A revelation from a soul in Purgatory, year 1873.
- "Invitatory – Surrexit" by Benedictine Nuns ( • )
Take a moment from your busy day to say the Lord’s Prayer for your loved ones in purgatory. It will also warm our Lord’s heart.
I like to think it’s all about transformation here or hereafter that is if we choose by our lives to love God. Here is a homily given on All Souls Day-2014 by Fr. Michael DePalma
"-Padre Pio had many incredible, mystical gifts. One such was the gift of being able to witness many souls in Purgatory who came to visit him during the course of a typical day. Often they would just be there, asking him to pray for their intercession. Other Franciscan priests have verified this, because on occasion they themselves were also able to see the person who had come to visit Padre Pio.
-But on one occasion Padre Pio was in the choir loft after the church was locked saying his prayers when he heard what sounded like a candlestick falling. He looked down from the loft and saw a Friar moving around the altar. So he shouted down to him asking who he was and what was he doing there. The friar said that he was visiting. Padre Pio came down the stairs and asked which monastery he was from. The friar said, “This one.” Padre Pio replied, “How could that be, I’ve been here for years and I have never seen you.” The friar said, “I was here 100 years ago. I was the sacristan.” It was then that Padre Pio noticed that the friar had been dusting the candlesticks on the altar.
-And the friar at the altar turned to Padre Pio and said that he was sent from Purgatory for he had been there 100 years and no one had ever prayed for him. He was requesting Padre’s prayers. Padre Pio asked the friar what did he do to merit Purgatory and the friar answered that when he was saying Mass, and when he was performing his duties as sacristan, he wasn’t always reverent to the Holy Eucharist. He was very sloppy, especially around the altar. The next morning Padre Pio said Mass for the intention of this friar, and he was able to mystically see this poor soul from Purgatory enter into heaven itself.
– “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” Only the pure get to go to heaven. That is why so many saints and theologians have said over the centuries that for those who will avoid going to hell, the majority of people will have to go through Purgatory first, before receiving the great reward of heaven.
-Though it sounds a bit cheesy, it is still true: heaven is for people who are dying to get there. And anything that gets in the way of us getting to our eternal home has to go, has to be removed—we have to die to ourselves.
-But most of us are not at that point yet. We are still too attached to our ways: to our hatred and anger, to our gossiping, to our lustfulness, to our overindulgences, to our selfish thoughts.
We need purification. We need Purgatory.
-However, belief in Purgatory has declined in modern times because the modern mind has forgotten two extremely important things: the purity of God, and the horror of sin.
-Because so many people today are used to getting away with so much that they should not be doing, we have to admit that our teachers, our bosses, our husbands or wives, our mothers or fathers would be amazed to know all of the stuff that we do behind their backs. And we just continue with that attitude, going so far as to think that even God is not aware of what we are doing, or if He is, no worries, He will just let us slide.
-Purgatory is where we are refined by the fire of God’s love. And though the souls in Purgatory know that they will eventually make it to heaven, still, the time spent there is painful because of the purifying fire removing the impurities and sinful tendencies from their lives.
-The pain of Purgatory is necessary because sin always does damage—sometimes great damage. Sin is always violent, and the damage caused by sin needs to be repaired. We are not only supposed to be purified before we go to heaven, but the repair for the damage caused by our sins has to be taken care of, either here on earth or in Purgatory.
-Sure, God is love, and God is merciful, but God is perfectly just, and so, all of the damage of sin will have to be set right.
-The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “Purgatory is a state of final purification after death, where before one is able to enter the joy of heaven, there is a final cleansing of human imperfection.”
-But why does the CCC call it a state of purification?
-Well, Purgatory is not really a place, but is rather a condition of purification, so that when the last person leaves Purgatory, it will cease to exist.
-But know something and know something well: Purgatory can be avoided. But unfortunately, most non-Catholic Christians don’t even believe in Purgatory, and many Catholics see it as some sort of a loophole, or safety net.
