Return to | Sign Up For FREE Newsletter

Copyright © 2014, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - November, 2014 [Plain text version]

Why not have newsletters delivered free to your inbox? Click here

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Newsletter - November, 2014

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

* A Few Refreshers on Scandal

* Some Prayers for the Deceased

* Liturgical Feasts in November

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear Friend,

"May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thes. 5:23)

We hope you are doing well and are enjoying good health and nice weather. We are happy to report that our Sixth Annual Rosary Week held at the end of last month was a success, with signups received from at least half of the states in the U.S. and from a total of four continents. Considering God's goodness & mercy, we hope these modest efforts may result abundant blessings. We would also like to thank you for your support of as we celebrated our 6th anniversary at the end of last month. It's been a joy to be able to hang on, even despite the many challenges we've encountered.

This busy month of November starts with All Saints & All Souls, it also offers opportunities for special indulgences, and ends with the Feast of Christ the King (Novus Ordo Calendar) and the beginning of Advent (on November 30th). We hope your upcoming preparations for Christmas will be especially holy and will worthily prepare you to joyously celebrate the anniversary of Christ's birth. [Note: See below for information on indulgences and also for resources for Advent]

We hope you have a wonderful month of November. And, as always, we thank you for your support & wish you God's blessings,

Your Friends at

+ + +

"We render thanks unto you, O King invisible, who framed all things by your measureless power, and in the multitude of your mercy have brought all things into being from nonexistence." (St. John Chrysostom)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

MCS News & Notes

* Rosary Week: We send our thanks to all who participated in our Sixth Annual Rosary Week. You helped make this event a success. As an expression of our appreciation, all Rosary Week participants will be remembered in a Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass to be said by the Priestly Fraternity St. Peter. Please note that the Priestly Fraternity was erected as an institute of pontifical right by the Holy See in October of 1988 (their twofold mission is "the formation and sanctification of priests in the cadre of the traditional liturgy of the Roman rite, and secondly, the pastoral deployment of the priests in the service of the Church"). Again, we thank you for your participation and hope you will join us again next year.

* Traffic Update: We are happy to report that received its 3 millionth visitor* last month. We send our sincere thanks to all who have visited and we look forward, by God's grace, to welcoming many millions of visitors in the years to come. (* Number of visits is based on raw, unfiltered access logs. Excludes traffic prior to our 'official unveiling')

* Selected User Feedback: In honor of our sixth anniversary & as a tribute to those kind souls who visit our site, we have published some selected user feedback on our site ('hundreds of feedback items' in a .pdf file). We hope you will enjoy it. To view, please visit

* New Addition To Bottom Border: We have added a clickable image to the bottom border for shopping at in support of We hope you will find it useful. [Please Note: We remain committed to our goal of permitting paid third party ads only in the relatively few commercial areas of our site. This new image is NOT a paid third party ad, but rather an internal image that we generated in order to assist visitors in supporting this site by utilizing an existing referral/incentive program.]

* For information on indulgences available in November, please visit . For additional information on indulgences, please try here

* Reminder: If you joined the Purgatory Release Project effort and plan to submit your form, please do so as soon as possible. For more information, and to start a new form for next year, please visit . Thank you for helping the poor souls!

* To request prayers for your deceased loved ones, please visit the Prayer Requests section at

* Advent begins this year on 11/30/14. If you'd like to get a hold of some Advent resources a little early (including 'Make Your Own Advent Calendar', Advent Prayers, Advent Practices, Reflections, Coloring Pages, etc.), please visit

* Hotlink Protection: We have turned back on hotlink protection on our site. This was on previously, but the setting didn't transfer over when we underwent a server change a while back. If you have any concerns about this change, please let us know. If so, please provide all applicable URLs. Thank you.

* Please invite your friends to visit For our "easy to use" invite-a-friend page, please visit . Please invite some friends today! Your support helps keep us going!

* We love to hear from you! Please submit comments at

* Have friends or family that might benefit from our newsletter? Please invite them to subscribe at . Thank you!

* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through January 2015

* Help keep us online! You can donate from $1 using PayPal at [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Thank you for your much needed support!

* Do you drink coffee? Did you know we can earn a percentage on coffee sales made via the Mystic Monk Coffee website ("Coffee Roasted by Real Monks")? If you are interested in ordering Mystic Monk Coffee to benefit our site, please use this link - . Thank you for your support of our site!

