On the Catholic Priesthood
First Day: Prayers for the Holy Souls
One of the most consoling doctrines of the Catholic Church is that of the Communion of Saints. All, the saints in Heaven, we upon earth, the souls in Purgatory, are members of one great family. By this "bond of perfection" which unites the Suffering and Triumphant Church with the Militant Church upon earth, incorporating them into one body, mutual charity becomes an obligation. This reciprocal love, being the duty of all men, renders it imperative that all should pray for one another, for in this general prayer, offered mutually, Christian charity is most beautifully and eloquently expressed.
From this general obligation we derive the special duty to pray for the suffering souls in Purgatory, who are unable in their extreme distress to do aught for their own relief. It has always been the belief of Holy Church that the faithful, united in the Communion of Saints, can mutually assist each other. As the saints in Heaven pray for us, so must we also offer our petitions for the suffering souls in Purgatory, that God in His goodness and mercy, may mitigate and shorten their punishment, and hasten their entrance into Heaven. It is the doctrine of the Church that the faithful upon earth are really able to relieve the temporal punishment of the holy souls in Purgatory. "In this," says the Roman Catechism, "we must praise the infinite goodness and mercy of God with greatest thankfulness, that He has granted to human weakness the grace that one can make satisfaction for another."Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Who hast said, "Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there Am I in the midst of them," (Matthew XVIII. 20) look mercifully upon Thy holy Church, who implores Thy clemency in behalf of her suffering members. End their intense pain, and open unto them the portals of the heavenly Jerusalem, that they may praise and bless Thee forever and ever. Amen
Prayer for Priests in Purgatory: My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine Agony in the Garden, in Thy Scourging and Crowning with thorns, in the Way to Calvary, in Thy Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls of priests in Purgatory, especially those most forgotten and who have no one else to pray for them. I wish to remember all those priests who ministered to me, the priests my heart has never forgotten, and for those that I no longer recall due to my frailty of memory. Do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in Paradise.
Pope Saint Pius X and Saint John Vianney, pray for us and especially for our priests. Amen
Special Intercession: Pray for those who, during the course of their earthly lives, did most to relieve the souls in Purgatory.
Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!