Pray for the Living and the Dead

I teach my children the importance of plenary indulgences***, especially for the poor souls in Purgatory.  We visit the cemetery on All Souls Day and complete the requirements for a Plenary Indulgence. – Ginny, mom of 6, Johnstown, Ohio

*** More on indulgences here

I teach my children the St. Gertrude prayer.  We have prayed this together since the children were quite small.  They particularly love prayers with attached promises.  This one assures the release of 1000 souls from purgatory each time it is devoutly prayed.  In this way, we are able to pray for the dead, comfort the sorrowful, and help those imprisoned. –Cathy, mom of 5, Carroll, Ohio

As a family we have prayed at the abortion clinics.  This has taught t love and mercy towards the women and men going into the abortion clinic and we prayerfully ask God to show them other options. – Gretchen, mom of 5, Sunbury, Ohio

When we hear of someone who is need of prayer, for whatever reason, each child picks a decade to offer for the various intentions, in the family rosary. – Anne, mom of 4, Irving, Texas

Every Wednesday during the school year, I meet with a couple of moms from our children’s school and we have fellowship, recite the rosary  and pray special intentions for our children and for their school- teachers, administrators, families and friends.  We then go to the all school mass at school.  It has been a wonderful way to make new friends and pray for our friends and family. I used to bring my son before he went into kindergarten- he has been going and listening to us moms pray for him and his friends for years.  I also enjoy taking my children to Eucharistic adoration at least once a month.  When we go,  I like to talk to my kids (age 6 and 9) about what it is to pray before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to just be with him.  I sometimes tell my kids that Jesus said “Let the children come to me”, and sometimes he just wants us to be there with him, children too!!   When we do this, we are consoling his sacred heart.   Sometimes we go because we have a particular need, but I want my children to know how important it is to go, just to be with Jesus and give him thanks and praise, not because we want or need something.     My 6 year old son has been going with me for a few years, and he always tells me that he loves it!
Finally, when we hear of a friend that is sick, or someone has died, we pray the rosary immediately as a family for the deceased, sick and their family.  – Jenny, mom of 2, Upper Arlington, Ohio

Every Sunday after Mass, we drive to a cemetery that’s on our route home. We drive on the path around the gravesites and pray a decade of the Rosary.  Also, every time we pass a cemetery, we pray a Hail Mary. Even my oldest participates. When she sees a cemetery, she’ll point it out! The other two are still little, but the middle child is starting to pick up words of the prayers here and there. The baby just makes cute noises. – Danielle, mom of 3, Manassas, Virginia

We love St. Therese’s little way….and if you are looking for a way to make the most mundane tasks have meaning, this idea is for you. We call it our “sacrifice bowl.” It’s a bowl on our kitchen table that has all kinds of prayer requests in it….just needs that we’ve learned about, prayers for the conversion of hearts, for peace in our world, etc. You can put whatever you want in there. Then, after you’ve done a task (ie made a bed), pick out a slip of paper and see who you made the bed for. Or after you’ve unloaded the dishwasher for the umpteenth time, pick out a slip of paper and see who you did that for. Your household chores become so much more meaningful!

We also love the holy souls in purgatory and were really pleased to find an organization that offered Gregorian Masses.   It’s the Pious Union of St. Joseph for the Suffering and the Dying. We set aside a little money each month and eventually we have $300 to have Gregorian Masses said for a loved one.       The really cool part is that this money helps support the missions (missionary priests say the Masses.)     So we’re back to helping these priests evangelize!– Peggy, mom of three, Columbus, Ohio

I use commute/drive time in the van to pray daily with my kids. We do a Morning Offering every day, with a rote prayer, then thankfuls and intentions after that. I encourage the children to think of someone they know who might need prayers.  We also pray daily as a family, and always pray for others. My husband and I try to pray out loud for problems going on in the world as well.  When we see a homeless person, a wreck, or an ambulance, we have short rhyming prayers we say. For example, when we see an ambulance or wreck on the side of the road, we say, “Hail Mary full of grace, to the suffering please make haste.”   During the 3 p.m. hour every day, I say the Chaplet or just the closing prayer, and I always invite the kids to join me if they are around. -Erin, mom of 3, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

We pray every night with our kids for the souls in Purgatory and about three times a week I tell them the story of a saint. They really like it. One of my boys loves when there´s a martyr story. After the story, we always say “Saint …., pray for us!”. We also have a “home shrine”, a place with the image of Our Lady of Schoenstatt, the unity cross and some other saints (like St. Michael, St. Joseph), where we pray every day. I use a small towel with the liturgical colors (red, white, green and purple) and change it every day, accordingly to the liturgical color of the day. That help us follow the liturgical year. The kids keep an eye on that, especially when it´s red or white, because they know there´s special feast that day. Flávia, mom of 4, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Recently a long-time friend’s brother passed away unexpectedly. As a gesture of comfort for my friend and as a spiritual benefit for her brother, I arranged, with the help of several mutual friends, to have a set of Gregorian masses offered for the repose of his soul. Gregorian Masses, a practice founded by Pope St. Gregory the Great, is a celebration of thirty Masses for thirty consecutive days for the soul of someone who has died to release them from Purgatory. There are many organizations who celebrate these masses, with their own suggested offerings or stipend. I chose CNEWA, a papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support. Offering Gregorian masses is an opportunity to help our deceased loved ones and our missionary priests spread the Gospel and bring the Eucharist to God’s beloved poor. What a marvelous spiritual work of mercy and act of faith! Everyone is blessed; the deceased soul now entrusted to God’s mercy, their loved ones mourning, the priest whose livelihood is supported by the mass stipend and the friends arranging them grow in their faith as they seek to comfort the afflicted. For more information you can go to – Patty, mom of 9, Columbus, Ohio

We experienced a little miracle this morning: My son, a seventh grader, has been having some difficulties with another boy at school who is a loud a proud atheist and has been making rude remarks to my son about his faith. My son, bless his precious and merciful heart, asked me to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet with him for this boy on the way to school today. Here is the little miracle: we actually wouldn’t have had enough time to pray it had it not been for getting “stuck” behind a construction vehicle that drove 25 MPH the whole way down the main road we have to use to get there. It’s normally 45 MPH. And even on a traffic clogged morning, we crawl through at a decent 35. Not today! The Holy Spirit made sure we had pleeeeenty of time! As we said the final prayer, the other lane opened up, we went around the truck to the next intersection, and pulled into the school parking lot with enough time left for him to get to class before the bell. It’s just a little thing, but sometimes God uses the little things to make Himself known in big ways. – Keri, Dayton, Ohio

We would love to hear how you live out the Circle Of Mercy.

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