How A Hermit Interceded For The Soul Of St. Elizabeth Of Portugal’s Daughter, Queen Constance In Purgatory 

How A Hermit Interceded For The Soul Of St. Elizabeth Of Portugal’s Daughter, Queen Constance In Purgatory 

St. Elizabeth’s Daughter Queen Constance in Purgatory.

After the death of her daughter Constance, Saint Elizabeth of Portugal learned the pitiful state of the deceased in Purgatory and the price which God exacted for her ransom. The young princess had been previously married for a short time to the King of Castile, when she was snatched away by sudden death from the affection of her family and her subjects. 

Elizabeth had just received these tidings, and set out with the King, her husband, for the city of Santarem, when a hermit, coming forth from his solitude, ran after the royal cortege, crying that he wished to speak to the Queen. The guards repulsed him, but the saint, seeing that he persisted, gave orders that the servant of God should be brought to her. As soon as he came into her presence, he related that more than once, whilst he was praying in his hermitage, Queen Constance had appeared to him, urgently entreating him to make known to her mother that she was languishing in the depths of Purgatory, that she was condemned to long and terrible suffering, but that she would be delivered if for the space of a year, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated for her every day. 

The courtiers who heard this communication ridiculed him aloud, and treated the hermit as a visionary, an impostor, or a fool. As to Elizabeth, she turned towards the King and asked him what he thought of it? “I believe,” replied the Prince, “that it is wise to do that which has been pointed out to you in so extraordinary a manner. After all, to have Masses celebrated for our dear deceased relatives is nothing more than a paternal and Christian duty”. 

A holy priest, Ferdinand Mendez, was appointed to say the Masses. At the end of the year, Constance appeared to St. Elizabeth, clad in a brilliant white robe. “Today, dear mother,” said she, “I am delivered from the pains of Purgatory, and am about to enter Heaven”. Filled with consolation and joy, the saint went to the church to return thanks to God. There she found the priest Mendez, who assured her that on the previous day he had finished the celebration of the three hundred and sixty-five Masses with which he had been charged. The Queen then understood that God had kept the promise which He had made to the pious hermit, and she testified her gratitude by distributing abundant alms to the poor.

Prayer For The Poor Souls.

My God! I recommend to Thee, the souls of my relations, my benefactors, my friends, and my enemies, and of those who are in purgatory on my account. I recommend to Thee the souls of evangelical laborers, of Religious and priests, and especially of those who had charge of my soul. I recommend to Thee the souls of those who were most devout to the passion of Our Lord, to the Blessed Sacrament, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the souls who are most abandoned, those who suffer most, and those who are nearest to the entrance into paradise.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. And may the divine assistance always remain with us and bring us to life everlasting. Amen.

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