Thursday, October 25, 2007

November & December, 2007

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Life Beyond the Tomb
The Dogma of Purgatory is too much forgotten by the majority of the faithful. This truly deplorable forgetfulness was a great sorrow to St. Francis de Sales. This pious doctor of the Church said, "We do not sufficiently remember our dear departed; their memory seems to perish with the sound of the funeral bells." The principle causes of this are ignorance and lack of faith; our notions on the subject of Purgatory are too vague, our faith is too feeble.
In order, then, that our ideas may become more distinct and our faith enlivened, we must take a closer view of this life beyond the tomb, this immediate state of the just souls, not yet worthy to enter Heaven. This is the object of this newsletter. We propose not to prove the existence of Purgatory to skeptical minds, but to make it better known to the pious faithful who believe with a divine faith this dogma revealed by God. It is to them, properly speaking, that we address, to give them a less confused idea of Purgatory. I say purposely a clearer idea than people generally have, by placing this great truth in the strongest possible light.
Frequently they are figures, symbolic images, which represent in a manner proportionate to the capacity of our understanding, things purely spiritual.
That the spirits of the dead sometimes appear to the living is a fact that cannot be denied. Does not the Gospel clearly suppose it? When the risen Jesus appeared for the first time to His assembled apostles, they supposed they saw a spirit. Our Savior, far from saying spirits appear not, spoke to them thus: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have. (Luke 24:37, etc.).
Apparitions of the souls that are in Purgatory are of frequent occurrence. We find them in great numbers in the "Lives of the Saints"; they happen sometimes to the ordinary faithful. Apparitions of this kind are not uncommon. God permits them for the relief of souls in order to excite our compassion, and also to make us sensible of how terrible are the rigors of His Justice against those faults which we consider trivial.
The vision of Purgatory has been granted to many holy souls. St. Catherine de Ricci descended in spirit into Purgatory every Sunday night; St. Lidwina, during her raptures, penetrated into this place of expiation, and conducted by her angel guardian, visited the souls in their torments. In like manner, an angel led Blessed Osanne of Mantua through this dismal abyss. Blessed Veronica of Binasco, St. Frances of Rome, and many others had visions exactly similar, with impressions of terror.
More frequently it is the souls themselves that appear to the living and implore their intercession. Many appeared in this manner to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, and to a great number of other holy persons. The souls departed frequently sought the intercession of Denis the Carthusian. This great servant of God was one day asked how many times the holy souls appeared to him. "Oh! hundreds of times," he replied. St. Catherine of Siena, in order to spare her father the pains of Purgatory, offered herself to Divine Justice to suffer in his stead during her whole life. God accepted her offer, inflicted the most excruciating torments upon her, which lasted until her death, and admitted the soul of her father into eternal glory. In return this blessed soul frequently appeared to his daughter to tha nk her.
When the souls in Purgatory appear to the living, they always present themselves in an attitude which excites compassion; now with the features which they had during life or at their death, with sad countenance and imploring looks, in garments of mourning, with an expression of extreme suffering; then like a mist, a light, a shadow, or some kind of fantastic figure, accompanied by a sign or word by which they may be recognized. At other times they betray their presence by moans, sobs or sighs. When they speak, it is to manifest their sufferings, to deplore their past faults, or to ask suffrages.
If you have received any favors through the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory please email us and tell us about them so we can share them with others. This will encourage more people to pray for their release.

Visit to a Cemetery
An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to the 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial.
Visit to a Church or Oratory on All Souls Day [November 2]
A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of all the faithful departed piously visit a church or a public oratory. This indulgence can be acquired either on the day designated above or on the preceding or following Sunday or the Feast of All Saints [November 1]. It is contained in the Apostolic Constitution The Doctrine of Indulgences, Norm 15. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, according to Norm 16 of the same Apostolic Constitution, that "one Our Father and the Creed be recited."
Melanie, the Shepherdess of La Salette
At the tender age of 10 Melanie started to doze off while watching the flocks in the fields. Her Guardian Angel appeared to her and showed her the souls that God loves and that love Him, but who cannot rejoice with Him because they were soiled with sin and must be purified. She was told to offer the Eternal Father the Blood and Passion of Jesus Christ for them and their sins would be washed away and their souls united to God. When her Guardian Angel showed her the suffering souls in Purgatory, she saw that all the punishments were different. They depended on the malice with which the sin had been committed and the knowledge which the person h ad of it. She prayed for all those souls and asked God by virtue of the Passion and Death of Jesus to lessen the sufferings of these souls and to free seventy-two of them for the love of Mary. At that moment, she saw the angel of God and in his hand was a chalice filled with the Precious Blood of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. He poured some onto the souls who were waiting for Christians to pray for them, and thus seventy-two were released to fly to the bosom of God.

News from the Central Office

The PRAYER WARRIORS of Friends of the Poor Souls have dedicated themselves to pray, offer masses, do works of mercy for the intentions of the holy souls, especially those enrolled in the Golden Book, and to recruit more members who will identify with the cause of assisting the holy souls reach their state of perfection so as to be able to enter the Kingdom of God. We know that the souls in Purgatory are so grateful for what you are doing for them, that they are powerful before God for everything except their own needs and that they will certainly honor any prayer request you make. Friends of the Poor Souls wishes to thank many of you f or sending us mass stipends for the Souls in Purgatory as well as your church bulletins and obituary pages of your daily newspapers. We have been adding all the names to the Golden Book and they will be included in the weekly masses offered for the repose of their souls.
If possible, please try to attend mass on November 2nd, the day dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. A soul in Purgatory may need your attendance at Mass to help release them from their bonds.
If any of you have written for the Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows and have not received it, please let us know and we will gladly send it to you. We have a new supply in and those who have volunteered to make them did a beautiful job.

Friends of the Poor Souls
Established September 15, 2004
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Robert & Mary Ann Luetkemeyer, Coordinators
For more information


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