Saturday, September 11, 2010

Purgatory on Earth

"I speak of Father Michel de la Fontaine, who slept sweetly in the Lord on February 7, 1606, at Valencia, in Spain. He was one of the first missionaries who laboured for the salvation of the people of Peru. His greatest care when instructing the new converts was to inspire them with a sovereign horror of sin, and to lead them to great devotion towards the Mother of God, by speaking of the virtues of that admirable Virgin, and teaching them to recite the beads in her honour.

"Mary, on her part, did not refuse the favours asked of her. One day when, exhausted with fatigue, he lay prostrate in the dust, not having strength to rise, he was visited by her whom the Church styles with reason Comforter of the Afflicted. She reanimated his courage, saying to him, " Confidence, my son; your fatigues will take the place of Purgatory for you; bear your sufferings patiently, and on leaving this life your soul will be received into the abode of the blessed."

"This vision was for Father de la Fontaine during life, but especially at the hour of his death, a source of abundant consolation. In gratitude for this favour, he each week practised some particular penance. At the moment when he expired, a Religious of eminent virtue saw his soul take its flight to Heaven in company of the Blessed Virgin, the Prince of the Apostles, St. John the Evangelist, and of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Company of Jesus."

~ Excerpt from Purgatory: Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints
by Fr. F.X. Shouppe, S.J. ~

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