* To shop at in support of, please use this link: (shortcut ). You can shop here for books, household & office products, Catholic items, electronics, and much more. Already shop at It doesn't cost any extra to shop at Amazon using this link, yet we can benefit from your purchases. Thank you for your support!

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail address in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

+ + +

"One of the holiest works, one of the best exercises of piety that we can practice in this world is to offer sacrifices, alms, and prayer for the dead." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"'He shall be saved, but as if by fire.' And because it is said that he shall be saved, little is thought of that fire. Yet plainly, though we be saved by fire, that fire will be more severe than anything a man can suffer in this life." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"The pains of Purgatory are more grievous than all the pains of this world" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Christian families, which possess a spirit of lively faith, make it their duty, according to their rank and means, to have a large number of Masses celebrated for the dead." (Fr. Schouppe)

"[T]he souls in Purgatory can be relieved by our prayers, alms-deeds, all our other good works, and by indulgences, but above all by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

+ + +

Related Resources...

* Purgatory (Topic Page) -

* Purgatory Information / Purgatory Release Project -

* Prayers For the Dead -

* Indulgences -

* Purgatory (Reflections) -

* Purgatory (Apologetics) -

* Purgatory (Topical Scripture) -

* Purgatory (Biblical References) -

Also Try...

* Death (Topic Page) -

* Suffering / Death (Incl. When a Loved One Has Died) -

* Request Prayers -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

+ + +

"Those are punished for a time in purgatory who die in the state of grace but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Latin: Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.)

"If anyone shall say that after the reception of the grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Someone says: 'It is nothing to me to know how long I stay in purgatory, so long as I go on finally to eternal life. Let no one say that, beloved brethren, because that purgatorial fire itself will be more difficult than any punishments that can be seen or imagined or felt in this life." (St. Caesarius of Arles)

"I believe that no happiness can be compared with that of a soul in purgatory, except that of the saints in paradise. And this happiness increases in proportion as the rust of sin is consumed away by the fire, enabling the soul to reflect, more and more clearly, the rays of the true sun, which is God. The suffering, however, does not diminish. On the contrary, it is love kept back from its object which causes the pain; and consequently the suffering is greater according as God made the soul capable of a greater perfection of love." (St. Catherine of Genoa)

"Now, one of the easiest, yet one of the most powerful, means to procure relief for the souls in Purgatory is to say the beads [the Holy Rosary] for them with fervor. To say the Rosary for the souls in Purgatory is to offer up to God for their relief all the labors, fatigues, prayers, tears, contempt, sufferings, blood, and death - all the merits of the life of our dear Savior. Next to Mass, no more efficacious offering can be made to God then this for the relief of the souls in Purgatory." (Muller)

"Let us also remember to be charitable to our neighbors who are dead. We should endeavor to help them either by having Masses said for giving alms, or at least by praying and applying indulgences (on) their behalf." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Few Refreshers on Scandal

+ + +

Note: The following are taking from traditional catechisms. We have made one spelling change, and we have omitted the customary 'Q' and 'A' notations.

+ + +

"What is scandal? Scandal is any sinful word, deed, or omission that disposes others to sin, or lessens their respect for God and holy religion." (Baltimore Catechism)

"What is scandal? Scandal is any word, act, or omission which is the occasion of another's committing sin." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Is scandal a grave sin? Scandal is a grave sin because, by causing the loss of souls, it tends to destroy the greatest work of God, namely, the redemption; it effects the death of another's soul by depriving it of the life of grace, which is more precious than the life of the body; and is the source of a multitude of sins. Hence God threatens the severest chastisement to those who give scandal." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Can the fifth commandment be broken by giving scandal or bad example and by inducing others to sin? The fifth commandment can be broken by giving scandal or bad example and inducing others to sin, because such acts may destroy the life of the soul by leading it into mortal sin." (Baltimore Catechism)

"How can the scandal given be remedied? The scandal given can be remedied by removing the occasion of it and by edifying by word and example those whom we have scandalized." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"The chief sins against charity are hatred of God and of our neighbor, envy, sloth, and scandal." (Baltimore Catechism)

+ + +

Also See...

