Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Woman in Purgatory for Vanity and Extravagance

Blessed Mary Villani, a Dominican Religious, had a lively devotion to the holy souls, and it often happened that they appeared to her, either to thank her or to beg the assistance of her prayers and good works. One day, whilst praying for them with great fervour, she was transported in spirit to their prison of expiation. Among the souls that suffered there she saw one more cruelly tormented than the others, in the midst of flames which entirely enveloped her. Touched with compassion, the servant of God interrogated the soul. " I have been here," she replied, "for a very long time, punished for my vanity and my scandalous extravagance. Thus far I have not received the least alleviation. Whilst I was upon earth, being wholly occupied with my toilet, my pleasures, and worldly amusements, I thought very little of my duties as a Christian, and fulfilled them only with great reluctance, and in a slothful manner. My only serious thought was to further the worldly interests of my family. See now how I am punished: they bestow not so much as a passing thought upon me: my parents, my children, those friends with whom I was most intimate all have forgotten me."

Mary Villani begged this soul to allow her to feel some thing of what she suffered, and immediately it appeared as though a finger of fire touched her forehead, and the pain which she experienced instantly caused her ecstasy to cease. The mark remained, and so deep and painful was it that two months afterwards it was still to be seen, and caused the holy Religious most terrible suffering. She endured this pain in the spirit of penance, for the relief of the soul that had appeared to her, and some time later the same soul came to announce her deliverance.

~ From Purgatory Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints by F.X. Shouppe, S.J. ~

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