The " History of the Seraphic Order" makes mention of a holy Religious named Brother John de Via, who died piously in a monastery on the Canary Islands. His infirmarian, Brother Ascension, was in his cell praying and recommending to God the soul of the departed, when suddenly he saw before him a Religious of his Order, but who appeared to be transfigured. So radiant was he, that the cell was filled with a beautiful light. The brother, almost beside himself with astonishment, did not recognise him, but ventured to ask who he was and what was the object of his visit. " I am," answered the apparition, " the spirit of Brother John de Via. I thank you for the prayers which you have poured forth to Heaven in my behalf, and I come to ask of you one more act of charity. Know that,thanks to the Divine mercy, I am in the place of salvation, among those predestined for Heaven the light which surrounds me is a proof of this. Yet I am not worthy to see the face of God on account of an omission which remains to be expiated. During my mortal life I omitted, through my own fault, and that several times, to recite the Office for the Dead, when it was prescribed by the Rule. I beseech you, my dear brother, for the love you bear Jesus Christ, to say those offices in such a manner that my debt may be paid, and I may go to enjoy the vision of my God."
Brother Ascension ran to the Father Guardian, related what had happened, and hastened to say the offices required. Then the soul of Blessed Brother John de Via appeared again, but this time more brilliant than before, He was in possession of eternal happiness.
~ Excerpt from Purgatory by Fr. F.X. Shouppe, S.J., ~
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