MERCY OF GOD EXERCISED , SATISFIES DIVINE JUSTICE
Divine Mercy of God is exercised threefold to us: 1) in consoling souls, 2) in mitigating their sufferings and 3) giving to ourselves a thousand means of avoiding those penal fires. St Catherine of Genoa says, these souls are intimately united to the will of God, and so completely transformed into it, they are always satisfied with the Holy Ordinances. The Holy Ghost, The comforter gives similar contentment to the souls.
The word suffrage in ecclesiastical language is synonym of prayer. The Council of Trent declares that the souls in Purgatory are assisted by the suffrage of the faithful. Thus we can offer all our good works, in so far as they are inpetratory or satisfactory,
- the work is meritorious, increases our merit; right to a new degree of glory.
- Impetratory, like a prayer has virtue of obtaining grace from God’
- Satisfactory, a pecuniary value, it can satisfy Divine Justice and pay our debts of temporal punishment before God.
The merit is inalienable, and remains the property of the person who performs the action.
What are suffrage according to the Church Doctrine may aid the souls of Purgatory?
I answer that: prayers, alms, fasting, penance of any kind, indulgences, and above all the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Facts and Cases Presented:
Peter Miles raised from the dead in 1070 AD, by St Stanislaus of Cracow, wanted to return to Purgatory than to live again on earth. Miles testified to his kinsman on St Stanislaus and the Churches behalf, then St Stanislaus offered to request the Mercy of God so that he him a chance to live on earth. But content with his ultimate promise he preferred his suffering than risk and expose himself to damnations in this eternal life. Peter then returned to his grave site laid himself down, his body fell to pieces his remains returned to their original state, prior to the miracle.
Revelations of St Bridget, The souls in Purgatory receive a great consolation from the Blessed Virgin- consolation for the Afflicted my prayers mitigate the chastisements afflicted for their faults.(Revelations of St Bridget iv,c50.) Blessed Renier of Citeaux devotion to the Blessed Mother asked for her intercession, in fear of Purgatory, “My Son , deal mercifully with him”. Jesus replied, “I place his cause in your hands”, Renier understood that Mary had obtained his exemption from Purgatory.
Venerable Sister Paula of St Teresa a Religious convert of St Catherine rapt in ecstasy one Saturday was transported to Purgatory, surprised to find it transformed into a Paradise of delights, illuminated by bright light she perceived the Queen of heaven surrounded by a multitude of Angels and gave orders ot liberate the souls who had honored her in a special manner. Revelations of the Saints, we see the Mother of Mercy descend to Purgatory and delivers those consecrated to her wearing the holy Scapular, enjoying the Sabbatine Privilege.
St Peter Damian (Opuso,xxxiv,c3p.2) tells us that each year on the day of the Assumption, the Blessed Virgin delivers several thousands of souls. This pious belief, adds Father Louvet, is founded on a great number of particular revelations; it is for this reason that in Rome the Church of St. Mary in Montorio, which is the center of the arch-confraternity of suffrage for the dead, is dedicated under the title of the Assumption.
The souls are also assisted and consoled by the holy angels, especially their guardian angels. The doctors of the Church teach that the tutelary mission of the guardian -angel terminates only on the entrance of their clients into Paradise.
In the opinion of the holy doctors, says Father Rossignoli no doubt there cannot be any relief more precious than the sight of the inhabitants of heaven God’s He deigned a reply, “those who during their life performed great acts of charity and mercy, have merited that I should fulfill my promise in their regard, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’ ”(Merv,50.)
In the life of servant of God, Peter de Basto, we find an example which show how holy angels, even whilst they are watching over us interest themselves of the souls in Purgatory. Brother of the Society of Jesus, whom his biographer call Alphonus Rodriguez of Malabar died in sanctity 3/1/1645. He had marvelous spiritual gifts. As a child he saw a body of the legions of celestial spirits near the altar and the tabernacle he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, from that time forward the Savior hidden in the Eucharistic veil became the center of his devotions. It is there he discovered future and unforeseen details. God showed him the mysterious ladder of gold that unites heaven and earth, supported by the tabernacle and of the lily of purity shooting forth it roots drawing nourishment from flour of wheat of the elect and the wine that brings forth virgins. At age 17 he entered the military,when he was shipwrecked and saved by the Queen of Heaven, and her Divine Son who appeared to him, he thus vowed to enter the religious life at 19. Shortly thereafter, this incident is recorded in the annuls of the Society. Ordered to beg along a pilgrimage with two others to the island of Salette. One evening a family of three invited them to eat with them. When he asked their names so that he could pray for them, the mother replied, “We are the three founders of the Society of Jesus”, and then in an instant disappeared. He practiced praying the rosary daily for the souls in purgatory. One night after forgetting, his guardian angel nudged him a reminder, “my son, the souls in Purgatory await the benefit of your daily alms,” Peter arose instantly to fulfill that duty of piety. (Menol de la Comp. De Jesus)
In the convent of Vercelli, Blessed Emilia, Dominican religious. The prioress point of rule to sacrifice drinking between meals, and afford your guardian angel the added drops of water forgone between meals to temper the heat in purgatory, A fellow sister nun (Cecilia Avogadra) appeared to her Prioress Emilia stating how grateful for this sacrifice, “O mother” she said, “I saw my guardian angel holding in his hand a glass of water which he poured on the flames that were devouring me, and extinguished them. I take my flight to heaven where my gratitude will never forget you.”
