Tag: souls in Purgatory

The Pains Of Purgatory Far Surpasses The Worst Pain On Earth. 

The Pains Of Purgatory Far Surpasses The Worst Pain On Earth. 

The Pains of Purgatory Far Surpasses The Worst Pain on Earth.

That which shows still more the rigour of Purgatory is that the shortest period of time there appears to be of very long duration. Every one knows that days of enjoyment pass quickly and appear short, whilst the time passed in suffering we find very long. Oh, how slowly pass the hours of the night for the poor sick, who spend them in sleeplessness and pain. We may say that the more intense the pain, the longer appears the shortest duration of time. This rule furnishes us with a new means of estimating the sufferings of Purgatory.

We find in the Annals of the Friar Minors, under the year 1285, a fact which is also related by St. Antoninus in his Summa. A religious man, suffering for a long time from a painful malady, allowed himself to be overcome by discouragement, and entreated God to permit him to die, that he might be released from his pains. He did not think that the prolongation of his sickness was a mercy of God, who wished to spare him more severe suffering. 

In answer to his prayer, God charged His angel-guardian to offer him his choice, either to die immediately and submit to the pains of Purgatory for three days, or to bear his sickness for another year and then go directly to Heaven. The sick man, having to choose between three days in Purgatory and one year of suffering upon earth, did not hesitate, but took the three days in Purgatory. 

After the lapse of an hour, his angel went to visit him in his sufferings. On seeing him, the poor patient complained that he had been left so long in those torments. “And yet,” he added, “you promised that I should remain here but three days. “How long,” asked the angel, “do you think you have already suffered?” “At least for several years,” he replied, “and I had to suffer but three days.” “Know,” said the angel, “that you have been here only one hour. The intensity of the pain deceives you as to the time; it makes an instant appear a “day,and an hour years.” Alas! then,” said he with a sigh, “I have been very blind and inconsiderate in the choice I have made. Pray God, my good angel, to pardon me, and permit me to return to earth. I am ready to submit to the most cruel maladies, not only for two years, but as long as it shall please Him. Rather six years of horrible suffering than one single hour in this abyss of unutterable agonies”.

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The following is taken from a pious author quoted by Father Rossignoli. Two Religious, of eminent virtue, lived a holy life. One of them fell sick, and learned in a vision that he was going to die soon, and that he was going to remain in purgatory only until the first Mass is celebrated for the repose of his soul. Full of joy at these revelation, he hastened to reveal them to his friend, and entreated him not to delay the celebration of the Mass which was to open heaven to him. He died the following morning, and his holy companion lost no time in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the mass. 

After Mass, whilst he was making his thanksgiving, and still continuing to pray for his departed friend, the departed friend appeared to him radiant with glory, but in a tone sweetly plaintive he asked why that one Mass of which he stood in need had been so long delayed. “My blessed brother,” replied the Religious,”I delayed so long, you say ? I do not understand you. “What! did you not leave me to suffer for more than a year before offering Mass for the repose of my soul?”. “Indeed, my dear brother, I commenced Mass immediately after your death, not a quarter of an hour had elapsed.” Then, regarding him with emotion, the blessed soul cried out, “How terrible are those expiatory pains, since they have caused me to mistake minutes for a year. Serve God, my dear brother, with an exact fidelity, in order that you may avoid those chastisements. Farewell! I fly to heaven, where you will soon join me.”

This severity of Divine Justice in regard to the most fervent souls is explained by the infinite Sanctity of God,who discovers stains in that which appears to us most pure. The Annals of the Order of St. Francis speak of a Religious whose eminent sanctity had caused him to be surnamed Angelicus. He died in odour of sanctity at the monastery of the Friars Minors in Paris, and one of his brethren in religion, a doctor in theology, persuaded that, after a life so perfect, he had gone directly to Heaven, and that he stood in no need of prayers, omitted to celebrate for him the three Masses of obligation which, according to the custom of the Institute, were offered for each departed member.

After a few days, whilst he was walking and meditating in a retired spot, the deceased appeared before him enveloped in flames, and said to him, in a mournful voice,“Dear master, I beg of you have pity upon me!” “What! Brother Angelicus, do you need my assistance?” “I am detained in the fires of Purgatory, awaiting the fruit of the Holy Sacrifice which you should have offered three times for me.” “Beloved brother, I thought you were already in possession of eternal glory. After a life so fervent and exemplary as yours had been, I could not imagine that there remained any pain to be suffered.” “Alas! alas!” replied the departed, “no one can believe with what severity God judges and punishes His creatures. His infinite Sanctity discovers in our best actions defective spots, imperfections which displease Him. He requires us to give an account even to the last farthing“.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

~Source:

Purgatory Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints” by Rev. F.X. Schouppe.

Purgatory Intercessor: Blessed Eugenie Smet’s Charity For The Holy Souls.

Purgatory Intercessor: Blessed Eugenie Smet’s Charity For The Holy Souls.

Charity for the souls in Purgatory is one of the most touching characteristics of our Catholic Church. From the earliest ages of Christianity, prayers and good works have been offered for the dead bonding the Church Militant with the Church Suffering.