* Sin (Topic Page) -

* Selections From the Baltimore Catechism -

* Reflections -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Some Prayers for the Deceased

+ + +

Prayer for the Departed

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. (Latin: Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.)

- - -

Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Holy 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.

[Note: It is said that Our Lord will release 1,000 souls from Purgatory for each recitation of this prayer.]

- - -

Prayer to Guardian Angels for the Souls in Purgatory

O Holy Guardian Angels of the poor souls, you who accompanied them so faithfully during life, who so lovingly guarded them from error, misfortune, and sin, help them now when, having escaped from the dangers of the world, they are so near to heaven. Obtain for them from the Most Holy Trinity a full remission of their indebtedness and lead them without delay to the joys of heaven. Amen.

- - -

Prayer for Deceased Parent(s)

O God, who dost command us to honor our parents; in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my (father and/or mother). Do Thou forgive (him/her/them) their trespasses and look favorably upon any good (he/she/they) may have accomplished. And when my hour shall come to pass from this life, grant me to see (him/her/them) again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

- - -

Prayer for Loved Ones in Purgatory

My dearest Jesus, whose loving Heart was ever touched by the sorrows of others, look with compassion on the souls of our dear ones in purgatory. O You Who 'loved Your own', hear our cry for mercy and grant that those whom You called from our homes and hearts, may soon enjoy everlasting rest in the home of Thy love in heaven. Amen.

- - -

Prayer for a Deceased Person

Incline Thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers, wherein we humbly pray Thee to show Thy mercy upon the soul of Thy servant N., whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world, that Thou wouldst place him in the region of peace and light, and bid him be partaker with Thy Saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Raccolta)

- - -

Prayer for a Deceased Priest

O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant (N.) to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy holy presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord. Amen.

- - -

Prayer for the Departed

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Latin: Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.)

- - -

Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory

O gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on them. Be not severe in Your judgments, but let some drops of Your Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And, Merciful Savior, send Your angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light, and peace. Amen.

- - -

Mass Prayer For the Souls in Purgatory

Dear Jesus! Let the happiness of this thy visit extend to every portion of thy Church. Thy face gladdens the elect in the holy city; even our mortal eyes can see thee beneath the veil of our delighted faith; ah! Hide not thyself from those brethren of ours, who are imprisoned in the abode of expiation. Be thou refreshment to them in their flames, light in their darkness, and peace in their agonies of torment. Amen. (Liturgical Year)

- - -

Prayer for the Deceased

Receive in tranquility and peace, O Lord, the souls of your servants who have departed this present life to come to you. Grant them rest and place them in the habitations of light, the abodes of blessed spirits. Give them the life that will not age, good things that will not pass away, delights that have no end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

- - -

Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory (Esp. Nearest to Heaven)

O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise Thee and bless Thee for ever. Amen. (Raccolta)

- - -

Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory

Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of Thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.

- - -

Prayer for the Departed

Immortal God, Holy Lord, Father and protector of everything Thou hast created, we raise our hearts to Thee today for those who have passed out of this mortal life. In Thy loving mercy, Father of men, be pleased to receive them into Thy Heavenly company, and forgive them the failings and faults of human frailty. Thy only Son, Christ, our Savior, suffered cruelly that He might deliver them from the second death. By His merits may they share in the glory of His victory over sin and death. We pray for all the faithful who have died, but in particular for those dear to us - parents, relatives and friends. Nor do we forget those who did us good while on earth, who helped us by their prayers, sacrifices, and example. We pray also for any who have done us harm and stand in need of Thy special forgiveness. May the merits of Our Virgin Mother Mary, and those of all Thy Angels and Saints, speak for us and assist them now. This we ask in Christ's name. Amen.

