MARY SUCCOURS HER CLIENTS IN PURGATORY
Fortunate, indeed, are the clients of this most compassionate Mother, for not only does she succour them in this world, but even in Purgatory she succours and comforts them. She herself once spoke these words to St. Bridget: “I am the Mother of all the souls in Purgatory, for all the pains they have deserved for their sins are, every hour as long as they are detained there, mitigated in some way by my intercession.”
Fortunate, indeed, are the clients of the most compassionate Mother, for not only does she succour them in this world, but even in Purgatory she succours and comforts them. As in that prison the Poor Souls are in the greatest need of assistance, since in their torments they cannot help themselves, our Mother of Mercy does proportionately more to relieve them. St. Bernardine of Sienna says, that “in that prison, where souls who are spouses of Jesus Christ are detained, Mary has a certain dominion and plenitude of power, not only to relieve them, but even to deliver them from their pains.”
And, first, with respect to the relief she gives. The same Saint, in applying those words of Ecclesiasticus, I have walked in the waves of the sea (Ecclus. xxiv. 8), says she does so “by visiting and relieving the necessities and torments of her clients, who are her children.” He then says that “the pains of Purgatory are called waves, because they are transitory, unlike the pains of hell, which never end; and they are called waves of the sea, because they are so bitter. The clients of Mary, thus suffering, are often visited and relieved by her.” “See, therefore,” says Novarinus, “of what consequence it is to be the servant of this good Lady, for her servants she never forgets when they are suffering in those flames; for though Mary relieves all suffering souls in Purgatory, yet she always obtains far greater indulgence and relief for her own clients.”
The Divine Mother once addressed these words to St. Bridget: “I am the Mother of all Souls in Purgatory; for all the pains they have deserved for their sins are every hour, as long as they remain there, in some way mitigated by my prayers.” The compassionate Mother even condescends to go herself occasionally into that holy prison, to visit and comfort her suffering children. St. Bonaventure, applying to Mary the words of Ecclesiasticus: I have penetrated into the bottom of the deep (Ecclus. xxiv. 8), says, “the deep, that is, Purgatory, to relieve by my presence the Holy Souls detained there.” “O, how courteous and benign is the most Blessed Virgin,” says St. Vincent Ferrer, “to those who suffer in Purgatory! Through her they constantly receive comfort and refreshment.”
What other consolation have they in their sufferings than Mary, and the relief they receive from this Mother of Mercy? St. Bridget once heard Jesus say to His holy Mother: “Thou art My Mother, the Mother of Mercy, and the consolation of Souls in Purgatory.” The Blessed Virgin, herself told the Saint, that “as a poor sick person, bedridden, suffering, and abandoned, is relieved by words of encouragement and consolation, so are the Souls in Purgatory consoled and relieved by only hearing her name.” The mere name of Mary, that name of hope and salvation, and which is frequently invoked by her beloved children in their prison, is a great source of comfort to them; “for,” says Novarinus, “that loving Mother no sooner hears them call upon her than she offers her prayers to God, and these prayers, as a heavenly dew, immediately refresh them in their burning pains.”
Mary not only consoles and relieves her clients in Purgatory, but she delivers them by her prayers. Gerson says, that “on the day of her Assumption into Heaven Purgatory was entirely emptied.” Novarinus confirms this, saying, that “it is maintained by many grave authors, that when Mary was going to Heaven, she asked as a favour from her Son to take all the Souls then in Purgatory with her.” “And from that time forward,” says Gerson, “Mary had the privilege of delivering her servants.” St. Bernardine of Sienna also positively asserts that “the Blessed Virgin has the power of delivering souls from Purgatory, but particularly those of her clients, by her prayers, and by applying her merits for them.” Novarinus says, that “by the merits of Mary, not only are the pains of those souls lessened, but the time of their sufferings is shortened through her intercession.” She has only to ask, and all is done.
O Queen of Heaven and earth, O Mother of the Lord of the world, O Mary, of all creatures the greatest, the most exalted, and the most amiable, it is true that there are many in this world who neither know thee nor love thee; but in Heaven there are many millions of Angels and blessed Spirits, who love and praise thee continually. Even in this world, how many happy souls are there not who burn with thy love, and live enamoured of thy goodness! O, that I also could love thee, O Lady worthy of all love! O that I could always remember to serve thee, to praise thee, to honour thee, and bring all to love thee! Thou hast attracted the love of God, Whom, by thy beauty, thou hast, so to say, drawn from the bosom of His Eternal Father to become Man, and be thy Son. And shall I, a poor worm of the earth, not be enamoured of thee? No, my most sweet Mother, I also will love thee much, and will do all that I can to make others love thee also.