Exercise for a Happy Death
 from Practices of Piety  1953 ed. Salesians of St. John Bosco
 
St. John Bosco recommended this exercise to be used monthly for the members of the religious
order (Salesians) which he founded. He also recommended it for students attending Salesian schools.
 
In addition to the usual daily practices of piety, there shall be: The prayers for this pious exercise
 as given below:
(1) Monthly confession;
(2) A meditation or conference the evening before or on the day itself of the Exercise for 
a Happy Death;
(3) A half-hourís reflection or examination of conscience made in common, according to 
the prescribed formulary on the progress or retrogression made in virtue during the past month
(4) The reading at table or elsewhere of the whole or at least part of the Constitution (Rule of
 the Salesian Order--for Salesians)
(5) The choosing of a Saint as protector for the month.
(6) Prayer of Pope Benedict XIII  To obtain from God the grace of not dying an unprovided death:
	O most merciful Lord Jesus, by Thy agony and sweat of Blood, and by Thy death, deliver us,
we beseech thee, from a sudden and unprovided death. O most kind Lord Jesus, by Thy most cruel and
ignominious scourging and crowning with thorns, by Thy Cross and most bitter Passion, and by Thy goodness,
we humbly pray that Thou wouldst not suffer us to die suddenly without the holy Sacraments. O most loving 
Jesus, by all thy labors and sorrows, by Thy Precious Blood and most sacred Wounds, by those last words 
on the Cross: "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?" and by those others: "Father into Thy hands
 I commend My Spirit," we most earnestly beseech Thee to deliver us from a sudden death. Grant us, we pray 
Thee, time for repentance; grant us a happy passing in Thy grace, so that we may praise Thee, and bless Thee 
forever. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
 
Litany for a Happy Death to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
	Lord Jesus, God of goodness and Father of mercies, I approach Thee with a contrite and humble heart;
To Thee I recommend my last hour and the decision of my eternal doom.
 
When my feet, benumbed in death, shall warn me that my mortal course is drawing to a close, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my hands, cold and trembling, shall no longer be able to clasp the crucifix, and, against my will, 
I am forced to let it fall on my bed of suffering, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my eyes, dim and troubled at the approach of death, shall fix themselves on Thee, my last and only support, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my lips, cold and quivering shall pronounce for the last time, Thy adorable Name, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my face, pale and livid, shall inspire the bystanders with compassion and awe, and my hair bathed 
in the sweat of death and stiffening on my head, shall forbode my approaching end, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my ears, soon to be shut forever to the words of men, shall be opened to hear Thy voice pronouncing 
the sentence by which my condition is to be irrevocably fixed for all eternity, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my imagination, agitated by horrible and fearful specters, shall be drowned in an abyss of anguish; 
and my spirit, troubled with the sight of my ill-doings and the fear of Thy justice, shall wrestle with the 
powers of darkness, who will strive to take from me the consoling sight of thy mercies, and plunge me into
the pit of despair, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my weak heart, weighed down with the pain of my illness shall be overtaken by the horror of death, 
and be exhausted by the efforts it has made against the enemies of my salvation, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When I shall shed my last tear, the sign of my dissolution, do Thou receive it as a sacrifice of expiation, 
so that I may expire a victim of penance; and then, in that dreadful moment, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When those present, encircling my bed, shall be moved by compassion for me and invoke Thy clemency 
on my behalf, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When I shall have lost the use of my senses, when the world shall have vanished from my sight; when my 
agonizing soul shall feel the sorrows of death, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my last sigh, shall summon my soul from my body, accept it as a sign of holy impatience to come 
to Thee, and Thou, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When my soul, trembling on my lips, shall bid adieu to this world and leave my body lifeless, pale and cold, 
receive this separation as a homage which I willingly pay to Thy divine Majesty, and in that moment, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
When at length my soul, admitted to Thy presence, shall first behold the immortal splendor of Thy Majesty, 
reject it not, but receive me into the loving bosom of thy mercy, where I may ever sing Thy praises, 
	merciful Jesus have mercy on me.
 
Let us pray. O God, Who hast doomed all men to die, but hast concealed from all the hour of their death, 
grant that I may pass my days in the practice of holiness and justice; and that I may deserve
to quit this world in Thy holy love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer for the souls in Purgatory
	O Almighty God, Who by the love which Thou bearest for all men, has deigned to take our 
humanity, to live laboriously, to suffer a most cruel Passion, and finally to die on the Cross, I beseech 
Thee, by the infinite merits purchased for us by thy Precious Blood, look mercifully on the torments 
which are endured by those holy souls in Purgatory, who having departed this vale of tears in Thy grace, 
still suffer in cruel flames, in order to atone for the sins, for which they have not yet given full satisfaction 
to Thy divine justice. Accept, O merciful God, the prayers which I offer to them, deliver them from that 
dark prison, and call them to the glory of Heaven. I recommend to Thee the souls of my relations, of my 
benefactors, both spiritual and temporal, and in a special manner of those to whom I may have been an 
occasion of sin by my bad example. Most holy Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Comforter of the Afflicted, 
intercede for these souls that, by thy powerful intercession, they may be admitted to enjoy that Kingdom 
which is prepared for them.
V. We pray Thee, therefore, help Thy Servants;
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy Precious Blood.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joseph to obtain the grace of a happy death.
	Most glorious St. Joseph, blessed Spouse of Mary, thou hast merited to be chosen as Guardian 
for the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, and who, whilst embracing Him affectionately, didst have a 
foretaste of the bliss of Heaven, I beseech thee, obtain for me the full pardon of my sins and the grace 
of imitating thy virtues, so that I may walk in the path that leads to eternal happiness. As thou hadst 
the privilege of having Jesus and Mary at thy deathbed, and in their arms didst breathe forth thy souls, 
I earnestly pray thee to protect me from my enemies in that last moment, so that, consoled by the 
sweet hope of coming to possess everlasting glory in heaven with thee, I may expire pronouncing the 
most holy names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.
For the intention of the Holy Father to gain the Indulgences: 
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
For our benefactors and persons recommended to our prayers: 
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
For the one among us who will be the first to die: 
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
For all the souls in Purgatory:
	Out of the depths I cry to Thee, O Lord; Lord hear my voice. Let Thine ears be attentive 
to the voice of my supplication. If Thou, O Lord wilt mark iniquities, Lord who shall stand? For with
Thee there is forgiveness and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord. My soul hath 
relied on His word, my soul hath hoped in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy, and with 
Him plentiful redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
R. And perpetual light shin upon them.
V. From the gates of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Priests and deacons add:
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
 
Let us pray:
	O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the Faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants 
departed the full remission of their sins, that through the help of pious supplications, they may obtain 
that pardon which they have always desired; Who livest and reignest world without end.
R. Amen.
V. Eternal Rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.