-There is a very bad and dangerous attitude among many Catholics who think that they will just go ahead and have their fun, get away with as much as they can, somewhere along the line make a prayer of faith or have some sort of conversion and just barely make it into Purgatory by the skin of their teeth. And hey, if they have to spend a couple of hundred years there, well so what, they will still make it to heaven some day.
-What a horrible attitude to have. Don’t you dare “settle” for Purgatory. You set your aim, your goal on heaven. And if you fall short, ok, then you will go through the purifying fires. Because if you take Purgatory for granted, there is a huge tendency to not do your best and thus risk, and in some cases greatly risk falling short of Purgatory. Don’t ever forget, in the end there are only two places where a person can end up: heaven or hell.
-Now speaking of places where one goes after death, recently Pope Benedict XVI stated that the Church has decided to do away with the theory of limbo. I bet that many of you were taught that limbo was the place where those who died before being baptized, especially children were sent.
-However, limbo was always a theory, a speculation, and was never an official dogma of the Church. But many people took the Pope’s proclamation to mean that if there is no limbo, then there is no Purgatory either. Nope. Purgatory is a dogma, an official teaching of the Church that must be believed.
-This is very important because of all of our loved ones who have died. Today, the feast day of All Souls, is when we traditionally pray for those who have gone before us. But we do not only remember them, we can actually do something wonderful for them.
-So many people have done great things for us in this life who are no longer here on this earth. But we should not just remember those good times, but we should always pray for those people.
-Now true, some people have been given “signs” that a loved one is now in heaven. But those are very rare. And of course with the saints, we know they are in heaven because of miracles done through their prayers. For the vast majority of us, because we are limited in our human natures, we don’t know where the souls of faithful departed go right after death. And remember, many saints in their teachings have said that most people who died are not fully in a state of grace, and thus they will have to first go to Purgatory. But for many of us we just assume that our loved ones have already made it to heaven. And thus, we do not pray for them.
-We definitely live in an “out of sight, out of mind” culture, where thoughts of death are constantly avoided. But let us remember often the souls in Purgatory, especially those who have helped us the most in this life. Do not let your loved ones be forgotten like the friar who visited Padre Pio who had gone 100 years without someone praying for him to get out of Purgatory.
-After a person dies we can no longer do things for them as we did when they were with us here. But love does not stop at the grave. Love is eternal. And we can go past the grave to Purgatory itself through the means of our prayers. Prayer is our way of telling our loved ones who have left us that we still love them dearly and always will, especially when it comes to offering our Mass intentions for their souls in Purgatory.
-Remember one more great fact: for those of our family and friends who may still be in Purgatory, don’t ever forget that they are present with us every time we have Mass. There are here, right now with us, along with all of the saints and angels in heaven. We are definitely not alone. That should change the way we look at the Mass. They are here.
-And that should also change the way that we hear the final dismissal for the Mass. One of the options that the priest or the deacon can say is: “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” That message is for all of us, to take Christ with us as we leave. But that message can also be for a soul in Purgatory who was remembered, for what if this was the Mass that released them to see God face to face in heaven? Then what comfort and joy would it be for them to hear those words: “Go forth, go in peace, your time in Purgatory has been spent, go and enter the bliss, the unending joy that is heaven itself.”
“Today we observe the great day of prayer for all the faithful
departed, called All Soul’s Day. Indeed, the whole month of
November is set aside for prayer for the souls in Purgatory.
The existence of Purgatory, and that the souls there can be helped
with our prayers, is an article of the Catholic Faith, and it is the
common teaching of the Church that most of us will have at least
some time in Purgatory before we enter Heaven. The Bible teaches
us: “It is a holy and pious thought to pray for the dead!” Let us be
faithful in rendering this final act of charity to the faithful
departed, especially those among our family and friends.
Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls:
A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery, and praying for the
departed, even if the prayer is only mental.
One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1
and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the
Souls in Purgatory.
A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory,
is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public
chapel on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is
required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.
A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can
be obtained when the Eternal Rest (Requiem aeternam) is prayed.
This can be prayed all year, but especially during the month of
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine
upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the
mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
My many sins
Have gone up in flames,
And all that is left,
You deem holy.
