Let us have compassion on the poor souls!

Purgatory spirituality

Mons. Ascânio Brandão presented us with this excellent treasure over the souls of Purgatory. Those who once were need us!


Mons. Ascanio Brandão






Happy landing


Fr. Anastácio Vasquez CMF

Sao Paulo, September 7, 1948


Mons. José Maria Monteiro

Vicar General

Sao Paulo, September 12, 1948



A French historian has published curious and interesting work on the old and touching religious traditions of France. In a work entitled “Les Rouleaux des morts!”, M. Leopold Deliale recalls an old custom of medieval Catholic piety:

“Hear of the Middle Ages, a pious custom among the monks. It was the scroll of the dead. What does this mean? There were no facilities like the railroad, the airplane, the telegraph and the telephone today. Difficult and long communications. Zeal for the dead invented the scroll. It was a large handwritten parchment where the names of the deceased monks were written on each monastery. And a godly lay brother called the “rotuliger” would go on long walks on foot, praying De profundis and meditating on death. Arriving at the door of a convent of the Order, he knocked and showed the Abbot the scroll: - “Pray for the dead and write here the names of those who passed from this to eternal life, so that we may pray for them all.

Have compassion on the poor souls! ”

And there were inscribed on the parchment the names of the late monks, more recent.

And the rotuliger followed the trip after a brief rest. And so it was established in all of Europe such godly and holy custom. ”

It would have been amazing to hear the rotuliger crying at the door of the monasteries and the roads: Have compassion on the deceased faithful!

Remember the dead!

Pray for the dead!

Well, my dear readers, with this book I want to be the label of the deceased faithful. I want to cry at the door of every parish, every convent, school and community, I want to cry at the door of every Catholic family: Have compassion on the poor souls! Have compassion on souls! Pray for the deceased faithful! I want this little book to be the scroll of the dead and its author the "label of souls."

I noticed, always edified, the devotion of our people to the holy souls of purgatory. There is a lot of superstition with it, it is true, and spiritualism has been exploiting the cult of the dead in a painful way, even taking advantage of the inclination of our people and the sentimentality of the Brazilian for the dead. I believe, and from this I am convinced by experience, that true devotion to the holy souls of purgatory, well understood and well practiced, will be the best remedy for this evil, the best fight against this spiritist plague among us. Perhaps even ignorance of this rational dogma, in José de Maistre's words, is the cause of such overwhelming spiritist propaganda among us.

By all titles devotion to the holy souls of purgatory is necessary and timely. So let us go to this unique work of charity. And let me, like the label of the poor souls, always go around shouting with my little book: Let us have compassion on the poor souls! Pray for the deceased faithful! And my readers, a final request: in your suffrage do not forget my soul, if one day the news of my death comes to you.

Mons. Ascanio Brandão



Perhaps in this work, more than in others, is the statement ordered by Pope Urban VIII of holy memory. The extraordinary facts narrated here deserve a human faith and do not imply in any official statement of the Church the titles of saint and blessed perhaps found here and attributed to the servants of God or virtuous people. I did my best to ensure that all examples were taken from safe, well-documented sources.

In doctrine, I have sought to avoid more subtle and curious questions than edifying and profitable to the faithful. The opinions of the holy doctors and confident theologians were on which I stood to encourage the faithful in devotion to holy souls.

However, as in the doctrine of purgatory, the Church has little in the way of faith, everything else is left to the doctors, theologians, and the often invoked testimony of well-proven private revelations, and many of them subject to a rigorous canonical process for ascertaining the truth. truth. Still, I searched for the most authoritative and authoritative authors, avoided legendary and dubious narrations, and searched for the most guaranteed, edifying, and impressive ones.

However, if anything here may be at odds with the good and sound doctrine or any determination of the Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church, I humbly wish to have the glory of submitting to my Mother the Holy Church, of which I am obedient son whose faith I want to live and die.

The author


1st of November

The Month of Souls

November is the month consecrated by our devotion to the suffrage of souls in purgatory. We are still in the Month of the Rosary, because SS Leo XIII, when he extended to the whole Church the Month of the Rosary, wanted the queen of devotions to Mary to be understood in the devotion of the faithful as the devotion that unites the three Churches.

Rosary Month runs until November 2, so that the treasure of the Queen of Marian devotions can benefit the suffering Church. November is dedicated to the worship of the dead, devotion to the souls of purgatory. From the first to the thirtieth of this month, let us remember our duties of justice and charity to our deceased, let us suffocate to them the poor souls who are suffering in purgatory.

How beautiful and most useful this devotion is!

In the first two days, united with the Most Holy Mother of the Rosary, let us begin devoutly and fervently the Month of souls. Month of longing and month of suffrage. The Church gives us a few months each year to encourage some devotions: March, the month of dear Patriarch St. Joseph; May, the beautiful month of Mary. We sing the praise of Our Lady and encourage our love and devotion to the Mother of God and our Mother.

June brings us the piety of the Most Holy Heart of Jesus. It is the month of fervor, of the love of that Heart that so loved men, the month of reparation. October, the beautiful month of the Rosary for which the Church wants to encourage in the faithful zeal and love for the Queen of devotions to Mary. Finally, here comes November, the month of Souls.

Why in November? October became the month of the Rosary because in it is the feast of the Virgin of the Rosary. In November we have the Communion of Saints feast - and the day of the dead. Which month would be better for the month of the dead, the month of souls in purgatory?

Let us therefore encourage our devotion, I shall say better, our compassion for suffering souls. This month let us meditate, pray, suffer, do all we can so that purgatory may receive more suffrage and that the lessons of this terrible and consoling dogma will profit us well.

Let us have compassion on the poor souls! If we only knew what they suffer! If we have a stronger faith, we will feel that we must do everything in our power to make this month rich in good works, rich in fervent prayers and above all Holy Masses and indulgences for purgatory.

This month we can profit rich indulgences ...

... An indulgence of three years once a day, if we do any exercise in suffrage of souls; a plenary indulgence for those who do all the Month of Souls, as long as they confess and commune and pray for the Holy Father's intention on one day of the month. To those who attend the exercises, indulgence of seven years each day of the month. And plenary indulgence in the form of custom. (PPO549)

On November 2nd there is great indulgence. A plenary indulgence each time to those who visit the churches praying six Fathers and Ave Marias in the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

So let's do everything for souls this month!


The Dogma of the Communion of Saints

We pray in the Creed: I believe in the Communion of Saints! How many people do not ask curiously because they ignore it: “What is Communion of Saints?” Before we begin to meditate on these days of November the dogma of purgatory, it is necessary, on All Saints' Day, on the day when Church lives the dogma of the Communion of Saints, remembering what it is and the spiritual riches that bring us. It is the dogma of the solidarity of the faithful. Saints, they are Christians in the grace of God. The early Christians were so called. Saints, it is the righteous in heaven who have been saved and are in God's possession. Saints, it is the righteous who suffer in purgatory. Are not those souls truly confirmed in grace and waiting for the eternal vision of heaven? For communion or communication is the union of the faithful of earth, heaven, and purgatory. They form the three Churches - the militant Church, we are the ones who fight in this world; the triumphant Church, the faithful already in heaven in the eternal triumph of glory; and the suffering Church, the faithful who purify themselves in the flames of purgatory. All are members of Christ. All form the Mystical Body of Christ, our Head. We are all united in Jesus Christ as members united to the head.


What a sublime doctrine!

Christ our Lord is glorified in heaven by triumphant members; suffers in purgatory in its suffering members; fight with us in this world with the militant members. For with this admirable doctrine of the Mystical Body we can help each other in this sublime solidarity in Christ and for Christ.

The souls of purgatory can no longer deserve, it is up to us those who still have at our disposal the treasures of Redemption and the merits of Christ.

We can help them, we can help them and they depend on us. In turn, the saints of heaven together with God, in possession of eternal happiness, can avail us in this life, can intercede for us. So we turned to the triumphant Church for help, and in turn helped the suffering Church. This is what the dogma of the Communion of Saints is. Can the saints in heaven help the souls in purgatory? Are there relations between the triumphant Church and the suffering Church? We believe so. St. Thomas Aquinas says so.

Many authors teach it. The saints cannot deserve in heaven like us here on earth. Therefore, to satisfy for souls cannot, but to ask and intercede for them many theologians affirm it with much foundation. Moreover, there is a prayer of the Church that authorizes us to this belief. Here it is: “O God, who forgive sinners and desire the salvation of men, we implore your mercy through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, in favor of our brothers, relatives and benefactors who have left. of this world that they may obtain eternal bliss. ”

Another prayer, “Fidelium,” repeats the same supplication. The early Christians buried the dead at the tomb of the first saints to beg their intercession. We can therefore believe that the saints, not like us, but interceding and asking, can help purgatory.


How do saints help souls?

We have already seen that the fate of souls is in our hands, because only we can earn and earn for them. It is God's will that they depend on us. "God, writes Father Faber, has given us such power over the lot of the dead, that it seems to depend more on earth than on heaven." We are the saviors and helpers of the souls of purgatory. The Church has defined that our prayers can be valid for the dead but there is no definition of the prayer of the saints in this regard. Why? Of course, there was no need for any definition.

Protestants denied the value of the intercession of the saints in our behalf, but said nothing about the intercession of the saints in favor of souls because they denied purgatory. Now the Church implores in the Ritual the intercession of the saints for the dead: “Come up ... Saints from heaven, come to their aid, Angels from heaven, come, receive your soul ... How, then, do the saints help The deads?

1. They ask that the satisfactions of the living be accepted before God.

2. God is asked that the living be led to help and satisfy the dead, that devotion to suffering souls should be encouraged more and more.

3. Our Lord may be asked to release souls faster through intensities of punishment that shortens this longer time of suffering.

4. They may pray to our Lord that for the merits and satisfactions they had when they were in this world, these merits may be used by souls, and they may also offer the merits of Christ, Mary, and other saints.

In short, theologians are sure, there are many ways the saints can help the holy souls of purgatory. This belief is very old in the church. We find it in monuments, the popular devotions of centuries, and it is already traditional in the devotion of the whole Catholic world to resort to the intercession of the saints for the souls of purgatory.

On All Saints Day the Church invites us to meditate on the greatness and power of holiness. Show us the models and ask us to imitate them. Glorify the elect in the beauty of their Liturgy, singing the triumph of their children in heaven.

Then, in the evening, the bells can be heard ringing, and on Vespers everything changes. After the festive eve of All Saints comes the mourning and office of the deceased. One succeeds the Misereres and those of Profundis. It is the turn of the suffering church. In this two days, 1st and 2nd of November, we live the dogma of the Communion of Saints. The three Churches united, praying, and in admirable communication of grace and merit and suffrage.

This one says, said Ven. Olier, is perhaps the greatest day of the Church's liturgy for the faithful. It is the day of the Total Christ, the Christ united with us, the Mystical Body of Christ, head of the three Churches. How can we use the intercession of the saints in favor of souls?

Certainly, there is no doubt, they in glory can intercede for us and protect us. For let us use this intercession for the sake of souls. May they help us to help souls. May we have much compassion and devotion for souls, may we make angels of charity of the blessed suffering souls. Here's how saints can help souls.



The Expiatory Work of Montligeon published, with the approval of ecclesiastical authority, the following fact: In September 1870, a nun from the Redemptorist Sisters Monastery of Malines in Belgium suddenly felt a deep sadness that left her day and night. Poor soror Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart has become a puzzle to herself and the community. Shortly thereafter, word comes of the death of the good sister's father in the battlefields. From this day, the nun began to hear anguished moans and a voice that always says to her:

- My dear daughter! Have mercy on me! Have mercy on me!

On October 4, new torment for Sister and an unbearable headache. On the fourteenth night, as she lay down, she saw her father surrounded by flames between the bed and the cell wall, deep in sorrow. He could not hold back a cry of pain and amazement. On the 15th at the same time, when reciting the Hail Queen, he again saw his father among the flames. At this point, Sister asked her father if he had done any wrong in his business.

"No," he says, "I did no wrong." I suffer for my continued impatience and other faults that I cannot tell you.

On the 27th, new appearance. This time it was not surrounded by flames. He complained that he was not relieved because they did not pray enough for him.

"My father, don't you know that we nuns can't pray all day, do we have the Rule work?"

"I do not ask this," he says, "I want intentions, indulgences to apply to me." If you don't help me, I will torment you. God allowed it!

Oh My daughter, remember that you offered yourself to Our Lord as a victim. This is the consequence. Look, look, my daughter, this fire-filled cistern I'm in! We are hundreds here. Oh If they knew what purgatory is, they would have to suffer everything, everything to avoid and to relieve the souls that are there. You must be a very holy religious, my daughter, and observe the Holy Rule well, even in the most insignificant points. The purgatory of the nuns, oh! It's a terrible thing, daughter!

Soror Maria Serafina did see a burning cistern from which clouds of black smoke flowed. And the father disappeared as if burned, choked horribly, thirsty, opening his mouth showing his parched tongue.

- I'm thirsty, my daughter, I'm thirsty!

The next day the same painful apparition:

- My daughter, I haven't seen you in a long time!

- My father, just yesterday ...

- Oh! It seems to me an eternity ... if I stay in purgatory for three months, it will be an eternity ... I was sentenced to several years, but I owe Our Lady, who interceded for me, to be reduced to a few months only.

This grace of being able to ask for prayers, the good man achieved by his good works, for he was extremely charitable and devoted to Mary. She was a Communist at all the feasts of the Virgin and helped a lot in founding a charity house for the little sisters of the diocese.

Soror Maria Serafina asked her father several questions:

"Do souls in purgatory know those who pray for them and can pray for us?"

- Yes, daughter!

Do these souls suffer when they know that God is offended among their families and in the world?

- Yes.

Sister, guided by her confessor and the Superior, continued to question her father:

"Is it true, my father, that all the torments of the earth and the martyrs are far below the suffering of purgatory?"

- Yes, my daughter, all this is very true ...

He asked if all the people who belong to the Brotherhood of Carmel are released on the first Saturday after the death of purgatory.

"Yes," he answered, but one must be true to the Brotherhood's obligations.

Is it true that there are souls who must be in purgatory for fifty years?

- Yes. Some are condemned to atone for their sins until the end of the world. They are very guilty souls and they are abandoned. There are three things God punishes that attract the curse upon men: the violation of Sunday by work, the unclean vice that has become very common, and the blasphemies.

Oh My daughter, the blasphemies are horrible and provoke the wrath of God.

From this day until Christmas Eve, Soror Maria Serafina always appeared the tormented soul of her good father, for whom she and the community prayed and did penance. At the first Mass of Christmas, the good sister saw her father at the rising hour, brilliant as the sun, of incomparable beauty.

- I have finished my time of atonement, daughter, I come to thank you and your sisters for their prayers and suffrages. I will pray for all in heaven.

And as she entered the cell at dawn, she saw Sister Serafina once again the soul of her father resplendent with light and beauty, saying:

“I will ask your soul, daughter, for perfect conformity to God's will and the grace to enter heaven without going through purgatory.

And disappeared into an ocean of light and beauty.

These events took place from October to December 1870 and were subjected to a rigorous and rigorous examination by the ecclesiastical authorities before being published and widely disseminated by the Expiatory Work of Our Lady of Montiglion in France.


November 2nd



It is the day of the deceased faithful in every church. A reminder of those who have passed and sleep the sleep of peace. I slept in somno pacis.

The whole liturgy recalls the tame of purgatory and asks us for prayers for our dead. The Church is covered in mourning and the priests can, on this day, celebrate the Holy Sacrifice three times. Crowds flock to cemeteries. It is the memory of our dead awakened. Miss the miss. Dead! Day of the Dead!

Do we remember them with just a few flowers and tears that eventually fade away, or do we try to suffocate them for the poor souls who may still be suffering in purgatory? This day has been given to us by the Church, not for the pomp and manifestation of serious sentimentality, but for the suffrage of the dead. How many Christians forget this! Crowds that fill the cemeteries, smiling and even joking often, without prayers, without a supernatural thought of the dead! Let us sanctify this day. Let it be the day of our longing, but above all, let it be our suffrage.

The Church, our Mother, on this day opens to us the treasures of her indulgences for the dead. It allows the celebration of the three Holy Masses since the Apostolic Constitution of 15 August 1915 by Benedict XV. Two Masses belong; one to the deceased faithful in general and another to the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. He grants a great indulgence, similar to that of the Porciúncula, in favor of the deceased. To those who visit a public or semi-public church or oratory, plenary indulgence each time those who enter the church and pray six Our Fathers and six Hail Marys in the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, as long as they have confessed and received Holy Communion. (PPO 554.)

What a treasure of indulgence for the poor souls! Moreover, all Holy Masses celebrated on the Day of the Dead for the dead, and during the eighth enjoy the privileged altar. The visit to the cemetery also on this day has a plenary indulgence. Why do these treasures open the Church above us? To encourage us to devotion to the dead and zeal for the suffrage of souls.

Everything in the Divine Office of this day speaks to us of human misery, by Job's painful lamentations, and repeats moans that seem to come from the depths of the abyss:

Miseremini mei! Misereminni mei! Saliem amiel honey qula manus Domini teligit me! Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, at least you who are my friends, because the hand of God has struck me. Yes, the hand of God's Justice has struck the poor souls to sanctify, cleanse, and make them worthy of heaven.

With the Church, our Mother in mourning, let us mourn our dead, and, praying for them, reaffirm our faith in the immortality of our souls and the resurrection of the flesh. Let's say from the heart: Requiem seternam dona eis Domine, ei lux perpetua lucent eis. Lord, give them eternal rest, and let the everlasting light shine to them!


Origin of the Day of the Dead

Prayer for the dead is as old as the Church, as has been proven, as old as the Old Testament, for who does not remember the prayer of the sacrifices commanded by Judas Maccabees and the expression: Is it helpful and healthy to pray for the dead? Prayers have always been prayed in the Church, and the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Altars has been offered for the relief of the dead. However, there has not always been a day especially devoted to the suffrages and the pious remembrance of the deceased faithful. The commemoration of the deceased faithful of 2 November comes from the time of Saint Odilon, celebrated abbot of Cluny from 994 to 1049. Prior to this great Saint, many monasteries had already had a day especially devoted to the suffrage of the deceased monks, as it appears from the martyrologists and obituaries. These were celebrations reserved only for the Monastery, in particular. St. Odilon's initiative consisted in extending to all the deceased the benefits and suffrages of these private celebrations reserved only to the monks of certain monasteries.

According to the monk Joisaid in the book "De vita el virtutibus sanctl Odilonis abbatis",

There was an extraordinary fact that determined this general celebration. A pilgrim from Rodez, who was well acquainted with the virtues and works of St. Odilon, on his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, foundered on a deserted island. There he had mysterious visions of great fires, and he heard shouts and moans from poor purgatory souls saying, "We are relieved by the prayers and charity of the servant of God Odilon and the monks of Gluny." The pilgrim, as soon as he was saved, went to Cluny Monastery and told him what he had heard. Hence the origin of the commemoration of the dead, for Saint Odilon thereafter worked to extend it to the whole Church. By the eleventh century it was already known and practiced throughout the Western Church. Over time it became more solemn, until in recent years it obtained the rich treasures of indulgences and masses that we have already spoken of.

In the life of Saint Odilon, taken from the Acta Sanctorum ordinis Sanctl Benediciti, is the decree of the Institution of the Commemoration of the Dead. Here it is: “By our Blessed Father Dom Odilon and the consent and supplication of all the priests of Cluny has been decreed.” “As in the churches of God that rise throughout the earth orb the feast of Kalenda is celebrated on November of All Saints, so among us will be, according to the custom of the feasts, commemoration of all the deceased faithful who lived from the beginning of the world to the end in such a way; On the same day, after the Chapter, they will give alms of bread and wine to all the poor who appear as they usually do at the Lord's Supper. On this very day, after the assembly of Vespers, all the bells will ring and Vespers will sing for the dead. The next day, after Matinas, all the bells will ring again and the office for the dead will be performed, etc. ”And since then it has begun, until today we see, the solemnity of the Commemoration of the deceased faithful.



Let us make the purpose of keeping well the lessons of this day, recorded in our souls.

The memory of the dead must be embalmed by the scent of prayer and the charity of suffrage. May the Day of All Souls be the day of our great dedication to the dead. Listen to Holy Mass, receive Holy Communion and visit the cemetery if possible. We may lovingly adorn the dear graves. However, may these flowers symbolize our prayer and come after or together with our suffrages. Flowers and tears sterile feelings, do not enjoy the dead, we have said and repeated. Do not leave the essentials for the accessory. The useful for the superfluous. We go to the cemetery without vanity and with a spirit of faith. There we proceed as true Christians, with all due respect. Let us meditate seriously on our eternal destiny. Let us say as St. Camille of Lenis: “O if these who are here in the tombs could return, how they should be saints and work for their salvation! These are gone and I will go one day too! Later they will also visit me in a cemetery! ”

I'm ready? Death will come when I least think. My God! Have mercy on those who may be suffering in purgatory because of me!

Anyway, how much serious and decisive reflection cannot come to us in the cemetery!

Saint Silvester, the abbot, converted and sanctified himself in the sight of the corpse in corruption, the corpse of a great friend who saw him in an open tomb in a pitiful state of corruption. The prayer of the Holy One in the Breviary recalls this passage when it reads: “O most dear God, that you have deigned to call to solitude the holy abbot Sylvester, when he meditated mercifully on the vanity of this world, in an open tomb, On the merits of an illustrious life, we humbly implore you that by imitating his example, we despise earthly goods in order to enjoy your company forever. ”

This is what we need to do on the day of the dead: to contemplate the graves and seek the solitude of a serious meditation. Think about our future life. It is not necessary to open the tombs and witness, like St. Sylvester, the horrible spectacle of corruption that we will one day come to. There is much to meditate on in the closed tombs, there is much to learn in a cemetery!

Let us resolve, then, again, to visit the dead to learn to live. Let us make the day of the deceased the day of our great and generous charity towards the deceased faithful.



The Cologne Bookseller

William Feysasen was a celebrated Cologne bookseller, which includes two extraordinary graces attained by devotion to the holy souls of purgatory. He had narrated these graces in a letter written in the year 1649 to the Rt. Fr. James de Monfort of the Society of Jesus. Here is the letter: “My Father, I am writing to you to tell you about the double healing of my wife and my son. During the holidays when I closed my bookstore and print shop, I gathered at home and took a good, godly book to read. They were the originals of a work that was going to print on the souls of purgatory. I was busy reading this when I was told that my son had the symptoms of a very serious illness. The disease progressed rapidly and the child was in serious danger of life. The doctors gave no hope. The funerals were already being considered. In this great affliction and seeing all the human resources being bald, I decided to make a request to the Lord for the souls in purgatory and made a promise: I would distribute free a hundred copies of the book dealing with purgatory and recommended devotion to holy souls. A great hope filled my heart. I immediately entered his son's room and found him much better. The next day, against all expectations, the boy was completely healed and restored. I fulfilled my vow. I immediately advertised the work.

Three weeks went by and a serious illness struck my wife. She trembled all over her body and threw herself to the floor in convulsions until she was senseless. He even lost his word. All possible means had been employed to save it, but all to no avail. The confessor attending her had only words of comfort. As for me, I didn't lose hope. He had great confidence in the blessed souls of purgatory. I returned to the church and promised to distribute, this time two hundred copies of the book in order to win many souls for devotion to holy souls. I was barely leaving the church when the servants came to give me the happy news that my wife was much better. And so it was.

I found my most willing wife, and a few days later was perfectly healed. I was faithful to give the promised books and was always very grateful to the souls in purgatory. ” (Hautin, Puteus deunctorum - Lib. I - CV Art. 3.)


November 3rd


Is death all over?

Yes, it is true, with death everything is over. Gone are the riches, the honors, the luxury, the earthly glories, and even our poor wretched body becomes a filthy, horrible mound. Let's get to the dust we came from. You are dust and you will become dust. We will be about the body, nothing, dust, a handful of slime. However, we have an immortal soul, created in the image and likeness of God, and it is not over. It is spiritual. It separates from the body it gave life to, but does not die. Death is but the separation of the soul from the body. So not everything ends in death. The main thing is the soul.

It's all - a soul redeemed by the Blood of God.

We are not a brute who is born, grows and dies, and disappears in a heap forever.

A friend of Socrates, the celebrated Greek philosopher condemned to death, asked him before the venom of hemlock seized precious life:

"Do you have any wish for us to fulfill it?" Any provision for burial?

- What they want - My friend, then think of burying me: They can bury my body, but they can't bury me.

Answer from a pagan aware of his immortality.

And we Christians can much more rightly say: - they bury our dead body, our poor and miserable body. But we are alive and immortal. We will not die. Our soul does not die. The immortality of our souls is such a clear truth that there has never been such a barbaric people to stop believing in it. Disgust and revolt to our whole being, the stupid idea of ​​materialism pointing us to the grave and a handful of dust as the sole and ultimate purpose of our existence.

Is death all over?

Yes, as for the body, until the resurrection of the flesh on the day of judgment.

And as for the soul, then yes it all begins.

Eternity begins ...

Life goes by quickly. We are children in this world, always deluded by the trifles and follies of sin. We are hunting for butterflies of illusions.

Later ... later ... the time will come for farewell to all that is earthly. And we will depart for the house of our eternity.

The scripture says, A man will go to the house of his eternity.

Now to die is therefore to go to the house. God is the Father. Then will we go to our Father's house. Is there anything more beautiful and comforting? How beautiful is the Christian hope!

And how horrible materialism to regard the grave as a handful of slime, a man's last and fatal fate!

And then?

Then, when our soul separates from the body, which constitutes death, we will all appear before the Divine Court and be judged. Omnes stabimus before court Domini nostri Jesu Christ! What a day that is a tremendous time for the sentence! We will face two eternities: Heaven or Hell! Post hoe judicium ... after death the Judgment. We will give God strict accounts of everything.

Our whole life has taken place in the presence of the all-knowing Lord and penetrates even our most secret thoughts. “Every day, Bossuet wrote, every moment God's Justice recorded our actions. Every moment of our existence, every breath, every beat of our pulse, if I may express myself, every manifestation of our thinking has eternal consequences. And all this

unique story will be presented to us one day. ”

Yes, all our lives, and even our most secret intentions, will go to the Judgment Seat of God on the day and time when our souls separate from this body of death. Who is the judge? Holy God, Holiness in essence, God who knows everything and sees everything, God who in an instant presents us all our lives, with their sins and miseries, as well as the good works we have done or failed to do. We will give

It also tells of the abuse of grace and the sins of omission. My God! My God! What a tremendous judgment is reserved for us! What a Christian's responsibility in the face of death! Is death just a stupid annihilation? Is it a rot of worms in a grave, and beyond? Oh no, not a thousand times!

Death is the gate of eternity, and it casts us, stripped of everything, alone,

with the weight of our sins or our good works, in the face of the Lord, the eternal Judge of the living and the dead to be judged. Have we seriously meditated on this? Have we weighed the tremendous responsibility of life? However, what is done so lightly in the face of death! How foolish are men when they do not even want to think of death, and seek to deceive themselves to better live in sin!

We will give God an account of our lives. Strict examination of everything ... even "of an idle word," says Our Lord in the Gospel. And then? The sentence will come. Two eternities: heaven and hell! Do you believe it? So much the better! They do not believe? For Hell will not cease to exist, nor will Heaven cease to be the most consoling of realities that some degenerate materialists or Christians do not want to believe.

We will go to the house of our eternity! Ibit homo ad domum aeternitatis suae.

Yes, we will sooner or later. We are ready? Ready for Judgment? Then we will be saved by Divine Mercy if death has not found us in sin and in the enmity of God. But are we pure enough to stand before God and enter into eternal life? There! How much misery and fragility! And we have done so little penance in this world on our sins!

We have purgatory left. There we will go almost all, we will purify ourselves, before the eternal reward. We could say in general: after Judgment ... Purgatory!


In purgatory

When we take our dear dead to the grave, we often say:

rested! ... Yes, they rested from the fatigue and struggle of this life which is a combat in Job's expressive saying: mollela est vita hominiu super earth - man's life in this world is a combat. But have they ever rested in God's bosom?

Are they in the eternal rest of heaven? There! Human fragility is so great that very few, very rare, are the ones who leave this life and enter heaven soon. The dead do enter into the peace of the Lord, but into the peace of righteousness, usually into the peace of the atonement of the pure. Purely is a place of peace. There dwells the sweet peace of the elect, of those who, resigned and full of love and pain, fulfill the sentence and purify themselves in the hope of heaven. It has been called to purgatory, and rightly so, the hall of paradise. It is the porch of blessed eternity.

Yes, our dead have rested, but they suffer, and suffer much more than they have suffered in this life. The fire of trials in this world burns the straw. The fire of purgatory sharpens the gold. It's terrible! In the face of death we should think of the atonement of the poor souls who went to account to God and perhaps suffer in purgatory. Let's not say comfortably: they are in heaven!

They are in heaven! This causes souls in purgatory. We will meditate on what is and what the souls of purgatory suffer. The Church, through the impressive lessons of her Liturgy, wants us to associate the thought of death with that of eternity. And, says the Preface to the Mass of the Dead, if the condition of our death saddens us, we can be comforted by the promise of future immortality.

And then how many times moaning upon us, he cries, Give unto them, O Lord, the everlasting rest! Give them eternal rest! Begs mercy for our poor soul, remembers God's tremendous Judgment, and wants to relieve us in the atoning flames of purgatory. Never meditate on death without meditating on the purely. This is the meaning of the funeral liturgy.

These touching and beautiful prayers, these impressive and majestic rites, remind us of our dignity as Christians, the dignity of our body, the tabernacle of an immortal soul and the temple of the Holy Spirit, destined to be resurrected one day and to appear at the Court of Judgment. We remember the sad condition of a poor soul appearing before God, and implores mercy to the Judge of the living and the dead. Yes, we cannot, as Christians and children of the Church, separate thought from death from eternity. And as we know God's righteousness, we will not fail to consider that after death comes purgatory for almost all of us and that there in the atonement there are many dear souls for whom we are obliged to pray for the duty of justice and charity. Thus, I repeat, the meaning of the meditation of death and the Liturgy of the dead. It's not a death thought, can't you see? It is instead a thought of life. Vita mutatur non lonitur, says the Foreword of the Dead. Life has not been taken nor gone, it has just moved. From earthly it became eternal. This is how the Christian thinks of death!



The Souls of Purgatory at the Time of the Death of Those Who Help Them Sure, says one author, ingratitude cannot exist in Purgatory. Those blessed souls will protect and help those who relieve them in this life with their suffrages. The famous Cardinal Baronio tells that a devout person of the holy souls was terribly tempted at the time of death. She was desolate and almost desperate when a crowd of people came to her aid. Soon she was free from all temptation and entered into sweet peace. She asked curiously:

- What is this crowd that came in here and at the same time felt so much relief and was rescued by the sky?

"We are the souls you took from purgatory," a sweet voice replies, and we have come to seek your soul to enter heaven together.

Hearing these words, the dying happy smiled and exhaled.

St. Philip Neri was also very devoted to souls and full of charity, never ceased to help them in his life. They often came to him to witness a deep gratitude. After the saint's death, one of his confreres saw him in the glory of heaven, surrounded by a multitude of blessed in the splendor of eternal glory.

- What is this court that surrounds you? Father asks.

"It's the souls I freed from purgatory and saved." They came with me in glory.

One day Saint Bridget, in her vision of purgatory, heard the voice of an Angel coming down from heaven to comfort souls and repeating:

Blessed be he who still on earth while alive, helps the souls of purgatory with their prayers and good works! God's righteousness necessarily requires that souls be purified by fire, and the good works of the friends of souls can deliver them from suffering.

From the abyss the Holy One also heard this supplication: “O Christ Jesus, our most righteous judge, in the name of your infinite mercy, look not upon our faults, but the merits of your most precious Blood in the Passion!

Lord, make the ecclesiastics, religious and prelates, with a sense of charity that you will give them, come to our aid in our sad situation through their prayers, alms and indulgences, that they may take us out of our sad situation. ”

Other voices answered gratefully: Thanks, a thousand thanks, Lord, to all who relieve us in our misfortunes. Lord, may your power pay back tenfold to our benefactors who brought us your eternal and divine light.

It was the voice of gratitude from purgatory.

In death and after death we will be rewarded for what we have done in suffrage of the blessed souls of purgatory.


November 4th


Justice and mercy

There is purgatory, this is a place of atonement where souls are purified for the beatific vision.

Who is worthy of climbing the Holy Mountain? Wanted to ascendit in moniem Domini?

How much holiness and purity of life requires the Lord of those who will admit to his presence, to the presence of that three times holy God, before whom the seraphim cover their faces with their wings and the heavens repeat: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus - Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts!

The poor human creature so miserable, not always, on leaving the earth, is quite pure and holy and deserves the presence of the Lord, the beatific vision. And how also is the soul to be condemned to eternal flames that, though it has not paid the debt of enormous sins in the penance of this life, is not yet worthy of eternal punishment? Will it enter heaven? No. There are only the saints and the pure in heart, and what angelic purity does divine justice require for heaven!

