Since November is the month in which we pray for the poor souls in Purgatory, I’d like to offer great hope and consolation to those who are eagerly praying for their departed loved ones. No doubt, our Protestant friends will be taken back a bit since both Purgatory and Mary are controversial for them – and now we are bring them together. Tradition and Scripture state that Mary has a special dominion over the faithful departed. The reason for this is that Our Lady was not required to die since she was preserved from original and actual sin. “The wages of sin is death,” writes the Apostle, and our Lady did not have sin.
Tradition states that Our Lady begged Christ that she might be allowed to die in order to be more perfectly conformed to Him. This prayer was granted and so Christ gave her a special dominion over the faithful departed.
Concerning the Blessed Virgin, the Scriptures speak of her rein over the departed. The following passages speaks of the “Mother of Fair Love”:
For I make doctrine to shine forth to all as the morning light, and I will declare it afar off. I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all that hope in the Lord. (Ecclus 24:44-45)
Saint Peter Damian, Saint Ildefonse, and Saint Frances of Rome assure us that it is the feast of the Assumption of Mary (Aug 15) on which the most souls are released from Purgatory each year. Moreover, her role is especially confirmed by the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding the Brown Scapular give by Mary to Saint Simon Stock. Enrollment in the Brown Scapular and faithful living, Mary teaches, will lead to the delivery of a soul from Purgatory in less that a week’s time.
Saint Bernardine of Sienna, a great preacher and reformer, taught that Mary was the “plenipotentiary” for souls in Purgatory. Saint Teresa received a vision in which the souls in Purgatory received a spray of cool water whenever the Holy Rosary is prayed for them. Saint Alphonsus Liguori, also a Doctor of the Church, confirmed that praying the Rosary is a great means to bring relief to souls in Purgatory. Saint Pio, when giving a Rosary to someone said, “Let us empty Purgatory.”
So then, devotion to Mary and devotion to the poor souls are interlinked. Let us rely on our sweet and stainless Mother as the “plenipotentiary” for our brothers and sisters being refined for the eternal happiness of Heaven.
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