The prayers of intercession and petition which the Church never ceases to raise to God have great value. They are “characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2635). The Lord always lets himself be moved by his children’s supplications, for he is the God of the living. During the Eucharist, through the general intercessions and the Memento for the dead, the assembled community presents to the Father of all mercies those who have died, so that through the trial of purgatory they will be purified, if necessary, and attain eternal joy. In entrusting them to the Lord, we recognize our solidarity with them and share in their salvation in this wondrous mystery of the communion of saints. The Church believes that the souls detained in purgatory “are helped by the prayers of the faithful and most of all by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar” (Council of Trent, Decree on Purgatory), as well as by “alms and other works of piety” (Eugene IV, Bull Laetantur coeli). “In fact, that same holiness, which is derived simply from their participation in the Church’s holiness, represents their first and fundamental contribution to the holiness of the Church herself, which is the ‘communion of saints’” (Christifideles laici, n. 17). Pray fervently for the dead I therefore encourage Catholics to pray fervently for the dead, for their family members and for all our brothers and sisters who have died, that they may obtain the remission of the punishments due to their sins and may hear the Lord’s call: “Come, O my dear soul, to eternal repose in the arms of my goodness, which has prepared eternal delights for you” (Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, 17, 4).