Is it to be condemned to hell? Oh No. Divine mercy would never allow it. Venial faults, imperfections, lack of penance for serious sins are all quite true, require punishment and without penance one will not enter heaven. But Justice and Divine Mercy came together - Justitia et pax osculatae sunt. And they invented a masterpiece of this same infinite justice and mercy of the Lord.

Sin will be punished, the debt demanded by justice will be paid to the last, but infinite mercy will save the poor guilty soul, will open the gates of heaven one day.

There is purgatory!

Is not the Church's doctrine consoling and rational in this dogma?


The Holy Scripture

Prayer for the dead and the existence of a place of atonement are clearly stated in the holy books. Recall the text of the book according to the Maccabees (12: 43-36), which serves as an epistle at the birthday mass of the deceased:

“In those days the strong man named Judas, having made a parlor, gathered up twelve thousand drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to be offered a sacrifice for the sins of the dead; for he had good and religious feelings about the resurrection (and indeed, if he had not expected those who had succumbed to rise one day, he would have thought it superfluous and superfluous to pray for the dead). Thus he believed that an abundant mercy was reserved for those who died godly; for indeed it is a holy and healthy thought to pray for the dead, that they may be delivered from their sins. ”

What follows from the sacred text? There is a place of atonement and we can pray for the dead, for it is holy and salutary to this thought.

And the gospel? Does any text in this most sacred book prove the existence of purgatory? Yes, according to the most authoritative commentators and Holy Fathers, this point of our faith has not been affirmed by Our Lord. (“He who blasphemes against the Holy Ghost, says Jesus, will not be forgiven in this world or the next.”)

Therefore, there are sins that are forgiven in the other world, that is, they are expiated in purgatory.

“Do not hesitate to make peace with your adversary, Jesus says, while you are on your way with him, lest he give you over to the bailiff and you are thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, then you will not leave until you have paid the last one. ”

These words tell us of the existence in the future life of a place where moral debts are paid, that is, purgatory.

The Apostle of the Gentiles says that those who have mixed in the works of God the concerns of self-love will be saved, but by fire.

Note well: they will be saved. Therefore, they will not be condemned to hell, but will pass through fire, that is, they will suffer and purify themselves. - Here's the purgatory.


The Holy Fathers and the Councils

From Origen and Tertullian, we find in the Holy Fathers proof that the belief in purgatory has always existed in the Church since early times. The catacomb inscriptions show that the early Christians prayed for the dead. Tertullian exhorts a Christian widow to keep her late tenderness for the late husband, praying for him.

St. John Chrysostom was asked what to do for the dead.

He replied: “We must help them with ardent supplications and especially with the liturgical prayer par excellence, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Saint Ambrose says the same, writing to Faustino: “Weep less and pray more. Shed tears, this is allowed, but be sure to recommend to the Lord the dear sister who left you. ”

Several Church Fathers clearly state what Scripture and tradition demonstrate: the existence of purgatory.

In Carthage, St. Cyprian in the third century speaks of the suffrage of the dead he had received from the tradition of his predecessors.

St. Augustine praises Parchius because instead of roses, lilies and violets on the graves, he spills the alms perfume on the ashes of the beloved dead. And he says more clearly in a sermon to his diocesan Hippo: “There is no doubt that the prayers of the Church and the healthy sacrifice and alms of the faithful help the deceased to be treated more sweetly than their sins deserved.

What we learn from our parents, says the Holy Doctor, and what the Catholic Church observes, is to remember the sacrifice of those who died in the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, and to pray and offer the Sacrifice for them. Ask for prayers on the holy altar for the soul of Monica, your mother.

Let us commend God, says St. Gregory Nazianzeno, the souls of the faithful who have come before us to the resting place.

St. Cyril writes: “It is not for tears that a deceased is rescued, but for prayers and alms. Be sure to watch the dead pray for them. ”

And many other Church Fathers have clearly stated the existence of purgatory and the effectiveness of our suffrages. Now, let's look at the authority of the councils.

Numerous provincial and ecumenical assemblies affirmed the dogma of purgatory and recommended suffrages and prayers for souls. Thus the provincial councils of Carthage - year 312 - Canon 29 - the one of Orleans in 533 - Canon 14 - the one of Prague and the ecumenical councils of Lateran, Florence and above all the Council of Trent did not define the nature of purgatory alone, but affirmed the essential points of the dogma as follows: As the Catholic Church in accordance with Holy Scripture and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in previous Councils and in this universal synod that there is a place of atonement, and that the souls enclosed there may be relieved by suffrages of the faithful and especially by the sacrifice of the altar, the Holy Council orders the bishops to

Be careful that a pure doctrine concerning purgatory, according to the tradition of the Holy Fathers and the Councils, is believed and upheld by all who belong to the Church and is taught and preached everywhere. Difficult and arduous questions at this point that could neither be used for edification nor favor godliness should be avoided in exhortations to the people. It is also necessary to avoid exposing uncertain and error-like opinions. And in short, he concludes: if one says that the grace of Justification, eternal guilt and punishment are so forgiven to the penitent, that there is no temporal penalty left to suffer in this world and the other in purgatory before entering the kingdom of heaven, be anathema.

And another Canon: "If anyone says that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should not be offered for the living and the dead, for sins and penalties, satisfactions and other needs, be anathema."

This is the whole doctrine of the Church about purgatory. What then concludes? There are only two points, perfectly and clearly defined, that we are bound to believe: 1) - There is a place of temporary purification for justified souls who come out of this life without complete penance for their sins. 2) The suffrages of the faithful and especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are useful to souls.

This is, in short, the consoling doctrine of the Church on the dogma of purgatory.



Perpetual Saint and Purgatory

Already in the early centuries, according to the testimony of Tertullian and the Holy Fathers and the monuments, Christians suffocated the dead with prayers, and for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated on the graves. In the inscriptions, in the epitaphs are found in the catacombs beautiful prayers for the dead. In the fourth century in 302, Saint Perpetual tells us a vision of purgatory. She says: “We were praying in prison after the sentence that condemned us to be exposed to the beasts and I suddenly called for Denocrate. He was a brother of mine after the flesh. He had died of cancer in his face. The memory of his sad luck afflicted me. I was amazed that this brother came to mind, and I began to pray for him fervently, groaning before God. The next night I had a vision in which I saw Denocrate come out of a dark place where many people are. He was dejected and pale, with the ulcer that led to his grave. It had a great thirst. Next to me was a basin of water, but he unsuccessfully tried to drink and couldn't. I knew my brother was suffering and had to pray for him. I asked for him day and night with many tears so that he would be released. A few days later I had another vision, in which Denocrate appeared to me all soft and bright and beautiful, and he bent down and drank freely the water he could not before draw. I knew from this that I was free from torment. ”

Here is a beautiful passage that proves the antiquity of the belief in purgatory.

Saint Augustine recognizes the authenticity of the Acts of Saint Perpetual and notes that Saint's little brother should have committed some fault after his baptism.


November 5th


Purgatory reasons

What is the raison d'être of purgatory? It is the sin. It is the obstacle that prevents the soul from entering heaven without being purified and worthy of the beatific vision. Mortal sin leads to hell. Separates the soul from God forever. However, forgiveness for infinite mercy has come and the repentant sinner changes his life and no longer returns to his ravings. However, he did not do the proper penance, did not repair his crime in this world by penance. He is still in debt to the Divine Justice. The poor sinner guilty of many venial faults goes from this to another life, will be accountable to God. That God of all holiness, the Holy One par excellence, Justice Himself, does not want to condemn those who have already forgiven, He will not lose who, though stained with light blame, many imperfections, is not yet the enemy of God. What are you going to do? Take you to heaven where nothing can get stained? Impossible! It would be to have a misconception of God's holiness and infinite purity, to admit this nonsense. To condemn eternal penalties who, though sinful, did not come to mortal guilt and did not separate from the Lord because they did not lose their state of grace? So where will the soul thus stained and not all holy and perfect to heaven? This is the reason for telling us: there must be a purification beyond this life between the two eternities, a purgatory that will free us from hell and be the hall of paradise, a necessary atonement for souls. One can go to purgatory for three reasons: first, for unredeemed or forgiven venial sins in this world; second, by the vicious inclinations left in our souls by the habit of sin; third, for the temporal penalty due to every mortal or venial sin committed after baptism and not atoned for or insufficiently expiated in this life.

After death there is no reparation, no penance, no merit. We will have to repay the debt of our sins to the last, as the gospel says.

Now purgatory is necessary. It is a dogma very much in accordance with reason and common sense.

The existence of purgatory, said the great Count De Maistre, rests on the nature of God and the nature of man. I mean - in the nature of God. God is Holiness, Justice and Charity. As Holy, God cannot admit union between His infinite nature and our spots. As God is good, he cannot let the work of his hands perish for forgiveness forever. Hence the need for a place of atonement. The reason for purgatory is also based on the nature of man. It is in human nature to seek to purify oneself for relief, because lack places man in disharmony with his ultimate end. But the soul cannot be purified without suffering, without pain. Purgatory is this atonement, this purification that the soul seeks. To stop this disagreement between her and God and make her able to enjoy God's happiness without the stains of her faults.

This is how rational it is and what harmony in the dogma of purgatory!


Feeling Reasons

We see so many loved ones who have left this life, it is true, in good spirits, but as they were guilty of certain faults and had not done due penance, we sometimes feared for their salvation. Yet our hearts tell us that they could not be lost. They were good, had appreciable qualities, were perhaps charitable, and did some good in this life. Admitting that they are in heaven after so many faults and faults and lack of penance, we cannot. To say that they are damned is very hard, and yet how could some such charitable and good people have done so much good in this world? The idea of ​​purgatory necessarily imposes itself on our reason before it imposes itself on our faith.

Fr Faber writes: "Purgatory explains the riddles of this world. It solves a multitude of difficulties. In the face of this system, we might call the eighth and terrible Sacrament of fire that strikes souls, to which the seven sacraments have not given perfect purity. Purgatory is God's invention to multiply the fruits of our Savior's Passion

foreseeing the great multitude of men who were to die in the love of God, but in an imperfect love. Is it not a continuation beyond the grave of the deathbed prodigies? This enlightens us so much and makes us suppose that many Catholics are saved, especially those who lived in this world in poverty, suffering and trials.

The dogma of purgatory also finds foundations and roots in the human heart, wrote Mons. Bougaud It is an intermediary between Justice and Mercy, as the divine helper of love. Remove purgatory, and justice would be terrible. It would be inexorable. Fortunately, there is purgatory. Infinite love created him.

Purgatory is not just for tempering and satisfying justice. It also serves to dilate mercy. It serves to explain the mercy of God who is contented at the time of death with a little repentance of the sinner.

Is it not comforting to think of the existence of purgatory, whereby so many souls can be saved? Ungodliness and heresy, denying the dogma of atonement beyond the grave, stand against reason. Purgatory, says the celebrated Msgr. Tiemer Toth is the best answer to the errors of reincarnation. There is a purifying suffering after this life. Christianity taught this long before the nebulous philosophies of the East sowed in the modern man's soul the error of reincarnation, which has no argument of any kind in its favor. We too preach that there is purification beyond the grave! This purification is done in the righteousness of God and in order to save a soul for eternity and make it worthy of the Infinite Purity, which is God. Purgatory is a fight against the errors of spiritualism, because it commands us to pray and to suffocate the dead without bothering to talk to them, knowing that they are in the hands of Divine Justice and can no longer communicate with the living. What a rational dogma and how many errors and superstitions it frees us!


Our dead

We will mourn our dead, and religion cannot forbid such righteous tears when we feel our hearts broken by the hard blow of longing.

However, we must cry out to our beloved deceased. It is necessary to remember them more with prayers and suffrages than with sterile tears. The thought of purgatory is a consolation. We know we can still help, count, and help our loved ones. It is quite possible that they suffer in purgatory.

The religion of Our Lord Jesus Christ does not forbid that we mourn our dear dead. We can therefore render to these the tribute of our tears and our longing. With this poor nature, how can we be insensitive to the death of a trembling being? How hard it is for us to see the death with whom we live, our father, our mother, our son, our brother,

our friend! ... Religion, though it teaches us to be strong in pain and to meditate on the Passion of Jesus Christ, does not seal us away those tears and longing. She does not have pagan, stupid and unnatural stoicism. For did not Jesus weep in the grave of Lazarus? Did not Mary and Magdalene and the Holy Women cry in the Passion? Religion allows us to mourn our dead alike. He only wants us to do it, not like the heathen, desperate and disillusioned, but as one who has hope in eternal life and believes in immortality. We will mourn the painful separation, but with the sweet hope that one day in a better homeland, where there will be neither mourning, pain or suffering of any kind, nor separation, we will see all those we love here on earth again. How this hope comforts! The Christian should not say with despair, before the frozen corpse of a loved one: - "I will never see you again! Goodbye forever!" Not! Though in tears, your words should be these:

- "To heaven! There we will see each other again and be happy forever!"

The dogma of purgatory, so in harmony with our hearts, tells us that we can still help our beloved dead so we can tell them: even to heaven!



Blessed Ana Taigi and Purgatory

God has often revealed to him the fate of souls in purgatory. she continually asked for the poor souls in a mysterious sun that always appeared to her, was a great mystic of the nineteenth century.

On May 30, 1920, SS Benedict XV declared Blessed the humble and poor mother of the family, who for so long drew the admiration of Rome and the world with so many supernatural wonders. Blessed Ana Taigi, Roman by birth, saw all future events and the fortunes of the dead.

A man, known to Anne, died, and she saw him in the flames of purgatory, saved from hell by Divine Mercy, because he rescued a poor man who greatly annoyed him by begging. He saw a count whose life was spent in delights and amusements, but who at the time of death had a great repentance and was saved, but should suffer in the purgatory incredible torments as long as he spent in this world without worrying about penance and eternal salvation. .

He saw men of great virtue suffering because they were carried away by vanity and

self-love, very attached to the compliments and friendship of the great of the earth.

One day our Lord said to him, "Arise and pray, my vicar on earth is time to come to me." Hannah suffocated the Pope's soul and then saw him as a ruby ​​not yet all brilliant, as it lacked further purification.

Cardinal Doria died in Rome, who left a great fortune, and of course hundreds of Masses were celebrated in his soul. Blessed Ana Taigi was revealed that the Masses celebrated in the soul of the Cardinal were used for the souls of the abandoned poor and had no one to have them celebrated for them.

Thus was seen the Divine Justice who does not look at the riches or the possibilities of the rich in arranging suffrage, with carelessness sometimes in this world of true penance.

Hannah saw in Purgatory a priest who was highly esteemed for his virtues and above all for his brilliant preaching, which made him admired by all.

This poor priest suffered greatly. It was revealed to the Blessed One that atoned for the lack of earnestly seeking the reputation of a good preacher and a little vanity in preaching the word of God, especially in complacency with praise.

He saw two very holy religious in purgatory, in hard suffering. One of them atoned for his attachment to his own judgment and little submission to others' views, and the other for dissipation, lack of recollection and godliness in the exercise of priestly ministry.

Finally, Blessed Ana brought with her beautiful and impressive message of the supernatural in the nineteenth century, many lights on purgatory and impressive lessons from the Justice of God, and no doubt about the Infinite Mercy that saves so many souls through the atoning flames of purgatory. .


November 6th

The Suffering of Purgatory

Terrible suffering

Job, the prophet, cried, and with him repeat the holy souls of purgatory:

Miseremini honey! Jump on you amici mei, quia manus Domini tegitit me! - Have compassion on me! Have compassion on me! at least you who are my friends, because the hand of God has struck me!

Yes, the righteousness of God injures the blessed souls to purify and sanctify them and make them worthy of the splendor of heavenly glory and the vision of God. And what incredible suffering they suffer! What a devouring fire! Fire that sharpens gold and prepares the elect for divine vision, eternal glory!

Suffering is the condition of souls in purgatory. They belong to the suffering Church.

Since sin entered the world, only through the cross did Jesus save us, and only through the fire of suffering did we reach heaven. Purgatory was called the eighth sacrament of fire. Sacrament of mercy in the afterlife.

The souls of purgatory, Fr. Faber says, are in a state of suffering that can be compared to nothing and no idea can be made.

According to St. Thomas and St. Augustine, as for suffering, the penalties of purgatory are analogous to those of hell.

St. Catherine of Genova, after a vision of purgatory, exclaims: What a terrible thing purgatory is! I confess that I can neither say nor conceive that it even comes close to reality. I see that the people who suffer there are as painful as the feathers of hell.

Purgatory has feathers, says the authority of St. Thomas Aquinas, feathers that surpass all the sufferings of this world.

It is the most horrible of all martyrdoms.

And how shall the blessed souls not cry out from the depths of the abyss of the atoning flames: Miseremini mei! Miseremini mei! - Have compassion on me!

According to authoritative theologians and authors, souls in purgatory suffer so much that there is nothing in human language that can translate the terrible torments they suffer. Saint Catherine of Genova, called the theologian of purgatory, to whom Our Lord revealed the suffering of the atonement of the righteous, says it is impossible to translate into human language and our understanding cannot conceive of such suffering. It takes a special grace and enlightenment from God to understand these things, the saint said.

"It's worse than all martyrdoms," said Father Faber.

"The feathers of purgatory are fleeting, not eternal, says St. Gregory the Great, but I think they are more terrible and unbearable than all the evils of this life."

Domingos Soto wrote: "If man had to endure the torments of purgatory, pain would kill him in an instant. The immortal soul by its nature becomes stronger through separation from the organic body and therefore has the capacity for so much suffering."

There are two sufferings, two main penalties in purgatory: the penalty of harm or separation from God, and the penalty of meaning, torment of fire.


The damage penalty

What is the penalty for the damage that souls in purgatory suffer?

They suffer because they are deprived of God's vision in heaven. The intuitive vision that consists in the happiness of seeing God as it is, according to the word of St. Paul:

videbimus eum sicuti est. Not to see God, whose sovereign beauty and goodness they now understand so clearly and feel that He is the good, only desirable Sovereign and the supreme Beauty, the only One who can delight a soul!

For apart from the Sovereign Well, the soul feels a horrible martyrdom more unbearable than all the torments it may suffer and even the fire of purgatory in which it finds itself.

Saint Thomas Aquinas dealing with the penalty of harm says it is more unbearable, greater and more terrible than the penalty of sense. Not to see God, not to possess this God, the only charm of the poor soul who no longer has anything that can seduce or deceive her, and leave her oblivious to Supreme Happiness! Here in this world, shyness, attachment to the earth, and our weakness make us often forget God and live without feeling or even imagining being separated from God. There are those who cannot even imagine what may be suffering in this absence of God which is the penalty of harm. But there! when the soul separated from this mortal body feels the need to fly to God, to possess God, drawn to the Infinite Good, thirsty for the possession of God and Eternity, then he will have to realize how painful and horrible to be for a minute. let it be separated from the Sovereign Good, separated from God! It's the horrible penalty for the damage.

"Feeling an urge to go to God without being able to satisfy this, says Saint Catherine of Genova, is the greatest suffering imaginable, it is purgatory itself. This state is a state of death, an unspeakable anguish."

The Church's liturgy calls him death: He liberates and dies ...

Do you know what is the torment of one who is suffocated and cannot breathe? How horrible!

The soul is as suffocated, it cannot breathe what is life and raison d'être, God the Infinite, the Eternal, the Paradise! The poor soul in purgatory rushes into torment and fire, wants to purify himself, longs for the Eternal Good, suffers and suffers, but desires more suffering so that the time comes to contemplate his God, the Eternal Beauty that torments him in those flames. of atonement!

It has been seen in this world, wrote Mons. Bougaud, such deep affections, souls who loved each other and could not bear the separation and died in pain.

What will not be in purgatory? We can say that if God for a miracle of His Omnipotence did not sustain the souls of purgatory, they would be annihilated in pain away from that God they love passionately. If we understood better how horrible the separation from God is! If, like the saints, we experienced the trials of mystical life, the torment of being absent from God, we would be able to evaluate what is and what makes this terrible pity for harm suffer!


The fire of purgatory

Apart from suffering the penalty of harm or deprivation of God's sight, possession of the beatific vision, the Church has defined nothing about the nature of the other penalties of purgatory. The Council of Florence says that souls are temporarily deprived of the beatific vision and are purified from every stain by expiating and purifying feathers. Among these feathers is that of the senses, and commonly agreed by almost all authors, it is the feather of fire. There is fire in purgatory, and a terrible fire created by Divine Justice for the purification of the righteous, to sharpen the gold of souls. Theologians in general and in common sentence claim that it is a true, non-metaphorical fire. Fire that burns a thousand times more than the fire of the earth, which compared to it is no more than a painting for reality. The Holy Fathers and the scholastic theologians admit the royal fire. How can a material fire torment the spiritual soul? It's a mystery. However, we do not have another mystery which is that of the spiritual soul acting upon the material body: Why could not the righteousness of God cause material fire to act upon the spiritual soul? Saint Thomas Aquinas clearly says: "In purgatory there are two sufferings: the penalty of harm, which consists in retarding the sight of God, and the penalty of the senses, punishment from a material fire."

The issue of purgatory fire was much discussed in the fourth century. St. Augustine concludes by the existence of material fire. In the thirteenth century St. Thomas follows the opinion of St. Augustine. The feather of the fire! How terrible! No less in intensity than the fire of hell. This fire, says St. Gregory the Great, the instrument of Divine Justice, causes more torment and much more cruelty than all the martyrs suffered in unimaginable torments.

The greatest pains are those that affect the soul, comments St. Thomas. All the sensitivity of the body comes from the soul. Will not be a pain that comes to directly hurt the soul? For material fire, mysterious fire endowed with extraordinary power by Divine Justice, strikes the soul directly and hurts it painfully. What a fire, my God! What a tremendous punishment! How the poor souls suffer in this burning furnace! So many particular revelations show us the fire of purgatory, real fire, terrible fire. True fire.

Why argue when the almost unanimity of the Doctors and Holy Fathers and so many safe theologians speak to us with such an impressive eloquence of the reality of purgatory fire? St. Bonaventure writes: "The fire of purgatory is a material fire that torments the soul of the righteous who have not done penance in this world. Fire! This word trembles. Isaiah exclaimed: Who among you may dwell in the midst of a devouring fire? penance now, let us alleviate the fire of our purgatory, the fire that awaits us is terrible!



An apparition

We cannot know in this world for sure, nor is it necessary to know what purgatory fire is like and what is. What we do know is that Holy Scripture often tells us of fire to make us understand that we will be punished and we will settle our faults in the rigors of Divine Justice to purify ourselves and to be worthy to enter heaven. If the fire of this life created by God to serve us is already terrible, is it not the fire of Divine Justice?

The following fact is told by the pious Monsignor De Segur.

In 1870, says the pious prelate, I saw and touched Foligno near Assisi, Italy, one of these terrible tests of fire by which the souls of purgatory, by God's permission, sometimes attest that the fire of purgatory is a Real fire. In 1859, she died of a fulminating stroke with the good sister Teresa Gesia, who for many years was the novice teacher. Twelve days later, on November 16, a Sister named Ana Felicia was going into the wardrobe when she heard an anguished and sad moan: - Jesus! Maria! What is this? exclaimed, frightened, Sister. He had not finished speaking when he heard a complaint: Alas! My God! My God! How much I suffer! Sister Ana soon recognized the voice of the late Sister Teresa. A suffocating smell of smoke filled the whole wardrobe and the figure of Sister Teresa was walking towards the door and touching it with her right hand, saying: Here is the proof of God's mercy. And on the wood of the door was charred and imprinted the hand of the deceased, which disappeared. Sister Ana screamed in great nervous excitement. The community rushed to her, and there was a suffocating smell of smoke. Sister tells what is going on and they all recognize, little hand engraved on the portal, the hand of Sister Teresa, who was distinguished by her smallness and delicacy. The sisters, moved, go to the choir and pray for the dead. They spend the night in prayer and penance for the late novice teacher. The next day they offer Holy Communion for that soul. Another day goes by and Sister Ana Felicia listens and then sees Sister Teresa radiant with all beautiful glory, who says to her in a sweet voice: - I am going to glory! Be strong and courageous in the fight, strong in carrying the cross! "And disappeared in a brilliant light.

This portentous fact is told by Monsignor De Segur, who visited the Convent of the Third Franciscan Regulars of that city, was subjected to a rigorous process ordered by the Bishop of Foligno on November 23, 1859.


November 7th


How much time?

How long should a soul be in purgatory? It's an impossible question to answer. We have and cannot have any argument or definition of the Church and theology that can guarantee us a right answer to this question.

It is a mystery and depends a lot on how we approach the issue. We know that in eternity there is no more time. Tempus jam non erit amplius. How to judge time in relation to eternity? What's more, suffering makes it bigger and harder to pass the time between us. How many times does a minute cost us more to spend than long hours? For the horrible and intense suffering of the poor souls makes their minutes years and even centuries. Here we have to do like all authors dealing with purgatory: resort to private revelations. They enlighten us, and some are proven and even subjected to rigorous canonical processes, such as those of the canonized Saints, give us a guarantee that they were not illusions or morbid fantasies. As for the duration of purgatory, we can be sure of one thing, Saint Augustine tells us, and that the expiatory penalties will not go beyond the last Judgment at the end of the world.

In the sixteenth century, a wise Dominican theologian, Domingos Solo, wrongly stated that pity for purgatory could not last more than ten years. It is an unfounded and generally rejected opinion. The Church often assumes that the penalties of purgatory are long, when it allows foundations of Masses and suffrages for long years, and celebrates birthdays of twenty, thirty, fifty and more years. Allows perpetual Mass foundations. No one knows, Cesario says, how long, how old a soul should be in purgatory. It's for us, says São Roberto Belarmino, a very uncertain thing. We could consider two species of purgatory duration - one positive and corresponding to the measure of time as we tell it in this world, and the other fictional or imaginary, to which souls think because of suffering that makes them lose all sense of time. Hence we see it in private revelations poor souls who were only a few hours in purgatory, complaining of years and even centuries of abandonment in those flames.

Here are some examples of positive duration according to particular revelations: It is recounted in the life of St. Thomas Aquinas that the master his successor in the chair of theology of Paris, after his death, appeared and said that he had spent fifteen days in purgatory to atone for his neglect. execute the will of a bishop.

Saint Vincent Ferrer assures that there are souls who have been in purgatory a whole year for a venial sin. According to the testimony of St. Francis of Pampeluna, most souls in purgatory there suffer from thirty to forty years. And many other examples could cite from very serious authors. Many saints saw souls destined to suffer in purgatory until the end of the world.

Some particular revelations, Father Faber observes, lead us to believe that the duration of purgatory is ever increasing as humanity advances in time. There is so much lack of penance today, so much luxury and worldliness!


Long and brief purgatory

According to private revelations, there are souls destined for long suffering in the flames of purgatory, and others briefly undergo atonement. Let us cite examples:

St. Veronica Juliani tells of a sister of her convent who had opposed the reform of the monastery and was supposed to stay in purgatory as many years as she has spent in this world. Saint Margaret of Coriona, the great Franciscan penitent, said Our Lord: "Rejoice, my daughter, your mother is free from purgatory, where she was ten years old." As the saint prayed for three dead people she thought

If they were saved, Jesus said, "They are saved by your prayers, and they have been delivered from hell, but they will be in the flames of purgatory for twenty years."

Saint Lutgarda did penance for Simon Abbot, a Cistercian man who was very austere and too hard on his subjects. He should be in purgatory forty years. To Mother Francisca of the Mother of God - (1615-1671) - Our Lord once showed four priests who had been in purgatory for over fifty years because they did not administer the Sacraments well and with respect and pity.

St. Lutgarda saw in purgatory one of the most pious and illustrious popes of the Church, Innocent III. This pope appeared to the saint saying that for some shortcomings in church government, he should remain in purgatory until the end of the world. St. Roberto Belarmino has carefully examined the circumstances and authenticity of this view, and speaks of it in his works. However, if there are long atonements, others for divine mercy are very brief. Maybe it was more intense. Saint Teresa, in her Life or autobiography, tells us of a fervent Carmelite who only spent two days in purgatory. Another, very patient in the disease, was only four hours in the atonement. A Brother Brother of the Society of Jesus died at night and remained in purgatory only until the following day Mass.

Saint Margaret Maria Alacoque, the seer of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, saw her spiritual director, Blessed Father La Colombiere, spend a few hours in the atoning flames for slight faults. And it's a saint!

The holy cure of Ars, according to Msgr. Trochu tells us, he often had admirable insights from the time that many souls should stay in purgatory.

The saint was asked if a sick woman would heal. The questioner did not know that the patient had died. The Holy One, who knew from heaven's inspiration, replied, "She has already received the reward."

Simple and humble souls, and especially those who have suffered so much in this world with patience and perfectly conformed to the will of God, can have a greatly abbreviated purgatory, sometimes hours. This is what numerous private revelations tell us. Even Santos passed slightly through purgatory. This is said of St. Severinus, Archbishop of Cologne. He was a great servant of God, admirable for his virtues and even the miracles he did. After his death, he appeared to a Canon of his cathedral to ask for his prayers. I was in purgatory for a moment because I prayed with some precipitation.



What should we conclude when we meditate on the duration of purgatory?

First, we seek to be more zealous for the cause of the suffering souls who suffer so much from our forgetfulness. We are very easy to canonize the dead at once, and we no longer pray for them under the excuse that "they are already in heaven." There! We do not know what God's righteousness is, and even the most holy have severe accounts to give the Lord after this life.

St. Francis de Sales was very afraid of these quick canonizations of admirers. These good souls, he would say, with their compliments, imagining that after my death I went straight to heaven soon will make me suffer in purgatory.

This is what will enjoy my good reputation as a saint ...

Saint Tereza writes in the Preface to the Book of Foundations: "For God's sake, I ask every person who reads my book, a Hail Mary, to help me out of purgatory and to hasten the hour when I will enjoy Our Lord Jesus Christ. " Thus spoke canonized saints, whose death from so many wonders left us the certainty that they went straight to heaven.

Why should we presume that our loved ones, though virtuous, have gone straight to heaven and stopped praying for them? The pious and admirable founder of St. Vincent de Paul's conferences, Frederick Ozanam, left in his will these lines: "Do not be carried away by those who tell you: he is in heaven! Pray always for the one who loves you, but who much sinned.

With the help of your prayers I will leave the earth with less fear. "

St. Augustine asks for prayers for the soul of Monica, his mother, and of Patrick, his father, to all readers of his confessions. The illustrious and pious Father Perreyve leaves this recommendation: "I ask my friends to pray for me long after my death. May they not say as they say often and in a hurry: they are in heaven! They pray a lot for me!" , yes, I ask you dearly ".

Let us not canonize our dead so quickly, and even those whom we have seen the death of the righteous; we pray a lot for them. Let us never neglect the suffrage of the dead, because we have done a lot for a while, we have had a few Masses celebrated and we have prayed a few prayers and judged them already in paradise with this. We ignore the rigor of God's righteousness. What's more, if our Holy Masses commanded to celebrate, our prayers and penances no longer serve the souls we pray for, won't they help so many suffering souls?

Another conclusion we should draw from our reflections on the length of purgatory penalties is to take better care of our perfection and not be so smug as to be able to enter heaven soon. Beware of this presumption, which can cause us a long and painful purgatory!



Minutes that seem centuries

The pains of purgatory are so painful that minutes there seem centuries. There are so many striking facts in particular revelations that prove this.

What's more, what is eternity? Time no longer exists. The minutes beyond this life are centuries for those who suffer in those atoning flames.

Saint Antoninus tells us that a sick person, a victim of atrocious pain, always asked for death. He judged their terrible sufferings and above all human strength. An angel came to him and said, God has sent me to tell you that you can choose a year of pain on the earth, or a day in purgatory. The sick man chose a day in purgatory. It went to purgatory. The angel came to comfort him and heard this groan of pain: "- Ungrateful angel, you said that I would be in purgatory for one day and I feel that I have been here for at least twenty years ... My God, how I suffer!"

The angel answers: - How wrong you are! Your body is still on earth without being lowered to the grave. God's mercy gives you yet to return to a year of sickness on earth. Do you want it?

- A thousand times, even greater suffering in my illness.

He was resurrected and for a year suffered horribly, but with heroic patience to the death.

This fact was told by St. Antonine of Florence, the prodigious thaumaturge.

There was also an impressive fact with São Paulo da Cruz. The Saint was praying in his cell when he felt a loud knock on his door. He would not answer, thinking that it was the devil that sometimes disturbed his prayer: - In the name of God, depart, Satan! São Paulo shouts, but the shake continues: - What do you want from me? Question.

- How much I suffer! How much I suffer, my God! I am the soul of that deceased priest.

I have been in an ocean of fire for so long, how long! It seems like a thousand years!

Sao Paulo da Cruz knew him soon and replied in awe: "- What do you say?! ...

My priest, it's been a quarter of an hour since you've passed away and you've been telling me in a thousand years!

