WHAT MUST A CATHOLIC DO IF HE/SHE OR SOMEONE ELSE IS IN DANGER OF IMMINENT DEATH.
Everyone has the inherent right to prepare his/her moment of death as the indispensable time and ultimate opportunity to reconcile one’s self with God and obtain the grace needed to live in peace and eternal happiness.
Hence, it is best to facilitate this necessary preparation to everyone, for the matter at stake is of utmost importance: one’s salvation.
When danger of imminent death exists, it is necessary to call the priest so that he could come as soon as possible to administer the continuous rite of penance, anointing of the Sick and Viaticum to the dying person,a rite which also includes the granting of Apostolic pardon and of plenary indulgence.
- This rite is a manifestation of God’s love and mercy, who has given to His Church, on the basis of the infinite merits of the Passion and Death of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the power to forgive sins and to remit all temporal punishment caused by one’s sins, thus enabling one to go straight to Heaven after Death.
What if priest arrives late, just after the death of the person?
- If the priest arrived after the death of the person, he could still administer the Rite of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick sub conditione, that is under condition that the person is still alive -we do not really know the exact and precise moment when the soul leaves the body-, is contrite of his sins and desires to receive the sacraments before his death.
In the case of the absence of priests, one must invoke God’s mercy, and say a perfect contrition, that is, being truly sorry for one’s sins, not just because of the shame they entail, but more importantly and above all, because they have offended God who is worthy of all our love.
- Again, as a manifestation of God’s love and mercy, and basing Herself on the infinite merits of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the power and grace vested by Him to Her Spouse: Ecclesia supplet (“The Church supplies,” provides or bestows the grace), i.e., if there is no priest around at the moment of death, the Church grants plenary indulgence to the Catholic who desired to receive it during his life on behalf of the priest.
Dear brethren in Christ, let us thank our Ever- Loving and Merciful God Almighty for having founded His Church and given Her Spouse the instruments – his priests-, and the sacraments with their corresponding graces to assure our salvation and eternal happiness.
Let us pray at this very moment for all those who are in danger of imminent death, so that they may receive the grace of final perseverance.
And let us bring souls to God by facilitating them the means to receive the Last Sacraments before their passage to the next life.
Lord, have mercy on your people.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo