“THE HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY” – THROUGH MARY IN FAVOR OF THE SOULS IN PURGATORY
THE HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY PRAYER:
O MY GOD! for Thy greater glory, and to imitate as closely as possible the generous Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer, and also to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, my Mother, who is also the Mother of the Souls in Purgatory, I place in Her hands all my satisfactory works, as well as the fruit of all those which may be offered for my intention after my death, that She may apply them to the Souls in Purgatory according to Her wisdom and good pleasure. Amen.
ABOUT THE HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY
Now we are going to explain the essence of the Heroic Act of charity and its importance, not being able to appreciate what we do not know.
When a good, even minimal work is accomplished, a degree of eternal glory is acquired, which can be lost only through mortal sin; this merit cannot be given to others.
The same good work accomplished puts the soul in a position to receive graces from God. Besides this, this good work makes up partly the temporary penalty due to sins.
This last merit, called “satisfactory”, can be yielded either partially or totally.
Whoever yields the satisfactory merit of every good work done in life and also yields the suffrages that he can receive after death, performs an extremely excellent work, commonly called the Heroic Act of Charity.
Those who do this act should then serve all the punishment due to their faults in Purgatory. But there is something to be gained in this. To an ignorant person it seems useless, even harmful, to give his money to the bank; yet this is a good means not only to preserve capital, but also to increase it. The same happens in the spiritual order. Their own merits are put into the hands of God and of Our Lady for the benefit of the souls in purgatory and their merits of eternal glory are increased, because they are supported by charity. It is commonly believed that those who make the Heroic Act, have little time in Purgatory, in the hope that the Lord will use their mercy towards the souls in purgatory. It is based on the words of Jesus: “with the measure, with which you have measured others, it will be measured back also to you! … Give one and you will receive a hundred!”.
As can be seen, one gains in doing the Heroic Act. No special formula is required to issue this Act; it can also be done mentally. However, the following short formula could be used:
“My God, I place in your hands and those of Our Lady all my fulfilling works that I will do in life and those that others will do for me after my death, so that they may serve the souls of Purgatory. I entrust myself to your Mercy ».
The Heroic Act can be annulled or withdrawn without being guilty of sin.
It is good to note that even after this offer, you can pray for whatever you need.
May the Lord inspire many to fulfill the heroic act of charity!
This Heroic Act of Charity is the completely unselfish offering to God of all the satisfactory value of one’s prayers and good works — plus the value of any that might be offered for one after one’s death — for the benefit of the Souls in Purgatory, rather than for oneself. The “satisfactory value” of a good work is its value with regard to making up for our sins and reducing our stay in Purgatory. However, the “meritorious value” of our good works is inalienable, i.e., our merits, which give us a right to an increase of glory in Heaven, cannot be applied to anyone else. Moreover, a person who has made the Heroic Act may still pray for himself, friends and other intentions.
The Heroic Act is revocable at will and is not a vow. Its actual ratification depends on the will of God. By making this act with purity of intention, one is relying upon the mercy of God and the prayers of the Communion of Saints to assist his soul after death. The Heroic Act was approved and encouraged by Pope Benedict XIII [1724-1730].
According to the Raccolta of 1932: The faithful who make the Heroic Act in favor of the Souls detained in Purgatory, may gain an indulgence.” At the time this was a plenary indulgence with special conditions attached, such as attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion in supplication for the Holy Souls, etc.
His Holiness, Leo XIII, Jan. 17, 1888, granted to the faithful who shall perform some pious practice for the relief of the Souls in Purgatory, every day during the whole month of November, whether in public or in private, an indulgence of seven years and as many quarantines on each day of the month; a plenary indulgence, once during the same month, on any day of the month, on the usual conditions: confession and communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory, and there praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.
It is my understanding that it carries a partial indulgence now.