It’s easy to forget about Purgatory and those who dwell there. We don’t see or hear them or the pains they are currently enduring to enter Paradise as pure souls.
But sometimes, these souls are permitted to manifest themselves to the living—to ask for prayers, to warn the living of the reality of Purgatory and Hell, and to encourage them to amend their lives.
Padre Pio was visited by one such soul as he prayed in the oratory of the friary. He heard a noise in the church and, not thinking it to be anything unusual, went on praying. Suddenly, he heard a vroom noise and the candles on and around the altar came crashing down. Going to the Communion rail, Pio saw the eerie form of a deceased friar. Frightened, Padre Pio yelled out, “What are you doing in the dark?” The friar said that he was in Purgatory atoning for carelessness with his duties in the church. Padre Pio promised to offer a Mass for him. Later, he asked one of his fellow friars to check behind the altar. They found several broken candles there—proof of the friar’s neglect.
On certain occasions, these suffering souls have left us tangible reminders of the dreadful pains of Purgatory which we, the living, often take far too lightly. At the Museum of Purgatory in the sacristy of the church of the Sacred Heart of Suffrage in Rome, you can see many of these reminders: burned fingerprints in prayer books; a burned handprint on a table; a hole burned in a nightcap; a copy of a ten-lire note left at a monastery as a stipend by a deceased Italian priest who desired Masses to be said for him.
One of these items is a photocopy of a burned handprint on a nightshirt sleeve. The shirt belonged to a Belgian man who, in 1789, heard frightening, ghostly noises in his house for eleven straight nights. He was then visited by the ghost of his mother, who reminded him of his obligation to have Masses said for her and reproached him for his dissolute life. The man obeyed, founded a pious lay society, and died in sanctity.
These are just a couple of the amazing stories found in Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages, and Warnings from Purgatory. Through this eye-opening book, you’ll gain powerful insights into the nature of Purgatory, what the Holy Souls suffer, and why we must pray for them frequently and fervently. Order yours from The Catholic Company today!