Souls in Purgatory

We are to pray for the souls in Purgatory. We can pray to the Holy Souls for their intercession and they can and do pray for us.

Can the Holy Souls pray for one another?

As I understand it, yes. They can pray for everyone but themselves. I wish I could remember where I heard that…

From Catholic Encyclopedia:

Invocation of souls
Do the souls in purgatory pray for us? May we call upon them in our needs? There is no decision of the Church on this subject, nor have the theologians pronounced with definiteness concerning the invocation of the souls in purgatory and their intercession for the living. In the ancient liturgies there are no prayers of the Church directed to those who are still in purgatory. On the tombs of the early Christians nothing is more common than a prayer or a supplication asking the departed to intercede with God for surviving friends, but these inscriptions seem always to suppose that the departed one is already with God. St. Thomas (II-II.83.11) denies that the souls in purgatory pray for the living, and states they are not in a position to pray for us, rather we must make intercession for them. Despite the authority of St. Thomas, many renowned theologians hold that the souls in purgatory really pray for us, and that we may invoke their aid. Bellarmine (De Purgatorio, lib. II, xv,) says the reason alleged by St. Thomas is not at all convincing, and holds that in virtue of their greater love of God and their union with Him their prayers may have great intercessory power, for they are really superior to us in love of God, and in intimacy of union with Him. Francisco Suárez (De poenit., disp. xlvii, s. 2, n. 9) goes farther and asserts “that the souls in purgatory are holy, are dear to God, love us with a true love and are mindful of our wants; that they know in a general way our necessities and our dangers, and how great is our need of divine help and divine grace”.

When there is question of invoking the prayers of those in purgatory, Bellarmine (loc. cit.) says it is superfluous, ordinarily speaking, for they are ignorant of our circumstances and condition. This is at variance with the opinion of Francisco Suárez, who admits knowledge at least in a general way, also with the opinions of many modern theologians who point to the practice now common with almost all the faithful of addressing their prayers and petitions for help to those who are still in a place of purgation. Scavini (Theol. Moral., XI, n. 174) sees no reason why the souls detained in purgatory may not pray for us, even as we pray for one another. He asserts that this practice has become common at Rome, and that it has the great name of St. Alphonsus in its favour. St. Alphonsus in his work the “Great Means of Salvation”, chap. I, III, 2, after quoting Sylvius, Gotti, Lessius, and Medina as favourable to his opinion, concludes: “so the souls in purgatory, being beloved by God and confirmed in grace, have absolutely no impediment to prevent them from praying for us. Still the Church does not invoke them or implore their intercession, because ordinarily they have no cognizance of our prayers. But we may piously believe that God makes our prayers known to them”. He alleges also the authority of St. Catharine of Bologna who “whenever she desired any favour had recourse to the souls in purgatory, and was immediately heard”.

We can pray to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, but there are two schools of thought on this issue. One says that the Holy Souls can pray for us while in Purgatory, the other school says that they cannot pray while in Purgatory but they can do so when they get out and go to Heaven. I would tend towards the latter, which would also say that they cannot pray for each other.

Souls in Purgatory can merit nothing. It is up to us to empty Purgatory!

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all. ( 1st Timothy 2: 5----6)

This is directly from the Holy Bible, which is the final authority, and the only truth that we will ever have.

Believe God, for He says, in Numbers 23:`19.God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

The Blessed Virgin Mary can,t pray for us nor any other saint. We have to go through Jesus Christ, because it was his blood, and only his blood that saved us.:)[BIBLEDRB]



And yet God used St. Paul to mediate the message in 1st Timothy about Jesus being the one mediator.

So the Word of God which tells us about the one mediation of Jesus came to us from God through the mediation of a saint.
And this same saint likewise often wrote that he prayed for others, and asked others to pray for him.

But this line of debate is in danger of going off-topic to this thread. If you would like to start a new thread to discuss the validity of the mediation of saints I will be happy to participate.

We are supposed to pray for each other, this is spoken of many, many times throughout the Old and New Testaments… To not pray for those in need is showing a lack of charity.

[quote=2Macc 12:46]It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

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