Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ven. Mother Frances of the Blessed Sacrament: Friend of the Souls in Purgatory

Venerable Mother Frances of the Blessed Sacrament  had from her infancy the greatest devotion towards the suffering souls, and persevered therein as long as she lived. She was all heart, all devotion towards those poor and holy souls. To assist them she daily recited her Rosary, which she was accustomed to call her almoner, and she ended each decade with the Requiescant in pace. On feast-days, when she had more free time, she added the Office of the Dead. To prayer she joined penances, The greater part of the year she fasted on bread and water, and on vigils she practised other austerities. She had to endure much labour and fatigue, pain and persecution. All these works were turned into profit for the holy souls, Frances offering all to God for their relief.

Not content with assisting them herself as far as was in her power, she engaged others to do the same. If priests came to the convent, she begged for Masses for them ; if they were laymen, she advised them to distribute abundant alms for the faithful departed. In recompense for her charity, God frequently permitted the souls to visit her, either to solicit her suffrages or to return her thanks. Witnesses have testified that several times they visibly waited for her at the door when she was going to the Office of Matins, that they might recommend themselves to her prayers. At other times they entered her cell in order to present their request to her; they surrounded her bed, waiting until she awoke. These apparitions, to which she was accustomed, caused her no fear, and that she might not think herself the sport of a dream or a dupe of the devil, they said on entering, " Hail, servant of God, spouse of the Lord ! may Jesus Christ be ever with you !" Then they testified their veneration for a large cross and the relics of the saints which their benefactress kept in her cell. If they found her reciting the Rosary, add the same witnesses, they took her hands and kissed them lovingly, as the instrument of their deliverance.

~ Excerpt from Purgatory:   illustrated by the lives and legends of the saints by Fr. F.X. Shouppe, S.J. ~

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