©2012 Joann Nelander
Who has died and gone to the side of Christ,
That does not make intercession,
For all the people
He has failed in life?
Who can stand in Purgatory’s flame,
And cease to cry out
For loved ones
Left in Time?
God hears the cry of the poor,
And who is poorer
Than the abandoned,
And detained at the threshold of Heaven,
Awaiting the forgiveness of those,
Who are careless of their fate?
No one goes to Heaven alone.
The cleansed and the holy,
Grab the tassles
Of your prayer shawl.
Lower your eyes.
Beat your breast.
Remember the family of God.
Together let us
Praise the Living God,
Who waits in Mercy for mercy,
For He calls all
To be His own.
©2012 Joann Nelander
A priest who saw heaven, hell, and purgatory. The
death experience of Father Jose Maniyangat.
Fr. Jose Maniyangat is currently the pastor of St.
Mary’s Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in
Macclenny, Florida. Here is his personal testimony:
I was born on July 16, 1949 in Kerala, India to my
parents, Joseph and Theresa Maniyangat. I am the
eldest of seven children: Jose, Mary, Theresa,
Lissama, Zachariah, Valsa and Tom. At the age of
fourteen, I entered St. Mary’s Minor Seminary in
Thiruvalla to begin my studies for the priesthood.
Four years later, I went to St. Joseph’s Pontifical
Major Seminary in Alwaye, Kerala to continue my
priestly formation. After completing the seven years
of philosophy and theology, I was ordained a priest
on January 1, 1975 to serve as a missionary in the
Diocese of Thiruvalla. On Sunday April 14, 1985,
the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I was going to
celebrate Mass at a mission church in the north part
of Kerala, and I had a fatal accident. I was riding a motorcycle when I was hit head-on by a
jeep driven by a man who was intoxicated after a Hindu festival. I was rushed to a hospital
about 35 miles away. On the way, my soul came out from my body and I experienced death.
Immediately, I met my Guardian Angel. I saw my body and the people who were carrying me
to the hospital. I heard them crying and praying for me. At this time my angel told me: “I am
going to take you to Heaven, the Lord wants to meet you and talk with you.” He also said
that, on the way, he wanted to show me hell and purgatory. Hell First, the angel escorted me
to hell. It was an awful sight! I saw Satan and the devils, an unquenchable fire of about 2,000
degrees Fahrenheit, worms crawling, people screaming and fighting, others being tortured by
demons. The angel told me that all these sufferings were due to unrepented mortal sins. Then,
I understood that there are seven degrees of suffering or levels according to the number and
kinds of mortal sins committed in their earthly lives. The souls looked very ugly, cruel and
horrific. It was a fearful experience. I saw people whom I knew, but I am not allowed to
reveal their identities. The sins that convicted them were mainly abortion, homosexuality,
euthanasia, hatefulness, unforgiveness and sacrilege. The angel told me that if they had
repented, they would have avoided hell and gone instead to purgatory. I also understood that
some people who repent from these sins might be purified on earth through their sufferings.
This way they can avoid purgatory and go straight to heaven. I was surprised when I saw in
hell even priests and Bishops, some of whom I never expected to see. Many of them were
there because they had misled the people with false teaching and bad example. Purgatory
After the visit to hell, my Guardian Angel escorted me to purgatory. Here too, there are seven
degrees of suffering and unquenchable fire. But it is far less intense than hell and there was
neither quarreling nor fighting. The main suffering of these souls is their separation from God.
