"Blessed are the
they shall obtain mercy."
-----Matthew 5: 7
We approve of the little book entitled Mary's Call to Her Loving Children, or Devotion for the Dying [now retitled Devotion : for the Dying: Mary's Call to Her Loving Children], and strongly recommend it to the faithful of our diocese.
[Bagshawe], BISHOP OF NOTTINGHAM
January 1, 1880
First published in 1880. First American edition published on October 8, 1911, Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by The Little Company of Mary, Convent of the Maternal Heart of Mary, Chicago, Illinois, as part of the series entitled "Our Lady's Library."Chapter 1
There are numerous prayers which have a special efficacy to call down God's grace and mercy on souls. Many of these have been made known to chosen souls by private revelations from Our Lord, who also revealed their special power.
It will be noticed that a number of these prayers consists of our offering Our Lord-----the all-perfect Gift-----to the Eternal Father, asking for grace and mercy in return. This is a spiritual offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is the most powerful way we can pray-----especially if we ask the Blessed Mother to make the offering with us, or in our place. By such prayers we "tap into" the infinite grace and the "plenteous redemption" of Calvary.
Below are links to some prayers which Our Lord revealed to have special power to grasp onto His infinite merits and apply them to sinners, for their conversion and salvation. These were added by the publisher in 1991. Some of them were already in line at Catholic Tradition in other directories, such as St. Joseph, and the rest are now part of this directory:
THE FIFTY TIMES PRAYER FOR AND TO THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY
THE HEROIC ACT IN FAVOR OF THE SOULS IN PURGATORY
HOLY FACE PRAYERS
PRECIOUS BLOOD OFFERINGS
THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY
PRAYERS TO THE IMMACULATE HEART FOR SOULS
DAILY ADOPTING ONE UNKNOWN DYING SOUL
THE FATIMA PRAYERS
DEVOTION TO THE AGONIZING HEART OF JESUS
DAILY PRAYER TO JESUS FOR THE DYING
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH TO OBTAIN A SPECIAL FAVOR
NINE SECRETS OF BEING HEARD WHEN WE PRAY FOR THE DYING
3 OFFERINGS OF PRECIOUS BLOOD IN THANKSGIVING
CONSECRATION TO THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
ACT OF REPARATION TO THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
MEMORARE TO OUR LADY OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD
O SACRED HEART OF JESUS
DEVOTION TO THE DROPS OF BLOOD LOST BY CHRIST ON THE WAY TO CALVARY
ROSARY OF THE HOLY WOUNDS: TEXT ONLY
ROSARY OF THE HOLY WOUNDS: GRAPHIC VERSION
MEMORARE OF ST. JOSEPH
ST. JOSEPH PRAYERS FOR THE DYING
LITANY FOR A HAPPY DEATH
LITANY FOR THE HOLY SOULS
MEMORIAL FOR THE SUFFERING SOULS IN PURGATORY
NOVEMBER PRAYERS FOR THE HOLY SOULS
A OFFERING OF THE PRECIOUS BLOOD FOR SOULS
PROVIDENCE AND THE GRACE OF A HAPPY DEATH WITH PRAYERS TO OUR LADY OF INTERCESSION FOR THE HOLY SOULS FROM THE RACCOLTA
INDULGENCED PRAYER FOR THE MOST FORGOTTEN SOUL
PURGATORY AND INDULGENCES
TEXT ONLY: PRAYERS FOR THE DYING AND THE DEAD
ACT OF CHARITY TO THE IMMACULATE HEART FOR THE HOLY SOULS
TEXT ONLY: NOVENA BOOKLET FOR THE HOLY SOULS
The great Catholic theologian Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. writes of final impenitence and of deathbed conversions in his book Life Everlasting. He says that deathbed conversion is difficult, but still possible.
To encourage us in hope and confidence we reproduce here from his book the wonderful little section entitled "Deathbed Conversion":
Deathbed conversion, however difficult, is still possible. Even when we see no sign of contrition, we can still not affirm that, at the last moment, just before the separation of soul from body, the soul is definitively obstinate. A sinner may be converted at that last minute in such fashion that God alone can know it. The holy Cure of Ars, Divinely enlightened, said to a weeping widow: "Your prayer, Madame, has been heard. Your husband is saved. When he threw himself into the Rhone, the Blessed Virgin obtained for him the grace of conversion just before he died. Recall how, a month before, in your garden, he plucked the most beautiful rose and said to you, 'Carry this to the altar of the Blessed Virgin.' She has not forgotten."
Other souls, too, have been converted in extremis, souls that could barely recall a few religious acts in the course of their life. A sailor, for example, preserved the practice of uncovering his head when he passed before a church. He did not know even the Our Father or the Hail Mary, but the lifting of his hat kept him from departing definitively from God.
In the life of the saintly Bishop Bertau of Tulle, friend of Louis Veuillot, a poor girl in that city, who had once been chanter in the cathedral, fell first into misery, then into misconduct, and finally became a public sinner. She was assassinated at night, in one of the streets of Tulle. Police found her dying and carried her to a hospital. While she was dying, she cried out: "Jesus, Jesus." Could she be granted Church burial? The Bishop answered: "Yes, because she died pronouncing the name of Jesus. But bury her early in the morning without incense." In the room of this poor woman was found a portrait of the holy Bishop, on the back of which was written: "The best of Fathers." Fallen though she was, she still recognized the holiness of her bishop and preserved in her heart the memory of the goodness of Our Lord.
A certain licentious writer, Armand Sylvestre, promised his mother when she was dying to say a Hail Mary every day. He kept his promise. Out of the swamp in which he lived, he daily lifted up to God this one little flower. Pneumonia brought him to the hospital, served by religious, who said to him: "Do you wish a priest?" "Certainly," he answered. And he received absolution, probably with sufficient attrition [imperfect contrition], through a special grace obtained for him by the Blessed Mother, though we can hardly doubt he underwent a long and heavy Purgatory.
Another French writer, Adolphe Rette, shortly after his conversion, which was sincere and profound, was struck by a sentence he read in the visitors' book of the Carmelite Convent: "Pray for those who will die during the Mass at which you are going to assist." He did so. Some days later he fell grievously ill, and was confined to bed in the hospital at Beaune, for many years, up to his death. Each morning he offered all his sufferings for those who would die during the day. Thus he obtained many deathbed conversions. We shall see in Heaven how many conversions there are in the world, owing to such prayers.
Several years ago the chaplain in a prison in Nancy had the reputation of converting all criminals whom he had accompanied to the guillotine. On one occasion he found himself alone, shut up with an assassin who refused to go to Confession before death. The cart, with the condemned man, passed before the sanctuary of Our Lady of Refuge. The old chaplain prayed: "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who had recourse to thy intercession was abandoned. Convert this criminal of mine: otherwise I will say that it has been heard that you have not heard." At once the criminal was converted.
Return to God is always possible, up to the time of death, but it becomes more and more difficult as hard-heartedness grows. Let us not put off our conversion. Let us say every day a Hail Mary for the grace of a happy death.
The Rosary is, of course,
a key means of obtaining any blessing, and especially the salvation of
souls in danger of Hell. One of Our Lady's promises to Blessed Alan de
la Roche for Christians who recite the Rosary was: "You shall obtain
you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary."