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-----¤¤¤¤----- The Angels and the Poor Souls in Purgatory -----¤¤¤¤-----
Taken from CHARITY FOR THE SUFFERING SOULS, Fr.
John A. Nageleisen, TAN
Books, Imprimatured 1895,
From the time of our birth, when we become
wayfarers on the road that leads to our heavenly home, we are favored
like young Tobias with a companion and guide. "Then Tobias going forth
found a beautiful young man, standing girded, and as it were, ready to
walk." (Tob. v. 5.) As soon as we begin our pilgrimage, behold the
Angel is there, though invisible to us, ready to guide and protect us.
What the Lord promised to the people of Israel is done also for us:
"Behold, I will send My Angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee
in thy journey, and bring thee into the place I have prepared." (Exod.
XXIII. 20.) Such is the service rendered us by our Guardian Angel on
our way to Heaven. He goes before us showing us the way; he protects us
from dangers, and finally conducts us to the place prepared for us in
His power, by which he has an almost unlimited control of the visible
world, corresponds with his sublimity and perfection. It is easier for
our Angel to move and destroy this whole terrestrial sphere, than it is
for us to give motion to a small globe. We know from the Old Testament
that an Angel in one night destroyed one hundred and eighty-five
thousand warriors of the Assyrian army, and it cost him less effort to
do that than it would cost us to crush a worm beneath our foot.
Besides, the velocity of these pure spirits is so great that an Angel
can pass from one place to another in less time than is required for
the human eye or thought to reach the object to which it is directed.
For the Angels are God's ministers, employed by Him to accomplish
the eternal designs of His Providence; and Holy Writ is full of
examples showing us that God sent His Angels to protect His servants.
Thus an Angel led Lot forth from Sodom; an Angel conducted Hagar in
the desert and preserved her son Ismael from death; an Angel brought
food to Daniel in the lion's den, and saved the three youths in the
blazing furnace; an Angel fought at the side of the Maccabees and put
to flight their enemy. In the New Testament we read
that an Angel gave warning to the Three Wise Men from the East to
return to their country by another way; an Angel appeared to Joseph
commanding him to take the Divine Child and His Mother to Egypt; an
Angel loosed the bonds of the prince of the Apostles and conducted him
safely out of prison. Such is the power with which God has invested the
guardian spirits of those that hear their warning, as He Himself
commands, "Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think
him one to be contemned." (Exod. XXIII. 21.) They cherish a great love
for us; they are intent on our welfare, assist us in distress, and
relieve our necessities.
Sin, and sin alone, is capable of rousing against us the anger of our
Angel. It is in his power both to punish us for sin, as also to reward
us for our good deeds. "And woe to us," says St. Bernard, "woe to us,
if we should provoke the anger of the Angels to such a degree as to
cause them to deem us unworthy their further presence and
ministrations, so that we are compelled to weep and moan with the royal
prophet: 'My friends and my neighbors have drawn near and stood against
me: and they that were near me stood afar off, and they that sought me
used violence." (Ps. XXXVII. 12.) A punishment like this should make
us fear and tremble.
In Holy Scripture we find many examples of Angels visiting sinners with
the punishments they had incurred. An Angel killed seventy thousand by
the plague during the time of David. An Angel killed one hundred and
eighty-five thousand in the camp of Sennacherib. An Angel punished
Heliodorus for his sacrilege by covering him with sores. Angels pour
the vials of God's wrath over a sinful world. Finally, the Gospel
assures us that the Angels will go forth at the end of the world to
separate the just from the wicked, and to cast the latter into the
fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. How
dreadful, if the very Angels, to whose care we are now committed,
should be the ones commissioned to execute this terrible sentence on
us! Is this not a reason to fear their power? Should this thought not
move us to fulfill with the utmost fidelity our duties towards our
If we but listen to and follow their inspirations, our Angels will be
a most potent help for us in the hour of death. They will strengthen us
against temptations; they will comfort us in our agony; they will
conduct our Souls to judgment; they will console them in Purgatory.
They are not content with performing in our behalf all the services
imposed on them by God, but desiring most ardently to see us truly
happy, they are intent on obtaining for us front God all the graces and
favors conducive to our eternal welfare. The Guardian Angels therefore
pray for their clients at the throne of God; according to St. John's
vision in the Apocalypse, they bear their tears and sighs into the
Divine Presence; they unite their own supplications with those of their
wards to move God more effectually to mercy. They exclaim, according to
the prophet, "How long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem" (Zach.
