Divine Mercy Devotion 

The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.The Divine Mercy Devotion involves a total commitment to God as Mercy. It is a decision to trust completely in Him, to accept His mercy with thanksgiving, and to be merciful as He is merciful.

No time in history is our world in need of Divine Mercy than at this very moment.Our world deserves Gods swift and unrelenting justice more now than at any other time in history.Never has evil been so prevelant nor hearts so cold and never has God been more hated,shown more disdain or been blasphemed or ridiculed more than our very day.And yet this good God comes with a message of divine mercy that is infinitely incomprehensible to our weak human understanding.Many Catholics even have a hard time accepting this devotion because it sounds too good to be true,it sounds too easy.However a look back at our catholic history will show us that Jesus and Mary have showered us relentlessly with spiritual gifts and weapons that seemed too good to be true.The love of our Good God for us as St Therese loved to refer to him is foolish and endless,his love for us will not stop.He longs to shower us with his love and mercy and what we give him in return is so little.When Jesus brought us the Divine Mercy Devotion he brought us an enormous treasure that we can’t even begin to comprehend!Listen to Jesus in his own words and really let these sink into your soul:

~I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. Diary 699 (Note: confession does not have to be done on the Sunday itself. Beforehand is fine)


~Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy. —St. Faustina’s Diary300
~Let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. Diary 848


~He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice... Diary 1146


~Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Diary965
~My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. Diary 367


~These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy. Diary 299
~My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; [urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. Diary 1182

~The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of My hands. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are Mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool. Diary 723
~[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Diary 1146


~I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. Diary 1109
~I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy. Diary 1059


~I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. Diary 742
~ Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls. Jesus, Diary 1074


~I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: “Jesus, I trust in You.” Diary327
~I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory. Jesus, Diary 48


~Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. At that last hour, a soul has nothing with which to defend itself except My mercy. Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it. Diary1075


During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.” These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.
Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)


This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.*[our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

As you can see the Lord’s desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.

(*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.)

Jesus  asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:”These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:”On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.

I will post the Novena prayers every morning starting on Good Friday so we can all pray it in union with all of the church.Remember the article what if this is your last Lent?Ask yourself what if this is my last Divine Mercy Sunday?As the great Mother Angelica would say:”Don’t miss the opportunity”!

Jesus we I trust in you!

 

The Pardon Crucifix~A forgotten sacramental and thorn in satan’s side 

The History of the Pardon Crucifix

“The Pardon Crucifix was introduced at the Marian Congress of Rome in 1904, with the support of his Eminence Cardinal Coullié, Archbishop of Lyon. It was through the discourse made to him by the Frs Lémann that the crucifix obtained general approval. The project of a union around this Pardon Crucifix was presented to His Holiness by the most Eminent Cardinal Vivès, president of the Congress.

“The historic and sacred inscription of the royalty of Jesus appears in inscription placed over the head of Christ [on this crucifix]. It is an irrefutable witness against the denials and audacity of impiety. There is preserved at Rome, in the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, the actual inscription of Golgotha recovered by St Helen. The written relic is not complete; there may have been a division, and also age has considerably reduced it. Two words, only two words shine forth, respected by time, Nazarenus Re, The Nazarene King. It is a prophecy written on wood: all royalties are passing, except that of the Nazarene.

“On the reverse of the cross, at the center, the Sacred Heart shines forth with two inscriptions recalling the tender mercy of the Saviour; one is a prayer of pardon, breathed forth in the agony of Calvary: Father, forgive them; the other is the prayer of love breathed forth against ingratitude, in the sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial: Behold this Heart which has thus loved men.

“Below, the figure of Our Lady surmounted by a star occupies the foot of the cross, which is truly the place of Mary. She stands there to say to every straying soul: ‘Do not forget the sorrows of your Mother’. She says, ‘I am the comforter’. Despair murmurs that it is too late; She says: ‘between late and too late there is an abyss, behold all the Blood of My Jesus, behold My motherly devotion for you’.”


The Pardon Crucifix comes with powerful graces and indulgences:


~ Whoever carries on his person the Pardon Crucifix, may thereby gain an indulgence.

~For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.

~Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: “Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me.”

~ Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

~Whoever at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.

To the faithful, who devoutly kiss this Crucifix and gain these precious indulgences, we recommend to have in view the following intentions: To testify love for Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin; gratitude towards our Holy Father, the Pope, to beg for the remission of one’s sins; the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory; the return of the nations to the Faith; forgiveness among Christians; reconciliation among members of the Catholic Church. By another Pontifical rescript of November 14 1905. His Holiness Pope Pius X, has declared that the Indulgence attached to the Pardon Crucifix are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

The pardon crucifix is a powerful weapon for us to obtain indulgences not just for us for for all the souls in purgatory.If we assist them with our prayers and the indulgences gained by  venerating this crucifix they will assist us with their prayers.It is highly recommended to wear this crucifix around your neck as it will be a defense against all the devils snares and constantly remind us to invoke its protection and graces often.

To order a pardon crucifix:

Sisters of Carmel

St.Michael and The Marine 


This is the true story of a Marine wounded in Korea in 1950. Writing to his mother, he told her of a fascinating encounter he experienced in the war. Father Walter Muldy, a U.S. Navy chaplain who spoke to the young Marine and his mother as well as to the outfit commander, always affirmed the veracity of this narrative. 

We heard it from someone who read the original letter and retell the story here in all its details and in the first person to better convey some of the impact it must have had when first told by the son to his mother.

Dear Mom,

I am writing to you from a hospital bed. Don’t worry, Mom, I am okay. I was wounded, but the doctor says that I will be up in no time.

But that’s not what I have to tell you, Mom. Something happened to me that I don’t dare tell anyone else for fear of their disbelief. But I have to tell you, the one person I can confide in, though even you may find it hard to believe.

You remember the prayer to Saint Michael that you taught me to pray when I was little: “Michael, Michael of the morning,…” Before I left home for Korea, you urged me to remember this prayer before any confrontation with the enemy. But you really didn’t have to remind me, Mom. I have always prayed it, and when I got to Korea, I sometimes said it a couple of times a day while marching or resting.

Well, one day, we were told to move forward to scout for Commies. It was a really cold day. As I was walking along, I perceived another fellow walking beside me, and I looked to see who it was.

He was a big fellow, a Marine about 6’4” and built proportionally. Funny, but I didn’t know him, and I thought I knew everyone in my unit. I was glad to have the company and broke the silence between us:

“Chilly today, isn’t it?” Then I chuckled because suddenly it seemed absurd to talk about the weather when we were advancing to meet the enemy.He chuckled too, softly.

“I thought I knew everyone in my outfit,” I continued, “ but I have never seen you before.”

“No,” he agreed, “I have just joined. The name is Michael.”

“Really?! That’s mine, too.”