- - -

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Souls in Purgatory

Most holy Mary, our Lady of Intercession, whose maternal tenderness gathers in one embrace all the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of thy Son Jesus, we come before thy royal throne with sadness in our hearts as we remember those who have gone before us, but also with unlimited confidence in thine intercession. Death, which burst asunder the bonds of earth, has not destroyed the affection which binds us to those who lived in the same faith as we do. O Mary, countless souls await with unutterable anxiety the assistance of our prayers, and the merits of our good works in that place of expiation. Urged by the charity of Jesus Christ, we raise our countenance and heart in supplication to thee, the compassionate Mother of all believers, in favor of those suffering souls. Make our prayers of good effect, O Mary; obtain for them the power to move the Heart of Jesus our Redeemer through thy motherly intercession. Let thine incomparable holiness supply the defects of our misery, thy love make good our languid affection, thy power strengthen our weakness. Grant, O Queen of heaven, that the ardent desire of the souls of the departed to be admitted to the Beatific Vision may soon be satisfied. We pray to thee, O Mother, especially for the souls of our relations, of priests, of those who were zealous in honoring thee, of those who did good to the souls of others, of those who wept with them and for them and finally, for those souls of those who are forgotten. Grant that one day, when we are all reunited in heaven, we may be able to rejoice in the possession of God, in the happiness of thy dear presence, in the fellowship of all the Saints, thanking thee forever for all the blessings thou hast obtained for us, O Mother, who art our unfailing comfort. Amen. Hail Mary... Hail Mary... Hail Mary... Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen (Raccolta)

- - -


Note: For more Catholic prayers, please try here -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Liturgical Feasts in November

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for November as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

+ + +

November 1 - All Saints (T) *

November 1 - All Saints (N) *

November 2 - All Souls (T)

November 2 - All Souls (N)

November 3 - St. Martin de Porres (N)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (T)

November 4 - Sts. Vitalis & Agricola (T)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (N)

November 5 - Feast of Holy Relics (T)

November 6 - St. Leonard (T)

November 8 - Four Holy Crowned Martyrs (T)

November 9 - Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Saviour (T)

November 9 - St. Theodore the Recruit (T)

November 9 - Dedication of St. John Lateran (Lateran Basilica in Rome) (N)

November 10 - St. Andrew Avellino (T)

November 10 - Sts. Tryphon, Respicius & Nympha (T)

November 10 - St. Leo the Great, pope (N)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (T)

November 11 - St. Mennas (T)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (N)

November 12 - St. Martin I, pope (T)

November 12 - St. Josaphat (N)

November 13 - St. Didacus (T)

November 13 - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (N)

November 14 - St. Josaphat (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Gertrude (T)

November 16 - St. Gertrude the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Margaret of Scotland (N)

November 17 - St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (T)

November 17 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (N)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul (T)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (N)

November 19 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (T)

November 19 - St. Pontianus, pope (T)

November 20 - St. Felix of Valois (T)

November 21 - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

November 21 - The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (T)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (N)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (T)

November 23 - St. Felicitas (T)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (N)

November 23 - St. Columban (N)

November 24 - St. Chrysogonus (T)

November 24 - St. John of the Cross (T)

November 24 - St. Andrew Dung-Lac & companions (N)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (T)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (N)

November 26 - St. Peter of Alexandria (T)

November 26 - St. Sylvester (T)

November 27 - Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (T)

November 27 - St. Virgilius (T)

November 29 - St. Saturninus (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (N)

* Holy Day of Obligation (as applicable)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


11/23/14 - Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ (N)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

'Catholic Trivia'

1. What are vitandi and tolerati?

2. What is the name of the major heresy that confronted the Church in the fourth century? Who did it originate with?

3. What does the sub-apostolic period refer to?

4. What are the names of three angels as given in Holy Scripture? What do their names mean?

5. According to St. Augustine, how can a person resemble a child of the devil?

6. How does St. Cyril interpret the Apostles' names?

7. Who was the first African bishop to die a martyr's death?

8. Who was "the most famous student" of St. Albertus Magnus?

9. Zeal without what is not good?

10. What is said to hold the "first place" in an oath?



1. Vitandi and tolerati are two kinds of excommunication. Vitandi refers to those who are, by name, excommunicated by the Holy See or those who "lay violent hands on the person of the Roman Pontiff". Tolerati refers to all other excommunicated individuals (such as those who may incur automatic excommunication by reason of heresy, schism, abortion, etc.).

2. The major heresy that confronted the Church in the fourth century was Arianism. It originated with Arius, a heretical priest, and asserted that Jesus was not truly divine.

3. The sub-apostolic period refers to the period of time after the death of the apostles, but before the death of those who had (or could have had) personal dealings with them (roughly from 75 A.D. to 150 A.D.) [Ref. Catholic Dictionary]

4. Three angels named in the Bible are: Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael. The angel names mean: God heals (Raphael), The power of God (Gabriel), and Who is like God? (Michael).

