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Our Lady of Purgatory

The sacred duty of the Suffrages

In the convent of the Friars Minor in Paris, there died a religious whose eminent piety had led him to be called the Angelic. Among his confreres there was a learned reader of theology, who, although he was not unaware of the common obligation to celebrate three masses in favor of each monk who died in the convent, omitted to fulfill this duty in this circumstance: it seemed useless to him to intercede for a soul whose life had been so virtuous. But after a few days he suddenly saw the deceased appear before his eyes, and heard him say to him in a lamentable voice, “Dear Master, I beseech you, have compassion on me!” Astonished by this appearance and this request, he replied: “Why, holy soul, what need have you of my help? – I am held in the fires of purgatory,” said the deceased, “waiting for the three masses that you were to celebrate for me. – Ah! replied the religious, I would have done so with happiness; but, thinking of the holy life you led among us, I imagined that the crown had been given to you immediately upon leaving this world. – Alas! said the deceased, no one understands with what severity God judges and punishes His creature. If, with all your knowledge, you had understood the divine majesty, you would not have treated me so cruelly.” The theologian celebrated the Holy Sacrifice, that day and the two following days, with great devotion, in favor of that soul, who, on the third day, appeared to him again to thank him. She told him that the trial was over for her and that the endless reward was about to begin.

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