Amazing stories from Purgatory and the afterlife


Short stories of Purgatory -A remarkable collection of visits from the souls in Purgatory to various Saints and Mystics.

“I know when you pray for me, and it is the same with all of the other souls here in Purgatory. Very few of us here get any prayers; the majority of us are totally abandoned, with no thought or prayers offered for us from those on earth” (Message from a soul in Purgatory)

Over the years of studying the lives of the mystics of the Church I have amassed a large number of eye witness accounts from various books and manuscripts of the appearances of the souls in Purgatory to a number of persons-- a good number of these accounts are not widely known, so I thought it would make a very interesting study to compile a number of shorter accounts from a variety of sources for those interested in this subject.

St Padre Pio’s visions of the souls in Purgatory

In May, 1922, Padre Pio testified the following to the Bishop of Melfi, His Excellency Alberto Costa and also the superior of the friary, Padre Lorenzo of San Marco along with 5 other friars. One of the five friars, Fra Alberto D' Apolito of San Giovanni Rotondo wrote down the account as follows:

"While in the friary on a winter afternoon after a heavy snowfall, he was sitting by the fireplace one evening in the guest room, absorbed in prayer, when an old man, wearing an old-fashioned cloak still worn by southern Italian peasants at the time, sat down beside him. Concerning this man Pio states: ‘I could not imagine how he could have entered the friary at this time of night since all the doors are locked. I questioned him: 'Who are you? What do you want?'

The old man told him, "Padre Pio, I am Pietro Di Mauro, son of Nicola, nicknamed Precoco." He went on to say, "I died in this friary on the 18th of September, 1908, in cell number 4, when it was still a poorhouse. One night, while in bed, I fell asleep with a lighted cigar, which ignited the mattress and I died, suffocated and burned. I am still in Purgatory. I need a holy Mass in order to be freed. God permitted that I come and ask you for help."

According to Padre Pio: "After listening to him, I replied, 'Rest assured that tomorrow I will celebrate Mass for your liberation.' I arose and accompanied him to the door of the friary, so that he could leave. I did not realize at that moment that the door was closed and locked: I opened it and bade him farewell The moon lit up the square, covered with snow. When I no longer saw him in front of me, I was taken by a sense of fear, and I closed the door, reentered the guest room, and felt faint.”

A few days later, Padre Pio also told the story to Padre Paolino, and the two decided to go to the town hall, where they looked at the vital statistics for the year I908 and found that on September 18 of that year, one Pietro Di Mauro had in fact died of burns and asphyxiation in Room Number 4 at the friary, then used as a home for the homeless.

Around the same time, Padre Pio told Fra Alberto of another apparition of a soul from Purgatory which also occurred around the same time. He said:

One evening, when I was absorbed in prayer in the choir of the little church I was shaken and disturbed by the sound of footsteps, and candles and flower vases being moved on the main altar. Thinking that someone must be there, I called out, "Who is it?"

No one answered. Returning to prayer, I was again disturbed by the same noises. In fact, this time I had the impression that one of the candles, which was in front of the statue of Our Lady of Grace, had fallen. Wanting to see what was happening on the altar, I stood up, went close to the grate and saw, in the shadow of the light of the Tabernacle lamp, a young confrere doing some cleaning. I yelled out, "What are you doing in the dark?" The little friar answered, "I am cleaning."

"You clean in the dark?" I asked. "Who are you?"

The little friar said, ‘I am a Capuchin novice, who spends his time of Purgatory here. I am in need of prayers.’ and then he disappeared,"

Padre Pio stated that he immediately began praying for him as requested, and it is not known if he had any further dealings with this particular soul. However, in regards souls in Purgatory it is very interesting to note that later in life Padre Pio once said that ‘As many souls of the dead come up this road [to the monastery] as that of the souls of the living.” Without a doubt, many souls from Purgatory visited Padre Pio seeking his prayers, sacrifices and sufferings to obtain their release.

From the manuscript of Sister M. de L.C., written from 1874-1890

To get an idea of how Purgatory is arranged, we can get a good glimpse of it from a nun from France who had died on February 22, 1871 at the age of 36, and 2-1/2 years later (in November 1873) she began appearing from Purgatory to a fellow nun in her convent, named Sister M. de L.C (name kept anonymous in the manuscript to protect the nuns identity, as the manuscript was published while the nun was still living) as related in the booklet “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory” published by The Reparation Society of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Inc., 2002:

“I can tell you about the different degrees of Purgatory because I have passed through them. In the great Purgatory there are several stages. In the lowest and most painful, it is like a temporary hell, and here there are the sinners who have committed terrible crimes during life and whose death surprised them in that state. It was almost a miracle that they were saved, and often by the prayers of holy parents or other pious persons. Sometimes they did not even have time to confess their sins and the world thought them lost, but God, whose mercy is infinite, gave them at the moment of death the contrition necessary for their salvation on account of one or more good actions which they performed during life. For such souls, Purgatory is terrible. It is a real hell with this difference, that in hell they curse God, whereas we bless Him and thank Him for having saved us.

Next to these come the souls, who though they did not com¬mit great crimes like the others, were indifferent to God. They did not fulfill their Easter duties and were also converted at the point of death. Many were unable to receive Holy Communion. They are in Purgatory for the long years of indifference. They suffer unheard of pains and are abandoned either without prayers or if they are said for them, they are not allowed to profit by them. There are in this stage of Purgatory religious of both sexes, who were tepid, neglectful of their duties, indifferent towards Jesus, also priests who did not exercise their sacred ministry with the reverence due to the Sovereign Majesty and who did not instill the love of God sufficiently into the souls confided to their care. I was in this stage of Purgatory.

In the second Purgatory are the souls of those who died with venial sins not fully expiated before death, or with mortal sins that have been forgiven but for which they have not made entire satisfaction to the Divine Justice. In this part of Purgatory, there are also different degrees according to the merits of each soul.

Thus the Purgatory of the consecrated souls or of those who have received more abundant graces, is longer and far more painful than that of ordinary people of the world.

Lastly, there is the Purgatory of desire which is called the Threshold. Very few escape this. To avoid it altogether, one must ardently desire Heaven and the vision of God. That is rare, rarer than people think, because even pious people are afraid of God and have not, therefore, a sufficiently strong desire of going to Heaven. This Purgatory has its very painful martyrdom like the others. The deprivation of the sight of our loving Jesus adds to the intense suffering.”

Another explanation of the levels in Purgatory from this same book:

Retreat, August 1878: “Great sinners who were indifferent towards God, and religious who were not what they should have been are in the lowest stage of Purgatory. While they are there, the prayers offered up for them are not applied to them. Because they have ignored God during their life, He now in His turn leaves them abandoned in order that they may repair their neglectful and worthless lives. While on earth one truly cannot picture or imagine what God really is, but we (in Purgatory) know and understand Him for what He is, because our souls are freed from all the ties that fettered them and prevented them from realizing the holiness and majesty of God and His great mercy. We are martyrs, consumed as it were by love. An irresistible force draws us towards God who is our center, but at the same time another force thrusts us back to our place of expiation.

We are in the state of being unable to satisfy our longings. Oh, what a suffering that is, but we desire it and there is no murmuring against God here. We desire only what God wants. You on earth, however, cannot possibly understand what we have to endure. I am much relieved as I am no longer in the fire. I have now only the insatiable desire to see God, a suffering cruel enough indeed, but I feel that the end of my exile is at hand and that I am soon to leave this place where I long for God with all my heart. I know it well, I feel more at ease, but I cannot tell you the day or the hour of my release. God alone knows that. It may be that I have still many years of longing for Heaven. Continue to pray; I will repay you later on, though I do pray a great deal for you now.”

