How To Avoid Purgatory – Fr. Paul O’Sullivan Part 3

Chapter 11
The Third Orders

Among the extraordinary graces which Catholics gain by becoming members of a Third
Order is a share in many Masses and prayers.
To mention, for instance, the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Pope Benedict XV, himself a
Tertiary, said: “One of the easiest and most effectual ways of reaching a high degree of
sanctity is by becoming a Dominican Tertiary.”
The members of this order receive during life a share every day in thousands of Masses
and prayers, and after death, when, alas, so many are neglected by their relatives,
those who are members of this Third Order have a share daily in thousands of other
Masses and prayers, this for as long as they remain in Purgatory!
Among the many beautiful characteristics of the Order of St. Dominic is its intense
devotion and love for the Holy Souls, especially for the souls of its members, friends
and benefactors. So true is this that a young Italian nobleman who consulted the Pope
as to which religious order he would do well to enter received for answer: “My dear son,
you may with much profit join any of the Orders, for in each you will find abundant
means of becoming a Saint. After death, however, be a Dominican” The Holy Father
meant to imply that the suffrages given after death to their deceased members are,
indeed, most abundant in the Dominican Order.
The conditions of becoming a member of this order are so easy and the advantages so
many that half the world would become Dominican Tertiaries did they know these

Chapter 12
Those Who Earnestly Help the Holy Souls May Well Hope to Avoid Purgatory

The Holy Souls whom we relieve or release by our Masses and good works pray for us
with such indescribable fervor that God cannot refuse to hear their prayers. One of the
principal graces they ask for their friends is that these shall have little or no Purgatory.
No one knows better than they the awful intensity of the Purgatorial flames; no one,
therefore, can pray for us as they do. Let us remember that:
a) God thanks as done to Himself what we do to others. When we relieve or release any
of the Holy Souls, we relieve or release, as it were, God Himself. How ready, therefore,
will He not be to hear the prayers offered by these souls for us.
b) Our Blessed Lord lays down clearly the great law: “By that measure by which you
measure, it will be measured to you again” In proportion, consequently, to our
generosity towards the Holy Souls will God’s mercy and generosity be towards us.
Those who work heart and soul for the relief of the Holy Souls may thus well hope that
their Purgatory will be entirely remitted, or notably lessened. On the other hand, those
who neglect the Holy Souls may justly fear a severe judgment and a long Purgatory.
Let everyone without fail join the Association of the Holy Souls. All the members of the
family should do so. The conditions are very easy. If the Association is not established
in your Parish, write to: Association of the Holy Souls, Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual
Rosary, Pius XII Monastery, Rua do Rosario 1, 2495 Fatima, Portugal, which is one of
the centers of the devotion.
St. James the Apostle gives another very effectual method of avoiding or lessening our
stay in Purgatory. He says: “He who saves a soul, saves his own, and satisfies for a
multitude of sins”
If someone were fortunate enough to save the life of a King’s only son, the heir to his
throne, from a horrible death, what reward might he not expect to receive from the
grateful monarch? No King, however, could be as grateful to and anxious to reward the
person who saved his son as God is grateful and ready to reward the person who saves
one soul from Hell.
All of us may, in a thousand different ways, save not one but many souls from Hell. For
1. We can do so by praying earnestly for them. How often does not a mother
save her son’s soul by her fervent prayers. We can save souls by giving good
advice and also by our good example. How many boys owe their sterling
qualities to the wise counsels of a good Father or friend!
2. Another efficacious method of saving souls is by propagating the Faith, viz.,
Catholic Action.
The incredible ignorance, apathy and indifference of Catholics are the evils of the day!
It is the bounden duty of Catholics to spread about thousands and thousands of
pamphlets of all kinds, full of life, vigor and burning interest, crisp, incisive, clear and
strong. Otherwise, these are useless.
Each pamphlet or leaflet must carry a message straight to the heart of the reader,
rousing him, convincing him, galvanizing him into action.

Chapter 13
To Avoid Purgatory, Do As Follows

1. In every prayer you say, every Mass you hear, every Communion you receive, every
good work you perform, have the express intention of imploring God to grant you a holy
and happy death and no Purgatory. Surely God will hear a prayer said with such
confidence and perseverance.
2. Always wish to do God’s will. It is in every sense the best for you. When you do or
seek anything that is not God’s will, you are sure to suffer. Say fervently, therefore, each
time you recite the Our Father: “Thy will be done.”
3. Accept all the sufferings, sorrows, pains and disappointments of life, be they great or
small: ill health, loss of goods, the death of your dear ones, heat or cold, rain or
sunshine, as coming from God. Bear them calmly and patiently for love of Him and in
penance for your sins. Of course one may use all his efforts to ward off trouble and
pain, but when one cannot avoid them let him bear them manfully. Impatience and
revolt make sufferings vastly greater and more difficult to bear.
4. Christ’s life and actions are so many lessons for us to imitate.
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The greatest act in His life was His Passion. As He had a Passion, so each one of us
has a passion. Our passion consists in the sufferings and labors of every day. The
penance God imposed on man for sin was to gain his bread in the sweat of his brow.
Therefore, let us do our work, accept its disappointments and hardships, and bear our
pains in union with the Passion of Christ. We gain more merit by a little pain than by
years of pleasure.
5. Forgive all injuries and offences, for in proportion as we forgive others, God forgives
6. Avoid mortal sins and deliberate venial sins and break off all bad habits. Then it will
be relatively easy to satisfy God’s justice for sins of frailty. Above all, avoid sins against
charity and against chastity, whether in thought, word or deed, for these sins [and the
expiation for them] are the reason why many souls are detained in Purgatory for long
7. If afraid of doing much, do many little things, acts of kindness and charity, give the
alms you can, cultivate regularity of life, method in work, and punctuality in the
performance of duty; don’t grumble or complain when things are not as you please;
don’t censure and complain of others; never refuse to do a favor to others when it is
possible. These and suchlike little acts are a splendid penance.
8. Do all in your power for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Pray for them constantly, get
others to do so, join the Association of the Holy Souls and ask all those you know to do
likewise. The Holy Souls will repay you most generously.
9. There is no way more powerful of obtaining from God a most holy and happy death
than by weekly Confession, daily Mass and daily Communion.
10. A daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament–it need only be three or four minutes–is an
easy way of obtaining the same grace. Kneeling in the presence of Jesus with eyes
fixed on the Tabernacle, sure that He is looking at us, let us for a few minutes repeat
some little prayer like these: “My Jesus, mercy.” “My Jesus, have pity on me, a sinner”
“My Jesus, I love You” “My Jesus, give me a happy death”

