Aside from gift-giving and spending time with family and remembering the birth of Jesus, Christmas should be a day to pray for the deceased. It’s on Christmas — according to two highly reliable revelations — that most souls are released into Heaven and thus are in need of final prayers.
One revelation was in 1879 to a holy nun in a French convent. Identified as Sister M. de L.C., she received revelations from a deceased nun who authorities identified only as Sister O — and who at the time was herself suffering the torments of purgatory. The revelation was granted an imprimatur from the Cardinal of Baltimore, Maryland, and was approved by noted theologians such as Canon Dubosq, promotor fidei of Saint Therese the Little Flower. The transcripts of what she said may be the most valuable we’ve seen on purgatory.
“On All Souls’ Day many souls leave the place of expiation and go to heaven,” said the deceased nun. ” Also, by a special grace of God on that day only, all the suffering souls, without exception, have a share in the public prayers of the Church, even those who are in the great Purgatory. Still the relief of each soul is in proportion to its merits. Some receive more, some less, but all feel the benefit of this extraordinary grace. Many of the suffering souls receive this one help only in all the long years they pass here and this by the justice of God. It is not, however, on All Souls’ Day that the most go to Heaven. It is on Christmas night.”
This message was confirmed in dramatic style more than a hundred years later — in 1983 — when a seer at Medjugorje reported nearly the same message, and with virtually no chance of having been privy to the obscure French revelation (which had not been published). Said the Virgin at Medjugorje on January 10 of that year: “In Purgatory there are different levels. The lowest is close to Hell and the highest gradually draws near to Heaven.
It is not on All Souls’ Day, but at Christmas, that the greatest number of souls leave Purgatory.”
At Medjugorje it has been said that the Virgin appears in great golden splendor on special days like Christmas, and the French nun likewise said Our Blessed Mother goes to Purgatory on her great feast days. She takes souls that are ready — and all they may need is one final Mass, or even a final prayer. Those on the “threshold” can gain Heaven that day with our help, while those in deeper parts of Purgatory will be relieved of suffering.
“There are many souls in Purgatory,” said the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje. “There are also persons who have been consecrated to God — some priests, some religious. Pray for their intentions, at least the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be seven times each, and the Creed. I recommend it to you. There are a large number of souls who have been in Purgatory for a long time because no one prays for them.”
This puts an entirely new perspective on Christmas. It’s a time of great joy not only on earth but in the eternal and a day that our own joy must be joined with concern for those who have gone before us — who may be “graduating” that day.
Pray for them. Pray for everyone you have ever known who is deceased. Pray for every purgatorial soul on Christmas. If they don’t need the prayers, the Lord can designate them to souls who do.
And one day — perhaps on Christmas night — they’ll be there to help you.
[Sister O’s revelations are in a booklet called “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory,” available here]