Dear St. Joseph,
I am praying for my cousins (husbands side), with all of my heart I pray that they get money that they need to get out of debt. I know that times are tough for everyone, but these two people deserve a better life. I have know them for a short amount of time, but seen how much love they have and know that they always do the right thing. Example: he found a bag of jewelry and instead of keeping it, cause he knew it would help money issues, he returned it. Not asking for anything in return (despite the fact that it was all expensive things). To me that shows that he is an honest person who deserves some reward. Please send them some much needed relief. I will continue to pray for them and thank you for your blessings.
Return to Roman Catholic Prayers
Rihanna is mourning the shooting death of her beloved cousin Tavon just one day after celebrating Christmas with him. Now she’s praying for the end to gun violence.
The holidays should be a time of celebration, and it was for Rihanna, 29, as she was at home in Barbados surrounded by her loved ones at Christmas. Then thing took a tragic turn on Dec. 26 when the singer lost her young cousin Tavon to gun violence. She broke the sad news about his passing on her Instagram with four photos showing her arm in arm with her beloved relative over the years. The tragic caption read, “RIP cousin… can’t believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms! Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man! 😢🙏🏿❤ #endgunviolence.”
Rihanna has a wide extended family and it appears that the victim is her 21-year-old cousin Tavon Alleyne. The two were very close by looking at the pics. To lose a loved one in a violent way — especially the day after something so joyful as Christmas — has to be just beyond devastating. Local news reports claim that he was shot multiple times and the gunman is being hunted by local police in the St. Martin’s area of Barbados. He later died at a local hospital. See pics of Rihanna, here.
The “Work” singer’s fans immediately rallied to her Instagram post with messages of condolence and support. “This is so sad rest in peace 💔,” one person wrote and it was a common sentiment as others posted, “Sorry for your loss may he RIP.” Some even said they could relate to their heartbreak over losing a loved one in a similar manner and another user pointed out, “Sad…#RIP. The Caribbean is battling this gun violence situation. Sadly it’s hitting home for many.”
HollywoodLifers, send your condolences to Rihanna for the loss of her cousin in our comments.
When the sunny skies turn from blue to gray,
I can’t help but wonder just what you would say?
I wonder if you know how many lives you have touched.
Do you know that people here love you so much?
Can you even know how many dreams you made come true,
Or if you can hear the voices saying I love you?
Do you know how many lives you have changed
And how many lives you completely rearranged?
I wish I could have just one more year,
Because I can’t picture the rest of my life without you here.
Just another chance to spend the night and share a laugh.
Another day of school with you is what I’d like to have.
Do you know you’ll be greatly missed by us all?
Just one more time I want to hear your voice when I call.
Just one more laugh, one more time to see you walk through the door.
Another smile, another story, another hug, another day…just one more.
Therefore, we see panikhidas and prayer at home for the dead are beneficial for them, as are good deeds done in their memory, such as alms or contributions to the church. But especially beneficial for them is commemoration at the Divine Liturgy. There have been many appearances of the dead and other occurrences which confirm how beneficial is the commemoration of the dead. Many who died in repentance, but who were unable to manifest this while they were alive, have been freed from tortures and have obtained repose.
How important commemoration at the Liturgy is may be seen in the following occurrence: Before the uncovering of the relics of St. Theodosius of Chernigov (1896), the priest-monk (the renowned Starets Alexis of Goloseyevsky Hermitage, of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, who died in 1916) who was conducting the re-vesting of the relics, becoming weary while sitting by the relics, dozed off and saw before him the Saint, who told him: “I thank you for laboring me. I beg you also, when you will serve the Liturgy, to commemorate my parents”—and be gave their names (Priest Nikita and Maria).** “How can you, O Saint, ask my prayers, when you yourself stand at the heavenly Throne and grant to people God’s mercy?” the priest-monk asked. “Yes, that is true,” replied St. Theodosius, “but the offering at the Liturgy is more powerful than my prayer.”
Therefore, we see panikhidas and prayer at home for the dead are beneficial for them, as are good deeds done in their memory, such as alms or contributions to the church. But especially beneficial for them is commemoration at the Divine Liturgy. There have been many appearances of the dead and other occurrences which confirm how beneficial is the commemoration of the dead. Many who died in repentance, but who were unable to manifest this while they were alive, have been freed from tortures and have obtained repose. In the Church, prayers are ever offered for the repose of the dead, and on the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, in the kneeling prayers at vespers, there is even a special petition “for those in hell.”
St. Gregory the Great, in answering in his Dialogues the question, “Is there anything at all that can possibly benefit souls after death?” teaches: “The Holy Sacrifice of Christ, our saving Victim, brings great benefits to souls even after death, provided their sins (are such as) can be pardoned in the life to come. For this reason the souls of the dead sometimes beg to have Liturgies offered for them … The safer course, naturally, is to do for ourselves during life what we hope others will do for us after death. It is better to make one’s exit a free man than to seek liberty after one is in chains. We should, therefore, despise this world with all our hearts as though its glory were already spent, and offer our sacrifice of tears to God each day as we immolate His sacred Flesh and Blood. This Sacrifice alone has the power of saving the soul from eternal death, for it presents to us mystically the death of the Only-begotten Son” (Dialogues IV: 57, 60, pp. 266, 272-3).
St. Gregory gives several examples of the dead appearing to the living and asking for or thanking them for the celebration of the Liturgy for their repose; once, also, a captive whom his wife believed dead and for whom she had the Liturgy celebrated on certain days, returned from captivity and told her how he had been released from his chains on some days—the very days when the Liturgy had been offered for him. (Dialogues IV: 57, 59, pp. 267, 270).
Protestant theologians find the Church’s prayer for the dead to be somehow incompatible with the necessity of finding salvation first of all in this life: “If you can be saved by the Church after death, then why bother to struggle or find faith in this Life? Let us eat, drink, and be merry…” Of course, no one holding such a philosophy has ever attained salvation by the Church’s prayers, and it is evident that such an argument is quite artificial and even hypocritical. The Church’s prayer cannot save anyone who does not wish salvation, or who never offered any struggle for it himself during his lifetime. In a sense, one might say that the prayer of the Church or of individual Christians for a dead person is but another result of that person’s life: he would not be prayed for unless he had done something during his lifetime to inspire such prayer after his death.
St. Mark of Ephesus also discusses this question of the Church’s prayer for the dead and the improvement it brings in their state, citing the example of the prayer of St. Gregory the Dialogist for the Roman Emperor Trajan—a prayer inspired by a good deed of this pagan Emperor.
**These names had been unknown before this vision. Several years after the canonization, St. Theodosius’ own Book of Commemoration was found in the monastery where he had once been Abbot, which confirmed these names and corroborated the vision. See the Life of Elder Alexis in Pravoslavny Blagovestnik, San Francisco, 1967, No. I (in Russian).
Excerpt from The Soul after Death by Fr. Seraphim Rose
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