The poor priest of purgatory asked for suffrages and prayers, and disappeared. St. Paul of the Cross, moved and in tears, took the discipline and beat himself until he was bathed in blood. The next day, early in the morning, he celebrated for the deceased and saw him triumphantly enter heaven in the hour of Communion.


November 8th

The Joys and Consolations of the Purgatory

Torment and happiness

So are there in purgatory joys and consolations? Is it possible that in the midst of so much pain, such horrible torments as the penalty of harm and fire, there is still a ray of light, a joy, a consolation for the poor souls?

Yes, because purgatory is the homeland of strict justice, but so is the infinite mercy of God. Is it no longer a great mercy for God to reserve us a place of atonement beyond the grave? Purify us mercifully to become worthy of His eternal presence? Oh, yes, purgatory is a mercy of our Lord. And like all works of divine mercy, there must be the anointing and sweetness of Eternal Goodness. How terrifying is the divine Justice in those atoning flames and what a terror for our souls to know what awaits us after this life! However, we are comforted that there are consolations in purgatory that exceed all that we can have in this life. It is a torment and unparalleled happiness. A mystery that will be unraveled to us later. Some authors insist a great deal on the suffering of purgatory and speak nothing of the joys and consolations. It is necessary to keep a fair balance.

Neither make purgatory a real hell, nor make it paradise.

It is a place of atonement and horrible torments, no doubt, but there is in it the sweet hope of salvation, hope accompanied by the absolute certainty of one day coming to God's possession in the Bliss. And isn't this a matchless happiness? When St. Francis of Assisi learned that he was a predestined man and saw his glory assured by revelation from heaven, he had such great joy that no human language could translate it. What will not be the joy of the poor souls in the certainty of being predestined?

St. Francis de Sales, whose doctrine is a soothing balm of souls, speaks of the joys and consolations of purgatory. The melifluo Doctor writes: “Most of those who fear purgatory are much more for their own sake and interest than for God's sake. And hence they usually speak only of the feathers of that place and never speak of the happiness and peace that the souls who are there enjoy. It is true that the torments are extreme, and the greatest and most terrible pains of this life cannot be compared to them, but also the inner satisfactions are such and such that no prosperity or joy of the earth exists that can match them. If it is a kind of hell for pain, it is a paradise for the sweetness that charity spreads in the heart. Charity stronger than death and more powerful than hell. Happy state more desirable than fearful, for its flames are flames of love and charity. Terrible pains, yes, for they delay the hour of God's vision, and to love God and to praise and glorify him for all eternity. ”

This is the torment and joy of souls in purgatory.


St. Francis de Sales and Purgatory

Let us continue the comforting doctrine of the great Doctor of the Church about the joys of purgatory. He does not want to insist only on the torment of that place of atonement, but to seek to give souls an equally consoling idea of ​​purgatory.

From what we read in the works of the Holy One we can gather ten main points:

1st - The souls of purgatory are in continuous union with God and perfectly submissive to the will of God. They cannot leave this divine union and can never contradict the divine will, as we in this world.

2nd - They purify themselves with much love and with all good will, because they know that this is the will of God. Suffering to do God's will is a joy to them.

3rd - they want to stay in the way God wants and as long as He wants.

4 ° - They are impeccable and can experience neither the slightest movement of impatience nor commit an imperfection.

5 o They love God more than themselves, and more than all things, and with a very pure and selfless love.

6 o - They are comforted by the Angels.

7 - They are assured of their salvation and a security that cannot be confused.

8 - The bitterness they experience is very great, but in a deep and perfect peace.

If for what they suffer they are in a kind of hell, when pain is a paradise of sweetness as charity stronger than death.

10 o - Happy state, more desirable than fearful, for these flames of purgatory are flames of Love! ”

Who can understand and penetrate this mystery of pain and joy, which is purgatory? The saints could give us an idea of ​​what the souls of purgatory suffer and enjoy, when God makes them experience here in this world so much martyrdom in the trials of those nights of St. John of the Cross, in which the Lord proves, annihilates their souls. elect on earth, and at the same time fill them with unalterable peace and ineffable consolation in the midst of darkness and anguish. Deep mystery, only those who have experienced this painful and happy state of mind in this world can say anything about purgatory!

What a joy the poor castaway does not experience when, after struggling between waves, he is suddenly saved and free from all danger! It is the happiness, the joy of holy souls when, after this life and after having passed the tremendous Judgment, they see that they are saved from eternal damnation, though they must suffer much in those flames, in that martyrdom, however prolonged.

They are saved! O! How they sing a song of thanksgiving to infinite mercy!

The Consolations of Purgatory Let us also turn to the testimony of the theologian of Purgatory, as Santa Catarina de Genova was called. The doctrine of this saint, or rather her revelations in the Treatise of Purgatory, Cardinal Parraud wrote, are of such a supernatural psychology so high and so strong that they unite the highest considerations of philosophy and theology with the thoughts most suited to fortifying. and comfort those who mourn their loved ones. I do not believe, writes Saint, that after the sovereign happiness enjoyed by the saints in glory, there is a happiness equal to

who enjoy the souls of purgatory. What is remarkable is that this happiness grows more and more as the stains of sin disappear. And makes this comparison: “When one body is hidden in the sun because another body intercepts sunlight, it cannot receive the light and remains in darkness.

However, if this body that prevents the passage of the sun's rays is consumed and disappearing, the sun will soon bathe with light the whole body that was before in darkness. This body that prevents sunlight is the stain of sin, the restoration is to pay to divine Justice in the afterlife and that prevents the soul from receiving the light of glory, the divine Light. The flames of purgatory are destroying this body that prevents the light until the eternal Light disappears and shines. Thus the joy of souls grows as the stains that fade away. And they are very happy to suffer to purify themselves.

These souls have a perfect resignation to the will of God. Souls in purgatory would never want God's presence when not yet purified. They would rather suffer ten purgatory than stain before the Lord. This is why they purify and suffer with joy.

Father Baber rightly says: “If suffering endured with sweetness and resignation is such a venerable sight on earth, is it not to be purgatory in that region of the Church? What purity is found in this worship, in the Liturgy of sanctified suffering! The world! Place of so much noise, boredom and sin, who would not want to escape from your dangerous plagues and your dangerous and sad pilgrimage to fly joyfully to the humblest region, so pure so holy and so guaranteed, where suffering and love reign without macha, the purgatory? ”

In spite of this, let us not fail to fear purgatory and try to avoid it by good penance and all manner of good works. The sufferings are no longer terrible!

Blessed Henry Sozo, burning in the love of God, began not to fear purgatory and to disregard his sufferings and pains. Our Lord appeared to him and admonished, saying that this displeased him because it was neither to fear nor to give importance to the judgments of God! We should not despair or terrorize our souls with purgatory, but we must imagine that if there are many consolations, this purgatory is terrible too.



Saint Gertrude and the Holy Souls

Saint Gertrude was favored by Our Lord with countless appearances and ecstasies, and closely touched the supernatural. The Saints had a high esteem for a very holy nun who built for her virtues.

This one died and the saint recommended it to Our Lord with great commitment. She had been rapt in ecstasy and had seen before the throne of God the soul of the dear Sister dressed in royal garments, beautifully adorned, but her eyes were downcast, as if ashamed. Gertrude was amazed and said:

- As? My daughter, do not you throw yourself into the arms of the divine Spouse? Why is it like this?

"O my mother, I am not yet worthy of the spotless lamb's embrace." It takes a lot of purity, to be pure as a ray of sunshine to unite with God. I still have terrestrial stains from some imperfections.

Saint Gertrude had another similar view. A very virtuous sister appeared to her after her death. She was on her knees before God as immersed in great sorrow. Gertrude asked our Lord to show mercy to her. Our Lord answered that if no suffrage came, she would have to pay all the debt to divine Justice.

This soul said to Gertrude: “The devotion I had to the Blessed Sacrament made me reap special fruits of the divine Host. This is why I will enter faster and sooner into heaven. ”

Saint Teresa tells in her Life or autobiography, having seen the coming out of purgatory very virtuous souls she knew in this world and thought they were in heaven and yet had suffered in the atoning flames. In Chapter XXXVIII the Saint tells several cases, among them that of the Provincial of the Carmelites, a very virtuous man. At the time of his death, I said to Saint, I was very upset and feared for his salvation, because he was a prelate for twenty years, which always inspired me to fear that it seemed too dangerous for me to be in charge of souls. With great distress I entered the oratory. I gave him all the good that I had done in my life, which would be little, and told the Lord to supply with his merits what that soul lacked to get out of purgatory. As I was asking our Lord as best I could, I seemed to see him coming out of the depths of the earth on my right hand, and I saw him ascend to heaven with great joy. Though he was old, he appeared to me to be only thirty and even younger, and his face resplendent. This vision was quick, but it made me extremely comforted.


9 of November


How the dead are forgotten!

St. Augustine complained that the dead are very much forgotten. Really.

The memory of the dead with the last bell taps and the last flowers thrown into the grave is soon gone.

When we die, we leave for that region which Scripture calls the earth oblivlonis - the land of forgetfulness. Let us not have much vanity or illusions.

We will be forgotten!

Who will remember us a few years after our death? Perhaps a vague memory, a long faded evocation of longing. And how proud we are today!

So much hurt to hurt an even involuntary forgetfulness! Happy are those who are disappointed and detached from the friendships and boasting of the earth before the Master and Doctor of life arrives - Death!

How compassionate all of the sick! What kindness and care and a thousand sacrifices around the bed of a poor sick man who groans! But death came.

Weeping, heartfelt tributes, flowers, graves, obituaries, and ... forgetfulness.

Today they dismiss the idea of ​​death as if we were all immortal. It is necessary to forget the dead, to leave them in the grave, to avoid this unhealthy worry of death and eternity.

Died ... It's over! Let's laugh, let's dance and sing. Let life run joyful and happy. Let us not think about death, let alone dead. Isn't that how you speak and act in today's crazy, materialistic world?

There! how the dead are forgotten! Stupid materialism understands neither beauty nor consolation, and the worship of the memory of the dead as the Catholic Church has. For us they did not die, the condition of life changed for them: Vita mutatur, non tollitur!

In the grave man is not forever gone. We believe what the Creed says each day: - I believe in the resurrection of the flesh and I believe in eternal life.

Mercy for the dead is an act of faith in eternal life, a sweet assurance that our dear dead are not lost forever to our love.

We will meet them one day in God's bosom! How sweet, comforting, and beautiful to believe in immortality and to expect eternal life!

For if we believe in eternal life, we believe in purgatory. And if we believe in purgatory, we pray for our dead.

Requiem aeternam dona behold Domine! Give them, Lord, eternal rest!

Do we not know then that it is in our own interest to pray for the dead?

One day we will also go to eternity and in the flames of purgatory we will find everything we have done on earth for the dead. Let us go, then, in this month of the dead: Masses, Rosaries, alms, penance, fervent prayers for our dear dead!

How the dead are forgotten! St. Augustine exclaimed! And yet, Saint Francis de Sales adds, in life they loved us so much and (who knows?)

are in purgatory because of us ...

At funerals, tears, hiccups and flowers. Then a tomb and oblivion… how the dead are forgotten!

Have compassion on me!

Have compassion on me!

Miseremini mei! Miseremini mei!

Such is the groan of purgatory, the groan of poor forgotten souls.

The Church, loving Mother, never forgets her children, even after they have left for the regions of death and eternity. Every day at the altar she pleads, "Memento!"

Remember, Lord, your servants, who preceded us with the sign of faith and now rest in peace. To these and all who rest in Christ we ask you, Lord, to grant a place of refreshment, light and peace.

What a touching reminder of the Holy Church, our Mother! And in all the Masses that are celebrated throughout the universe!


Why are they forgotten

Let us suffocate our dead. Let us not forget them under any self-indulgent and faithless pretext.

Purgatory is terrible and for some souls it is quite long. We must have compassion and affection for our loved ones that death has snatched.

To heaven come souls only after long and painful purifications. Let's not say to everyone who dies: - It's in heaven!

We have the custom of canonizing our dead, saying, "They are in heaven!" And we no longer pray for them, leaving them forgotten in purgatory. It is a very common ingratitude. Poor souls enter heaven only after long and painful purifications. And who comes out of this life so holy or perfect that it does not deserve purgatory? Let us never stop praying long and long for the souls of our dear dead.

There are poor souls destined for a long suffering in the atoning flames. God only knows what they suffer, while their relatives neither pray nor have their holy Mass offered for them, and repeat quietly: - It is in heaven!

This was the fear of Frederick Ozanam, the pious apostle of the Vincentian Conferences. We read in your will: - “Do not be carried away by those who say,“ He is in heaven! ”Pray always for the one who loves you very much, but who has also sinned greatly. Helped by your prayers, I will leave the earth with less fear. ”

Let us not delude ourselves with purgatory. Their sufferings are very great and a great compassion is needed, a great mercy to the dead. There!

Forgetting the dead without suffrage is painful, it has sad consequences! Let us pray for the blessed souls.

Let us come to the aid of our poor brothers in the suffering Church.

Come, arise, said Saint Bernard, fly to the aid of the souls of the deceased, beg for divine mercy for your tears and groans, intercede for them with your prayers, satisfy them with the holy sacrifice of the Mass, rescue them by your alms to the poor, by your good works, open to them the gates of paradise.

Let us combat these two causes of the forgetfulness of the dead: - the presumption that says: - They are in heaven, and we comfortably do not care to suffocate them anymore, and lack a lively faith in the torment of purgatory.


Sacred and Forgotten Duties

Yes, very sacred and grave are our duties to the dead. We have an obligation of justice and charity to suffocate the dead. Tears, flowers, crowns, posthumous tributes are not enough. This is more comfort for the living than relief for the dead, said St. Augustine.

We must therefore help the deceased:

1st - By reason of kinship and blood.

2nd - Out of gratitude to our benefactors.

3rd - For justice.

4th - For charity.

Closest to us, said St. Francis de Sales, of course are our parents. Let us not forget the soul of a dear father, a longing mother. They were so loving and sacrificed for us! Maybe they won't be in purgatory? Our filial love canonized them soon after death and placed them in heaven! Ah! And maybe they yolk and suffer in purgatory. They are saved, it is true, in the bosom of God, among the holy souls, but ... the sufferings of purgatory are terrible.

St. Monica was careful to recommend to St. Augustine: "My son, do not forget me at the holy altar!"

The Church has a special prayer at the masses of the dead for the priest's father and mother, which every believer can repeat:

“O God, who commanded us to honor our father and our mother, have mercy for your mercy on the souls of my father and my mother, and forgive them their sins. I also allowed one day to find them again. ”

What a touching prayer!

Then gratitude.

It will be painful and horrible to forget our own in the flames of purgatory!

Let us not be ungrateful. Let us pray for all who have done us any good on earth. Gratitude cannot die on the brink of our benefactor's grave. Go beyond, run to the aid of purgatory souls!

And finally, duties of justice and charity. Of justice because we are obliged to pray for those to whom we are bound by kinship and gratitude. And ... charity. There is, says St. Francis de Sales, no greater act of charity than praying for the dead. It is a summary of all works of charity. ”

Let us remember the poor suffering souls of purgatory. We don't have creatures that we love so much on earth and that today hurt our hearts for longing bitter?

Ah! The tears and the flowers of the grave are not enough. This is more comfort to the living. What benefits the dead is suffrage. Sanctify our longing for charity. Let us remember that perhaps we love the ones we love so much in purgatory!

Through them let us celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass, let us do some charity to the poor, a Communion, a Rosary of Mary!



The Holy Cure d'Ars and Purgatory

The Holy Cure d'Ars, St. John the Baptist Vianney, was a fervent devotee of the holy souls of purgatory ... He had asked God for the grace to suffer so much. The sufferings of the day offered them for the conversion of sinners, and those of the night for the souls of purgatory.

And how it suffered! What terrible nights of agony and agony and the devil's astonishing temptations had not passed the saint during the long years of the parish of Ars!

To a priest who had asked his opinion about the power of souls in purgatory on our behalf, he replied:

"If we knew how great the power of good souls in purgatory is over the Heart of Jesus, and if we also knew how many graces we might obtain through their intercession, they would not be so forgotten."

In his celebrated catechisms, the Saint narrated touching and beautiful examples of the efficacy and power of devotion to the holy souls of purgatory. Our Lord has given you extraordinary graces to know many times the mysteries of purgatory.

In the process of Canonization attested to those who knew him:

“Devotion to purgatory souls was one of your most fervent. If there were two masses to celebrate, one for the sick, one for the souls, I preferred the one for souls.

Many times they asked for prayers for one soul or another and the saint answered:

- Yes, I will pray for her. It's in purgatory indefinitely ...

Or, "She's already gone to heaven!" No need for suffrage anymore.

Says the illustrated Mons. Trochu, author of “Les intiuitions du Curé d'ARs, that“ purgatory is a place where the Cura d'Ars knew what was going on. He knew the fate of the deceased, had very great intuitions of what goes beyond the grave. ”

One lady went to confess to the Saint in Ars. After confession, he said to her:

- "My daughter, thank the cousin who brought her to the confessional, because without it you would be in hell." And after pointing out to him the causes of the danger of condemnation, I said very gravely: and then, my daughter, what ingratitude! Your poor father has been suffering in purgatory for ten years and you have not had a single Mass to deliver you! ”

A godly lady had an indifferent husband in religion, yet a good and honest man. One day, the victim of a heart failure, he died without any sign of regret. The poor, desolate wife had no comfort.

She thought her husband's soul was lost. So she was in horrible martyrdom and without comfort for months. He went to Ars. The Saint, seeing her, was immediately saying:

"Madam, have you forgotten the bouquets of flowers you offered to the Blessed Virgin?" The poor lady remembered that she and her husband had always offered bouquets of flowers to an image of the Virgin.

- My daughter, God had mercy on him who honored his mother so much. At the time of death her husband had a great repentance. Your soul is in purgatory. With prayers and good works you can set him free.

It was a relief to the poor widow's heart, which improved in health and gained peace of soul.


November 10th


Tisiness and venial sin

The great door open to the torments of purgatory when mercy does not rush many souls into grave sin and hell, is lukewarmness and its sure symptom venial sin. Let us meditate a little on the evil of lukewarmness to see how risky it is to live this way without seeking a fervent life, risking one's salvation and preparing a horrible purgatory after death. Let's see what tibieza is:

The tibieza defines it Saint Alphonsus by what characterizes it: the venial sin.

Shyness, says the Holy Doctor, is the habit of fully voluntary venial sin.

“Shyness is the unrequited habit of venial sin, even if it is only one. It is a habit based on an implicit calculation: "This fault will not offend Our Lord gravely, it will not condemn me." I'll make it.

It is a difficult habit to root out of the soul. It is a widespread habit, especially among people who make a profession of godliness and among the souls consecrated to God.

It is a spiritual disease and one of the most serious and dangerous. It is the rodent worm of pity. Terrible microbe! It undermines the spiritual organism without the sick person noticing it. Weakens the poor soul. Cushions the energies of will. It inspires horror at the effort. It loosens the Christian life. A kind of languor or drowsiness, says Tanquerey, who is not yet death, but conducts it without realizing it.

Gradually weakening our moral forces. It can be compared to these wasting diseases, such as physics, and gradually consuming some of the vital organs. It is a drowsiness, a system of accommodation in the spiritual life.


Venial sin

There are many signs of lukewarmness, but what characterizes it is deliberate and habitual venial sin. Let us look at the malice of venial sin, which is so punished in purgatory and the cause of so many torments of poor souls:

Queen Maria Teresa of France, wife of Luiz XIV, wept for a venial foul. The princess's delicate conscience made her heartbroken.

- As? "They told you, so much tears for a slight lack, a venial sin ?!"

"Yes, it can be venial, but deadly to my heart!"

Everything that offends Our Lord is never light or anything of minor importance to a fervent soul. And venial sin is an offense to God. There are three aggravating circumstances in it:

1st) An injury to Divine Majesty.

2nd) Revolt against God's Authority.

3st) Ungratefulness to Eternal Goodness.

Those who easily commit venial sin will hardly escape mortal sins, say experienced teachers of the spiritual life.

“By a just punishment from God, says Saint Isidore, those who disregard venial sins, slight faults, one day fall into the greatest sins.”

St. Augustine has a phrase that deserves serious reflection from us. Mortal sin is, according to him, a crushing mountain that kills, and venial sins grains of sand. But it turns out that the contempt of light faults causes the soul to perish like these unfortunates, who suffocate to death under a heap of sand. It is true that only mortal sin gives death to the soul, and the

Venial sins, no matter how many, cannot take away from us the sanctifying grace. But, says St. Gregory, the habit of venial sins removes in our eyes the malice of grave sin, and we are soon not afraid to move from the slightest faults to the greatest sins.


Consequence and punishments of tibieza

Shyness prepares the final impenitence. - It will be possible? Will tell someone. Yes, experience has proven it a thousand times. Tibieza is the abuse of grace, and the abuse of grace has almost always had the ultimate impenitence as its ultimate consequence.

Deus non Irridetur! - Do not play with God!

Do you know the word of St. Paul?

The land that often drinks rainwater and only produces thistles and thorns is reproached and near the curse. It will be delivered to the fire and reduced to ashes (Hb 6,7). God calls us, knocks, knocks a thousand times at the door of the heart. It is despised.

There! one day the lampstand of grace with all its lights will be moved elsewhere: I will change your lampstand (Rev. 2,5). What's up! My God! Poor soul! The abyss of final impenitence awaits. And she smiles smugly, sleeps peacefully in unconsciousness, in the blindness of her pitiful state!

When, by divine mercy, a poor soul does not reach the abyss of grave sin and condemnation, he prepares for himself a terrible purgatory.

A venial sin is punished severely in the atoning flames. And the more lights and graces received in this world a soul, the more it will pay until the last harvest. Private revelations show us souls suffering in purgatory for centuries for venial sin!

Let us not abuse grace. Let's not say: it's a venial sin, it doesn't matter ... If we knew and meditated better what purgatory is, we wouldn't be so light and foolish to live in tibie and commit sin so easily!



The Capuchin novice reveals the suffering of purgatory The Annals of the Capuchins, Tome III, and Rossingnoli in their Purgatory Soul Wonders, 56th, tell of this striking fact:

In a Capuchin convent in 1618, a very fervent novice fell ill and within a few days expired. The Guardian Father was absent and could not give him the last acquittal which penalized him greatly and therefore multiplied the prayers and suffrages for the soul of his spiritual son. He prayed for the novice after Matinas in the choir, when his soul appears to him surrounded by flames: “Alas! My Father, I could not receive acquittal and had committed a slight misconduct and I suffer horribly for it in purgatory. I come to ask for your blessing and a penance and I will be free.

“My son,” replies Father Guardian tremendously, “I bless you as much as I can and for penance you will stay in purgatory until Cousin time only.

It was two hours before the friars recited the office. Father Guardian felt his hair stand on end, and trembling and pale, he understood at this moment what is the suffering of purgatory, where every minute seems like a century. The bell rang soon, the community was assembled, and the office was immediately prayed for by the soul of the deceased novice, telling of the terrible apparition. He gave a sermon to everyone about purgatory and eternity, repeating the words of St. Anselm: After death the least of the penalties that await us is greater than anything that can be suffered in this world. Minor faults are punished severely.


November 11th


Greater responsibility

Yes, all who consecrated themselves to the service of Our Lord took tremendous responsibility for the consecration or the vows they made.

They received more lights and graces than the simple faithful. They were privileged by their vocation, which placed them on a higher plane. Many graces and privileges, yes, but many tremendous responsibilities. They will give more severe accounts to Our Lord.

What zeal they should not have to preserve purity of conscience and to avoid all sin, even the slightest!

Saint Francisca Romana, whose views on purgatory are well known, claimed to have seen at the bottom of the abyss the souls consecrated to God who suffered in purgatory and below, far below the laity. Feathers, she said, were proportionate to their dignity and position in the Church.

The views of Saint Francisca are confirmed by many similar views of other saints and elect souls, who always attest to the rigor with which divine justice punishes in purgatory the faults and imperfections of their elect.

May this make an impression on consecrated souls and remember what suffering they are preparing for after death when they lead a life of lukewarmness and do not strive to correct defects that they may deem unimportant! Shake the Superiors! Shake the Prelates! What excuse can the great Judge of the living and the dead find who has received with so much light on theology and sacred science on the spiritual life and lived flooded in an ocean of grace and mercy? And the souls that are given to the shepherds, and of which shall they answer the LORD? One can understand why the saints fled from the prelatures and dignities, because they trembled before a miter or a pastoral staff.

One must be very faithful to one's vocation and fulfill the mission entrusted with great perfection. Mother Francisca of the Blessed Sacrament, a Carmelite religious saint of Pampoluna, had 220 apparitions of souls from purgatory. Among these souls he saw two popes, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, canons and priests, and many men and women religious. In these revelations the ecclesiastical dignitaries painfully and terribly regretted that they had desired and sought dignity in the Church. And many suffered from negligence in God's service. - O Francisca, a priestly soul groaned, a Bishop! A bishop! My God! Before I had never been ...

What a responsibility! Another lamented: “Men think it is enough to be a priest. It is a state that demands a great purity of life! Francisca, I just saved myself! (Le Purgatoire - Louvet.)

We should pray very fervently and offer more suffrages for the souls consecrated to God. They will give more severe accounts to Our Lord and have a longer and more painful purgatory. Let us not canonize priests and religious very soon after death. The purgatory of God-consecrated souls is terrible, said a seer. Why? Because they had more ease and many means to avoid and shorten their purgatory, and could not enjoy them.

Who else received ...

He who has received the most graces from God will be more accountable of graces.

The ignorant, the simple, those who have not received so many favors and privileges from heaven, will naturally have to give God less account of their sins and will be judged less severely. What will not be the judgment of a priest, a religious, souls surrounded by lights and enriched by a multitude of graces ?! This is why the purgatory of priests and consecrated souls of God, as well as of those who have the most knowledge and received the most graces from our Lord in this life, must be more terrible. Do we not remember the parable of the talents? Saint Francisca Romana had many admirable visions, and Our Lord led her down in spirit to purgatory.

She saw priests and nuns far below the laity, in horrible suffering and suffering much more than lay people who had committed very serious faults and reached forgiveness at the time of death. It was revealed to the Holy One that they suffered more because in this world they received much more graces, occupied a very high place in the priesthood and consecration to the service of God.

- My daughter, said a soul of purgatory to a nun, according to Msgr. Praise, my daughter, be very holy, for the purgatory of priests and nuns is terrible!

On the first day of the year, Santa Margarida Maria prayed for three recently deceased persons. Two nuns and one secular. Our Lord presented to him the three souls, saying to him, Which of the three wilt thou save first, daughter?

Lord, choose Yourself according to your highest glory.

Then our Lord chose the secular person, saying that the religious had in this life much more graces and means to atone for their sins by observing the Rule, and that the secular had not received so many privileges and favors ...

The ignorant, the poor, the humble, full of good will, and who have not received from God as many graces and means of sanctification as the consecrated souls of God, will naturally have much excuse in the Divine Court, and will be the purgatory of Divine mercy for them.

Religious meditate as in various particular apparitions Our Lord reveals how much in the afterlife He punishes the lack of observance of the Holy Rule and how this Holy Rule facilitates the atonement of temporal punishment in this world and shortens, if not frees the consecrated soul from purgatory.

Regular observance is a powerful means of sanctification, a great penance that fills the soul with merits. For a little sacrifice of how many feathers the religious faithful to the Holy Rule are not freed in the other life. And how should consecrated souls tremble as they think of the strictest accounts they will give to God for the great number of graces they have received and the

which may not have matched.


Even the saints ...

To enter heaven requires an angelic purity, a well-purified soul without the slightest blemish of imperfection. This is why even saints, men of great virtue, passed through the atoning flames of purgatory, according to various particular revelations. Venerable Fr. Claudio de La Colombiére, spiritual director of Saint Margaret Mary and a man of extraordinary virtue, called by our Lord friend and faithful servant, as revealed to the saint, was passed through purgatory. He died in Paray le Monial on February 15, 1682, at five o'clock in the morning. A young woman came to bring the news to the saint: pray for him and pray for his soul! Shortly after the funeral, he received another mysterious message from the saint: stop praying for him, because now he will pray for you.

Some time later, the Superior of the Monastery noticed that Margarida did not pray or ask for more prayers for her Spiritual Director and asked her cause.

- My Mother, Father La Colombiére is no longer in a position to receive our suffrages. Now he is the one who prays and asks for us. It is in heaven. Thanks to the mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it occupies a beautiful place in heaven. Just to atone for some minor neglect in the exercise of divine love, he passed through purgatory and was deprived of Divine Vision until he was buried.

Here is a great servant of God deprived of heaven for a few long hours of a day.

Saint Lutgarda saw the great and virtuous Pope who was Innocent III, in the flames of purgatory.

- Who are you? Ask Santa about an apparition that suffered a lot.

- I'm Pope Innocent III.

- My God! Such a holy Pope in purgatory?! ...

- Yes, I expiate my faults. By Mary's mercy I have been saved, but I still lack a long atonement. Have pity on me! Have pity on me!

Saint Roberto Belarmino, in his book De Gemitu Columbae - Book III, chap. IX - refers to this apparition, concluding: Who will be the prelate, the responsible man who does not tremble at this? Who will not scrutinize their hearts well and try to avoid the slightest faults?

Even the saints have passed and passed through purgatory. How necessary to be angelic and very holy to enter heaven!

Men of great virtue were seen, saints, who passed through purgatory, as witnessed by particular revelations, such as those of St. Brigid, St. Teresa, St. Margaret Mary, and others.

How much delicacy of conscience does not require a priest to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day, to fulfill the divine mission of his ministry. What a terrible purgatory of the Tibian priest! What a terrible purgatory of the men and women religious who so easily transgress the Rule!



Purgatory and the Seraphic Order

The practice of suffrage to souls is a tradition of the Seraphic Order! To the great penitent Saint Margaret of Cortona said Our Lord in a revelation:

I recommend to my younger brothers that I remember the souls of purgatory very much, because their numbers are incalculable, and almost no one prays for them. Tell them, too, that they do not interfere in the things of the world and lead a life of poverty and recollection so that they will not be severely punished in the afterlife.

What lessons for our soul! And to our comfort, let us consider this example that brings us to the Seraphic Halo:

A 13th-century manuscript chronicle chronicles this: “One of our brothers from the Province of Saxony was returning to the convent after preaching, when he was told that two religious had died: Father Guardian and Father Vicar. This is what happened. The next evening the priest was in prayer when he saw the two deceased full of splendors and incomparable beauty enter the cell.

Shaking with emotion, ask them:

- How do you think?

- Saved by the mercy of God, respond the blessed - and we enjoy the beatific vision.

- Didn't you go through the fire of purgatory?

- No, because we made our purgatory in the fire of God's poverty accepted it in atonement. Let everyone know that none of our brothers will go to purgatory if they faithfully observe the Rule of St. Francis and holy poverty, because the crucible of poverty purifies everything.

Under noveris quod nullus, Servants Regulate Beati Francisci and sancia paupertaiem ejus, purgatorii feathers sustained that it could be a pauperia ominia puraganior.

Does the Third Franciscan there in the century, carrying the habit of the Seraphic Father, faithful to the Rule, hidden under the garments of the world, have no secure guarantee from heaven?

The holy Rule of Religious Orders and Congregations and Third Orders is always a guarantee of salvation, and either frees or greatly relieves purgatory of its observance.


November 12th


The largest of the suffrages

Undoubtedly, there is no greater or more powerful and effective suffrage that we can offer to God for the dead than Holy Mass. The Church has not defined much about purgatory, but the essence of its definitions lies in these two principles, twice truths of faith that we are bound to believe if we are to belong to the guild of the Church of Our Lord, because otherwise the anathema will weigh heavily. about unbelievers:

The Council of Trent defines the existence of purgatory, as we have seen, and a second definition: If anyone says that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should not be offered by the living and the dead, for sins, penalties, and satisfactions, be anathema. This is the suffrage par excellence, the true suffrage we can offer to God for our dead, in the certainty that it is always effective and powerful. In the Altar Sacrifice the great Victim is offered and the Sacrifice is Christ Our Lord Himself. It is the same sacrifice as Calvary. It has the same merit as the Cross. It follows that the souls of purgatory receive from Holy Mass the same treasure of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord shed on the cross and for our salvation. Can there be greater suffrage than the Mass?

Four main fruits of the Holy Sacrifice are distinguished: One general fruit, applied to all living and dead faithful not separated from the Communion of the Church;

a special fruit applied to those who attend Mass today; a most special fruit to those who have Holy Mass celebrated; and a ministerial fruit, which belongs to the celebrant and is inalienable.

