The Souls of Purgatory and the Rosary


Back when I was a kid, nobody really explained to me how to pray the Rosary. So, I didn’t do it. But, I still had exposure to rosaries. I loved the rosary beads, for they were beautiful and loved the feeling of them slipping through my fingers. And, every once in a while, I would see someone praying the Rosary, which was entrancing.

Once when I little and staying at my Grandma Rose’s house, I saw her finishing up a Rosary. So, since she was on a big couch that she would typically let us come up and snuggle with her, I came up and snuggled with her, waiting for her to finish. Then, when she was done, she gave me a big smile and told me about the Rosary.

Now, I don’t remember all of what she said… that was a long time ago. But, I do remember her explaining to me that it was important to pray a Rosary for the poor souls in Purgatory, because every Rosary would free up another soul of Purgatory. At the time, I didn’t know what Purgatory was, really, but I do remember the intensity and the love and conviction she said it to me. And I remember thinking that whatever she said had to be correct because of her intense conviction.

So, when I came across this picture of our Lady, saving the souls of Purgatory, I immediately smiled, because it reminded me of her:

Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory, by Cusco School, c. 17th century. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States. Via
Virgin of Carmel Saving Souls in Purgatory, by Cusco School, c. 17th century. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States.

It’s a picture of Mary leading the way to save the souls of Purgatory! And, with her, comes Jesus. And with them comes the Heavenly Host. And, of course, Jesus can’t be separated from the Holy Trinity, so the whole Holy Trinity comes as well! And, with everyone, the glory of Heaven!

And so these poor souls of Purgatory are being led out to the glories of Heaven! The same fire that burns them now will soon infuse them with God’s love. After all, many theologians believe that the same fire that burns them is the same fire of God’s love which inflames Jesus’s Sacred Heart. Just… it hurts when their heart is impure because God’s love is so overwhelmingly powerful. (See Isaiah 6:1-6 for a scriptural explanation on this!)

So, while it may be theologically incorrect to say that every Rosary prayed frees a soul in Purgatory, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of those in Heaven and their ability to intercede for us, be it Mary, the Mother of God, Jesus, the Heavenly Host, a saint, or anyone else in Heaven. For they are united by the love of God.

And we shouldn’t underestimate our prayers either. Yes, we might not see their impact immediately. Yet, perhaps all of Heaven is moved by our prayers, as we are all connected by God’s love.

Anyway, if you could, please dedicate a Rosary to the poor souls in Purgatory. And, if you could, please pray for my grandparents, including my Grandma Rose, who have passed on.

Thank you so much. 🙂

I didn’t learn how to say the Rosary for years… but, eventually I found out as an adult. Anyway, I designed some books that lead you, prayer by prayer, through the Rosary, each prayer illustrated with religious artwork featuring the mystery of the Rosary. Take a look at those books here!


Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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