Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 44,000 Americans taking their own life each year. But despite its prevalence, it is something that is rarely talked about. And among people of faith, there is often a stigma associated with suicide, as the common assumption was that one who committed the grave sin of suicide could not enter into heaven. However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly tells us that we must not presume to know the state of one who has taken their own life:
“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” – Catechism of the Catholic Church #2283
Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show, Patrick learned that his friend’s son committed suicide and offered the following prayer on his show. May this prayer, written by Vienna Cobb Anderson, be a source of grace for the departed and a source of comfort for those who grieve their loss.
Bless, O God of eternal life,
all who have died by their own hand.
Grant them peace from their inner turmoil
and the compassion of your love.
Comfort those who mourn their loved ones.
Strengthen them to face the questions of pain,
the guilt and anger, the irreparable loss.
Help us to reach out in love to others who prefer death
to the choices of life and to their families who grieve.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.