Mrs. James Sadlier.

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Doctrinal, Historical and Poetical,




_"Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the just
wait for me, until thou reward me."_

Ps. CXLI 8.


CONSECRATED TO THOSE Holy Souls, _November 14th, 1885._

R. I. P.


I have written many books and translated many more on a great variety
of subjects, nearly all of which, I thank God now with all my heart,
were more or less religious, at least in their tendency; but the circle
of these my life-long labors seems to me incomplete. One link is
wanting to the chain, and that is a work specially devoted to the souls
in Purgatory. This omission I am anxious to supply while the working
days of my life are still with me, for, a few more years, at most, and
for me "the night cometh when no man can work."

As we advance into the vale of years and journey on the downward slope,
we are happily drawn more and more towards the eternal truths of the
great untried world beyond the grave. Foremost amongst these stands out
more and still more clearly, in all its awful reality, the dread but
consoling doctrine of Purgatory. When we have seen many of our best
beloved relatives, many of our dearest and most devoted friends - those
who started with us in "the freshness of morning" on the road of life,
which then lay so deceitfully fair and bright before them and us - they
who shared our early hopes and aspirations, and whose words and smiles
were the best encouragement of our feeble efforts - when we have seen
them sink, one by one, into the darkness of the grave, leaving the
earth more bleak and dreary year by year for those who remain - then do
we naturally follow them in spirit to those gloomy regions where one or
all may be undergoing that blessed purification which prepares them for
the eternal repose of Heaven.

Of all the divine truths which the Catholic Church proposes to her
children, assuredly none is more acceptable to the pilgrim race of Adam
than that of Purgatory. It is, beyond conception, dear and precious as
one of the links that connect the living with the vanished dead, and
which keeps them fresh in the memory of those who loved them on earth,
and whose dearest joy it is to be able to help them in that shadowy
border-land through which, in pain and sorrow, they must journey before
entering the Land of Promise, which is the City of God, seated on the
everlasting hills.

When I decided on adding yet another to the many books on Purgatory
already existing even in our own language, I, at the same time,
resolved to make it as different as possible from all the others, and
thus fill up a void of which I have long been sensible in our English
Purgatorial literature. Doctrinal works, books of devotion, e have in
abundance, but it is, unhappily, only the pious, the religiously-
inclined who will read them. Knowing this, and still desirous to
promote devotion to the Holy Souls by making Purgatory more real, more
familiar to the general reader, I thought the very best means I could
take for that end would be to make a book chiefly of legends and of
poetry, with enough of doctrinal and devotional matter to give a
substantial character to the work by placing it on the solid
foundations of Catholic dogma, patristic authority, and that, at the
same time, of the latest divines and theologians of the Church, by
selections from their published writings.

I have divided the work into five parts, viz.: Doctrinal and
Devotional, comprising extracts from Suarez, St. Catherine of Genoa,
St. Augustine, St. Gertrude, St. Francis de Sales, of the earlier and
middle ages; and from Archbishop Gibbons, Very Rev. Faá di Bruno,
Father Faber, Father Muller, C.S.S.R., Father Binet, S.J., Rev. J. J.
Moriarty, and others.

The Second Part consists of Anecdotes and Incidents relating to
Purgatory, and more or less authentic. The Third Part contains
historical matter bearing on the same subject, including Father
Lambing's valuable article on "The Belief in a Middle State of Souls
after Death amongst Pagan Nations." The Fourth Part is made up of
"Thoughts on Purgatory, from Various Authors, Catholic and non-
Catholic," including Cardinals Newman, Wiseman, and Manning; the
Anglican Bishops Jeremy Taylor and Reginald Heber, Dr. Samuel Johnson,
William Hurrell Mallock, Count de Maistre, Chateaubriand.

The Fifth and last part consists of a numerous collection of legends
and poems connected with Purgatory. Many of these are translated from
the French, especially the _Légendes de l'Autre Monde,_ by the
well-known legendist, J. Colin de Plancy. In selecting the legends and
anecdotes, I have endeavored to give only those that were new to most
English readers, thus leaving out many legends that would well bear
reproducing, but were already too well known to excite any fresh

In the poetical section I have represented as many as possible of the
best-known poets, from Dante down, and some poems of rare beauty and
merit were translated from French and Canadian poets by my daughter,
who has also contributed some interesting articles for the historical
portion of the work. As may be supposed, this book is the fruit of much
research. The collection of the material has necessarily been a work of
time, the field from which the gleanings were made being so vast, and
the selections requiring so much care.

As regards the legendary portion of the work, whether prose or poetry,
the reader will, of course, understand that I give the legends
precisely for what they are worth; by no means as representing the
doctrinal belief of Purgatory, but merely as some of the wild flowers
of poetry and romance that have grown, in the long lapse of time, from
the rich soil of faith and piety, amongst the Catholic peoples of every
land - intensified, in this instance, by the natural affection of the
living for their dear departed ones, and the solemn and shadowy mystery
in which the dead are shrouded when once they have passed the portals
of eternity and are lost to mortal sight. Some of these legends, though
exceedingly beautiful, will hardly bear close examination in the light
of Catholic dogma. Of this class is "The Faithful Soul," of Adelaide
Procter, which is merely given here as an old French legend, nearly
connected with Purgatory, and having really nothing in it contrary to
faith, though in a high degree improbable, but yet from its intrinsic
beauty and dramatic character, no less than the subtle charm of Miss
Procter's verse, eminently worthy of a place in this collection. The
same remark applies more or less to some of Colin de Plancy's legends,
notably that of "Robert the Devil's Penance," and others of a similar
kind, as also T. D. McGee's "Penance of Don Diego Rias" and Calderon's
"St. Patrick's Purgatory" - the two last named bearing on the same
subject. Nevertheless, they all come within the scope of my present
work and are, therefore, presented to the reader as weird fragments of
the legendary lore of Purgatory.

Taken altogether, I think this work will help to increase devotion to
the Suffering Souls, and excite a more tender and more sensible feeling
of sympathy for them, at least amongst Catholics, showing, as it does,
the awful reality of those purgative pains awaiting all, with few or no
exceptions, in the after life; the help they may and do receive from
the good offices of the living, and the sacred and solemn' duty it is
for Christians in the present life to remember them and endeavor to
relieve their sufferings by every means in their power. To answer this
purpose I have made the dead ages unite their solemn and authoritative
voice with that of the living, actual present in testimony of the truth
of this great Catholic dogma. The Saints, the Fathers, the Doctors of
the Church in the ages of antiquity, and the prelates and priests of
our own day all speak the same language of undoubting faith, of solemn
conviction regarding Purgatory, - make the same earnest and eloquent
appeal to the faithful on behalf of the dear suffering souls. Even the
heathen nations and tribes of both hemispheres are brought forward as
witnesses to the existence of a middle state in the after life. Nor is
Protestantism itself wanting in this great and overwhelming mass of
evidence, as the reader will perceive that some of its most eminent
divines and secular writers have joined, with no hesitating or
faltering voice, in the grand _Credo_ of the nations and the ages
in regard to Purgatory.

What remains for me to add except the earnest hope that this book may
have the effect it is intended to produce by bringing the faithful
children of the Church to think more and oftener of their departed
brethren who, having passed from the Militant to the Suffering Church,
are forever crying out to the living from their darksome prison - "Have
pity on us, have pity on us, at least you who were our friends, have
pity on us, for the hand of the Lord is heavy upon us!"





Doctrine of Suarez on Purgatory
St. Catherine of Genoa on Purgatory
Extracts from the Fathers on Purgatory
Verses from the Imitation _Thomas à Kempis._
St. Augustine and his Mother, St. Monica
St. Gertrude and the Holy Souls
St. Joseph's Intercession for the Faithful Departed
St. Francis de Sales on Purgatory
Cardinal Gibbons on Purgatory
Archbishop Hughes on Purgatory
Archbishop Lynch on Purgatory
Purgatory Surveyed _Father Binet, S. J._
Father Faber on Devotion to the Holy Souls
Why the Souls in Purgatory are called "Poor" _Mullcr._
Appeal to all Classes for the Souls in Purgatory _By a Paulist
The Souls in Purgatory _Rev. F. X. Weninger, S. J._
Popular View of Purgatory _Rev. J. J. Moriarty._
Extracts from "Catholic Belief" _Very Rev. Faá Di Bruno, D.D._
Purgatory and the Feast of All Souls _Alban Butkr._



