EWTN.com - Prayers for souls in purgatory

EWTN.com - Prayers for souls in purgatory: "Prayers for souls in purgatory

I recently asked a priest how long we should pray for a specific soul that has passed and may be in purgatory and his answer was 'until you meet that person in heaven'. That sounded good but what happens to the prayers and sacrifices that we offer for a soul if that soul has indeed already gone to hell. Since we cannot 'ransom' that person from hell what affect has our prayer had and has all that was offered up for that lost soul all for naught? Thank you.
Answer by Fr. Jay Toborowsky on 10/27/2008:

If a person is in Purgatory, they are not going to hell. Those who are judged by Christ to deserve hell go there right after judgment. Purgatory is a time of purification for those who will eventually get to heaven. Prayers for souls in purgatory can help them get to heaven sooner. A soul in Hell cannot be 'released' to Heaven."


  1. If a believing Christian commits a Mortal Sin and dies before he had a chance to go to Confession, what happens to that Soul? Does it go to Purgatory for purification?

  2. which part of the bible that says we have to pray for the dead. my friend ask me to ask the priest about it . she told me they dont pray for the dead they presume that they go to heaven right away. thank you

  3. Some say that flirting with married men or women is not a sin if you are married ,i always though that it was a sin ,can you tell if it true what they say .So many people thing that way .thank you

  4. AnonymousJune 11, 2011

    to answer the question of the purgetory. There is nowhere in the bible it says that the dead will go to purgetory or hell. what the bible says is that they sleep in the name of Jesus Our Lord. If God decides to wake them up before the end times , we have nothing to say..... just like Jesus was met by Moses and Elijah upon this earth. But rest of us who die in Christ may sleep.

  5. AnonymousJuly 14, 2011

    This site is new to me, but there are questions about what it means when a person says they are "Catholic"? Where might the comparsions of the Christian and Catholic beliefs be found on the EWTN website? After reading some of these questions and comments, it is no wonder that a person who has never been "churched" would rather just continue as they are out in the world. The world seems to be more organized than inside the rim of religion. Thank you.