Chapter 14
How We Can Help the Holy Souls

I. The first means is by joining the Association of the Holy Souls. The conditions are
Association of the Holy Souls
Approved by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, June, 1936
1. The members are asked to send their full name and address to:
Association of the Holy Souls, Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary,
Pius XII Monastery, Rua do Rosario 1, 2495 Fatima, Portugal.
2. The members must offer up a Mass once a week for the Holy Souls
(Sunday’s Mass can fulfill this obligation).
3. The members pray for and promote devotion to the Holy Souls. (We
recommend the booklets Read Me or Rue It and How to Avoid Purgatory.)
4. The members are asked to contribute a yearly alms to the Mass Fund.
The alms is used to have Masses said for the Holy Souls every month.
II. A second means of helping the Holy Souls is having Masses offered for them. This is
certainly the most efficacious way of relieving them.
III. Those who cannot get many Masses offered, owing to want of means, ought to
assist at as many Masses as possible for this intention.
A young man who was earning a very modest salary told the writer: “My wife died a few
years ago. I got 10 Masses said for her. I could not possibly do more but heard 1,000
for her dear soul.”
IV. The recital of the Rosary (with its great indulgences) and the Way of the Cross
(which is also richly indulgenced) are excellent means of helping the Holy Souls.
St. John Massias, as we saw, released from Purgatory more than a million souls, chiefly
by reciting the Rosary and offering its great indulgences for them.
V. Another easy and efficacious way is by the constant repetition of short indulgenced
prayers, offering up the indulgences for the Souls in Purgatory. Many people have the
custom of saying 500 or 1,000 times each day the little ejaculation, “Sacred Heart of
Jesus, I place my trust in Thee” or the one word, “Jesus” These are most consoling
devotions and bring oceans of graces to those who practice them and give immense
relief to the Holy Souls.
Those who say the ejaculations 1,000 times a day gain 300,000 days Indulgence! What
a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will it not be at the end of a month, a
year–or 50 years? And if they do not say the ejaculations, what an immense number of
graces and favours they shall have lost. It is quite possible and even easy to say these
ejaculations 1,000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1,000 times, let him say
them 500 or 200 times.
VI. Still another powerful prayer is:
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, with all the
Masses being said all over the world this day, for the Souls in Purgatory.”
Our Lord showed St. Gertrude a vast number of souls leaving Purgatory and going to
Heaven as a result of this prayer which the Saint was accustomed to say frequently
during the day.
VII. The Heroic Act consists in offering to God in favor of the Souls in Purgatory all the
works of satisfaction we practice during life and all the suffrages that will be offered for
us after death. If God rewards so abundantly the most trifling alms given to a poor man
in His name, what an immense reward will He not give to those who offer all their works
of satisfaction in life and death for the souls He loves so dearly?
This Act does not prevent priests from offering Mass for the intentions they wish, or lay
people from praying for any persons or other intentions they desire. We counsel
everyone to make this act.
Alms Help the Holy Souls
St. Martin gave half of his cloak to a poor beggar, only to find out afterwards that it was
to Christ he had given it. Our Lord appeared to him and thanked him.
Blessed Jordan of the Dominican Order could never refuse an alms when it was asked
in the name of God. One day he had forgotten his purse. A poor man implored an alms
for the love of God. Rather than refuse him, Jordan, who was then a student, gave him
a most precious belt or cincture which he prized dearly. Shortly afterwards, he entered a
church and found his cincture encircling the waist of an image of Christ Crucified. He,
too, had given his alms to Christ. We all give our alms to Christ.
a) Let us give all the alms we can afford; b) Let us have said all the Masses in our
power; c) Let us hear as many more as is possible; d) Let us offer all our pains and
sufferings for the relief of the Holy Souls.
We shall thus deliver countless souls from Purgatory, who will repay us ten thousand
times over.

Appendix I
The Brown Scapular

(The following official information was obtained from the National Scapular center,
Darien, Illinois, May 9, 1986.)
Two wonderful promises of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are available to those who have
been enrolled in the Brown Scapular.
The great promise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, given to St.
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Simon Stock on July 16,
1251, is as follows: “Whoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”
Our Lady’s second Scapular Promise, known as the Sabbatine Privilege (the word
“Sabbatine” meaning “Saturday”), was given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Pope John
XXII in the year 1322 and is as follows: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the
Saturday after their death, and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free.”
There are three conditions for obtaining this privilege: 1) the wearing of the Brown
Scapular; 2) the practice of chastity according to one’s state of life; 3) the daily recitation
of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Those who cannot read can abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead
of reciting the Little Office. Also, any priest who has diocesan faculties (this includes
most priests) has the additional faculty to commute (change) the third requirement into
another pious work—for example, the daily Rosary.
Because of the greatness of the Sabbatine privilege, the Carmelite Order suggests that
the third requirement not be commuted into anything less than the daily recitation of
seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys, and seven Glory Be to the Fathers.