Why is it that I pray for you with less fervor than I pray for others and that often I forget to recommend you?

Do not trouble yourself about that. It is a punishment for me.

Even if you prayed more I should not be any the more relieved. God wills it thus. If He wants you to pray more He will inspire you to do so. I repeat again, do not be worried about me. You will never see me in my sufferings. Later on, when your soul is stronger, you will see souls in Purgatory and very awful ones, but let this not frighten you. God will then give you the necessary courage and all that you need to accomplish His holy will.

Is this not a punishment?

No, certainly not, I am here for my relief and for your sanctification. If you would but pay a little more attention to what I say.

That is true but these happenings are so extraordinary that I do not know what to make of them; it is not an ordinary thing to hear you in this way.

I understand well your difficulty and I am aware of your sufferings on this account. However, if God wishes it and it relieves me, you will have pity on me, will you not? When I am released you will see that I will do far more for you than you have ever done for me. I already pray much for you.

Where is Sister --?

In the lowest Purgatory, where she receives no benefit from anyone's prayers. God is often displeased, if one may speak thus, when many religious come to die, because He has called these souls to Himself that they might serve Him faithfully on earth and go straight to Heaven at the moment of death, but because of their infidelity, they have to stay long in Purgatory - far longer than people in the world who have not had so many graces.

1879, Retreat in September. We see St. Michael as we see the angels. He has no body. He comes to get the souls that have finished their purification. It is he who conducts them to Heaven. He is among the Seraphim as Monsignor said. He is the highest angel in Heaven. Our own Guardian Angels come to see us but St. Michael is far more beautiful than they are. As to the Blessed Virgin, we see her in the body. She comes to Purgatory on her feasts and she goes back to Heaven with many souls. While she is with us we do not suffer. St. Michael accompanies her. When he comes alone, we suffer as usual. When I spoke to you of the great and the second Purgatory, it was to try to make you understand that there are different stages in Purgatory. Thus I call that stage of Purgatory “great” or “worst” where the most guilty souls are, and where I stayed for two years without being able to give a sign of the torments I was suffering. The year when you heard me groaning, when I began to speak to you, I was still in the same place.

In the second Purgatory, which is still Purgatory but very different from the first, one suffers a great deal, but less than in the great place of expiation. Then there is a third stage, which is the Purgatory of desire, where there is no fire. The souls who did not desire Heaven ardently enough, who did not love God sufficiently, are there. It is there that I am at this moment. Further, in these three parts of Purgatory, there are many degrees of variation. Little by little, as the soul becomes purified, her sufferings are changed.

You sometimes say to me that the perfecting of a soul is a long process and you are also astonished that after so many prayers, I am so long deprived of the sight of God. Alas, the perfecting of a soul does not take any less time in Purgatory than upon earth. There are a number of souls, but they are very few, who have only a few venial sins to expiate. These do not stay long in Purgatory. A few well-said prayers, a few sacrifices soon deliver them. But when there are souls like mine - and that is nearly all whose lives have been so empty and who paid little or no attention to their salvation - then their whole life has to be begun over again in this place of expiation. The soul has to perfect itself and love and desire Him, whom it did not love sufficiently on earth. This is the reason why the deliverance of some souls is delayed. God has given me a very great grace in allowing me to ask for prayers. I did not deserve it, but without this I would have remained like most of those here, for years and years more.”

The immense power of the Mass for the souls in Purgatory

Next, from the excellent book “Purgatory –Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints” by Father F.X. Schouppe, S.J., Tan Books, 1986 we read the following accounts which highlight the power and importance of offering holy Masses for the departed. The following is a sincere testimony from the person who experienced several visits from a soul in purgatory, and thus she provides a detailed and frank eye-witness account with regard to the facts:

On October 13, 1849, there died at the age of fifty-two, in the parish of Ardoye, in Flanders, a woman named Eugenie Van de Kerckove, whose husband, John Wybo, was a farmer. She was a pious and charitable woman who generously gave to charity in proportionate to her means. She had, to the end of her life, a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and abstained from meat in her honor on the Friday and Saturday of each week. Although her conduct was not free from certain faults, she otherwise led a exemplary and edifying life.

Eugenie had a servant named Barbara Vennecke, aged twenty-eight, who was known as a virtuous and devoted girl, and who had assisted her mistress in her last sickness, and after Eugenie’s death, she continued to serve her master, John Wybo, the widower of Eugenie.

About three weeks after her death, the deceased appeared to her servant under circumstances which we will now relate. It was in the middle of the night; Barbara slept soundly, when she heard herself called distinctly three times by her name. She awoke with a start, and saw Eugenie before her, sitting on the side of her bed, clad in a working dress, consisting of a skirt and short jacket. At this remarkable sight, Barbara was seized with astonishment. The apparition spoke to her: “Barbara," she said, simply pronouncing her name. “What do you desire, Eugenie?" replied the servant.


Power of the Mass for souls in Purgatory
‘Please take," said the mistress, “the little rake which I often told you to put in its place; stir the heap of sand in the little room; you know to which one I refer. You will find there 500 franks; use it to have Masses said, two francs for each Mass, for my intention, for I am still suffering." “I will do so, Eugenie," replied Barbara, and at the same moment the apparition vanished. After awhile she fell asleep again, and reposed quietly until morning:

On awaking, Barbara thought that maybe it was all just a dream, but yet she had been so deeply impressed, so wide awake, she had seen her old mistress in a form so distinct, so full of life and she had received from her lips such precise directions, that she could not help saying, “This cannot have been a dream. I saw my mistress in person; she presented herself to my eyes and she surely spoke to me. It is no dream, but a reality."

She therefore immediately went and took the rake as directed, stirred the sand, and drew out a purse containing the sum of five hundred francs.

In such strange and extraordinary circumstances the good girl thought it her duty to seek the advice of her pastor before spending the 500 francs on having Masses said, and went to relate to him all that had happened. The venerable Abbe R., then parish priest of Ardoye, replied that the Masses asked by the departed soul absolutely must be celebrated, but, in order to dispose of the sum of money, the consent of the husband, John Wybo, was necessary, since the money was found in his house. The latter willingly consented that the money should be employed for so holy a purpose, and the Masses were celebrated, being given two francs for each Mass.

We call attention to the circumstance of the Mass donations, because it corresponded with the pious custom of the deceased. The fee for a Mass fixed by the diocese at that time was a franc and a half, but during her lifetime Eugenie-through consideration and charity for the clergy, many of whom were quite poor- always gave two francs for each Mass that she made offerings for. Thus the extra 1/2 a frank Mass offering that she normally made was an act of charity and additional financial support for the priests who celebrated them.

Two months after the first apparition, while Masses were still being said for Eugenie’s intentions, Barbara was again awakened during the night. This time her chamber was illuminated with a bright light, and her mistress appeared before her with a radiant smile, beautiful and fresh in appearance as in the days of her youth, and was dressed in a robe of dazzling whiteness—“Barbara," she said in a clear voice, “I thank you! For I am now delivered from the place of purification.' Saying these words, she disappeared, and the chamber became dark as before.

The servant, amazed at what she had just seen, was full of joy, and she soon spread the remarkable story to everyone about the town . This apparition made the most lively impression upon her mind, and she preserves to this day the most consoling remembrance of it. It is from her that we have these details, through the favor of the venerable Abbe L., who was curate at Ardoye when these facts occurred.

This is but one of the many stories in regards to the power and efficacy of the Holy Mass wherein the Son of God Himself offers Himself upon the altar for the forgiveness of our sins, for it is a fact that of all that we can do in favor of the souls in Purgatory, there is nothing more powerful and precious than the offering of immolation of our Divine Saviour upon the altar. Besides being the express doctrine of the Church as manifested in her Councils, there are many miraculous facts, properly authenticated, which leave no room for doubt in regard to this point.

In evidence to this we now provide another incident, related by the historian Ferdinand of Castile. From 1324-1327 there was at Cologne two Dominican Religious of distinguished talent, one of whom was Blessed Henry Suso (1295-1366). They shared the same studies, the same kind of life, and above all the same desire for sanctity, which had caused them to form an close friendship.

When they had finished their studies, seeing that they were about to be separated to return each one to his own convent, they agreed and promised one another that the first of the two who should die should be assisted by the other for a whole year by the celebration of two Masses each week--on Monday a Mass of Requiem, as was customary, and on Friday that of the Passion, in so far as the Rubrics would permit. They promised each other that they would do this, gave each other the kiss of peace, and left Cologne.

For several years they both continued to serve God with the most edifying fervor. The priest religious whose name is not mentioned was the first to be called away, and Father Suso received the news with sentiments of resignation to the Divine will. As to the contract they had made, time had caused him to forget it. However, he prayed much for his friend, imposing new penances upon himself and many other good works, but he did not think of offering the Masses which he had promised a number of years previously.

One morning, while meditating in retirement in the chapel, he suddenly saw appear before him the soul of his departed friend, who, regarding him with tenderness, reproached him with having been unfaithful to his word from which he had a perfect right to rely upon with confidence. Blessed Suso, surprised, excused his forgetfulness by relating the many prayers and mortifications which he had offered, and still continued to offer, for his friend, whose salvation was as dear to him as his own.

"Is it possible, my dear brother;' he added, "that so many prayers and good works which I have offered to God do not suffice for you?" "Oh no," dear brother, replied the suffering soul, "these are not yet sufficient. It is the Blood of Jesus Christ that is needed to extinguish the flames by which I am consumed; it is the Holy Sacrifice which will deliver me from these frightful torments. I implore you to keep your word, and refuse me not that which in justice you owe me."

Blessed Suso hastened to respond to the appeal of the suffering soul; he contacted as many priests as possible and urged them to say Masses for his friends intentions and, to repair his fault, he celebrated, and caused to be celebrated, a large number of Masses that very same day. On the following day several priests, at the request of Father Suso, united with him in offering the Holy Sacrifice for the deceased, and he continued his act of charity for several days.

After a short time the priest friend of Suso again appeared to him, but now in a very different condition; his countenance was joyful, and he was surrounded with beautiful light. "Thanks be to you, my dear friend” he said “behold, by the Blood of my Saviour I am delivered from my sufferings. I am now going to Heaven to contemplate Him whom we so often adored together under the Eucharistic veil."

Afterwards, Blessed Suso prostrated himself to ‘thank the God of infinite mercy, because he now understood more than ever the inestimable value of the Mass.’


Eugenie von der Leyen
Modern apparitions to Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929)

As to Saints and Blesseds, so far we have shared stories from St Padre Pio and Blessed Henry Suso. But there are many more canonized Saints who have been great helpers of the suffering souls. The most well known and recognized are St John Macias (who was known to have released literally thousands of souls from Purgatory during his holy lifetime), St. Augustine, St. Dominic, St. Francis Xavier, St. Victor, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Nicolas of Tolentino, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Gregory the Great, St. Odilon of Cluny, St. Francesca Romana, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Ambrose, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Efraim, St. Peter Damian, St. Francis de Sales, St. Catherine of Genoa, and in modern times the recently canonized saints Gemma Galgani, St. Padre Pio, and St Faustina Kowalska, to name but a few.

Since many of the stories of Purgatory from the above mentioned Saints are well known, the emphasis here is to provide the lesser known and nonetheless fascinating stories from sources and individuals not widely known or read, because in His infinite mercy, history is full of “everyday” persons whom on occasion God has permitted to assist the souls in Purgatory. I will say however that the one notable thing about such occurrences is that seers of souls from Purgatory are often reported to be especially good and pious persons, which is logical, for God permits a soul to appear so that it can be released from Purgatory, or at least, that its suffering be greatly lessened, and a pious, compassionate person is more likely to respond to its requests by the offering of fervent sacrifices, sufferings and prayers which are the means which help the poor souls. In other words, such souls are “saintly” persons, without of course ever becoming canonized Saints.

One such soul is Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929) who kept a diary of the appearances of the souls in Purgatory to her. Eugenie was a well educated woman of high German nobility; in fact Eugenie bore the title of princess and lived in the ancestral castle at Waal, Bavaria, Germany. By order of her confessor, she kept diary of her contacts with the poor souls, which after her death was handed over to Bishop Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII.

The Shepherd named Fritz –From the diary of Eugenie von der Leyen, 1923.

June 11, 1923. At awakening, a long grayish form over me, completely nebulous; I can't say whether man or woman, but unsympathetic; I am very frightened.

June 14. The phantom was already in my room when I wanted to sleep. Then I said my evening-prayer aloud, during which it came very near to me. If it hadn't been for his arms, it rather would seem a walking tree-trunk. It stayed perhaps twenty minutes, then came back at four o'clock.

June 16. It was very bad. It shook my shoulder. That is a horrible moment. I struck him and said: "You may not touch me!" Whereupon it withdrew in a corner. At my push, I didn't feel a body, it was like a humid, warm towel. I believed I couldn't stand such terror any longer.

June 18. Again this horrible thing; it wanted to clasp my neck. I prayed in fear and took the particle of the Cross [a holy relic she possessed] in my hand. Then it remained with me, staying upright and big before me. It didn't answer questions." then it went out through the door, which it left open.

June 19. I can recognize now that it is a man; he was only there for a short while.

June 21. The horrible man more than an hour during the night, went back and forth continuously. He has disheveled black hair and horrific eyes.

June 22. This man from one o'clock until past five with me, it was very bad. He repeatedly bowed over me and sat down at my bedside. I really wept for fear, then prayed the "hours" so that I didn't need to see him. Then he went again back and forth and moaned horribly. Now it seems to me I must know him, however I cannot find out who it is. I have become very cowardly, for many times it is really a decision for me to go to my room in the evening. Yet ordinarily I am able to fall asleep very well.

June 24. He came back, seized me at my shoulder. I said: "Now tell me what you want and then don't come back."

No answer; he went again through the room a couple of times and then was gone. My rest however was completely destroyed. At six in the morning he came back. In daylight he even looks more horrific, makes a disgusting impression, belongs to the dirtiest category of ghosts who have already come. I said: "Don't disturb me, I want to prepare myself for holy Communion!" Then he drew very near to me and lifted his hands imploringly. I was so sorry for him that I promised him a lot. Then I said: "Can't you speak?" Whereupon he shook his head. "Do you have much to suffer?" Now he moaned terribly. I gave him much holy water" and then he was gone.

June 27. He was there again, in the night. Seems to know me; I racked my brains as to who he might be. He is very unsympathetic.?

June 29. He was again in the room when I went to bed. It could be the murdered shepherd Fritz. I asked him at once, but he didn't react. I prayed with him, during which he fixed his eyes on me so angrily that I was really frightened. I asked him to go and then he went indeed.

June 30. He came very briefly; his moaning waked me up.

July 1. Again, I really believe it is shepherd Fritz. However his face is so black that I have difficulty recognizing him. But figure, nose, and eyes are wholly "he," as I saw him so many times in life.

July 2. He came back, didn't look so terribly wild anymore and stayed not for a long time. I addressed him as "shepherd Fritz," which he apparently found quite natural.

July 3. He came very briefly. I asked: ''Are you the murdered shepherd Fritz?" Then he said distinctly: "Yes!"

July 4. He came to me in the morning, looked sadly at me and went away soon, answered nothing, too.

July 5. Now it struck me that everything about him is clearer. During prayer, he made the Sign of the Cross.

July 6. I am very happy for he can speak now. I asked him: "Why do you always come to me?" He: "Because you have always prayed for me." (That is right, for I had always been sorry for the poor fellow; he always looked so particular, even as a boy.) I: "Then what saved you?" He: "Insight and repentance." I: "Weren't you dead immediately?" He: "No." I: "Will you be released soon?" He: "Not by far." Then I gave him permission to continue coming to me, if it does him well. How remarkable it is, that someone who was so rude in life speaks like that when separated from his body. Now I am not frightened by him anymore, and would like to help him as best I can. How merciful is the good Lord!

July 8. He came very briefly.

July 9. He came at 6:00am and by doing so woke me up. Otherwise I had overslept. I: "Is it so important for you that I go to holy Mass?" He:"That way, you can help me a lot."

July 11. Only came very briefly.

July 12. We prayed together," then I: "Then what do you have to suffer?" He: "I am burning!" Then he came up to me and before I could defend myself, he pressed a finger on my hand. I was frightened so much and it hurt me so much, that I screamed. Now I have a red burn which I hope will heal soon. It is a very strange feeling, to have this visible mark from the other world.

July 24. Shepherd Fritz and the other one came two times in the night, all silent, but [the new one] not very pleasant.

July 29. Nothing special to mention. Now these two are coming every night. The new one looks horrible, while shepherd Fritz becomes ever more bright!!

August 10. Shepherd Fritz drew so near to me again, but looked very friendly. So I said to him, "Don't you have to suffer so much anymore?" He: "No." and I: "Can you pray for me yet?" He: "No." and I: "Where are you then all the time?" He: "In the forlornness." I: "Will you still come often to me?" He: "No." and I: "Why not?" He: "I am not allowed to any more!" and I: "Have I been able to help you?" He: "Yes." Then he was gone….

To close this remarkable account, Father Sebastian Wieser, Eugenie's parish priest and confessor, comments:

“The behavior of this apparition is like the echo of his earthly life. I have known shepherd Fritz well -he was like a "billygoat" in the parish. In him, the greatness of the mercy of God really manifests itself. Rarely did he come to church. He had an only son, who in school became well known for his meanness, falsehood, and deceptions and caused many troubles to his teachers and those in authority over him. When the boy had to be punished at school, the father pulled out all the stops of his indignation over the schoolmaster and priest. I prophesied at that time that someday the father himself would get a beating from this only son!

When this son was seventeen years old and was big and quite strong, he beat his father to death at around midnight .... Nobody knew if Fritz was dead immediately or if he came to for a moment. The latter seems to have been the case. The murderer had knocked him down in the hay-barn and abandoned him to his fate. Only in the morning was the dead man discovered ....On the sixth of July he states that: "…insight and repentance" have saved him from damnation! On the twelfth day of July he says, "I am burning!" and presses a finger on the hand of the princess, which leaves a red burn which I have seen myself.” –Father Sebastian Wieser

Another modern account: St Gemma Galgani obtains the relief of a soul in Purgatory

The final account in this article will go to the webmasters favorite Saint: St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903). It is taken from the excellent book “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo C.P.:

"Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Religious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.

Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma's heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest: she fervently offered prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.

"Jesus, save her," she was overheard to exclaim. "Jesus, take Maria Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven."

And during this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

"It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: "Gemma," she said after some moments, "do you know me?" I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: "I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so very much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness."

The extraordinary mystic, St Gemma Galgani

All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: "Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering." And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints'."

And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

“Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the holy hour I was making was drawing to an end. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Sr. Maria Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: "I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus forever." She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o'clock in the morning.”

Those interested in the extraordinary life of St Gemma Galgani can visit the webmasters website here.

60 comments:

Brother Michael of the Cross said...

My heart burns with a desire to relieve these souls who suffer; I pray He gives me the means for which I have so long desired, to gain the grace these souls need by the will of God. When we see a fire truck or ambulance go by or hear of someone's death we should always say,"O lord be merciful, forgive them their sins and bring them home to You in your great mercy."

Anonymous said...

Aren't there any cases of Protestants in purgatory? Maybe they don't go there because they don't believe in it?

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your question. While researching during the preparation of this article I came across a comment of Sister M. de L.C. from the "Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory" wherein she stated that there were in fact a good number of Protestants in Purgatory, just as there were a large number of Catholics, and we can presume that there are peoples of all religions, and also atheists, agnostics etc, --all according to the infinite mercy and justice of God. Although she did point out that in many ways such persons purgatory can be more rigorous since during their lifetime they did not receive the sacramental graces of the Church.

Concerning this we can call to mind what Jesus said to the Jewish leaders: “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.” (Matt 21:31)

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Dale Jensen said...

Nice article, thank you!

I am a recent convert to the faith, through RCIA at the Easter Vigil. Purgatory has always fascinated me, and I like the idea of growing more pure after leaving the body.

My wife died in 2010, and I have had a monthly Mass said for her at a nunnery where her Aunt is, as well as other Masses on her birthday and the day she died. I hope that these help and comfort her.

But I wonder about myself, and others, who will pass without anyone to request Masses be read for them. Also, from a practical manner, I have generally heard Mass intentions for one person, or a married couple... If there are billions of souls in Purgatory, don't we "run out of Masses"?

Probably foolish questions, but thank you for answering them!

leo2eddie said...

Thank you and God Bless you for giving us this article on Purgatory as it seems to be unheard of in our Churches anymore; another work of the devil to keep Purgatory undercover. It is so important for us to pray and have Masses said for those that have left us, and it is also very important that we have Masses said for us while we are still living. We have just lost two very well known men, Chuck Colson and Tom Kincaid, and I see far too many comments that they are now with the Lord, a fact that none of us really know, which means that these people are not getting prayers said for their souls. +JMJ+

Karen said...

Thank you for this article. It brings to mind a question - I am a laywoman and for years I have offered daily Mass for the souls in Purgatory, but have not asked a Priest to offer the Mass for the souls. Is that as efficacious?

Rosanna said...

Dale -- I have the same problem as you, worrying that there would be no one to offer Masses for me when I die. So, what I have done is prepaid Gregorian masses for myself through the Franciscans. Gregorian Masses are 30 masses said for 30 days straight. I have had them said for my deceased husband and for my parents. I have prepaid them for myself and they sent me a card that I have placed with my Will that my executor will send to them when I die and my masses will be said. If you want more info go to www.franciscanmissions.org. Rosanna

Rosanna said...

