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This text confirms and illustrates the truth that, when death comes,
the _final doom_ of every one is fixed, and that there is no
possibility of changing it; so that one dying in a state of mortal sin
will always remain in a state of mortal sin, and consequently be
rejected forever; and one dying in a state of grace and friendship with
God, will forever remain accepted by God and in a state of grace, and
in friendship with Him.

But this text proves nothing against the existence of Purgatory; for a
soul, although in a state of grace, and destined to heaven, may still
have to suffer for a time before being perfectly fit to enter upon the
eternal bliss, to enjoy the vision of God.

Some might be disposed, notwithstanding, to regard this text as opposed
to the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory by saying that the two places
alluded to in the texts are heaven and hell. But this interpretation
Catholics readily admit, for at death either heaven or hell is the
final place to which all men are allotted, Purgatory being only a
passage to heaven. This text surely does not tell against those just
ones under the Old Law who died in a state of grace and salvation, and
who, though sure of heaven, had yet to wait in a middle state until
after the Ascension of Jesus Christ; neither, therefore, does it tell
against Purgatory.

Christ's Redemption is abundant, "_plentiful_" as Holy Scripture,
says (Ps. cxxix. 7), and Catholics do not believe that those Christians
who die guilty only of _venial the practice of the Catholic Church to
offer prayers and other pious works in suffrage for the dead, as is
amply testified by the Latin Fathers; for instance, Tertullian, St.
Cyprian, St. Augustine, St. Gregory; and amongst the Greek Fathers, by
St. Ephrem of Edessa, St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom. St. Chrysostom
says: "It was not without good reason ordained by the Apostles that
mention should be made of the dead in the tremendous mysteries, because
they knew well that, these would receive great benefit from it" (on the
First Epistle to Philippians, Homily iii.) By the expression
"tremendous mysteries," is meant the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

St. Augustine says: "It is not to be doubted that the dead are aided by
the prayers of Holy Church and by the salutary sacrifice, and by the
alms which are offered for their spirits, that the Lord may deal with
them more mercifully than their sins have deserved. For this, which has
been handed down by the Fathers, the universal Church observes."
(_Enchirid_, Vol. v., Ser. 172.)

The same pious custom is proved also from the ancient Liturgies of the
Greek and other Eastern Churches, both Catholic and Schismatic, in
which the Priest is directed to pray for the repose of the dead during
the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.



By Purgatory no more is meant by Catholics than a middle state of
souls; namely of purgation from sin by temporary chastisements, or a
punishment of some sin inflicted after death, which is not eternal. As
to the place, manner or kind of these sufferings nothing has been
defined by the Church; and all who with Dr. Deacon except against this
doctrine, on account of the circumstance of a material fire, quarrel
about a mere scholastic question, in which a person is at liberty to
choose either side.... Certainly some sins are venial, which deserve
not eternal death. Yet if not effaced by condign punishment in this
world must be punished in the next. The Scriptures frequently mention
those venial sins, from which ordinarily the just are not exempt, who
certainly would not be just if these lesser sins into which men easily
fall by surprise, destroyed grace in them, or if they fell from
charity. Yet the smallest sin excludes a soul from heaven so long as it
is not blotted out.... Who is there who keeps, so constant a guard upon
his heart and whole conduct as to avoid all sensible self-deceptions?
Who is there upon whose heart no inordinate attachments steal; into
whose actions no sloth, remissness, or other irregularity ever
insinuates itself?... The Blessed Virgin was preserved by an
extraordinary grace from the least sin in the whole tenor of her life
and actions; but, without such a singular privilege, even the saints
are obliged to say that they sin daily.... The Church of Christ is
composed of three different parts: the Triumphant in Heaven, the
Militant on earth, and the Patient or Suffering in Purgatory. Our
charity embraces all the members of Christ.... The Communion of Saints
which we profess in our Creed, implies a communication of certain good
works and offices, and a mutual intercourse among all the members of
Christ. This we maintain with the Saints in heaven by thanking and
praising God for their triumphs and crowns, imploring their
intercession, and receiving the succors of their charitable solicitude
for us: likewise with the souls in Purgatory by soliciting the divine
mercy in their favor. Nor does it seem to be doubted but they, as they
are in a state of grace and charity, pray for us; though the Church
never address public suffrages to them, not being warranted by
primitive practice and tradition so to do.