However, it was not until the late 19th Century that a special Order was created for the relief and deliverance of the faithful departed through spiritual and temporal works of mercy. The Order of the Holy Souls Helpers, is one of the most beautiful stones that marked the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Founded with the special purpose of assisting the souls in Purgatory by the various means which God has revealed, this religious Order of women rose at a providential epoch.

In a century very much like our own, where material interests, indifference alternated with unbelief, the ancient practices of prayers and Masses for the dead had been for the most part swept away.

When God intends to manifest that He is, so to speak, the original Author of any special work,” says Father Garside:

“often he writes His cipher on some lowly heart which the world ignores; He comes suddenly and foreshadows to it some indication of His will, the full meaning of which will not be clearly unfolded, until the divinely chosen hour shall have arrived for its executions.”

So it was with the origin of the Helpers of the Holy Souls. This order existed only as a pious idea in the heart of a young girl destined to be its foundress, Eugenie-Marie-Joseph Smet. (Blessed Sister Mary of Providence).

As a little girl she would puzzle her playmates by a remark, “the souls are in prison, a fire, but the Good God asks us only for a prayer to let them out and we don’t say it.” As a young woman, she once said to an Archbishop: “Day and night I am pursued by the same thought: one does not pray enough for the dead. Hundreds of thousands of people die every day. Where is there a community devoted exclusively to the relief and deliverance of these dear souls?”

Considering that there was not in the Church, any religious institute for which the principal end was the relief of the Holy Souls, she set herself to work with great zeal. The Cure d’ Ars encouraged her by telling her that it was the will of God and “a realization of the love of the Heart of Jesus.” Like a burning brand the words from Ars were lodged within her spirit. The pledge of future fire. With five companions she pronounced her vows and launched her work in Paris on December 27, 1856.

She offered herself as a victim of expiation for these souls. All her prayers, all her mortifications, all her heroic acts were offered for them.

Blessed Mary had incredible nuggets of great wisdom and insight:

“If we enter on the royal road of the Cross, each trial or sorrow will be a station before which we shall kneel to adore the hand of Providence, and the last station on that road will be the gate of Heaven.

Who but Jesus can satisfy these hungry hearts of ours, starving as they are for happiness! If we thirst after God, we must thirst for everything that draws us closer to Him.

Let us make no other projects than to do God’s will. If the souls in purgatory could exchange places with us, how gladly they would suffer, and how slight our sufferings seem to them! Those who cannot suffer cannot love.

Fear nothing but not to do perfectly God’s will. You feel as if you did nothing, knew nothing, and felt nothing. Never mind; the good God will contrive to weave a crown for you out of all the nothings you have offered up for His love.

Personal sanctification is the first step towards apostleship. Before we can follow the martyrs to distant lands, we must vigorously accept daily martyrdom of minute sacrifices. If we only knew what benefit it procured for the souls in Purgatory.

Whenever anything happens, I say to myself, It has happened; and so it is God who allowed it to happen. I will not puzzle myself anymore with those two words, “why” and “how.”

Oh, let us put on Jesus Christ’s livery with joy and love and thus, clothed, descend continually into purgatory, to give the poor souls, by our acts, our sufferings, and our prayers, all the hope and consolation expressed by the Name of Jesus.

The souls in purgatory suffer without a moment’s interruption. Their helpers must never cease a moment to assist them. How could we think of rest on earth? Let us then be docile instruments in God’s hands. It is a marvelous mystery of love that He should make use of nothing and accomplish something.

Holy suffering souls, who can obtain so many graces for us, remember us in the midst of your sufferings. I will work unceasingly to obtain for you the joys of heaven and I know you will plead for me.”

She always exercised charity towards her neighbor and at the same time and by the same acts, for the relief of the souls in Purgatory and of the poor of the earth. Offering to God for the holy souls the spiritual and corporal works of mercy done for the living.

Purgatory had found the way into the depths of her being: 

“Today I feel as thought my hands were on fire. I am burning…My God may I burn with love for You! Like St. Catherine of Genoa, she had entered into myserious participation in the pains of Purgatory, feeling its fire in her members, and the uanppeased hunger and thirst for God: “I feel within me, an inconceivable hunger and thrist for God. We must help souls to reach the object of their creation, never lose its urgency.”

Charity, charity, charity, for the suffering souls is our call. The first Mother of the Helpers of the Holy Souls will live; the flame of Blessed Mary of Providence can never die.

Let us pray that we carry that flame of love for our holy heroes to the ends of the earth and may we never be classed with those whom St. Bernard describes as producing “much weeping but no fruit, and who are more to be pitied themselves than the dead whose loss they mourn!”

~Excerpted from an article written by Susan Tassone.

A Soul In Purgatory Leaves Proof Of Purgatory As She Request For Prayers.

A Soul In Purgatory Leaves Proof Of Purgatory As She Request For Prayers.

The burnt print of the right hand of Sister Teresa Gesta

A Religious sister in Purgatory appears to another sister asking for prayers and leaves a proof of Purgatory.