5. "The devil has never made anyone or begotten anyone or created anyone; but whoever acts as the devil does becomes in one sense a child of the devil, as if begotten by him. The child resembles the father, not because they are literally kin, but because the child imitates the father." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

6. "But if we may learn the interpretation of the Apostles' names, know that Peter means, 'loosening or knowing'; Andrew 'glorious power', or 'answering'; James, 'apostle of grief'; John, 'the grace of the Lord'; Matthew, 'given'; Philip, 'large mouth', or the 'orifice of a torch'; Bartholomew, 'the son of him who lets down water'; Thomas, 'deep or twin'; James the son of Alphaeus, 'supplanter of the step of life'; Judas, 'confession'; Simon, 'obedience'." (St. Cyril, Doctor of the Church)

7. St. Cyprian of Carthage was the first African bishop to die a martyr's death (in 258 A.D.).

8. St. Thomas Aquinas was "the most famous student" of St. Albertus Magnus.

9. "Without knowledge even zeal is not good; and he who acts hastily, blunders." (Prov. 19:2)

10. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, "Truth...holds the first place in an oath. What is asserted must be true and he who swears must believe what he swears to be true, being influenced not by rash judgment or mere conjecture, but by solid reasons."


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

- - -

Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* If there is no purgatory, how can it be said that some sin may be forgiven in the next age (see Mt. 12:32)?

* If there is no purgatory, why does Scripture speak of not being released until all debts are paid (see Mt. 5:26, Lk. 12:59)?

* If there is no purgatory, how can it be said that persons "will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15)? Do you mean to suggest that there is fire in heaven?!

* How do you suppose that "the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality" (Col. 3:25) if there is no purgatory?

* How do you suppose there can be prayers for the dead (see 2 Macc. 12:39-46, 2 Tm. 1:16-18) if the dead cannot be helped by prayers ("those in heaven do not need prayers and those in hell cannot be helped by prayers")? Note that Scripture says to "withhold not your kindness from the dead" (Sirach 7:33) and Old Testament Jews (not to mention today's Jews) are known to pray for the dead. Why pray for them if they cannot be helped by prayers?

* If one must have a sufficient degree of holiness to see God (see Heb. 12:14), how do you imagine that those who die short of this holiness, but not deserving of hell, become worthy to see God if there is no purification of purgatory?

* How can you deny a temporary state distinct from heaven and hell when Scripture speaks of Christ preaching to the spirits in prison (see 1 Pt. 3:18-20)?

* How can you assert that sin can go unpunished considering that Scripture says that sin does not go unpunished (e.g. Sirach 7:8, Wisdom 1:8)?

* How can it be that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10), if those who have committed evil - but not sufficient evil to warrant hell - are immediately rewarded with heaven? Is it not clear that departed souls not deserving of hell, and also not yet worthy of heaven, would require an interim destination?

* Do you believe that there can be no punishment left after sin is forgiven? Then why did King David suffer God's punishment even after God forgave him (2 Sam. 12:13-14)? If someone intentionally broke your window, do you not see how it is possible to both forgive him and to require him to make restitution? In fact, would there be any justice if restitution wasn't required for those who committed crime?

* If you injured someone, wouldn't it only be natural to want to "make it up" to them, even if they had already forgiven you? Can you not imagine persons who truly love God welcoming the chance to atone for their sins in purgatory - despite the great suffering?

* Would you attend a fancy wedding "dirty and in picnic clothing"? Wouldn't you feel out of place? Why is it you wouldn't feel out of place entering heaven without purification? Wouldn't you welcome the opportunity to "wash yourself and dress appropriately" before entering, even if suffering was involved?

* If your body was sick, would you not consider taking unpleasant treatment in order to heal it? How can you not see that it may also take something unpleasant to heal the soul?

* Do you object to the concept of purgatory because you believe the term "purgatory" is a "recent invention" of the Catholic Church? If so, you should know that the concept of purgatory has always been held. The term, however, was coined later. The same may be said for the term "Trinity", but you don't reject the concept of the Trinity simply because the word was coined later, do you? Do you not see that sometimes it is necessary to coin a word?

* Do you reject purgatory because the term "purgatory" is not in the Bible? Did you know that the term "Bible" is also not in the Bible? Or the term "Trinity"? 

