How To Pray for Souls in Purgatory


Do you just say for Souls in Purgatory, how do we know which ones we prayed for? Is it just in general, which souls do our prayers, devotions, novenas reach.

I wondering also if anyone has joined the Association of the Holy Souls and if you have any information on it?

Also do you know any good guidelines on how to devote oneself for souls in purgatory. I feel like I’m getting called to do this but I need to educate myself.


I say the St. Gertrude prayer often.

I say a slightly different version at Mass which I’ll explain below.

Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, and for all those for whom I pray.

I read in the Pieta prayer book that our prayers are strongest at the Consecration, so I say that prayer the moment the Chalice is lifted at Mass. I shortened it a little so that it can be said quickly (I figure the “for sinners everywhere” covers everyone including those in the Universal Church, in my home and within my family). I’ve added the “for all those for whom I pray” as a virtual intention for anyone I have prayed for, and am praying for individually. Sometimes I will add “especially n.” if there is someone in particular who needs prayers at the moment.

Anytime I pass a cemetery or roadside cross I say that prayer and add “for the souls of those buried in the cemetery” or “for the person for whom this cross was placed” in the case of the roadside cross.

I also say the prayer when I hear someone has passed away, adding the name of the individual to the prayer.

By the way, this prayer seems to be very powerful; I’ve noticed a lot of prayers answered as a result praying it at Mass. If it is that powerful for people here on earth, I can only imagine how helpful it is for the souls in Purgatory. There is a claim that 1,000 souls are released from Purgatory each time it is said; I don’t know for sure if that claim comes with Church approval; I’ll have to research that.


The claim of 1000 souls is a symbolic number. No one knows how God answers our prayers. We just have to trust in Him. :slight_smile:


It has always been my understanding, that when we pray for the Holy Souls, our prayers are applied to those souls… most in need… and not really necessary for us to know exactly who, is reaping the benefits. Pray for our brothers and sisters who belong to the “Church Suffering” (a.k.a., the Souls in Purgatory) and leave the particulars to our Merciful Father in Heaven.

It’s a good question. Hope this helps in some way. God bless.


First, thank you for bringing up Holy Souls Association. No, I’ve never heard of it. I like to pray first for particular souls I may have in mind and then adding and ’for all the Poor Souls, particularly those most abandoned and forgotten, those who have no one to pray for them, and those most recently arrived in Purgatory.'

Reason being - many people automatically assume a soul was a good person - that they are with God and not suffering any longer…But (while not trying to judge anyone) I think many are considering bodily sufferings, illness, etc., forgetting that all souls who God has judged worthy to attain Heaven may still have to be purged. So, there are many souls waiting for prayers whose families may not think to pray for them enough and those who have no one on earth left to pray for them.
Let’s not forget them.
May they speedily reach Eternal Rest with God in Heaven. Amen.


I’d recommend you to use this book - I’ve been using it for 2 years now.

Book’s title: Thirty-Day Devotions for the Holy Souls.
Author: Susan Tassone


I often pray for those souls whom are not prayed for “by name or by station” by any others.


I don’t pray for specifics… But seeing that I am devoted to OL of Fatima, I do try to pray for the souls in Purgatory. Even when I’m crossing myself.

I had read about a devotion in which before one blesses themselves with Holy Water (regardless of place, time, location… but especially before Mass) they sprinkle a bit of the Holy Water onto the ground in prayer for those in Purgatory.

I feel a sense of relief and joy when I do that, so I know my prayer is answered. I have yet to have the feeling of experiencing their pain, but something tells me I should expect that in the future. But even then, I will do the same as the souls in Purgatory, I will praise the Lord!


I understand prayer and devoting oneself to the souls in purgatory. One thing I don’t understand is giving money all you can afford for masses to be said for the souls in purgatory. How does money save these souls? I want to understand it, there isn’t much about it or maybe there is but I don’t know it. The articles how to avoid purgatory and read me or rue it mentions how we should give all we can afford and gives examples how people gave money way way back then so this has been happening for a long time. These days people are giving money and the church says to do so. Couldn’t these souls be saved without money?


We always pray for souls - at mass …outside mass.

About the money - can we celebrate mass inside a church if no one donates money to build the church? The idea is about charity and that money can be used for helping keeping the church running: the light, the heat, the AC, the water, etc …

My parish recently built the church - it costs nearly 20 Milliions. Now, we can figure out why we need to donate money. :slight_smile:


I know we need to give the church money for those reasons and many do during mass but my question is specifically do we need to give money for the souls? Is it the same thing or is there another reason? It just sometimes in these articles I feel like they are saying that if you don’t give money souls will not be saved. I dunno.


I believe the church office always asks for some donation - small or big - but this has nothing to do with saving the souls. Giving donation is an act of Charity - that charity, that merit, itself can be applied to the souls - maybe that is what we need to focus on.

What articles are you reading? Could you quote the part that seems to be confusing?

I hope you get this book - it is a small book that you can pray for the souls everyday - it helps you focus on the different kinds of charity you can perform for helping the souls.

Book’s title: Thirty-Day Devotions for the Holy Souls.
Author: Susan Tassone


Thanks for the reply,
I’m reading How to avoid purgatory and Read me or rue it just says to give money but doesn’t give much detail why, and just hearing from people giving money for souls, just wasn’t clear what it meant. Just asking myself how does earth money save Souls? The more you give the more souls you save, if you give not enough it won’t save any? But giving as an act of Charity makes more sense to me. These things are not explained well. Thanks for that book recommendation; I’m going to get it. I just feel like I need to help others, for the past year I started to thing about doing something for others, I want to serve Jesus somehow, be his instrument here on earth, for me not doing anything is so much emptiness and it just dwells in me. I have been praying for the Lord to show what I can do for him. I haven’t figured out what I can do yet here for people on earth but I hope I will do something. For the past month I’ve been reading Saint Faustina’s diary and she mentions about saving souls. Just this past week I’ve been browsing the internet and came across those two articles and something touched me, something very deep, maybe I can start saving and helping someone and this would be helping the souls in purgatory. It’s better than not doing anything and maybe it’s a start. I’m just starting to educate myself because I’m new to these Souls in Purgatory. Any info greatly appreciated.


It was a very joyful moment for me to read your post - your yearning to do some thing for the Holy Souls is very beautiful. When you purchase the book, you will see more clearly how simple you can help the Holy souls in different ways and yet it has such a great love for them. I don’t have the book with me, but when getting home, I point you to the page on the book where different acts of Charity is suggested.

I could not tell you enough how wonderful the Diary of St. Faustina is. Her devotion to the Holy Souls is great, and we can follow her example as well.


Thank you withwind, I got so touched, it’s just an unbelievable feeling, and I hope I’ll be able to do something, I know deep inside me something has happened. I think the Lord is answering my prayer and showing me this is what you can do for me. I have this strong feeling and all this energy toward this. I ask for your prayers that I will educate myself well and will be able save some souls so they could reach heaven and be with Jesus.

Diary of St.Faustina is very inspirational every time I read it my mouth just drops. WOW.


Abisko, you are in my prayer. At the begining of the diary, there is a quote saying that the book is meant for many souls who read it. It surely seems to touch you in a special way.


Abisko, on the book, page 80, here are some things we can do for the Holy Souls:

  1. give us your feet by going to hear Mass for us.

  2. give us your eyes by watching for opportunities to perform good deed for us.

  3. give us your hands by giving alms or an offering for a Mass.

  4. give us your lips by praying for us.

  5. give us your tongue by encouraging others to be charitable to us.

  6. give us your memory by remembering us in your devotions.

  7. give us your body by offering up to God all its labors, fatigues, and penaces for us.


withwind, Thank you for your prayers and Thanks for this info. Very interesting, I’ve ordered this book can’t wait till I get it.


You are very welcome. The book has 30-day prayers, and you can keep praying like that throughout months and years. :slight_smile:


2.give us your eyes by watching for opportunities to perform good deed for us…

In this case what would one do? Let’s say visiting the sick or the homeless, before doing so one would say I doing this for the souls in purgatory? before performing a deed, one would say a prayer for the souls mentioning this is for them?

  1. give us your memory by remembering us in your devotions.
    Before the devotions we would say this for the intention for the souls in purgatory?

  2. give us your body by offering up to God all its labors, fatigues, and penaces for us.

How do we offer penances for the holy souls?

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