Fr. Shouppe relates in his book on Purgatory that Teresa Gesta, a religious of the Franciscan Sisters in Foligno, Italy, who had served many years as a mistress of novices and was a model of fervor and charity, died suddenly on November 4, 1859, of a stroke of apoplexy. Twelve days later, the soul of Teresa appeared to Sister Anna Felicia in the sacristy of the same Convent. Sister Felicia described it:

“Then the room was filled with a thick smoke, and the spirit of Sister Teresa appeared, moving towards the door and gliding along by the wall. Having reached the door, she cried aloud, ‘Behold a proof of the mercy of God.’ 

“Saying these words, she struck the upper panel of the door and there left the print of her right hand, burnt in the wood as with a red-hot iron. She, then, disappeared.” 

Because of this apparition, Teresa Gesta’s body was exhumed, and the hand of the deceased, remarkable for its especially small size, fit perfectly into the impression mark. All of this is well documented. If one were to visit that Convent’s chapel today, he would find that very handprint on the upper panel of the door. 

Such a demonstration should help alleviate the skepticism of those who find such stories to be “fantastic” or even “fanatical” and, therefore, not worthy of belief. 

Since this apparition, as well as other visitations of suffering souls, took place in the 19th century, this should counter the tendency to view these stories as “medieval” or something out of the so called “dark” ages. 

God sends us such proofs of His justice to counter the skepticism that leads, not just those outside the Church but even otherwise good Catholics within, to consider these divine manifestations unpalatable to modern ears. Our Lord could rightly say of these people what was stated earlier concerning what Our Lady related to Sister Lucy sometime after the Fatima apparitions, “Both the good and the bad ignore my message.” 

Why did the deceased  Sister Gesta speak about the mercy of God in her great suffering, demonstrated by the vivid and terrifying burn mark left on the door by her hand? I believe that the sign she left behind was, in fact, a mercy, a warning to us of what awaits those of us who are not prepared at death to enter directly into the presence of God. 

As Fr. Schouppe observed, “In giving us a warning of this kind, God shows us a great mercy. He urges us, in the most efficacious manner, to assist the poor suffering souls, and to be vigilant in our regard.” This example is not unique. Fr. Schouppe reports many such incidents.

For persons who are afraid of the justice of God and can become disheartened rather than encouraged by these examples, I believe they could learn something from the example of the three children at Fatima who were shown Hell “where the souls of poor sinners go.” Far from being discouraged at what they saw, they redoubled their efforts to make sacrifices so that sinners could obtain the grace of perfect contrition before death and avoid both the eternal flames of Hell and the transitory flames of Purgatory.

Incidentally, Sister Lucy revealed that the souls that she, Francisco and Jacinta saw in Hell were burning from flames that seemed to come from within them. If such is what the three children saw concerning the souls in Hell who are as yet without their bodies, then it should be no problem to accept that the same can be said for the souls in Purgatory. 

While these stories of Purgatory may not impress us as strongly as did the actual apparition of Hell that Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco saw, it can still inspire us to do more for the Poor Souls to relieve them from the fiery torment and help them leave it as quickly as possible. 

We should not become discouraged, thinking, “Well, if that is the case with that holy Sister, then there is no hope for the likes of me.” We must not read these stories making too close a connection with ourselves. When reading accounts of the deceased, it is prudent to recall that, no matter the similarities to our lives in the details of why this soul or that soul is in Purgatory, we are only getting part of the story. 

It is the whole life of the person that is the subject of one’s Particular Judgment, which includes not just virtues and vices, but circumstances of upbringing, education and any number of other factors that have played a part in making someone what he is at the Judgment. 

Therefore, it is important that we take from these stories what they are meant to instill: an increase in charity and devotion towards the Suffering Souls, and not a morbid curiosity or exact idea of what our own particular judgments will be.

How The Sufferings Of The Souls In Purgatory Are Coupled With Joy – St. Catherine Of Genoa. 

How The Sufferings Of The Souls In Purgatory Are Coupled With Joy – St. Catherine Of Genoa. 

How suffering in Purgatory is coupled with joy.

Know that what man deems perfection in himself is in God’s sight faulty, for all the things a man does which he sees or feels or means or wills or remembers to have a perfect life are wholly fouled and sullied unless he acknowledge them to be from God.

If a work is to be perfect, it must be correctly and carefully done in us but not chiefly by us, for God’s works must be done in Him and not done chiefly by man. Such works are those last work in us by God of His pure and clean love, by Him alone without merit of ours, and so penetrating are the and such fire do the kindle in the soul, that the body which wraps it seems to be consumed as in a furnace never to be quenched until death.

It is true that love for God which fills the soul to overflowing, gives it, so I see it, a happiness beyond what can be told, but this happiness takes not one pang from the pain of the souls in Purgatory. Rather the love of these souls, finding itself hindered, causes their pain; and the more perfect is the love of which God has made them capable, the greater is their pain.

So that the souls in Purgatory enjoy the greatest happiness and endure the greatest pain. The one does not hinder the other.

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