* Doesn't common sense tell you there must be a purgatory? God is just and surely not all those who will be saved are deserving of immediate heaven!

Note: Also see 'Indulgences / Prayers for the Dead' at

- - -

"From the very beginning the Church has always prayed for the dead, as did even the Synagogue before her (2 Mach. xii. 46)" (Liturgical Year)

Q: "How does God punish venial sin?" A: "He punishes it in this life by all kinds of temporal evils, and after death by the torments of purgatory." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

"Not all who suffer temporal punishment after death come in for the everlasting punishment which is to be after judgment. To some, what is not remitted in this world is remitted in the world to come." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"The punishment of purgatory is not intended chiefly to torment but to cleanse: wherefore it should be inflicted by fire alone which is above all possessed of cleansing power." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"When he has quitted his body and the difference between virtue and vice is known he cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested. That same fire in others will cancel the corruption of matter, and the propensity to evil." (St. Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century A.D.)

"If anyone shall say that after the reception of the grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"That there should be some such fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they have loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church Augustine, c. 421 A.D.)

"For if anyone knows that any of these sins dominates him, if he does not do penance worthily and for a long time, if such time is given him, and if he does not give abundant alms and abstain from those same sins, he cannot be purged in the transitory fire of which the Apostle spoke, but the eternal flames will torture him without any remedy." (St. Caesar of Arles, c. 540 A.D.)

"It is impossible for evil to be pure and without the admixture of good, just as the supreme good is without any admixture of evil. Consequently those who are to be conveyed to beatitude which is a supreme good must be cleansed of all evil. Wherefore there must needs be a place where such persons are cleansed if they go hence without being perfectly clean." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Gold which as been purified to a certain point ceases to suffer any diminution from the action of the fire, however great it be; for the fire does not destroy gold, but only the dross that it may chance to have. In like manner, the divine fire acts on souls: God holds them in the furnace until every defect has been burnt away and He has brought them each in his own degree to a certain standard of perfection. Thus purified, they shall rest in God without any alloy of self, they become impassible because there is nothing left to be consumed." (St. Catherine of Genoa)

"I see that as far as God is concerned, paradise has no gates, but he who will may enter. For God is all mercy, and his open arms are ever extended to receive us into his glory. But I see that the divine essence is so pure - purer than the imagination can conceive - that the soul, finding in itself the slightest imperfection, would rather cast itself into a thousand hells than appear, so stained, in the presence of the divine majesty. Knowing then, that purgatory was intended for her cleaning, she throws herself therein, and finds there that great mercy, the removal of her stains." (St. Catherine of Genoa)

"I believe that no happiness can be compared with that of a soul in purgatory, except that of the saints in paradise. And this happiness increases in proportion as the rust of sin is consumed away by the fire, enabling the soul to reflect, more and more clearly, the rays of the true sun, which is God. The suffering, however, does not diminish. On the contrary, it is love kept back from its object which causes the pain; and consequently the suffering is greater according as God made the soul capable of a greater perfection of love." (St. Catharine of Genoa)

"For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones but also wood and hay and stubble [1 Cor. 3:12], what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God...[?] It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials... But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built... It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions, and then returns the reward of our good works." [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), 3rd century A.D.]

"Everyone is presented in judgment just as he is when he departs this life. But nevertheless, it must be believed that there is, for the sake of certain lesser faults, a purgatorial view of the fact that Truth does say that if anyone speak blasphemy against the Holy Spirit it will be forgiven to him neither in this world nor in that to come. In this statement we are given to understand that some faults can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For if something is denied to one in particular, the intellect logically infers that it is granted for some others. But, as I said before, this must be believed to be a possible disposition for small and lesser sins." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Great, 6th century A.D.) 

