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Our Lady of Purgatory

The Mother of God, Mother of the souls in Purgatory

This beautiful name of Mother of the souls in Purgatory, the Queen of Heaven gives it to Herself, in the Revelations of St. Brigid: “I am, She says to this Saint, the Mother of all those who are in the place of atonement; My prayers soften the punishments inflicted upon them for their faults.” And certainly if the Saints in paradise can by their intercession obtain grace for these souls, who will dare to deny that She who is so much above them does not enjoy this privilege in a much higher degree, especially when She is called by the Church Consoler of the afflicted, Mother of mercy? St. Peter Damian relates the apparition of a person who came out of purgatory, who said that on the feast of the glorious Assumption of Mary more souls were delivered than there were inhabitants of Rome. He also recounts the memorable example of a priest who was given a wonderful sight in the basilica of Santa Cecilia, one of the most famous in Rome.

It seemed to this priest that he was awakened from his sleep by a deceased friend and led into this church. There he saw a magnificent throne on which the Mother of God came to sit, surrounded by angels and blessed people who were courting her. Our Lady had a majestic and serene face, which made the whole holy and silent assembly happy. Then appeared a poor little woman in negligent clothes, but with some rather precious furs on her shoulders. She humbly placed herself at the feet of the heavenly Queen, joining her hands, her eyes full of tears, and said with a sigh: “Mother of mercies, in the name of Your ineffable goodness I beg You to have mercy on the unfortunate John Patrizi, who has just died and is suffering cruelly in purgatory.” Three times she repeated the same prayer, putting into it each time more fervor, without receiving any answer. Finally, she raised her voice again and added: “You know very well, O most merciful Queen, that I am that beggar who, at the door of your great basilica, asked for alms in the dead of winter, with no other clothing than a miserable rag. Oh, how I shivered with cold! It was then that John, implored by me in the name of the Virgin Mary, took off his shoulders and gave me this precious fur, depriving himself of it. Such a great charity, done in Your name, deserves some indulgence!”

At this touching request, the Queen of Heaven cast upon the suppliant a look full of love. “The man for whom you are praying, She answered, is condemned for a long time and to harsh sufferings because of his many and grave sins. But, since he had two special virtues, mercy to the poor and devotion to My altars, I want to use condescension.”

Mary ordered Patrizi to be brought into the midst of the assembly: immediately a troop of demons introduced him, pale, disfigured, laden with chains that tore his limbs. The Blessed Virgin commanded them to untie him immediately and to set him free, so that he could join the saints who made up the crown of her throne. When this order was carried out, everything disappeared and the church returned to its usual silence.

The good priest who had seen this vision did not cease, from that moment on, to preach everywhere the clemency of the divine Mary towards the poor souls who had not yet paid all their debts, provided that they were charitable and served Her.

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