Now, who can not enjoy this great treasure of the Church, offered each morning on our altars, there is no work more meritorious and proper to nourish the true piety than the attendance to Holy Mass. “There is no greater help to the souls of purgatory,” says D. Gueranger, the illustrious and pious Benedictine of L'ane Liturgique. When the priest celebrates, says the Imitation of Christ, he honors God, rejoices the Angels, builds the Church, helps the living, seeks rest for the dead, and becomes a partaker of all goods. ”

Holy Mass is the richness of purgatory, the hope of holy suffering souls.

We can offer nothing better and nothing more effective in relieving them than the Holy Sacrifice. Mass is the sun of the Church, says St. Francis de Sales. It is the sun that dispels the darkness of purgatory. We may perhaps doubt at times the efficacy and power of our prayers made with so many distractions and in such precarious conditions; but of the power and efficacy of the Holy Sacrifice, in which the Blood of Jesus Christ is offered for souls, what doubt can we have of the value of this Work?

We can do nothing bigger or better than offer the Holy Sacrifice for souls.


The treasure of souls

Yes, Holy Mass is the treasure of poor souls. No way is more powerful and effective to release them, we have already seen. St. Leonardo of Port Maurice, who was a great apostle and devotee of the Holy Sacrifice, said: “Do you want proof that the Mass brings relief to the poor souls? I heard one of the wisest Doctors in the Church, St. Jerome: “During the celebration of a Mass for a suffering soul, this soul may be preserved in whole or in part from the feather of fire. At each Mass celebrated, several souls are free from purgatory. Reflect on this further: your charity for these souls will be of great advantage to you. O blessed Mass, it is useful at a time for the living and the dead! In time and in eternity! ”Let me beg you, St. Leonardo adds, and I want to ask you on your knees: Make a firm resolve to hear or to celebrate all the Masses that your occupations and resources allow you, not just for deceased but also for your souls. Two reasons must decide for you: the first reason, to achieve a good death ... O, how sweet and tranquil will be the death of those who have spent their lives listening to as many Masses as they can! The second reason is to achieve for yourselves the immense favor of stealing heaven even without going through purgatory, or greatly shortening the dwelling time in those atoning flames. ”

Blessed Joao d'Avilla, when he reached the last moments of his life, asked what he would most want after death: - Masses! Masses! Masses!

Saint Monica was at the door of eternity. On her deathbed, she told her beloved son, Augustine, that it had cost her so many tears and had filled her with so much consolation in recent days:

- My son, then you will have no mother: When I am no longer in this world, pray for my soul, do not forget the one who loved you so much. In the sacrifice of the spotless Lamb, commend my soul to God.

The Holy Doctor never forgot the maternal recommendation. She cried a lot when Saint Monica died, but her tears were always accompanied by many fervent prayers and suffrages. “God of mercy, he said, forgive my mother and do not enter into judgment with her. Remember that before you left this valley of tears, you did not ask for your pompous funeral remains, but only for your ministers to remember it on the Altar of Divine Sacrifice. ”

Blessed Henry Suzo signed a contract with one of his very close friends: “whoever died first would have a certain number of Masses that the other survivor would be required to have celebrated as soon as possible.” The Blessed's friend departed first to another life. Some time later, he appeared to Henry Suzo, moaning in pain to complain: - Alas! You have already forgotten the promise.

- No, my friend, answers the Blessed One, I have not ceased to pray for your soul since you died ...

- O, but this is not enough for me, no, it is not enough, the deceased moans; I lack to quench the flames that burn me, I lack the Blood of Jesus Christ! The Blood of Jesus Christ! ”

The Blessed understood as soon as the Masses were missing. The day after the apparition, he went to the Church to ask for many Masses for his deceased friend. It obtained several in this intention. The friend appears to him already glorified and thanks him happy: My dear friend, a thousand times thankful! Thanks to the Blood of Jesus Christ the Savior, I am free from the atoning flames. I go to heaven and I will never forget you there!


Gregorian Masses

What are Gregorian Masses? Before answering, let's look at its origin.

In a monastery of St. Gregory, a monk named Justus, contrary to the vow of poverty to which the religious are obliged, seized three gold coins. When he was about to die, he repented, confessed to his brother that he was missing.

Indeed, the three coins were found among the guardians of the deceased monk.

This has come to the knowledge of St. Gregory. The Saint, who was so careful in discipline and horrified at the violation of the vow of poverty, forbade any visit to the nurse. This one, feeling abandoned, complained. It's the punishment of your lack against poverty, they told him.

Brother Just died shortly after and St. Gregory did not allow him to be buried among his brothers. He had it thrown into a grave outside the convent, and the three gold coins were buried with him as the Community repeated St. Peter's words to Simon of Samaria: Perish with you your money!

This made a profound impression on the monks, who henceforth divested themselves and lived in the strictest poverty.

Thirty days later, St. Gregory, however, pitying the poor monk's soul, had the Holy Mass celebrated several days for his soul. The soul of Justus appeared at the end of thirty days and said: "Until now I was very bad and I suffered a lot, but now I am very well, I was admitted in the company of the saints." And disappeared.

The Brother told the Superiors and it was just thirty days since the first Mass celebrated. Hence the origin of having the Gregorian Masses celebrated in thirty days in a row. According to godly belief, they set souls free for those offered.

This is the origin of the Gregorian Masses. The faith of the Christian people in the effectiveness of these Holy Gregorian Masses is pious and rational and approved by the Church, says the Holy Congregation of Indulgences - Decree - 11 March 1884.

The conditions are as follows: The thirty Masses should be celebrated on thirty continuous days and without interruption. If by chance these days fall the last three days of Holy Week, the interruption does not change. They can be celebrated later then. So decided Pope Benedict. The thirty Masses should be applied by one and the same soul and not by several. To the soul whose liberation from purgatory is desired. However, it is not necessary for Masses to be celebrated by the same priest, in the same Church and altar.

Nor is it necessary for them to be Requiem Masses, Black Masses, etc., even on days when the headings allow it. It would be commendable and it is highly recommended to do so but there is no obligation. What is essential is that thirty Masses be celebrated for the deceased on thirty consecutive days.

This is what they are, and the conditions of the Gregorian Masses.

Why leave this treasure when it is possible for us to have it applied to the rescue of souls of our loved ones?



St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Lawyer of the Souls of Purgatory

St. Nicholas of Tolentino is one of the most prodigious saints in the Church. The life of this great thaumaturge is a fabric of miracles and wonders rarely found in other saints in the Church. Pope Eugene IV said: "There has been no saint since the time of the Apostles who surpassed St. Nicholas of Tolentine in number and greatness of miracles." Among the works of charity of the great Saint, the principal was the help to the holy souls of purgatory. He became the Protector of Purgatory and the Advocate of Souls. The following prodigy is famous. One Saturday, the saint was in the hermitage of Valvamanente, near the town of Pézaro, where he had been sent to preach a mission. He had prayed a lot and done much penance, mistreating the innocent body with harsh discipline. He decided to take an hour's rest on a hard bed. She had barely begun to sleep when she was awakened by searing, aching moans like she had never heard before. A voice moaned.

"My brother, Nicholas, man of God, please look at me, don't you know me?"

- Tell me who you are, says the Saint, I want to help you. What can I do to relieve you?

And a pale shadow moved in the air:

- Ah! Nicholas, here is your dear Brother Friar Pilgrim of Osino. I have long been tormented in the flames of purgatory where I find myself in God's mercy because of your great merits, though my sins have earned me eternal damnation. If you celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of Mass tomorrow for me, tomorrow I will be delivered.

Filled with bitterness, Nicholas's heart seemed to crack with pain. He saw that obedience would not allow him to celebrate that Mass: - My brother, Jesus Christ, for your Most Precious Blood be propitious to you, but I can not attend to you, because I am obliged by obedience to celebrate this whole week in the intentions of the Community.

"The Venerable Father, then please accompany me, since my torments do not move you to Holy Mass." You will see the sufferings of the multitudes of poor souls begging for your suffrage.

In a few moments the saint found himself on the top of a mountain bathed in light and full of beauty, but at the foot of this mountain, in a vast valley, a sad spectacle filled with horror to the saint. Crowds of souls writhed in pain in an immense brazier and groaned with heartbreaks. Seeing the Holy One on the mountaintop, they cried out in supplication, reaching out and asking for mercy and help. “Father Nicolau, says Friar Pilgrim, have mercy on these poor souls who beg for your help. If you celebrate Holy Mass for us, almost all of us will be freed from our painful and horrible torments. ”

Nicholas cannot contain himself. Like Moses, he spent the night with his arms outstretched, begging for mercy. Then he went to the Superior and told the vision. He was licensed to celebrate Mass for seven days in a row by the souls of purgatory.

Friar Pilgrim during the Holy Mass appeared to him resplendent in glory surrounded by a multitude of souls released from purgatory that ascended to heaven.

Since then the title of Protector of the Souls of Purgatory has come to St. Nicholas. Hence the origin of the pious custom of having seven Masses celebrated on seven consecutive days for the souls of the beloved deceased, parents, relatives, friends, etc.

SS Benedict XV granted on 15 May 1920 the privilege that Masses celebrated in the churches of the Augustinian Fathers during these days, in suffrage of some deceased, be celebrated as those of a privileged altar.

Let us invoke St. Nicholas of Tolentine in our devotion to the holy souls of purgatory. He is a rich protector of the devotees of holy souls.


November 13

Holy Communion for the Dead

After Holy Mass ...

Yes, after Holy Mass, there is no better and more powerful suffrage to help poor souls than Holy Communion. St. Bonaventure wrote: "Let charity lead you to commune, for there is nothing so effective in providing rest to those who suffer in purgatory."

It is true that the Eucharist as spiritual food is meant for the living. It is the cibus viatorum - food of the travelers, in the expressive and beautiful saying of the Liturgy. Its purpose is to sustain the soul in the earthly pilgrimage, to strengthen it in the struggle against enemies. How can it be a help and suffocate the dead? Theologians have discussed this issue, but everyone agrees that much merit and many good works do those who receive the Body of Christ, and this intimate union of the soul with their God makes it more pleasing and more powerful to intercede for the dead, and makes the Communion one of the most powerful and useful suffrages after Holy Mass. Tobias said, "Put your bread and your wine on the grave of the righteous." How well this passage of Scripture applies to Communion for the dead! It is the bread of Eternal Life and the Transubstantiated Wine in the Blood of Jesus Christ that we will place in our hearts to implore mercy for our dear and longing dead! The memory of the dead united with the Holy Eucharist is so beautiful and so comforting! It is not only through the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ that the souls of purgatory can be relieved. The Holy Eucharist as a sacrament can be of great relief to the deceased, especially when the living faithful come together to apply the fruit of a general communion. It is a practice authorized by the Church. Worthily received communion is very useful for the deceased faithful. How many good deeds are not practiced in one Communion! Ordinary preparation for the state of grace that often costs the Christian so much to keep it, close preparation for the acts of faith, hope and love, finally, the sacrifices that make meritorious to the dead as suffrage, Communion. What is more, that intimate union of the soul with its Creator and Redeemer in the moments after Communion, does not make the one who mediates between God and the poor souls, to fervently ask for the relief of the dead?

Saint Ambrose says that "the Eucharist is a sacrament of rest and peace for the deceased and at the same time a feast." Therefore, Communion can relieve the dead, in the opinion of the Holy Doctor. St. John Chrysostom calls Communion the help of the dead. And St. Cyril, the greatest help of the dead - maximum defunclorum juvamen.

If we knew how many graces of holiness we can draw to our souls with Holy Communion, with the participation of the Body and Blood of Christ, how much comfort and relief we can give to those who suffer in purgatory, we would feel a burning desire to commune often for our dead. and to apply in suffrage to the poor suffering souls all the merits we can gain with our fervent communions. Let us try to make good Communions, remembering the better we make them, the more we will alleviate the dead.


Monthly Communion for the Souls of Purgatory

Let's be practical. We need to help the dead and sanctify our souls.

The Holy Eucharist is our treasure of the earth and it is ours, our food, the Sacrament of the travelers, of those who sojourn for this life in search of eternity. For our spiritual benefit, and in suffrage of the poor souls, let us commune more often. Wouldn't monthly communion for souls be a powerful incentive to our spiritual life and a great relief to the dead?

The sentence of Pope Alexander VI is famous: “If he wanted for the animabus in purgatory detentis, annimo lilis proficiendi, orationem fecerit, obligat e ad antidota isve gratitudinem” the desire to relieve them compels them to gratitude and remuneration.

The practice of monthly communion by the deceased faithful is very old. In some regions it is very crowded and produces wonderful fruits. This pious custom began in Rome in the pontificate of Pope Paul V, who was very supportive of her, and he himself put it into practice in the Eternal City with surprising fruits. It was amazing how the faithful flocked to the churches each month to mourn their beloved dead for Holy Communion. Paul V's successors continued the devotion that developed so much that only in Rome could one day see thirty thousand Communions for souls. The practice went from Rome to other cities in Italy, then to France and many European countries.

Now, among us where the people are so devoted to the souls of purgatory, why shouldn't the day of monthly communion be generalized for souls? Each religious community, each parish should have its monthly day of souls. The day of communion for souls. Preferably a Monday should be chosen when possible. In the parishes perhaps one of Sundays, to favor the people.

Oh, that we had every month, a day of the dead, a day for the holy souls! Mass, general communion, suffrages and prayers for the dead! However, if this practice is not done collectively, which prevents us from doing it privately and encouraging others to do the same?

Let us be apostles of the monthly communion for the dead. Let us go to the Holy Table to bring some refreshment to purgatory for our prayers and sacrifices in union with Jesus Host. Say with Jesus in your heart, Lord, give them eternal rest, and shine unto them the everlasting light!

Offer the Most Precious Blood of Jesus to the Eternal Father for the relief of holy souls!

Can we not do all this in one Communion? There are godly and compassionate people who offer every Communion for souls every Monday. It is weekly communion for the deceased faithful. So much the better. Occasionally Communions novenas for souls. How good are we and poor souls for such uplifting and valuable practices! Let us make many Communions for our dead. Let us propagate the use of monthly Communion by souls!


Some examples

We have touching examples for our encouragement in the practice of Communion for the dead. Saint Magdalene of Pazzi had lost a brother, and she had seen him in the suffering of purgatory, in the midst of great torments. She began to pray and suffer for him.

One day, says this poor suffering soul to her sister: "My sister, I suffer and I need one hundred and seven Communions to get rid of purgatory." Saint Magdalene of Pazzi with all fervor soon began the series of Holy Communions for the release of that dear soul and succeeded. The Holy One used to exclaim in ecstasy: “O precious Blood of Jesus Christ! Mercy, Lord! Mercy! Deliver souls from the prison of fire! ”And he offered the Blood of Jesus for souls and often shared for them.

Venerable Louis de Blois says that a pious servant of God was visited by a soul from purgatory who made known to him the horrible torments he suffered.

He was suffering greatly for receiving Holy Communion without proper preparation. "My friend," says the poor soul in a groan, "I pray you to make a very fervent Communion for my soul." The godly friend did so and without delay. This good Communion obtained what the poor soul had asked, which was freed from torment. The happy soul saved appeared gratefully. “Thanks, a thousand thanks, my dear friend. I will behold the face of my God forever! ”

We cannot doubt the effectiveness of Holy Communion in relieving the dead. In the life of a servant of God, Maria Luiza de Jesus tells us that on a day of the Feast of the Body of God, at the time of Holy Communion, Our Lord appeared to her and said:

"This is my body which I gave to death for the remission of mankind and which remains in the Sacrament of the Altar." Jesus, says the seer, made me recite nine times: “Praise and thankful be the Blessed Sacrament at every moment, and then say to me, 'Take all indulgences and go to purgatory to relieve the souls who are there.'

At the moment of Holy Communion, Our Lord tells his servant to take a symbolic key, half gold and iron, translating mercy into gold and justice, and freeing the prisoners from purgatory.

What a touching and beautiful symbolism! In the hour of our Communion for the deceased faithful, for our fervent prayers and for the merits of this act so sublime as we have received from our Lord the golden key of Mercy and the iron of justice, so that we may pay the debt of the poor souls. and open the doors of purgatory.

Not only Communion, but our adoration and visits to the Most Holy can soothe the poor souls. How many indulgences the Eucharistic devotion does not have!

Let us enjoy them for the dead.



Saint Teresa and the soul of D. Bernardino

In St. Teresa's life we ​​read an event that shows us how Our Lady rewards her devotees.

A young gentleman named Bernardino de Mendoza, very devoted to Our Lady of Carmel, wanted to give Our Lady a proof of his love. So he offered Teresa a house he owned near the town of Valadolid so she could install a convent of Nossa Senhora do Carmo there. The saint at first was not very willing to accept donation not to open convent outside the city.

But since the offer was made very willingly and in praise of Our Lady, I did not want to deprive of deserving the young gentleman whom the Blessed Virgin would surely help to convert to a virtuous Christian life. Driven by this hope, he accepted the donation of the house.

About two months later, the gentleman fell seriously ill. He lost his voice and could not confess, but gave signs of repentance for his sins, shortly after he died. Teresa was in another city far away. But Our Lord appeared to him and said: “My daughter, the salvation of this man was at great risk, but I had compassion on him and accepted him with mercy in view of his devotion to my Mother and the tribute he gave her by giving the house to be. a convent is founded in his praise. But he will not leave Purgatory until the day the first Mass is celebrated in this new convent.

Thereafter Teresa had continually before her eyes the sufferings of this soul and burned with desire to install the new convent. But despite her goodwill, many difficulties appeared that delayed the work of adapting the house and the beginning of the construction of the new church. One day while she was in the convent of Saint Joseph of Medina, Our Lord said to her, "Hurry up, for this soul suffers greatly." The Santa made new efforts and used all the energy to overcome the obstacles and speed up the works. Finally, the foundation stone of the new church could be laid, and Teresa was allowed to hold a camp Mass.

However, he did not think that the nobleman's soul was already free from purgatory for this Mass, for the words of Our Lord had been very clear. He therefore urged the rapid execution of the building by all means, and at last saw it completed.

During the first Mass, at Communion time, the priest approached Teresa and the other sisters to give them the Holy Host. The moment Teresa received Our Lord, she saw beside him the late nobleman with all his face shining; Joyful and clasped, he thanked her for what he had done to free him from purgatory. Then she saw him rise to the sky.

Telling this fact in one of her books, Saint Teresa adds: “O how great a tribute is paid to the Mother of God! Who could describe how much she pleases God and how great is the mercy of our Lord! ”


November 14


Miss you and prayer

Let us not think that to remember our dead is to have only their homesickness that gradually decreases in intensity as the years pass.

Mourning our dead and perpetuating their memory in marble, canvas, book is allowed, yes. But let's not just stay in this. Let us miss the prayer.

It's not enough to cry, we need to pray. And you never need prayer as much as after death. In purgatory the poor souls are like the pool paralytic who said to Jesus, "Hominem non habeo!" Sir, I don't have a man to throw me into the pool to be healed.

Those holy souls depend on our suffrages, our prayers and sacrifices. God gave them to our charity. Our prayer for souls is always effective.

“Prayer for the deliverance of the dead who suffer in purgatory is infinitely more useful and effective than prayer for the sinners of the earth, whose wickedness and evil dispositions paralyze efforts to save them. The holy souls do not hinder the effectiveness of the prayers we make for them. ”Such is the opinion of the pious oratorian P. Faber.

Let us add to our immense longing for the dead our dear ones, prayer and always prayer.

Fr Sertillanges wrote: “The memory of the dead without prayer is a cold memory, a sad thought. It is an exploration of nothingness. But with prayer, it is a wind that blows toward God, it is an ascent on the wings of hope. (The Problem of the Priest. Revue de Jeunes - Nov. 1915.)

Let us pray for the blessed souls who suffer in purgatory! We gave him the alms of our earnest prayers and the richness of the indulgences of the treasury of the Church.

Saint Francis de Sales said: “You who weep inconsolably for the loss of your loved ones, I do not forbid you to cry, no! Weep, but seek to sweeten your tears with the gentle balm of prayer that much more than all the outward displays of grief can help to alleviate the souls that death has taken from you. ”

This is also the language of the Church, our Mother. It does not forbid our tears. It's so human to cry! But let us not be alone in sterile and desperate weeping. Let's pray! Let's add our prayers to tears. Longing and prayer.

Let us mourn our dead as true Christians.


Kinda easy

Yes, it is the easiest way to help the dead, prayer. Some may find it difficult to fast, or mortification, to complain about the poverty that does not allow them to give alms, but who can excuse themselves and excuse not being able to pray?

The shortest prayer with the proper dispositions is a relief to the deceased faithful. Who cannot cry: Lord, give them eternal rest!

Our Lord has made so many promises to prayer! “Ask and you will receive, knock and if it will open to you. We must always pray. ” The prayer of Martha and Mary leads Jesus to resurrect Lazarus. Our prayers for the dead will lift the poor souls out of that state of death in which they find themselves.

The tears, the flowers, the pompous mausoleums do not profit the dead. It is better to pray for them. "Save your tears, said St. John Chrysostom, for the dead and give them more prayers." “Saint Ambrose writes in one of his letters to Faustinus, who had just lost his sister:“ we need to assist her with prayers rather than to mourn her, and her soul should be highly recommended to God in prayer. Cry less and pray more ”.

We also repeat this recommendation to so many who mourn their dead without remembering a prayer, a Holy Mass, a work of charity to suffocate their poor souls. How many prayers so beautiful and effective and powerful for the suffrage of our dead! Our Father, Ave Maria, De Profundis, The Office of the Dead. The church, our Mother, gives us an example of prayer for the dead.

Their liturgical performances such as the Canonical Hours often end with the touching supplication: "Fidelium animas per mercy Dei requiescat in pace." And the souls of the faithful by God's mercy rest in peace! From early times, and already in the catacombs, prayer for the dead was known and practiced in the Church. Inscriptions on the stones are like these: Victory, may God refresh your spirit! Antonia, sweet soul, may God give you the refreshment! May Christ put you in peace! May your soul rest in God! Always plead with God for refreshment, light and peace for the dead. Prayer for the dead is very pleasing to God.

One day Saint Gertrude was praying fervently for the dead when Our Lord made him hear these words: “I have a special pleasure in praying for the faithful, especially when I see that natural compassion is joined by the goodwill of make it more meritorious. The prayer of the faithful descends upon the souls of purgatory all the time as a cooling and beneficial dew, as a salutary balm that sweetens and soothes their pains and yet frees them from their prisons more or less quickly, according to the fervor of their devotion. done ”. On another occasion, Our Lord said to his beloved servant, "I am most grateful to pray for the souls of purgatory, for through her I have the opportunity to deliver them from their penalties and to bring them into eternal glory."

This is such a powerful way to help poor souls, and so easy, so within reach! Pray and much for the poor souls!

Let us pray for the deceased faithful!

Yes, since prayer is so powerful for helping the dead, relieving the sorrows of poor souls, let us come to the aid of purgatory! The prayer of the fervent soul, says St. Bernard, rises to heaven and does not descend without being heard. If you ask for God's love, it comes from Him full; if you ask for humility, it is soon adorning it; if you ask for the liberation of souls from purgatory, you also have all the power to achieve it. ”

St. John Damascene writes: “I could not tell you so many testimonies found in the lives of the saints by clearly proving the advantages of prayer for the dead! It is not in vain to pray for the dead! ”

All prayers are helpful to souls, but some more than others. For example, the canonical prayers of the Breviary or Divine Office are much more valuable and effective. What value will not have an official prayer of the Church for the dead!

Then let us enjoy the treasure of the Way of the Cross, following the painful mysteries of the Savior's Passion and offering the Most Precious Blood for purgatory refreshment. What about the Rosary? What a treasure of the suffering Church!

Let us apply all Rosary indulgences for souls. A young woman released from purgatory by the rosary of St. Dominic appeared to this servant of the Virgin and said to her: “In the name of the souls of purgatory I conjure you up, preach everywhere and make known to all the devotion of the Rosary. May the faithful apply to the poor souls the indulgences and other spiritual favors of this holy devotion. The Blessed Virgin and the Angels and Saints rejoice as the Rosary, and the souls released by him pray in heaven for their liberators.

Let us make novenas and common prayers for the dead, especially soon after they left this world. There is the pious custom of making a novena for the deceased, beginning the day after death or burial.

For nine days the family gathers around a little altar to beg the Lord's mercy for the deceased. Let us multiply earnest prayers for our dear dead and for the most abandoned souls. “My daughter, Our Lord once said to Saint Lutgarda, I cannot resist your supplications. The soul for which you ask will soon be free from your sufferings. ” O, is not this the answer that our Lord will give us also, if we pray with all the fervor of our soul, with all charity for the dead?

A holy bishop, Rossingnolli recounts in his Wonders of Purgatory, a holy bishop had a dream. He saw a child who with a gold hook and a silver line pulled a woman from a deep well. He woke up, opened the window and saw in the cemetery, which was in the back of the house and neighbor, a boy like the one he saw in a dream, kneeling by a tomb, praying.

- What are you doing there, boy? The bishop asks him.

“I pray our Father and De Profundis for the soul of my mother, who is buried here.

He soon understood that the simple prayer of the little one was the golden hook, and the Our Father and De Profundis the mysterious thread which he had seen in a dream. Such is our prayer for the dead.



Saint Margaret of Cortona and the Souls of Purgatory

The great sinner who was Margaret of Cortona and converted became the Madalena of recent times, for the admirable penance and great holiness she came to, was a great devotee of the holy souls of purgatory. Since his conversion, he has devoted himself, full of charity, to helping suffering souls. Our Lord has often allowed him to see the sad condition of these souls to excite his compassion and intercede for them. Two merchants were murdered, and by the mercy of Mary Most Holy, of whom she was fervent devotees, achieved perfect contrition at the last hour and were saved. They appeared to the saint and said to him:

- “We have escaped eternal condemnation for the special protection of Mary Most Holy, but we will have to suffer a horrible purgatory to atone for our injustice and lies and sins. O Servant of God, we ask you to warn our friends and relatives to make restitution of our bad business and to give alms to the poor in return for our injustices. Help us, Daisy, with your suffrages. ”

The Holy One has worked hard with prayers and penances to help these poor souls. And so He always did that Our Lord revealed to Him the need and afflictions of some souls in purgatory. When the father of the penitent saint died, she offered for that dear soul many prayers and all sorts of suffrages, penances and holy communions.

God our Lord has made known to you that your prayers have soothed the souls of your father and mother, and have had many abbreviated days of purgatory.

Also on learning of the death of a maid, Gilla, who had been with her for a long time, Margarida did not cease to recommend this soul of the poor thing to Our Lord. It was revealed to her that the maid would be in purgatory only until the feast of Our Lady's Purification and would soon be taken to heaven by the Angels.

At the time of death, Santa Margarida de Cortona saw a multitude of souls with splendor of the glory of heaven coming to meet their benefactor, full of gratitude. It was the reward of their dedication and devotion to the souls of purgatory.


November 15th


A way to help souls

We are obliged to do penance if we are to save our soul. There are only two ways to enter heaven: innocence and penance. Our Lord warns, "If you do not do penance, you will all perish equally." But penance, besides being necessary to us, is very meritorious, and we can apply it to the poor souls of purgatory. We will take double advantage: our

sanctification and the relief of suffering souls.

Suffering together with prayer has an extraordinary efficacy in obtaining all graces from God. In the old days, we see in Scripture when the Prophets and God's people wished to obtain mercy from heaven or gave themselves to fasting, cilice and austerity. Our penance here is very meritorious. We suffer for the dead!

"Let us relieve the souls of purgatory," says St. John Chrysostom, "let us alleviate them for all that penalizes us, because God is careful to apply the merits of the living to the dead." Bertioux writes: “Suffering is the great satisfaction the Lord asks of the debtors of justice. Therefore, we suffer for our dead so that they suffer less. Oh If we had a brighter faith, a more ardent charity, what mortifications would we impose on ourselves to free our relatives and friends from purgatory, they who have loved us so much, who have suffered perhaps for us and are now suffering so horribly! Since we are not capable of such penance as the saints, let us have generosity for some small sacrifices. The sacrifice of a pleasure, a dangerous affection,

a bad reading, a vanity, etc. "Choose the best victim, advises Fr Felix, SJ, choose her above all from the bottom of your heart." “For those you love, sacrifice what you hold dear. Sacrifice yourselves, and may the price of personal sacrifice become the ransom of suffering. ” “Ah! I see, adds Father Berlioux, I see these happy souls rise to heaven, on the wings of our sacrifices, our austerities and sufferings! ”

What an object of consolation and hope! O my God! O crucified Jesus, make us understand the value of suffering!


Acceptance of the Cross by Souls

The thought of the saints' penance and great austerities frighten us, but cannot we offer our Lord the daily cross for our dead?

Who does not have your cross?

Suffering is fruitful and will bear fruit beyond the boundaries of life, it will lighten the flames of purgatory. Nothing in life is so good and so reverberating in souls!

For we must believe that in the afterlife also suffering saves and redeems the debt of the poor souls of the suffering Church. I heard this page from a great soul: “Suffering, writes the admirable Elizabeth Leseur, Suffering acts impetuously on us, first, by a kind of intimate renewal, in others too, perhaps very far away and unknown to this world. the work we do for them. Suffering is an act. Christ did more on the cross for humanity than speaking and working in Galilee or Jerusalem. Suffering makes life: it transforms everything it touches and everything it hits. ”

"Suffering is an act." What an impressive formula! You should keep it. Works who suffers well. He can save souls as the apostle of the word, as the most active and ardent missionary priest. The great missionary of recent times, the Carmel Angel of Lisieux, could tell and experienced the value of suffering for the salvation of souls. “Through suffering and persecution, she said, far more than brilliant preaching, God wants to establish His Kingdom in souls.

Our sacrifices, our efforts and the darkest of our actions are not lost, it is my absolute opinion: all have far and deep repercussions. ”

Yes, suffering has such a far-reaching repercussion that it goes to purgatory, it will relieve the torments of poor souls, it will help them repay the debt they have contracted with Divine Justice, it will open their gates to heaven! There are so many daily crosses in the family, illnesses, annoyances, setbacks, so many things that are crucifying us every day! Why not enjoy it all for souls? O my God, let us say in the hour of pain, let it be all for your love and for the relief of

poor souls! If we do not have the courage for great penance, let us at least accept that day by purgatory.


Victims for souls

There are many generous souls who come to the heroism of offering themselves as victims for the souls of purgatory. It is a heroic act and an extraordinary means that we cannot advise at all, but that only a few generous souls with the confessor's approval and under special circumstances could do so.

We belong to the Christian family, we are members of Christ, we are one with Christ and in Christ. He is the head and we are the members. Now, in a family, can't a brother offer to repay another brother's debt? This is what the victim soul offers to suffer for the souls of purgatory.

We have touching examples of this generous offering among the saints. When St. Catherine of Siena lost her father, who was a man of uplifting piety, he asked Our Lord to take him to heaven without delay, and to offer herself to suffer whatever he had to suffer in purgatory. “Send me, Lord, the sufferings that my father should suffer; I will bear them for him! ”

This generous and heroic act obtained heaven for Giacomo - says Joecgense: Everyone sobbed at the old man's death and an immense joy invaded the soul of the saint. She herself put her father's body in the coffin and, leaning over that pale face, murmured, "Oh, if I could be where you are now!"

A horrible suffering invaded the soul of Santa Catarina de Seine. It was a terrible pain, accompanied by sweet peace. She realized it would be the pain of souls in purgatory.

Another example of a victim for souls has given us this recently canonized Santinha, Santa Gema Galgani. He offered for the conversion of sinners and the souls of purgatory. One day, she says, I suffered for two hours in favor of a purgatory soul. I had a sore head that the slightest movement was unbearable to me. It was terrible! Gem learned that a Passionist nun from the Cornelo Monastery was about to die. She asked our Lord for that soul to enter heaven soon. You heard her. Sister died and soon after appeared to Gemma, saying she was suffering a lot in purgatory. The Santa had no peace. He did all manner of penance and cried, Jesus, save her! Jesus, send our sister to heaven right away!

For sixteen consecutive days Gem's sufferings were incredible.

Finally, the time for liberation has come. Little Sister appears to Gem, free from purgatory: I am happy, I go to my Jesus forever! He thanked him and left for the sky.

Countless facts are told of extraordinary penances of the saints for the liberation of souls from purgatory. St. Nicholas of Tolentino, the Angel of Purgatory, fasted and took bloody disciplines for Purgatory. Saint Margaret Mary did the same with great generosity and heroism. What bloody disciplines and what suffering for souls!

If we cannot imitate the heroism of the saints, let us at least offer some sacrifice for the poor souls, for our dear dead.



Father Mateus Leconte, OP, and Purgatory

In 1887 Friar Mateus Leconte, a man of great talent and admirable virtue. He was a missionary who turned many people into preaching in the major cities of Europe. After an apostolic life full of merit, he wanted to retire to the Holy City and found a convent of his Order there, where the protomártir Saint Stephen was martyred. He fell seriously ill and was transported to a hospital, where he was under the care of a religious saint who had been his spiritually driven long years. The godly Friar Mateus was frightened by the accounts he would give to God in the court of judgment.