"It is said (2 Machabees 12:45): 'It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.' Now there is no need to pray for the dead who are in heaven, for they are in no need; nor again for those who are in hell, because they cannot be loosed from sins. Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed from sins, who can be loosed therefrom; and the like have charity, without which sins cannot be loosed, for 'charity covereth all sins' (Proverbs 10:12). Hence they will not be consigned to everlasting death, since 'he that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever' (John 11:26): nor will they obtain glory without being cleansed, because nothing unclean shall obtain it, as stated in the last chapter of the Apocalypse (Apocalypse 22:14). Therefore some kind of cleansing remains after this life." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[I]t is sufficiently clear that there is a Purgatory after this life. For if the debt of punishment is not paid in full after the stain of sin has been washed away by contrition, nor again are venial sins always removed when mortal sins are remitted, and if justice demands that sin be set in order by due punishment, it follows that one who after contrition for his fault and after being absolved, dies before making due satisfaction, is punished after this life. Wherefore those who deny Purgatory speak against the justice of God: for which reason such a statement is erroneous and contrary to faith. Hence Gregory of Nyssa, after the words quoted above ['If one who loves and believes in Christ,' has failed to wash away his sins in this life, 'he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory.'], adds: 'This we preach, holding to the teaching of truth, and this is our belief; this the universal Church holds, by praying for the dead that they may be loosed from sins.' This cannot be understood except as referring to Purgatory: and whosoever resists the authority of the Church, incurs the note of heresy." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Finally, since Truth in the Gospel asserts that 'if anyone shall utter blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, neither in this life nor in the future will it be forgiven him' [cf. Matt. 12:32], by this it is granted that certain sins of the present be understood which, however, are forgiven in the future life, and since the Apostle says that 'fire will test the work of each one, of what kind it is,' and ' if any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire' [1 Cor 3:13,15], and since these same Greeks truly and undoubtedly are said to believe and to affirm that the souls of those who after a penance has been received yet not performed, or who, without mortal sin yet die with venial and slight sin, can be cleansed after death and can be helped by the suffrages of the Church, we, since they say a place of purgation of this kind has not been indicated to them with a certain and proper name by their teachers, we indeed, calling it purgatory according to the traditions and authority of the Holy Fathers, wish that in the future it be called by that name in their area. For in that transitory fire certain sins, though, which before have not been remitted through penance but were small and minor sins, are cleansed, and these weigh heavily even after death" (Pope Innocent IV, 1254 A.D.)

- - -

For more apologetics resources, please visit

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In Closing...

"It is God's will that the saints should be our protectors and our friends...They are always ready to come to our aid when we call upon them" (St. John Vianney)

"Those who seek to perfect themselves in every aspect of virtue should look to the lives of the saints, which are like living and breathing works of art, and thus by imitation try to reproduce their virtues in their own life." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Suffrages for the dead are more agreeable to God than suffrages for the living; because the former stand in more need thereof, not being able to assist themselves, as are the living." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Day and night I am pursued by the same thought: One does not pray enough for the dead. Eighty thousand people die in this nation every day." (Bl. Eugenie Smet)

"Purgatory is a crucible where the dross of sin is burnt away, until every debt is cancelled. When its flames have effaced every stain and every wrinkle that marred the soul's beauty, then she flees away to her Spouse, truly a blessed one and sure of offering no obstacle to the complacent love of her Lord. Yet to what a sad length her exile is prolonged! True, she is united by charity to the inhabitants of heaven: but the fire which torments her is of the same nature as that of hell" (Liturgical Year)

"To assist the souls in Purgatory is to perform the most excellent of the works of mercy, or rather it is to practice in a sublime manner all the works of mercy together: it is to visit the sick; it is to give drink to those who thirst for the vision of God; it is to feed the hungry, to ransom prisoners, to clothe the naked, to procure for poor exiles the hospitality of the Heavenly Jerusalem; it is to comfort the afflicted, to instruct the ignorant - in fine, to practice all works of mercy in one." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We sincerely welcome feedback regarding our newsletters. Please visit our newsletter feedback page at to share your comments.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thank You For Being a Subscriber to the E-Mail List.

We Wish You God's Blessings.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Note: Please do not reply to this e-mail address. If you are not a subscriber to this newsletter and you wish to join or if you are a subscriber and wish to unsubscribe, please go to . To contact us regarding other matters, please visit our feedback page at

Use of site / newsletter is subject to our terms of use. For terms information, visit is a division of B.F.S. Our mailing address is: Attn.:, B.F.S., P.O. Box 4292, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729-4292

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Please support quality Catholic content & help us maintain our non-commercial appearance...

* Invite a friend to - please visit

* Pray for us

* Link to us in blogs, newsgroups, websites, etc.

* Donate $1.00 or more - please visit 

* Purchase our apps - please visit

* For more free & low-cost methods, please visit

We appreciate your support!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -