January & February, 2008
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Friends – Past, Present and Future
Throughout our lives, we have made many friends. There are the friends of our past who we grew up with and over the years have lost contact with. Then there are the friends who we associate with now, but then there are our friends in the future – namely, those whom we now pray for their release from Purgatory. They are now strangers to us but in the future they will be our friends in Heaven.
This newsletter will speak of a friend from our past. John had emailed us asking for a Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows. We emailed him back and asked him if he was affiliated with a Monastery where we worked prior to our retirement. (We had not known John’s last name at that time)He then realized Friends of the Poor Souls was our apostolate and was glad to be in touch with us once again. John has joined our apostolate and shared with us two experiences he had with a Soul from Purgatory. We would like to share them with you.
John’s first experience is as follows:
It happened at a Catholic Charismatic prayer meeting in 1989. At that time my wife was in a PVS (persistent vegetative state) coma due to an operating room accident -- since October of 1987, so at the suggestion of a friend I started going to Healing Masses and prayer meetings in the hope of asking for healing and prayers for her.
On this particular evening, after the prayer meeting ended, people would be allowed to ask to be "prayed over" by the prayer group members for whatever intentions they had. Several members of this prayer group had very discernable manifestations of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Word of Knowledge, Wisdom, Faith, Healing, Discernment, etc. -- as mentioned in St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians), and after the pray-over they would share with you (if God allowed it) what they "saw".
I asked to be prayed-over for my wife. When they were finished, one of the ladies had a somewhat puzzled look on her face. I asked her what she "saw", and she told me of her vision in very great detail. She said that she was shown a plain wooden casket, rising from the ground, and then standing upright. The lid opened, and then inside was a woman's skeleton. The skeleton's arm and hand reached out -- to me -- and pulled back in again, as if 'beckoning' me for something.......like it was saying "Come here." The lady saw her do it several times in row.
Well, I immediately thought that the skeleton was that of my wife, who was not dead .... yet. "Is this God's way of telling me that she is going to die soon?", I asked. "No.....I saw no indication of that.", she said. But the lady was quite certain of two facts: it was a woman's skeleton, and it was not my wife’s. She asked me if I had any idea of what this could mean. I had no explanation for it.
But, then after a minute or two, I remembered something! That very day I had been passing by Immaculate Conception cemetery, when -- on a lark -- I decided to go in and try to find my grandmother's grave. It was unmarked, but my mom had told me that it was over in the "St. Joseph" section, so I wandered over there near the statue of St. Joseph, but I did not see anything that I could recognize as possibly grandma's grave. As I was walking through that area, I almost tripped over a depression in the ground. It was a grave that had sunken in an inch or two....and apparently had not been visited or attended to for a very long time. There was no marker, no flowers......nothing but grass. I got such a lonely feeling when I walked over it, so I stopped and said a "Hail Mary" for whoever was buried there -- figuring that no one had probably prayed for this person in many years. Then I continued looking for grandma's grave, but to no avail.
I told this to the lady who had seen the vision, and immediately her whole face lit up in a wonderful grin! "That's it!", she said. "The 'woman in the casket' was the occupant of that grave. She was beckoning to you to pray for her. She kept beckoning to you for more prayers!"Then, the lady asked me if I regularly pray for the souls in Purgatory -- but I told her "No." My mom, when we were growing up, ALWAYS said a small prayer for the souls in Purgatory whenever we passed a cemetery......but I never did. It was just today that I felt I should. So the lady explained to me that I should start praying, regularly, for the holy souls in Purgatory. I've been doing that very thing, ever since.
The second experience happened about three years ago. I had been riding a bicycle back and forth to work for several years because my car broke down beyond my financial ability to have it repaired. Each day I would try to pass through Immaculate Conception cemetery on my way to work, and again on my way home. As I would go through the cemetery I would recite (and still do) the prayer of St. Gertrude, wherein Our Lord told her that every time that prayer was recited with devotion He would release 1000 souls from Purgatory into Heaven. My former landlady was a 3rd Order Carmelite, and she told me that prayers for the dead take on special beneficial strength if said while in a cemetery........s o that's why I started to say that prayer in my travels each day.
One winter's night, there was no moon and it was especially dark and bitterly cold out. I had stayed late at work, and was soon freezing on my trip home when I approached the cemetery. For some reason, I became very scared that particular evening to enter. I couldn't figure out why I was suddenly so scared to ride through the cemetery, as I had done hundreds of times before. Well, I went in anyway. After only riding a few feet I started to realize..."John, what are you so scared of? At worst, these are just some poor spirits waiting to get to Heaven! There's nothing to worry about."
Just then, about 50 feet inside the cemetery gate, I had to stop my bicycle. I didn't know why.......but I was starting to feel something 'funny' happening to my body.....all of a sudden I was starting to warm up, all toasty inside. I could no longer feel the bitter cold of the night. Then -- I'll never forget this as long as I live -- I could feel dozens of people crowding around me -- hugging me -- warming me. And, even though I could not see them with my eyes, my 'mind's eye' saw them all smiling! I stayed there, straddling my bicycle, basking in this wonderful warm loving feeling for about 10 minutes.Slowly, I started to realize that after being scared only a few moments before, here I was being warmed and 'thanked' by those souls whom I had realized "....were just waiting to go to Heaven..." It was WONDERFUL!
Many are the times, through the years, when I ride through that cemetery while praying for the poor souls -- hoping to relive that experience. Alas, nothing so far. But, at least I know that they are there -- in Purgatory -- and that they really do need and appreciate all of the prayers that we offer for their release.
God bless you both for caring so very much for our suffering brothers and sisters!
News from the Central Office
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy and Blessed New Year. We have truly been blessed with friends like you who have joined our (and your) apostolate to help release the Poor/Holy Souls from Purgatory so they may enter Heaven and be united with God for all eternity.
For those who have sent Christmas Cards and donations we thank you. We were not able to answer each and every card and email.
We would also like to thank John for sharing his experiences with us and we ask any of you who have had any experience with the souls in Purgatory to send us your testimony. We would like to share it with everyone. Please also check our website as there are many testimonies from Prayer Warriors.
In fact, from the reports of those who have been visited by Holy Souls, many prayers and Masses are needed for them. It is very important to remember them in our prayers, as, once their payment has been made in full (either by their sufferings there, or through the prayers, sacrifices and Masses offered for them) they then enter eternal glory where they will praise God forever. So, our act of love for the Holy Souls is also demonstrated love for God, for the sooner they reach Heaven, the sooner they surround Him and give Him His due praise and glory. It is also a simple act of compassion to remember those who have gone before us, who now are in need, as they are suffering for their sins. It is important to remember, in a special way, those who have no one to p ray for them.
We also ask you to please continue praying for all those enrolled in the Golden Book. They are sharing in the weekly masses offered and our goal is to have one mass per day said (365 masses per year) for all those in Purgatory thereby eventually emptying Purgatory and filling Heaven. Friends of the Poor Souls
Friends of the Poor Souls
Established September 15, 2004
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Robert & Mary Ann Luetkemeyer, Coordinators
For more information,
email firstname.lastname@example.org -