(Preparation, Purification & Perfection of the soul to be in the presence of God)
[ Ascetic Approach Divine Revelation (Eph3:2-3) from the Saints] Posted 01/24//19
This third CityofGod.blog on Purgatory is reserved for “private revelations” of the Saints. There are two kinds of revelations: (1) universal revelations, which are contained in the Bible or in the Depositum of Apostolic Tradition transmitted by the Church These ended with the preaching of the Apostles and must be believed by all; (2) particular or private revelations which are constantly occurring among Christians (see CONTEMPLATION).(“need not be believed”) God has chosen to speak to the saints and prophets down through the ages in this manner, and although His Word became Flesh and fulfilled all teaching, God remains in communication of himself through the Mystical Body of Christ, his Bride & Church. Private Revelation announced in scripture, Paul “If yet you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me towards you: How that, according to revelation, the mystery has been made known to me, as I have written above in a few words; (Eph3:2-3). Each listed below have been investigated and approved by the Church, and this essay (post) will not deal with the revelation regarding Purgatory location. Because for Me, It is simply where God wants it to be. Instead you will be treated exclusively with the subjects of; [ A.] Pains and punishments, [ B.] The Matter of Expiation Purgatory.
Prelude: Remarkable woman, St Gertrude the Great: ( 1252-1302 AD) (Her mission she said,” To empty Purgatory)
In one Vision, Our Lord tells Sister Gertrude that he longs for someone to ask Him to release souls from purgatory, just as a king who imprisons a friend for justice’s sake hopes that someone will beg for mercy for his friend.Jesus ends with:“I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer.”
In another vision she was given the Prayer which Our Lord told her would release 1000 Souls from Purgatory every time it is said with love and devotion.“Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and in my family.”
[A.] Pains of Purgatory
In reading these recorded events of the Saints and others, one very clear message evolves. God ordained their return on earth to allow the soul to testify to the truth, increase holiness in living souls and communicate his Justice & Mercy. People cannot burn their flesh over and over again, leave imprints on doors and coffins for you to view, and then the saint is unharmed unless The Supernatural Being Ordained that this torment and suffering be known.
The Saints have described the pains of Purgatory as “pain of loss” deprivation of God, and the second “pain of sense“
The fire of Purgatory, say the Fathers, is that of Hell, of which the rich glutton speaks,”I suffer, cruelly in the flames (Lk16:19-31). Says, Bellarmine, “ almost all the theologians, teach that the reprobate and the souls in Purgatory suffer the action of the same fire”. ( the difference is degree by merit and one is not temporal) St Thomas Aquinas describes the “pain in Purgatory surpasses all the sufferings in this life” in agreement with St Augustine, St. Bernard, St Anslem, St Gregory (pope)and venerable Bede writings. And illustrating further with another Doctor of the Church, St Francis De Sales (FEAST Day today January 24.) “We may says this ‘Director of Souls’, draw from the thought of Purgatory more consolation than apprehension. The Greater part of these who dread Purgatory so much think more of their own interests than of the interests of God’s Glory”; ……”The Souls Love God more than they love themselves”, thus the pain is “more desirable than appalling, since its flames are flames of love and charity.”(Espirit de St Francis De Sales,chix,p16)
St Catherine of Genoa, says “ the souls endure a torment so extreme that no tongue can describe it, nor could be the understanding conceive the least notion of it, If God did not make known by particular grace,…iti si equal to the suffering in Hell.” (Treatise on Purgatory, Chii,vii)
St Teresa in “Castle of the Soul”, the pain of Loss (privation of the site of God) exceeds all the most excruciating suffering we imagine. Urged towards God are repulsed by their stain by His justice.”(Part 6th,ch.xi)
In revelation of St. Francis Xavior, a little girls protectress receiving communion had, an apparition beside her, Who said, “suffered only the pain of loss, that privation caused intolerable torture.” Thus justifying what St. Chrysostom wrote centuries earlier 47 Homily: “Imagine, all the torments of the world, you will not find one equal to privation of the beatific vision of God.”
St. Cardinal R. Bellarmine quotes, Venerable Bede now a Doctor of the Church “To excite the living to fear the death of a soul, God permitted a man, after having slept the sleep of death, should return to life and reveal what he had seen in the other world. The frightful unheard details he relates produced lively impression throughout the country (Man from Northumberland England, named Drithelm. After relaying the his story to many, left his wife to spend what was left of his life in preparation of Death.
Sr. Cardinal R. Bellarmine Doctor of the Church relates revelations of St Christine the Admirable known for her wonderful deeds passed age 32. relates her story, thinking she be in Hell, her guide answered she was in purgatory where sinners are punished who repented before death but NOT made satisfaction to God. The angels then transported her to Heaven, God offering her return to complete her mission on earth of charity & suffering. “You will suffer for them on earth, this will lead to many sinners being converted, when this life is ended you shall return laden with merits”. Se obviously accepts to live an extraordinary life and tell her vision. (A biographer of her life relates, she renounced all comforts, lived without a house or fire, more miserable than birds, that have a nest to shelter them. She sought sufferings, in furnaces without damage to her body, plunged herself in icy river during winter, dogs bit her, ran into thicket covered with blood, yet upon return no sign of blood upon her. There are the works of penance, the author of “Life of St Christine, Bishop of Cambray. Bellarmine sates we can believe because another author James de Vitry Bishop & Cardinal writes what happened in his on time in his province. Besides the sufferings of this “Admirable” were not hidden from others, for forty -two more years after rising from the dead. The many conversions and later after death the miracles manifested proved the “finger of God”. Bellarmine writes, “God willed to silence those libertines who make open profession in believing in Nothing. Those with the audacity to Ask, Who ever returned from the dead?, or ever seen the torments of hell or Purgatory? “ BEHOLD two witnesses! They assure us that they have seen them, and they are dreadful.
A third, Brother Antony Pereyra “Company of Jesus,mortally attacked he receives his last rights and is left 3 days assumed near death on the 4th day he opened eyes, breathed, and spoke, He was obliged to tell his priest Father Louis Pinheyo. pg In his near death experience Jesus points out all the things needing correction before he can receive eternal happiness. Attacked by demons as he saw his soul separate from the body, his Guardian angel and St. Anthony of Padua put the demons to flight, invited to see the joy and sufferings of eternal life. He saw the glory he hadn’t merited, in a blink he watched reprobate souls fall into the eternal fire, crushed like grains of wheat upon an endlessly turning mill stone seeing the infernal gulf, he is summoned to the tribunal of the Sovereign Judge, heard himself condemned to purgatory where the agony can be unexplained and enjoyment of God is delayed. Instead he is returned to his already corrupting body and initiated a thirst for suffering that lasted 46 more years. Brother Pereyra also relayed the prophesy that included details of restoration of Kingdom of Portugal that took place fifty years later.
A similar instance life of venerable servant Angela Tholomei, Dominican nun, raised from the dead by her brother and gave testimony much like Brother Anthony Perrya by prayer, as the coffin was taken to the cemetery her brother commanded her to arise, she awoke from a profound slumber and returned to life. She was struck with terror and related the severity of God’s judgments. Her macerated body became an object of pity and horror. She told them, “what are my trifling penances compared with the torments reserved in the other life for those infidelities we so easily permit ourselves.”
Teresa Gesta of Foligno, Italy Dominican religious (Nov 16,1859) died suddenly of stroke of apoplexy. Twelve days later, she appeared to Anna Felicia, her room filled with thick smoke, the apparition of Teresa went to the door and stated,” Behold a proof of the mercy of God.” She left a burnt imprint of her hand on the door, later they found a matching imprint inside her coffin. Three days later, the apparition appeared once more, this time in brilliant brightness. “I died on a Friday the day of the passion, and behold, on a Friday, I enter into eternal glory. “Be strong bear the cross, be courageous and suffer, love poverty.” The burnt door imprint was available for a century until the revolutions destroyed it.
Venerable Stanislaus Chocosca, Poland 1598, he saw an apparition that stated when asked about her fire and pain encompassing her at the moment, “ah! The fires of earth compared to Purgatory are like a refreshing breeze” He asked for proof, the soul dropped a drop of sweat his hand. When he recovered consciousness. He was confined to his bed from that moment forth, the historian added this example reanimated fervor in monasteries.
St Antoninus related in his “summa”,1285 A religious man suffering a long time did not think prolongation of his sufferings was not mercy of God. In answer to his prayer, he submitted to 3 days in Purgatory versus 1 year of more suffering in his bed. After only one hour he complained you promised only three days torment, thinking he had been there several years. The angel reported know, you have been here but 1 hour.
Father Rossignoli pious author 2 brother religious, one received a vision that he would remain in Purgatory when he died until after the 1st mass had been said for him. He appeared to his friend in radiant glory in its way to heaven, asking “why he delayed more than a year in saying my mass?” The brother told him I commenced the mass immediately not a quarter hour elapsed. (Merv.,17)
Angelicus of the Order of St Francis (chronique des Freres Min,p.21,4,c,8; Rossignoli), his fellow Friars thought he in no need of prayers did not offer mass, as the custom 3 are offered. He appeared to the Master of the Order, Dear master, I beg you have pity on me!”…”I am detained in the fires of Purgatory, awaiting the fruit of the Holy Sacrifice, which should have been offered for me.”
