-----¤¤¤¤----- The Angels and the Poor Souls in Purgatory -----¤¤¤¤-----

Taken from CHARITY FOR THE SUFFERING SOULS, Fr. John A. Nageleisen, TAN Books, Imprimatured 1895,
and Catholic Treasures, #36, Excerpt from THE ANGELS, OUR GOD GIVEN COMPANIONS AND SERVANTS by Magdalen of the Cross, Imprimatured 1945. The TAN book is only $14.00 and is a virtual compendium on Purgatory. The link above takes you to the precise page where the book can be purchased. The Catholic Treasures booklet is out of print.


Fr. Nageleisen Excerpt:

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 Heaven.

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 Angels?

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.

Magdalen of the Cross Excerpt:

Toward evening my Angel took me through a part of Purgatory. It is terrible. How insignificant is all earthly suffering in comparison with this torture. Not even the most intense heat on earth can be compared with this dark consuming fire. I was brought to the lowest place in Purgatory, where I recognized one of my relatives, born in the same year as I was, who I thought had long ago entered Heaven. She is one ot those who must suffer the longest, who received only a drop of relief from all the Masses offered for them; who may not according to God's justice derive any benefit from any of the good works done for them; who would not even wish to gain any relief whatsoever, because they know that God in His justice is forced to punish them so severely. Into this part of Purgatory
the Angels come only on Feast days or during the holy seasons of the Church, to bring a little comfort to the Souls they formerly had in charge. It is a place of most agonizing sighs, of burning tears, a place I would call hell, if it were not for the hope that some day these sufferings will end, and certainly not go beyond the last day. You poorest of all Poor Souls!

I wanted to touch one of these Souls, to draw her to me and comfort 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 judged. 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
really glad and anxious to die because he would no longer be able to offend his God and Savior. I asked whether he would have a low place in Heaven. "No, his throne will be with the Seraphim. During his life this man never refused an alms to anyone who begged for them." Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

The evening before the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus innumerable Souls will enter Heaven. The brother of Deus Dedit is among them, so 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 anguish 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."

Prayers to the Angels for the Holy Souls:

Novena to Your Guardian Angel for the Relief of the Holy Souls 

To be said for nine consecutive days.

O HOLY ANGEL, whom God, by the effect of His goodness and His tender regard
for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all
my wants and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged
and continually obtains for me new favors, I return thee profound thanks, and I
earnestly beseech thee, O most amiable protector, to continue thy charitable care
and defense of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away
from all occasions of sin. Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to thy
holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice, In particular, I implore thee
to obtain for me the relief and deliverance of all the Souls in Purgatory, the ones who
prayed for the Souls themselves while still on earth; the forgotten and abandoned Souls;
the Souls of my relatives and friends; the Souls of priests and religious; the Souls of all
those to whom I am obligated by charity to pray for and may have neglected by laxity
in memory; and most especially for the Soul I here name in this novena.

[Mention the person or think of him.]

Protect me in all the temptations and trials of this life. but most especially at the
hour of my death, and do not leave me until thou hast conducted me into the
presence of my creator in the mansions of everlasting happiness. Amen.

Aspirations Offered With the Intention of Relieving the Holy Souls

These are the same aspirations on the Traditional Guardian Angel Prayer page.

Hail, glorious Angel, appointed by God to be my guardian!
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!