I need to also say that you can also have a Mass said for the Souls in Purgatory or for deceased members of a family. Masses do not have to be for only one or two persons.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Dale,
Firstly let me say welcome home to the Catholic Church!

Like Rosanna kindly replied you can definitely prepay for masses. In fact, you can normally do this as part of your will and the masses can be said at your own parish--my grandmother had it in her will that a certain sum was set aside to be paid for masses for herself at her death to be said at her (our) local parish, and they were said one every couple of months (mostly weekday masses) for 5 years after her death.

As far as "running out of Masses", without a doubt there are many souls in Purgatory who have never had a Mass said for them. However, the Church in Her great wisdom and benevolence has a special day in honor of All Souls (Novemeber 2), where all the Masses said throughout the world on that day are for the poor souls in Purgatory.

Additionally, many people often have masses said on their own for all the souls in Purgatory--in fact, the mass this morning at my own parish Church was precisely for this intention!

Best wishes and may God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn DAllaire

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Karen,
You said: "Thank you for this article. It brings to mind a question - I am a laywoman and for years I have offered daily Mass for the souls in Purgatory, but have not asked a Priest to offer the Mass for the souls. Is that as efficacious?"
-----------------
My understanding is that the sacrifice of the offering (that is, the Mass stipend ie.-donation) is what formally makes the intention for the Mass. By doing so there is a concrete action of giving and sacrificing. So this intention and offering obviously would have the most value.

HOWEVER, the Church does encourage all the faithful present to offer the Mass for their own personal intentions also, and even moreso to receive holy Communion for this intention also. So yes, the souls in Purgatory surely benefit from your private intention of offering the Mass for them, even though the Mass is not formally being aid for this intention.

May God bless you and your loved ones!
-Glenn Dallaire

lajmh said...

I don't think I would be presumptuous and ask for prayers to be released even if I end up being the "last one out is the rotten egg".

Dale Jensen said...

Thank you so much for the replies, Rosanna and Glenn! I am going to call the Parish office on Monday and find out about offering a periodic Mass for all souls in Purgatory. As well, I'll talk to my attorney about amending my Will to include offerings for Masses, and check out the Fransiscan option.. Though if the pious French woman needed 250 Masses said, I'd better plan on a lot for me!

Thank you also for the "Welcome Home" -- for many years, those had been Patti and my favorite words, because we both travelled a lot... but I have learned through RCIA how REALLY great those words are!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful site where you can have masses offered is the seraphic mass association. They are capuchin missionaries. God bless

FrankH said...

Glenn, terrific article. Can an ordinary lay person offer up prayers and ask God, through his son Jesus Christ, that souls be released? If you have absolute Faith that this is so, is it still efficacious?

Thanks, Frank

Praying for Them said...

You can gain a Plenary Indulgence (complete remission of the punishment due to sin) a soul in purgatory (or for yourself) EACH DAY by saying the rosary for that intention, with the usual three conditions: 1) Confession within 20 days (this has been changed from the previous 8 days - see http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/indulgences_conditions.htm ), 2)communion on the same day, 3) prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father ("an Our Father and a Hail Mary suffice.")

For myself, I have started to make what I think of as "Confession Plus," where I say the rosary for the Plenary Indulgence for myself after each confession. Then, on other days, I say it for a soul in purgatory.

Here, from the Enchiridion of Indulgences, from http://www.catholic.org/clife/prayers/indulgw.php , are the conditions for the "Rosary Indulgence:"

48.RECITATION OF THE MARIAN ROSARY. (The following is verbatim.) "A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted, if the Rosary is recited IN A CHURCH OR PUBLIC ORATORY OR IN A FAMILY GROUP, A RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR PIOUS ASSOCIATION; a partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances. "Now the Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of 'Hail Marys' with an 'Our Father' before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption. "The name 'Rosary,' however, is commonly used in reference to only a third of the fifteen decades. "The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms: "
A.The recitation of a third part only of the Rosary suffices; but the five decades must be recited continuously. "

B.The vocal recitation MUST be accompanied by pious meditation on the mysteries. "

C.In public recitation the mysteries must be announced in the manner customary in the place; for private recitation, however, it suffices if the vocal recitation is accompanied by meditation on the mysteries. "

D.For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this devotion is not practiced, the Patriarchs can determine some other prayers in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary (for those of the Byzantine rite, for example, the Hymn 'Akathistos' or the Office 'Paraclisis'); to the prayers thus determined are accorded the same indulgences as for the Rosary."

There is also a Plenary Indulgence for the Stations of the cross (see the above website), but the rosary is more likely to be said. Note that the Rosary Plenary Indulgence can by gained by saying it "IN A FAMILY GROUP!"

These spiritual riches are just "laying on the table," with no one "picking them up!" I am reminded at what Mary said at the Rue de Bac to St. Catherine Labouré about the rings she wore from which no beasms of light were coming (as they were from other rings): "The rings which have no light coming from them represent graces for which no one asks." TIME TO START ASKING!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"we can presume that there are peoples of all religions, and also atheists, agnostics etc" - no this is not correct. You are saying that there is universal salvation. There is not - many are called, but few are chosen. This is a heresy that is being taught. “Outside the Church there is no salvation” (extra ecclesiam nulla salus) is a doctrine of the Catholic Faith that was taught By Jesus Christ to His Apostles, preached by the Fathers, defined by popes and councils-"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215

Anonymous said...

My problem is it's so hard to think and wonder about the souls in purgatory because my eyes show me so much to worry and pray for on earth.

Anonymous said...

I am a fervent believer in trying to gain a Plenary Indulgence for souls in Purgatory at each Holy Mass. Last year I asked our dear Lord to free my mother-in-law (non-Catholic, troubled woman in life but who thankfully had done kind deeds for people) - since it troubled me that she still might not be free, I dared to ask for a sign - a communication (either a phone call or a letter for my husband from one of his sisters (they never contact him!) - to relieve me.
I made the Plenary Indulgence on the Saturday morning and then forgot all about it. Later on in the day my husband and I were walking the dog and we spoke of his mother. He had had a very difficult relationship with her and we said how sad her life had been.
When we returned from the walk my husband went to fetch the mail - he had received a letter from his sister in Australia - he hadn't had a letter from her in 30 years!
Thanks be to God in His infinite mercy. I now believe her to be in heaven.

Anonymous said...

A Catholic 'universal' Church that cannot allow 'universal salvation'. Now there's a paradox if ever there was one. Jesus talks about being known by their fruits. You'd think with all these devout Catholics getting so many special graces 'inside' the Church - the Church would be populated with near other Christs. Another enigma.

Love casts out fear, yet we're being driven to Heaven through fear ?

Approach the throne of grace with great confidence. St Paul.

Therese of Lisieux understood this. She also spoke about God giving her very great - perhaps 'infinite' desires, and said that He would not inspire such desire in a soul if the same God did now allow that such desires be fulfilled. If desired with confidence in Him - with real faith.

The Mass supposedly offers infinite merit. One Mass.

If we believe those infinite merits of one Mass offered can benefit, by God's infinite Love - finite numbers of souls, all souls that ever were, are and will be - then approach the throne of infinite grace with such desire, longing - faith; and don't doubt God will respond in kind.

We won't get to Heaven walking backwards out of Hell. Love casts out fear. There is no fear in Love. Even some of these stories seem to suggest such. Souls don't get to Heaven straight away for lack of confidence.

For those who worry about not having Mass offered when you depart this life. I'll have one offered for you.

