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Avoiding Purgatory: Masses Should be Offered for the Living, Including Ourselves



Susan Tassone

Devotion to the Holy Eucharist is a powerful means of avoiding Purgatory. A great doctor of the Church, Saint Anselm, declared that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.


Saint Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than many after it.


We must remember that it depends upon the Will of God to what extent the fruits of the Mass are applied to any individual. But the merit of Masses that we have offered for ourselves during life will obtain for us a higher degree of glory in Heaven, since we have made the meritorious sacrifice of offering the stipend for the Mass. After death it is impossible for us to add to our merit.


Masses offered for ourselves during life will go before us, to cancel either in whole or part the punishment due to our sins, according to such saints.


Thus we may greatly mitigate and shorten our Purgatory. Holy Mass can obtain the great grace of a happy death for us in that decisive hour. Pope Benedict XV tell us, “The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death. The fruits of the sacrifice of the Mass are in effect of much greater efficacy during one’s life than after one’s death because the application which is made to those well-disposed among the living is more direct, more certain, and more abundant.”


The most beautiful gift one can give is a spiritual Bouquet of a Mass or of a number of Masses. No material gift will ever be comparable or equal to the infinite value of a holy Mass. In our charity, and as far as our financial means permit, we should endeavor to have Masses offered for others -- especially others! -- as well as for ourselves. It is suggested that we try to have Masses offered for the following:


-- priests, missionaries, for our Holy Father and our Bishops. In a special way during The Year of the Eucharist we should have Masses offered for priests and consecrated religious in Purgatory.


-- the persecuted and those who cannot afford to have Masses offered for themselves


-- sinners and the dying


-- our president and rules and leaders all over the world, that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit


-- for our enemies seen and unseen


-- in reparation for all the neglect committed against Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and against the Immaculate Heart of Mary


-- in a special way a Mass should be offered in thanksgiving for all the graces and favors the good Lord has granted to us.


Do not delay, then, in having Masses offered for yourself and others now.


Do it yourself now, and do not leave it to the uncertain future and to those who survive you.

[If your parishes are not in a position to offer Masses for your intentions we invite you to forward them to the Catholic Missions Office. The usual offering is $5. The Masses are offered immediately. You can also enroll your families in Perpetual Mass enrollments. Visit for a complete listing of Masses. These Mass stipends are sometimes the only salary for a missionary priest. Your stipends buy bread and wine for the Eucharist and also helps to support catholic mission seminarians. And do you know what you get when you support a seminarian, a priest for forty years.]




Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved