St.Padre Pio’s Visits From The Souls In Purgatory 

“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)


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.

The Pains of Purgatory~St.Christine The Venerable 


The learned and pious Cardinal,St.Robert Bellarmine relates the history of St. Christine the Admirable, who lived in Belgium at the close of the twelfth century, and whose body is preserved to-day in St. Trond, in the church of the Redemptorist Fathers. The Life of this illustrious virgin was, he says, written by Thomas de Cantimpre, a Religious of the Order of St. Dominic, an author worthy of credit and contemporary with the saint. Cardinal James de Vitry, in the preface to the Life of Maria d’Ognies, speaks of a great number of holy women and illustrious virgins ; but the one whom he admires above all others is St. Christine.
This servant of God, having passed the first years of her life in humility and patience, died at the age of thirty-two. When she was about to be buried, and the body was already in the church resting in an open coffin, according to the custom of the time, she arose full of vigour, stupefying with amazement the whole city of St. Trond, which had witnessed this wonder. The astonishment increased when “they learned from her own mouth what had happened to her after her death. Let us hear her own account of it.

“As soon,” said she, “as my soul was separated from my body, it was received by angels, who conducted it to a very gloomy place, entirely filled with souls. The torments which they there endured appeared to me so excessive, that it is impossible for me to give any idea of their rigour. I saw among them many of my acquaintances, and, deeply touched by their sad condition, I asked what place it was, for I believed it to be Hell. My guide answered me that it was Purgatory, where sinners were punished who, before death, had repented of their faults, but had not made worthy satisfaction to God. From thence I was conducted into Hell, and there also I recognised among the reprobates some whom I had formerly known.

The angels then transported me into Heaven, even to the throne of the Divine Majesty. The Lord regarded me with a favourable eye, and I experienced an extreme joy, because I thought to obtain the grace of dwelling eternally with Him.“But my Heavenly Father, seeing what passed in my heart, said to me these words : ‘ Assuredly, my dear daughter, you will one day be with Me. Now, however, I allow you to choose, either to remain with Me henceforth from this time, or to return again to earth to accomplish a mission of charity and suffering. In order to deliver from the flames of Purgatory those souls which have inspired you with so much compassion, you shall suffer for them upon earth; you shall endure great torments, without, however dying from their effects. And not only will you relieve the departed, but the example which you will give to the living, and your life of continual suffering, will lead sinners to be converted and to expiate their crimes. After having ended this new life, you shall return here laden with merits.

” At these words, seeing the great advantages offered me for souls, I replied, without hesitation, that I would return to life, and I arose at that same instant. It is for this sole object, the relief of the departed and the conversion of sinners, that I have returned to this world. Therefore be not astonished at the penances that I shall practise, nor at the life that you will see me lead from henceforward. It will be so extraordinary that nothing like to it has ever been seen.

All this was related by the saint herself; let us now see what the biographer adds in the different chapters of her Life. ” Christine immediately commenced the work for which she had been sent by God. Renouncing all the comforts of life, and reduced to extreme destitution, she lived without house or fire, more miserable than the birds of the air, which have a nest to shelter them. Not content with these privations, she eagerly sought all that could cause her suffering. She threw herself into burning furnaces, and there suffering so great torture that she could no longer bear it, she uttered the most frightful cries. She remained for a long time in the fire, and yet, on coming forth, no sign of burning was found upon her body. In winter, when the Meuse was frozen, she plunged herself into it, staying in that cold river not only hours and days, but for entire weeks, all the while praying to God and imploring His mercy. Sometimes, whilst praying in the icy waters, she allowed herself to be carried by the current down to a mill, the wheel of which whirled her round in a manner frightful to behold, yet without breaking or dislocating one of her bones. On other occasions, followed by dogs, which bit and tore her flesh, she ran, enticing them into the thickets and among the thorns, until she was covered with blood ; nevertheless, on her return, no wound or scar was to be seen.

Such are the works of admirable penance described by the author of the Life of St. Christine. This writer was a Bishop, a suffragan of the Archbishop of Cambray; ” and we have,” says Beilarmine, ” reason for believing his testimony, since he has for guarantee another grave author,

James de Vitry, Bishop and Cardinal, and because he relates what happened in his own time, and even in the province where he lived. Besides, the sufferings of this admirable virgin were not hidden. Every one could see that she was in the midst of the flames without being consumed, and covered with wounds, every trace of which disappeared a few moments afterwards. But more than this was the marvellous life she led for forty-two years after she was raised from the dead, God clearly showing that the wonders wrought in her were by virtue from on high. The striking conversions which she effected, and the “evident miracles which occurred after her death, manifestly proved the finger of God, and the truth of that which, after her resurrection, she had revealed concerning the other life.”

Thus, argues Bellarmine, “God willed to silence those libertines who make open profession of believing in nothing, and who have the audacity to ask in scorn, ‘ Who has returned from the other world? Who has ever seen the torments of Hell or Purgatory ?’ Behold two witnesses. They assure us that they have seen them, and that they are dreadful. What follows, then, if not that the incredulous are inexcusable, and that those who believe and nevertheless neglect to do penance are still more to be condemned ? ”

Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.” 

Purgatory~Torment of Fire and Torment of Ice~A Soul Is Shown Purgatory and Given A Second Chance To Repay Restitution Before Death


“There was in Northumberland a man named Drithelm, who, with his family, led a most Christian life. He fell sick, and his malady increasing day by day, he was soon reduced to extremity, and died, to the great desolation and grief of his wife and children. The latter passed the night in tears by the remains, but the following day, before his interment, they saw him suddenly return to life, arise, and place himself in a sitting posture. At this sight they were seized with such fear that they all took to flight, with the exception of the wife, who, trembling, remained alone with her risen husband. He reassured her immediately: “Fear not,” he said; “it is God who restores to me my life; He wishes to show in my person a man raised from the dead. I have yet long to live upon earth, but my new life will be very different from the one I led heretofore.” Then he arose full of health, went straight to the chapel or church of the place, and there remained long in prayer. He returned home only to take leave of those who had been dear to him upon earth, to “whom he declared that he would live only to prepare himself for death, and advised them to do likewise. Then, having divided his property into three parts, he gave one to his children, another to his wife, and reserved the third part to give in alms. When he had distributed all to the poor, and had reduced himself to extreme indigence, he went and knocked at the door of a monastery, and begged the Abbot to receive him as a penitent Religious, who would be a servant to all the others.The Abbot gave him a retired cell, which he occupied for the rest of his life. Three exercises divided his time— prayer, the hardest labour, and extraordinary penances. The most rigorous fasts he accounted as nothing. In winter he was seen to plunge himself into frozen water, and remain there for hours and hours in prayer, whilst he recited the whole Psalter of David.

The mortified life of Drithelm, his downcast eyes, even his features, indicated a soul struck with fear of the judgments of God. He kept a perpetual silence, but on being pressed to relate, for the edification of others, what God had manifested to him after his death, he thus described his vision :

” On leaving my body, I was received by a benevolent person, who took me under his guidance. His face was brilliant, and he appeared surrounded with light. He arrived at a large deep valley of immense extent, all fire on one side, all ice and snow on the other; on the one hand braziers and caldrons of flame, on the other the most intense cold and the blast of a glacial wind.

“This mysterious valley was filled with innumerable souls, which, tossed as by a furious tempest, threw themselves from one side to the other. When they could no longer endure the violence of the fire, they sought relief amidst the ice and snow; but finding only a new torture, they cast themselves again into the midst of the flames.

