Prayers for Souls in Hell?


We are often reminded to pray for the souls in purgatory, that they may find relief and release, but what about the souls in Hell? It has been said that “the gates of Hell are locked from the inside” and also that in God’s mercy, He lets souls that have rejected Him go willingly to Hell, because being in His Divine Presence would be even more tortuous.

So is it wrong to pray that the souls in Hell soften their hearts and turn to God, and is it even theologically possible for a soul in Hell to leave?

Finally, if we are supposed to love our enemies, and praying for someone is a form of love, is it possible to pray for the conversion of Satan himself?

Thanks :slight_smile:



We cannot help the souls in Hell. We can and must help the souls in Purgutory.


The souls in hell don’t want to be helped by prayer. That’s how I heard Mother Angelica explain it one time. She quoted either St. Catherine of Genoa, or St Catherine of Siena. One of them asked God for the chance to convert a soul in Hell, and when she got her wish and forcefully brought the soul to Heaven to show it what it was missing, it was miserable and asked to go back to hell.

It reminds me of CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce, which is an allegory of the afterlife. Everyone in hell was there because they wanted to be separate from God and everyone else. The cathechism says, in effect, the same thing, starting at 1033.


The souls in hell are not objects for our charity. They have made their choice and received God’s perfect justice.


Everyone gave excellent answers. Let me just add that “love your enemies” refers to human enemies, those who persecute us, accuse us falsely, etc (see the Beatitudes).

Paul says in Ephesians 6:11-12 to “put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”

Our human brothers and sisters, even if against us, have hope of repentance and conversion and our good example may lead them to that. It is Catholic teaching that the “evil spirits” have already made their choice and set themselves up against God and creation.


I am not sure about this subject at all. How do we know what God’s intentions are? Not everything is revealed to us. By that I mean, if we understood everything aboutGod, then there would be no mystery at all. We would understand the Godhead (three in one) perfectly. All through Lent I prayed for Judas. If anyone should have gone to hell, I suppose he to be the one. I kept getting this nagging in my mind to pray for him. Who am I to say no to the souls in hell.

In the Fatima prayer taught by the Angel, we are to pray for the souls that are Most in need His Mercy.

This is of course my opinion. I just don’t want to rule out anybody, unless God said not too.

God Bless!


Through God’s infinite love He allows all souls in this life to choose their own free will. Some have chosen the way of life and are thus in Heaven (or almost there in Purgatory). Those that have chosen darkness are in Hell – they have made their choice and they are there for all eternity, as is Satan and all his evil spirits. They cannot get out of there – ever.

Remember the parable Jesus tells in Luke 16 where the rich man dies and goes to Hell and the poor man Lazarus dies and goes to Heaven. From Heaven Abraham tells the rich man there is a deep pit separating Heaven and Hell preventing anyone from crossing from one to the other. Thus it is for Satan and the souls in Hell – they are there for all eternity.

Therefore, spend your energies in praying for the souls in Purgatory. They are the ones that need your help. You will be richly rewarded for helping them.


See my post above. First, we are talking about humans, second, for those that have not already made their choice (i.e. the living). These are in most need of God’s mercy. We pray for souls in purgatory not for conversion but for their final purification to be able to see the Beatific Vision.

It’s true that the Church has never declared anyone in hell, not even Judas. But he is dead, he has made his choice whatever it was. You cannot pray for his conversion.


I got your point and thanks for the heads up!

God Bless!


I was praying with my heart, I saw a vision a long tube going from earth right up to god each prayer was a white dot there were millions of them at a guest prayer from the saints in heaven and people all over the world prayers for people in hell they were asking for gods mercy

I pray for the people in hell


[quote="Catholic1954, post:4, topic:151214"]
The souls in hell are not objects for our charity. They have made their choice and received God's perfect justice.


please pray for all the souls in hellI,we all need each others prayers


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