Newsletter of the District of Asia

 November 1997

Salve Regina
Mary succors her Clients in Purgatory

Fortunate, indeed, are the clients of this most compassionate Mother; for nor only does she succor them in this world, but even in purgatory they are helped and comforted by her protection.  And as in that prison poor souls are in the greatest need of assistance, since in their torments they cannot help themselves, our Mother of mercy does proportionately more to relieve them.  St. Bernardine of Siena says, “that in that prison, where souls that are spouses of Jesus Christ are detained, Mary has a certain dominion and plenitude of power, not only to relieve them, but even to deliver them from their pains.”

 And, first, with respect to the relief she gives.  The same saint in applying those words of Ecclesiasticus, “I have walked in the waves of the sea,” adds, “that it is by visiting and relieving the necessities and torments of her clients, who are her children.”  He then says “that the pains of purgatory are called waves, because they are transitory, unlike the pains of hell, which never end; and they are called waves of the sea, because they are so bitter.  The clients of Mary, thus suffering, are often visited and relieved by her.”  “See, therefore,” says Novarinus, “of what consequence it is to be the servant of this good Lady, for her servants she never forgets when they are suffering in those flames; for though Mary relieves all suffering souls in purgatory, yet she always obtains far greater indulgence and relief for her own clients.”

The divine Mother once addressed these words to St. Bridget: “I am the Mother of all souls in purgatory; for all the pains that they have deserved for their sins are every hour, as long as they remain there, in some way mitigated by my prayers.”  The compassionate Mother even condescends to go herself occasionally into that holy prison, to visit and comfort her suffering children.  St. Bonaventure, applying to Mary the words of Ecclesiasticus, “I have penetrated into the bottom of the deep,” says, “the deep, that is, purgatory, to relieve by my presence the holy souls detained there.”  “Oh, how courteous and benign is the most blessed Virgin,” says St. Vincent Ferrer, “to those who suffer in purgatory! through her they constantly receive comfort and refreshment.”

 And what other consolation have they in their sufferings than Mary, and the relief they receive from this Mother of mercy?  St. Bridget once heard Jesus say to His holy Mother, “thou art My Mother, the Mother of mercy, and the consolation of souls in purgatory.”  The Blessed Virgin herself told the saint, “that as a poor sick person, bedridden, suffering, and abandoned, is relieved by words of encouragement and consolation, so are the souls in purgatory consoled and relieved by only hearing her name.”  The mere name of Mary, that name of hope and salvation, which is frequently invoked by her beloved children in their prison, is a great source of comfort to them; “for,” says Novarinus, “that loving Mother no sooner hears them call upon her than she offers her prayers to God, and these prayers, as a heavenly dew, immediately refresh them in their burning pains.”

Mary not only consoles and relieves her clients in purgatory, but she delivers them by her prayers.  Gerson says, “that on the day of her assumption into heaven purgatory was entirely emptied.”  Novarinus confirms this, saying, “that it is maintained by many grave authors, that when Mary was going to heaven, she asked as a favor from her Son to take all the souls then in purgatory with her.”  “And from that time forward,” says Gerson, “Mary had the privilege of delivering her servants.”  St. Bernardine of Siena also positively asserts “that the Blessed Virgin has the power of delivering souls from purgatory, but particularly those of her clients, by her prayers, and by applying her merits for them.”  Novarinus says, “that by the merits of Mary, not only are the pains of those souls lessened, but the time of their sufferings is shortened through her intercession.”  She has only to ask, and all is done.

St. Peter Damian relates, “that a lady named Marozia appeared after her death to her godmother, and told her that on the feast of the Assumption she, together with a multitude exceeding the population of Rome, had been delivered by Mary from purgatory.”  Denis the Carthusian says, “that on the feasts of the Nativity and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Mary does the same thing; for on those days, accompanied by choirs of angels, she visits that prison and delivers very many souls from their torments.”  Novarinus says, “that he can easily believe that on all her own solemn feasts she delivers many souls from their sufferings.”

The promise made by our blessed Lady to Pope John XXII, is well known.  She appeared to him, and ordered him to make known to all that on the Saturday after their death she would deliver from purgatory all who wore the Carmelite scapular.  This, as Father Crasset relates, was proclaimed by the same Pontiff in a Bull, which was afterwards confirmed by Alexander V., and this latter, in a Bull of the year 1613, says “that Christian people may piously believe that the Blessed Virgin will help them after death by her continual intercession, her merits, and special protection; and that on Saturdays, the day consecrated by the Church to her, she will in a more particular manner help the souls of the brethren of the Confraternity of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel who have departed this life in a state of grace, provided they have worn the habit, observed the chastity of their state, and recited her office: or, if they could not recite it, if they have observed the fasts of the Church, and abstained from meat on all Wednesdays except Christmas-day.”  In the solemn office of our blessed Lady of Mount Carmel we read that it is piously believed that the Blessed Virgin comforts the brethren of this confraternity in purgatory with maternal love, and that by her intercession she soon delivers them, and takes them to heaven.

Why should we not hope for the same graces and favors, it we are devout clients of this good Mother?  And if we serve her with more special love, why can we not hope to go to heaven immediately after death, without even going to purgatory?  This really took place in the case of Blessed Godfrey, to whom Mary sent the following message, by Brother Abondo: “Tell Brother Godfrey to endeavor to advance rapidly in virtue, and thus he will belong to my Son and to me: and when his soul departs, I will not allow it to go to purgatory, but will take it and offer it to my Son.”

Finally, if we wish to relieve the holy souls in purgatory, let us do so by imploring the aid of our blessed Lady in all our prayers, and especially by offering the Rosary for them, as that relieves them greatly.


O Queen of heaven and earth!  O Mother of the Lord of the world!  O Mary, of all creatures the greatest, the most exalted, and the most amiable!  it is true that there are many in this world who neither know thee nor love thee; but in heaven there are many millions of angels and blessed spirits, who love and praise thee continually.  Even in the world, how many happy souls are there not who burn with thy love, and live enamoured of thy goodness!  Oh, that I could love thee, O Lady worthy of all love!  Oh that I could always remember to serve thee, to praise thee, to honor thee, and engage all to love thee!  Thou hast attracted the love of God, whom, by thy beauty, thou hast, so to say, torn from the bosom of His Eternal Father, and engaged to become man, and be thy Son.  And shall I, a poor worm of the earth, not be enamoured of thee?  No, my most sweet Mother, I also will love thee much, and will do all that I can to make others love thee also.  Accept, then, O Mary, the desire that I have to love thee, and help me to execute it.  I know how favorably thy lovers are looked upon by God.  He, after his own glory, desires nothing more than thine, and to see thee honored and loved by all.  From thee, O Lady, do I expect all; through thee the remission of my sins, through thee perseverance.  Thou must assist me at death, and deliver me from purgatory; and finally, thou must lead me to heaven.  All this thy lovers hope from thee, and are not deceived.  I who love thee with so much affection and above all other things after God, hope for the same favors.

(From The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori)

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