... St. Odilo, abbot of Cluni, in 998, instituted the commemoration of
all the faithful departed in all the monasteries of his congregation on
the 1st of November, which was soon adopted by the whole Western
Church. The Council of Oxford, in 1222, declared it a holiday of the
second class, on which certain necessary and important kinds of work
were allowed. Some dioceses kept it a holiday of precept till noon;
only those of Vienne and Tours, and the order of Cluni, the whole day:
in most places it is only a day of devotion. The Greeks have long kept
on Saturday sevennight before Lent, and on Saturday before Whitsunday,
the solemn commemoration of all the faithful departed; but offer up
Mass every Saturday for them.... The dignity of these souls most
strongly recommends them to our compassion, and at the same time to our
veneration. Though they lie at present at a distance from God, buried
in frightful dungeons under waves of fire, they belong to the happy
number of the elect. They are united to God by His grace; they love Him
above all things, and amidst their torments never cease to bless and
praise Him, adoring the severity of His justice with perfect
resignation and love.... They are illustrious conquerors of the devil,
the world and hell; holy spirits loaded with merits and graces, and
bearing the precious badge of their dignity and honor by the nuptial
robe of the Lamb with which by an indefeasible right they are clothed.
Yet they are now in a state of suffering, and endure greater torments
than it is possible for any one to suffer, or for our imagination to
represent to itself in this mortal life.... St. Cæsarius of Aries
writes: "A person," says he, "may say, I am not much concerned how long
I remain in Purgatory, provided I may come to eternal life. Let no one
reason thus. Purgatory fire will be more dreadful than whatever
torments can be seen, imagined, or endured in this world. And how does
any one know whether he will stay days, months, or years? He who is
afraid now to put his finger into the fire, does he not fear lest he be
then all buried in torments for a long time.... The Church approves
perpetual anniversaries for the dead; for some souls may be detained in
pains to the end of the world, though after the day of judgment no
third state can exist.... If we have lost any dear friends in Christ,
while we confide in His mercy, and rejoice in their passage from the
region of death to that of life, light, and eternal joy, we have reason
to fear some lesser stains may retard their bliss. In this uncertainty
let us earnestly recommend them to the divine clemency.... Perhaps, the
souls of some dear friends may be suffering on our account; perhaps,
for their fondness for us, or for sins of which we were the occasion,
by scandal, provocation, or otherwise, in which case motives not only
of charity, but of justice, call upon us to endeavor to procure them
all the relief in our power.... Souls delivered and brought to glory by
our endeavors will amply repay our kindness by obtaining divine graces
for us. God Himself will be inclined by our charity to show us also
mercy, and to shower down upon us His most precious favors. 'Blessed
are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' By having shown this
mercy to the suffering souls in Purgatory, we shall be particularly
entitled to be treated with mercy at our departure hence, and to share
more abundantly in the general suffrages of the Church, continually
offered for all that have slept in Christ."



We know them not, nor hear the sound
They make in treading all around:
Their office sweet and mighty prayer
Float without echo through the air;
Yet sometimes, in unworldly places,
Soft sorrow's twilight vales,
We meet them with uncovered faces,
Outside their golden pales,
Though dim, as they must ever be,
Like ships far-off and out at sea,
With the sun upon their sails. - FABER.


The incident we are about to relate and which, in some way, only the
price of the first Mass paid for, reminds us of another which seems to
be also the fruit of a single Mass given under the inspiration of
faith. This fact is found in the life of St. Peter Damian, and we are
happy to reproduce it here, in order to tell over again the marvels of
God in those He loves, and to make manifest that charity for the poor
souls brings ever and always its own reward.

