Our Lady Of Suffrage (Poor Souls)
Mary loves the Poor Souls in Purgatory because she has also gone through a kind of Purgatory, a fire of tribulation—not indeed, in punishment for her sins, for she had none—but that she might have more compassion on us, and be more fully entitled to the name by which she is so well known; “Comforter of the Afflicted.” For this reason she descended into a sea of sorrow, into the depths of tribulation, into the furnace of poverty, exile, persecution. For this reason she suffered those pains of mind and soul, which were caused by the loss of her Son, and by His absence during the years she lived after His death. All those sufferings were a real Purgatory to her. Its flames but increased her love for the poor souls, and made her more truly the Mother of the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
While we still sojourn in this valley of tears, let us beg Mary to increase daily our ardor, and give us perseverance in good works, to obtain for us a happy death and assure us of her advocacy at the judgment-seat of God. St. Aphonsus tells us that if we truly venerate Mary and faithfully serve her during life, we can certainly hope, when we die, to be led by her at once into Heaven without having to undergo the pains of Purgatory.
The best means to obtain this is to imitate Mary’s love for the Poor Souls. Pray often to the Mother of Mercy for these suffering souls; those of parents, relatives, friends, acquaintances gone before. Above all, say the Rosary for these holy souls. Our compassion will be most pleasing to the Mother of Mercy, and when our hour shall come, she will remember us and show herself a true mother.
That which was but vain conceit among the ancients, is truth and reality among Christians; for the spiritual roses of the Rosary can and do help the souls of the departed.
In the Revelations of St. Brigid we read that Mary said, “I am the Mother of all those who are in the place of expiation…My prayers wipe away the punishments inflicted on them for their faults.”
St. Peter Damien tells us that each year, on the day of the Assumption, Mary delivers several thousand souls from Purgatory. The more we place ourselves in Mary’s care, the more quickly will she lead us to God. Let us call on Mary Constantly for our suffering ones; we can feel confident that her tender, loving heart will reach out to those poor, afflicted, helpless ones, free them from their place of exile and lead them to their eternal destiny, the face to face vision of Heaven.