I. 12.) and on this troubled soul? Now, God willingly hears the prayers
of His servants and friends, and grants great favors to those for whom
the Angels pray thus assiduously. The Angels, we may therefore be
certain, are continually in attendance on the suffering Souls of their
clients in Purgatory; it is their most ardent desire to alleviate their
torments. From Purgatory they come to this world to gather diligently
the good works performed for the Suffering Souls; they inspire the
faithful to pray for them, to labor for them. Ascending to Heaven with
their harvest of suffrages, they descend thence into Purgatory to
fill the Suffering Souls with consolation by announcing to them the
abbreviation of their torments.-----Of
the patriarch Jacob we read that he
saw in his sleep a ladder reaching from the earth to Heaven, on which
Angels ascended and descended. They ascend to present to the Almighty
their petitions in favor of the Suffering Souls, and they descend to
bring to the Souls in Purgatory the favors which they obtained for them
from God through the good works of the faithful on earth.
Boudon maintains that the Angels inform the Suffering Souls of the
happenings in this world about which these Souls are concerned; that
they reveal to them who are their benefactors, exhorting them to pray
for their benevolent friends, in doing which these good spirits gladly
lend their assistance. St. Augustine says, "The departed may be
informed by the Angels of things happening in this world, in so far as
this is permitted by Him to whose judgment everything is subject."
However, it may also happen that certain Suffering Souls are deprived
of the aid of their Guardian Angels, of the. Blessed Virgin Mary and
the Saints, because they were not devoted to them during their life on
earth, or neglected to aid the Suffering Souls. Blessed Margaret Mary
Alacoque saw Souls in Purgatory who were sentenced to forego the
assistance of Mary and the Saints, because during life they had lived
in discord with their superiors.
of the Cross Excerpt:
I wanted to touch one of these Souls, to draw her to me and
her, but my Angel held my hands and said, "Do not touch her. You would
immediately be burned to ashes. Your body could never stand such fire
even if it were strengthened." In spite of the flames this place is
enveloped in the deepest darkness and I should have seen nothing had
not the brightness of my Angel shone around me. The Poor Souls in this
horrible darkness are still to be considered very fortunate, because
most people are damned who commit the sin of which these particular
Souls are guilty. Their sin is as great as the sin of Lucifer.
In the last moment of life while a man is still living, he is
In the last moment a man can with God's grace awaken such a perfect act
of love that he quickly passes through Purgatory. I once saw a person
in Purgatory, who I thought would have to suffer a long time because
on earth he had often seriously offended God by his cursing, blasphemy
and anger. When I asked my Angel how long this soul would have to
suffer, he answered, "Even in this very hour he will be taken to
Heaven." I was greatly astonished at this, as the man had died only the
day before. My Angel then explained that this man had awakened a very
sincere act of sorrow in his last
moments as he was about to be judged. He had loved his life and enjoyed
himself much, but when about to die, he was
The evening before the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
innumerable Souls will enter Heaven. The brother of Deus Dedit is among
his Guardian Angel has informed me. The palm of victory is prepared
which his Angel will place in his hand when he brings his Soul before
the throne of
The thought suddenly entered my mind to offer up all my
and tears to the Divine Justice for the sake of the Poor Souls in
Purgatory. I immediately followed the inspiration and begged the nine
choirs of Angels to assist me in my prayer. I prayed so fervently and
earnestly as never before. I felt as if I no longer knelt on
the floor and neither did I feel the weight of my bodily pains. I
wished to stop but my Angel said, "Keep on praying. Continue until the
soul is freed to whom God is giving the benefit of your prayers." I
felt so deeply moved that the only prayer I could find was to repeat
over and over, "My Jesus mercy. You must be merciful, because
You died for us miserable sinners."
This prayer I repeated with ever
growing fervor and mixed with it many burning tears, for the cries of
the Poor Souls penetrated into my ears. Suddenly I felt a great peace
enter my soul and overcome with weariness I closed my eyes. My Angel
said to me, "Open your eyes, and give thanks to God." As I opened
them I saw a beautiful young man standing before me, who said, "Your
prayers and sympathy and tears have opened Heaven for me. I am about to
appear before the throne of God, but first I come to thank you a
thousand times for your prayers. I have been in Purgatory for
twenty-one years, forgotten by my friends and relatives. When you die,
I shall come to assist you."
To be said for nine consecutive days.
ANGEL, whom God,
by the effect of His goodness and His tender regard
[Mention the person or think of him.]
Protect me in all the
temptations and trials of this life. but most especially at the
These are the same aspirations on the Traditional Guardian
Angel Prayer page.
Hail, holy Angel, my protector in all dangers!
Hail, holy Angel, my defense in all afflictions!
Hail, holy Angel, my most faithful friend!
Hail, holy Angel, my guide!
Hail, holy Angel, my preceptor!
Hail, holy Angel, witness of all my actions!
Hail, holy Angel, my helper in every difficulty!
Hail, holy Angel, my counselor in doubt!
Hail, holy Angel, my shield at the hour of death!