Peter, surnamed Damian, was born in 988, at Ravenna, in Italy. His
family was poor, and he was the youngest of several children. He lost
his father and mother while still very young, and was taken by one of
his brothers to his home. But Damian was treated there in a very
inhuman manner. He was regarded rather as a slave, or, at least, as a
base menial, than as the brother of the master of the house. He was
deprived of the very necessaries of life, and, after being made to work
like a hired servant, he was loaded with blows. When he was older, they
gave him charge of the swine.

Nevertheless, Peter Damian, being endowed with rare virtue, received
all with patience as coming from God. This sweet resignation on the
part of a child was most pleasing to the Lord, and He rewarded him by
inspiring him to a good action.

One day the little Damian, leading his flocks to the pasture, found on
the way a small piece of money. Oh! how rejoiced he was! How his heart
swelled within him!

He clapped his hands joyfully, thinking himself quite rich, and already
he began to calculate all he could do with his money. Suggestions were
not wanting, for he was in need of everything.

Nevertheless, the noble child took time to reflect; a sudden shadow
fell on the fair heaven of his happy thoughts. He all at once
remembered that his father, his poor mother who had so loved him, might
be still suffering cruel torments in the place of expiation. And
despising his own great necessities, and generously making the
sacrifice of what was for him a treasure, Damian, raised above himself
and his wants by the thought of his beloved parents, brought his money
to a priest, to have the Holy Sacrifice offered for them.

That generous child had obeyed a holy inspiration, and this good deed
of his was quickly rewarded. Fortune suddenly changed with him. He was
taken by another of his brothers, who took all possible care of him.
Seeing that the child had such excellent dispositions, he made him
begin to study. He sent him first to Florence, then to a famous school
in Parma, where he had for his master the celebrated Ivo. The brilliant
qualities of Damian were rapidly developed, and soon he became
professor where he had been a pupil. He afterwards gave up the world
and became a religious, and was, in course of time, not only a
remarkable man, but a great saint. He was charged by the Holy See with
affairs the most important, and died clothed in the Roman purple. He is
still a great light in the Church, and his writings are always full of
piety and erudition.

The little Damian, then, might well think that he possessed a treasure
in his little coin, since with it he purchased earthly honors and
heavenly bliss. We all of us have often had in our hand Damian's little
piece of money, but have we known how to make a treasure of it?
_Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_, 1877.


"In the course of the month of July of last year," said a zealous
member of our Association for the Souls in Purgatory, "I was accosted
by one of our associates who told me, with an exuberance of joy, 'Ah!
we have great reason to thank the souls in Purgatory; I beg you to
unite with us in thanking them for the favor they have just done us.'
'Indeed? Well! I am very happy to hear it. Has anything extraordinary
happened to you? Tell me, if you please, what seems to cause you so
much joy?'

"Then our fervent associate - a young man of a mild and pleasing aspect,
usually somewhat reserved, but of gentlemanly bearing - said, in a tone
of deep emotion:

"'I am rejoiced to tell you, in the first place, that I have the
happiness of still having my good mother. God seems to leave her on the
earth to complete the work of her purification, for she is always sick
and suffering, and, as she says herself, there is neither rest nor
peace for her here below; nevertheless, she resigns herself so
patiently to the sufferings and tribulations which weigh so heavily
upon her that it does me a twofold good every time I see her, for I
love her as my mother, I venerate her as a saint.

"'One day, then, last week, finding herself a little stronger, she
thought she would take a short drive, being in the country for her
health. The drive seemed really to do her good; the beauty of the
country, and still more, the fresh, pure air, appeared to revive her,
and altogether she enjoyed her drive immensely. Her heart, as well as
her mind, was changed, for you know there is often a sickness of the
head, as of the body. She already began to flatter herself with the
hope of a speedy recovery, when, in the midst of the drive which was
having so beneficial an effect, the horse, from some unknown cause,
suddenly took fright, and, taking the bit between his teeth, started
off at a fearful pace.

"'Imagine the terror of my poor mother! On either side the road was a
broad, deep ditch, and the rough, uneven soil caused the carriage to
jolt fearfully, which was another great danger; and, as it so often
happens in the country, the road was deserted, and no one to be seen
who might give any assistance.