“My priest, the nurse comforted him, you did so well with your preaching and you saved so many souls! What can you fear?

- Oh, my daughter, answered the good priest, it is not enough to do good works, it is necessary to do them well and with great purity of intention! When I die, pray long and hard for me ...

"I will pray, Father, yes, my Father, and if you no longer need it, let me know."

- My daughter, responds Father Matthew smiling at the simplicity of Sister, is not so easy to return to this world. In any case, I promise to help you when you are in heaven for God's mercy. Help me a lot to enter heaven by helping me in purgatory.

A few days later the good priest died holy. For a week or so the nun prayed a lot for the soul of Father Matthew. Then, either because of occupations, or because he thought that the Holy Father would no longer need deorations and suffrages, he stopped praying for him.

One day the good nun was in her cell at work when she suddenly smelled a strong smell of smoke and something that was burning and a lot of unbearable smoke. In the smoke she heard an anguished and terrible moan that chilled her in horror.

- My daughter! My daughter! Pray a lot for me, pray a lot for me!

And everything was gone in an instant. A fortnight later, the same phenomenon is repeated, but no longer with such intensity. The religious, in this space of time, prayed and suffered a lot for the soul that had asked her for prayers. This time the mysterious voice said to her: thankful, my daughter, your prayers have soothed me, they have been a soda dew in the flames of purgatory that I am suffering.

I ask you for a charity: to tell the Prior of the Convent I founded, have a novena of Masses celebrated for my soul.

The nun, without hesitation, went to send the message to the Superior. He received it with some suspicion, thinking it was a visionary. In any case, he thought, a novena of Masses for the soul of Father Matthew will not hurt him. And without delay he had the Holy Mass celebrated.

On the last day of the novena, after the last Holy Mass was celebrated, the Guardian and the religious, after the last prayers of the night, retired to their cells. A lay brother, a very well-balanced man with a positive temperament who was under no illusions, felt a knock at his cell door.

- In between! He shouted right away.

What was not his astonishment to see Father Matthew come in, all resplendent and beautiful, full of joy. The deceased stepped forward to the Brother and, as he did in life, smiled and asked how the convent was doing.

- All is well, Father Mateus, only the Misses of you and the lack that makes us ...

- Courage, says the deceased, I now go to heaven and there I will be more useful to you than in this world.

He reached out, squeezing the layman's hand so tightly that the layman felt this squeeze for many days. And Friar Mateus disappeared in a ray of light.

The moved Brother wanted to wake up the Superior and the Community at this hour. The Superior listened to him, and checking the dates and circumstances, and in the light of Brother Lay's balanced spirit, he saw that this was a true apparition. She praised the mercy of God for having the soul of the holy priest suffocated at the request of the sister. - (II purgatory - I nostri morti - Luigi Falletti, SM)


November 16th


What are indulgences?

Indulgence means the remission or forgiveness of the temporal punishment due to God for sins already forgiven in respect of guilt, a remission granted by the Church by ecclesiastical authority outside the Sacrament of Penance.

Eternal penalties are forgiven to the penitent sinner, but not always the temporal penalties. There is a need to do penance and suffer a little in reparation for the sins committed. Hence the temporal penalty for sins. Now the Church which has been given the power to forgive the eternal penalty has much more to redeem from the temporal penalty. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be turned off in heaven,” Jesus told Peter. In the early church the faithful received great penances for their accused sins.

There were very hard and long public penances. Fasts on bread and water for several days a week and for a few years. In more serious crimes such as murder, for example, the penitent performed twelve and more years of public penance, some of which were very humiliating. In milder faults, the forty-day fast (a quarantine). Then, over time, in light of human weakness and the times, the Church allowed public penance to be replaced by alms, crusades, pilgrimages, and other works that served to atone for sins.

Canonical penalties were replaced by indulgences granted to those who did some good works or acts of piety. When all penances were forgiven, it was plenary indulgence, and when a part, partial indulgence. Thus, when a plenary indulgence is said, it means that the believer profits a pardon of all the penances he should do for his sins and the punishments that should merit his faults with temporal penalties. An indulgence of a hundred days of penance for your sins and with a godly recited prayer or other good work can satisfy this debt you owe to God.

Indulgence is a kind of acquittal of temporal penalties, it is an amnesty of the Sovereign Judge of our souls. It could not be properly said that indulgence is the remission of canonical punishment, but a true remission of the penalty with which God punishes sin. It dispenses neither penance nor humble confession of our sins.

There is a lot of misconception about indulgences. So many people think that winning three hundred day indulgences is forgiving three hundred days of purgatory, or a plenary indulgence means a total remission of the atoning flames. Nor does it mean that by gaining two or five hundred days of indulgence for the souls in purgatory, we relieve them of so many days of suffering. This measure of the time of atonement is the secret of God and depends largely on the fervor and dispositions of those who profit indulgences.

The Church, by the superabundant merits of Jesus Christ and the merits of Mary and the saints, and by the treasury of the good works of the righteous, applies for the good of the faithful in this world and for the relief of purgatory souls the indulgences.


Advantages of Indulgences

All sin brings as a consequence two things: guilt and punishment. For true contrition and the sacrament of Penance, blame and eternal punishment are forgiven. God forgives us and delivers us from eternal damnation. However, we have the duty of penance and reparation for the evil we have committed. There is a debt we must pay to God's Justice in this world or in purgatory if the pain of these sins was not so great that all had been redeemed. By indulgences we can diminish and even pay all this time penalty. We take from the treasury of the Church formed by the Blood of Christ, the merits, and Mary and the Righteous, what we need to repay our enormous debts. This is what the theologians demonstrate.

The Church, however, never taught that indulgences would dispense us from doing penance and bearing the cross of mortification. With a few prayers and good works, how many graces can we get for ourselves and the deceased faithful?

Three things are necessary to gain indulgences: the state of grace - in a state of grave sin no indulgences are profitable. The intention is to profit from them. For this, the virtual intention is enough and we can already make it in the morning the intention of profiting from all the indulgences attached to the prayers and good works we do that day. And finally, it is necessary to practice the prescribed works, for example, to pray such and such prayers, visits to the churches, etc. Now, by its conditions we see that indulgences are of great advantage to those who wish to profit them, because it forces them to lead a life of state of grace and always seek to perfect themselves so that they can earn them more safely. The encouragement of indulgences leads the faithful to many meritorious works. To profit the plenary indulgence it is necessary to confession and Holy Communion and to pray in the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff, in addition to the prayers or works prescribed to profit them. Is it not a stimulus for the practice of the sacraments, and for us always to have a clear conscience? Let us not lose the treasure of indulgences that is so rich in the Holy Church. The condition of confession and communion to profit from plenary indulgence is satisfied by weekly or fortnightly confession, except for Holy Year Jubilee indulgences, which require special confession and communion to profit them.

Zeal for indulgences leads the Christian to always have his heart free from sin and to do penance, because he knows that the purer our soul before God is, the more merit many souls can obtain and save from purgatory.

What's more, how many penances we should not do for so many great sins we have committed in our lives! Let us enjoy the treasury of indulgences that will pay off our enormous debts and, moreover, help so many poor suffering souls in purgatory. We will be very well rewarded for this great act of charity. How many advantages, then, in indulgences! And how much treasure is lost and despised!


Indulgences for the deceased faithful

Can we profit indulgences for our dead? - Saint Thomas Aquinas says with his authority as Doctor of the Church: “There is no reason why the Church, which can transfer the merits of the living, cannot also transfer them to the dead, because Saint Augustine teaches that the souls of the who died in the friendship of God are not separated from the Church. ”

Long before St. Thomas the Council of Arraz taught this doctrine: "We must not believe that penance benefits only the living and not the dead." Many doctors of the Church, such as St. Gregory the Great in his Dialogues, and others older, teach this consoling doctrine that comes from the early centuries of the Church.

Indulgences can therefore serve the living and the dead. In theological language they can be applied to the living and the dead. Saint Magdalene of Pazzis took advantage of how many indulgences he could profit from the dead. God rewarded her with a miraculous vision. One of her very virtuous sisters had just passed away and was sentenced to purgatory. Saint Magdalene began to pray and gain indulgences for the deceased. It had been fifteen hours since the dead woman had appeared before God, when she appeared to the Holy One and said to her, all beautiful and resplendent: Farewell, my dear sister!

“O happy soul, exclaims Saint Magdalene, how great is your glory! How short was your purgatory! Your remains are not yet buried and you have entered the eternal homeland! ”

Our Lord revealed to the great Saint that this soul should have had a long purgatory, but was soon freed by the indulgences she had profited from the dead.

It is told in the Life of Saint Teresa, the Matrix of Carmel, a consoling fact.

A Carmelite from a very simple life who was in no way distinguished from the others died, and the saint saw her ascend to heaven with great glory shortly after death, so that she might have had a brief purgatory. And as Teresa was greatly surprised by this, Our Lord told her that she has always had great respect for the indulgences of the Holy Church and throughout her life has always endeavored to earn as many as possible. And this caused him to have paid most of his debts to Divine Justice.

Let us alleviate the sufferings of our dear dead, seeking to gain many and numerous indulgences for them. Much of this treasure is applicable to souls.

God always accepts this satisfaction of the living for the dead, says the great theologian Suarez. There may be difficulties and obstacles for us to gain indulgences, but God always accepts them for the souls in purgatory.

The Holy Rosary, the Way of the Cross, what a wealth of indulgences for the dead these two godly practices offer us! Let us recite indulgent accusations. It's so easy to repeat them everywhere and all the time! Double profit: our union with God and relief from poor souls. Let us then, full of generosity, enjoy the treasure of indulgences for purgatory!



What a Requiem Worth

Ancient authors such as Dorlandus in Carthusian Chronicle and Theophilus Regnaud in heter Spirituale - Pars II, Sect. II - narrate this fact that sometimes there have been variations added by the people:

A rich man of considerable wealth left an inheritance to his only heir son. This very pious man soon remembered his father's soul and wanted to suffocate it generously. Shortly after his father's funeral, he goes to a monastery and offers a large sum to the Prior, praying many prayers for the beloved dead.

At the same moment the monks gathered and the Prior said to them: “My brothers, you have just passed away and a great benefactor of this convent has been buried today.

Let us pray for your soul. ” Immediately the monks chanted an "inpace Requiescat". And the Superior answers: Amen. Soon after, all of them leave the choir.

The young man, the benefactor's son, marveled at so little prayer after offering such a large sum. “So little, he tells the Prior, for such a generous offering?” The God-inspired Prior wanted to teach the young man a lesson and show him the value of prayer.

He ordered the religious to write all on paper these words that said: Requiescat in pace! And then they brought it to you. He sent for the young man and put the papers on a weighing plate and another the sum of money in heavy coins offered by the benefactor. O prodigy! At once the balance plate slid to the side of the paper in general admiration. Given this, everyone recognized how much a Requiscat in pace is worth to the deceased. The boy retired contentedly and convinced that material goods cannot be compared with spiritual goods.

Blessed Maria de Quito was ecstatic and saw a table full of stones and jewels and gold coins. A voice said to him, These are the riches offered to all. Each one can serve them as they please. It was a picture of the spiritual riches of indulgences that we can all gather and enjoy for our souls and especially for the poor souls of purgatory.


November 17th

The alms

The alms suffrage

A relief to the dead of the most valuable is alms. It is not necessary to remember here the value of charity. It is help to the poor on earth, relief to the dead in the atoning flames of purgatory. There is so much misery to help the world! Why not make money, which loses so many people, a means of salvation for our souls, and relief from the poor and relief from Purgatory? Is it not our Lord's counsel to take advantage and make wealth a means of salvation by employing it in good works as only sinners employ it for evil?

Let us help the poor in suffrage of the souls of purgatory.

Pious authors tell of this very expressive parable: A man had three friends. Two were very dear to her. The third not really. One day he was charged and taken to court. They call friends to defend him.

The first excused himself. I had business and family, it was impossible!

The second went to the court door and left him.

The third always accompanies him faithful, defends him with ardor, bears witness to his innocence and saves the accused from punishment.

Thus man has in this world three friends: money, relatives, and good works. Money leaves him in death when he is to appear before God's Court of Justice. Relatives take him to the edge of the grave and leave him: and forget him later. The third friend - the good works, the charity practiced, the works of mercy, all that man has done good in this world, only accompanies and defends him in the Court of God.

Well In this world all sorts of good works be our friends. Everything else fails. Saint John says that the works of man will follow him after death:

Opera enim illorum squntum illos.

Let us help the poor in suffrage of the dead. We will do double charity work. And let us be sure that God of Mercy will not let our poor soul be lost in the Judgment Day Tribunal.

This is why praying for the dead, helping the souls of purgatory in the practice of charity for alms, is one of the greatest riches of the Christian in this world.

The alms, said the Angel to Tobias, saves man from death, blots out sins, and makes grace appear before God. The Ecclesiastical Book teaches that "as water extinguishes the most burning fire, so alms put out sin."

Yes, and alms put out the fire of purgatory.

Hence the almsgiving to the poor in suffrage of the blessed souls. The tears that your alms wipe away, the relief you have given to those who are hungry, thirsty, and cold will be relief in purgatory for suffering souls, perhaps souls of your loved ones. It is a double charity to help the poor for the sake of holy souls.


The alms that saves

St. John Chrysostom makes this beautiful and poetic praise of alms: “Alms, he says, is a heavenly industry and the most skillful of all. Protects those who exercise it. She is a friend of God and stands by the Lord and easily graces the grace she loves. Break the irons, dispel the darkness, extinguish the fire ... before her the gates of the kingdom of heaven open safely. How well the words of the eloquent and Holy Doctor apply to the alms given in suffrage for the relief and release of souls in purgatory! Our almsgiving to the poor will break the chains of iron and fire that hold poor souls in purgatory, dispel to them the horrible darkness of absence and separation from the Infinite Good that causes them so much to suffer in that hideous prison. And before the alms, how often the doors of the kingdom of heaven cannot be safely opened to the poor captives! Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy, saith our Lord in the gospel.

Yes, let us now be merciful to the unfortunate, the unfortunate, the poor, and we will obtain mercy for ourselves and the souls of purgatory. The Book of Tobias says, "Alms deliver from all sin and death, and will not let the soul go down into darkness." Yes, alms will deliver us from eternal death, and if in this life we ​​have used our resources to help the poor, we will deliver our souls from eternal death, from the darkness of hell, and deliver souls from the darkness of purgatory.

For suffering souls we have compassion for the poor.

One day in Saint Lazare Saint Vincent de Paul was going to give the blessing to the frugal table of the community of his priests, when suddenly he was deeply moved and tears streamed down his cheeks. I sobbed. His thought was now carried to Lorreine, where the people were hungry as in the war-torn provinces. Ah! The saint said, there is a lot of hunger, a lot of hunger ...

“Oh, if only we could meditate and have compassion on those poor souls who hunger for God! And Jesus, who in the person of the poor is hungry and thirsty, as he tells us in the Gospel, will not also feel the hunger of the blessed souls? I was hungry and you gave me food, I was sick and you visited me. Jesus speaks to us like this in the souls of purgatory. ”

“Alms, wrote the illustrious Henri Bremond, is, in Church thought, one of the essential elements of the worship of the dead. A work of charity and eucharistic sacrifice, the early agape united these two elements. Long before it was abolished, agape was a kind of charity gathering to help the poor, seeking for this work the relief and release of souls from purgatory. The Holy Fathers always talk about this. In the Middle Ages, this idea of ​​helping the poor for the relief of purgatory souls had a decisive influence on the organization of charitable work. ”


Double charity

We can say: to give alms in suffrage and for the relief and release of souls from purgatory is to give twice, it is double alms. Help the living and the dead. The friends of holy souls do not overlook this powerful and meritorious way of practicing charity.

St. Peter Damian tells that at a feast of the Assumption of Mary, a man of God had a vision. He saw the Blessed Virgin in the Church on a throne, surrounded by angels and saints. In front of her appears a poor woman in rags, in a state of great misery, but carrying on her shoulders a silk cloak and rich stones. The poor little girl knelt before the Virgin and tearfully said to her, “O Mother of mercy, I beseech you, have mercy on John Patrizzi who has just died and suffers in purgatory. Know, O Mother of mercy, that I am that beggar who once begged at the door of your basilica and shivered with cold.

John, to whom I asked for alms, deprived himself of his cloak to cover me. ” Upon hearing this, the Blessed Virgin smiled kindly and said,“ The man for whom you ask for mercy was condemned to suffer a long time in the atonement, but since he has performed this act of charity, and has always had much devotion to him. he has adorned my altars with me, I want to show kindness to him. " And Patrizzi was soon released from purgatory.

Thus will the Mother of God do for us if we join her earnest devotion to charity for the unfortunate. The merit of alms is very great. St. John Chrysostom advised, in an exhortation, a way to alleviate the suffering of the longing of the dead, of a dear son that death took from him, of an entity that we have come to eternity, leaving us homesick.

The Holy Doctor says: “You have lost a dear child and you do not know what to do to witness your pain. Do you still want to be useful to your son? Nothing more simple.

I watched a poor fellow. Take a poor to help. Give to the poor what you would like to give to the dear dead that you weep. You will not have lost the heir of heaven, and you will find a coir on earth, which is the poor. Instead of some miserable temporal goods that you would leave to a son, you will give him the inheritance of God's possession in heaven in eternal goods. This is how you can help your loved ones much more than if they were in this world. "

The admirable and holy Rule of St. Benedict orders that when a monk dies, for thirty days the Holy Sacrifice is offered for his soul and the ration of food that belonged to him be given to the poor.

What a beautiful tradition! Let us be charitable to the poor of the earth and apply the merit of this charity to the relief and deliverance of the suffering souls of purgatory. Let us practice double charity.



Alms for souls

Christopher Sandoval, still a boy, was very devoted to the holy souls of purgatory. I tried to help them anyway. He even deprived himself of what was necessary to suffocate the poor suffering souls. While studying at the University of Louvain, it turned out that letters from Spain were slow to arrive with resources and the poor student was reduced to extreme misery without having to support himself. Whenever he was asked for alms in the name of purgatory souls, he never denied it. Her heart ached to see the poor begging: an alms for the sake of the holy souls of purgatory! So bitterly he entered a church thinking: I can't help the souls in purgatory with my alms, but I can pray for them. I want to help you with my prayers. He just prayed and when he left the church a very polite and noble-looking boy came to greet him,claiming to be back from Spain, and handing him a large sum of money, because when he returned to Spain, his father would pay him. Invited him for a lunch. Sandoval accepted the generous invitation, because until that time nothing had eaten. Then the boy disappeared. Never again did Sandoval know who this boy was. He did a lot of research but no avail. One day he told the fact to Pope Clement VIII. The Holy Father said to him: My son, this fact must be published a great deal to show how God rewards those who give alms in the name of purgatory souls and suffocates the dead with charitable acts.Never again did Sandoval know who this boy was . He did a lot of research but no avail. One day he told the fact to Pope Clement VIII. The Holy Father said to him: My son,this fact must be published a great deal to show how God rewards those who give alms in the name of purgatory souls and suffocates the dead with charitable acts.Never again did Sandoval know who this boy was. He did a lot of research but no avail. One day he told the fact to Pope Clement VIII. The Holy Father said to him: My son, this fact must be published to a great deal to show how God rewards those who give alms in the name of purgatory souls and suffocates the dead with charitable acts.this fact must be published a great deal to show how God rewards those who give alms in the name of purgatory souls and suffocates the dead with charitable acts.this fact must be published a great deal to show how God rewards those who give alms in the name of purgatory souls and suffocates the dead with charitable acts.

A woman in Naples, Rosingnoli tells (91 to Marvel), came to extreme misery because her husband had been arrested for many debts. The children were starving.

He turned to a great rich man in the city and asked for alms. Received a silver coin. He entered a church and considered the sad situation he was in. He turned to the holy souls of purgatory, seeking to suffocate them with fervent prayers. He then took the silver coin, the exact importance of a Mass spatula, and had a holy Mass celebrated for souls. She leaves the church very comfortable and full of confidence. He finds a very pale old man on the street who wants to talk to him.

"Courage, ma'am," the stranger tells him, "please take this letter to me with So-and-so, such as a street." He is one of the best known and richest men in the place.

You immediately executed the request. The young recipient took the letter, opened it, and blanched: - my father's handwriting ... and my father is already dead!

He inquired a great deal and came to the conclusion that this poor widow had saved the soul of her dear father from purgatory. The letter said: “My son, your father has just been released from purgatory thanks to a Holy Mass celebrated by this lady, the bearer of this. She is in extreme misery and I commend her for your gratitude. "

Great was the young man's commotion. After calming down, she said to the poor woman: “Madam, you have just done a great job of charity and I owe you an eternal gratitude. You freed my father from purgatory with a Mass this morning ... From now on I am in charge of protecting her. And so it did. - (Carfora - Fortura hominis. Lib. I - Rossignoli, 91 to Wonder)


November 18th

The Heroic Act

What is a "heroic act"?

“It is the act of offering to the Divine Majesty, for the sake of the souls of purgatory, all the satisfying works we do during life and all the suffrages that are applied by our soul after death.”

Such is the authentic definition of this act officially approved by the Church and indulgent. It is called heroic, because it really requires the self-denial of all the treasures we can profit from our good works, and it contains the renunciation of all the suffrages they offered for our souls after our death in favor of the souls of purgatory. This act must be done, to be valid,

in perpetual. It is irrevocable in the intention of the hurt. It does not compel under penalty of sin. If anyone who has been lacking in generosity or afraid of depriving himself of suffrage after death has again wanted to acquire his works, has renounced the heroic vow, and commits him neither mortal nor venial sin.

By the heroic act we do not renounce the merit of our good works, which is, which gives us in this life an increase of grace and glory in paradise. This deserving is ours and we cannot lose it or give it to others. The heroic act is a very meritorious work, and this merit of such a beautiful and heroic work we cannot lose it. Only the merit of the heroic act is not worth our soul! This merit we have not lost it. After this satisfactory work, all that we will be of the souls of purgatory. As long as we do the heroic act, all the indulgences we profit are from souls. All that we can do well and have merit and profit for will be the purgatory, right and property of souls. It is a total waiver. Only the plenary indulgence of the hour of death cannot be offered to souls and will be ours because it is not applicable to the dead.

The heroic act does not prevent him from praying for his own intentions and for the dead.

When we do an act of penance and prayer, for example, reciting a third of our knees, there is in this act, to speak a theological language, three different fruits: a meritorious fruit that we cannot lose, is the personal merit of those who practice it. - the satisfactory value of the act which is penance, the sacrifice made, and this is for souls is the heroic act - and finally, an impetratory force that is of prayer as prayer. Prayer is a force and God promised to hear it. The heroic act does not prevent us from using the impetratory force of prayer.

Whoever does the heroic act is like a religious who has taken the vow of poverty: everything he earns does not belong to him. The difference is that the vow of poverty obliges in conscience and the act does not. The abandonment of the generous soul to the souls of purgatory is generally done by all and never in favor of one soul or another.

The heroic act does not prevent us from praying for this particular soul or soul and offering our Lord much suffrage for our dear dead.

Can not all be done in the general offering we make to God?


Origin of the heroic act

The heroic act itself is not a new devotion in the Church, as some claim.

In centuries past, many men of great holiness and great generous souls have offered to God their treasures of satisfying works for the poor souls of purgatory. Saint Gertrude, Saint Catherine of Seine, Saint

Liduina and many other saints had this generosity. Saint Teresa did this act in favor of a spiritual master, the deceased Provincial Carmelite, and she freed him from purgatory with his prayers. However, we consider the founder and apostle of the heroic act Father Gaspar Olinden, the regular clergy of the Teatines. This godly priest had a great devotion to Purgatory and his great concern and all his ardent zeal employed him for the poor souls.

He remembered this heroic act, this generous offering to God for purgatory, and presented it to the Holy Father Benedict XIII, who not only approved but enriched him with indulgences and privileges. Then all the Pontiffs confirmed their approval and encouraged and blessed such a beautiful act. Benedict XIII, not content to approve the heroic act, still publicly and from the pulpit surrendered all his spiritual possessions to the dead, as can be seen in his sixty sermons on this subject.

At that time they saw whole Orders recommending the heroic act. The Superior General of the Society of Jesus had it recommended to all his subjects. Fr Ribadanera, the godly hagiographer, spread much of the heroic act and Fr Nierenberg. The feet. from Montroy, on the deathbed, not only gave souls the merit of all satisfying works done in life, but his charity extended beyond.

He made a sublime testament, says Father Faber, “I know no other.” He gave without exception to the souls of purgatory all the merits, prayers, Masses, indulgences that the Society of Jesus usually applies to its deceased members, all of them. suffrages that his friends could offer for him and all, for souls.

There are many admirable examples of heroic acts by purgatory.

Finally, in recent times Our Lord has raised up a very devout soul of purgatory and founder of a religious Congregation especially destined to suffrage holy souls and has given all the service of purgatory in a heroic act of charity. It was Mother Mary of Providence. From a young age, this servant of God felt great compassion for suffering souls.

One day they found her very thoughtful and serious amid the children's toys. - What are you thinking? - Do you know what I think? Said Eugenia (such was his name in the century), I think of a de facto prison from which one cannot leave and from which one word can take prisoners.

The companions looked at her in surprise. "This prison of fire is purgatory and with a word, with prayer we can set souls free."

She was later the founder of a unique congregation in the Church whose members offer themselves to God for souls and live the heroic vow.

This is how the beautiful practice of the heroic act has developed in recent times.


Advantages of the heroic act

Such a generous act that robs us of so many riches and leaves us without suffrage after death, can have advantages, profit a lot, perhaps who did it? Yes, a thousand times yes! It is a mistake to think that much is lost with the heroic act. Instead, it profits a thousand times more. Does God allow Himself to be overcome in generosity?

Is there no gratitude in souls for such a great help?

The heroic act is an act of merit, it is a perfect act that makes us forget ourselves to care for our brothers and the glory of God. He who does the heroic act increases by this act his degree of grace in this world and the degree of glory in the other. And is not the act of charity you practice drawing the mercy of that Lord who has promised a hundred for one and the kingdom of heaven to the least good done in this world for God's sake? “Charity covers the multitude of sins,” says the Scripture, and is not this gesture of heroic charity to obtain forgiveness and to discount many sins of those who do? And the plenary indulgence that is gained from the heroic act? What about the plenary indulgence of the hour of death that belongs to us and we cannot apply it to anyone? And will our Lord be overcome in generosity? Do not be afraid to be harmed who does the heroic act for the souls of purgatory.This heroism of charity will be rewarded with an abundance of graces in this world and glory in the next. Let us not worry because we cannot afford our treasures for our dear dead as we see fit. Our Lord will take care of them much more, and our charity will be such a refreshing to them in purgatory, and perhaps it will help to free them from purgatory much sooner than if they were depending on our poor, often forgotten, suffrages.

And finally, let's look at the conditions and the indulgences of the heroic act:

In order to do the heroic act it is necessary to consult the spiritual director or a prudent confessor, to know well what he will do and to know the responsibility that he assumes. One should not do so lightly and in a moment of thoughtless fervor.

It is very serious and it must be remembered that it is heroic! No special formula is prescribed. One might use this: “To your glory, My God, and to best imitate the generous Heart of Jesus my Redeemer, to show also my dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, my Mother and Mother of souls in purgatory, I entrust into your hands all my satisfying works as well as the fruit of all that may come to pass by my intention after death, that she may apply to the souls of purgatory. according to his wisdom and his pleases. Whoever does the heroic act can profit from the following indulgences applicable to the deceased: a plenary indulgence each time he approaches Communion under the usual conditions; Church visit and prayer by the Pope. Another plenary indulgence every Monday, or listening to Mass for the dead.Priests who do the heroic act enjoy the privileged personal altar on every day of the year. (PPO 547.)



The heroic vow

A maiden named Gertrude had been accustomed to since her earliest years to offer by the souls of purgatory all her good works. This pious practice in purgatory and heaven was so well accepted that the Savior was often pleased to assign him the neediest souls. These, set free by his pious charity, were glorious to him, to

thank you and promised not to forget her in paradise. He spent his life in this holy exercise, and confidently saw death approach peacefully as the infernal enemy, who knows how to tempt men, began to represent him that she had stripped herself of everything and every satisfactory merit of every good work, and he was going to fall into purgatory to expiate all his faults in long penalties.

This torment of spirit had cast her into such desolation that her heavenly Bridegroom deigned to comfort her. “Why, said he, The Gertrude, are you so sad and thoughtful? You who once enjoyed the most perfect serenity? Ah! Lord, she answered, in what a pitiful situation I find myself! See, death is drawing near, finding myself deprived of the satisfaction of my good works, which I have applied for the dead; How can I repay my debt to the divine Justice? The Lord replied with tenderness, “Fear not, my dear, for the contrary you increased by your charity the sum of your deserves, and you not only have enough to atone for your slight blame, but you have acquired the highest degree of glory in good. Eternal adventure. This is how my mercy will recognize with a generous reward, that soon you will come to paradise to receive your dedication to the dead."

These words disappeared, and Gertrude's soul was ignited by a new fervor and a burning desire to help the souls of the dead.

We are also filled with zeal and charity toward these souls, which a rich reward is promised in heaven for our efforts. (Dyon, Cart. De nonvias. Apud P. Mart. Of Rox of statu animarum, chap. 20.)


November 19th


To the relief of the souls of purgatory, we have a source of indulgence and spiritual riches - it is the Way of the Cross. This meditation of the Passion and death of our divine Redeemer reminds us of the Most Precious Blood shed for the salvation of souls, and makes us ask for the Blood of Christ for deliverance from purgatory. How much relief does not bring suffering souls to godly Way of the Cross! It is a devotion

sanctifying us and a precious suffrage to the poor souls. Saint Bonaventure said: "If you want to grow from virtue to virtue, to draw grace into grace into your soul, give yourselves many times to exercise the Way of the Cross." The Passion of Jesus Christ is a remedy for our sinful soul, and this precious Blood will fall upon souls as sweet refreshment.

In the Life of Your Lady Maria d'Antigna it is said that this servant of God had the pious habit of daily making the Way of the Cross for the dead. Then, with other occupations and devotions, he neglected this. One day a recently deceased nun from the monastery appeared to her and said to her, groaning, “My sister, why don't you make the stations of the Way of the Cross for me and souls as before?” At this moment Our Lord appeared to her: “Daughter, the Savior told him, I am very saddened by your neglect. You must know that the Way of the Cross is very profitable for the dead, and this is why I allowed this soul to come to claim it in the name of the other suffering souls. It is a very important suffrage. We must make this treasure better known for the sake of souls. "

From that day the servant of God devoted herself to this exercise and spread it with great zeal. At least on Fridays, if possible, let us make the Way of the Cross for the dead. Like the Way of the Cross, the Rosary is a treasure trove of the dead as well.

One day St. Dominic preached about the effectiveness of the Rosary for suffering souls. It was in the plains of Languedoc. An incredulous man mocked the saint. That night he had a mysterious vision. He saw souls rush into the abyss of purgatory, and Mary Most Holy, with a golden chain, took them from the abyss and set them on solid ground. It was an image of the Rosary, the golden chain through which Our Lady plucked from poor purgatory the suffering souls.

How many wonders does the Rosary do for their devotees in life, in death, and after death in purgatory! Moreover, the Rosary is a treasure trove of many indulgences that we can apply to the poor souls. We will always pray, in our free time, on the roads, everywhere, do not lose time.

Let us take the opportunity to pray many rosaries for the poor souls. We have so many relatives and friends and so many dear souls in purgatory! Let us alleviate them with our blessed rosary!


The Of Profundis

What Is From Profundis? It is the Psalm of the dead, the prayer that once on the lips of the Prophet David has come to us and seems to come from the depths of the abyss of the

purgatory to beg our compassion for the poor souls. It is one of the seven penitential Psalms. The priest kneels before the corpse and prays By Profundis.

Then, as he comes to fetch the corpse for the grave, he again prays the Psalm of the dead. In the cemetery and on the way to the grave, by Profundis sounds. The faithful, after Father Our and Ave Maria, pray From the depth ... from the depths ... Doesn't it seem like a groan out of purgatory? The meaning of this psalm is this: its outline may be as follows: The psalmist, immersed in the depths of sin, invokes God (vv. 1 to 2). As we are sinners, only trust and a burning desire, the sinner awaits this forgiveness (5 and 6). The people of Israel also harbor this same hope of forgiveness and abundant redemption (6 to 8).

Now these groans, these aspirations of redemption and abundant forgiveness, this painful cry, we place on our lips and plead for souls who suffer in the abyss of purgatory. Is it not truly proper and significant for a supplication of the dead, from Profundis? Here is the text of the Psalm in the New Psalter translation:

“I cry out to you from the depths, Lord, Hear my voice, Lord!

Heed your ears,

The cry of my supplication,

If you keep, Lord, the memory of the offenses,

Who, Lord, can stand?

But in you is the forgiveness of sins,

That you may be served with reverence.

In the Lord I set my hope,

Wait for my soul in your word,

The Lord awaits my soul more than the

night lookouts the dawn,

Yes, more than the night watchmen the dawn

let Israel wait for the Lord,

Because in the Lord mercy,

In him the abundant redemption.

And he will rescue Israel

Of all your iniquities. "

This is the psalm in the new translation. Many of us recite it already by heart and in other words. Does not matter. What is essential is that they recite it with pity and fervor and remember that it is the Psalm of the dead, so much relief can bring to the blessed souls of purgatory.


Devout Practices

There are many ways to suffocate the dead. Let us choose the Monday consecrated by the traditional piety of the people, the devotion of purgatory. There is the godly custom of doing everything possible for souls on Monday. Give alms to the poor, visit the sick, practice some mortifications, etc. Happy if we can commune, attend Holy Mass on that day, in short, we will gather many treasures of suffrage for souls. We have Sunday, the Lord's Day, Tuesday, consecrated to the Holy Angels, the fourth to Saint Joseph, the fifth to the Blessed Sacrament, the sixth to the Heart of Jesus and the Passion, the Sabbath to Our Lady.

Be the Monday of the deceased faithful. Day of our suffrage, of our charity to the souls that suffer in the atoning flames. In some parishes and religious communities there are godly exercises on this day. Why should we not compete for them to be frequented or established where they are not?

Many people among us have a custom that sometimes takes on a superstitious stamp: to light candles in cemetery doors and on road crosses or across the fields through the souls of purgatory. It could not be disapproved if it had not sometimes a very superstitious stamp. Candles lit without prayer from the little good for the dead. The candle is to remind Christ, Light of the world and being wax, and blessed, is a sacramental.

Why not light holy candles then? And pray more instead of burning so much candle, without suffrage, without prayer for the dead?

Our people have a great devotion for the lighted candle. We do not reproach her, but we would like more understanding of the need for prayer for the dead. The candle symbolizes the Light that the dead wait for in the sky. So often says the Liturgy: May the everlasting light shine upon them. Perhaps because of this supplication, repeated many times, this request for light, is that the people taking in a very material sense the beautiful symbolism of the candle, likes to light it in profusion. It is nonetheless uplifting and impressive the multitude of candles burning in the grave of our dead. I said and repeat: far from me to reprove such a godly practice, but I would like to see it more fully understood in its symbolism and would rather see blessed candles burning in the grave and cemeteries.

Our people have many traditions of soul devotion. There were groups of prayers for souls in our backlands who often degenerated into abuse. They are abolishing a godly and touching custom. When someone dies in a family for nine days from the day of death, the relatives and friends of the deceased meet every night to recite the Rosary or Novena of Souls in suffrage of the deceased. Why not keep this beautiful tradition?

Finally, we have seen and pondered during this month how much devotion to the holy souls of purgatory is necessary and useful. Let us do everything for them, poor children, who only expect everything from us. Let us be dedicated apostles of purgatory!



Protection of holy souls

Mons. I lauded, in his work The purgatoire of the revelations of these, and recounts the prodigious fact of the protection of souls to those who come to them with suffrage.

An Italian priest, Luiz Monaci, a religious of the Lesser Clerics, was a fervent devotee of souls. Everywhere and at all times he sought ways to help the blessed suffering souls. In one night he had to travel and cross a deserted and dangerous plain alone, because, infested with bandits and robbers, they had already taken many people's lives to steal. Along the way, the good priest wasted on the team: he was prayerfully reciting Mary's rosary for the souls in purgatory. Seeing from afar the poor priest alone and without weapons, a band of bandits prepared to rob him and they ambushed. Not to everyone's astonishment when they heard the sound of trumpets and a group of soldiers marching armed beside the priest. Terrified, the bandits hid themselves; they thought of soldiers coming to arrest them. But they saw the very quiet priest walking,reciting the rosary. He entered this one at a nearby inn. While the priest was suppering, two curious bandits approached him curiously asked: - What priest is this accompanied by the roads of soldiers who protect him?

- No soldier came here and this priest has never been traveling like this ...

The curious bandits sought to speak with the priest and asked him about the escorting battalion.

- My children, I walk alone in the ways. I have only one companion, my rosary, who always recites for the holy souls of purgatory to protect me.

- Well, my priest, confesses to bandit, these souls saved you. We are bandits and we were on the road ready to strip you and kill you. And we just didn't do it because a battalion was following you down the road, and in terror we ran away and came here curious to know what it is. We believe the souls of which you are devoted to saved you from death.

The bandits, touched by grace, right there on their knees asked for forgiveness of their sins and humbly confessed.

Father Rossigoon and other authors tell numerous cases of protection of the holy souls in favor of their benefactors.

In fact, even in temporal things charitable devotees who never forget to help the blessed souls of purgatory can count on the safe protection of divine Providence in all difficult circumstances, because God always rewards this great charity.


November 20th

The Abandoned Souls

The forgotten ...

As we said, the dead are very much forgotten. The living weep for a short time and then abandon them forever to the forgetfulness of the grave, and most painful to the abandonment and forgetfulness in purgatory. There are in purgatory the souls we call the most abandoned. They must be innumerable.

For them neither a Holy Mass, nor a prayer, nor even a suffrage of those they have loved so much in this world, and who knows, perhaps, have filled with benefits and perhaps are enjoying what they have left here in inheritance and heritage. What a harsh ingratitude! How suffer these poor souls! Forgetfulness hurts a lot in this world. What shall we say in the other, in purgatory! Then those poor souls seem to groan, like the prophet Job: Mesaemini mei saliem amiel meli, quia mauns Domini tetigit me! Have compassion on me, have compassion on me, at least you, my friends, because the hand of God has hurt me!

What an anguished moan! Yes, the hand of God's righteousness strikes the poor souls to sanctify and purify them, and they only depend on us. And when they see that they are abandoned from their own, they cry, At least you, my children, my relatives, my friends, my beneficiaries, who you have loved me on earth!

In vain they cry so many times! They are not heard, because their friends and relatives, concerned with the pleasures, the honors, the money, the vanities, do not want to think about the dead, nor do they remember a born of faith, that their relatives and very dear beings may be in the flames. expiatory, to suffer!

Hence the abandonment of the poor souls. There are other poor people who in this world have not even left friends or relatives. There is no one who even prays for them. Poor creatures that have left this life ignored. Who will remember them?

It is true that in God's merciful designs, many suffrages of the rich Our Lord applies to the poor, according to Blessed Ana Taigi, who in a revelation saw the soul of a cardinal without receiving in suffrage many purgatory because Our Lord applied them by souls of the poor who died and were abandoned. However, there are still abandoned souls in purgatory.

In Fatima, Our Lady asked for prayers for abandoned souls. The little shepherds prayed: My Jesus, forgive us, deliver us from the fire of hell, deliver the souls from purgatory, especially the most abandoned.

It is undoubtedly a great work of charity. How many graces we cannot reach for this act of charity so pleasing to our Lord!

Let us, then, have charity, have mercy on the poor suffering souls.

God will not allow much suffering in purgatory who in this world has rescued the dead. Therefore, it is in our interest to suffocate the dead. Devotion to souls is very necessary! Millions of believers must suffer in purgatory! If instead of flowers and pompous tombs and useless expenses, they prayed and did good works and offered Holy Mass much for their dead, there would not be so many poor abandoned souls!

If instead of looking for centers of spiritualism for absurd communication with the dead, so many remember that they delude themselves or talk to the deluded delusions and leave their relatives and friends in greater pain, then the poor souls of purgatory do not. would be abandoned souls ...


Why are they abandoned?

We have already said this: out of indifference to the living and lack of a more living faith in the dogma of purgatory. Then we have the custom of canonizing our dead very quickly. Died? We only remember the virtues and good done by the deceased. It is a charity, there is no doubt. Partner sepultis! Let us forgive the dead and venerate their memory. Of the dead, either speak well or shut up. Let us not remember your miseries and sins. Poor people, they have already given account to Our Lord and are delivered to Divine Justice. I repeat, it is very edifying never to censor the dead and to have a good memory of them. But let us know that Justice, the Holiness of God, often sees defects even in the Angels, and to enter heaven a great holiness is required. We say: it was a saint, it was a saint, and ... we're letting them suffer

in purgatory! This was what St. Francis de Sales was afraid of when he strongly recommended that they pray for his soul after death.

Frederic Ozanam also recommended that they not leave him in purgatory, forgotten, on the pretext that he was a saint and had gone straight to heaven! This is also one reason for the abandonment of some souls. Be careful, then; Let us not canonize our dead so quickly, even though in this life they have shown great virtue. We do not know the rigors of Divine Justice!

Then there is the opposite: to think that the poor soul, having left this world without signs of repentance and perhaps in pitiful conditions of sin and scandal, may have condemned himself and is in hell. The Church has never allowed anyone to say that one is certainly in hell. It is true that many condemn themselves, but we cannot recklessly claim that someone is condemned. We ignore the secrets of divine Mercy and what happens to a soul in the last hour between the last breath and eternity.

Let us not forsake one soul, however condemned it may seem. True, the Church forbids public suffrage by suicide bombers, heretics, scandalous public sinners, but it allows suffrage in particular and does not disapprove of praying for these unfortunates in particular. No one knows the secrets of Divine Justice and Mercy! This is why there are many souls

abandoned. We pray for them. Perhaps they are in purgatory, and what a horrible purgatory is not to be those who have escaped eternal damnation for a miracle of Divine Mercy!

Let us pray for the souls of the unfortunates who have left this life perhaps in terrible condition, without the Sacraments, in sudden deaths. God only knows the fate of these unfortunates! At least privately, in secret, between us and God, we can suffocate these poor souls. Hence the need for devotion to the most abandoned souls. . O that for our charity, for our faith, let no souls be forsaken! Let us remember them all, help this class of the poor little women who suffer in purgatory!


The saints and the abandoned souls

Many saints have had this devotion. St. Catherine of Genova, St. Catherine of Seine, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis de Sales and especially the great apostle of charity, St. Vincent de Paul. This great heart, whose life came to help the abandoned and unhappy of the earth, by this same divine instinct of charity turned to the abandoned and suffering souls of purgatory. It was his great devotion to help the most abandoned souls.

A pious servant of God, Sr. Maria Denise of the Visitation, who in the century was called Mme. Martignat, belonging to the family of the nobility, instead of commending to Our Lord the soul of the poor, recommended the soul of the rich and the great of the earth. . They wondered at this, and she gave the reasons: “It is sometimes the most abandoned souls and those most in need of suffrage. They spent a long life, did not do much penance, and God knows that terrible purgatory is not reserved for them if they have been saved by Divine Mercy. ” And he was right. Moreover, after the funeral pomp into which much family vanity enters, sometimes there is a forgetfulness and complete abandonment of the poor dead. Let us pray so much for abandoned souls, because they will not fail to ask for us when set free by our suffrages. For the Church we will never be abandoned souls, it is true.

The Church, our Mother, she alone never forgets, and every day without ceasing, on thousands of altars throughout the earth, reminds the dead Host before the divine Host. - Memento!

Memento! Remember, Lord, those who preceded us with the sign of faith and now rest in the sleep of peace. We implore You, Lord, to grant it to this and all who rest in Jesus Christ our Lord.

What a touching prayer! Only for the Church are the dead not forgotten.

So much tear; So many flowers, so many sighs in a few days and months. Then ... the cold and hard forgetting. Hard law! True, we will not have to mourn our dead all our lives, and Christian hope tells us in the Preface of the Mass that the dead will not end their lives, change - Vita mutantur no tollitur. They, our dead, live in the bosom of God. And most of them atoned in the flames of purgatory. It is a terrible and comforting truth. And that is why our forgetfulness is grave and cruel.

May there be no abandoned souls for us! May they all be in our memory and in our suffrages. After death we will see how profitable this beautiful devotion and generous act of charity have been for us.

We imitate the saints, who generously assisted abandoned souls.



A soul abandoned and saved by Mary

Saint Alphonsus tells in his “Glories of Mary,” this example which is at once a glorification of the mercy of the Mother of God and a proof of the abandonment in which a soul may remain in purgatory.

In the life of Sister Catherine of St. Augustine there is a woman in the place where this servant of God lived, where Mary lived. The unfortunate had led a life of sin during her youth. Already aged, she had been so obstinate in her wickedness that she was driven out by the inhabitants of the city and forced to live in an abandoned cave. Then he died without the sacraments and without anyone's assistance. They buried her in the field like some brute. Soro Catarina used to recommend to God with great devotion the souls of all the deceased. But hearing of the terrible death of the poor old woman, she didn't bother to pray for her, thinking, like everyone else, that she was already condemned. Behold, after four years, one day a soul of purgatory appeared before him, saying unto him, Soror Catherine, how sad is mine! Do you commend to God the souls of all who die, and have not had compassion on my soul alone? - But who are you? Said the handmaid of God. "I am," she said, that poor Maria, who died in the cave. - And how did you save yourself?

Seror Catarina replied. "Yes, I was saved by the mercy of the Virgin Mary." - It is like? - When I found myself near death, seeing myself together so full of sins and helpless of all, I turned to the Mother of God and said to her:

Madam, you are the refuge of the helpless. Here I am in this state, abandoned by all. You are my only hope, only you can avail me; Have mercy on me. So the SS. Virgin got me the grace that I could do an act of contrition; Then I died and was saved. Moreover, this Queen of mine has reached the grace of abbreviating my pity for more intense but less time consuming suffering. I just need a few Masses to get rid of purgatory faster. I beg you to make them celebrate. In return, I promise to always ask God and the SS. Virgin for you.

Soror Catarina soon made Masses celebrate. After a few days, that soul more resplendent than the sun appeared to him, and said to him, Now I am going to paradise, to sing the mercies of the Lord, and to pray for thee.


November 21st


Mary can help souls

“One day, writes Saint Brigid in her Revelations, the Blessed Virgin told me: -“ I am the Queen of heaven, I am the Mother of mercy, and the way sinners return to God. There is no pity for purgatory that will not be relieved and will not grow smaller for me than it would be without me. ”Again the saint heard Jesus say to her mother:“ You are my mother, you are the Queen of heaven, you are the Mother of mercy is the comfort of those in purgatory and the hope of sinners on earth. The maternal providence of Our Lady extends over her children on earth and in purgatory. She helps us and helps us even after death in the atoning flames. It is a truth of faith that souls in purgatory can be not only relieved in their sufferings, but even set free from the flames.

atoning for prayers, satisfactions, and good works, and for the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, finally, for the suffrages of the living. However, the Church has not defined anything about what the saints of heaven may give to suffering souls. There was no need for a definition, because what the heretics disputed since Luther mainly was the suffrage of the living and even the existence of purgatory.

Who, however, can deny that the triumphant Church can assist the suffering Church?

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, two things contribute to the suffrage of the living enjoying the dead: the charity that unites all, and their intention to help the dead. As for the first, there is no greater means of a bond of charity than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrament that is the bond of the faithful of the Church. As for the other, prayer has the advantage of bringing our intention directly to God when invoking Divine Mercy.

Now who can deny that only saints of heaven already cleansed have charity in a state of perfection in glory and the right intention to help the blessed suffering souls? Who better than they knows the suffering of those souls? There is no doubt, the saints in glory can and help the souls of purgatory. The more the Queen of Saints!

They contested some with the theological subtleties that Mary could do nothing for souls delivered to Divine Justice in purgatory. Some authors, says the pious Father Faber, claim that the Blessed Virgin can only help the souls in purgatory in an indirect way, because she is no longer in a state to satisfy them. I do not like to hear this. I don't like you talking about something our tender. "

For if Mary has all power in heaven and on earth, if she is Mother of the redeemed, Mother of God, can she not help as and when she wants her children from the suffering Church?

Yes, there is no sure theologian who disputes it, and the tradition of so many centuries confirm this consoling truth: Mary helps her faithful servants after death. He extends to purgatory his protective cloak of Mother and Refuge of sinners.

How does Mary help the suffering souls?

There are many ways in which Mary's merciful power can help the blessed suffering souls. The first and most frequent means, says Fr. Terrien, SJ is the thought and will that inspires the faithful still alive in this world to pray, suffer and work for the liberation of poor souls. How many devotees of Our Lady do not suddenly feel an inspiration, a desire to suffocate their beloved dead or a desire to work for the suffrage of purgatory! It is the blessed Mother who inspires these good wishes and resolutions. Has she not held the hearts of her children? One day a holy Brother Brother of the Society of Jesus prayed earnestly before an image of the Immaculate Virgin. As he prayed, a certain scruple came to him from the little zeal he had in praying and suffrating the souls of purgatory. A mysterious voice then said to him: - “My son, my son,remember the deceased! "Yes, my Mother, I will henceforth," answered the pious Brother. And from that day he gave himself to good works and sacrifices and prayers for souls.

How many times has Our Lady in so many private revelations asked for prayers for the dead! Still in Fatima, she recommends to the Little Shepherds the hype: My Jesus, forgive us, deliver us from the fires of hell, relieve the souls of purgatory, especially the most abandoned! Mary helps the faithful in purgatory by inspiring suffrages for her children. from the earth and then, offering for these captive souls, not the present satisfactions, for in heaven there is no suffering or atonement, but what She suffered and deserved in this world. Is there greater treasure after the merits of Christ than the merits of Mary?

Blessed Mary, therefore, by these two means can and does help souls. The Church, in her liturgy, confirms this pious belief and this consoling truth when she is prays in the Mass of the Dead. Mary, ever Virgin and all the saints on behalf of our brothers, relatives, and benefactors who have come out of this world, who they may get everlasting bliss. "

Because souls have a greater need for help, writes Saint Alphonsus of Liguori, the Mother of Mercy endeavors with even greater zeal to help them.

They suffer so much and can do nothing for themselves. Saint Bernardine says Mary descends to the jail in purgatory where she has some dominion and can relieve and release these wives of Jesus Christ. Brings relief to souls. The Holy Word gives them this word of the Ecclesiastical: I walk on the waves of the sea. He compares the waves to the feathers of purgatory, because they are transitory, and so different from those of hell, which never pass. He calls them sea waves because they are very bitter feathers. The devotees of the Virgin, afflicted with these feathers, are often visited by her and rescued. This is how Mary helps the souls of purgatory.


Our Lady of Carmel, Mother of Purgatory

The apparitions of the Merciful Virgin to St. Simon Stocker and Pope John XXII are well known and today the piety of the whole Church has in the devotion to the Virgin of Carmel a reason for calling Our Lady Mother and Queen of Purgatory. Says the Mother of God to Simon: “Receive, my dear son, this scapular of your order as a distinctive sign of my brotherhood and proof of privilege that I obtained for you and the children of Carmel. He who dies in the scapular shall be preserved from the feathers of another world. It is a sign of salvation, a defense of danger, the pledge of peace and special protection until the end of the centuries. The Virgin promises the protection to her faithful devotees of the scapular. This promise was confirmed seventy years later, following a revelation made by Mary to Pope John XXII. Declared this Pope in a Bull,When Mary came to him in prayer, she said to him, "John, Vicar of my Son, you owe the high dignity which you have come to me, which I have asked for you." I have freed you from the bonds of your adversaries; I expect from you a confirmation from the Order of Carmel, which has always been especially dedicated to me. If among the religious or confreres, when they die, they find some whose sins merited purgatory, I will come down to tend Mother in their midst, in purgatory, on the Sabbath that follows her death. I will deliver those whom I meet there, and will bring them to the Holy Mountain, to the happy abode of eternal life. ”If among the religious or confreres, when they die, they find some whose sins merited purgatory, I will come down as a tendency Mother in their midst, in purgatory, on the Sabbath that follows her death.I will deliver those whom I meet there, and will bring them to the Holy Mountain, to the happy abode of eternal life. ”If among the religious or confreres, when they die, they find some whose sins merited purgatory, I will come down as a tendency Mother in their midst, in purgatory, on the Sabbath that follows her death. I will deliver those whom I meet there, and will bring them to the Holy Mountain, to the happy abode of eternal life. "to the happy abode of eternal life. "to the happy abode of eternal life. "

It is Mary revealing herself as the loving Mother of the souls of purgatory.

Christian art always represents the Virgin of Carmel extending her scapular over purgatory where souls amid the atoning flames raise their arms and pleading eyes begging for the mercy of the good Mother and seeking in the scapular the way out of the flames.

How significant and symbolic this is! Is this not the Mission of the Blessed Virgin, Consolation and Relief and Liberation from Purgatory, and what of the true devotees of the Blessed Mary find with certainty? We can believe the great privilege of the Carmelites. The Sacred Congregation of Indulgences on December 1, 1886 decided: “Let the Carmelite Fathers be allowed to preach to the people who can be faithfully believed in the assistance awaiting the Brothers and confreres of the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Carmel, namely: that this Lady He will help with his continuous prayers and suffrages and merits and with special protection after his death (especially on the Sabbath, which is the day consecrated to him by the Church), to the brothers and confreres who died in charity,on the condition that they have taken them during their scapular lives, guarded by the chastity of his state, they prayed the Silly Office, or if they could not pray it, that they had observed the fasts of the Church and abstained from flesh on Wednesdays and Saturdays. "

This decree was published in Rome on 15 and February 1615 by the Holy Office.

Now, is not the Church confirming the consoling doctrine of Mary's assistance and protection over purgatory? Let us always invoke the dear Mother of the poor souls in purgatory. Let us be devoted to the Virgin of Carmel and the Holy Scapular.



Mary frees the holy souls at their parties

Venerable Carthusian Dionysius says that every year, at the great feasts, the Mother of God descends into purgatory and frees many souls from suffering, bringing them to glory, especially at the feasts of Easter, Christmas and the Assumption. St. Peter Damian tells by the way a case that he says he heard from a reliable priest. I will translate it from Latin as St. Peter Damian wrote:

“A woman in Rome entered Assumption Day into the basilica erected in honor of the Blessed Virgin on the Capitol. Great was the surprise when he saw one of his neighbors who had died a year before. Unable to reach her from the crowd that filled the temple, she waited for her as she left the church on one of the narrow streets of the city through which she was to pass.

"Aren't you Marozia, my neighbor, asked you, who died about a year ago?"

- Yes, i'ts me.

- And how are you here?

And Marozia confessed that she had suffered much in purgatory for some childhood faults and added: “Today, however, the Queen of the world has pleaded for me and taken me and many other souls from the place of atonement, and so many souls are released , that surpasses the inhabitants of Rome. This is why we visit, in thanksgiving, the places consecrated to our glorious Queen. "

And as proof of the truth of the apparition, she announced that her friend within a year would die too. What actually happened. "

Saint Francisca Romana, favored by so many visions, also contemplated, on a day of the Assumption, the triumph of Mary and the multitude of souls released from purgatory through the intercession of the Mother of Mercy. - (S. Petr. Damian. Opusc. XXXIV - Dispute of Ray Apparition, et miraculis. C.3. PL CXLV - 586-587.)


November 22


The Question The famous Question arises - which is more useful and necessary: ​​to pray for the conversion of sinners or for the liberation of souls from purgatory?

To tell the truth, I think there is no choice between the two works. Both are necessary and it is not possible for anyone who loves Our Lord to be indifferent to the fate of so many miserable sinners risking eternity. What zeal we need not have for the salvation of souls redeemed by the Blood of Christ! “Sinners are at risk of being lost, and in the way of eternal damnation, they say, and souls are already in the safety of heaven. At this point, it really seems more necessary to pray for sinners. However, we know that the glory of God requires the delivery of poor souls, dear souls, whose fate depends on us alone. What will become of them without us? The sinner abuses grace, it is time to be able to profit merit and graces and does not take advantage, hinders our efforts, does not take much advantage of what we do for him.From the opinion of various godly authors and theologians, and among others the king of theologians, Saint Thomas Aquinas with his authority as the Church's greatest Doctor, says that God welcomes the prayer we pray for the dead more than He does. we drive for the living.

This is why sometimes we are not grateful for any means other than the suffrage of the blessed souls of purgatory. God who so desires possession in heaven of dear souls blesses a thousand times all that we do for them. St. Augustine, another Doctor of the Church, says: "There is nothing more pleasing to the Lord than the relief of the faithful dead." And the great sacred speaker Bourdloue proves it with serious arguments: “There is no more beautiful, more meritorious apostolate. And more beautiful and more meritorious than the conversion of sinners, unbelievers, and heathens. "

To work for the souls in purgatory is to make sure that we do not work in vain, because nothing is lost from our suffrage. Resist grace sinners. The holy souls enjoy all our suffrages. In purgatory, says Fr Faber, ingratitude is not known.

Everything will be repaid magnificently one day to the benefactors.

The most practical, then, will be to work with great zeal for the conversion of sinners, to make a good apostolate, a generous sacrifice to bring souls to Our Lord, and to offer all the merits of this divine work, this work of spiritual charity for the souls of purgatory.

The matter is settled, without useless and subtle discussions. - The most perfect and the best is to work for the conversion of sinners into the suffrage of souls in purgatory. And in our prayers we do the same thing. To unite our cry of compassion for suffering souls to the cry of compassion for sinners.


A celebrated discussion

St. Luiz Bertrão, Dominican, often celebrated Holy Mass for the conversion of sinners, and rarely did it for the souls of purgatory.

One of the Order's brothers asked him why he was doing so.

"Now, my brother, the souls of purgatory have already secured eternal salvation, and the poor sinners are exposed to the eternal condemnation of hell."

- Yes, it is true, answers the Brother, but there is another consideration to be made and very serious. Suppose two poor people beg you. One is crippled and paralyzed, absolutely unable to move on his own, cannot earn a living, it is impossible for him to work. The other, instead, is young, strong, in misery and begging for your charity. To whom will you give your alms?

- To what can not work ... answer the saint.

"Well, my dear priest, the souls in purgatory are in this case ... You can do nothing for yourself." For them the time for penance and merit, prayer and good works is over. It is up to us, our charity. The sinner in this world can work for his salvation, has the means and grace at his disposal.

Do you not think, my priest, that souls in purgatory are more needy than sinners in our prayers?

St. Luiz Bertrão seriously meditated on the reasons of the Brother and from then on he prayed for sinners, yes, but came more to the aid of the poor souls in purgatory.

Indeed, in this world the sinner can work for his salvation and abuse of grace. It's a poor man who needs alms, yes, but because he doesn't work. Souls are the poor with no one for them. They can no longer fight or deserve like us. For them the time has passed for profit. They are delivered to Divine Justice.

However, I believe in this matter only God can judge.

St. Thomas Aquinas's reason is quite serious: the suffrages for the dead are more pleasing to God than those we do for the living, because those who are in dire need and cannot avail themselves.

The saints who had contact with purgatory in private revelation could tell us how much they felt the need to pray and suffer and to suffer in every way the poor suffering souls. Let us not make the mistake of abandoning prayer for souls under the pretext that sinners are most in need and are at risk of eternal damnation.


Seasons to help the souls of purgatory

These reasons are manifest and we remember here elsewhere. We suggest some others. The first is the love of God. If we love God, should we not want to see him glorified and loved more and more by his elect? Where is the perfection of love? In the sky. A saved soul gives such glory to God and goes into the bosom of eternal Love! Everything we do for our neighbor glorifies God.

Our Lord showed the value of charitable works when He said that what we do to others would be done to Himself. What greater work of charity than help the poor souls, as we have ever seen in the opinion of St. Francis of Sales? But what glorifies God is most the soul in possession of eternal glory. Is it not therefore a necessity for those who love God to desire to see more loved in heaven for some saved souls from purgatory? If there is much joy in heaven when you become a sinner, there is even greater joy when a Righteous One enters glory. This is one more reason for working for the souls of purgatory - the glorification of the elect.

And then gratitude. We have a duty of justice and gratitude to the dead.

We will have to help them because many of them are our parents, relatives, friends, subjects, and perhaps many are suffering in purgatory because of us, our bad example, some scandal we have given them. God only knows how much repercussion our shortcomings have! Isn't it a duty to pray for the dead? Let us take care of the conversion of sinners, but let us not forget this duty of justice and charity. Much more serious duty than we are thinking.

Let us not hesitate - let us give preference to suffrage for holy souls, although we never fail to pray, work and suffer for poor sinners. Moreover, devotion to souls is very fruitful and sanctifying and contributing to our spiritual gain, sanctifies us, and makes us better able to pray and work for sinners.

We would always have purgatory before our eyes and we would not live like this, in lukewarmness, pride, sensuality, in such a relaxed spiritual life!

Indeed, whoever thinks, who seriously meditates on the Divine Justice of the torments of atonement beyond the grave, sees in the light of the flames of purgatory how horrendous sin is, and how it is necessary to be pure, holy, and to work in this life to earn merit. of good works and prepare for eternity!



Saved by the souls of purgatory

On the outskirts of Rome lived a young man whose life of scandal and sin was well known to all. However, the unfortunate, though sinful, kept their faith and did not let the devotion suffocate as much as the souls in purgatory could.

He commanded to celebrate Masses for them, prayed and gave alms to the poor in this intention. It was the only practice of godliness in the midst of so many sins.

Of course, this young man with his rapt temperament and bully, had large numbers of enemies, and these were planning to kill him at an opportune time. They knew the enemies he was about to pass on the Trivoli road and ambushed him. As he approached the road at a dangerous crossroads on horseback, he came upon a poor boy hanging from a tree.

He was a death row inmate whose corpse still hunger for the bandits' sores. The young man had a habit of never failing to pray for the souls of those he saw dead. He stopped, got off his horse, knelt before the corpse, and prayed for that soul. A mysterious voice was heard: come down and run, because they are chasing you! Startled, he ran down the road. The enemies unloaded their weapons and as they saw the corpse of the fallen hangman, they thought he was the young man, and fled in rod.

A voice was heard then to the young man: my friend, that discharge should kill you and throw your sinful soul into hell. God's mercy has saved you by your charity for the souls in purgatory. They helped you. It changes life while it's time.

The young man, all contrite and sincerely sorry for his bad life, decided to leave the world; entered into an austere order, did penance, and led holy life to the end of his days. - (Quoted by Rossingnoli, 5th Wonder - and JB Manni, Sacred Trig. Disc. 12)


November 23


The merit of suffrage

May the suffrages we give to the poor suffering souls of purgatory be a very meritorious work and will certainly receive great reward from God in theologian disputes. It is a work of charity, and Our Lord, who promises to reward even a cup of water given in his name, as it will not be conducive to those who help the most miserable and unhappy and unprotected creatures: the poor souls, who can do nothing for themselves to get rid of the torments they are subjected to by Divine Justice and depend on our charity! It is true that souls released from the flames of atonement in heaven intercede for their benefactors, because they are full of Divine Charity and can, like the Saints, avail us in this world. Therefore,the merit we have earned with the charity of suffrage will be well rewarded because ingratitude has never entered heaven and the holy souls saved by us will be our advocates and will do everything for us with God.

St. Francis of Sales sees in our help to souls all the works of charity. Is it not to visit the sick, says the Holy Doctor, to get for our prayers the relief of the poor souls who suffer in purgatory? Is it not to give to those who thirst so greatly for the sight of God, to give the dew of our prayer to those among the flames? Is it not to feed the hungry, to help them by the means that faith offers us? Isn't it truly releasing the prisoners? It's not dressing

the naked and give them a garment of light and glory? Is it not hospitality, entry into Heavenly Jerusalem, and making souls friendly to God and the saints, making them eternal dwellers of Eternal Zion?

Now if our Lord declares that on the day of judgment he will give heaven and a great reward to works of charity, should he not generously reward these works of charity to the blessed souls?

Suffrage, the help to the blessed souls, has much merit.

The pious Oratorian Father Faber also says, as if commenting on Saint Francis of Sales: She quenches the hunger of souls by giving them Jesus, the Bread of Angels. To quench the unquenchable thirst that devours them, he presents them with the Precious Blood of Jesus. Give to those who were naked the garment of glory. Visit the sick, comfort them and give them medicine. Deliver the captives from chains more terrible than death, and set them in heavenly and everlasting liberty. He welcomes the pilgrims and gives them the hospitality of heaven.

Bury the dead in Jesus' bosom so that they may enjoy eternal rest ”.

The day of judgment cometh, happy they are that have helped the poor souls!

How much merit in this work of charity - the suffrage of the dead!

Can souls intercede for us?

We no longer dispute that souls can help us when in heaven, and that God through the merits of the suffrage and the great work of charity we have done in helping purgatory bestows many graces upon us, and all we can achieve only on the merit of such a good work. However, we go further and we can say: souls can help us even in purgatory. Some theologians deny it. Yet most of them, and many of the most authoritative, claim that souls, even in purgatory, in the state of suffering, can intercede for us. The Church, despite the silence on the matter, nevertheless allows the faithful to pray to souls and lets this devotion develop ever more. Great Saints and even Doctors of the Church had this devotion and counseled many sure authors.

In the catacombs are inscriptions like these: May your soul rest in peace! Pray for your sister. It is a prayer for the deceased and a prayer for the deceased.

