Purgatory Explained, Part 2, Chapter 5

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Consolations of Souls – The Blessed Virgin – Revelations of Saint Bridget – Father Jerome Carvalho – Blessed Renier of Citeaux

The souls in Purgatory receive also great consolation from the Blessed Virgin. Is she not the Consolation of the Afflicted? and what affliction can be compared to that of the poor souls? Is she not the Mother of Mercy? and is it not towards these holy suffering souls that she must show all the mercy of her heart? We must not, therefore, be astonished that in the Revelations of Saint Bridget the Queen of Heaven gives herself the beautiful name of Mother of the Souls in Purgatory. “I am,” she said to that saint, “the Mother of all those who are in the place of expiation; my prayers mitigate the chastisements which are inflicted upon them for their faults.”

On 25 October 1604, in the College of the Society of Jesus at Coimbra, Father Jerome Carvalho died in the odor of sanctity, at the age of fifty years. This admirable and humble servant of God felt a lively apprehension of the sufferings of Purgatory. Neither the cruel macerations which he inflicted upon himself several times every day, not counting those prompted each week by the remembrance of the Passion, nor the six hours which he devoted morning and evening to the meditation of holy subjects, seemed sufficient, in his estimation, to shield him from the chastisement which he imagined awaited him after death. But one day the Queen of Heaven, to whom he had a tender devotion, condescended herself to console her servant by the simple assurance that she was a Mother of Mercy to her dear children in Purgatory as well as to those upon earth. Seeking, later, to spread this consoling doctrine, the holy man accidentally let fall, in the ardor of his discourse, these words: “She told me this herself.”

It is related that a great servant of Mary, Blessed Renier of Citeaux, trembled at the thought of his sins and the terrible Justice of God after death. In his fear, addressing himself to his great Protectress, who calls herself Mother of Mercy, he was rapt in spirit, and saw the Mother of God supplicating her Son in his favor. “My Son,” she said, “deal mercifully with him in Purgatory, because he humbly repents of his sins.” “My Mother,” replied Jesus, “I place his cause in your hands,” which meant to say, be it done to your client according to your desire. Blessed Renier understood with unutterable joy that Mary had obtained his exemption from Purgatory.

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