divine mercy, Hell, Preparation For Death

The Unrepentant Prostitute

In the year 1707, St. Francis Jerome was preaching, as was his habit, in the neighborhood of the city of Naples. He was speaking of Hell and the awful chastisements that await obstinate sinners.

A brazen courtesan (prostitute) who lived there, troubled by a discourse which aroused her remorse, sought to hinder it by jests and shouts, accompanied by noisy instruments. As she was standing close to the window, the Saint cried out: “Beware, my daughter, of resisting grace; before eight days God will punish you.” The unhappy creature grew only more boisterous. Eight days elapsed, and the holy preacher happened to be again before the same house. This time she was silent; the windows were shut. The hearers, with dismay on their faces, told the Saint that Catharine (that was the name of the bad woman) had a few hours before died suddenly. “Died!” he repeated. “Well, let her tell us now what she has gained by laughing at Hell. Let us ask her.” He uttered these words in an inspired tone, and everyone expected a miracle. Followed by an immense crowd, he went up to the death chamber, and there, after having prayed for an instant, he uncovered the face of the corpse, and said in a loud voice, “Catharine, tell us where art thou now.” At this summons, the dead woman lifted her head while opening her wild eyes; her face borrowed color, her features assumed an expression of horrible despair, and in a mournful voice, she pronounced these words: “In Hell; I am in Hell.” And immediately, she fell back again into the condition of a corpse.

“I was present at that event,” says one of the witnesses who deposed before the Apostolic tribunal, “but I never could convey the impression it produced on me and the bystanders, nor that which I still feel every time I pass that house and look at that window. At the sight of that ill-fated abode, I still hear the pitiful cry resounding: “In Hell; I am in Hell.” (

~Source:”Life of St. Francis Jerome” by Father Bach

Angels, guardian angels, Miracles of the Saints, Preparation For Death, Visions of the Saints

St.Benedict’s Apparition of Angels

In Book II of the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great we find the life of Saint Benedict the Abbot (circa 480-547) narrated, that besides being the founder of the Benedictine Order he is also the Patron of Europe.

There is a celebrated episode in which the Saint sees some Angels taking the soul of Bishop Germanus of Capua to Heaven right after his death. “One evening, while the brothers were sleeping, Benedict prolonged the vigil waiting for the nocturnal prayer while standing and praying near a window. All of a sudden, focusing his eyes on the deep darkness of the night, a light flooded from on high and escaped the dense obscurity and diffused a clearness so intense that it was brighter than the light of day. In this vision came a marvelous phenonomen that he himself tells: the entire world, caught under a single ray of the sun was put before his very eyes. While he contemplated with his gaze the splendors of that glittering light, he saw the soul of Germanus, the Bishop of Capua, transported by the Angels held in a fiery globe.

“Wanting therefore to have testimony to this marvelous prodigy, he called out in a great voice, repeatedly, two or three times, to Servandus, the Deacon and Abbot of the Monastery. Struck by the unusual screams of this man, he quickly ran to him, he looked at the sky and he could see with marvel the last of the marvelous light which was getting weaker, while the man of God contemplated the story of what he had seen bringing out in him a profound stupor for the great miracle. He sent a messenger right away after that to Cassino to the monastery of Teoprobo, because that same night he stayed in Capua to find out more about what had happened to the Bishop Germanus. The order was carried out. The messenger already found the most reverend Bishop Germanus deceased, and in getting information about the circumstances around his death found out that it coincided exactly at the moment in which the man of God had beheld his elevation to Heaven.

Ultimately Pope Gregory gave the explanation on how Saint Benedict was able to see the entire world before himself: “The soul of the contemplative, rapt in the light of God, is inwardly in itself enlarged above itself, raised on high, it looks to that which is below it and understands how little the world is from the view on high. The man of God, therefore, that fixates on the fiery globe and the Angels that returned to Heaven could not contemplate these things if not in the light of God. If one sees the whole world in front of himself, it is no marvel because high up in the Heavens in the intellectual light, it is a vision of the Creator.

Poor Souls in Purgatory, Preparation For Death

St.Mary Magdalene de Pazzi Sees A Vision of Her Departed Brother In Purgatory

St. Magdalen de Pazzi, in her celebrated vision, where the different prisons of Purgatory were shown to her, saw the soul of her brother, who had died after having led a most fervent Christian life. Nevertheless, this soul was detained in suffering for certain faults, which it had not sufficiently expiated upon earth. These, says the saint, are the most intolerable sufferings, and yet they are endured with joy. Ah ! why are they not understood by those who lack the courage to bear their cross here below? Struck with this frightful spectacle which she had just contemplated, she ran to her Prioress, and casting herself upon her knees, she cried out, ” O my dear Mother, how terrible are the Pains of Purgatory ! Never could I have believed it, had not God manifested it to me. . . . And, nevertheless, I cannot call them cruel; rather are they advantageous,since they lead to the ineffable bliss of Paradise.To impress this more and more upon our minds, it has pleased God to give certain holy persons a small share in the pains of expiation, like a drop of the bitter cup which the poor souls have to drink, a spark of the fire which consumes them.”

