Saturday, September 19, 2009

St. Padre Pio Novena - Day 5

'More souls of the dead than the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.'
                -St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary atop Mt. Gargano had a steady stream of visitors seeking Padre Pio's prayers and assistance.  From St. Pio's own admission, the greatest number of these were souls from Purgatory!  On many occasions souls would come to him seeking his prayers to release them from the torments of purgatory. 

One particular occasion stood out for me: Padre Pio was visited by a priest who had died and was in Purgatory, and this priest begged St. Pio to offer Mass for his benefit, that he may be released and join the saints in Heaven.  Padre Pio, feeling quite generous, told his visitor that he would be released from Purgatory in the morning after he celebrated Mass for the priest's intentions.  The priest was not so impressed, and said, simply, "Cruel."  Padre Pio was taken aback by this response, and then realized that this visitor from Purgatory hoped for him to help immediately, and he was not enthusiastic about having to spend even one more night separated from Heaven. 

Our prayers and intercession on behalf of the souls in Purgatory have a powerful effect.  How often do we remember these souls?  There are those who have made it their ministry to pray for them, but these men and women are small in number.  We can all make a difference through our prayer and sacrifice.  Let us take a moment now, at this moment, and remember in the coming days of our novena to lift those in Purgatory to God as we celebrate Mass and pray our daily prayers.
St. Gertrude's Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home, and within my family. Amen. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus "

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