The Fruit of a Mass _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_.
Faith of a Pious Lady _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_.
Pay what Thou Owest _Ave Maria_.
VIA CRUCIS _Footsteps of Spirits_.
Strange Incidents _Footsteps of Spirits_.
True Story of the "_De Profundis_" _Ave Maria_.
Confidence Rewarded _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_
Anecdote of the "_De Profundis_"
Strange Occurrence in a Persian Prison _Life of St. John the
A Swiss Protestant Converted by the Doctrine of Purgatory
_Catechism in Examples_.
The Dead Hand _Ave Maria_.
A Beautiful Example _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_.
How to Pay One's Debts _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_.
Faith Rewarded _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_.
Apparition of a Citizen of Arles _Histoire des Spectres_.
Countess of Strafford _Vie de Monsgr. de la Mothe_.

Marquis de Civrac _Une Commune Vendéenne. 183
Gratitude of the Holy Souls _Ave Maria_.
Strange Incident _Ave Maria_.



Doctrine of Purgatory amongst the Pagan Nations of Antiquity _Rev.
A. A. Lambing_.
Devotion to the Dead amongst American Indians
Superstitious Belief amongst American Indians
Remembrance, of the Dead amongst the Egyptians
Remembrance of the Dead throughout Europe _A. T. Sadlier_. Part
Remembrance of the Dead throughout Europe _A. T. Sadlier_. Part
Prayer for the Dead in the Anglo-Saxon Church _Dr. Lingard_
Singular French Custom _Voix de la Verité_
Devotion to the Holy Souls amongst the Early English _A. T.
Doctrine of Purgatory in the Early Irish Church _Walsh_
Prince Napoleon's Prayer
Helpers of the Holy Souls _Lady G. Fullerton_
The Mass in Relation to the Dead _O'Brien_
Daniel O'Connell, Funeral Oration on _Rev. T. N. Burke, O.P._
Indulgence of the Portiuncula _Almanac of the Souls in
Catherine of Cardona _Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory_.
The Emperor Nicholas Praying for his Mother _Anecdotes
Pius VI., Funeral Oration on _Rev. Arthur O'Leary, O.S.F._
Rev. Arthur O'Leary, O.S.F., Funeral Oration on _Rev. M. D'Arcy_
_De Mortuis_. Our Deceased Prelates. _Archbishop Corrigan_



Purgatory _Cardinal Newman_
Our Debt to the Dead _Cardinal Manning_
Purgatory _Cardinal Wiseman_
Reply to some Misstatements about Purgatory _Archbishop
Count de Maistre on Purgatory
What the Saints thought of Purgatory
Châteaubriand on Purgatory
Mary and the Faithful Departed _Brother Azarias._
Dr. Johnson on Prayer for the Dead
The Doctrine of Purgatory _Burnett._
Mallock on Purgatory
Boileau-Despréaux and Prayer for the Dead
All Saints and All Souls _Mrs. Sadlier._
Leibnitz on the Mass as a Propitiatory Sacrifice
Extracts from "A Troubled Heart"
Eugénie de Guerin and her Brother Maurice
Passages from the "Via Media" _Newman._
All Souls _From the French._
An Anglican Bishop Praying for the Dead
"Purgatory" of Dante _Mariotti._
Month of November _Mary E. Blake._
Litany of the Departed _Acolytus._
All Souls' Day _Mrs. Sadlier._
Opinions of Various Protestants
Some Thoughts for November



