Does praying for the damned help their cause?

I believe it was at Fatima that the Blessed Mother said to pray for the dead for many people are destined for hell simply because no one is praying for them.

Does this mean praying for the damned will help their cause?

Without a citation from the prophecies themselves, I cannot comment on what Our Lady of Fatima is alleged to have said. In any case, private revelation is not binding on the Catholic conscience; only general revelation, which is closed, is binding (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church [67]).

No one is “predestined” to hell in the sense that God actively wills hell for them (cf. CCC 1037. While it is true that God, in his omnipotence, knows who will end up there, that is because he knows what our choices will be; it is not because he wills us to turn away from him. Prayer can convert hardened sinners who are still alive and can still choose God (cf. CCC 2634), but, once in hell, the damned will be there eternally (cf. CCC 1057).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit