Is it ever too late to pray for a soul in Purgatory?

I am currently in RCIA, and although I’m not Catholic yet, I want to eventually be able to pray for souls in purgatory. My dad passed away almost 9 years ago, and he was born and raised Catholic, but did not practice his Faith for most of his life. I obviously can’t know where he is now, but I hope he is either in heaven or purgatory. Is it ever too late to pray for a soul in purgatory? If a loved one passed away 10, 20, 40+ years ago, is it ever too late to pray for them? I don’t totally understand purgatory and I know we can’t know how long someone is there for, but is there ever a point where we stopped praying for particular loved ones in purgatory?

No, since we never know 100%, except we know the saints are in heaven, we can continue to pray for the departed. You can pray now for them. Thanks for reminding me, I will pray for the souls in purgatory and your family as well. God Bless.


I would say it is never too late, especially since, as you mentioned, we don’t know where they are. Offer prayers for your father and add “and for anyone else in need of prayers.”


Thank you both – very helpful. I was under the impression you had to be Catholic to pray for the souls in purgatory. Is this not true?

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No, anyone can pray for the poor souls in purgatory.


No never. They are on their way to Heaven if they are in Purgatory and we must DAILY pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.


It’s never too late to pray for souls in purgatory. Non-Catholics can certainly pray for souls in purgatory. One can offer prayers or have a Mass said for non-Catholics as well. Prayer is in a certain way timeless. A prayer offered today for someone who died years ago may benefit them at or prior to the time of their death. And a prayer offered for someone who is already in heaven will not be wasted but go to benefit someone else who needs it.

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