We are in that sweet-spot period when we can gain wonderful indulgences for Poor Souls and we are still within the Year of Mercy. So…
…GET TO WORK!
From a reader…
My husband and I were reading your post on how to gain indulgences for the Holy Souls. My husband, whose work schedule makes it hard to visit churches, was wondering why one would take so many steps to gain an indulgence for one person when saying the St. Gertrude prayer releases 1000 souls from Purgatory?
Here is the prayer in question. You all would do well to memorize it and recite it often.
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, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.
About the 1000 souls, claim. Nope, sorry.
First, the prayer is attributed to St. Gertrude the Great (+c. 1302). She was a great mystic and writer. She had a great devotion to the Lord’s Sacred Heart, a strong strain of nuptial mysticism, and powerful concern for the souls in Purgatory.
Pope Leo XIII tried to suppress a virtual superstition of the nearly “magical” effects of the simple recitation of prayers to free various numbers of souls from Purgatory. You can find his acts in Acta Sanctae Sedis, which was the instrument of promulgation of documents of the Holy See. It’s name eventually changed to Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which is what it is called now. In ASS 31 (1898-99) and ASS 32 (1899-1900). At AAS 32 on p. 243 on Rule 8 we find a condemnation of cards or pages that promise that many souls will be released from Purgatory due to the recitation of a prayer. Moreover, St Gertrude never wrote any such thing and her prayer does not say anything about it.
The Church gets to establish what indulgences are effective and can be used. The current general grants are found in the Handbook of Indulgences. Everyone should have a copy to reference.