“I know,” the Marine said, “Michael, Michael of the morning….”

Mom, I was really surprised that he knew about my prayer, but I had taught it to many of the other guys, so I supposed that the newcomer must have picked it up from someone else. As a matter of fact, it had gotten around to the extent that some of the fellows were calling me “Saint Michael.”

Then, out of the blue, Michael said, “There’s going to be trouble ahead.”

I wondered how he could know that. I was breathing hard from the march, and my breath hit the cold air like dense clouds of fog. Michael seemed to be in top shape because I couldn’t see his breath at all. Just then, it started to snow heavily, and soon it was so dense I could no longer hear or see the rest of my outfit. I got a little scared and yelled, “Michael!” Then I felt his strong hand on my shoulder and heard his voice in my ear, “It’s going to clear up soon.”

It did clear up, suddenly. And then, just a short distance ahead of us, like so many dreadful realities, were seven Commies, looking rather comical in their funny hats. But there was nothing funny about them now; their guns were steady and pointed straight in our direction.

“Down, Michael!!” I yelled as I dove for cover. Even as I was hitting the ground, I looked up and saw Michael still standing, as if paralyzed by fear, or so I thought at the time. Bullets were spurting all over the place, and Mom, there was no way those Commies could have missed at that short distance. I jumped up to pull him down, and then I was hit. The pain was like a hot fire in my chest, and as I fell, my head swooned and I remember thinking, “I must be dying…” Someone was laying me down, strong arms were holding me and laying me gently on the snow. Through the daze, I opened my eyes, and the sun seemed to blaze in my eyes. Michael was standing still, and there was a terrible splendor in his face. Suddenly, he seemed to grow, like the sun, the splendor increasing intensely around him like the wings of an angel. As I slipped into unconsciousness, I saw that Michael held a sword in his hand, and it flashed like a million lights.

Later on, when I woke up, the rest of the guys came to see me with the sergeant.

“How did you do it, son?” he asked me.

“Where’s Michael?” I asked in reply.

“Michael who?” The sergeant seemed puzzled.

“Michael, the big Marine walking with me, right up to the last moment. I saw him there as I fell.”

“Son,” the sergeant said gravely, “you’re the only Michael in my unit. I hand-picked all you fellows, and there’s only one Michael. You. And son, you weren’t walking with anyone. I was watching you because you were too far off from us, and I was worried.

Now tell me, son,” he repeated, “how did you do it?”

It was the second time he had asked me that, and I found it irritating.“

How did I do what?”

“How did you kill those seven Commies? There wasn’t a single bullet fired from your rifle.”

“What?”

“Come on, son. They were strewn all around you, each one killed by a swordstroke.”

And that, Mom, is the end of my story. It may have been the pain, or the blazing sun, or the chilling cold. I don’t know, Mom, but there is one thing I am sure about. It happened.

Love your son,

Michael

The prayer to Saint Michael mentioned in the story 

Michael, Michael of the morning,

Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,

Keep me safe today,

And in time of temptation

Drive the devil away. 

Amen.

All Catholics should consecrate themselves to St.Michael who is the leader of all the armies of God.Make the consecration below and renew it often!

Consecration to St.Michael


O St. Michael the Archangel, most Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies, valorous warrior of Almighty God, and zealous lover of His Glory, terror of the rebellious angels, and love and delight of all the just, desiring to be numbered among thy devoted servants, I, today offer and consecrate myself to thee, and place myself, my family and all I possess under thy most powerful protection.

I entreat thee not to look at how little, I, as thy servant have to offer, being only a wretched sinner, but rather gaze, with favorable eye, at the heartfelt affection with which this offering is made. Remember that, if from this day onward, I am under thy patronage, thou must assist me during all my life and procure for me the pardon of my many sins, and the grace to love God, my dear Savior Jesus, and my Sweet Mother Mary with all my heart. Obtain for me the help necessary to arrive at my crown of glory.

Defend me always from my spiritual enemies, particularly in the last moments of my life.

Come then, O Glorious Prince. Succor me in my last struggle. With thy powerful weapon cast far from me and into the infernal abyss that prevaricator and proud angel that thou prostrated in the celestial battle.

Saint Michael, defend us in our daily battles so that we may not perish in the Last Judgment.

Amen.

(An indulgence of two-hundred days is granted to everyone who devoutly says this prayer once a day, praying for the needs of the holy Church and the Supreme Pontiff.)

Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and its Extraordinary promises to those who pray this devotion 

Tuesday’s are dedicated to Our Sorrowful Mother,Mary so what better time than today to share one of my favorite devotions especially since we are also in Lent!First comes the motivation,the beautiful promises Our Lord and Our Lady generously grants to all those who practice this devotion.

To St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), Our Lady directly reveals the amazing graces granted by her Son for all those who daily pray seven Hail Mary’s while meditating on her seven dolors and tears:


1. “I will grant peace to their families.”

2. “They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.”

3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”

4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”

5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”

6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death—they will see the face of their mother.”

7. “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where He further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:


1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.

2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.

3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.

4. That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.

 

Up until 1961, the liturgy of the Church officially contemplated the Sorrows of Our Lady during Lent in the form of the feast of the Compassion of Mary, which was celebrated on the Friday before Palm Sunday. With the revision of the liturgical calendar, the Compassion feast was removed and the liturgical celebration of the Seven Sorrows was left principally to the September 15 Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which historically developed from the fourteenth century devotion to the Seven Dolors as cultivated in large part by the Servites of Mary.

Still, the Lenten season in general, and Good Friday in particular, demand the special veneration of the Sorrowful Mother, as well as the efficacious benefit of daily meditation on Our Lady’s co-sufferings with Jesus throughout the liturgical year. Clearly, Jesus wants his disciples to see His sufferings and those of His Mother as one single, unified sacrifice for the redemption of the world. As St. Bernard’s renowned student, Arnold of Chartres († 1160), instructs: “Together they accomplished the task of man’s redemption… both offered up one and the same sacrifice to God; She in the blood of her heart, He in the blood of his flesh… so that together with Christ she obtained a common effect in the salvation of the world.” Our Lord also had revealed to St. Bridget in another part of Revelations: “My Mother and I saved man as with one heart only, I by suffering in my Heart and my flesh, she by the sorrow and love of her heart.”

 

Our Lord instructed Sr. Lucia that the reason for the Fatima apparitions was precisely to place the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary along side devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In sorrow, in Redemption, in veneration, it is the will of God that the Two Hearts be honored together as one.

The historical Seven Sorrows of Our Lady are: The Prophecy of Simeon; The Flight Into Egypt; The Loss of Jesus in the Temple; Mary Meets Jesus Carrying the Cross; The Crucifixion; Mary Receives the Dead Body of Her Son; and The Burial of Her Son and Closing of the Tomb.