St Perpetua, martyr 205AD relates to differing degrees of intensity.(Cf,Mar.,ch7), her brother Dinocrates died under the persecutions of Semptus Severus age 7 had died, appeared to sister for prayers,three days later she received another vision of Dinocrates in a lovely garden in a shining robe. Drinking copious refreshing waters from a golden cup,
St Gertrude the Great, in one of her many apparitions was granted the site of her once fellow nun before God. The soul refused to enter and be received by the Lord, as she claimed interior stain not visible from as she was surrounded by bright light and glory bordering her garment, that still needed expiated. Unless the soul is absolutely immaculate it cannot bear to be in the presence of God
St. Mary Magdalen de pazzi and sister Maria Benedicta had died, at a mass in her memory, had a vision of Maria arriving into heaven. St Magdalen asked the Lord in prayer, why Maria had not been received earlier? The Lord said in her last sickness she shown herself to attached to the cares bestowed upon her, interrupting their union.
St Innocent III (Pope during Lateran Council, 1215, revealed by St Lutgarda, I heard the faults revealed by the defunct and which I omit here through respect for such great a Pope. Biographer Thomas de Cantimpre, this was out of the mouth of Lutgarda herself. On the date of the Popes death, he appeared to Lutgarda in her monastery Aywhieres in Brabant, he was enveloped in flames, “ I am Pope Innocent, is it possible that you, our common father should be in such a state, and it will last for centuries if you don’t come to my assistance. He stated the Virgin aided him to be permitted to visit Lutgarda. He and her fellow sister worked fervently to pray for their Pope.
[B.] Matter of Expiation:
Suarez common teaching of the the Theologians summed up,”Treatise on the sacrament of Penance. At the moment when the soul is separated from the body by virtue of an act m of love Act of Love Mercy of God, and the perfect contrition that excites the soul of its past faults. The souls know her exact condition perfectly. They can no longer merit, they can suffer and pay the terrible debt to the last farthing. These debts of pain are the remains of sin (stain), and an obstacle to union with God. Since the souls are freed from guilt of sin, no other barrier exists writes St Catherine of Genoa.
Purgatory comes from ll the faults not atoned for upon earth but especially mortal sin admitted to their guilt. Lady Arundel in her History of England writes of her deceased Father in Purgatory twelve years who reached out to Conrelius a Jesuit to pray a mass for her father. St Lidwina, as it is related in the “Life of the Saint”, seeing a soul suffering for his mortal sins the soul had confessed his sin but did atone on earth. Another time caught in ecstasies with her guardian angel she heard a mournful voice from the deep pit, “t is the soul of that man said the angel who you have been praying for. She was offered a chance to suffer for his deliverance. “With all my heart” her deathly suffering continued until she saw the man’s soul take flight as if covered by snow on its way to heaven.
In the Revelations of St Bridget, seeing herself transported to Purgatory, one soul related the the history of her life and her sad state she was in, “before death I confessed my sins in such dispositions to escape Hell but now I expiate my worldly lifestyle. Her head in flames, her shoulders bound with hot irons and her dancing feet stand in a slime of snakes that bite her legs. The biographer writes Bridget tole her cousin this story of worldly vanity. This cousin devoted her life in austere setting of a religious order.
St Bridget in another ecstasy beheld the judgment of a soldier. Lived in vices common for his profession, but due to his devotion to the Blessed Virgin he was granted repentance before death Before the Judge, “your eyes shall contemplate frightful objects, thy tongue pierced with needles, your touch plunged into an ocean of fire.” But then the Virgin interceded and had his sentence mitigated.
Blessed Mary Villani a Dominican Religious, devotion to holy souls, so they often appeared to her either to thank her, or ask for assistance in prayers or good works. One day transported to one such soul stated wholly occupied with my toilet,, my pleasures, and worldly amusements of my family, and now not one prays for her, all have forgotten her. She asked to feel something of this souls pain,which she received instantly, tow months later the marks still remained, later this soul appeared to her and gave her thanks upon her deliverance.
Princess Gida, daughter-in-law to St Bridget in “Lives of the Saints” March 24 life of St Catherine, received an apparition of the soul of Princess Gida ( unaware of her death) St Catherine of Sweden, saw a woman in white robe and black mantle who came to ask prayers for a person who was dead. Princess Gida, wife of your brother. “ I am charged with a message for you alone said the apparition I am not to make other visits, and must depart immediately. A few days later Princess Gida’s crown arrived bequeathed to Catherine to secure the assistance of your prayers. The apparition it turned out was Princess Gida. The sold the crown and purchased requiem masses and other good works.
Life of pleasure pursuit of comfort, venerable Frances of Pampeluna was favored with several visions of Purgatory. He saw one day a man of the world seeking his case and comfort strong passion for gambling was detained for 46 years, another 59 years for seeking ease and comfort.