As related by Historian, Ferdinand of Castile, quoted by Father Rossignoli (Merv.,47), Blessed Henry Suzo (Jan.25,) a religious of Dominicans, while meditating his departed friend appeared. He asked him if all the prayers he offered for his soul not be “sufficed to you?” the suffering soul response, “ Dear brother that is NOT sufficient, It is the Blood of Jesus Christ that is needed to extinguish the flames by which I am consumed; It is the August Sacrifice which will deliver me from thee frightful torments.” Suzo gathered several priests, and they began to say their daily mass for their friend for several days. After some time, the soul appeared again to Blessed Suzo, but this time surrounded by beautiful light, he stated he was on his way to Heaven, “thanks my faithful friend, Behold the Blood of my Savior, delivered me from my sufferings.”(Rossignoli, Merv,34, and Ferdinand de Castile.)
In the Life of St Elizabeth of Portugal, after the death of her daughter the Queen learned of the pitiful state of the deceased in Purgatory. While the city of Santarem a hermit approached her and the King, stating her daughter would be delivered from Purgatory in the space of a year the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for her every day. The king and queen believed the hermit and requested a holy priest, Ferdinand Mendez to say the masses for on behalf of their daughter. Her daughter, Constance appeared to her ,”dear Mother, I am delivered from the pains of Purgatory and about to enter Heaven”. The Queen went to church to give thanks, where upon the Priest Father Mendez informed her he had just finished celebrating the 365th mass. The queen understood the promise of the hermit was kept, and in gratitude distributed alms to the poor. (July 8, Life of St. Elizabeth)
The thirty Masses of St Gregory – Tradition of the faithful having 30 consecutive masses said for their deceased loved one. Is Covered separately on a prior post…..January 4, 2019. ( “Dialogues”, Book iv ch.XL)
In the Annuls of Seraphic Order, a holy religious John of Alvernia, suffering souls in the prisons of Purgatory, had a ardent love, whole celebrating the Divine Sacrifice he watched “On All Souls Day”, Purgatory opened and souls coming forth delivered from the burning furnace, delivered by virtue of The Sacrifice of Propriation. “It is the same victim, the only difference is the manner of immolation; on the cross was bloody and on the altar it is unbloody.” Such offerings are only partially applied to the suffering souls known only to God’ Divine Justice. It is the virtue of that Passion that we obtain gifts and mercies from God.
St Magdalen de Pazza learned from our Lord, “offer the Eternal Father, the Blood of his Divine Son”. A simple commemoration of the Passion. Further Jesus said, “Each time, that a creature offers to my Father the Blood by which she has been redeemed, she offers a gift of infinite value.” Must be said at the sacrifice of Mass, as a renewal of the same Passion.
St. Malachy, ArchBishop Armagh, Ireland. (St Bernard praises him for his devotion to the souls in Purgatory). His sister chastised him for his attentiveness to the dead, as degrading, but he humbly continued. His sister died young. He offered the holy sacrifice and prayed much for her, over the course of time he neglected prayers for his poor sister. Father Rossignoli thinks God had this in his plan for us to believe. One Evening while asleep his sister appeared to him, she was standing in the middle of the church sad, clad in mourning complaining her brother had forgotten her for the last 30 days. Awakened he realized it had been 40 days since he prayed a mass for her intention. He continued his suffrage for her the next day. After a few days she appeared once again magnificently attired, radiant with joy, free of suffering. “By this we see the greatness of the efficacy of the Holy Sacrifice.” says St Bernard
This same St Malachy was asked where he should like to die?. He answered,( before several of his Brother priests) in the Monastery of Clairvaux, governed by St Bernard, so that he might enjoy the immediate benefits of the sacrifices of the Cross of those fervent religious , as to time All Souls Day, so that he might have part in ll the masses all the prayers offered, throughout the entire Catholic world for the faithful departed. This is pious desire was granted in every point. On his way to visit Pope Eugenius III he became sick and stayed over at Clairvaix, it was a serious malady, but before he died he came to understand “This is my rest forever and ever; here will I dwell, for I have chosen it. (Ps131) (the Lord had granted his desire)
Let me conclude with St. Teresa, concerning Don Benrardino de Mendoza from her (Book of Foundations”ch.X.) On the feast of ALL Souls, he had given a house with a beautiful garden in Madrid to St Teresa to found a monastery Mother of God. He became ill 2 months later, losing his speech unable to make a confession, then shortly died thereafter. St Teresa says our Lord spoke to me and promised he was saved, he received mercy due to his alms for the convent, but that his soul would suffer until the 1st mass was said in the new house. One day in prayer, the Lord spoke to St Teresa told me to make all possible haste for the soul of Mendoza as he was prey to the most intense suffering. She used a temporary chapel and had mass offered. The moment I left my place to approach the Holy table, she saw Mendoza radiant hands joined and all radiant, thanked me, for assisting delivering him from Purgatory. She realized then what the Lord had revealed about the first mass she had misunderstood, until then.
In the Revelations of St Gertrude (Legatus Div. Pitatis, lib.v.c.5.), God deigned to show the saint the state of a deceased in the other life. As the soul disappeared into the depths of the pit, the Saint saw it rise towards heaven carried by the suffrage of the Church.
Tertullian 3rd century writes, “and according to the tradition of our fathers, we offer the holy Sacrifice for the departed on the anniversary of their death.
Augustine: (Serm.34,De Verbis Apost.) “It cannot be doubted that the prayers of the Church, Holy sacrifice, and alms distributed for the departed, relieve those holy souls and move God to treat them with more clemency than their sins deserve.” His mother, St Monica asked but one thing of her son, that he would remember her at the altar of God. (as related in his book, (Confessions)
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” as confided by Jesus Christ to His Church; They ARE historical FACT, based on human testimony. You are permitted to believe, however disbelieving is NOT sinning against the FAITH; but are authenticated.…. WE cannot reject them WITHOUT OFFENDING AGAINST REASON, because sound reason demands we give assent to TRUTH, when sufficiently demonstrated.