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A prayer for those who have lost their lives to suicide … and for all of us

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 06/08/18

Speak to every human heart and fill it with the conviction: I am wanted ...

Merciful Father who creates in love, we entrust to your hands those who have lost their lives by suicide.

With the whole Church, we pray for those who have taken their own lives.

As you command us, we do not despair of their eternal salvation, convinced and sure with St. Paul that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God the Father, so rich in mercy, by paths known to you alone, you find ways to provide opportunity for repentance for each of us, such as your saint John Vianney assured the widow fearing for her husband:

I tell you he is saved. He is in Purgatory, and you must pray for him. Between the parapet of the bridge and the water he had time to make an act of contrition. Our Blessed Lady obtained that grace for him.

Bring healing to our broken, desperate world. Comfort those who are lonely. Give those who are depressed and despairing the grace to seek help. Inspire all of us to reach out in love and solidarity to everyone we meet.

By your divine mercy, reign in the power of evil.  Build us into living stones of a culture of life, who demonstrate in both deed and word the truth that every life, no matter its conditions, is precious and unrepeatable.

Lord, speak to every human heart and fill it with the conviction: I am wanted; I have a task in history; I am accepted, I am loved; it is good that I exist; it is good to be a human being.

Your love crushes all loneliness and isolation. May every human heart experience your love, and may each of us be your love for others.

The national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night, or chat online.

There is also a free crisis text line — dial HOME to 741741.

For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.

Read more:
On the deacon’s daughter who committed suicide: ‘God will use this death to help others come out of the shadows’


Read more:
Pope: What would have happened if Judas had met Our Lady on his way to kill himself?

The Aleteia team brings you this prayer drawing from these sources, which can provide further reflection:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.


John Vianney:

The Cure D’Ars: St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney, by Abbe Francis Trochu.


Benedict XVI:

Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, 22 December 2011speaking on joy: the crucial [reason for joy at WYD] is this certainty, based on faith: I am wanted; I have a task in history; I am accepted, I am loved. Josef Pieper, in his book on love, has shown that man can only accept himself if he is accepted by another. He needs the other’s presence, saying to him, with more than words: it is good that you exist. Only from the You can the I come into itself.


Pope Francis:

Prayers for a Particular Need
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