Wednesday, May 26, 2010

St. Philip Neri and the Poor Souls in Purgatory

Saint Philip Neri had always had a great devotion to the Souls in Purgatory.

He taught his Oratorians to pray for the Poor Souls, to do redemptive suffering for them, to offer up good works and especially have Masses said for them, as there is nothing that moves the Father's Heart like the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Those who had been part of his Community, or under his spiritual direction, held a special place in his heart.

Many times, he was visited by those of his Community, who had passed on, asking for prayers. Very often they returned to thank him for what he had done for them, how through his prayers, most powerfully during the Mass, he had kept them out of the pits of Hell, and instead brought them to Purgatory, where they had confident assurance that they would one day share in the Beatific Vision.

After our Saint's death, a holy priest was praying before his tomb when Saint Philip Neri appeared to him in radiant glory.

The priest recognized him - It was the glorified St. Philip, surrounded by blessed spirits! The priest asked him the meaning of these spirits. He replied that these were the souls who had been under his spiritual direction during life, and for whose release from Purgatory, he had prayed.

Having attained entry into Heaven through him, they had come to meet him upon his death, and usher him into the Kingdom. They were so grateful to St. Philip Neri for praying for them and offering Masses for their release from Purgatory, they had prayed for him till the day he died.
~ Excerpts from here ~

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