How to Gain Indulgences for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

The Trinity with Souls in Purgatory (detail), Corrado Giaquinto - Credit: Minneapolis Institute of Art

A brief outline on how to obtain a Plenary Indulgence and the particular acts to perform to gain an indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Six General rules for obtaining a Plenary Indulgence:


  1. State of grace at least when performing the indulgenced act
  2. Complete detachment from sin, even venial sin
  3. Confession (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
  4. Communion (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
  5. Prayers for the Supreme Pontiff (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
  6. Indulgenced act: a special good work with special conditions of place and time

Indulgenced acts to be performed for obtaining a Plenary Indulgence for the Poor Souls of Purgatory:


  • From November 1 to 8: visit a cemetery with mental prayer for the poor souls.
  • On November 2: visit a church or an oratory with one Our Father and one Creed being recited.

On these days, a partial indulgence can be obtained any time by visiting a cemetery and praying for the Poor Souls.

The following prayer is especially recommended:

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Learn more about indulgences