Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

How can I know if my loved one is in heaven?

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
11/2/2017 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (

Is it possible to know if my beloved departed is in heaven?

How do we know our loved ones are in heaven? For those of us grieving the loss of a loved one, there may be no greater question, and no greater comfort than knowing our beloved is with God. Is it possible to know for sure?

We look forward to the fulfillment of the promise made to us.

We look forward to the fulfillment of the promise made to us.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Anyone who makes it into heaven is a saint. That's what the word means. The Church recognizes thousands of individuals who are certain to be saints. All of the saints lived meritorious lives, and died in a state of grace and friendship with God. In many cases, these individuals devoted their entire lives to Jesus Christ. Following investigation by the Church, and based on evidence, we can reliably say some people are saints. But what about the rest of us ordinary folks?

Ordinary people can and certainly do go to heaven. While the Church recognizes thousands of saints, it is not the Church who decides who is a saint. God alone is responsible for particular judgement. Particular judgement occurs at the moment of death, and is when we are judged to go one place or another. It is virtually certain there are millions to billions more saints than recognized by the Church.

For ordinary folks who die as followers of God, but who are still imperfect in some ways, there is Purgatory. Purgatory is a place of purification, open to those without mortal sin, but whose venial sin must still be cleansed. These souls will eventually reach heaven, but nobody knows how long this process takes. We know the prayers of the faithful on Earth help them, and this is why we celebrate All Souls Day.

As for telling if our loved one is in heaven, the best we can do is ask for a sign. What form that sign might take is subject to wide interpretation. Unfortunately, there is no process whereby we can ask the question and receive a definitive answer.

There are people who claim they can answer the question, but you should avoid these people. Mediums and others who dabble in the occult and claim to channel spirits are charlatans at best. At worst, you are toying with demonic possession. Consulting and engaging the services of such people is a dangerous activity that could place your soul in mortal peril. The same goes for people who use Ouija boards and other methods of communicating with the deceased. People who have made this error should immediately speak to their priest. It's understandable that people might be tempted to do this, but it is also dangerous.

It is disappointing to hear there is no list one can check, or form a person can submit to get an answer, but heaven is not a bureaucracy. Instead, we are called to have faith that God is just, merciful and loving.

If our loved one sought to be Good, then we can reasonably expect that God's mercy and grace will have worked in this person's life to deliver them from evil. We serve these loved ones by offering prayers in their name, in the hope that  our devotion hastens their departure from Purgatory.

We never forget or fully heal from the loss of a loved one, because our wounds are more than physical. All we can do is have faith and pray. The Holy Spirit comforts those of us who grieve, if we allow it. It's okay to grieve. It's okay to be sad, to visit the resting place, and to want to hold on to the memories of those who have departed. And while life must go on, we will never forget. We may cry and be mournful, this is allowed, but we must also allow room for faith and hope. We must trust in God's mercy and grace.

The greatest memorial we can provide is our prayers, and to lead good lives. We do this so that someday when we close our eyes for the last time in this realm, we can open them in the next to see our beloved smiling at us in heaven. At that moment, all sorrow will be banished forever. Let us have faith in God, who keeps His Holy word. Let us have faith in Love.


More Christian Saints & Heroes

Get your gorgeous Knights Templar certificate today! Watch

Image of

Nearly 100 people have completed their adventure with the Knights Templar on Catholic Online School. Are you next?  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

John Henry Newman to be canonized Oct. 13 Watch

Image of Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Pope Francis will canonize Bl. John Henry Newman on October 13 of this year. The Vatican made the announcement on Monday. Newman was an ... continue reading

Feast of the Deacon St Vincent Calls the Church and her Deacons to Heroic Virtue

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always ... continue reading

Santuario de Lourdes inaugura ano jubilar de Santa Bernardette Soubirus Watch

Image of

El rector del Santuario de Lourdes (Francia), P. Andre Cabes, acaba de inaugurar el "Ano Bernardita" o ano jubilar de Santa Bernardette ... continue reading

Reflection on the Silence of St. Joseph, the Guardian of the Redeemer Watch

Image of St. Joseph and the child Jesus

Joseph was a humble man. There was not an ounce of false bravado or machismo in this servant of God. Named after the great Patriarch who ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.