Third Reason: The Love of Our Lady
– She consoles the souls in Purgatory –
Mary does not limit herself to consoling and encouraging her dear children on earth. She is also the Consolation of those whom Divine Justice retains in Purgatory. What mother, seeing her child fall into a flaming pit, would not rush to her child’s rescue?
Would Our Lady, the most loving of Mothers, remain insensitive to the tortures of her children who are submerged in the expiatory flames of Divine Justice?
Oh no! A thousand times no! Full of compassion for them, she continously comforts them. There is not a torment in that dark prison which she does not soothe. Not an hour passes without her breathing a refreshing breath on that purifying fire. Oh how good is Mary, cried St. Vincent Ferrer, for the captive souls in Purgatory. Through her intercession, they are constantly assisted and relieved.
Our Lady told St. Bridget, I am the mother of all who languish in Purgatory. All the suffering which is inflicted upon the deceased for the atonement of their sins is relieved by my prayers.
Happy are Mary’s true children. Her assistance does not merely accompany them in this world, but it consoles their torments in the world to come. How tender and consoling is that thought! How agreeable it is to hope in Our Lady’s assistance during our final hours, to know that she will visit us and console us if we unfortunately find ourselves in Purgatory. What a powerful reason for loving her tenderly in this world! Oh Mary Mother of Mercy, Consolation of the afflicted, protect us, deliver us from Purgatory.
– Mary delivers souls –
Our Lady does not simply visit and console the souls in Purgatory; she delivers them through her intercession. To hasten their deliverance, she encourages the living to alleviate their suffering and she begs her Divine Son to admit them into his kingdom of Peace. What Mary asks for, she always obtains. Consider also how many forgotten or neglected souls would linger for centuries in that place of indescribable torment if the blessed Virgin did not hasten the hour of their release! How many souls are taken up to Heaven on her wings of love, especially when the Church celebrates her touching solemnities! Gerson tells us that on the day of her Assumption, a multitude of souls from Purgatory were delivered through her intercession.
St. Louis Marie de Monfort states that at that very moment, the joy in Heaven doubled. It is also a pious belief that on Saturday and feast days, our blessed Mother goes down to that place of Divine Justice to gather a great number of prisoners for whom she has obtained grace. She delights in bringing her children with her to unite them to her heavenly family. Yes, there is in Heaven a countless number of the elect who owe their deliverance from Purgatory to the August Queen of Heaven.
Oh Christian souls! Pray to Mary every day for your poor deceased loved ones! Ask for their relief. To that end, offer her some mortification, a communion, a visit to a chapel where she is honoured.
The Mother of God declared to St. Bridget, I am the Mother of all the souls in Purgatory and all the suffering they have merited is constantly soothed through my intercession.
Mary’s devoted ones are not sad in Purgatory; they are not abandoned. Mary is powerful but we must pray to her, especially with the rosary. St. Alphonse de Liguori said, If we want to deliver the Souls in Purgatory, we must always recommend them to our Blessed Mother, especially by offering her the rosary by which they are always comforted.
Blessed Mother, have mercy on my suffering brethren and grant them eternal rest! Remember that they are your children and you are their Mother!
– Example –
A saintly nun had been caring for a poor young woman for some time. The latter was in a terrible physical and spiritual state. A scandalous lifestyle had lead to a shameful disease, which made her an object of disgust for everyone. The infection she was spreading led her neighbours to force her to be confined to an isolation ward. Her character was so irascible that the only one who could overcome the nausea caused by her condition, was that holy nun, who, like an angel, visited her. She would bring her clean clothing and some nourishment. However, the only compensation she received for these acts of mercy was insult. When the nun spoke to her about God, she would answer with curses.
One night, the young woman suffered a horrible seizure and died within a few minutes. On the verge of death, she remembered Our Lady’s mercy, which she had invoked as a youngster. She said, You who do not shun even those whom the world forsakes, Mother full of tenderness, come to my rescue; if you abandon me, I am lost. Mary came to her, inspired her to make an act of contrition and saved her from Hell. The following morning, her hideous body was found on the floor of her cell. Everyone present considered her a lost soul. The nun who had been taking care of her was so convinced of her damnation that she erased her from her mind.
One day, that soul whom she thought damned appeared to her with God’s permission and said, You are praying for everyone. Why have you forgotten me?
What said the nun, Are you in Purgatory?
The miserable sinner told her of the miracle of salvation she had obtained at the time of her death. She begged for prayers that she might be delivered from Purgatory as she had been saved from Hell. The nun prayed to Our Lady fervently, and soon in a second apparition, she saw her prayers answered as Our Lady herself was leading that soul to Heaven.
Dear Mary, thank you for your goodness.
Let Us Pray
We hail you, Mary, Queen of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope, not only in this valley of tears but also in that place of atonement. We hail you, we cry unto you, oh Consoler of the afflicted; we weep, we sigh for our suffering brethren in Purgatory. Oh our Advocate, look on them with mercy and show them the fruit of your womb Jesus. We beg you for this grace, Oh pious Queen and sweet Virgin Mary!
Let Us Pray
Lord, hear the prayers we will offer up to you every day of this month for the consolation of our deceased brothers and sisters and grant them a place of refreshing light and peace! Hear also the prayers which those souls will offer up to you for our intention that we might ultimately obtain, through their intercession, the graces for which we pray for.