Pope Pius VII approved another series of prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows for daily meditation in 1815:


O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary…

2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…

3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…

4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…

5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…

6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…

7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…

Let Us Pray:

Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

Daily meditate upon the Seven Sorrows. Please the Sacred Heart of the Redeemer by pondering the Sorrowful Heart of the Co-redemptrix. Receive the remarkably generous graces which come from uniting our hearts each day to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of the Mother.


How to pray
the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows

1.Pray the Introductory Prayers (on the medal or Cross).

2.Announce the First Sorrow; then pray the Our Father.

3.Pray seven Hail Mary’s while meditating on the Sorrow 

4. At the conclusion of each Sorrow, pray “Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.” 

5.Repeat steps 2 – 4 for all seven Sorrows.
6. Pray three Hail Mary’s in honor of the tears of Our Sorrowful Mother (on the three final beads). 

7.Pray the Closing Prayers. 

8. You may also wish to pray the Litany of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.

INTRODUCTORY PRAYERS

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
My God, I offer you this rosary for your glory. I want to honor your Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin, by meditating upon and sharing in her suffering.
O my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, trusting in your infinite love I turn to you for forgiveness and mercy. I am truly sorry for the pains you suffered in your most bitter Passion because of my sins. For love of you, and before your holy presence, I utterly renounce and forsake all the sins of my whole life. I ask pardon of you with all my heart. I firmly resolve to amend my life and would rather die than offend you again.

O Blessed Virgin Mary, you are our tender Mother and the refuge of sinners. I run to you with confidence and love. Hide me under your mantle of love and protection. As I meditate upon the swords of sorrow that pierced your Immaculate Heart, obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins and the grace to live a life of heroic holiness.
O Blessed Mother, I unite my heart to yours and offer this rosary for priests: for their growth in holiness, obedience to the Magisterium, boldness in the proclamation of the Gospel, and a profound love for the people of God. May all priests humbly lead the souls entrusted to their care into an intimate relationship with the Lord.
[I also pray for the following particular intentions…]
V. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
R. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.

The First Sword of Sorrow


Simeon announces
the suffering destiny of Jesus (Luke 2:34-35)
O Mother of Sorrows, how deeply your heart was pierced with sorrow when Simeon announced that Jesus, your beloved Child, was to be a sign that would be rejected. Your heart knew that He was to be the suffering Messiah the prophets had foretold, the man of sorrows, who would carry all our sins and heal us by His wounds. Through this bitter sorrow obtain for us the grace never to reject Jesus or refuse Him anything. Help us to completely surrender our lives to Him and to live according to His most holy will in everything.
Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s
Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.

The Second Sword of Sorrow


Mary escapes into Egypt with Jesus and Joseph (Matt 2:13-15)
O Mother of Sorrows, what pain filled your heart as you fled your home and country knowing that the tyrant Herod was intent on murdering your little Child whom you loved above all else. The hardships of travel, the long journey, and life as a refugee was nothing compared to the torment of such demonic malice directed toward Jesus. Through this bitter sword of sorrow obtain for us the grace never to risk the life of Jesus in our souls through deliberate sin.
Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s
Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.

The Third Sword of Sorrow


Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-51)
O Mother of Sorrows, what grief filled your heart as you and Joseph searched desperately for Jesus when you could not find Him among your relatives and friends returning home from Jerusalem. When your Son replied that He must be about His Father’s business, you accepted that He had begun the mission that would lead to His sacrificial death. The sorrow of those three days of separation prepared you for the three days of suffering you endured while His body lay lifeless in the tomb. Through this bitter sword of sorrow obtain for us the grace to accept the ways of Divine Providence even when we do not understand them.
Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s
Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.

The Fourth Sword of Sorrow


Mary meets Jesus as He carries His Cross to Calvary
(cf. Luke 23:26-31)
O Mother of Sorrows, how it must have wounded your tender maternal heart to see your beloved Son Jesus carrying His Cross to Calvary, the place of execution! How it must have pained you to see Him so bloodied, beaten, and reviled as He strained to fulfill His deepest desire: to give His life as a ransom for us. Through this bitter sword of sorrow obtain for us the grace to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Jesus with perseverance and love.
Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s
Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.

The Fifth Sword of Sorrow


Mary stands near the Cross of her Son Jesus
(John 19:25-27)
O Mother of Sorrows, here the prophecy of Simeon comes to its ultimate fulfillment: the sword of sorrow impales your heart as you stand beneath the Cross of your Son. Crucified spiritually with your crucified Son, you offered Him to the Father and united yourself completely to His self-offering and sacrificial death. We simply cannot fathom the pain of your offering or the depth of love that inspired it. Through this bitter sword of sorrow obtain for us the grace to unite all our sufferings to our crucified Lord with unselfish generosity and love.
Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s
Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Saviour.

The Sixth Sword of Sorrow


Mary receives into her arms
the body of Jesus taken down from the Cross
(cf. John 19:38)
O Mother of Sorrows, your heart was drowned in grief as you embraced the lifeless corpse of your Son. He who was your very life was now dead. Your light in this life was extinguished. Yet you accepted this sorrow with love knowing that it was all part of the Father’s plan of salvation. Through this bitter sword of sorrow obtain for us the grace to accept with patience and love the sorrows that befall us in this vale of tears, firmly believing that God works all things to the good for those who love Him.
Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s
Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.

The Seventh Sword of Sorrow


Mary helps place the body of Jesus in the tomb
(cf. John 19:39-42)
O Mother of Sorrows, who could express the cruel anguish of this moment? The same Child that you once wrapped in swaddling clothes amidst unspeakable joy, you now wrap silently in His burial shroud. Your tears mingle with the blood and dirt that covers His broken body. But even in this moment your trust in His promise did not die. Your mourning was not without hope, for you knew that He would rise again from this grave just as He promised. Through this bitter sword of sorrow obtain for us the grace to believe with unshakable hope in the victory of our Lord even in the darkest moments of life.Our Father & seven Hail Mary’s 

Holy Mother hear my prayers, and renew in my heart each wound of Jesus my Savior.
Pray three Hail Mary’s in honor of the tears of Our Sorrowful Mother.
Closing Prayers
O Mary, you truly became the Queen of all martyrs as these seven bitter swords of sorrow pierced your Immaculate Heart! By the merits of your tearful distress obtain for us and for all sinners the graces of perfect contrition and conversion. Help us always, dear Mother, to imitate you by taking up our crosses and following Jesus with limitless love and generosity. Amen.
Mary, who was conceived without sin and who suffered for us, pray for us. (Say three times)

Litany of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows
by Pope Pius VII
V


Lord, have mercy on us. 

R. Christ, have mercy on us. 

V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. 

R. Christ, graciously hear us. 

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. 

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. 

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

 Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. 

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

 Mother of the Crucified, [etc.] 