I believe when we pray, we can pray for those in the past and the future. As all are present at the Cross of Christ - so we being present with all at that gateway to eternity can pray for all - past, present and future.

Approach the Throne of Grace with confidence.

Love alone counts. St Therese.

Faith, Hope and Love. And the greatest of these is LOVE. And perfect LOVE cast out fear.


If I be damned for such heresy, so be it.

God bless us all.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Been a while since I read anything of our good sister Therese. But found a link tonight which has some insight on this topic. Hope OK to add here.

http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/ap/litfwrpu.htm

God bless

M

Anonymous said...

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus, with all the Masses being said all over the world this day, for the Souls in Purgatory."
Our Lord showed St. Gertrude a vast number of souls leaving Purgatory and going to Heaven as a result of this prayer, which the Saint was accustomed to say frequently during the day.

St. Gertrude's life was the mystic life of the Cloister – a Benedictine nun. She meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her many times. She had a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and was very devoted to the suffering souls in Purgatory. She died in 1334. Her feast day is November 16th.

http://www.olrl.org/pray/stgertrude.shtml

Anonymous said...

There is also this: THE PURGATORY PROJECT AT:

http://www.holysouls.com/main.htm

Go and read this site and enter all the souls you want. It is also for the living, so you can register yourself, your family and friends.

The Purgatory Project exists to aid the souls in purgatory. Anyone can register the names of people who have died. Registering them here will help them. It is not hard to help these souls, it costs you no money and it is a very good and important thing to do.

jac said...

The prayer of St Gertrude. So nice.
I recite that prayer every time at mass during the Consecration.
I come back on a previous comment saying that "Outside the Church there is no Salvation" and therefore many are called but few are saved.
I agree with that comment but mainly because it is taught by our Holy Mother the RCC. Indeed we cannot by ourselves go against that Magisterium's teaching, otherwise that would be a blatant heresy. Anyways the Magisterium doesn't forbid any catholic faithful to believe that God's Mercy is far greater than we think: If God the Father in His unfathomable Wisdom is able to shape His children from stones if he needs so, far more is He able to lead these chidren to Eternal Salvation even if those don't know Him nor His Son Jesus.
But I have to add: That's not our problem, but only God's business. Those who say aloud that everybody is saved whichever is one's religion are truly heretic and uncharitable to their non-believing brothers since they lead these brothers astray from the only Way to Salvation and even encourage them in staying igorant about the true Faith and in keeping worshipping false gods which is an abomination in His eyes.
Much will be asked by God from such heretics.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful way to relieve the sufferings of the souls in purgatory is to pray the Stations of the Cross for them. Next to the Mass it is the most indulgenced prayed and very efficacious. How efficacious? I obtained my husband’s conversion through their intercession. They somehow made known to me how grateful they were for my prayers for them. All I can say is that I had a multitude of souls hover over my head who said thank you and then departed. The experience was unbelievable and lasted but a few seconds.

Anonymous said...

Isn't every human being 'invincibly ignorant' to a large degree about God ? Other than Christ - what human being knows the infinite God ? Not just invincibly ignorant - but near infinitely so.

As to all being saved or not. I have no idea. But I do know the Scriptures state clearly that God DESIRES ALL men be saved.

Are we being told, taught that Satan's power/desire to ruin is greater than God's Love - desire to save ?

I'd like to have enough charity, understand charity to the degree I could in all knowledge of it, in all confidence say to someone else, believe as I do, practice the faith as I do or you are going straight to hell.

"Go preach the gospel - use words if necessary."

Mark

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. It is a good reminder for me to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. God bless you for helping others to pray for them!

Anonymous said...

The best way I know not to be forgotten after we die is being a member of FOSS. Go to

www.knocknovena.com and become a

member and benefit now from the masses as well as the ones being said after you die.

Anonymous said...

Read Hebrews 9: 22-28
10: 10-12, 14, 17-18
2 Corinthians 5:1, 4, 6-9
Luke 23: 39-43

Anonymous said...

Something I've been taught ... is that the prayers offered during the Consecration are the most powerful of any prayers you can say. Therefore, if you offer up the two parts of Consecrations for souls they will be more efficacious than any other prayer (excepting offering up your communion).

So something I do on a regular basis, is when the priest offers up the Precious Blood and speaks the words of Consecration, I will offer that for any Holy Souls in Purgatory He'd like to apply that to.

If you go to Daily Mass, and you offer up each Consecration and your Communion for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, you might be surprised on how many souls might greet you when you die. =)

If I can find all the different word for word references on these practices, I will try and repost them on this blog, so we can spread the word.

Part of me has wondered what would happen if each of us prayed specifically for the Souls of our Ancestors and then in return asked them upon reaching heaven to pray for ALL of their descendants .... how many more souls walking the earth today, might be more receptive to the Gospel; ....more committed to their own personal conversions; ...more docile to the Holy Spirit. Maybe we'd start to see more of those miracles that we need in these encroaching dark times.

It's a thought.

Maryssa said...

"How many souls are being released from purgatory during the holy mass! Those for whom the mass is offered don't suffer, the time of their repentance is hastened, and they immediately go to heaven, because holy mass is the key which unlocks two doors--the door through which you enter purgatory, and the door to heaven through which you enter into eternity."
St. Geralmo

Anonymous said...

The mass cannot possibly be both bloodless and the offering of blood at one and the same time. It can only be one or the other.

If it is bloodless, then its effect is described as follows: "And according to the law almost all things are purifird with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 If the mass is bloodless, then it has no efficacy.

If it is an offering of blood, this presents a twofold consideration:

a) a continuous or ongoing offering is evidence that there is no remission of sin, since there is no perfect sacrifice in view. This prevailed under the animal sacrifice code until Christ came, at which time: "Their sins ...I will remember no more. Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

b) if the mass is an offering of the blood of Christ, then it diminishes the perceived value of His once for all offering; as beautiful as it may be, it constitutes a denial of the fullness and perfection of Christ's once for all sacrifice and which can never be re-offered.

The priests always stood as the work was never done. When Christ had offered Himself, He sat down. "It is finished."

"And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifies which can never take away sins.

"But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God...For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." Hebrews 10:11, 12, 14 Both the sacrifice of His death on Calvary and the offering or presentation of it to the Father are described as once.

He can neither die again nor can his sacrifice be offered or re-presented again.

"Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands,...but into heaven itself."

"not that He should offer Himself often...He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world, but now once at the end of the ages, He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:24- 26

Eli said...

The Mass IS Calvary. One is not required to understand the theological depths of the Mystery to believe in its Truth. Jesus IS the "Bread of Life" and without receiving Him worthily in the Most Blessed Sacrament, "you have no Life within you!". "Apart from Me you can do nothing." To reject the Mass is to reject the Lord and to receive without faith is a worse sin yet. I am not here to MAKE you believe but to proclaim the Truth and remind you: when you wantonly serve this LIE you are fighting against the Truth, against GOD. Do you know what fruit you bear?

acerextreme said...

What is the point of praying for dead persons if not to only feed your own greed to be wisked straight to heaven and save your self the pain. Such greed will only prolong your time there maby even indefinitely.

maryS. said...

Thank you so much this article is very informative this will help me to know more about for the souls in purgatory ,we have a community here in Davao PWHS (Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls) we are under the umbrella of PWHS in Manila under Chit Monfort.Our prayers and masses are great help to empty purgatory let us all unite in this community for the holy souls.God bless.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the Old Testament sacrifices which could never take away sin, the perfect sacrifice of Christ is exactly that, perfect and which carries the force of complete.

