Disclaimer: Both of these books were received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I had been gearing up for All Saints Day when I got an email from the Daughter’s of Mary of a little booklet of help for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. And was only $4. So I went online to buy one and I discovered the Purgatory Manual (among others) and decided to ask if I could have a copy to review and share during this month. The sisters accepted and now I have two FABULOUS new resources to share!
God’s Bank Unlimited (or Help Yourself and The Holy Souls in Purgatory)
God’s Bank Unlimited is a small booklet about 7×11 that is full of select ejaculations and other prayers that are richly indulgenced. This is a reprint from 1948 and so each item with a partial indulgence includes a number of days. While we no longer assign a number of days to indulgences, this book has a great introduction to the how and why of indulgences that has been lost in recent decades.
This booklet is divided into 6 parts: Ejaculations, Long Ejaculations & Prayers, Litanies, Novenas, Special Devotions and Hymns. The ejaculations are short phrases that are designed to not only help you come back to God, but can help the temporal punishment of the Holy Souls in purgatory. For instance,
Thy will be done.
Blessed be the Name of The Lord (When hearing blasphemies.)
Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
The longer ejaculations are things like saying the Anima Christi after Holy Communion. I love that prayer & say it many times. Knowing that it is indulgenced, I will make a greater effort to remember to do so. Or saying the Angel of God prayer, even more indulgenced if said daily for a month. I’m SURE we do this, regularly.
The Litanies themselves aren’t included, nor are the prayers for the Novenas, but they are very greatly indulgenced–several years verses 100’s of days for ejaculations. I know that we no longer assign a length of time to partial indulgences but it helps to have an idea of relative value.
Special devotions includes things like Rosaries, Stations of the Cross, First Friday devotions, making a Holy Hour, and even the special devotions assigned to each month. The hymns section, like novenas & litanies doesn’t include the lyrics to each song, but does assign a number of years to it. Singing Once is Praying Twice, apparently.
I really enjoyed reading through God’s Bank Unlimited and familiarizing myself with prayers I frequently do or COULD do and that they are useful to the suffering of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, if only I intended to offer them up that way. This is a great quick & easy way to familiarize yourself with indulgences.
The Sisters were also kind enough to send me the Purgatorian Manual. This, too, is a reprint of a small prayer book from 1946. I KNOW that I have seen this book before, mostly well worn in the hands of men & women my grandparents age. This edition isn’t quite as nice as the original was, but for $10, it can’t be beat! The binding is a bit rough, the cover is a faux-leather card stock and the “gold embossed” title is a bit crooked. If you can’t find an old one (and I’ve never seen one), this is an awesome resource.
When I requested the Purgatorian Manual, I wrongly assumed that it only contained prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. It does contain those–one for every day of the month, in fact. But it also includes “ordinary prayers of a pious Catholic” as the subtitle hidden inside alludes to. Things like morning prayers, grace before & after meals, evening prayers, prayers for confession, communion and more. Some are random prayers that I found and included in my mom’s prayer book.
The Purgatorian Manual even includes prayers to say at nearly every piece of the Mass — remember, though, that this is from the 40’s so you’ll have to massage it a bit for the Novus Ordo Mass. The Purgatorian Manual includes prayers to say during visits to the blessed sacrament, litanies, Rosary mysteries (no Luminous), the Seven Dolors of Mary, and many other miscellaneous prayers. It even has the whole text of St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Stations of the Cross devotions and some older Novenas.
I now know why everyone in my Bushia’s generation has one (and you can’t find them used). It has almost every devotion and traditional prayer you would need! I didn’t check to see if it had Anima Christi, but if it does, it will be living in my diaper bag in place of a little booklet I received from a Miles Christi Ignatian retreat. They pulled every prayer & devotion in it, from a book like this.
If you find beauty in the older, more traditional prayers and devotions, this small (3-1/2×5) book fits well in your purse or pocket & has everything you’d need at any time of the day. If you only have ONE prayer book, the Purgatorian Manual. is a good choice.
You can purchase both of these resources from Daughters of Mary, along with many other valuable and affordable catholic resources. Many thanks to the Sister’s for sharing these resources with me!!
What is your favorite Catholic Prayer resource?