Sorrowful Mother 

Mournful Mother 

Sighing Mother 

Afflicted Mother 

Forsaken Mother 

Desolate Mother 

Mother most sad 

Mother set around with anguish 

Mother overwhelmed by grief 

Mother transfixed by a sword 

Mother crucified in your heart 

Mother bereaved of your Son Sighing Dove

Mother of Sorrows

Fount of tears

Sea of bitterness

Field of tribulation

Mass of suffering

Mirror of patience

Rock of constancy

Remedy in perplexity

Joy of the afflicted

Ark of the desolate

Refuge of the abandoned 

Shield of the oppressed 

Conqueror of the incredulous 

Solace of the wretched 

Medicine of the sick

Help of the faint

Strength of the weak 

Protectress of those who fight

 Haven of the shipwrecked 

Calmer of tempests 

Companion of the sorrowful 

Retreat of those who groan 

Terror of the treacherous 

Standard-bearer of the Martyrs 

Treasure of the Faithful

Light of Confessors

Pearl of Virgins

Comfort of Widows

Joy of all Saints

Queen of your Servants

Holy Mary, who alone are beyond compare

V. Pray for us, most Sorrowful Virgin,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of grief pierced through the most sweet soul of Thy glorious Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: grant that we, who celebrate the memory of her Seven Sorrows, may obtain the happy effect of Your Passion, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

Encounters with the souls in purgatory


Short stories of Purgatory -A remarkable collection of visits from the souls in Purgatory to various Saints and Mystics.
“I know when you pray for me, and it is the same with all of the other souls here in Purgatory. Very few of us here get any prayers; the majority of us are totally abandoned, with no thought or prayers offered for us from those on earth” (Message from a soul in Purgatory)
St Padre Pio’s visions of the souls in Purgatory


In May, 1922, Padre Pio testified the following to the Bishop of Melfi, His Excellency Alberto Costa and also the superior of the friary, Padre Lorenzo of San Marco along with 5 other friars. One of the five friars, Fra Alberto D’ Apolito of San Giovanni Rotondo wrote down the account as follows:

“While in the friary on a winter afternoon after a heavy snowfall, he was sitting by the fireplace one evening in the guest room, absorbed in prayer, when an old man, wearing an old-fashioned cloak still worn by southern Italian peasants at the time, sat down beside him. Concerning this man Pio states: ‘I could not imagine how he could have entered the friary at this time of night since all the doors are locked. I questioned him: ‘Who are you? What do you want?’

The old man told him, “Padre Pio, I am Pietro Di Mauro, son of Nicola, nicknamed Precoco.” He went on to say, “I died in this friary on the 18th of September, 1908, in cell number 4, when it was still a poorhouse. One night, while in bed, I fell asleep with a lighted cigar, which ignited the mattress and I died, suffocated and burned. I am still in Purgatory. I need a holy Mass in order to be freed. God permitted that I come and ask you for help.” 

According to Padre Pio: “After listening to him, I replied, ‘Rest assured that tomorrow I will celebrate Mass for your liberation.’ I arose and accompanied him to the door of the friary, so that he could leave. I did not realize at that moment that the door was closed and locked: I opened it and bade him farewell The moon lit up the square, covered with snow. When I no longer saw him in front of me, I was taken by a sense of fear, and I closed the door, reentered the guest room, and felt faint.”

A few days later, Padre Pio also told the story to Padre Paolino, and the two decided to go to the town hall, where they looked at the vital statistics for the year I908 and found that on September 18 of that year, one Pietro Di Mauro had in fact died of burns and asphyxiation in Room Number 4 at the friary, then used as a home for the homeless. 

Around the same time, Padre Pio told Fra Alberto of another apparition of a soul from Purgatory which also occurred around the same time. He said: 

One evening, when I was absorbed in prayer in the choir of the little church I was shaken and disturbed by the sound of footsteps, and candles and flower vases being moved on the main altar. Thinking that someone must be there, I called out, “Who is it?” 

No one answered. Returning to prayer, I was again disturbed by the same noises. In fact, this time I had the impression that one of the candles, which was in front of the statue of Our Lady of Grace, had fallen. Wanting to see what was happening on the altar, I stood up, went close to the grate and saw, in the shadow of the light of the Tabernacle lamp, a young confrere doing some cleaning. I yelled out, “What are you doing in the dark?” The little friar answered, “I am cleaning.” 

“You clean in the dark?” I asked. “Who are you?” 

The little friar said, ‘I am a Capuchin novice, who spends his time of Purgatory here. I am in need of prayers.’ and then he disappeared,” 

Padre Pio stated that he immediately began praying for him as requested, and it is not known if he had any further dealings with this particular soul. However, in regards souls in Purgatory it is very interesting to note that later in life Padre Pio once said that ‘As many souls of the dead come up this road [to the monastery] as that of the souls of the living.” Without a doubt, many souls from Purgatory visited Padre Pio seeking his prayers, sacrifices and sufferings to obtain their release.


From the manuscript of Sister M. de L.C., written from 1874-1890

To get an idea of how Purgatory is arranged, we can get a good glimpse of it from a nun from France who had died on February 22, 1871 at the age of 36, and 2-1/2 years later (in November 1873) she began appearing from Purgatory to a fellow nun in her convent, named Sister M. de L.C (name kept anonymous in the manuscript to protect the nuns identity, as the manuscript was published while the nun was still living) as related in the booklet “An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory” published by The Reparation Society of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Inc., 2002:

“I can tell you about the different degrees of Purgatory because I have passed through them. In the great Purgatory there are several stages. In the lowest and most painful, it is like a temporary hell, and here there are the sinners who have committed terrible crimes during life and whose death surprised them in that state. It was almost a miracle that they were saved, and often by the prayers of holy parents or other pious persons. Sometimes they did not even have time to confess their sins and the world thought them lost, but God, whose mercy is infinite, gave them at the moment of death the contrition necessary for their salvation on account of one or more good actions which they performed during life. For such souls, Purgatory is terrible. It is a real hell with this difference, that in hell they curse God, whereas we bless Him and thank Him for having saved us. 

Next to these come the souls, who though they did not com¬mit great crimes like the others, were indifferent to God. They did not fulfill their Easter duties and were also converted at the point of death. Many were unable to receive Holy Communion. They are in Purgatory for the long years of indifference. They suffer unheard of pains and are abandoned either without prayers or if they are said for them, they are not allowed to profit by them. There are in this stage of Purgatory religious of both sexes, who were tepid, neglectful of their duties, indifferent towards Jesus, also priests who did not exercise their sacred ministry with the reverence due to the Sovereign Majesty and who did not instill the love of God sufficiently into the souls confided to their care. I was in this stage of Purgatory. 