The great theologian Suarez says that in general the souls of purgatory can pray for the militant church, and this is according to our idea of ​​the goodness of God. The souls of purgatory are holy and must pray as the saints pray. And, like the saints, they are met in the measure of glory they gave to God when they were in this world. The suffering they are far from diminishing increases the value and effectiveness of their prayers. A pious author said: “Here in the family of the earth, the requests and supplications of a sick member who suffers more, are not met with more affection and sympathy? Are not the members of the Church?

Some say that souls in purgatory cannot help us because they cannot know our needs. Even so, Suarez replies, souls asking for the militant Church make us partakers of their prayer on our behalf. And could they not be aware of our needs through the ministry of angels? Saint Thomas says: “The souls of the dead may be interested in the living even though they ignore their state, just as the living may be interested in the souls even if they ignore them. May the souls of purgatory know the needs of the living for souls departing from this world, or for angels.

So can't souls be interested in our luck in this world and pray for us? It is a common sentence of theologians, says Saint Roberto Belarmino that souls can pray for the living. They also say that the suffering of the poor souls is so intense and profound that they cannot think of us or avail us.

The suffering of holy souls does not make them selfish and does not make sense of them, the knowledge of the extreme need we often find ourselves in and the dangers to which we are exposed in this life. The souls of purgatory are in a higher supernatural order. They can therefore intercede for us. It is the doctrine of many holy Doctors and confident theologians.


The souls of purgatory help us

The souls of purgatory can help us and the merit of the charity of our suffrages can all reach us from Divine Mercy on our behalf. For these blessed souls really help us, and experience has come for many centuries as it is effective to invoke the protection of purgatory.

Yes, the souls of purgatory alone cannot merit in the afterlife, but they can hang on our behalf the merits they have gained in this world. For this reason Saint Alphonsus, Saint Roberto Belarmino, doctors of the Church, have taught that we can invoke the protection of souls in purgatory to obtain from God the favors we need. Saint Teresa said: "All that I ask God for the intercession of the souls of purgatory is given to me." We have given suffrages to souls and God for this charity will help us through the prayers and merits of these holy souls released from the atoning flames.

St. Catherine of Bologna wrote: "When I want to get a grace safely, I turn to the suffering souls and the grace that I beg is always granted to me."

Hence the expressions of the Holy Cure D'Ars, who always repeat: "If we knew how great the power of the holy souls of purgatory is and how many graces we can reach for their intercession, they would not be so forgotten."

Let us then have charity, have mercy on the poor suffering souls.

God will not allow much suffering in purgatory who in this world has rescued the dead. Therefore, it is in our interest to suffocate the dead. Experience proves it a thousand times that devotion to souls is useful and beneficial to the living. "What we give them in suffrage, says St. Ambrose, changes in our favor, and we shall find them after death."

Saint Bridget's revelations read that the saint saw an angel descending to purgatory to comfort souls said: Blessed is he who still on earth, while alive, helps the souls of purgatory with prayers and good works!

And at the same time, from the depths of the abyss of the flames of purgatory, to the chorus of pleading voices: Jesus Christ, righteous Judge, in the name of your infinite mercy, look not upon our innumerable faults, but upon the merits of your precious Passion. Put, Lord, in the heart of the ecclesiastics the feeling of true charity, so that through their prayers, their mortifications and alms and the indulgences that apply to us help us in our sad situation.

Other voices answered: Thanks, a thousand thanks to those who relieve us in our misfortunes. The Lord, may your infinite power give the hundredfold to our benefactors who lead them to the abode of your eternal light.

Holy souls always repeat this supplication on behalf of their beneficactors.

Sacred Scripture says: Benefit just and inventions return magnam. Do good to the righteous, and you will have great reward. The souls of purgatory are holy souls of the righteous, full of merit and virtue. How holy in those atoning flames! Well Everything we do for them will have a great reward. It is the word of God that guarantees us!



The maid devotes the souls of purgatory

Several authors, including Berlioux, in his "Month of Souls", Msgr. Louvet, in his Le Purgatoire, narrates this fact, which the latter author says happened in Paris and in the year 1817.

A godly and humble servant had the custom every month of taking from her poor wage a spatula for a mass for the souls of purgatory. He made every sacrifice, but he did not fail to have the Mass of his devotion celebrated each month. He was going to attend the Holy Sacrifice very fervently and he prayed for his soul that he needed a Mass to enter heaven.

God provides her with a disease that made her suffer a lot and still lose her job.

The day he left the hospital, he had only the necessary importance for a Mass spatula. He put all his trust in God and was looking for a job. In vain I couldn't find him anywhere. He passed the church of St. Eustatius and entered. He remembered that month he could not have the Holy Mass celebrated for souls. He took the money from his purse and thought to himself: If I now have Mass celebrated, what will I have left to eat today? What will become of me? That matters! God will have pity on me. What's more, poor souls suffer more than I do.

He went to the sacristy and asked if it was still possible to celebrate a Mass. Fortunately, there was an unintended priest of Mass for that day. He gave her the trowel, asked the Mass for souls, attended it with fervor, and withdrew from the church without penny and without knowing where to go.

She was thinking about her poor life when a tall, very pale boy approached her and said:

- Are you looking for a job?

- Yes, my lord, and I really need a placement today ...

"Then go to Madame X's house, such as a street, such a number, and I think she will receive you, because she will need a maid today."

The poor servant was so pleased that she did not even thank the boy. When she turned back, she didn't even see him anymore. He went looking for the address and when he arrived at the indicated house, he ran into a woman who was coming down the stairs furiously and shouting at someone.

- Is this where Madam X lives? Ask him

- I do not know! From this house I don't want to see even the shadow. Slam the door. I don't care about this woman. Bye! "

The maid timidly knocked the bell and waited. A lady of a certain age and very kind appearance appeared to him.

"Ma'am," says the maid, "I just learned this morning that you were in need of a maid, and as I am out of place, I come here to introduce myself, and you are told that you are very kind and would welcome me very well. " ...

- My daughter says the old woman, this is extraordinary! Well, this morning I didn't say this to anyone and only half an hour ago I kicked out of my house this cheeky maid who lost my respect.

Only I know I need a maid. Who told you this?

“I found a boy on the street and he gave me the lady's name, street and house number, and here I came.

The old woman could not understand who the boy who had indicated the house could be. Meanwhile, the maid looks up and sees a picture on the wall.

- It's that boy, ma'am, himself ...

The poor woman turned pale.

- It's my son, and my dead son!

The maid told her of her devotion to the holy souls, the Mass that she had commanded to celebrate. The old woman took the poor thing in a long, tear-filled hug and said to her: My daughter, this boy is my dead son. It should be in purgatory. He passed away two years ago. Your Holy Mass relieved her and set her free. Let us pray from now on, and you will not be my maid, no, you will be my daughter. "

She took the poor abandoned maid and adopted her as a family member.

This is how Our Lord rewards generous hearts to holy souls.


November 24th


Funeral Crafts

Funerals come from the word "funus," which in turn derives from "funalia." Torch, because burials were once held at night, and were accompanied with burning torches or torches. Christianity purified this pagan ceremony by sanctifying it with the lights employed in the burial, but the lights now symbolized, says St. John Chrysostom, joy and hope in the resurrection of the flesh.

In the early days of Christianity, at the time of persecution, the burial ceremony of the martyrs was festive and had a note of joy and triumph.

It was the feast of the entrance of heaven and the glorification of those who suffered and died for Christ. “The martyrs, said St. Cyprian, went from prison to immortality.

Carcer ad immortalitatem transibant. Thus, the day of death was celebrated as a feast day. The entrance hall of the mortuary house was festively adorned with garlands and crowns, writes St. Gregory Nanzianzeno, and the interior was decorated with greens, flowers and tapestries and beams of light. Such were the funerals of the early Christians. Today's are quite different. No longer has the festive note.

They are sad, they are dismal. Why?The martyrs were heroes who triumphed and were guaranteed salvation, they were saints.

The early Christians were of admirable fervor. Martyrs of faith died, or left this life after much penance and a very holy life. There was reason for their death to be a triumph, just as the Church today celebrates the funerals of little children who die of baptismal innocence. Then, unfortunately, relaxations and weaknesses were introduced into the mores, and the Church feared the fate of her dead children without sufficient penance, and without that fervor and holiness of her early children of the glorious and holy age of the martyrs.

This is why from Origen, to whom St. Augustine the order in the Office of the dead, the spirit of satisfaction has been introduced to Divine Justice for the dead, and this funeral pomp that mourns over the dead begging for divine mercy.

The festive spirit was kept only at the children's funerals. At adult funerals the Church wants to remind us of the dogma of purgatory, or to beg our supplications for those who suffer in the place of atonement. To abbreviate or alleviate this suffering is the object of the funeral rites and all their prayers.

The ancients, said St. Gregory of Nisse, packed their bodies to bury them. Christianity does better: "Pack their memory and envelopes in the scent of prayers and celebrations."

Prayer for the dead is very old in the Church. St. Cyprian of Jerusalem, St. Augustine and even Tertullian assure that in their day prayers were offered for the dead in the conviction that the prayer of the living relieved the dead.

The Church, our Mother, accompanies us tenderly and tenderly to the grave, and follows us beyond the grave with her prayers and the funeral suffrage.


The meaning of funerals

Three main ideas are clearly seen in all the funeral offices of the Church's liturgy. The first reminds the living of the anguish and torment in which most of those who died atone for their purgatory faults; second, to excite in favor of the dead the compassion and charity of the living; third, to affirm the consoling idea of ​​the resurrection of the flesh.

Such are the dominant ideas of all funeral offices.

He remembers the anguish and torment of purgatory when he begs, for example, in this prayer: “Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servant unless you are willing to grant him the remission of all his sins, for no man stands just before from you. We beg you, Lord, that the judgment of your Judgment should not crush the one for whom you ask this prayer made with truly Christian faith, but that with the help of your grace he, who during his life was marked with the sign of the Holy Trinity , avoid the judgment of your judgment. "

What an impressive and beautiful prayer!

Then he recalls the tremendous judgment in which heaven and earth will move. It's the release me, Domine! There is in the closing prayer an expression that shows us the suffering of purgatory. It gives us the idea that the deceased is suffocated and afflicted, unable to breathe the air of heaven, waiting for deliverance: “Deliver the Lord, the soul of your servant or servant, from all the bond of his offenses, so that in the glorious resurrection, living in his flesh, he may breathe among his chosen and holy ones.

And often the Church repeats: Requiescat in pace! Rest in peace!

Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servant! What a plea this impressive and touching! Arriving at the cemetery, the priest goes on: Lord, we beg you, deign to show mercy to your deceased servant. May he not have to suffer the penalties of his sins, for he desired to of his will, and that just as in this world has united him in the society of the faithful, so also in heaven his mercy associate him with the choirs of the Angels .

Always the charitable idea of ​​begging for mercy for the dead who suffer in purgatory! The Office of the Dead is a groan of pain over the misery of the poor human creature, recalling Job's lamentations, so striking, in that realism that shakes our souls and sounds like a groan from the abyss of purgatory. What touching and godly antiphons! Here is a cry of mercy for those who suffer atonement, there is an act of faith in the resurrection of the flesh, there is a reminder of human misery. Finally, in the Office of the Dead, at the funerals of Christians, son of the Holy Church, we will find, as I said above, the three striking notes and one of unparalleled eloquence: the memory of the torments of purgatory, the cry of supplication for the deceased faithful who groan in atonement, remembering the tremendous judgment of God and the misery of man,and hope in the resurrection of the flesh. Let us try to read the ritual of the deceased in vernacular.

Let us meditate on those prayers and antiphons, in short all the impressive lessons of this Liturgy.


Funeral Lessons

The lessons the Church gives us with the funerals of her children are very beautiful and impressive. We have already seen how you remember the suffering of purgatory, the need to pray for the dead, and the dogma of the resurrection of the flesh. But there are other lessons in these funerals, which we always attend, perhaps indifferent because we do not meditate on them or ignore them. The corpse is guarded with all respect and veneration.

Is not our body, as St. Paul says, the temple of the Holy Spirit? Did he not receive the year of baptism and regenerating water? Was it not the living tabernacle of the Holy Eucharist? Was not the instrument of grace sanctified by the sacraments?

The Church reminds us of what our body is and wants us to respect. It prohibits the incineration of corpses and does not allow the profanity of the bodies of their children.

Take this corpse to the temple, surround it with lights, incense it, treat it as sacred things. Then accompany him to the tomb with prayers, bless the grave, saying:

“The God, whose mercy gives rest to the souls of the faithful, deigns to bless this grave, and to send his guardian angel to keep it. May the souls of those whose bodies are buried here be delivered from the bonds of their sins, so that they may continually and eternally enjoy happiness with their saints. "

What a respect for our body!

Let us respect our body, which will one day be so venerated at funerals. Let us not profane by sin, especially by impurity, this holy temple of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle St. Paul recommends this for our body so much!

Let us remember God's judgment, tremendous and rigorous, as the Church reminds us of begging for mercy and groaning for us when our poor soul appears before the Divine Court! What account will we give to God? Heard Des irae, this hymn that came from the Middle Ages and reminds us of the tremendous Judgment of God and our responsibilities! The Liturgy of the Mass of the Dead always brings it back, to associate the idea of ​​the suffrage of the dead and that of judgment, and thus to excite our compassion for the dead and to awaken our souls to a better life with the remembrance of the Brand New.

These thoughts must be ours when we accompany our dead to the grave, when we attend the funeral services. It is very sad to see the indifference and carelessness of funerals today! What a profanity! Conversations at the funerals, where politics and business interests are discussed, smiles and disrespect. Concern for funeral rites and carelessness of prayer and funerals. Why so many flowers and so many pompous bass? If we learn in the admirable school of the Church's Liturgy these sublime and impressive lessons!

It would be most helpful for us in our spiritual retreats as we meditate on death to recall the liturgy funeral. How it lends itself to meditation and teaches us so much to reform our lives! All the brand new ones are remembered: Death, Judgment - so often with the "Release me and Dies Irae - Hell and Paradise, to which you send us - In paradiso deucant te angeli ... What lessons!



Charity rewarded

God gives us many graces in His mercy when we are generous toward Him. He achieves much for the poor souls in purgatory who offer sacrifices and prayers for them, but a heroic act of virtue can be a powerful relief in purgatory. Several reliable authors tell, and among them St. Antonine of Florence, this edifying example:

A widowed lady had a only child, a student, whom she dearly loved and to whom she placed all her hopes. One day, the boy, in the company of other colleagues, was having fun when a stranger stood among the boys and began to disturb their games with provocations and inconveniences. The widow's son rebuked him severely. The man, indignant, pulled a dagger and buried it in the poor boy's heart, leaving him lying in the street, bathed in blood. The killer runs away, scared, and with the dagger in blood, enters the first house and finds it to escape the pursuit of justice. What was your astonishment to learn that you had just entered the house of your victim's mother!

The compassionate and compassionate widow, pitying the murderer, takes him away and hides him from the police who seek him. You soon learned that you were protecting your own son's killer! He felt a movement of pain and revolt. She was a good Christian. He knew how to restrain himself heroically. He went to pray. He offered to our Lord the enormous sacrifice of forgiving the criminal and came to him, saying to him: “Unfortunate, you have killed my dear son, only son, all my heart!

It was the light and joy of my old age, my only support. I could turn you to justice and avenge me. I will not do it. I prefer the charity of soul forgiveness of my homesick son. I will hide you and then make your escape easier and free you from justice.

The poor killer fell to his knees in tears and wanted to turn himself into the police. The widow would not allow it. Made him escape the conviction. It was a heroic act, admirable!

A few days later the poor mother prayed for the soul of her homesick son, when he appears to him all beautiful and splendid. “My mother, my mother, says the beautiful sight, I should stay in purgatory a long time. Your act of charity toward my murderer, and your alms and prayers have shortened my grief and I am now ascending to heaven. Goodbye my dear mother! Until the sky!"

What a consolation for the poor widow! She felt the sweet reward of her heroic act.

Let us forgive our enemies for love and for the suffrage of souls in purgatory.


November 25th


The ceremonies

The touching and beautiful symbolism of the ceremonies of the Mass of the Dead cannot be ignored by those who want to profitably attend to the best and greatest suffrage that can be offered for the dead - the Holy Sacrifice of our Altars.

This mass is celebrated with the black vestment, symbolizing mourning. There is no glory. It is similar to Passion Masses. Shows the dignity of the Christian resembling Jesus Christ in the Passion. Don't you have the Jewish Psalm, mother, because it says: want tristis est anima mea et quare troubles me? Why ask the soul why it is sad when it has already been judged?

The sign of the cross that the priest makes on himself in other Masses, here is made on the Missal, to say that everything is now for the dead, the fruits and merits of the cross.

Neither the priest nor the deacon kisses the Missam, symbolizing that souls have not received the kiss of God's peace in heaven.

The godly Mons. Olier: “One does not kiss the Missal at the end of the Gospel first, because the souls of purgatory died in faith - in signo fidei - there is no need for a profession of faith in the Gospel for the same reason. , which is the public manifestation of our faith.

In the offertory there is no blessing of the water that is put in the chalice with the wine, because the water symbolizes the faithful, and the Church has no jurisdiction over the deceased faithful in the afterlife, for they are in Grace with God. In Agnus Dei there is no peace, the ceremony of Pax tecum. Souls are already in God's peace and free from the dangers of sin that takes away true peace. They suffer a lot, but in sweet peace. In Agnus Dei one does not say miserere nobis, but "give them rest." We implore eternal rest for the poor suffering and tormented souls of purgatory. They do not need peace, but eternal rest within God. There is no blessing at the end of Mass because souls have not yet heard from Our Lord: "Come, blessed are my Father, to receive the reward ..."

Instead of the Ite, Mass is - "the Mass is over," the order to disperse the faithful and announce the end of the Mass, says the priest: Requiescant in pace - Rest in peace. It is an invitation to the people, too, to pray for the deceased faithful and to say that all that Augustus Sacrifice was offered for the rest of the poor brothers in purgatory. These are the special and variant ceremonies of the deceased's Masses. The introit is a plea for the rest of souls. "Lord, give them eternal rest, and let the everlasting light shine forth." In the gradual, the same supplication. In the Deal: Deliver, Lord, the souls of the deceased faithful from the chains of their sins. And may the help of your grace avoid the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the bliss of eternal light. In the Communio is still the request of eternal rest: May the eternal light shine upon you with your saints for ever and ever, O Lord, for you are so good! And ask again: Give them rest and everlasting light, for you are so good, Lord.

What beautiful pleas for the poor souls!


The Dies Irae

The Dies Irae is a Sequence of the Dead Mass, attributed to the Franciscan Celano, who would have written it in the year 1260. It is an impressive description of the Last Judgment. A most vivid meditation on that tremendous day when the entire universe will be accountable to the judge of the living and the dead. Dies Irae is said at the Requiem Masses. Commenting on it would be wordy and would require a volume. Let's meditate on it translated, though not without the beauty and expression of Latin and poetic form. It will serve a lot for our meditation. Hey there:

“A day of wrath when the universe will be reduced to gray according to David's predictions of Sybilah. "What will not be the terror of men when the Sovereign Judge comes to prescribe all his actions with rigor!" - The shrill sound of the trumpet will awaken the dead in the depths of the graves, gathering them all before the throne of the Lord. Death and nature will be dumbfounded when the creature appears to be judged by the Judge - A Book will appear where it is written all that is to be judged. - When the Judge is seated in court, all that is hidden will be uncovered and no crime will go unpunished. Unhappy of me! What could you say then? What protector will I look for when only the Judge will be calm ?! - O King, whose Majesty is tremendous, but who save the elect freely, save me, O Source of godliness! Remember, O most terrible Jesus, that you have come into the world because of me. Do not condemn me that day. "O ye who have labored in my pursuit, and who have redeemed me to die on a cross, do not wish that such efforts be fruitless!" O righteous Judge, who punish with justice, grant me the pardon of my faults before the day of judgment. - I cry as a defendant, my faults shame me. O God, may my supplications reach me for forgiveness! O you who have acquitted Mary and heard the thief, grant me also hope!

I know that my prayers are not worthy, but you who are good do not consent to my burning in eternal fire. Put me among the lambs on your right hand, and separate me from sinners. Deliver me from the confusion and torment of the damned damned, and enter me into the blessed of your Father. Pleading, prostrating before you and with a crushed heart, as reduced to ashes, I implore you, O Lord, that you have mercy on me at the moment of death. A day of tears when the sinful man is reborn from his ashes to be judged! Have mercy on him, my God! O most terrible Jesus! O Lord, grant him eternal rest! ”

Isn't it truly impressive, beautiful, this Sequence of the Dead Mass?

Dies Irae is a cry of fear and hope. He tells us of the tremendous Judgment and points us to the sweet hope in the Savior's Mercy. It ends: Jesus owns her requiem. - Most pious Jesus, give them eternal rest!

Remember the Judgment for our fear and for our vigilance and preparedness, and remind us of Divine Mercy, so that we never despair. It begs mercy and rest for those who have passed the tremendous judgment and suffer in purgatory.


Preface to the Mass of the Dead

Another jewel of the Liturgy is the preface of the deceased. A lesson, a reminder of our future immortality and resurrection. It is not very old. Let's meditate on it:

"Truly it is worthy and just, rational and healthy that we always and everywhere give thanks to you, Lord, Holy Almighty Father, Eternal God through our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom you have given us the hope of a happy resurrection; so that while the certain condition of our death may sadden us, we may be comforted with the hope of future immortality. For to your faithful, Lord, life changes, it is not over, and this earthly abode is undone, and eternal habitation is acquired in heaven. And therefore, with the Angels and Archangels, with the Thrones and Dominations, and with the Celestial Militia, we sing the hymn of your glory, saying without ceasing, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the heavens. ”

This is the beautiful preface to the deceased. Tell us of the hope of the future resurrection. We are sad in this world because our condition as poor mortals, subject to leaving this life for death.

Yet we have the promise of immortality. We will not die at all. Death to the Christian is life. In the catacombs they sometimes wrote in the sepulchral places one word: - vixit! Lived! It is the idea of ​​the Preface. The life of the Christian is the same. Here life in grace, and then life in glory. Only the condition of the same life changes. Vita mutatur, in tomitur, says the Preface - life changes but it is not over.

What a comforting lesson!

The Apostle says that we have no permanent abode in this world. Non habemus hic manentem civitatem. - We do not belong to this world. The Church calls us walking travelers. Let's go to the house of our eternity. This is what the Preface of the Dead reminds us. Our earthly abode, poor and wretched, is broken, and we have acquired an eternal abode in heaven!

The liturgy of the dead is therefore a continual reminder to the living of death and judgment, an awakening of our faith in the immortality of the soul and in the life to come, a cry for us to be watchful, because at the least of our thoughts the Son of Man will come . It is mainly an incentive for us not to forget our dear dead.

Let us try to attend the Mass of the dead with great devotion and accompany it in the Missal or in the liturgical pamphlet. It is truly impressive and leads us into a very serious meditation on death and judgment.

Not long ago, the Holy Father pius XII, in the opportune Encyclical Mediator Dei, condemned the error of those who wished to spruce the Miasas of the dead of our Liturgy and condemn the black garment under subtle pretenses that they undermine the so-called Restorative Movements of the Liturgy. The Church, which watches over the splendor of the liturgical solemnities, does not always allow the Mass of the dead in great festivals, but how generous and often allows these Masses for the teaching of the faithful and the relief of the poor souls!



Santa Isabel, Queen of Portugal and her daughter Constância

The great saint of charity had a very beloved daughter named Constancy. This princess had recently married the king of Castile when a sudden death came to snatch her to the affection of her own. The queen, having heard the unfortunate news, together with the king set out for Santarem as a hermit approaches the royal procession and wants to speak to the queen. The gentlemen said right away: It's a nuisance, a crazy one. We didn't care about it! Santa Isabel noticed everything and sent for the poor monk, asking him what he wanted.

“Madam, your daughter Constancy has appeared to me several times and has been condemned to a long and rigorous purgatory, but she will be released within a year if a Holy Mass is celebrated every day for her every day.

Those in the royal procession laughed at the monk: he was crazy, they said. He is an intriguer and wants to get something, repeated others. The queen, however, took the case very seriously. She asked her husband to have the Holy Mass celebrated. It said:

After all, what could you lose out on this? Isn't it good to have Masses celebrated for our dead? How much will our daughter not profit from this, even if the poor monk's appearance was not real?

The next day he charged a priest to celebrate all year long for the soul of his daughter. Just as she was a year old, Constancy appeared to her holy mother dressed in white, all luminous and of incomparable beauty. - Today, my dear mother, thanks to your prayers and the Holy Masses that you have commanded to celebrate, I am free from my torments and ascend to heaven.

The Holy One, all radiant with happiness, went to see Father Mendez, the priest in charge of the celebration of the Holy Masses, and he was already coming to the Queen to tell her that the day before he had celebrated the last of the 365 Masses commissioned by the soul of Constance.


November 26th


The cemetery is simply

The cemetery is simply the resting place of the dead. The word graveyard comes from the Latin: caemeterium, which literally means dormitory, like the Greek word from which it originates. Dormitory! Resting place. There are those about whom the Church prays, saying, Requiem aeternam dona els, Domine! Give them, Lord, eternal rest. The bodies of the faithful Christians sleep awaiting resurrection. The Church calls the cemetery the place where the faithful sleep. The Roman ritual speaks of the blessing “of the place where the faithful sleep” ... What expressions!

In Christian language, the cemetery is also called the holy field. And there are places where they also call it God's field. The pagan peoples had a superstitious or very crude and materialistic idea of ​​the cemetery. The Romans called it putreoll - a place to rot. Modern pagans are terrified of the cemetery and even think of abolishing it, replacing it with the macabre crematory ovens. However, it is a sacred place, a perennial lesson for the living, a reminder of our nothingness, our misery, but also our immortality and the resurrection of the flesh. It is a sacred place. It has this sacred character, no matter how secularism tries to reduce it to a mere deposit of decaying corpses. Our body is sacred, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Even after being separated from the soul, it will deserve all respect, because one day it will rise again.

The Liturgy has a solemn blessing for cemeteries, reserved for the Bishops. On it is planted a very large cross. It is the reminder of our Redemption. The cemetery is the land of the cross. Everything there tells us of the cross of Jesus Christ. On each grave, the symbol of redemption. How sad to see even today pagan tombs from which they banished the cross, replaced by a broken column or any other symbol of pain and despair. Christianity sanctified the grave. The early Christians were buried in the catacombs with honors and pious prayers. How beautiful the inscriptions that left us! All speak of immortality and heaven. Sometimes one word said it all Vixit! Lived!

The Church, which consecrates cemeteries, blesses Christian graves and asks the Lord to send an Angel to guard each one. Here is the beautiful prayer of the blessing of the tomb: “O God, whose mercy gives rest to the souls of the faithful, deign to bless this grave and send your Angel to guard it. May the souls of those whose bodies are buried here be delivered from the bonds of their sins, that they may continually and eternally enjoy happiness with your saints.

What ties are these to sins? Naturally the bonds that bind the poor souls in the atonement, in the flames of purgatory. This is how the Church sanctifies the cemetery and our grave, and wants us to learn what we are: dust! And… an immortal soul destined for eternal happiness within God.


Cemetery Lessons

The cemetery is a school, no doubt. Tell us about death. Remember our brand new. St. Augustine said: “Sit mors pro dclore, let your teacher be death! Deep words and so simple! Yes, death is a great teacher. And where do you teach better? Where is your school? In the cemetery. How many lessons she doesn't give us! Oh, if the living could take advantage of Dr. Death's lessons!

Let's go to the cemetery with Christian feelings and we'll learn a lot there.

A Christian cemetery, writes scholar Mons. Gaume, preaches four dogmas:

- The nobility and holiness of man's body,

- the great law of universal and eternal brotherhood,

- the immortality of the soul,

- the resurrection of the flesh.

It preaches the nobility of the human body, surrounding it with respect and veneration, even as it becomes a heap of ruins, a rot, a handful of ashes. Respect these ashes and want them deposited in a sacred place.

A voice seems to be heard in the cemetery like the Lord's to Moses: "locus enim in quo sias, terra sancta est." It is sacred the ugar where you are, this land you tread.

There the Christians sleep. How painful it is to see the place of the dead disrespected and desecrated with so much lightness and even scandal and sin. In the cemetery we are respectful of a temple. Let us pray and meditate there. It is sacred place. The cemetery tells us that we are all brothers. All level in a tomb! Unlike the mausoleums and shallow graves, it does not take away from the cemetery the idea of ​​leveling, nothingness that we are, and the rottenness of a grave. What a lesson for the proud! And as we are to love in Christ, we who will be leveled after death until the resurrection of the flesh! Under a grave, all the same! There are no poor, no rich, no big or small.

We have already said, the Christian cemetery preaches to us the immortality of our soul. This is not all over. There it all begins. It is the door of eternity, the portico of the other life.

Then we think of the immortality of our soul. To look at a cemetery with the indifference of this crude materialism that reigns today is very sad and horrible because it despairs. Each grave is a heaven's door to the true Christian. A sowing where a body rests, which after rotted like the seed on earth, will arise resurrected to unite with the soul in eternity when the resurrection of the flesh comes. I will rise again one day! What a sweet hope of the Christian!

D. Cabról wrote: “The soul will one day return to animate this body that was its companion on earth and which made it work in the service of God. It will again take its mortal form, but an embellished, ennobled form, elevated to the height of glory. The sanctified soul will elevate this body to a degree of glory and bring it into heaven and impart to it the gifts of immortality and glory.

All this learns and meditates the Christian in a cemetery when he visits with faith and lives the spirit of the Church that sanctifies and blesses Campo Santo.


Cemetery visits

The more the lukewarm Christians and the modern pagans are horrified and flee the cemeteries, the more we who believe in the immortality of our souls and await the resurrection of the flesh must visit and love the holy field.

Let's visit the cemeteries. They will be our teachers, and in them we will remember the poor souls of purgatory.

St. Camille de Lellis and many other saints came the pious custom of visiting the dead and meditating on the graves. How many times only saint of the sick did not go deep into a meditation before the graves, saying to himself:

meditate on the fate of those who are already in eternity. Se If many of these dead could return to earth, how they would do penance and would work for their salvation! Now they know what a God and an eternity are, and what the vanities of the world are worth! ”

A visit to the cemeteries is recommended for our meditation and for the benefit of the deceased faithful. It is convenient to gather a little while passing in front of a holy field. Pray, reflect for a moment! Let us not be indifferent and cold as those who have no faith and do not expect the resurrection of the flesh.

The Holy Church, to encourage us, grants us several rich indulgences for the visit to the cemetery. During the eighth year of the dead, that is, from 2 to 9 November, the faithful who visit the cemetery and pray for the dead can profit from the following indulgences: “a plenary indulgence each day applied only to the deceased. And to all who visit the cemetery and pray for souls, a seven - year indulgence applicable only to the dead - PPP - 446).

Why these indulgences? Naturally to encourage us to pray for the dead in the place of the dead, and thus to embalm with prayer the sacred grave of those who sleep awaiting the awakening of Judgment at the last day.

In pastoral visits the Bishop sets aside a day for the dead. They are also worthy of the pastor's visit. It is the examination of the vigilant Pastor not only for canonical and liturgical reasons; The purpose is to encourage the faithful to pray for the deceased, to encourage the devotion of suffrage, to remember the great truths of our brand new ones.


For all this, what should we conclude?

The Church wants us to visit the cemeteries, let us not forget this work of charity. Do not beat that visit, how often for vanity and ostentation, on the day of All Souls, some crowns deposited in the tombs, tears that soon wipe and flowers that soon wither. This is not what the dead need.

Flowers prove friendship, we don't disapprove. They are a delicate manifestation of love. The tears do not condemn them. Did not Jesus weep at the tomb of Lazarus? But are we only in tears of sentimentality? We must suffocate the souls of our dear dead. We go to the cemeteries to help them and not just to comfort us and fulfill a social formality. Finally, let's visit the cemeteries as Christians, as those who believe in the resurrection of the flesh.



The converted Polish prince

The great preacher Father Lacordeire, in one of his lectures to the students of the College of Sorreze, tells the following fact when dealing with the immortality of the soul:

A disbelieving Polish prince, well known for his materialism, had written a book against the immortality of the soul. The book was already ready and about to enter the press, when passing through the garden came to meet a poor woman, bathed in tears, fell at her feet, saying: - “My dear sir, my husband died. Your soul must be in purgatory and you will suffer greatly. I am very poor, I have no money for a Mass spatula for your soul. Have the charity to give me a handout to have a Mass celebrated for the soul of my husband. ”

The incredulous prince took pity on the poor woman, and though he did not believe in the immortality of the soul and fought all belief, he reached into his pocket and found a gold coin. He immediately gave it to his wife. The poor thing, beaming with joy, went to the first church and commissioned several Masses for the soul of the late husband. Five days later, the prince reread the manuscripts of his book against the immortality of the soul. Suddenly, raising his head, he caught sight of a mysterious man who stood in front of his office desk. It was a peasant. - Prince, says the stranger, I come to thank you. I am the husband of that poor lady who a few days ago asked Your Highness for an alms to have Masses celebrated for the soul of the deceased husband, for my soul. Your Highness's charity has been so well accepted from God that I have been allowed to come to thank you for such great benefit.