Official Catholic teaching affirms a distinction between the actual occurrence on Calvary and the mass which purports to represent or re-offer it. They at least recognize that Calvary itself cannot be repeated.

Apparently we may have to agree to disagree. But you are right that one position is false - and which I do appreciate. Your concern that I reject the Lord is commendable. I also have the identical concern for you because you accept as the Lord that which is not Him.

It is good at least to know what one believes. Some people believe that everything is true and in which case, nothing would be true and discussion pointless. It would be like saying that "nothing is true..." and which self contradicts since it is put forward as true and therefore a denial of its central premise.

At least there are clear alternatives in view here. The mass is either a repetition of Calvary, or, with all due respect to sincerity and good faith, it is idolatry, as are other things the faithful are encouraged to pursue.

This section of the site is devoted to purgatory on the apparent understanding that Christ's death does not cover all and that the average faithful may expect to find him/herself there. I would say that only the saints will be in heaven with the rest in hell. So one may ask oneself: Am I a saint? Purgatory is an admission that the Church offers no clear knowable assurance of ultimate entrance to heaven.


Salvation is to be found in commitment to Jesus Christ, not in a church, not yours, not mine. He is the door to the church not vice versa. It is true that some apostles thought they had a monopoly but Jesus rebuked them for thinking and acting so.

Is my church perfect? No it is not, nor would anyone in it say so. A Church that claims absolute perfection of ex cathedra teaching needs only one provable exception to disprove the claim as is the case with all propositions based on always and never.

But that could only be discussed where both parties agreed on what level of evidence constituted proof.

Maybe this is too long for this forum. By the way, I have read Scott Hahn's book also titles by Karl Keating and Stephen Ray -also articles by Patrick Madrid and others- all very well and honestly written - so I have a degree of familiarity.

jac said...

Very nice accounts that I recommend everyone to read.
In fact it is a duty that our Holy Mother the Church entrusted us many centuries ago to read the lives of the saints because here we may find a number of graces that we couldn't get otherwise.
By these accounts we may find the true desire of God, the true desire to go to Heavens to dwell here with His Son the Christ.
But there is one thing currentlylacking: The fear of Hell. The 3 kids of Fatima were confirmed by our Lady that HELL EXISTS AND THERE ARE DAMNED PEOPLE IN IT.

Many saints like St Catherine of Genoa, St Françoise Romaine were given the grace to visit Hell and Purgatory.
I am apalled how many modernist faithfuls strongly denie the existence of Hell and even doubt that of the Purgatory because they say that God's love cannot make any among of his children to suffer.
That is because they are forgetting that God is Love, yes. But GOD IS JUSTICE.
Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross was once and for all for our salvation through God's love. But the sins we didn't atone enough on Earth should be atoned in Purgatory, so far as we begged Him to forgive us and repented before dying.

Unknown said...

...wow!..one of the best article i have read...

...i didn't know that St. Therese of Lisieux asked for prayers from St. Gemma...great!..:)

Anonymous said...

it was alright but i felt you didn't really understand it yourself

Deborah Hughes said...

A place between heavin and hell its Earth it would make allot of sense think about it we all pass on wen we are able to find our souls in a good place that's why weeall check out different times in our lives the young die early because they figure it out allot sooner then others and when www go tho a funeral its a celebration of ones life here on earth and good gives us allot Pitts time all the time www need to figure it out before our bodies get to old tho sustain life anymore shoo actually the longer wee stay here the greater our chances are were going to hell when we expire off earth only the good die young might be the truth after all because look at life here on earth every ones loOking and trying too achieve the same things that would be happiness love respect and the great lengths we go tho achieve these things determines weather we go up or down and when Good sees when each individual makes Goods criteria he takes them home and Good give as much time as you need till u old as you can get and some people who will never make it just desire of ripe old ages i don't know something to think about

Stephen Browning said...

Purgatory must truly exist, when a Soul first appears
before the judgement throne of God, there it will
see as if a video of it's entire life span on earth
and that soul will know that it is unable to see
God face to face in the Beatific Vision because of
an earthly life of sin and imperfection that it would
not be able to withstand such Perfection because
of such sin and imperfection that must be expiated.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out two things to people that believe only a Catholic can enter heaven.
1. The Bible says that Jesus is the Way and the Life, the Road to Salvation. Who are we to say that Jesus and God have not prepared one,or numerous ways, for non-Catholics to enter heaven through Him after their time on earth. With Jesus and God, all things are possible. And many things possible that we can not even think of.
2. In the sojourns into Purgatory by numerous Catholic visionaries, such as Anne-Catherine Emmerich, many non-Catholics are in Purgatory.
Do not limit God, for He is limitless.

Anonymous said...

Purgatory is a trillion times better than hell because there, we have hope of seeing God someday. As mother angelica puts it: strive for heaven but accept purgatory with open arms.

Anonymous said...

READ THIS NEWS ARTICLE, THIS HAPPENED IN CEBU, PHILIPPINES:


http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/659804/black-ghost-hounds-pupil-dalaguete

Raoul said...

Prayer for All those Who Have Died

I culled this beautiful prayer from the Internet, which was itself drawn from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, and changed a few wordings. We are told this prayer reminds us that Christ's victory over death brings to all of us the possibility of eternal rest. And so we pray for all of those who have gone before us, even if we do not know them and even if they are so far removed from our day, that they too may enter into Heaven:

"BY YOUR RESURRECTION from the dead, O Christ, death no longer has dominion over those who have died. So, we beseech You, give rest to your servants who have departed this life. Grant it to those who, from Adam until now, have adored you or have searched for you in the depths of their hearts, to our fathers and mothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men and women who have passed their road to You, by a thousand ways, in all conditions and ages, forgive their transgressions and, by the sufferings you have endured for our sake, make them all worthy to enter your heavenly kingdom. Amen"

I also want to share this prayer which I made and recite specifically for all those who died in miserable circumstances:

"O FATHER GOD, hear your suffering children, especially the cries of those who died in miserable circumstances. We pray for those who died in war, those who died by deliberate or accidental violence. We pray for those who died feeling unloved, betrayed or bitter; for those who died by their own hand, feeling overwhelmed by too many problems; we pray for all those who died thinking that there is no God who knew and cared for them.
We pray for those who had remained in debasing poverty until their death; for those who died only after a long and painful sickness. We pray for those who died away from home; for those who died having no one to care for them; for those who died in lonely isolation; for those who died consumed by hatred or unforgiveness; we pray for those who died with a rage in their hearts, which questioned your very existence.

"We pray for each and all of them, O God. May your mercy be upon them. May you give them the joy that eluded them in life. May Eternal Light shine upon them, and may they rest in Your peace. Amen."

Glenn Dallaire said...

Raoul,
Thanks for sharing these two beautiful prayers!

-May God bless you and your loved ones!
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Doesn't the bible say when you confess your sins, the GOD Will forgive make them as white as snow and remember them no more. Then why do we have to suffer in purgatory/

convert said...

thank you so much for sharing prayers for the dead. I am a new Catholic and feel strongly called to pray for the dead, but did not know how to do so. There are many, many new Catholics who need basic help like this.