"'To crown all, it happened that the servant who drove my mother, in
his efforts to restrain the horse in his headlong flight, had the
misfortune to break the reins, which were their only chance of guiding
the animal in his mad career.

"'Ah! how can I describe the feelings of my poor dear mother, already
so sick and so feeble; in fact, she was almost dead with fright. She
thought every moment that she was going to be thrown into the ditch, or
dashed against the stake paling which bordered the road on either side.
She was nearly in despair, when all at once the thought occurred to her
to promise a Mass for the Souls in Purgatory, if the horse stopped.

"'And what do you think? - Ah! I am still so agitated myself, that I can
hardly tell it! - But, wonderful to relate, that horse, in the wild
excitement of his flight, without so much as a thread to restrain him,
who could not have been stopped by any natural cause whatsoever, - that
horse stopped immediately, and one might say, suddenly, as though a
barrier were placed before him!

"'It were utterly impossible to express my mother's joy and gratitude.
Her life will henceforth be but one long act of thanksgiving; for,
without that unlooked-for help it had certainly been all over with her.
Oh, I beseech you help me to thank Heaven for so great a favor.'"

This example will serve to show still more clearly that God is pleased
to manifest His power, even for the slightest service rendered to those
whom He deigns to call His "Beloved" of Purgatory. - _Almanac of the
Souls in Purgatory_. 1877.


When the fathers of the Society of Jesus first established their order
in Kentucky, a wealthy and respected Catholic citizen of Bardstown, Mr.
S - - , sought admission among them, - although his age and lack of a
thorough preparatory education offered obstacles to his success. He
entered the Novitiate, only to be convinced that it was too late for
him to become a priest, as had been prudently represented to him at the
outset. However, his love for the Society had been strengthened by his
short stay in the sanctuary of the community, and he resolved to devote
himself to the service of the Fathers in another way. He determined to
secure a suitable residence, and found a college, which, as soon as it
was in a flourishing condition, he would turn over to the Society.

With this object in view, Mr. S - - made diligent inquiries, and
advertised in various county newspapers for a suitable residence in
which to begin his good work. One of his advertisements received a
prompt reply from the executors of an estate in C - - County. The
property offered for sale was unencumbered, its broad lands under high
cultivation, the mansion in good repair, etc. Accompanied by a friend,
Mr. S - - hastened to visit the plantation. He found one wing of the
house occupied by the overseer and his family, and observed with
pleasure that the advertisement seemed not to have exaggerated the
value of the estate.

Mr. S - - and his friend tarried over night, and were assigned separate
apartments, which the administrators had ordered to be kept in
readiness for the reception of prospective purchasers. Although greatly
fatigued by a long ride on horseback over ill-kept roads, neither of
the gentlemen could sleep, on account of a wearisome, incessant
knocking in an adjoining room. Each believing the other to be sound
asleep, forbore to awake his tired companion, but when they met at an
early breakfast, they both, as in one breath, inquired of the farmer's
wife the cause of the continuous tapping in the adjoining apartment.
Mrs. F - - exchanged a significant glance with her husband, and a sort
of grim smile overspread the face of the latter. After a moment's
hesitation, he declared that he and his wife, and the servants on the
estate, had in vain tried to find out the cause. All who slept in those
two rooms heard the noise, and could not sleep. Both husband and wife
assured their guests that the knocking took place in the apartment
always occupied, during her lifetime, by Mrs. G - - , the late owner of
the estate; furthermore, that the disturbance was unknown before her
death. Mr. S - - and his companion naturally became more and more
interested, and after suggesting all the ordinary causes of unusual and
mysterious knocks, such as rats, cats, chipmunks, creaking doors,
broken shutters, and the like, rode off with Mr. F - - to make a
thorough examination of the estate.

