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Our Lady of Purgatory

A heretic who became a Catholic because of the belief in Purgatory

A heretic had lost his beloved brother in the midst of a feast, and he kept remembering that sudden transition from feast to coffin. His soul needed reassurance; he knew all the purity that is necessary for heaven, and in his Protestant worship he found no intermediate place between the heavenly courts and the depths of the abyss. To distract him, he was ordered to travel, and the young Scot came to the continent. A believer on the same ship as him soon struck up a conversation with him, and many points of contact brought the two men together. When they disembarked, they stayed in the same hotel. After a few days, the Scot revealed to his new Catholic friend what had spread so much sadness over his young years; the death of his brother and his worries about the eternal destiny of a being he had loved so much. “Ah!” he said one day of the Dead, “for love of my brother I will adopt your rite. Your cult makes it possible to still love each other after death; your prayers remove from the grave its terrible silence. You still converse with those who have left life; between the limits of heaven and earth, God has revealed to you a place of expiation. My brother is perhaps there!… I make myself a Catholic, to deliver him from it, to console myself here below, to relieve myself of this weight which oppresses me; this weight I will not have it any more when I can pray.” And he fulfills his resolution.

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