The daily practice of adopting an unknown, dying soul, involves praying a prayer for the dying specifically for an unknown dying soul and/or making small sacrifices for that soul. You can pray any prayer for the dying, but we recommend a few prayers below.
Benjamin Franklin is said to have pronounced that in life there are two things that are certain: death and taxes.
The thought of our own mortality is a scary thought that most people flee from, but as Catholics we know that we are to remember every day that we shall die (memento mori).
In the bustling of life, it is easy to be self-focused and not think about others. However, take a look at these mortality stats.
According to recent statistics, over 6,000 people die every hour and over 151,000 people die per day.
We are called to have a hunger for souls; hell is a horrible place.
St. Benedict Joseph Labre had a vision which he described as:
“I was watching souls going down into the abyss as thick and fast as snowflakes falling in the winter mist.”
All the Saints had a great hunger for the conversion of souls. They strove to bring souls to God.
Jacinta of Fatima said,
“How much I love to suffer for love of Our Lord and Our Lady, just to give Them pleasure! They greatly love those who suffer for the conversion of sinners”. The greatest sufferings for her were loneliness and especially the Our Lady’s revelation that she would die alone, far from her family. But she offered even this supreme sacrifice for the conversion of sinners. Thinking of this terrible night of loneliness deprived her of all consolation. On those occasions, she often said: “O Jesus! Now you can convert many sinners, because this is really a big sacrifice.”
We too should have a hunger for souls.
PRAYERS FOR THE DYING
A PRAYER FOR THE DYING AND A SPECIAL SOUL
O Merciful Jesus, lover of souls,
I beseech Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart,
and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother,
wash clean in the Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world
who are to die this day.
Remember most especially the soul I spiritually adopt
with the intention of entrusting him or her to Thy Shepherd’s care:
I beseech Thee for the grace to move this sinner, who is in
danger of going to Hell, to repent. I ask this because of my
trust in Thy great mercy.
If it should please Thy Majesty to send me a suffering this day
in exchange for the grace I ask for this soul, then, it, too,
shall please me very much, and I thank Thee, Most Sweet Jesus,
Shepherd and Lover of Souls; I thank Thee for this
opportunity to give mercy in thanksgiving for all the mercies
Thou hast shown me. Amen.
Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying.
The next prayer for the dying is quick and it’s something you can literally pray every day in less than 5 seconds.
Deliverance From an Unprovided Death (pray for yourself and the adopted soul)
From a sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord.
Asubitanea et improvisa morte libera nos, Domine
Finally, this wonderful prayer of St Jerome is a wonderful prayer for the dying.
Do you have a daily practice of adopting an unknown, dying soul? If not, what are you waiting for?
Who knows, you might cooperate in helping that soul get to heaven.
Recommended Books on Purgatory
- Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages, and Warnings from Purgatory
- Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints
- On Purgatory: The Members of the Church Suffering (De Controversiis)
- Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great (with Supplemental Reading: A Brief Life of Christ) [Illustrated]
This article was originally posted in 2019