy departed servants and handmaids: that Thou mayest both deliver them from all their sins, and make them to be partakers of Thy redemption. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine on them. Amen.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Litany for the Faithful Departed

  1. Lord, have mercy on us.R. Lord, have mercy on us.
  2. Christ, have mercy on us.R. Christ, have mercy on us.
  3. Lord, have mercy on us.R. Lord, have mercy on us.
  4. Christ, hear us.R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on the souls of the faithful departed

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on the souls of the faithful departed

God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on the souls of the faithful departed

Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on the souls of the faithful departed

Holy Mary, Pray for the souls of the faithful departed

Holy Mother of God, Pray for the souls of the faithful departedHoly Virgin of virgins, Pray for the souls of the faithful departed

St. Michael, Pray for the souls of the faithful departed

All ye angels and archangels, etc.

All ye orders of blessed spirits,

St. John the Baptist,St. Joseph,

All ye holy patriarchs and prophets,St. Peter,St. Paul,

St. John,

All ye holy apostles and evangelists,

St. Stephen,

St. Lawrence,

All ye holy martyrs,

St. Gregory,

St. Ambrose,

St. Augustine,

St. Jerome,

All ye holy bishops and confessors,

All ye holy doctors,

All ye holy priests and Levites,

All ye holy monks and hermits,

St, Mary Magdalen,

St. Catherine,

St. Barbara,

All ye holy virgins and widows,

All ye saints of God,

Be merciful, Spare them, O Lord
Be merciful, Graciously hear us, O Lord
From all evil, O Lord deliver them.

From Thy wrath, O Lord deliver them.From the rigor of Thy justice, O Lord deliver them.

From the power of the devil, O Lord deliver them.From the the gnawing worm of conscience, O Lord deliver them.

From long-enduring sorrow, etc.

From eternal flames,From intolerable cold,

From horrible darkness,

From dreadful weeping and wailing,Through Thine admirable conception,

Through Thy holy nativity,

Through Thy most sweet name,

Through Thy baptism and holy fasting,

Through Thy most profound humiliations,

Through Thy prompt obedience,

Through Thy infinite love,

Through Thy sorrow and anguish,

Through Thy bloody sweat,

Through Thy bonds,

Through Thy scourging,

Through Thy crowning with thorns,

Through Thy carrying of the cross,

Through Thy most cruel death,

Through Thy five most holy wounds,

Through Thy most bitter cross and passion,

Through Thy holy Resurrection,

Through Thine admirable Ascension,

Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete,

In the day of judgment,

We sinners, We beseech Thee, hear us Thou Who forgavest Magdalen, and didst hearken to the prayer of the thief, We beseech Thee, hear us Thou Who savest freely Thine elect, We beseech Thee, hear us

Thou Who hast the keys of death and hell, We beseech Thee, hear us

That Thou wouldst be pleased to deliver the souls of our parents, relations, friends, and benefactors, from the pains of hell, We beseech Thee, hear us

That Thou wouldst be pleased to have mercy on those of whom no special remembrance is made on earth, We beseech Thee, hear us

That Thou wouldst be pleased to grant them all the pardon and remission of their sins, We beseech Thee, hear us

That Thou wouldst be pleased to fulfill all their desires, We beseech Thee, hear us

That Thou wouldst be pleased to  receive them into the company of the blessed, We beseech Thee, hear us

King of awful majesty, We beseech Thee, hear us

Son of God, We beseech Thee, hear us

  1. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,R. grant unto them eternal rest.
  2. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,R. grant unto them eternal rest.
  3. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,R. grant unto them rest everlasting.
  4. Christ, hear us.R. Christ, graciously hear us.
  5. Lord, have mercy.R. Christ, have mercy.
  6. From the gate of hell,R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
  7. O Lord, hear my prayer.R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us Pray:

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins; that, by pious supplications, they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Grant this, O God,

Who livest and reignest for ever and ever, Amen.

O Eternal God, Who, besides the general precept of charity, hast commanded a particular respect for parents, kindred, and benefactors; grant, we beseech Thee, that, as they were the instruments by which Thy providence bestowed on us our birth, education and innumerable other blessings, so our prayers may be the means to obtain for them a speedy release from their excessive sufferings, and free admittance to Thine infinite joys. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen

  1. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.R. And let the perpetual light shine upon them.V. May they rest in peace.R. Amen. 1

1 Indulgence of 300 days for the recital of these four ejaculations, only applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

The Heroic Act for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

A decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences dated December 18, 1885, and confirmed the following day by Leo XIII, says:

The Heroic Act of Charity in favor of the souls detained in purgatory consists in this, that a member of the Church militant (Christifidelis), either using a set formula or simply by an act of his will, offers to God for the souls in purgatory all the satisfactory works which he will perform during his lifetime, and also all the suffrages which may accrue to him after his death. Many Christians devoted to the Blessed Vrgin Mary, acting on the advice of the Theatine Regular Cleric Father Gaspar Olider, of blessed memory, make it a practice to deposit the said merits and suffrages as it were into the hands of the Blessed Virgin that she may distribute these favors to the souls in purgatory according to her own merciful pleasure. Olider lived at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

The Heroic Act is often called a vow, yet it partakes more of the nature of an offering made to God and to Mary, and it is also, unlike a vow, revocable at will. This point has been decided by the S.C. Indulg., Feb. 20, 1907, in answer to a question from Chicoutimi in Canada. A special vow “never to revoke the Act” would probably be binding, because its subject matter is an act of the personal will of which man can freely dispose, whereas he has not the disposal of his satisfactory works in favor of the departed; that depends on God; for man it is only a matter of pious desire, and only in this sense a votum. It always remains doubtful to what extent God accepts the oblation, and it is certain that the holy souls altogether lack the power of accepting it. The practice of the Heroic Act is based on the communion of saints, in virtue of which the good deeds of one member of Christ’s body benefit all other members. Its meritoriousness results from the more intense charity (love of God and His suffering friends) which inspires it, and on which the intrinsic perfection of all our good deeds depends. Its heroicity arises from the willingness it involves to take upon one’s self the dreadful pains of purgatory for the love of one’s neighbor, although there remains the reasonable hope that God in His goodness, and the sainted souls in their gratitude, will not allow the punishment to be exacted to the full.

The Heroic Act has been enriched with numerous indulgences by Benedict XIII (1728), Pius VI (1788), and Pius IX (1852). Priests who make it receive the personal privilege of gaining a plenary indulgence for a soul of their choice each time they say Mass. Laymen gain a similar indulgence each time they receive Holy Communion, also each Monday they hear Mass for the departed; in both cases the usual conditions are required.

Words to a formal Act of Heroic Charity are as follows:

O Holy and Adorable Trinity, desiring to aid in the relief and release of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, through my devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, I cede and renounce, on behalf of these souls, all the satisfactory part of my works, and all the suffrages which may be given to me after my death. In their entirety, I offer them to Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God, that she may use them, according to her good pleasure, for those souls of the faithful departed whom she desires to alleviate their suffering. O my God, deign to accept and bless my offering which I make to Thee through the most august Queen of Heaven and Earth. Amen.

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