The following related by M. de Lantages in the Life of venerable Mother Agnes (now Saint Jan21 feast day) of Langeac, Dominican religious, while praying in Choir, a woman appeared to her, “It is sister de Haut Villars”. (had died 10 years earlier) the vision said nothing but Agnes saw her state. Agnes prayed fervently for her, yet the woman continued appearing the next 3 weeks, she received knowledge that this woman was really a soul from purgatory that suffered for her negligence in the service of God. Upon knowing this the apparitions ceased.
A holy religious Mary of the incarnation in Ursuline’s Loudin appeared to her Mother superior, who wrote the details of her apparition. Nov 6 Mother of the Incarnation stood before me more humble than suffering after her fear resided she asked was she in need of her service? “I satisfy Divine Justice in Purgatory, …It is for being negligent in several common exercises led by example of imperfect Religious. When asked of the pain, she said “My pains are incomprehensible to those who do not feel them. One month later she appeared to announce her deliverance.
A priest of the society of Jesus, Nov 12,1643, Father Philip Streit, everyday made an examination of conscience but left 1 fault, dies and several hours later 98) appeared radiantly to a fellow father of the order, he had not sufficiently confided in his Superiors words thus spent time in Purgatory, stated I should have regarded his words as the voice of God. Himself.
Blessed Mary Margaret learned of three souls passing 2 religious and one Secular. New Years Day the Lord appeared to her, and promised to release 1 soul of her choosing. She would not choose, so the Lord selected the secular, saying the religious had more means of expiating their sins during life.
Religious having wounded charity, St Louis Bernard, Doctor of the Church, the young religious attached to much to the profane science Eternal Wisdom – Humility and Charity. The young Priest had been uncharitable to Louis Bernard, then one day the young priest appeared to him in flames, stating he would stay in purgatory until Louis Bernard forgave him this indiscretion and offer a mass in repose for his soul. Which Louis Bernard promptly did both. The following night the deceased brother reappeared but radiant with glory in his way to Heaven.
In the year 1589, in the monastery of Mary of the Angels (Florence), died a Religious highly esteemed, who appeared to St Mary Magdalen de Pizza imploring her from the rigors of Purgatory while in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The soul had a mantle of flames and a white robe that appeared to be protecting her from the fire. This soul had little devotion and indifference toward the Blessed Sacrament opposed to the rules of the Order. Thus her punishment daily to adore the Blessed Sacrament. Magdalen made every effort to assist this poor soul
St Severin Arch-Bishop of Cologne merited honors of Sainthood, but after his death appeared before one of the Canons of his Cathedral requested prayers. The priest not understanding, asked how this was possible? The deceased Bishop replied, “it is due at which the haste I recited my Holy Office. The Bishop spent 6 months in Purgatory for this one fault.
As I mentioned, Divine Revelations, are considered “private revelations” yet are investigated, and treated by the Church as real. Yet, they are NOT part of the Revelation received from the Apostles through Christ, thus we are not required to believe. The Creed, calls us to believe “all things seen and unseen”, but this is meaning with the use of our intellect and discernment. All the above revelations are taken from the works of Saints or their biographers, and are often part of the “works” of these Saints that induced others to put forward their beatifications. It is up to you. Please do NOT allow Protestant Rationalism infect your souls, with such purely “carnal” views on Doctrines and of God, ( who is Spirit) to fit into this cold and alienated views that look at Sacraments, Grace, and Mercy through lenses of humanity only, visible signs, having “NO SPIRITUAL VALUE”. Christ instituted them, the bible discusses their institution, yet Protestantism denies most of them, as of Grace.
In the Revelations of St Gertrude the Great, (quoted here) “Proud and Carnal men who understand NOTHING of the Spirit of God, treat reveries the writings of the holy virgin Gertrude, of St Mechtilde, St Hildegarde, and others; it is because they are ignorant of the familiarity with which God communicates Himself to humble, simple, and loving souls, and how in these intimate communications HE is pleased to illumine these souls with the pure light of truth, without a shadow of error. (Louis of Blois, Epistle. Ad Floerntium.)
It is from the lives of the Saints, honored as such by the Church, and other illustrious servants of God that sourced this Essay. These revelations of the Saints, “particular revelations”, do not belong to the “deposit of faith confided by Jesus Christ to His Church; they ARE historical FACTS, based on human testimony. You are permitted to believe, however disbelieving is NOT sinning against the FAITH; but are authenticated, and WE cannot reject WITHOUT OFFENDING REASON, because sound reason demands we give assent to TRUTH, when sufficiently demonstrated. END Last Updated 01/17/19 posted 01/24/19