At Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin spoke of the need for prayers for the souls in Purgatory.  She indicated that there were those poor souls for whom no relative was praying and who would benefit from the prayers of others.  This became the basis for one of my favorite lessons as a religion teacher in a parochial middle school. 

As most parents have experienced, middle school is that particularly painful age of a child where an end-of-the-school-day-conversation goes something like this:

“Hi sweetheart! How was your day?” Mom inquires in her very best mom voice.

Sullenly, and in the most monochromatic tone attainable, the child responds, “Fine.”

Not to be deterred, Mom asks another question, “What did you do today that was special?” [note – mom also varies this second question based on great advice found in parenting books but get the same reply no matter what]


As a mother myself, I had a real desire to change how that conversation would end and praying for the souls in Purgatory was one way in which I could make that happen. 

Every few weeks the students and I would pray the St. Gertrude prayer.  The students understood the Blessed Mother’s request for prayers for the souls in Purgatory and were really quite pleased to comply because two very cool things were accomplished.

One – The students loved knowing that they had helped release 1000 souls from Purgatory.

Two – The students loved the responses they would get from their Moms when they said, “Today? Well today I helped release 1000 souls from Purgatory!”

This is the St. Gertrude Prayer as given to her by Our Lord. She was told that this prayer would release 1000 souls from 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.

St. Gertrude was a Benedictine nun who was very devoted to meditating upon Jesus and His life.  She had a special devotion to His Mother and was cared very deeply for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  She died in the early 1300’s and her feast day is November 16th.

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