Saints of the Day – Solemnity of All Souls, November 2

Feast of All SoulsArticle

“The Church, to which Jesus Christ promised the presence of the Holy Ghost and which therefore cannot be in error or mislead us, clearly teaches us the existence of Purgatory. It is then certain that there exists a place where the souls of the just complete the expiation of their sins before they are admitted to the joys of heaven. “God is just in all that he does. When he rewards us for the smallest of our good deeds, he does so far beyond anything that we could desire; a good thought, a good wish – that is to say a wish to do good even if it cannot be carried out – all are rewarded.

“But also when it is time for him to punish us he does so with severity, and we will be thrown into purgatory for even the smallest offense. We cannot doubt the truth of this, for we see in the lives of the saints that several of them have gone to heaven only after first passing through the flames of purgatory.

“Saint Peter Damian tells us that his sister remained in purgatory for several years for having once listened to a dirty song with a certain amount of pleasure.

“The story is told of two monks who promised each other that the first one to die would return to tell the other what had happened to him. One of them died and God allowed him to appear to his friend. He told him that he had spent fifteen days in purgatory for having been too fond of having his own way, and when his friend congratulated him on having spent so short a time there, he replied: ‘I would rather have been flayed alive for 10,000 years, for even that would have been nothing when compared with the tortures that I endured in the flames.’

“A priest told one of his friends that God had condemned him to several months in purgatory for having delayed the execution of a will which made provision for good works. Alas, my brothers, how many of us have just such a fault on our consciences? How many are there who perhaps eight or ten years ago were charged by their parents or friends to give alms and have Masses said for them, but have done nothing?

“But perhaps some of you will tell me: ‘Our parents lived good lives, they were upright people.’ Yet how little it takes to be sent to those fires of purgatory! Remember that Albert the Great, whose virtue shone with such extraordinary brilliance, said about that.

“One day he told one of his friends that God had sent him to purgatory for having felt just a little conceited about his learning. And what is even more astonishing is that some of the saints, even canonized ones, have been through purgatory.

“A long time after his death, Saint Severin, Archbishop of Cologne, appeared to a friend and told him that he had been in purgatory for having postponed until evening a prayer that he should have said in the morning. How many years in purgatory await those Christians who find it easy to postpone their prayers on the excuse that they have a lot of work to do!

“If we sincerely desired the joy of possessing Go we would avoid the little faults as well as the great ones, since separation from God is such a fearful torture for these poor souls.

“How right are they who say that the memory of the dead fades with the notes of the passing bell. Suffer, poor souls; in vain do you weep in the fire lit by God’s justice. No one is listening to you, no one will bring you succor.

“Yet how quickly we could empty purgatory if we but really wished to.”

– From the Writings of the CurĂ© d’Ars.

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 August 2020. Web. 24 September 2020. <>