In the second Purgatory are the souls of those who died with venial sins not fully expiated before death, or with mortal sins that have been forgiven but for which they have not made entire satisfaction to the Divine Justice. In this part of Purgatory, there are also different degrees according to the merits of each soul. 

Thus the Purgatory of the consecrated souls or of those who have received more abundant graces, is longer and far more painful than that of ordinary people of the world. 

Lastly, there is the Purgatory of desire which is called the Threshold. Very few escape this. To avoid it altogether, one must ardently desire Heaven and the vision of God. That is rare, rarer than people think, because even pious people are afraid of God and have not, therefore, a sufficiently strong desire of going to Heaven. This Purgatory has its very painful martyrdom like the others. The deprivation of the sight of our loving Jesus adds to the intense suffering.” 

Another explanation of the levels in Purgatory from this same book:

Retreat, August 1878: “Great sinners who were indifferent towards God, and religious who were not what they should have been are in the lowest stage of Purgatory. While they are there [in the lowest realms of Purgatory], the prayers offered up for them are not applied to them. Because they have ignored God during their life, He now in His turn leaves them abandoned [without the aid of the prayers of others] in order that they may repair their neglectful and worthless lives. While on earth one truly cannot picture or imagine what God really is, but we (in Purgatory) know and understand Him for what He is, because our souls are freed from all the ties that fettered them and prevented them from realizing the holiness and majesty of God and His great mercy. We are martyrs, consumed as it were by love. An irresistible force draws us towards God who is our center, but at the same time another force thrusts us back to our place of expiation. 

We are in the state of being unable to satisfy our longings. Oh, what a suffering that is, but we desire it and there is no murmuring against God here. We desire only what God wants. You on earth, however, cannot possibly understand what we have to endure. I am much relieved as I am no longer in the fire. I have now only the insatiable desire to see God, a suffering cruel enough indeed, but I feel that the end of my exile is at hand and that I am soon to leave this place where I long for God with all my heart. I know it well, I feel more at ease, but I cannot tell you the day or the hour of my release. God alone knows that. It may be that I have still many years of longing for Heaven. Continue to pray; I will repay you later on, though I do pray a great deal for you now.” 

Why is it that I pray for you with less fervor than I pray for others and that often I forget to recommend you? 

Do not trouble yourself about that. It is a punishment for me. 

Even if you prayed more I should not be any the more relieved. God wills it thus. If He wants you to pray more He will inspire you to do so. I repeat again, do not be worried about me. You will never see me in my sufferings. Later on, when your soul is stronger, you will see souls in Purgatory and very awful ones, but let this not frighten you. God will then give you the necessary courage and all that you need to accomplish His holy will. 

Is this not a punishment? 

No, certainly not, I am here for my relief and for your sanctification. If you would but pay a little more attention to what I say. 

That is true but these happenings are so extraordinary that I do not know what to make of them; it is not an ordinary thing to hear you in this way. 

I understand well your difficulty and I am aware of your sufferings on this account. However, if God wishes it and it relieves me, you will have pity on me, will you not? When I am released you will see that I will do far more for you than you have ever done for me. I already pray much for you.

Where is Sister –?

In the lowest Purgatory, where she receives no benefit from anyone’s prayers. God is often displeased, if one may speak thus, when many religious come to die, because He has called these souls to Himself that they might serve Him faithfully on earth and go straight to Heaven at the moment of death, but because of their infidelity, they have to stay long in Purgatory – far longer than people in the world who have not had so many graces.

1879, Retreat in September. We see St. Michael as we see the angels. He has no body. He comes to get the souls that have finished their purification. It is he who conducts them to Heaven. He is among the Seraphim as Monsignor said. He is the highest angel in Heaven. Our own Guardian Angels come to see us but St. Michael is far more beautiful than they are. As to the Blessed Virgin, we see her in the body. She comes to Purgatory on her feasts and she goes back to Heaven with many souls. While she is with us we do not suffer. St. Michael accompanies her. When he comes alone, we suffer as usual. When I spoke to you of the great and the second Purgatory, it was to try to make you understand that there are different stages in Purgatory. Thus I call that stage of Purgatory “great” or “worst” where the most guilty souls are, and where I stayed for two years without being able to give a sign of the torments I was suffering. The year when you heard me groaning, when I began to speak to you, I was still in the same place.

In the second Purgatory, which is still Purgatory but very different from the first, one suffers a great deal, but less than in the great place of expiation. Then there is a third stage, which is the Purgatory of desire, where there is no fire. The souls who did not desire Heaven ardently enough, who did not love God sufficiently, are there. It is there that I am at this moment. Further, in these three parts of Purgatory, there are many degrees of variation. Little by little, as the soul becomes purified, her sufferings are changed.

You sometimes say to me that the perfecting of a soul is a long process and you are also astonished that after so many prayers, I am so long deprived of the sight of God. Alas, the perfecting of a soul does not take any less time in Purgatory than upon earth. There are a number of souls, but they are very few, who have only a few venial sins to expiate. These do not stay long in Purgatory. A few well-said prayers, a few sacrifices soon deliver them. But when there are souls like mine – and that is nearly all whose lives have been so empty and who paid little or no attention to their salvation – then their whole life has to be begun over again in this place of expiation. The soul has to perfect itself and love and desire Him, whom it did not love sufficiently on earth. This is the reason why the deliverance of some souls is delayed. God has given me a very great grace in allowing me to ask for prayers. I did not deserve it, but without this I would have remained like most of those here, for years and years more.”

The immense power of the Mass for the souls in Purgatory


Next, from the excellent book “Purgatory –Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints” by Father F.X. Schouppe, S.J., Tan Books, 1986 we read the following accounts which highlight the power and importance of offering holy Masses for the departed. The following is a sincere testimony from the person who experienced several visits from a soul in purgatory, and thus she provides a detailed and frank eye-witness account with regard to the facts: 

On October 13, 1849, there died at the age of fifty-two, in the parish of Ardoye, in Flanders, a woman named Eugenie Van de Kerckove, whose husband, John Wybo, was a farmer. She was a pious and charitable woman who generously gave to charity in proportionate to her means. She had, to the end of her life, a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and abstained from meat in her honor on the Friday and Saturday of each week. Although her conduct was not free from certain faults, she otherwise led a exemplary and edifying life. 

Eugenie had a servant named Barbara Vennecke, aged twenty-eight, who was known as a virtuous and devoted girl, and who had assisted her mistress in her last sickness, and after Eugenie’s death, she continued to serve her master, John Wybo, the widower of Eugenie. 

About three weeks after her death, the deceased appeared to her servant under circumstances which we will now relate. It was in the middle of the night; Barbara slept soundly, when she heard herself called distinctly three times by her name. She awoke with a start, and saw Eugenie before her, sitting on the side of her bed, clad in a working dress, consisting of a skirt and short jacket. At this remarkable sight, Barbara was seized with astonishment. The apparition spoke to her: “Barbara,” she said, simply pronouncing her name. “What do you desire, Eugenie?” replied the servant. 

