The Anima Sola, or Lonely Soul, is a 200 year old Catholic devotion you probably don’t know about!

Devotional images of the Lonely Soul typically feature a man or woman in the flames of purgatory. Having broken the chains that bind them with the aid of the intercession of prayerful faithful, they reach out before ascending to Heaven.

As we know, Purgatory is the place not of Heaven or Hell where our imperfections are burned up so we may be purified before entering Paradise.

Of course, as Catholics we pray to free the souls in purgatory.

That means unlike regular devotionals where you pray for the intercession of saints, devotional prayer to the Anima Sola is uniquely directed towards souls in purgatory!

The image in general represents all the “lonely souls” in Purgatory who need prayer to be freed from atoning for their venial sins.

Devotion to the Anima Sola today is perhaps strongest in Naples, where it is called “the cult of the souls in Purgatory.”

Pray below the Prayer of the Anima Sola:

Hear mortal men, the cries of the imprisoned soul, alone and abandoned in a dark prison. O Anima Sola, soul of peace and war, soul of sea and of land. I desire that all that I have lost be returned.

O Anima Sola, you who are alone and abandoned, I accompany you in your grief. I take pity upon you. For I know of the grief and suffering you must endure within your harsh and long imprisonment.

I offer you this prayer and glass of water because I desire to lessen your pain and quench your thirst. Sad Soul, Lonely Soul, no one calls you, But I call you. No one looks for you, but I seek you out. No one loves you, but I adore you. No one remembers you, but I keep you in my heart.

I offer you this lit candle so that you may find your way into the light. In this moment I offer to you my meritorious labor, and all that I have suffered, suffer and will suffer in this life, even though it can never compare to yours. I humbly pray that you finish paying for your mortal sins of the flesh so that you may find the grace of God, and be lifted from your imprisonment, with your grace you shall be my benefactor.

Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord
May they rest in peace.
Amen

Photo credit: CC BY 2.0, †Maghimaya Ka Maria† via Flickr
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