divine mercy, Preparation For Death

Hope for Those Lost to Suicide

Souls Saved After Committing Suicide

A woman went to Padre Pio to know about her brother, who had committed suicide after a financial difficulty. She went to his Mass but was unable to talk to him. She sat in church, crying and praying, while Padre Pio was confessing. At a certain moment she got a nudge and was told: “Padre Pio is calling you.” She turned towards the confessional. Padre Pio was making a sign to her with the hand, to approach the confessional. She did, and kneeled in front of him, and Padre Pio said: “Don’t worry, stay calm, he is saved.”

St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, was renowned for his spiritual wisdom in counseling people. They came from all over Europe and North America seeking his wise advice. The railroad company even built a spur line to Ars to accommodate the flow of visitors. His church was usually full of people, and many others lined the path from the rectory to the church. One day as he was walking to the church, he stopped before a woman and told her: “Between the bridge and the water, your husband repented. Pray for him.” She explained to others that her husband had committed suicide, and she was concerned about his eternal salvation but had never spoken to the saintly pastor before.

Saint Faustina knew firsthand the torments of suicide. She writes in her Diary:

Once, I took upon myself a terrible temptation which one of our students in the house at Warsaw was going through. It was the temptation of suicide. For seven days I suffered; and after the seven days Jesus granted her the grace which was being asked, and then my suffering also ceased. It was a great suffering. I often take upon myself the torments of our students. Jesus permits me to do this, and so do my confessors (192).

Jesus said to St. Faustina:

Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners. Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul (Diary, 1777)

Today, the Lord came to me and said, “My daughter, help Me to save souls. You will go to a dying sinner, and you will continue to recite the chaplet, and in this way you will obtain for him trust in My mercy, for he is already in despair.”

Suddenly, I found myself in a strange cottage where an elderly man was dying amidst great torments. All about the bed was a multitude of demons and the family, who were crying. When I began to pray, the spirits of darkness fled, with hissing and threats directed at me. The soul became calm and, filled with trust, rested in the Lord. At the same moment, I found myself again in my own room. How this happens … I do not know. (1797-98)

And then there are these comments of St. Faustina:

I often communicate with persons who are dying and obtain the divine mercy for them. Oh, how great is the goodness of God, greater than we can understand. There are moments and there are mysteries of the divine mercy over which the heavens are astounded. Let our judgment of souls cease, for God’s mercy upon them is extraordinary (Diary, 1684).

I often attend upon the dying and through entreaties obtain for them trust in God’s mercy, and I implore God for an abundance of divine grace, which is always victorious. God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy! But – horror – there are also souls who voluntarily and consciously reject and scorn this grace! Although a soul is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God. But sometimes, the obduracy in souls is so great that consciously they choose hell; they make useless all the prayers that other souls offer to God for them and even the efforts of God Himself… (1698).

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