Lest We Forget

For the Souls in Purgatory, Let Us Pray

by Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC

Since Vatican II, the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception has been especially focused on our charism and the spiritual and apostolic role and identity we have within the Church. We realize that among several specialties, we have an obligation to intercede for the souls in Purgatory. The faithful have long prayed for the souls in Purgatory, but no other community of men has had the specific requirement to pray for them.

Since the founding of the Congregation of Marian Fathers in 1673 by Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczynski (1631-1701) we have maintained daily prayers of intercession for the souls in Purgatory. Blessed Papczynski wrote: "... it is the greatest charity to pray earnestly to God for the freedom of the souls remaining in purgatory, or to assist them by merciful alms as by various other means" (Mystical Temple of God).

Among several of our intercessory prayers is the following:

Father, source of forgiveness and salvation for all mankind, by the prayers of the Ever-Virgin Mary, may our brothers, relatives, benefactors, friends and all the faithful departed, come to share eternal happiness with all Your saints. We particularly commend those who today have gone from this world unprepared to meet You — Through Christ our Lord. Amen (Marian Prayers, page 20)

In order to have each Marian priest and brother have a more visible reminder to pray for souls in Purgatory, a plaque with various intentions has been placed on entrances to our residence chapels [see the intentions below]. Upon entering the chapel we are encouraged to take one of the souls mentioned on this plaque and pray for them specifically.

Recently, a weeklong Marian Congregation retreat was held in Stockbridge, Mass., on the grounds of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. The meeting focused on the need to become more acquainted with several issues pertinent to religious life in general and our own Congregation in particular. Much time was spent focusing on the need for a personal prayer life. Special emphasis was made with regard to praying for souls in Purgatory as our founder requested.

All those on this retreat were reminded that the Divine Mercy devotion serves as an integral part of the Marian Congregation, since praying for souls in Purgatory is certainly an act of Divine Mercy. Many members have come to believe that our Lord chose the Marian Congregation to be involved in spreading The Divine Mercy message and devotion worldwide. In the process we would like to believe our Lord also wanted to draw attention to souls greatly in need of mercy. This gentle reminder is now extended to all those associated in spirit with the Marian Congregation.

The intercessions listed below have been adapted for general use. Others might have their own personal intentions that they hold within their thoughts and personal prayers.
We cordially invite you to become a spiritual member of the Association of Marian Helpers and to join us in this tremendous ministry of praying for souls. We also encourage you to become a part of our Holy Souls Sodality.

The Marians' founder, Blessed Papczynski, wrote in his Norma Vitae in 1687:

"But lest you remain without work in the Vineyard of the Lord, to the utmost of your strength you will promote devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God and with utmost zeal, piety and fervor assist the souls of the faithful departed subjected to expiatory pains—especially the souls of soldiers and those who died of pestilence."

1. For the souls of all the faithful departed,
2. For the souls of my parents, siblings and relatives,
3. For the souls of my ancestors,
4. For the souls who were slaves,
5. For the souls of educators who had a negative influence on my life,
6. For the souls of all religious who did not persevere in consecrated life,
7. For the souls of Popes, Bishops, all religious and diocesan clergy,
8. For the souls who were disobedient and lacked respect for their superiors,
9. For the souls of Superiors who neglected to fulfill their obligations,
10. For the souls of physicians who willfully performed any kind of malpractice,
11. For the souls of all the soldiers who died in battle,
12. For the souls who resisted every grace for conversion in their lifetime,
13. For the souls who made extreme demands of others but were very lenient with themselves,
14. For the souls of those who did not give proper honor to Our Lady,
15. For the souls that Our Lord and Our Lady desire to be more quickly delivered from Purgatory,
16. For the souls of those who died without forgiving others,
17. For the souls of those who died and did not receive forgiveness,
18. For the souls of those who sinned against you in their lifetime,
19. For the souls in Purgatory who suffer because of me,
20. For the souls that purposefully gave into a sinful thought life,
21. For the souls of those who suffer for having engaged in sinful conversations,
22. For the souls of those who maintained a hedonistic lifestyle,
23. For the souls of those who died from epidemics or famine,
24. For the souls of those who neglected to discern God's will in making decisions,
25 For the souls that suffer because of their extreme pride,
26. For the souls who were careless in serving the poor and needy,
27. For the souls of those who rarely received the Holy Sacraments,
28. For the souls of those who had or assisted in an abortion
29. For the souls of those who abused children,
30. For the souls of those who despaired of ever being forgiven of their sins,
31. For the souls of those who were deliberately inattentive or neglectful of prayer,
32. For the souls of those who gave bad example to others,
33. For the souls of those who are about to die this very moment,
34. For the souls of those who died a disgraceful or tragic death,
35. For the souls that committed a sacrilege or showed disrespect toward holy objects,
36. For the souls that had a special devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist and those involved in spreading devotion to Divine Mercy,
37. For the souls that are most in need of God's mercy,
38. For the souls who tried to save others but in the process endangered their own soul,
39. For those who were the cause of others committing mortal sin,
40. For the souls of those who abandoned their children,
41. For the souls of parents who had the means but totally disregarded the proper catechetical and moral training of their children,
42. For the souls of those who slandered, libeled or calumniated others,
43. For the souls of those who were involved in occult practices and beliefs,
44. For the souls of those who died regretting their sins but without making adequate atonement or restitution,
45. For the souls who were deliberately unfaithful in fulfilling their marriage vows,
46. For the souls of those who discouraged religious vocations,
47. For the souls of those who died unexpectedly and did not receive the last rights of the Church nor the benefit of a funeral Mass.
48. For the souls of those who, prior to death, consciously and adamantly refused the sacraments of the Church,
49. For the souls that suffer for the sins of omission,
50. For the forgotten souls who have no one to pray for them.

Photo above: Father Mark Baron, MIC, prepares to bless the Purgatory plaque at the Marian Scholasticate in Washington, D.C.