Some of those who are in purgatory committed numerous mortal sins, but they were
reconciled with God before their death. Even though these souls are suffering, they enjoy
peace and the knowledge that one day they will see God face to face. I had a chance to
communicate with the souls in purgatory. They asked me to pray for them and to tell the
people to pray for them as well, so they can go to heaven quickly. When we pray for these
souls, we will receive their gratitude through their prayers, and once they enter heaven, their
prayers become even more meritorious. It is difficult for me to describe how beautiful my
Guardian Angel is. He is radiant and bright. He is my constant companion and helps me in all
my ministries, especially my healing ministry. I experience his presence everywhere I go and
I am grateful for his protection in my daily life. Heaven Next, my angel escorted me to heaven
passing through a big dazzling white tunnel. I never experienced this much peace and joy in
my life. Then immediately heaven opened up and I heard the most delightful music, which I
never heard before. The angels were singing and praising God. I saw all the saints, especially
the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, and many dedicated holy Bishops and priests who were
shining like stars. And when I appeared before the Lord, Jesus told me: “I want you to go
back to the world. In your second life, you will be an instrument of peace and healing to My
people.You will walk in a foreign land and you will speak in a foreign tongue. Everything is
possible for you with My grace.”After these words, the Blessed Mother told me: “Do
whatever He tells you. I will help you in your ministries.” Words can not express the beauty
of heaven. There we find so much peace and happiness, which exceed a million times our
imagination. Our Lord is far more beautiful than any image can convey. His face is radiant
and luminous and more beautiful than a thousand rising suns. The pictures we see in the world
are only a shadow of His magnificence. The Blessed Mother was next to Jesus; She was so
beautiful and radiant. None of the images we see in this world can compare with Her real
beauty. Heaven is our real home; we are all created to reach heaven and enjoy God forever.
Then, I came back to the world with my angel. While my body was at the hospital, the doctor
completed all examinations and I was pronounced dead. The cause of death was bleeding. My
family was notified, and since they were far away, the hospital staff decided to move my dead
body to the morgue. Because the hospital did not have air conditioners, they were concerned
that the body would decompose quickly. As they were moving my dead body to the morgue,
my soul came back to the body. I felt an excruciating pain because of so many wounds and
broken bones. I began to scream, and then the people became frightened and ran away
screaming. One of them approached the doctor and said: “The dead body is screaming.” The
doctor came to examine the body and found that I was alive. So he said: “Father is alive, it is
a miracle! Take him back to the hospital.” Now, back at the hospital, they gave me blood
transfusions and I was taken to surgery to repair the broken bones. They worked on my lower
jaw, ribs, pelvic bone, wrists, and right leg. After two months, I was released from the
hospital, but my orthopedic doctor said that I would never walk again. I then said to him:
“The Lord who gave me my life back and sent me back to the world will heal me.” Once at
home, we were all praying for a miracle. Still after a month, and with the casts removed, I was
not able to move. But one day while praying I felt an extraordinary pain in my pelvic area.
After a short while the pain disappeared completely and I heard a voice saying: “You are
healed. Get up and walk.” I felt the peace and healing power on my body. I immediately got
up and walked. I praised and thanked God for the miracle. I reached my doctor with the news
of my healing, and he was amazed. He said: “Your God is the true God. I must follow your
God.” The doctor was Hindu, and he asked me to teach him about our Church. After studying
the Faith, I baptized him and he became Catholic. Following the message from my Guardian
Angel, I came to the United States on November 10, 1986 as a missionary priest… Since June
1999, I have been pastor of St. Mary’s Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Macclenny,
Florida. Fr. Jose Maniyangat
Since these Easter days lead up to Mercy Sunday, I read a little from Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina’s diary. Here’s what got my attention. It has to do with purgatory.
1185 July 9.1937. This evening, one of the deceased sisters came and asked me for one day of fasting and to offer all my [spiritual] exercises on that day for her. I answered that I would.
1186 From early morning on the following day, I offered everything for her intention. During Holy Mass, I had a brief experience of her torment, I experienced such intense hunger for God that I seemed to be dying of the desire to become united with Him. This lasted only a short time, but I understood what the longing of the souls in purgatory was like.
Praying for the souls in purgatory is, of course, a good work and a good habit, but sometimes I lose track of who they actually are. They can seem a homogenous mass of unknown people, like the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on our Statue of Liberty. Who are they to me personally. For me, they are my mother and father, my husband’s mother and father, sister and brother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who have preceded me in death, intimate loved ones awaiting my prayers. Somehow it makes a difference to how I pray and that I pray.