How does one know when a deceased family member has exited Purgatory and entered Heaven?


When should one stop praying for souls in Purgatory and start asking for intercession?


You can do both. Fact is, we don’t know about a soul’s duration in purgatory.


A deceased soul in purgatory is on its way to Heaven, guaranteed. So, pray away!


Don’t they send out little postcards, kinda like your dentist does when it’s time for another visit? :wink:


Interceding for us is the only thing that souls in Purgatory can do for themselves, so asking for their intercession is a great way to help them get to Heaven.


Don’t worry - just keep praying! God knows what to do with extra prayers. :smiley:

Consider all those who have no one to pray for them, and ask God to give them the benefit of any prayers your loved ones may no longer need.



I was taught that the souls in Purgatory can only intercede for others, not for themselves. This is the opposite of what has been posted. We need a good apologist to clear this up. If souls already can intercede while still in Purgatory, then you can pray both for them and to them.

Interesting question. :confused:


This reminds me of the two elderly ladies that I overheard before Mass one Saturday morning. One said," I’m sure that my husband is out of purgatory by now. It’s been nine years." The other lady said," Oh yes, that has been a long time."

Fortunately there is no time after we die. Some theologians speculate that purgatory could be just a journey like moving through a tunnel where the love of God burns up anything not deserving of the beatific vision. But no one really knows the answer to this question. We know that there is a purgatory. We know that we go to heaven from there. The rest is for us to find out. So keep praying for and to your loved ones. If they are in hell then your prayers are still heard by God and those in His presence…teachccd


Technically speaking one does not know. And so it is reasonable to continue remembering the dead in prayer so long as you feel called to do so. Many pray for a period of time, then continue to remember that person on key dates (birthday, wedding anniversary, death date, all soul’s day, etc.). If they are no longer in purgatory, surely they will smile down at you for the thought, and the prayer can be applied to some other soul who is in need of it.

Also, it is my understanding that though the souls in purgatory can do nothing to help themselves, they may still be able to pray for us. So there is no reason not to ask for their intercession through the duration, either.

Sometimes people may recieve private revelation that a loved one has been released. It is up to the individual to try to discern the truth of such.


Some visions of the saints and mystics said that if people repent during their last days before death(late repentance) that they will be in purgatory until Judgement.

There is a book called Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints by FX Shouppe that explains many visions of purgatory and hell by the saints and mystics. Much information. U can get it really cheap used

book received its IMPRIMATUR on October 11, 1893, so these writings of the Jesuit priest, F.X. Schouppe, are more than a century old. Fr. Schouppe collected and compiled the descriptions of Purgatory as recorded in the lives of saints and various holy people. Some of the saints are well known (St. Catherine of Genoa and St. Gertrude) while others are less familiar, e.g. St. Odilo, or, for example, Blessed Stephana Quinziani.


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