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“I come to tell you that they suffer in Purgatory, that they weep, and that they demand with urgent cries the help of your prayers and your good works. I seem to hear them crying from the depths of those fires which devour them: ‘Tell our loved ones, tell our children, tell all our relatives how great the evils are which they are making us suffer. We throw ourselves at their feet to implore the help of their prayers. Ah! Tell them that since we have been separated from them, we have been here burning in the flames!’” – St. John Vianney


“It is definite that only a few chosen ones do not go to Purgatory and the sufferings there that one must endure exceed our imagination.” – St. John Vianney


“I do not think that apart from the felicity of Heaven, there can be a joy comparable to that experienced by the souls in Purgatory. An incessant communication from God renders their joy more vivid from day to day: and this communication becomes more and more intimate, to the extent that it consumes the obstacles still existing in the soul… On the other hand, they endure pain so intense, that no tongue is able to describe it. Nor is any mind capable of comprehending the smallest spark of that consuming fire, unless God should show it to him by a special grace.” – St. Catherine of Siena


“The more one longs for a thing, the more painful does deprivation of it become. And because after this life, the desire for God, the Supreme Good, is intense in the souls of the just (because this impetus toward Him is not hampered by the weight of the body, and that time of enjoyment of the Perfect Good would have come) had there been no obstacle; the soul suffers enormously from the delay.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

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“If only you knew with what great longing these holy souls yearn for relief from their suffering. Ingratitude has never entered Heaven.” – St. Margaret Mary


“The fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell; the difference between them is that the fire of Purgatory is not everlasting.” – St. John Vianney


“He who saves a soul saves his own and satisfies for a multitude of sins.” – St. James the Apostle


“If, during life, we have been kind to the suffering souls in purgatory, God will see that help be not denied us after death.” – St. Paul of the Cross


“By assisting them we shall not only give great pleasure to God, but will acquire also great merit for ourselves. And, in return for our suffrages, these blessed souls will not neglect to obtain for us many graces from God, but particularly the grace of eternal life. I hold for certain that a soul delivered from Purgatory by the suffrages of a Christian, when she enters paradise, will not fail to say to God: ‘Lord, do not suffer to be lost that person who has liberated me from the prison of Purgatory, and has brought me to the enjoyment of Thy glory sooner than I have deserved.’” – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


“My love urges Me to release the poor souls. If a beneficent king leaves his guilty friend in prison for justice’s sake, he awaits with longing for one of his nobles to plead for the prisoner and to offer something for his release. Then the king joyfully sets him free. Similarly, I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer!” – Our Lord to St. Gertrude


“If it were but known how great is the power of the good souls in Purgatory with the Heart of God, and if we knew all the graces we can obtain through their intercession, they would not be so much forgotten. We must, therefore, pray much for them, that they may pray much for us.” – St. John Vianney


“Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice (Job 1:5), why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.” – St. John Chrysostom


“The practice of recommending to God the souls in Purgatory, that He may mitigate the great pains which they suffer, and that He may soon bring them to His glory, is most pleasing to the Lord and most profitable to us. For these blessed souls are His eternal spouses, and most grateful are they to those who obtain their deliverance from prison, or even a mitigation of their torments. When, therefore, they arrive in Heaven, they will be sure to remember all who have prayed for them.” – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


“As we enter Heaven, we will see them, so many of them, coming towards us and thanking us. We will ask who they are, and they will say ‘a poor soul you prayed for in purgatory.’” – Ven. Fulton Sheen


“We must empty Purgatory with our prayers.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina


“No one is barred from heaven. Whoever wants to enter heaven may do so because God is merciful. Our Lord will welcome us into glory with His arms wide open. The Almighty is pure however, and if a person is conscious of the least trace of imperfection and at the same time understands that Purgatory is ordained to do away with such impediments, the soul enters this place of perfection gladly to accept so great a mercy of God. The worst suffering of these suffering souls is to have sinned against Divine Goodness and not to have been purified in this life.” – St. Catherine of Genoa


“With Charity towards the dead we practice all the works of charity. The Church encourages us to aid the souls in purgatory, who in turn will reward us abundantly when they come into their glory.” – St. Francis de Sales


“Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet there must be a cleansing fire before judgement because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away.” – Pope St. Gregory the Great


“In our prayers, let us not forget sinners and the poor souls in Purgatory especially our poor relatives.” – St. Bernadette


 

Click here to add the names of your deceased loved ones to the ANF Holy Souls Registry

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 27, 2020

There must be a war in this life. In the face of so many ene...

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November 27

 

There must be a war in this life. 
In the face of so many enemies it is not possible
for us to sit with our hands folded.
 
There must always be a concern regarding
how we are proceeding interiorly and exteriorly.


St. Teresa of Avila


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Francis Anthony Fasani

The poor children of Lucera ran through the streets, crying...

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St. Francis Anthony Fasani

This son of the soil became one of the most illustrious preachers in the history of the Franciscan Order.

Born Donato Antonio Giovanni Nicola Fasani on August 6, 1681 to poor peasants in the Neapolitan town of Lucera, he lost his father at the age of nine. “Giovanniello”, or “Johnnie” as he was commonly called, was sent by his step-father to the Conventual Franciscans in his native town for his education. At fifteen, he entered the Franciscan novitiate at Monte Gargano taking the founder as his patron.

Remarkable among the young friar’s most cherished devotions was his tender love for the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – not a dogma of faith at the time – his childlike affection for the Infant Jesus and his ardent devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist.

In 1703 Brother Francis Anthony was sent to Assisi to continue his studies and two years later he was ordained to the priesthood. In Rome he received his doctorate in theology at the College of St. Bonaventure. First appointed lector of philosophy at the Franciscan college in Lucera, he was successively promoted to regent of studies, guardian and, ultimately, provincial superior, an office he held from 1721 to 1723. He later served as master of novices and then as pastor of the Church of St. Francis in his native town. When a bishopric was offered to him, he declined it.

A true shepherd of souls, his apostolic zeal was firmly grounded on an intense and deep interior life. His life of prayer was fortified by mortification, severe penances, and long hours spent in Eucharistic adoration. He was beloved by the poor, spent much time in visiting the sick and the aged, orphans and the imprisoned. Among the latter, his apostolic zeal embraced in a particular manner those condemned to death, whom he accompanied to their execution. He was much in demand as a confessor, spiritual director and preacher for which his ardent and filial love for the Blessed Mother was the inspiration. He gave retreats, led Lenten devotions and novenas and collected gifts for the children at Christmas.
Widely regarded in his own lifetime as a second St. Francis of Assisi, he died in 1742 just as he was beginning the solemn novena for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Upon hearing of his death, the poor children of Lucera ran through the streets, crying "The saint is dead! The saint is dead!" In this humble Franciscan they had lost a true father and protector.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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