Our organization really owes its existence to the apparitions of Our Lady at Knock in Ireland on Thursday the 21st of August 1879. On that day at about 8pm in the evening Our Blessed Mother appeared to 14 people at the Parish church of Knock. This occurred just after the saintly parish priest, Venerable Archdeacon Cavanagh, had completed 100 consecutive Masses for the souls in Purgatory. It is generally understood that, apart from its other significance, this was a sign of approval from Our Lady of this work done by Archdeacon Cavanagh for the Holy Souls.

Our Beginning
Our Present State
Postal Address
Benefits of Belonging
Why the Holy Souls Need Help
Our Position Under Canon Law



In the early eighties a group of people in Australia, in imitation of what Archdeacon Cavanagh had done, got together and each made a contribution in order to raise a stipend to have 100 consecutive Masses said for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory. That there does exist a Purgatory is a dogma of the Church and that the best way to assist the souls in Purgatory is by having Mass said for them is defined by the Council of Trent.

After the first novena was completed another was organized and still another and out of these efforts came to exist the Friends of the Suffering Souls, each member undertaking to have one Mass said each year for the souls in Purgatory. This Mass is offered on behalf of the whole organization and therefore, because of the number of members, there is a continuous novena of several Masses each day being offered on behalf of the organization for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory. Each Mass is offered for all of the Holy Souls but with a special commemoration for deceased members.

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There are now 35,000 members throughout the world. Most of these are in Australia but we also have members in 85 other countries including South Africa, Scotland, England, Ireland, United States, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan, India, Canada, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria. Details of our membership can be seen on our Members page. Each member organizes his own Mass with a priest chosen by the member. Each member has to confirm for us that he or she has in fact organized the Mass. This can be done through the confirmation form on our website (see confirmation button above) or by email (see contact on home page) or even by post if you wish to do so.

Our postal address is:

PO Box 73

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As a result of belonging to the organization each member receives the following benefits:

  1. In spiritual matters the merit is multiplied by participation and not divided. Therefore each member receives the same merit as if he had arranged each and every individual Mass himself.

  2. The many souls who benefit from this great number of Masses will be eternally grateful and will pray for the interests of members whilst they are in Purgatory and when they are released into Heaven. They will never forget the members because the members did not forget them.

All of the Masses are offered for all of the souls in Purgatory but especially for deceased members. Therefore after a member's death his or her soul will enjoy the benefit of every single Mass organized by this organisation. If a deceased member has to pass through Purgatory, as most of us will, then they will be grateful they took care of others so that now others take care of them.

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Unfortunately many people underestimate both the duration and the intensity of Purgatory. These matters are not defined by the Church but the teachings of the fathers and private revelations should be sufficient to convince us in both these matters.

Private revelation and the past practices of the church indicate clearly that many souls spend a very long time in Purgatory. Our Blessed Lord Himself is quite clear about the fact that His justice requires that every fault, even the smallest as well as the largest, be paid for before our release. So he says in Matt. 5:26 -
"Amen, I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repayest the last farthing".

With regard to the intensity of the sufferings Our Blessed Mother told the saintly French priest, Father Lemy, that it is better to spend 15 years dragging your weight on earth rather than to spend 15 minutes in Purgatory.

For further information on the sufferings of purgatory see our Links page and also our own page on Purgatory.

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    Under Canon Law "all Christian faithful have the right to promote or to sustain apostolic action by their own undertakings" ..Canon 207(1). To that end, "The Christian faithful are free, by means of private agreement made among themselves, to establish associations" to carry out various apostolic works...Canon 299.

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