‘Please take,” said the mistress, “the little rake which I often told you to put in its place; stir the heap of sand in the little room; you know to which one I refer. You will find there 500 franks; use it to have Masses said, two francs for each Mass, for my intention, for I am still suffering.” “I will do so, Eugenie,” replied Barbara, and at the same moment the apparition vanished. After awhile she fell asleep again, and reposed quietly until morning: 

On awaking, Barbara thought that maybe it was all just a dream, but yet she had been so deeply impressed, so wide awake, she had seen her old mistress in a form so distinct, so full of life and she had received from her lips such precise directions, that she could not help saying, “This cannot have been a dream. I saw my mistress in person; she presented herself to my eyes and she surely spoke to me. It is no dream, but a reality.” 

She therefore immediately went and took the rake as directed, stirred the sand, and drew out a purse containing the sum of five hundred francs. 

In such strange and extraordinary circumstances the good girl thought it her duty to seek the advice of her pastor before spending the 500 francs on having Masses said, and went to relate to him all that had happened. The venerable Abbe R., then parish priest of Ardoye, replied that the Masses asked by the departed soul absolutely must be celebrated, but, in order to dispose of the sum of money, the consent of the husband, John Wybo, was necessary, since the money was found in his house. The latter willingly consented that the money should be employed for so holy a purpose, and the Masses were celebrated, being given two francs for each Mass. 

We call attention to the circumstance of the Mass donations, because it corresponded with the pious custom of the deceased. The fee for a Mass fixed by the diocese at that time was a franc and a half, but during her lifetime Eugenie-through consideration and charity for the clergy, many of whom were quite poor- always gave two francs for each Mass that she made offerings for. Thus the extra 1/2 a frank Mass offering that she normally made was an act of charity and additional financial support for the priests who celebrated them. 

Two months after the first apparition, while Masses were still being said for Eugenie’s intentions, Barbara was again awakened during the night. This time her chamber was illuminated with a bright light, and her mistress appeared before her with a radiant smile, beautiful and fresh in appearance as in the days of her youth, and was dressed in a robe of dazzling whiteness—“Barbara,” she said in a clear voice, “I thank you! For I am now delivered from the place of purification.’ Saying these words, she disappeared, and the chamber became dark as before. 

The servant, amazed at what she had just seen, was full of joy, and she soon spread the remarkable story to everyone about the town . This apparition made the most lively impression upon her mind, and she preserves to this day the most consoling remembrance of it. It is from her that we have these details, through the favor of the venerable Abbe L., who was curate at Ardoye when these facts occurred. 

This is but one of the many stories in regards to the power and efficacy of the Holy Mass wherein the Son of God Himself offers Himself upon the altar for the forgiveness of our sins, for it is a fact that of all that we can do in favor of the souls in Purgatory, there is nothing more powerful and precious than the offering of immolation of our Divine Saviour upon the altar. Besides being the express doctrine of the Church as manifested in her Councils, there are many miraculous facts, properly authenticated, which leave no room for doubt in regard to this point. 

In evidence to this we now provide another incident, related by the historian Ferdinand of Castile. From 1324-1327 there was at Cologne two Dominican Religious of distinguished talent, one of whom was Blessed Henry Suso (1295-1366). They shared the same studies, the same kind of life, and above all the same desire for sanctity, which had caused them to form an close friendship. 

When they had finished their studies, seeing that they were about to be separated to return each one to his own convent, they agreed and promised one another that the first of the two who should die should be assisted by the other for a whole year by the celebration of two Masses each week–on Monday a Mass of Requiem, as was customary, and on Friday that of the Passion, in so far as the Rubrics would permit. They promised each other that they would do this, gave each other the kiss of peace, and left Cologne. 

For several years they both continued to serve God with the most edifying fervor. The priest religious whose name is not mentioned was the first to be called away, and Father Suso received the news with sentiments of resignation to the Divine will. As to the contract they had made, time had caused him to forget it. However, he prayed much for his friend, imposing new penances upon himself and many other good works, but he did not think of offering the Masses which he had promised a number of years previously. 

One morning, while meditating in retirement in the chapel, he suddenly saw appear before him the soul of his departed friend, who, regarding him with tenderness, reproached him with having been unfaithful to his word from which he had a perfect right to rely upon with confidence. Blessed Suso, surprised, excused his forgetfulness by relating the many prayers and mortifications which he had offered, and still continued to offer, for his friend, whose salvation was as dear to him as his own. 

“Is it possible, my dear brother;’ he added, “that so many prayers and good works which I have offered to God do not suffice for you?” “Oh no,” dear brother, replied the suffering soul, “these are not yet sufficient. It is the Blood of Jesus Christ that is needed to extinguish the flames by which I am consumed; it is the Holy Sacrifice which will deliver me from these frightful torments. I implore you to keep your word, and refuse me not that which in justice you owe me.” 


Blessed Suso hastened to respond to the appeal of the suffering soul; he contacted as many priests as possible and urged them to say Masses for his friends intentions and, to repair his fault, he celebrated, and caused to be celebrated, a large number of Masses that very same day. On the following day several priests, at the request of Father Suso, united with him in offering the Holy Sacrifice for the deceased, and he continued his act of charity for several days. 

After a short time the priest friend of Suso again appeared to him, but now in a very different condition; his countenance was joyful, and he was surrounded with beautiful light. “Thanks be to you, my dear friend” he said “behold, by the Blood of my Saviour I am delivered from my sufferings. I am now going to Heaven to contemplate Him whom we so often adored together under the Eucharistic veil.” 

Afterwards, Blessed Suso prostrated himself to ‘thank the God of infinite mercy, because he now understood more than ever the inestimable value of the Mass.’ 

Eugenie von der Leyen

Modern apparitions to Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929)


As to Saints and Blesseds, so far we have shared stories from St Padre Pio and Blessed Henry Suso. But there are many more canonized Saints who have been great helpers of the suffering souls. The most well known and recognized are St John Macias (who was known to have released literally thousands of souls from Purgatory during his holy lifetime), St. Augustine, St. Dominic, St. Francis Xavier, St. Victor, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Nicolas of Tolentino, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Gregory the Great, St. Odilon of Cluny, St. Francesca Romana, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Ambrose, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Efraim, St. Peter Damian, St. Francis de Sales, St. Catherine of Genoa, and in modern times the recently canonized saints Gemma Galgani, St. Padre Pio, and St Faustina Kowalska, to name but a few.

