Devotion for the Dying

The Daily Practice of Adopting an Unknown Dying Soul

God's mercy is so abundant that He wants to shower it upon earth. He sent His only Son, Our Lord to redeem sinners at the cost of Calvary. Christ would have died on that Cross to redeem but one soul, yet the One Sacrifice was sufficient for all. Redemption, however, does not suffice for salvation, as St. Paul warns us to work out our salvation "in fear and trembling."

With the great Apostasy predicted by the Apostle to the Gentiles come upon us in these last days many souls are going to Hell: they either do not know how, or cannot pray for themselves.

But Jesus Christ is waiting and now is the acceptable time, if only we, who do believe and do pray would only make it a daily habit of unfathomable charity and mercy, to spiritually adopt an unknown dying sinner, asking God for the grace for that person to repent or ask for mercy in his last moments. As a pledge of our fidelity and trust in Christ's mercy, all we have to do is ask through our prayer offering, perhaps, if so moved, to offer the intention of our entire day, or to forego one small pleasure that is licit in exchange [not necessary but a gracious little work]; at the very least we should make the intention of bearing one inconvenience that day with more patience than is our usual wont, for the repentance of that soul.

Any formula of prayer can be used, but for those who prefer an assist, here is a short invocation that can be said for that soul:

A Prayer for the Dying and a Special Soul

O MOST MERCIFUL JESUS, lover of souls,
I beseech Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart,
and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother,
wash clean in 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.


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