St. Gregory Delivers the Soul of a Monk, from Purgatory. Giovanni Battista Crespi, 1617

St. Gregory Delivers the Soul of a Monk, from Purgatory. Giovanni Battista Crespi, 1617

A PRAYER FOR THE SOULS SUFFERING                                    IN PURGATORY

O God of all consolation, sole Author of the salvation of souls! have mercy on those who suffer in purgatory. Look with compassion on the greatness of their torments: they are more keenly devoured by their ardent desire of being united to Thee, than by the purging flames wherein they are plunged. With them, I adore Thy avenging justice, and confess the equity of Thy judgments. But since Thou art pleased favorably to hear the prayers which the members of Thy holy Church offer to Thee in behalf of their brethren, graciously hear the supplications which I now address to Thee for those suffering souls. Remember, O Lord! Thou art their father, and they are Thy children. Forget the faults which, through the frailty of human nature, they have committed against Thee during the course of their mortal pilgrimage. Adorable Jesus! Victim of propitiation both for the living and the dead, vouchsafe, in thy quality of Redeemer, to apply the merits of Thy passion and death to the relief of those souls whom Thou punishest as their sovereign Judge. Remember Thy faithful followers and Thy spouses. Let some drops of that precious blood which Thou hast shed for their salvation flow on those devouring flames; and let the infinite price of that sacred blood afford a full satisfaction for their offences. Deliver them, O most merciful God! from that place of darkness and torture, and call them to a place of refreshment, light, and peace. Grant them the possession of the sovereign good after which they so ardently sigh, and for which thou hast created them. Receive them into thy paternal bosom, where they will praise and love Thee to all eternity. Amen.

It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.                  2 Machabees 12: 46

Source: Visits to Jesus in the Tabernacle by Father Lasance

Image: St. Gregory Delivers the Soul of a Monk

Gregory’s Dialogues tell of a monk from whom the last rites were withheld by his abbot because he was found to have hidden, three gold coins in his cell. By his prayers Gregory secured the release of the monk’s soul from purgatory. Angels carry the monk’s soul to heaven.

The visionary and dramatic violence of the leading painter in the group known as the Seicento Lombardo places the episode connected with the mass into the background. Instead, all eyes are on the turbulent vision that links Purgatory in a spiral leading upward to the light of highest Heaven.


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