Also, when I was in rcia, the nun who taught it didn't believe in confession and didn't teach it to candidates. she felt that we should be able to confess our sins to anyone at all, not jut a priest. now I feel almost tongue-tied and unable to confess because i don't really feel confident about it--and also many priests treat confession as a useless relic of times long past. please pray for me, friends, that Jesus will help me find a confessor soon. thank you.

Anonymous said...

I would like to answer two questions (which I will paraphrase) here :

a) Isn't it greedy to say prayers for dead people because you actually only want to go to heaven?

My personal answer :
NO. NO. NO.
Personally I long to go to heaven because my Lord and my King is there and my heart yearns to be with Him. And I feel pity for those in purgatory who are not allowed to be in His Presence. I believe that they, more than me, feel the pain of separation. This pain is all-encompassing and heartbreaking for me (to the point of being unable to sleep sometimes). If they in purgatory can feel it more keenly than me, then I truly pity them and I want them to be free of this pain.

And so I pray for their release.

If you have brothers and sisters caged in torment, wouldn't you do everything you could to free them?

And if you're thinking whether or not I am crazy... I am thinking why you aren't feeling the same. WHY?

b) How can purgatory exist when God is Love?
This has been answered in some of the other comments.

In simple words, God is Love, Mercy and Justice. He is a very fair God. He loves us unconditionally and expects us to do the same. But do we?? Therefore, there is expiation. Besides, dare any one of us say we are sinless? And if we have even the slightest stain of sin, how can we enter Heaven?

Glenn Dallaire said...


Thanks Anonymous for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree!
May God bless you and your loved ones,
-Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

"Aren't there any cases of Protestants in purgatory? Maybe they don't go there because they don't believe in it?"

As Glen said, the revelations from 'An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory' confirm this. Also, as someone else said, Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich's revelations support this. (I would like to know which other mystics speak of non-Catholics in Purgatory, as these are all I know of).

I thought I would share some relevant words from 'The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich':

“I was present when God passed sentence on notorious sinners. Great is His justice, but still more inconceivable is His mercy. He damns only those who are determined not to be converted; they who have a spark of good will are saved... I have seen in Purgatory Protestants who were pious in their ignorance; they are very desolate, for no prayers are offered for them... I saw that by our prayer and suffering, many a soul who labours not during life, can be converted and saved at the hour of death.”

It is important for us to remember the Church's doctrine: they are saved who die in a state of grace. Who knows how many accept God in their final moments e.g. through an act of perfect contrition.

Anonymous said...

The Church's teaching about "no salvation outside the Church" is often misunderstood. Pope Pius IX and others have confirmed that those who labour in invincible ignorance (which only God can determine) can be saved (this can be inferred from The Council of Trent's teachings on justification). How is this possible if they are not Catholic? We are not told how this is the case, just as we are not told exactly how predestination works. What we do know is that all those who die in a state of grace (which is offered to all by means of an act of perfect contrition) are mystically united to the Church, which is One. Therefore, they are part of the Church.

Read this (from 'The Catechism Explained', 1899):

If, however, a man, through no fault of his own, remains outside the Church, he may be saved if he lead a God-fearing life; for such a one is to all intents and purposes a member of the Catholic Church. The majority of men who have been brought up in heresy think that they belong to the true Church; their error is not due to hatred of God. A man who leads a good life and has the love of God in his heart, really belongs to the Church, and such a one is saved, not by his heresy, but by belonging to the Church. St. Peter said: "In every nation he that feareth God and worketh justice is acceptable to Him" (Acts x. 35). "The Catholic Church," says St. Gregory the Great, "embraces all the just from Abel to the last of the elect at the end of the world." All who lived up to their lights were Christians, though they might have been looked upon as godless, as, e.g., Socrates among the Greeks, Abraham and Elias among the Jews. They do not belong to the body of the Church, that is, they are not externally in union with the Church, but they are of the soul of the Church, i.e., they have the sentiments which the members of the Church should have. Thus the Catholic Church has members both visible and invisible. The visible members are those who have been received into the Church by Baptism... The invisible members are those who without any fault of their own are outside the Church leading- God-fearing lives. (p. 246-247)

Fr. William Most has written well in his article about how a pagan can be saved if he sins mortally. This article can be found on EWTN.

Glenn Dallaire said...


Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments and the explanation from the book "The Catechism Explained"

May God bless you and your loved ones,
-Glenn Dallaire

mari said...

Please give us more stories of souls in purgatory.
Really interesting

bw said...

I want to share with you some good news. The Bible is God's word and gives you direction on how you get to Heaven. You can be 100% sure that when you die you will go to Heaven. You do not need to fear death.You don't have to worry about someone praying you out of purgatory or attaining salvation through works. If you are serious about knowing the truth and learning about God through his Word not religion, please check out the many resources at AreYouSavedNow.com

Felicity said...

Why not offer the Heroic Act of Charity for those in purgatory?

THE HEROIC ACT IN FAVOR OF THE SOULS IN PURGATORY

O MY GOD! for Thy greater glory, and to imitate as closely as possible the generous Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer, and also to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin, my Mother, who is also the Mother of the Souls in Purgatory, I place in her hands all my satisfactory works, as well as the fruit of all those which may be offered for my intention after my death, that she may apply them to the Souls in Purgatory according to her wisdom and good pleasure. Amen.

This Heroic Act of Charity is the completely unselfish offering to God of all the satisfactory value of one's prayers and good works --- plus the value of any that might be offered for one after one's death --- for the benefit of the Souls in Purgatory, rather than for oneself. The "satisfactory value" of a good work is its value with regard to making up for our sins and reducing our stay in Purgatory. However, the "meritorious value" of our good works is inalienable, i.e., our merits, which give us a right to an increase of glory in Heaven, cannot be applied to anyone else. Moreover, a person who has made the Heroic Act may still pray for himself, friends and other intentions.

The Heroic Act is revocable at will and is not a vow. Its actual ratification depends on the will of God. By making this act with purity of intention, one is relying upon the mercy of God and the prayers of the Communion of Saints to assist his soul after death. The Heroic Act was approved and encouraged by Pope Benedict XIII [1724-1730].

Anonymous said...

Using a spell is a very dangerous thing to do...if you ask for a spell or a fix from a source you know nothing about...you could end up locked in a bond or tie with a demon.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! Still...I think it's helpful for people to keep in mind the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. There is, of course, the plausibility of invincible ignorance of the Catholic Church. However, VERY few people could boast that. I would recommend reading the words of the Popes, Church councils, and saints on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Are the souls in Purgatory at a higher level than guardian angels? Though in Purgatory, we are spirits that have been saved and need additional purification. Guardian angels are higher only than the corporal humans.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a misunderstanding here of the words, outside the church there is no salvation. It does not mean that if you are not catholic you can not be saved. It only means that their salvation even if they do not share our faith will still be through the prayers and sacrifices of the catholic church, the bride of Christ. This is the reason why the church is not only praying for the catholic souls but also to all the souls of the faithful departed and the souls of men/women of good will. Outside the church they cannot go to heaven because it is through the power given to the church by Jesus that they will be loosed from purgatory.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a misunderstanding here of the words, outside the church there is no salvation. It does not mean that if you are not catholic you can not be saved. It only means that their salvation even if they do not share our faith will still be through the prayers and sacrifices of the catholic church, the bride of Christ. This is the reason why the church is not only praying and offering masses for the catholic souls but also to all the souls of the faithful departed and the souls of men/women of good will. Outside the church they cannot go to heaven because it is through the power given to the church by Jesus that they will be loosed from purgatory.

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