Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Holy Souls of Purgatory

"There is no doubt," says the devout Father Rossignoli, "that on their entrance into eternal glory the first favours which they ask of the Divine Mercy are for those who have opened to them the gates of Paradise, and they will never fail to pray for their benefactors, whenever they see them in any necessity or danger. In reverses of fortune, sicknesses, and accidents of all kinds they will be their protectors. Their zeal will increase when the interests of the soul are at stake; they will powerfully assist them to vanquish temptation, to practise good works, to die a Christian death, and to escape the sufferings of the other life." 

Cardinal Baronius, whose authority as historian is well known, relates that a person who was very charitable towards the holy souls was afflicted with a terrible agony when on her deathbed. The spirit of darkness suggested to her the most gloomy fears, and veiled from her sight the sweet light of Divine Mercy, endeavouring to drive her into despair; when suddenly Heaven seemed to open before her eyes, and she saw thousands of defenders fly to her aid, reanimating her courage, and promising her the victory. Comforted by this unexpected assistance, she asked who were her defenders? "We are," they replied, " the souls which you have delivered from Purgatory; we, in our turn, come to help you, and very soon we shall conduct you to Paradise." At these consoling words the sick person felt that her fears were changed into the sweetest confidence. A short time afterwards she tranquilly expired, her countenance serene and her heart filled with joy.

Extract from Purgatory Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints, by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.j., Tan Books 1986, pp. 317-320

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