At this the prince, moved, was converted, tore the originals of the wicked book he had written, threw them into the fire, and became a good Christian to death.


November 27th

The Appearances of Souls of the Purgatory

What are the apparitions?

There are prodigious facts and many apparitions of souls from purgatory. This might perhaps impress some and think that we may wish or seek, with some curiosity, to inquire into the fate of the dead or easily have communication with the souls of purgatory. What a dangerous illusion and how much superstition and belief around it! It is necessary to discern as well as the true of the false apparitions, and to show the thought of the Church and of the Holy Doctors to avoid confusion and illusions in such a grave and delicate matter. Because they are subject to mistakes and errors.

What is an apparition? It is a manifestation of the other world, of someone who comes to tell us what is going on there. Can we believe in the apparitions?

There are two equally harmful extremes. One who easily accepts all sorts of unexamined apparitions and does not have the prudence to study and expect the opinion of discerning persons, theologians, or higher ecclesiastical authorities who can safely discern the truth of such apparitions. It is a levity. So says the Scripture: I quote credit, levis est cord, who easily believes in everything, is light in heart, is a light spirit. However, to systematically and stubbornly reject every appearance, all supernatural facts, even if they have the signs of truth, is proof of much skepticism, pride, and can lead to unfaithfulness to grace, as Scripture implies: “who incredulus is infidehter atig He who is hard to believe proceeds against godliness.

A balance is needed here between the two extremes. A truly humble and obedient soul can never be mistaken. Another question is whether souls from another world can communicate with the living. Can they come back to earth whenever they want or when they want the living? We answered without hesitation, with the good doctrine of the Church and theologians: - no and no! This is only by the very special permission of God, seldom, and by miracle, for teaching and confirming the immortality of the soul, for the lesson of the living, or for help and suffrage.

Since our soul was separated from the body by death, it no longer has organs to communicate with men, it is pure spirit, and only by miracle can it become sensitive. Moreover, when the soul has left the body, it has already been delivered to Divine Justice, and it is in the place it deserved; heaven, hell or purgatory. It cannot without miracle come into communication with men. This miracle of the apparitions we find in Holy Scripture. Samuel appeared to the Pythoness of Endor and rebuked Saul for disturbing the rest of the dead. He showed the punishment reserved for this vain curiosity. In the death of Our Lord, St. Matthew tells us that the tombs opened and many dead appeared and were seen in Jerusalem. In the lives of the saints we find countless apparitions, and the Holy Church, in elevating the servants of God to the honor of the altars,it submits to a rigorous process all the facts and wonders that have narrated about them, although it does not pronounce on them. Therefore, there are true apparitions.


True and false apparitions

There are true and false apparitions. These are much more frequent than those.

How to distinguish them? There are signs by which we can easily get rid of mistakes and ward off the danger of diabolical illusion. We must always imitate the prudent reserve of the Holy Church in this matter. The Church admits of no revelation if it is not properly substantiated, yet it does not compel the faithful to believe it. No one is obliged to believe a particular revelation however it may have been. Nevertheless, once well-proven, it would be foolhardy to abuse with a systematic attitude of skepticism, before which saints and learned and balanced men accepted and proved in delusions.

Benedict XIV says that the faithful can believe and private revelations for the edification of the faithful can be published, as long as they are approved by ecclesiastical authority. Pope Urban VIII orders that when published, the author declares nothing to want to advance the judgments of the Church, and that such facts deserve only a human faith and do not matter and definition of the Holy Mother Church.


These are the cautions with which the Church surrounds apparitions.

There are also certain rules for discerning revelation according to the good authors of spirituality and the best theologians. Some refer to the people who receive the revelations, and others to the matter of the revelations and their effects. As for people, it is necessary to inquire about natural gifts. Is it a balanced temperament? Isn't it a psychoneurosis or hysterism?

In these cases, how many dangerous and difficult hallucinations to discern right from the start! As for the mental state, are you a discreet person, of right judgment, or of exalted imagination and of excessive sensitivity? Are you educated or ignorant? Where did you learn what you know? Would not your spirit be weakened by fasting or disease? As for morals, it is necessary to know if it is a sincere person or used to exaggerating and lying. Is it a calm temperament, or passionate and unbalanced? The answer to these questions will certainly not provide a solution to the proof of whether or not a true revelation exists, but it will greatly help to judge the value of the seers' witness.

As for the matter of apparitions, much attention is needed to judge them. According to the unanimous doctrine of the Doctors, in revelation can contradict dogma and what was taught by the Gospel. St. Paul says: Though an angel from heaven preach to you a different gospel than we preach, let him be anathema. God does not contradict himself. In false apparitions there are lies, grave theological errors, contradictions, and often things contrary to the laws of morality and decency.

Many people of very vivid imagination take their own thoughts for inner visions and utterances. Saint Teresa said: "It happens to certain people of such faint imagination that they imbibe themselves in the imagination that everything they think clearly seems to them to be seeing."


The apparitions of the souls of purgatory

After we have shown the true doctrine of the Church about revelations or apparitions, let us discuss the apparitions of holy souls. Can they appear to men? Yes, rarely and by God's permission. It is a grace to the one who has received the apparition and a grace to the poor soul, especially when God allows it to get help to get rid of the atoning flames. God enables him to excite our faith in the immortality of the soul and to better understand the fate of poor souls and we will seek to suffocate them with more zeal and charity. How to distinguish the true from the false apparitions of souls in purgatory? We have already given the main rules of this discernment according to doctrine and theology. Let's add some more.In the eighteenth century the wise Cardinal Good severely criticized the ease and levity with which many believed in supernatural revelations and gave some rules that may enlighten us many in the matter. Let's comment on them:

1st - "Every desired or provoked appearance is suspect." No one should want to see or talk to the dead, ask the fate of the dead, even if they do so for charity and to pray for them. No soul apparition of purgatory should be desired. It would be recklessness and presumption.

2nd - If appearance reveals hidden things would be better to keep silent about them, faults of others, teach things contrary to the dogma and the Gospel, abhors the holy water, the crucifix, etc., it is from that it is the Devil .

3st - The Purgatory souls usually appear to request prayers, recommending refunds, etc. And once this is done, they will not come back except to thank them. If an apparition becomes annoying day and night, threatens, disturbs the peace of a man or a family or community, it is a sure sign of the devil.

4ty - No one should accept services for the souls in purgatory that has been put to our disposal, to live with us, etc. It is pure illusion this or devilish thing.

5ty - all the good mystic theologians teach that the true apparitions soon principle disturb and frighten, but then throw the soul in a sweet peace, humility increases, excites the love of God and neighbor and produce a great desire for perfection. When one begins to brag about apparitions, to be worthy of them, to be vainly disturbed, to be filled with presumption, to irritate when superiors disregard their views and disobey, is a very sure sign of deception.

6ty - It is necessary that the apparitions are exposed candidly to a good director, without exaggeration or ellipses, or diminution of truth. And then stick to what he decides and blindly obey him. "

With these safe rules of good theologians and mystical authors, there will be no danger of illusion. God Our Lord in His mercy has allowed many revelations of the souls of purgatory. They really seem to be more numerous than any others. How much light on purgatory has not given us, for example, the revelations of a Saint Catherine of Genova! In this matter, let us be very prudent and careful and do not depart from the thought of the Holy Church and from the norms set forth above.



Purgatory in the visions of a Canadian mystic

On March 14, 1910, died in the city of Pointe Claire, Canada, an extraordinary woman, holy mother, a model wife and true Christian, Madame Brault, Maria Luiza Richard. The publication of the extraordinary and marvelous life of this great mystic recently caused a sensation all over the world, such as the tales of this woman who can be seen alongside Ana Taigi and the great mystics of the Church.

Endowed with a great simplicity, a well-balanced and sensitive spirit, a very proven and sincere piety, today it is perfectly verified that they were neither mystifying spirit nor any false visionary. Distinguished theologians and prelates examined facts, learned and enlightened confessors testified as reliable witnesses in examining the striking facts of the wonderful life of this great mystic of our century. Madame Brault had contact with the souls of purgatory and how the Holy Cure of Ars could bear witness to the fate of poor souls. She said crying, on a day of All Souls:

“The selfish people of the earth forget the dead. How cruel to the poor souls of purgatory is the abandonment of men! They say they love deceased parents and relatives! What a lie! We who love God must love our friends in purgatory every day of our lives. I had wanted to be able to suffer all the souls of purgatory alone in order to free them!

Madame Brault had many visions of the souls of purgatory. They asked him for prayers, Masses and sacrifices. The people she saw were sometimes unknown and made rigorous inquiries of dates, places, and circumstances, and found that mystification was impossible. The revelations of this mystic were striking. In 1905, a religious accompanied by another went to visit Madame Brault. “I don't want to visit this crazy woman,” said the novice master. - “Hey, my sister, don't say like that! Madam is so balanced and holy, so discreet and humble! After all they had an interview with her. It was a kind and simple talk. After a moment Madame Brault called her sister and said:

“My sister, do you no longer pray for your deceased relatives?”

"My relatives died long ago and were very good, they must be in heaven."

- Yes, your father and mother are in heaven. One brother, however, died suddenly at such a place and such a date, and a nephew. And you never prayed for them again. And I need to tell the nephew that he is going to be ordained, to say some masses for his uncle soon.

The nun was amazed at what she had heard. It was impossible that Madam had had such faithful information from her relatives. Another Sister had lost her father on July 31, 1903. Madame Brault told her: “Have confidence, Sister, your father is in heaven.

He had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, liked to pray the rosary and died on a Saturday. That same Saturday Our Lady brought him into heaven.

She had never heard of this man, and she could not know such a person.

“Let us be liberators from the souls of purgatory,” she repeated after the ecstasies.

Our Lord has given us the keys to the prison of purgatory: prayer, suffering, sacrifice ... ”

1. On December 21, 1907, in the relationship she was required to make in writing to her Spiritual Director, she saw a priest in purgatory. He was dressed in priestly ornaments and with a chalice all on fire. The hands looked gnawed and appeared to the bone. Whole body ulcers and horrible tortures. At the sight of this torment, Madame Brault groaned, “My Beloved, my Jesus, I want to suffer for this soul; Why not give me the grace to suffer more to relieve it?

2. Then I saw Jesus approaching the Priest and pouring his precious Blood on those wounds. The wounds healed and the poor priest's chains fell. Then my Jesus told me I would set that soul free through my prayers. The priest's face was clear of ulcers, the beautiful purple stole adorned his neck, and the vestments seemed brighter and more beautiful to me. Jesus told me that He would set the priest's soul free. "

3. On the day of All Souls 1908, he went to the cemetery to pray for the dead and saw Madame Brault, many dead who appeared to him coming out of the grave in heartbreaking grieving complaints: we are forgotten about our relatives! Do not pray for us! Our friends have forgotten us, abandoned us !!!

4. She made a Way of the Cross for the dead and withdrew very bitterly from the forgetfulness of the poor dead.

5. “I understand, she told the confessor, the martyrdom of the poor souls in the purging flames!” He saw a well-known priest in purgatory who said to him: “I suffer so much for praying my breviary so often without thinking that I spoke to God and routine, and also for my little preparation and very quick thanksgiving after Holy Mass. "

6. Finally it would be long to narrate the impressive visions of Madame Brault's purgatory, the great mystic of our day. The biography of this extraordinary woman was published by Br. Louis Bouhier, SS, former parish priest of the seer. It is the work "A Canadian Mystique - Vie extraordinaire de Madame Brault" - Beauchemin Edition, 1941.


November 28th


Can purgatory be avoided?

There is generally the notion among many that it is impossible to enter heaven soon after death, especially when one thinks of God's Justice, Divine Holiness, and human misery. Purgatory is not always inevitable. Purgatory can be avoided, and it is God's will for us to do everything in this world to deserve heaven soon. It's impossible! It's hard! ... Yes, hard, no doubt, but impossible, never! Let us not say so many: as long as I find a place in purgatory ... By humility, and indeed, we may speak thus, but by cowardice and to loosen ourselves in the work of our perfection, we can never say, nor do so. We must do everything to prevent purgatory. “Here, said Santa Catarina of Genova, we pay one, the debt of a thousand, and in the next life we ​​need a thousand to pay a ...It is in our hands to earn much and prepare the entrance of heaven shortly after death.

Saint Teresa saw souls enter heaven without having passed through purgatory.

Trying to avoid purgatory is the best way to get rid of it. Let us avoid venial sin, be faithful to our duty, have a great purity of intention in our actions. Let us do many works of charity, flee from all vanity and hypocrisy in our actions, be sincere, humble, simple, have patience in our sufferings, be resigned to God's will in all things. How many ways we can avoid purgatory!

Let us care for purity of conscience and purity of intention. It is not impossible to escape from purgatory. It is in our hands. A fervent soul burns in this world in the flames of Divine Love that purifies each day more and sanctifies itself so that the gates of heaven will soon be opened to them.

Making efforts to prevent purgatory is not, as some say, cowardly. It is to glorify God, it is to stimulate our perfection, it is to respond to grace with generosity, in short, it is one of the powerful and effective parent means of sanctification;

We have a lot of misery and weakness. Let us live in a state of compunction, contrite and humble. Let us not have the presumption that loses so many souls and causes them to wait for heaven with so little sacrifice!

While we are in this world, we are the millionaires of grace and the treasures of redemption. We are happier than the saints in heaven and the souls in purgatory.

They can no longer deserve, nor work for the salvation and glory of heaven, as we now. So why not enjoy these infinite riches? One of the greatest torments of poor souls is remorse. What a rodent worm! They thought that they could have suffered so little and worked a little more, and they would already be in heaven and would have saved so many souls and done so well when they were in this world, and wasted the treasures of the Precious Blood of Jesus and now suffer so much! They could have avoided purgatory ... What about us?


Means of avoiding purgatory

The first and only true is to avoid venial sin and all imperfection except those almost impossible to human frailty. Without special privilege it is not possible for man to avoid all faults, says the Council of Trent. At least let's fight and have good will. Let us have a horror of sin, even venial. We have given much importance to perfection, especially the religious, to the observance of the Holy Rule. There are other ways to avoid purgatory. Among them, the sacramental means - Baptism. A newly baptized soul that dies is free from all sorrow, has heaven immediately. Happy are the innocent and happy little children, those who died of baptismal innocence.

Frequent confession, well practiced, with sincere repentance, with ever-changing life, is a powerful means of vigilance, of combating faults and imperfections. A weekly or fortnightly confession to profit the indulgences, and routine confession, well prepared, well contrite, as the soul purifies and goes about doing its purgatory in this life! How powerful is the acquittal which the priest gives us; and sacramental penance, though so small, has much value for the remission of the temporal penalty.

And the Eucharist? Does it not erase venial sin and purify us more and more, giving us strength to fight? Oh, can the Eucharistic souls, united to the Lord in the intimacy of His Love, burning in the flames of this Love, fear the flames of purgatory?

Purify yourselves very well for Communion here on earth, which will be purifying for the eternal Vision of heaven shortly after death. A truly eucharistic soul does not fear purgatory. Then we have the richness of the Extreme Anointing and the Apostolic Blessing at the time of death. We will speak later of these means, keys of heaven and liberators of purgatory. Moreover, the religious, for example, have the merits of common life, the indulgences of the religious Order or Institute, the penances, the meditations, the good readings, in short, the multitude of spiritual resources that are well used scrupulously every day without Let them surrender themselves to extraordinary and difficult and even impossible things, how many ways to avoid purgatory with simple fidelity to the Rule! Perfect observance, as St. Bernard says, can lead from the cell to the sky. “From cella ad coelum”.

Purgatory will avoid simple and innocent souls, those ignorant poor people who have always lived in deep humility to serve God in the simplicity of their hearts. How many of these beloved little ones of Our Lord after the sufferings of this life do not pass directly to heaven!

In short, it is God's secret, the unfathomable mystery. And the charity? Have we not been promised one hundred by one and the kingdom of heaven by the good works of mercy? Who can doubt that a charitable soul who spent his life doing good to the poor and wretched will not have heaven soon after death? Oh yes, we can avoid purgatory, and I will say more, we must avoid purgatory. This is the will of God!


Extreme Anointing and Apostolic Indulgence

Extreme Anointing has the power to open the gates of heaven to us. It is the opinion of the angelic Saint Thomas: “The Extreme Anointing ends the spiritual healing of man and makes everything that could prevent him from entering glory and consummate his preparation for eternal life disappear from his soul.

It naturally supposes that the sick receive it with the proper dispositions. Extreme Anointing is like the complement of penance. It redeems sins and it makes the remnants of sin disappear. One of the effects of Extreme Anointing is to fortify the soul against the exaggerated fear of death and to help it conform fully to God's will. Only this act of conformity, says St. Alphonsus, can take a soul straight to heaven without going through purgatory, because it is an act of charity of great value. Finally, what an unknown treasure is the Extreme Anointing, and so many stop receiving it in the extreme hour because relatives and friends, afraid of scaring the sick, deprive him of this resource! In his moral theology, St. Alphonsus tells this vision: He perceived in purgatory the soul of a man known to him and it was revealed to him that this man would not have died of the disease that led to his grave if he had received the Extreme Anointing.

The virtue of the Sacrament would have healed him and freed him from such painful and less long purgatory than he was suffering.

Why then leave the sick without Extreme anointing, on the pretext that it is the sacrament that kills, hastens death, and frightens the sick? One of the effects of the sacrament is also to heal the body, and most of all, to heal the soul of all the evils and consequences of sin, and to open the gates of heaven to them. The Church, our Mother, has another treasure at our disposal at the last hour: it is plenary or apostolic indulgence. This indulgence can soon open heaven. See the priest's prayers as he gives them to the sick: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, who gave the Blessed Apostle Peter the power to turn on and off, by his most mercy, receive your confession and restore you the first stole you received at Baptism. And I, by the faculty given to me by the Apostolic See, grant you plenary indulgence and the remission of all sins in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. ”

What a beauty! The innocence of baptism restored to a sin at the time of death! Is not the gate of heaven? And the priest adds, to confirm absolution: "For the Sacred Humanity and the mysteries of human reparation, may the Almighty God forgive you all the pains of this and future life, open to you the gates of paradise and lead you to eternal happiness."

Will there be greater wealth for a Christian? Even the penalties of the afterlife, that is to say purgatory, are redeemed by plenary indulgence. Let us meditate well on the prayers and rite of the Extreme Anointing, let us always prepare ourselves to receive at the last hour with the proper dispositions to plenary or apostolic indulgence.

Here are how many ways to avoid purgatory at our disposal! Is it not true that we can get rid of purgatory?



The Auxiliary Sisters of Purgatory

On November 21, 1855 a pious young woman read in a pamphlet, “The Month of Purgatory”, by an unknown author, this prophetic and supplicating page: “O Holy Spirit, you have, at different times, raised religious orders of every kind for all. the needs of the militant church. O Father of Lights, full of compassion and zeal for the dead, we beseech you, arouse also in favor of the suffering Church a new order whose main purpose is to be occupied day and night in the relief and liberation of souls from purgatory ”. ..

The one who read this, moved and inspired, was Miss Eugênia Maria José Desmet.

She has always been a godly soul, and since she was a little girl she had a fervent devotion to the souls of purgatory and a penchant for the poor and miserable, whom she always sought lovingly to support. Having so much inspiration from the founding of a work to help the souls of purgatory, he could no longer rest. He was a sincere soul, a very balanced spirit and nothing subject to fantasies. On the same day, November 1st, as she leaves the church, Miss Desmet meets a friend who tells her about the need for an association in favor of the souls in purgatory. It was a very strange coincidence! The godly girl knew that action was necessary, but she was afraid of delusions, and she asked Our Lord for some signs of her Holy Will. I wanted five graces: the Pope's blessing for the work - the approval of several bishops - the swift extension of the association - a number of godly souls destined for this apostolate - and a priest who had the same idea.

In less than two years, he achieved everything he wanted. The project was presented to Pius IX, who approved it wholeheartedly. Several bishops, including the Archbishop of Paris, gave their blessing and approval quickly. The priest who had the same idea would be the Holy Cure d'Ars. Miss Desmet never saw or wrote to the Cura d'Ars, but through the Holy Father's coadjutant Father Tocanier, he was consulted. St. John Vianney said, "Tell her, you mean M. Desmet, tell her to establish a congregation for the souls in purgatory when she wants."

The lady was not satisfied yet. I wanted the Holy Cure d'Ars to meditate and pray to know if it was God's will for the project. He did so. On a Day of the Dead, the Saint went to his knees for a long time, prayed hard, and rising up with tear-stained eyes, said to Father Tocanier: “The work is inspired by God, it was God who inspired such a dedication. Two things can be sure;

I approve of this lady's vocation to religious life and the foundation of this congregation, which is to spread rapidly throughout the Church; there is a work that our Lord has been asking for a long time. ”

Regarding the novitiate, Cura d'Ars said: “few to begin with, but well chosen and of good seed…

The feet. Olivant could later say of the founders: she is a handful of elite souls.

What is the end of the Institute in the works? It was also the Cura d'Ars that inspired him: to work for the souls of purgatory, devoting himself to charitable works.

You will accomplish, I told the founders, you will realize the fullness of the spirit of Jesus Christ while relieving its suffering members on earth and in purgatory. ”

On January 19, 1856, E Agenia Smet arrived in Paris and retired with some God-raised companions in a modest residence. Three days later he went to look for Archbishop Mons. Sibour, who received her with great affection and promised to do everything for the work. In June of the same year the Congregation was established. Many trials came. In a short time the death of the Archbishop and the Holy Cure d'Ars. Nevertheless, the work prospered. On February 27, 1871, Pius IX gave the brief of approval and Leo XIII, in 1878, approved the Constitutions.

The Little Sisters of Purgatory opened houses in other nations and even went to China to carry out their program: glorifying God by helping the souls in purgatory, alleviating all human misery.

Mother Mary of Providence was the name of Miss Smet in religion.

This holy creature was admirable! He went through painful trials, but it all won heroically. The Cura d'Ars had prophesied many crosses to him: “your crosses are flowers that will bear much fruit. Only you will know one day how much suffering it will cost you to steady your work. But if God be with you, who will be against you? ”The prophecy came true. "The suffering Church must have martyrs in this world, said Mother Mary of Providence." She also said, groaning in pain in her sickness: “love suffering and suffering loving to give you souls, O my Jesus!” It is necessary to suffer to pay so many graces!

In the Institute of Little Sisters of Purgatory two devotions are cultivated with love: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Divine Providence. Piety and devotion to Mary Most Holy is all in the work under the invocation of Our Lady of Divine Providence. Each day and every hour the Sisters will repeat: "My God, we offer to the souls of purgatory all the acts of love for which the Sacred Heart of Jesus glorified you at this very hour when He was on earth."

Isn't that a beautiful invocation we can also adopt?

Pray, suffer, work! It was the motto of Mother Mary of Providence, founder of Little Sisters of Purgatory. Be our motto: pray, suffer and work for the souls of purgatory! - (Vie de la R, M. Marie de la Providence.)


November 29th


We are obliged to execute with justice and conscience the last wills of our dead. What we were asked to die on the deathbed, what we left in our will be respected, for we will give God severe account of this tremendous injustice if we harm the rights of the dead and do not fulfill their last wills.

The poor souls in purgatory are victims of God's righteousness, because they must atone for their sins, and often also for the injustices of men.

Heirs who defraud the goods of the dead and do not even remember to suffocate their poor soul with one Mass! Children who argue and hate each other for a miserable inheritance and commit all manner of injustice, mutually harming each other in mad ambition, instead of peacefully honoring their parents' memory and abiding by the wills of their wills. It is one of the most tremendous injustices.

Harming the living is a sin, but harming the dead by taking away their suffrages out of injustice is a sin that can only bring God's vengeance. The Holy Spirit says that there will be a merciless judgment for those who have not shown mercy. “What tremendous and harsh judgment should not be that of defrauding the rights of the dead?

To harm a poor man, said the Fourth Council of Carthage, is to make himself a murderer of the poor. ” That it is not what hurts the right of poor souls?

Let us fulfill the last wills of our dead with great scruple and care, because, alas! From us if we don't! Tremendous punishment has been seen to weigh on those who steal the rights of the deceased. If you have left legacy for Masses, money for charity, property for certain purposes, let us respect these wishes!

Let us execute our wills as soon as possible. Especially let us not delay the Masses left to be celebrated. It is a danger! Take good note of the latest recommendations from the dying. The Council of Trent urges the Bishops to carefully monitor the fulfillment of the legacies made by the deceased faithful. Several councils even excommunicate those who commit injustice and fraud in the legacy, especially of Masses. We must comply as soon as possible. Delays often mean great suffering in purgatory for the dead and harm to the living.

Beware of wills! Try not to surrender, except in safe hands, the legacies of Masses. They are the most serious and important. According to many particular revelations, these injustices have cost many years and even centuries of purgatory! Do not steal what is the right of the deceased faithful!

Let us remember the stern expressions of the Council of Carthage: "Egentium necatores" - they are murderers of needy souls, those who read their wills and do not fulfill the last wills of the dead. Quickly, without hesitation, let us be faithful and quick to fulfill the last wills of the dead. This will get rid of many punishments.

Do not play as a severe judgment of God in defending the rights of the dead!

Respect the dead!


30th of November


Purgatory Lessons

Before you suffer now ... after ... then it will be terrible! Now our prayers, alms sacrifices have some infinite value for the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. We can do for ourselves, that is, win for our soul here, and for the souls who suffer in purgatory. Then ... ah !, when our souls are separated from our bodies, we will be able to account for even an idle word, as the Gospel says, and pay even the last of our debts to God.

Now how much merit and wealth for eternal life!

Let us enjoy the treasure of God's mercy. Let us not abuse grace.

Above all, let us enjoy the infinite treasure of Holy Mass.

It is the best we can give to the souls of our loved ones. Holy Mass is the first and largest suffrage for the dead. By her our sins are blotted out and the souls of purgatory relieved.

St Jerome, one of the great Doctors of the Church, states: While the priest celebrates Holy Mass, many souls are released from purgatory.

And St. Leonardo of Port Maurice, the great Missionary and Apostle, speaks indignantly of those who forget their beloved dead and do not suffocate their souls, who may suffer in the atoning flames: Let me tell you, speaks the Holy One, if there are miserly people and without a heart she does not serve or command one Mass to be celebrated for her dead, and even deflects legates and alms from suffrage. Worse than the demons. The demons torment the damned and they torment the holy souls of purgatory!

Oh Let us not forget our grave duties to our dead!

For God's sake, let us go: suffrages, prayers, sacrifices, alms for the blessed souls of purgatory!

We will see how many graces will come to us from heaven given this charity! Ingratitude never entered purgatory, said Santa Margarida Maria. What we do for souls we will receive a hundred for one and the kingdom of heaven.

The dogma of purgatory contains teachings of a true school of perfection. Whoever thinks what he is and what he suffers after this life for atonement and purification of the soul before seeing God, would not have the pride and carelessness of his perfection, as we see today in so many godly, even forgotten, souls. of the tremendous reality of purgatory.

The more we think about purgatory, the more we try to avoid or mitigate it.

Descendamus in infernum vivenies, ne descendamus morientes, said Saint Bernard. That is, let us go down to hell by meditation while we are alive, not to go there after our death.

So too do the thoughts of purgatory. Let us, yes, let us always meditate on this truth, so that the healthy impression it causes us will help us to strive for perfection, to seek a little more zeal for our sanctification.

A holy soul said: Oh! If men knew what it will cost them in the other life, the life of sin they lead, they would change their course!

The Luck of Souls in Our Hands One day of All Souls, the great king of French sacred oratory reminded the faithful of his day of these truths that I find it good and useful to remind my readers today:

“Christians, allow me a reflection from which I feel penetrated and I expect from you the same. We are zealous for the glory of God, but in our ignorance it is inexcusable rudeness not to apply this zeal, often properly in the true interests of God, an example.

We admire these apostolic men who, led by the Divine Spirit, cross the seas and will win to God the souls of the infidels in barbaric countries. Do you know, however, that the devotion to the souls of purgatory, the relief and release of these poor souls, is a work of zeal which is no less than the conversion of the pagans, and in some ways surpasses it?

As? I will ask. Yes, because the souls of purgatory, holy and predestined souls, confirmed in grace, are incomparably nobler than those of the pagans. They are now in a more proper state of God's glorification than the heathen ...

The souls who suffer in purgatory are in a state of violence, because privates are in God's sight. But you must know, purgatory is a state of violence to God Himself. Now what is this state of violence toward God? Hey him:

In purgatory God sees souls and loves them with sincere love, the love of a tender father. And yet it can do them no good.

Souls full of merit, virtue, and holiness who cannot yet receive the reward. It is up to us to liberate these souls. And God, so merciful, must punish them. The love of God is a flood that will flood the holy souls in heaven, and yet, by the violence of their righteousness, must purify them in the atoning flames. ”

In our hands is therefore the fate of souls in purgatory. And shall we not help them?

Go, exclaims St. Bernard, fly to the rescue of the souls of purgatory. Intercede for them with your prayers. Offer for them the holy sacrifice of the Mass!

The fate of suffering souls is in our hands. Says Holy Scripture:

Fair benefit and inventions retribuitionem magnam. Do good to the righteous, and you will have great reward. The souls of purgatory are holy souls of the righteous, full of merit and virtue. How holy in those atoning flames! Well

Everything we do for them will have a great reward. It is the word of God that guarantees us!



The month of November is over. I hope it was for you, dear readers as I asked you, a month of much suffrage and charitable remembrance of the dead.

The dogma of purgatory is always to be remembered. It is good for our souls and the souls of our dear dead.

So let's go to the resolutions:

1st - Not to spend a day without praying for the souls in purgatory.

2nd - Let us offer charity to the dead, alms to the poor.

3st - Let us fulfill the duty of justice and charity by having Holy Mass celebrated by a soul of our loved ones, parents, relatives and benefactors.

4ty - Instead of much funeral pomp and tears of despair, suffrage, suffrage and pious meditation of purgatory.

Finally, let us choose November each year to relieve the blessed souls for special suffrages. Every Monday, if possible, attendance at Mass, a Communion, a Rosary for the souls of purgatory, especially the most abandoned.

Devotion to the souls of purgatory is the great devotion of the hour. It has never been more necessary as in these calamitous times. So many die every day and so many poor abandoned souls!

What's more, this devotion offers us the advantages:

1st - Increase our merit for charity. It is a source of inner peace.

2nd - We are sure to be pleasing to Our Lord, the Blessed Mary, and the Paradise Elect. And did not St. Thomas say that prayer for the dead is more pleasing to God than we do for the living?

3ty - The holy souls know their benefactors and ... ingratitude never entered purgatory.

4ty - This devotion, says Bourdalone, is a sign of predestination. Who has it has as a character, a seal of predestined. Oh, said the celebrated speaker, if God would make known to me a liberated woman from purgatory through my prayers, with what confidence would I not invoke her!

After our death God will inspire our friends and relatives to do for us what we have done for holy souls.

Those who pray for souls, said Pope Hadrian VI, oblige them to recognize and pray also for their benefactors.

“Everything we offer for charity to the deceased turns into merits for us, and after death we will find these merits,” writes St. Ambrose.

We may ask for divine protection by suffrage to holy souls. It is such a meritorious act of charity that our prayer soon touches the Divine Heart of Jesus.

How sweet and comforting to be able to pray for the dead, to live in union with them for the sacrifice of the altar and our prayers!

Indeed, holy and wholesome is the thought of praying for the dead, in the words of the Maccabees of the Holy Book.

Requiem aeternam dona behold, Domine! Give them, Lord, eternal rest!



Affiliate Piety Rewarded

In Ravenna, Italy, lived a poor father-and-mother orphan boy, given over to the care of an elder brother who mistreated him greatly. The poor little victim of mistreatment was a child of a living intelligence, of a great heart, and very godly. One day, passing a street, you find a silver coin. A smile of joy came to his lips discolored by misery. At least that day I would have some money to eat. He was so weak from hunger roaming the streets. Then he thought for a moment, "My father is dead." Maybe you should be in purgatory and suffer a lot. I prefer to starve to death without leaving the soul of my poor dad.

He enters a church, looks for a priest, and says, “Father, I found this silver coin and I think of my father's poor soul, which must be in purgatory. I am very poor, and my father without help.

The priest found it admirable in a child. Asked the origin of the little one, he noticed that he was a living boy and very intelligent and pious, because he had received a good religious formation from his parents, already dead. He decided to adopt the boy; he collected him at home, gave him education and studies, and later became a priest and a great talent, a genius, a holy Doctor of the Church: St. Peter Damian.

See how Our Lord rewards those who care for the souls of purgatory, and above all rewards the filial piety of those who not only mourn but do not forget the suffrage and Holy Mass for their dead parents.

It is a duty of justice and charity to pray for dead parents.