” I contemplated in a stupor these continual vicissitudes of horrible torments, and as far as my sight could extend, I saw nothing but a multitude of souls which suffered without ever having repose. Their very aspect inspired me with fear. I thought at first that I saw Hell; but my guide, who walked before me, turned to me and said, ‘ No; this is not, as you think, the Hell of the reprobate. Do you know,’ he continued, ‘ what place this is ?’ ‘ No,’ I answered. ‘ Know,’ he resumed that this valley where you see so “much fire and so much ice, is the place where the souls of those are punished who, during life, have neglected to confess their sins, and who have deferred their conversion to the end. Thanks to a special mercy of God, they have had the happiness of sincerely repenting before death, of confessing and detesting their sins. This is why they are not damned, and on the great day of judgment will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Several of them will obtain their deliverance before that time, by the merits of prayers, alms, and fasts, offered in their favour by the living, and especially in virtue of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered for their relief.’ ”

Such was the recital of Drithelm. When asked why he so rudely treated his body, why he plunged himself into frozen water, he replied that he had seen other torments, and cold of another kind.

If his brethren expressed astonishment that he could endure these extraordinary austerities, ” I have seen,” said he, ” penances still more astonishing.” To the day when it pleased God to call him to Himself, he ceased not to afflict his body, and although broken down with age he would accept no alleviation “This event produced a deep sensation in England; a great number of sinners, touched by the words of Drithelm,and struck by the austerity of his life, became sincerely converted.

This fact, adds Bellarmine, appears to me of incontestable truth, since, besides being conformable to the words of Holy Scripture, Let him pass from the snow waters to excessive heat, Venerable Bede relates it as a recent and well-known event. More than this, it was followed by the conversion of a great number of sinners, the sign of the work of God, who is accustomed to work prodigies in order to produce fruit in souls.”

Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.”

The Holy Souls in Purgatory and The Beatific Vision 


Father Nieremberg, of the Company of Jesus, who died in the odour of sanctity at Madrid in 1658, relates a fact that occurred at Treves, and which was recognised, says Father Rossignoli, 3 by the Vicar-General of the diocese as possessing all the characteristics of truth.
On the Feast of All Saints, a young girl of rare piety saw appear before her a lady of her acquaintance who had died some time previous.”

“The apparition was clad in white, with a veil of the same colour on her head, and holding in her hand a long rosary, a token of the tender devotion she had always professed towards the Queen of Heaven. She implored the charity of her pious friend, saying that she had made a vow to have three masses celebrated at the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and that, not having been able to accomplish her vow, this debt added to her sufferings. She then begged her to pay it in her place. The young person willingly granted the alms asked of her, and when the three masses had been celebrated, the deceased again appeared, expressing her joy and gratitude. She ever continued to appear each month of November, and almost always in the church. Her friend saw her there in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, overwhelmed with an awe of which nothing can give an idea; not yet being able to see God face to face, she seemed to wish to indemnify herself by contemplating Him at least under the Eucharistic species. During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at the moment of the elevation, her face became so “radiant that she might have been taken for a seraph descended from Heaven. The young girl, filled with admiration, declared that she had never seen anything so beautiful. 

Meanwhile time passed, and, notwithstanding the masses and prayers offered for her, that holy soul remained in her exile, far from the Eternal Tabernacles. On December 3, Feast of St. Francis Xavier, her protectress going to receive Communion at the Church of the Jesuits, the apparition accompanied her to the Holy Table, and then remained at her side during the whole time of thanksgiving, as though to participate in the happiness of Holy Communion and enjoy the presence of Jesus Christ.

On December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, she again returned, but so brilliant that her friend could not look at her. She visibly approached the term of her expiation. Finally, on December 10, during Holy Mass, she appeared in a still more wonderful state. After making a profound genuflexion before the altar, she thanked the pious girl for her prayers, and rose to Heaven in company with her guardian angel.

Some time previous, this holy soul had made known that she suffered nothing more than the pain of loss, or the privation of God; but she “added that that privation causea her intolerable torture. This revelation justifies the words of St. Chrysostom in his 47th Homily : ” Imagine” he says, ” all the torments of the world, you will not find one equal to the privation of the beatific vision of God.”