Since many of the stories of Purgatory from the above mentioned Saints are well known, the emphasis here is to provide the lesser known and nonetheless fascinating stories from sources and individuals not widely known or read, because in His infinite mercy, history is full of “everyday” persons whom on occasion God has permitted to assist the souls in Purgatory. I will say however that the one notable thing about such occurrences is that seers of souls from Purgatory are often reported to be especially good and pious persons, which is logical, for God permits a soul to appear so that it can be released from Purgatory, or at least, that its suffering be greatly lessened, and a pious, compassionate person is more likely to respond to its requests by the offering of fervent sacrifices, sufferings and prayers which are the means which help the poor souls. In other words, such souls are “saintly” persons, without of course ever becoming canonized Saints.

One such soul is Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929) who kept a diary of the appearances of the souls in Purgatory to her. Eugenie was a well educated woman of high German nobility; in fact Eugenie bore the title of princess and lived in the ancestral castle at Waal, Bavaria, Germany. By order of her confessor, she kept diary of her contacts with the poor souls, which after her death was handed over to Bishop Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII.

The Shepherd named Fritz –From the diary of Eugenie von der Leyen, 1923


June 11, 1923. At awakening, a long grayish form over me, completely nebulous; I can’t say whether man or woman, but unsympathetic; I am very frightened. 

June 14. The phantom was already in my room when I wanted to sleep. Then I said my evening-prayer aloud, during which it came very near to me. If it hadn’t been for his arms, it rather would seem a walking tree-trunk. It stayed perhaps twenty minutes, then came back at four o’clock. 

June 16. It was very bad. It shook my shoulder. That is a horrible moment. I struck him and said: “You may not touch me!” Whereupon it withdrew in a corner. At my push, I didn’t feel a body, it was like a humid, warm towel. I believed I couldn’t stand such terror any longer. 

June 18. Again this horrible thing; it wanted to clasp my neck. I prayed in fear and took the particle of the Cross [a holy relic she possessed] in my hand. Then it remained with me, staying upright and big before me. It didn’t answer questions.” then it went out through the door, which it left open. 

June 19. I can recognize now that it is a man; he was only there for a short while. 

June 21. The horrible man more than an hour during the night, went back and forth continuously. He has disheveled black hair and horrific eyes. 

June 22. This man from one o’clock until past five with me, it was very bad. He repeatedly bowed over me and sat down at my bedside. I really wept for fear, then prayed the “hours” so that I didn’t need to see him. Then he went again back and forth and moaned horribly. Now it seems to me I must know him, however I cannot find out who it is. I have become very cowardly, for many times it is really a decision for me to go to my room in the evening. Yet ordinarily I am able to fall asleep very well. 

June 24. He came back, seized me at my shoulder. I said: “Now tell me what you want and then don’t come back.” 

No answer; he went again through the room a couple of times and then was gone. My rest however was completely destroyed. At six in the morning he came back. In daylight he even looks more horrific, makes a disgusting impression, belongs to the dirtiest category of ghosts who have already come. I said: “Don’t disturb me, I want to prepare myself for holy Communion!” Then he drew very near to me and lifted his hands imploringly. I was so sorry for him that I promised him a lot. Then I said: “Can’t you speak?” Whereupon he shook his head. “Do you have much to suffer?” Now he moaned terribly. I gave him much holy water” and then he was gone. 

June 27. He was there again, in the night. Seems to know me; I racked my brains as to who he might be. He is very unsympathetic.? 

June 29. He was again in the room when I went to bed. It could be the murdered shepherd Fritz. I asked him at once, but he didn’t react. I prayed with him, during which he fixed his eyes on me so angrily that I was really frightened. I asked him to go and then he went indeed. 

June 30. He came very briefly; his moaning waked me up. 

July 1. Again, I really believe it is shepherd Fritz. However his face is so black that I have difficulty recognizing him. But figure, nose, and eyes are wholly “he,” as I saw him so many times in life. 

July 2. He came back, didn’t look so terribly wild anymore and stayed not for a long time. I addressed him as “shepherd Fritz,” which he apparently found quite natural. 

July 3. He came very briefly. I asked: ”Are you the murdered shepherd Fritz?” Then he said distinctly: “Yes!” 

July 4. He came to me in the morning, looked sadly at me and went away soon, answered nothing, too. 

July 5. Now it struck me that everything about him is clearer. During prayer, he made the Sign of the Cross. 

July 6. I am very happy for he can speak now. I asked him: “Why do you always come to me?” He: “Because you have always prayed for me.” (That is right, for I had always been sorry for the poor fellow; he always looked so particular, even as a boy.) I: “Then what saved you?” He: “Insight and repentance.” I: “Weren’t you dead immediately?” He: “No.” I: “Will you be released soon?” He: “Not by far.” Then I gave him permission to continue coming to me, if it does him well. How remarkable it is, that someone who was so rude in life speaks like that when separated from his body. Now I am not frightened by him anymore, and would like to help him as best I can. How merciful is the good Lord! 

July 8. He came very briefly. 

July 9. He came at 6:00am and by doing so woke me up. Otherwise I had overslept. I: “Is it so important for you that I go to holy Mass?” He:”That way, you can help me a lot.” 

July 11. Only came very briefly. 

July 12. We prayed together,” then I: “Then what do you have to suffer?” He: “I am burning!” Then he came up to me and before I could defend myself, he pressed a finger on my hand. I was frightened so much and it hurt me so much, that I screamed. Now I have a red burn which I hope will heal soon. It is a very strange feeling, to have this visible mark from the other world.

July 24. Shepherd Fritz and the other one came two times in the night, all silent, but [the new one] not very pleasant. 

July 29. Nothing special to mention. Now these two are coming every night. The new one looks horrible, while shepherd Fritz becomes ever more bright!! 

August 10. Shepherd Fritz drew so near to me again, but looked very friendly. So I said to him, “Don’t you have to suffer so much anymore?” He: “No.” and I: “Can you pray for me yet?” He: “No.” and I: “Where are you then all the time?” He: “In the forlornness.” I: “Will you still come often to me?” He: “No.” and I: “Why not?” He: “I am not allowed to any more!” and I: “Have I been able to help you?” He: “Yes.” Then he was gone…. 

To close this remarkable account, Father Sebastian Wieser, Eugenie’s parish priest and confessor, comments: 

“The behavior of this apparition is like the echo of his earthly life. I have known shepherd Fritz well -he was like a “billygoat” in the parish. In him, the greatness of the mercy of God really manifests itself. Rarely did he come to church. He had an only son, who in school became well known for his meanness, falsehood, and deceptions and caused many troubles to his teachers and those in authority over him. When the boy had to be punished at school, the father pulled out all the stops of his indignation over the schoolmaster and priest. I prophesied at that time that someday the father himself would get a beating from this only son! 