_Dies Iræ_
Authorship of the _Dies Iræ_
Dante's _"Purgatorio"_
Hamlet and the Ghost _Shakespeare._
Calderon's "Purgatory of St. Patrick"
The Brig o' Dread _Scott._
Shelley and the Purgatory of St. Patrick
On a Great Funeral _Aubrey de Vere._
_Morte d'Arthur_ _Tennyson._
Guido and his Brother _Collin de Plancy._
Berthold in Purgatory _Collin de Plancy._
Legend of St. Nicholas _Collin de Planey._
Dream of Gerontius _Newman. St. Gregory_
Releases the Soul of Trajan _Mrs. Jameson._
St. Gregory and the Monk Legend of Geoffroid d'lden
The Queen of Purgatory _Faber_.
The Dead Priest before the Altar _Rev. A. J. Ryan_.
Memorials of the Dead _R. R. Madden_.
A Child's "_Requiescat in Pace_" _Eliza Allen Starr_.
The Solitary Soul _Ave Maria_.
Story of the Faithful Soul _Adelaide Procter_.
Genérade, the Friend of St. Augustine _De Plancy_
St. Thomas Aquinas and Friar Romanus _De Plancy_.
The Key that Never Turns _Eleanor C. Donnelly_.
A Burial _Thomas Davis_.
Hymn for the Dead _Newman_.
The Two Students _De Plancy_.
The Penance of Don Diego Riaz _McGee_.
The Day of All Souls _Eliza Allen Starr_.
Message of the November Wind _Eleanor C. Donnelly_.
Legend of the Time of Charlemagne
The Dead Mass
The Eve of St. John _Sir Walter Scott_.
Request of a Soul in Purgatory
All Souls' _Marion Muir_.
The Dead _Octave Cremasie_
A REQUIEM _Sir Walter Scott_.
Penance of Robert the Devil _De Plancy_.
All Souls' Eve
Commemoration of All Souls _Harriet M. Skidmore_.
The Memory of the Dead _Faber_.
The Holy Souls.
Author of "Christian Schools and Scholars."
The Palmer's Rosary _Eliza Allen Starr_.
A Lyke Wake Dirge.
All Souls' Day _Lyra Liturgica_.
The Suffering Souls. _E. M. V. Bulger._
"The Voices of the Dead." _M. R. in "The Lamp."_
The Convent Cemetery. _Rev. A. J. Ryan._
One Hour after Death. _Eliza Allen Starr._
A Prayer for the Dead. _T. D. McGee._
The _De Profundis Bell._ _Harriet M. Skidmore._
November. _Anna T. Sadlier._
For the Souls in Purgatory.
All Souls' Eve.
Our Neighbor. _Eliza Allen Starr._
Old Bells.
O Holy Church. _Harriet M. Skidmore._
An Incident of the Battle of Bannockburn. _Sir Walter Scott._
Pray for the Martyred Dead.
In Winter. _Eliza Allen Starr._
_Oremus._ _Mary E. Mannix._
Funeral Hymn. _A. T. Sadlier._
_Chant Funèbre._ _Nisard._
_Requiescat in Pace._ _Harriet M. Skidmore._
The Feast of All Souls in the Country. _Anna T. Sadlier._
_Requiem Æternum_ _T. D. McGee._


Association of Masses and Stations of the Cross.
Extracts from _The Catholic Review_ of New York.
A Duty of November. _The Texas Monitor._
Purgatorial Association. _Catholic Columbian._
The Holy Face and the Suffering Souls.
When will they Learn its Secret? _Baptist Examiner._



"But now, brethren, if I come to you, speaking with tongues: what shall
I profit you, unless I speak to you either in revelation, or in
knowledge, or in prophecy, or in doctrine?"





It is a certain truth of faith that after this life there is a place of
Purgatory. Though the name of Purgatory may not be found in Holy
Scripture, that does not matter, if we can show that the thing meant by
the name can be found there; for often the Church, either because of
new heresies, or that the doctrine of the faith may be set forth more
clearly and shortly, gives new and simple names, in which the mysteries
of the faith are summed up. This is evident in the cases of the Holy
Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Holy Eucharist.

The doctrine of Purgatory is proved by: - the Old Testament, the New
Testament, the Councils of the Church, especially those of Florence and
of Trent, the Fathers and Tradition, and by theological reasons.


Nothing is said in Holy Scripture about this place, nor is there any
definition of the Church concerning it. The subject, therefore, comes
within the range of theological discussion. Theologians, however,
suppose Purgatory to be a certain corporeal place, in which souls are
kept till they pay fully the debt which they owe. It is true that they
do not in themselves need a corporeal place, since they are spirits;
but yet, as they are in this world, they must, of necessity, be in some
corporeal place - at any rate, with regard to substantial presence. Thus
we see that God, in His providence, has made definite places for the
Angels, according to the difference of their states. Gehenna is
prepared for the devil and his angels, whereas the empyreal Heaven is
made for the good angels. In this way, it is certain that the souls,
paying their debt, are kept in a corporeal place. This place is not
heaven, for nothing that is defiled enters there; nor is it hell, for
in hell there is no redemption, and from that place no souls can be


The pain of loss is the want of the vision of God and of the whole of
our everlasting beatitude. The pain of sense is the suffering of
punishment specially inflicted over and above the loss of the beatitude
of Heaven.