The two gentlemen rode all over the plantation, conferred with the
executors and some lawyers, and after inspecting the house thoroughly,
sat down to a dinner that was highly creditable to the hostess, who
seemed anxious concerning the disclosures of the morning. When night
came on, the visitors were shown to the same rooms they had previously
occupied. In the morning each spoke again of his inability to get any
refreshing sleep, and as they rode back to B - - , talking over dreams,
visions, and other supernatural occurrences, they asked themselves,
might not this knocking have a supernatural cause? Concluding it might
have, they considered it would be well to lay the case before the Rev.
Father Q - - ; at least, they could go, and tell him of their journey
into C - - County, and also of the mysterious knocking, if it seemed to
come in naturally; for each felt a little dread of being laughed at as
too credulous. In the course of their conversation with the Father, the
full details of what they had learned and had personally experienced
were related. Father Q - - seemed to consider the occurrence quite
easily accounted for by some physical cause; but when the gentlemen
recalled to his attention the circumstance of Mrs. G - - 's death, he
appeared to take another view of the matter.

Finally, it was decided that Father Q - - and a brother priest should
accompany Mr. S - - and his friend to the plantation, for a personal
investigation. Soon after their arrival at the mansion the priests,
preceded by the servants of the family, Mr. and Mrs. F - - , and the two
visitors, repaired to the mysterious chamber. When a little Holy Water
had been sprinkled about the room, there was a cessation of the
knocking, and after reciting some prayers, Father Q - - inquired, in
Latin, of whatever spirit might be there the cause of the disturbance.
He was distinctly answered in the same tongue that the soul of Mrs.
G - - could not rest in peace, because of an uncancelled debt to the
shoemaker, Mr. - - . The interlocutor was assured that the matter should
be attended to at once. Thereupon the knocking re-commenced and

All were painfully surprised, but thanked God that it would be so easy
a matter to settle the debt. The Rosary was then recited by the
assembly, most of whom had supposed that the priests were present to
bless the house. Without delay, Mr. S. and Father Q - - repaired to the
shop of the village shoemaker, and begged him to present any bill that
he might have against the estate of the late Mrs. G - - . The shoemaker
said that he did not believe there was anything due to him, for
payments had always been made very punctually. However, he ran over his
account-book, and declared that he found nothing. In sorrowful
surprise, the two friends then took their departure, telling the shoe
dealer that if, at any time, he should find aught against the property,
to inform them without delay.

On his return home, the shoemaker related to his mother what had
happened in the shop. After reflection, she asked if he had looked over
his father's accounts. "Certainly not," he said. She then remarked that
the request was only half complied with, for Mrs. G - - had long been
his father's customer. After dinner, they repaired to the attic, and,
searching out the old ledgers, went over them carefully. To their
surprise they found a bill of twelve dollars and a half, for a pair of
white satin slippers (probably Mrs. G - - 's wedding shoes), which, in
the midst of various affairs, had remained unsettled. A messenger was
sent with all speed to the mansion. On the way he chanced to meet
Father Q - - and Mr. S - - . The bill, with interest, was paid on the
spot, and, returning to the house, they learned from the astonished and
delighted tenants that the rappings had suddenly and entirely ceased.

Shortly after, Mr. S - - became the owner of the estate, the heirs of
which, preferring to live in Europe, had permitted its sale, in order
to divide and enjoy the proceeds. As Mr. S - - had planned, a college
was there founded, and before long it was under the control of the
Society of his aspirations and his enthusiastic love. - _Ave
Maria_, Nov. 15, 1884.


In November, 1849, Prince Charles Löwenstein Wertheim Rosenberg died. A
lady who filled a subordinate office in his family as governess,
communicated to the author the incidents which follow. At the prince's
deathbed, which she was permitted to visit, she made a vow to say
certain prayers daily for the repose of his soul, in accordance with a
wish which he had expressed. When the family was residing at the castle
of Henbach on the Maine, it was this lady's habit to spend a short time
every evening in the private chapel. After one of those visits, about
three months after the prince's death, she retired to rest, and in the
course of the night had a singular dream. She was in the chapel,
kneeling in a tribune; opposite to her was the high altar. She had
spent some time in prayer, when suddenly, on the steps of the altar,
she saw the tall figure of the deceased prince, kneeling with great
apparent devotion. Presently he turned towards her, and in his usual
manner of addressing her, said: "Dear child, come down to me here in
the chapel; I want to speak to you." She replied that she would gladly,
but that the doors were all locked. He assured her that they were all

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