On the Catholic Priesthood
Eighteenth Day: The Efficacy of Holy Mass for the Departed
The Sacrifice of the Mass is the great devotion of the Catholic Church. And of all means to assist the souls in Purgatory none is more valuable or meritorious. For there Jesus Christ offers Himself with His infinite merits to His Heavenly Father, by the hands of the priest, in behalf of the suffering souls. The unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass does not essentially differ from the Sacrifice of the Cross, but only accidentally as to the manner of offering. And no limit can be place to the effect of this great Sacrifice, which contains in itself all grace.
From this inestimable efficacy, however, we may not infer that the offering of one Mass is sufficient to release the souls we love. For, though the Sacrifice on Calvary was infinite we cannot conclude that the application of it through the Mass must also be infinite. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, it was not the intention of Jesus Christ to bestow the full efficacy of His suffering and death, which is commemorated in every Mass, upon us. His merits are applied according to His Adorable Will, for the ways of God are often inscrutable.
It is very salutary therefore, to have the Holy Sacrifice offered frequently for the repose of a soul. Should the souls who are dear to us and for whom we intercede in this manner, be already in the enjoyment of eternal bliss, Divine Wisdom and Goodness will bestow the merit of the Masses offered on other suffering souls.
Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst institute the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass in commemoration of Thy Sacrifice upon the Cross, we beseech Thee, bestow the merits of this Holy Sacrifice upon the souls in Purgatory, that they may soon be released from their pains. Thou Who livest and reignest, world without end. 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 the souls of those who were the most zealous to assist at Mass.
Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (three times)
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!Source: Manual of the Purgatorian Society, Redemptorist Fathers. 1907