In fact, the torture of the pain of loss, of which we now treat, is, according to all the saints and all the doctors, much more acute than the pain of sense. It is true that, in the present life, we cannot understand this, because we have too little knowledge of the Sovereign Good for which we are created: but, in the other life, that ineffable Good seems to souls what bread is to a man famished with hunger, or fresh water to one dying with thirst, like health to a sick person tortured by long suffering; it excites the most ardent desires, which torment without being able to satisfy them.”

Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.” 

Nursed by a Soul in Purgatory 


“In the year 1629, at Dole, in Franche-Compte, Hugette Roy, a woman of the middle station in life, was confined to bed by inflammation of the lungs, which endangered her life. The physician considering it necessary to bleed her, in his awkwardness cut an artery in the left arm, which speedily reduced her to the last extremity. The following day, at dawn, she saw enter into her chamber a young girl clad in white, of most modest deportment, who asked her if she was willing to accept her services and to be nursed by her. The sick person, delighted with the offer, answered that nothing could give her greater pleasure; and instantly the stranger lighted the fire, approached Hugette, and placed her gently on the bed, and then continued to watch by her and serve her like the most devoted infirmarian. But, oh wonder! contact with the hands of the unknown one was so beneficial that the dying person found herself greatly relieved, and soon felt entirely cured. Then she would absolutely “know who the amiable stranger was, and called her that she might question her; but she withdrew, saying that she would return in the evening. In the meantime astonishment and curiosity were extreme when the tidings of this sudden cure spread abroad, and nothing was spoken of in Dole but this mysterious event.When the unknown visitor returned in the evening, she said to Hugette, without trying to disguise herself, ” Know, my dear niece, that I am your aunt, Leonarde Collin, who died seventeen years ago, leaving you an inheritance from her little property. Thanks to the Divine bounty, I am saved, and it was the Blessed Virgin, to whom I had great devotion, who obtained for me this happiness. Without her I was lost. When death suddenly struck me, I was in the state of mortal sin, but the merciful Virgin Mary obtained for me perfect contrition, and thus saved me from eternal damnation. Since that time I am in Purgatory, and our Lord permits me to finish my expiation by serving you during fourteen days. At the end of that time I shall be delivered from my pains if, on your part, you have the charity to “make three pilgrimages for me to three holy sanctuaries of the Blessed Virgin.’”

“Hugette, astonished, knew not what to think of this language. Not being able to believe the reality of the apparition, and fearing some snare of the evil spirit, she consulted her confessor, Father Antony Roland, a Jesuit, who advised her to threaten the unknown person with the exorcisms of the Church. This menace did not disturb her; she replied tranquilly, that she feared not the prayers of the Church. ” They have no power,” she added, ” but against the demons and the damned : none whatever against predestined souls, who are in the grace of God as I am.” Hugette was not yet convinced. “How,” said she to the young girl, “can you be my Aunt Leonarde? She was old and worn, disagreeable and whimsical, whilst you are young, gentle, and obliging?” “Ah, my dear niece,” replied the apparition, ” my real body is in the tomb, where it will remain until the resurrection; this one which you see is one miraculously formed from the air to allow me to speak to you, to serve you, and obtain your suffrages. As regards my irritable disposition, seventeen years of terrible suffering have taught me patience and meekness. Know, also, that in Purgatory we “are confirmed in grace, marked with the seal of the elect,and “therefore exempt from all vice.”

After such explanation, incredulity was impossible. Hugette, at once astounded and grateful, received with joy the services rendered during the fourteen days designated. She alone could see and hear the deceased, who came at certain hours and then disappeared. As soon as her strength permitted, she devoutly made the pilgrimages which were asked of her.

At the end of fourteen days the apparition ceased. Leonarde appeared for the last time to announce her deliverance; she was then in a state of incomparable glory, brilliant as a star, and her countenance bore an expression of the most perfect beatitude. In her turn, she testified her gratitude to her niece, promised to pray for her and her whole family, and advised her ever to remember, amid the sufferings of this life, the end of our existence, which is the salvation of our soul.”

Excerpt from “Purgatory” by F.X.Schouppe 

St.Lidwina of Schiedam’s Vision of a Soul in the Deepest Depth of Purgatory 


An unfortunate sinner, entangled in the corruptions of the world, was finally converted. Thanks to the prayers and urgent exhortations of Lidwina, he made a sincere confession of all his sins and received absolution, but had little time to practise penance, for shortly after he died of the plague.
The saint offered up many prayers and sufferings for his soul; and some time afterwards, having been taken by her angel-guardian into Purgatory, she desired to know if he was still there, and in what condition. ” He is there,” said her angel, “and he suffers much. Would you be willing to endure some pain in order to diminish his?” 11 Certainly,” she replied, ” I am ready to suffer anything to assist him.” Instantly her angel conducted her into a place of frightful torture. “Is this, then, Hell, my brother?” asked the holy maiden, seized with horror. ” No, sister,” answered the angel, “but this part of Purgatory is bordering upon Hell.” Looking around on all sides, she saw what resembled an immense prison, surrounded with walls of a prodigious height, the blackness of which, together with the monstrous stones, inspired her with horror. Approaching this dismal enclosure, she heard a confused noise of lamenting voices, cries of fury, chains, instruments of torture, violent blows which the executioners discharged upon their victims. This noise was such that all the tumult of the world, in tempest or battle, could bear no comparison to it. “What, then, is that horrible place?” asked St. Lidwina of her good angel. ” Do you wish me to show it to you?” ” No, I beseech you,” said she, recoiling with terror; ” the noise which I hear is so frightful that I can no longer bear it; how, then, could I endure the sight of those horrors ? ”

Continuing her mysterious route, she saw an angel seated sadly on the curb of a well. ” Who is that angel ? ” she asked of her guide. ” It is,” he replied, “the angel-guardian of the sinner in whose lot you are interested. His soul is in this well, where it has “angel; she desired to see that soul which was dear to her, and endeavour to release it from that frightful pit. Her angel, who understood her, having taken off the cover of the well, a cloud of flames, together with the most plaintive cries, came forth.

” Do you recognise that voice ? ” said the angel to her. ” Alas ! yes,” answered the servant of God. ” Do you desire to see that soul ? ” he continued. On her replying in the affirmative, he called him by his name ; and immediately our virgin saw appear at the mouth of the pit a spirit all on fire, resembling incandescent metal, which said to her in a voice scarcely audible, ” O Lidwina, servant of God, who will give me to contemplate the face of the Most High?”

The sight of this soul, a prey to the most terrible torment of fire, gave our saint such a shock that the cincture which she wore around her body was rent in twain ; and, no longer able to endure the sight, she awoke suddenly from her ecstasy.

The persons present, perceiving her fear, asked her its cause. ” Alas !” she replied, ” how frightful are the prisons of Purgatory ! It was “Without this motive, if the whole world were given to me, I would not undergo the terror which that horrible spectacle inspired.”

Some days later, the same angel whom she had seen so dejected appeared to her with a joyful countenance; he told her that the soul of his protege’ had left the pit and passed into the ordinary Purgatory. This partial alleviation did not suffice the charity of Lidwina; she continued to pray for the poor patient, and to apply to him the merits of her sufferings, until she saw the gates of Heaven opened to him.”

Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.” 

St.Mary Magdalene de Pazzi’s Vision of Purgatory 

“The following is an account of that of St. Magdalen de Pazzi, a Florentine Carmelite, as it is related in her Life by Father Cepare. 

Some time before her death, which took place in 1607, the servant of God, Magdalen de Pazzi, being one evening with several other Religious in the garden of the convent, was ravished in ecstasy, and saw Purgatory open before her. At the same time, as she made known later, a voice invited her to visit all the prisons of Divine Justice, and to see how truly worthy of compassion are the souls detained there.

At this moment she was heard to say, ” Yes, I will go”.She consented to undertake this painful journey. In fact, she walked for two hours round the garden, which was very large, pausing from time to time. Each time she interrupted her walk, she contemplated attentively the sufferings which were shown to her. She was then seen to wring her hands in compassion, her face became pale, her body bent under the weight of suffering, in presence of the terrible spectacle   with which she was confronted.

She began to cry aloud in lamentation, ” Mercy, my God, mercy! Descend, O Precious Blood, and deliver these souls from their prison. Poor souls! you suffer so cruelly, and yet you are content and cheerful. The dungeons of the martyrs in comparison with these were gardens of delight. Nevertheless there are others still deeper. How happy should I esteem myself were I not obliged to go down into them.”

She did descend, however, for she was forced to continue her way. But when she had taken a few steps, she stopped terror-stricken, and, sighing deeply, she cried, ” What! Religious also in this dismal abode ! Good God ! how they are tormented ! Ah, Lord !” She does “not explain the nature of their sufferings; but the horror which she manifested in contemplating them caused her to sigh at each step. She passed from thence into less gloomy places. They were the dungeons of simple souls, and of children in whom ignorance and lack of reason extenuated many faults. Their torments appeared to her much more endurable than those of the others. Nothing but ice and fire were there. She noticed that these souls had their angel-guardians with them, who fortified them greatly by their presence; but she saw also demons whose dreadful forms increased their sufferings.

Advancing a few paces, she saw souls still more unfortunate, and she was heard to cry out, ” Oh ! how horrible is this place; it is full of hideous demons and incredible torments ! Who, O my God, are the victims of these cruel tortures ? Alas! they are being pierced with sharp swords, they are being cut into pieces.” She was answered that they were the souls whose conduct had been tainted with hypocrisy.

Advancing a little, she saw a great multitude of souls which were bruised, as it were, and crushed under a press; and she understood that they were “to impatience and disobedience during life. Whilst contemplating them, her looks, her sighs, her whole attitude betokened compassion and terror.

A moment later her agitation increased, and she uttered a dreadful cry. It was the dungeon of lies which now lay open before her. After having attentively considered it, she cried aloud, ” Liars are confined in a place in the vicinity of Hell, and their sufferings are exceedingly great. Molten lead is poured into their mouths; I see them burn, and at the same time tremble with cold.”

She then went to the prison of those souls which had sinned through weakness, and she was heard to exclaim.“Alas! I had thought to find you among those who have sinned through ignorance, but I am mistaken j you burn with an intenser fire.”

Farther on, she perceived souls which had been too much attached to the goods of this world, and had sinned by avarice.

” What blindness,” said she, thus eagerly to “seek a perishable fortune ! Those whom formerly riches could not sufficiently satiate, are here gorged with torments. They are smelted like metal in the furnace.”

From thence she passed into the place where those souls were imprisoned which had formerly been stained with impurity. She saw them in so filthy and pestilential a dungeon that the sight produced nausea. She turned away quickly from that loathsome spectacle. Seeing the ambitious and the proud, she said, ” Behold those who wished to shine before men; now they are condemned to live in this frightful obscurity.”

Then she was shown those souls which had been guilty of ingratitude towards God. They were a prey to unutterable torments, and, as it were, drowned in a lake of molten lead, for having by their ingratitude dried up the source of piety.

Finally, in a last dungeon, she was shown souls that had not been given to any particular vice, but which, through lack of proper vigilance over themselves, had committed all kinds of trivial faults. She remarked that these souls had share in the chastisements of all vices, in a moderate degree, because those faults committed only”

“from time to time rendered them less guilty than those committed through habit. After this last station the saint left the garden, begging God never again to make her witness of so heartrending a spectacle: she felt that she had not strength to endure it. Her ecstasy still continued, and, conversing with Jesus, she said to Him, ” Tell me, Lord, what was your design in discovering to me those terrible prisons, of which I knew so little, and comprehended still less? Ah! I now see; you wished to give me the knowledge of your infinite sanctity, and to make me detest more and more the least stain of sin, which is so abominable in your eyes.”

Excerpt From: Schouppe S.J. “Purgatory.”  1920