We must assert that the souls in Purgatory suffer the pain of loss,
tempered by hope, and not like the souls in hell, which have no hope.

In the pain of sense we can distinguish two things. There is the sorrow
which follows closely the want or delay of the vision of God, and has
that for its object. There is also another pain, as it were outward,
and this is proportioned to the sensible pain which is caused in us by
fire, or any like action, contrary to nature and hurtful to it. That in
Purgatory this sorrow does follow the loss of God is most certain; for
that loss, or delay, is truly a great evil, and is most keenly felt to
be such by those souls that with all their strength love God and long
to see Him. Therefore, it is impossible for them not to feel the
greatest sorrow about that delay.

* * * * *

We must assert that, besides the pain of loss and the sorrow annexed to
it, there is in Purgatory a proper and peculiar pain of sense. This is
the more common judgment of the scholastics; and seems to be received
by the common judgment and approbation of the Church. Indeed, the
equity of the avenging justice of God requires this. The sinner,
through inordinate delight in creatures and affection for them,
deserves a punishment contrary to that delight; and if in this life he
has not made full satisfaction, he must be punished and freed by some
such pain as this, which we call the pain of sense. Theologians in
common teach this, and distinguish a proper pain of sense from the
sorrow caused by the want of the vision of God. Thus they distinguish
spiritual pains, such as sorrow for the delay of the vision, and
remorse of conscience, from corporeal pains, which come from the fire,
or any other instrument of God. These corporeal pains we comprehend
under the pain of sense.

* * * * *

Whether, besides the fire, other corporeal things, such as water and
snow, are used as instruments for punishing the souls is uncertain.
Bede says that souls in Purgatory were seen to pass from very great
heat to very great cold, and then from cold to heat. St. Anselm
mentions these punishments disjunctively. He says, "or any other kind
of punishments." We cannot, therefore, speak of this with certainty.


In this matter we may look at the pain of loss as well as the pain of
sense. It is certain that the pain of loss is very sharp, because of
the greatness of the good for which they wait. True, it is only for a
time; yet it is rightly reckoned, as St. Thomas taught, a greater evil
than any loss in this life. He and other theologians with him mean that
the sorrow also which springs from the apprehension of this evil is
greater than any pain or sorrow here. Hence, they conclude that the
pain of loss in every way exceeds all pains of this life; for they
think, as I have already noted, that this sorrow pertains to the pain
of loss, and therefore they join this pain with privation, that the
punishment may be greater in every way.... The vision of God and the
beatitude of heaven are such that the possession of them, even for a
day, could exceed all goods of this life taken together and possessed
for a long time.... Therefore, even a short delay of such a good is a
very heavy sorrow, far exceeding all the pains of this life. The Holy
Souls well understand and weigh the greatness of this evil; and very
piercing is the pain they feel, because they know that they are
suffering through their own negligence and by their own fault.... There
are, however, certain things which would seem to have power to lessen
their pain:

1. They are certain of future glory. This hope must bring them much
joy; as St. Paul says, "rejoicing in hope." (Roms. xii. 12.)

2. There is the rightness of their will, by which they are conformed to
the justice of God. Hence, it follows that, in a certain sense, their
pain is voluntary, and thus not so severe.

3. By the love of God they not only bear their punishment, but rejoice
in it, because they see that it is the means of satisfying God and
being brought to Heaven.

4. If they choose, they can turn their thoughts from the pain of delay,
and give them very attentively to the good of hope. This would bring
them consolation.


It is the common judgment of theologians, with St. Augustine, St.
Thomas, and St. Bonaventure, that this pain is bitterer than all pain
of this life.... Theologians, in common with St. Thomas and St.
Bonaventure, teach that the pain of Purgatory is not in any way
inflicted by devils. These souls are just and holy. They cannot sin any
more; and, to the last, they have overcome the assaults of the devils.
It would not, therefore, be fitting that such souls should be given
into their power to be tormented by them. Again, when the devils tempt
wayfarers, they do it because they hope to lead them into sin, however
perfect they may be; but they could have no such hope about the souls
in Purgatory, and so would not be likely to tempt them. Besides, they
know that their temptations or harassings would have an effect not
intended by them, and would bring the souls from Purgatory to Heaven
more quickly.

* * * * *

It is the common law that souls in Purgatory, during the whole time
that they are there, cannot come out from the prison, even if they
wish; The constant closing of the prison-doors is a part of the

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