When this son was seventeen years old and was big and quite strong, he beat his father to death at around midnight …. Nobody knew if Fritz was dead immediately or if he came to for a moment. The latter seems to have been the case. The murderer had knocked him down in the hay-barn and abandoned him to his fate. Only in the morning was the dead man discovered ….On the sixth of July he states that: “…insight and repentance” have saved him from damnation! On the twelfth day of July he says, “I am burning!” and presses a finger on the hand of the princess, which leaves a red burn which I have seen myself.” –Father Sebastian Wieser

Another modern account: St Gemma Galgani obtains the relief of a soul in Purgatory


The final account will go to Saint: St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903). It is taken from the excellent book “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo C.P.:

“Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Religious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.

Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma’s heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest: she fervently offered prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.

“Jesus, save her,” she was overheard to exclaim. “Jesus, take Maria Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven.” 

And during this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

“It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: “Gemma,” she said after some moments, “do you know me?” I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: “I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so very much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness.”

All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: “Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering.” And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints’.”

And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

“Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the holy hour I was making was drawing to an end. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Sr. Maria Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: “I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus forever.” She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o’clock in the morning.”


Source:mysticsofthechuch.com

How to obtain a plenary indulgence at death


One of the ways in which the Church is most evidently a loving Mother is in the dispensation of indulgences, which encourage us to devotions most helpful to our salvation. 

There are ten plenary indulgences to be gained at the hour of death: 

The FIRST Of these ten, one most unusual indulgence can be gained NOW, and it will apply automatically at the moment of death: “The faithful who at any time in their lives, from a sincere spirit of love of God and with at least a contrite heart, express their intention of accepting calmly and gladly from the hand of God whatsoever manner of death it may please Him to send them, together with all its anguish and suffering.” 

O Lord my God, I now, at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Your hands whatever kind of death it may please You to send me, will all its pains, penalties and sorrows. Amen.

  When we realize that a plenary indulgence is the application by the Chuch of the Infinite treasury of Christ to the COMPLETE REMISSION OF ALL TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT DUE TO OUR SINS, we ought to immediately express our deepest gratitude to Almighty God for this wonderful gift of His mercy!

There are nine other ways to obtain a plenary indulgence at the hour of death, but all of them necessitate Confession and Communion shortly before death or at least a contrite heart, and the invocation of the name of Jesus verbally if possible while at the same time accepting death as the wage of sin. 

Of these nine ways, eight require daily, or at least “frequent”, recitation throughout life of certain prayers. 

EIGHT OF THESE ARE:


1. “May the most just, the most high and the most lovable will of God be in all things done, praised and evermore exalted.” 


2. The Acts of Faith, Hope, Charity and Contrition (all four); 

ACT OF FAITH

O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. 

ACT OF HOPE

O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. 

ACT OF CHARITY

O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. 

ACT OF CONTRITION

O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.


3. “Jesus”; 


4. “Mary”; 


5. Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, . . . 


6. “We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.” 


7. “Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here; ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide, Amen.” 


8. (a) “The faithful who spend at least a quarter of an hour reading Holy Scripture with the reverence due to the Word of God and after the manner of spiritual reading, or 

(b) “who read at least a few verses of the Gospel and further kiss the book of the Gospels, devoutly reciting one of the following invocations: Through the Gospel’s words may our sins be blotted out—–May the reading of the Gospel be our health and protection—–May Christ, the Son of God, teach us the words of the Holy Gospel.” 

The TENTH 

The last way to gain a plenary indulgence at the hour of death can be obtained by doing something only ONCE DURING LIFE. If we have done this one thing, then, for invoking the name of Jesus with a contrite heart and with resignation to death as wage of sin, we may obtain a plenary indulgence at the moment of death. 

This one thing is to perform some special exercises of devotion in honor of the Immaculate Virgin Mary ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH, in order to atone for blasphemies whereby the name and prerogatives of the same blessed Virgin are reviled, FOR EIGHT CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.


Moreover, each time that we make this practice we gain a plenary indulgence. This was proclaimed on June 13th, 1912, just five years to the day before Our Lady of Fatima appeared for the second time. 

In her apparitions Our Lady asked for reparation to her on the First Saturday of the month, and promised to COME AT THE HOUR OF DEATH to those who would do a certain thing on the first Saturday for ONLY FIVE consecutive months, namely: Say the Rosary, receive Holy Communion in a spirit of reparation, and spend fifteen minutes thinking about one or more mysteries of the Rosary. 


Three years after the apparitions of Fatima, Pope Benedict XV, without taking away the plenary indulgence each time anyone made an act of reparation in honor of Our Lady on a First Saturday, added the PLENARY INDULGENCE AT THE HOUR OF DEATH for those who would renew the practice on eight consecutive first Saturdays. 

Does it not seem that this devotion of the “First Saturdays” has more importance than some of us are wont to attach to it? 

And it is so easy! Just fifteen minutes of thought, which might even be made and related to attending Mass; the Rosary; and Holy Communion. 


Extraordinary, isn’t it? 

Why don’t you begin . . .

Prayer of Resignation to the Divine Will

Let us also go up in order to die with Jesus. To die as He died, to die with Him, that is what we seek to learn in the school of the Cross. Let us not forget the lesson we have learned today, but let us rather educate ourselves further and strive to make progress in the ars moriendi, the art of dying, which our forefathers esteemed so highly. No doubt we are all prepared to do so. But perhaps there are some among us who think: “That was a pious, useful instruction; true, it is wholesome to think of death and there is nothing better than to die as Christ died; I shall make a note of it and recall it when I am older or if I should become seriously ill.” 

No matter how seemingly reasonable that sounds, it is by no means the correct lesson to be drawn from our meditation. We have realized the necessity of being prepared for death. At what age does it begin? To this question there is but one answer for everybody: Today. Whether you are twelve or twenty, or thirty or fifty, or seventy years of age, Memento mori applies to you and to everybody. For among the fifty millions who die each year, the one hundred and fifty thousand who die each day, the six thousand claimed by death each hour, there are children and youths, middle-aged and old men and women. No age is immune against death. Let us all, therefore, young and old, today on Golgotha’s heights and during our visits to the holy sepulchres in various churches, set our hearts in order and keep them prepared until death calls. 

And let us not step down from Golgotha without having commended the hour of our death to the Mother, whose comforting presence even the Saviour did not wish to forego in the hours of His agony; whom He named and ordained on Golgotha, by His blood and His word, as the Mother of the dying.

This prayer comes with a partial indulgence if said by any faithful person during normal conditions but if said by a dying person it comes with a plenary indulgence.

Let us pray to Mary as did our pious forefathers: 

When we lie in mortal anguish, 

Mary, Queen, our terror vanquish; 

Mother, stand by us in death, 

Virgin, bless our dying breath. Amen. 

O Lord my God, I now, at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Your hands whatever kind of death it may please You to send me, will all its pains, penalties and sorrows. Amen