HOW WE CAN HELP THE HOLY SOULS
I. The first means is by joining the Association of the Holy Souls. The conditions are easy:
(a) Have your name registered in the Book of the Association.
(b) Hear Mass once a week (Sunday suffices) for the Holy Souls.
(c) Pray for and promote devotion to the Holy Souls.
(d) Contribute once a year an offering to the Mass Fund, which enables the Association to have perpetual Masses said every month.
(If special Masses for the Holy Souls are desired, it is important to mention how many Masses you want offered).
Those who wish to join and do not have the Association in their parish can send their name, address and annual alms to the Association of the Holy Souls, Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, Pius XII Monastery, Rua do Rosario 1, 2495 Fatima, Portugal. This Association is approved by the Cardinal Archbishop of Lisbon.
II. A second means of helping the Holy Souls is by having Masses offered for them. This is certainly the most efficacious way of relieving them.
III. Those who cannot get many Masses offered, owing to the want of means, ought to assist at as many Masses as possible for this intention.
A young man who was earning a very modest salary told the writer: “My wife died a few years ago. I got 10 Masses said for her. I could not possibly do more, but heard 1,000 for her dear soul.”
IV. The recital of the Rosary (with its great indulgences) and making the Way of the Cross (which is also richly indulgenced) are excellent means of helping the Holy Souls.
St. John Massias, as we saw, released from Purgatory more than a million souls, chiefly by reciting the Rosary and offering its great indulgences for them.
V. Another easy and efficacious way is by the constant repetition of short indulgenced prayers [applying the indulgence to the Souls in Purgatory]. Many people have the custom of saying 500 or 1,000 times each day the little ejaculation, “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee!” or the one word, “Jesus.” These are most consoling devotions; they bring oceans of grace to those who practice them and give immense relief to the Holy Souls.
Those who say the ejaculations 1,000 times a day gain 300,000 days Indulgence! What a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will it not be at the end of a month, a year, 50 years? And if they do not say the ejaculations, what an immense number of graces and favors they shall have lost! It is quite possible ? and even easy – to say these ejaculations 1,000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1,000 times, let him say them 500 or 200 times.
VI. Still another powerful prayer is:
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus, with all the Masses being said all over the world this day, for the Souls in Purgatory.”
Our Lord showed St. Gertrude a vast number of souls leaving Purgatory and going to Heaven as a result of this prayer, which the Saint was accustomed to say frequently during the day.
VII. The Heroic Act consists in offering to God in favor of the Souls in Purgatory all the works of satisfaction we practice during life and all the suffrages that will be offered for us after death. If God rewards so abundantly the most trifling alms given to a poor man in His name, what an immense reward will He not give to those who offer all their works of satisfaction in life and death for the Souls He loves so dearly.
This Act does not prevent priests from offering Mass for the intentions they wish, or lay people from praying for any persons or other intentions they desire. We counsel everyone to make this act.
ALMS HELP THE HOLY SOULS
St. Martin gave half of his cloak to a poor beggar, only to find out afterwards that it was to Christ he had given it. Our Lord appeared to him and thanked him.
Blessed Jordan of the Dominican Order could never refuse to give an alms when it was asked in the Name of God. One day he had forgotten his purse. A poor man implored an alms for the love of God. Rather than refuse him, Jordan, who was then a student, gave him a most precious cincture or “girdle” which he prized dearly. Shortly after, he entered a church and found his cincture encircling the waist of an image of Christ Crucified. He, too, had given his alms to Christ. We all give our alms to Christ.
(a) Let us give all the alms we can afford;
(b) Let us have said all the Masses in our power;
(c) Let us hear as many more as is possible;
(d) Let us offer all our pains and sufferings for the relief of the Holy Souls.
We shall thus deliver countless Souls from Purgatory, who will repay us ten thousand times over.