"To move [the] Omnipotent Word to grant pardon and deliverance to the Suffering Souls in consideration of the suffrages of the faithful on earth—such is the object of the following treatises." —From the Preface
In this significant volume on the Catholic doctrine concerning Purgatory, Fr. John A. Nageleisen, a missionary priest of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood, covers all aspects of the Church's tradition regarding the subject of those poor souls who have died in charity to God but were imperfect and so require purgation. While no one has definitively experienced the nature of Purgatory, tradition and theology have much to say on the subject, and none is left uncovered by Fr. Nageleisen. His treatment includes:
- The existence of Purgatory;
- The condition of the suffering souls in Purgatory;
- The means of relieving the suffering souls;
- The motives for helping the suffering souls;
- The gratitude of the suffering souls;
- The heroic act of charity for the suffering souls;
- And much more . . .
Most of all, Fr. Nageleisen desires only that we should understand the extreme value and virtue of praying for the holy souls. While we ourselves should desire not to go to Purgatory and only to Heaven, those already experiencing the former need our prayers and sacrifices, since they have no ability of their own to gain merit in expiation of sin. To pray for these souls is a great act of mercy and charity, as Fr. Nageleisen recalls to us. Let this book serve a twofold purpose, then: first, that we should strive to avoid anything that would in this life separate us from meriting Heaven upon death, and second, that we should recall, even in all our prayers, the souls of the faithful departed, that they might finally rest in peace.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them . . .
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