The historian Bzovius, in his History of Poland, under the date 1598, relates a miraculous event which happened to the Venerable Stanislaus Chocosca, one of the luminaries of the Order of St. Dominic in Poland.One day, whilst this Religious, full of charity for the departed, recited the rosary, he saw appear near him a soul all enveloped in flames. As she besought him to have pity on her, and to alleviate the intolerable sufferings which the fire of Divine Justice caused her to endure, the holy man asked her if this fire was more painful than that of earth? ” Ah ! ” she cried, ” all the fires of earth compared to that of Purgatory are like a refreshing breeze.“ I wish,” he said, ” to have a proof.If God will permit, for your relief, and for the good of my soul, I consent to suffer a part of your pains.” ” Alas !you could not do this. Know that no human being could endure such torment and live. However, God will permit you to feel it in a light degree. Stretch forth your hand.”Chocosca extended his hand, and the departed let fall a drop of sweat, or at least of a liquid which resembled it.At the same instant the Religious uttered a piercing cry and fell fainting to the ground, so frightfully intense was the pain.His brethren ran to the spot and hastened to give him the assistance which his condition required. When restored to consciousness, he related the terrible event which had occurred, and of which they had a visible proof. ” Ah ! my dear Fathers,” he continued, ” if we knew the severity of the Divine chastisements, we should never commit sin,nor should we cease to do penance in this life, in order to avoid expiation in the next.”

Stanislaus was confined to his bed from that moment.He lived one year longer in “the most cruel suffering caused by his terrible wound; then, for the last time, exhorting his brethren to remember the rigours of Divine Justice, he peacefully slept in the Lord. The historian adds that this example reanimated fervour in all the monasteries of that province.

We read of a similar fact in the Life of Blessed Catherine de Racconigi:One day, when suffering so intensely as to need the assistance of her sisters in religion, she thought of the souls in Purgatory, and, to temper the heat of their flames, she offered to God the burning heat of her fever. At that moment, being rapt in ecstasy, she was conducted in spirit into the place of expiation, where she saw the flames and braziers in which the souls are purified in great torture.Whilst contemplating full of compassion, this piteous spectacle, she heard a voice which said to her, “Catherine, in order that you may procure most efficaciously the deliverance of these souls, you shall participate, in some manner,in their torments.” At that same moment a spark detached itself from the fire and settled upon her left cheek. The sisters present saw the spark distinctly, and saw also with horror that the face of the sick person was frightfully swollen. She lived several days in this state, and, as Blessed Catherine told her sisters, the suffering caused by that simple spark far surpassed all that she had previously endured in the most painful maladies. Until that time Catherine had always devoted herself with charity to the relief of the souls in Purgatory, but from thenceforward she redoubled her fervor and austerities to hasten their deliverance, because she knew by experience the great need in which they stood of her assistance.

~”Purgatory” by Rev.F.X.Schouppe

Miracles of Our Lady, Powerful Sacramentals, Preparation For Death, Stories of the Supernatural

Miracles Through the Intercession of Our Lady of the Green Scapular

Three Short Miracle Stories through the Intercession of Our Lady of the Green Scapular

+A patient was entered in the hospital as a Protestant and was operated on. A short time before she was to be discharged, the patients in the room with her received the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. One day she remarked that she was a Catholic and had been brought up in a Catholic orphanage till she was almost twelve years of age. Then she had gone out to work in a good family. Later, she was married out of the Church and had brought up her children as Protestants, which Church she herself had joined, about thirty-two years before. She very much resented being asked if she would not like to return to her own Faith, notwithstanding which she willingly accepted a Green Scapular. The next morning, the Sister, who had given her the scapular, came into the room and she noticed a worried look in the eyes of her patient. On inquiring if she could assist her, the woman said she would like to see a priest. Throughout the long years, she had been most unhappy for having left her childhood’s faith but the friends she consulted had told her she never could return. She received the Sacraments and sent for her husband and told him she was determined henceforth to live up to the Catholic Church. ‘Thanks to the Green Scapular she continues faithful to her good resolutions now she is again at her own home.

+A young couple who were very wealthy suffered by losing all they had and were reduced to a state of great poverty. The wife was a Catholic but the husband a Protestant; their three little boys were being brought up Catholics. After they met with reverses, the mother became careless about her religion and neglected sending the children to church or catechism because “she had no fit clothing for them”, and in time, all religion became a thing of the past in the family. Again, the wheels of fortune turned and they not only retrieved what they had lost but became millionaires. The mother gradually returned to the practice of her religion, as did also two of the boys, but the oldest one did not. This was a source of continual worry to the mother who realized she was responsible before God, for, the son, now 55. He ignored all efforts to win him back. A neighbor, learning the facts, gave the mother two Green Scapulars and told her to have him wear one. He laughed and refused to do so. She then placed one on his bed and sewed the other in his suit. A few weeks later, he said to his mother: “Guess where I have been. I have been to the Jesuits to have them instruct me in my Faith and prepare me to approach the Sacraments.” Shortly after, he made his First Confession and received his First Holy Communion. The family are extremely grateful to Our Lady of the Green Scapular.

+The following incident occurred in a hospital conducted by the Sisters of Charity. A woman in one of the wards inquired for a Sister whom she had known some years before. The Sister went to see her immediately and found her suffering with a gangrenous leg and the Sister in charge of the ward gave the visitor very little hope of recovery, saying that it was well-nigh impossible to save the leg and she feared it would have to be amputated. This was sad, for the poor woman had no idea her condition was so serious. She was also a victim of diabetes. The leg was so swollen it looked more like a piece of stone than a human leg. Some days passed and as the leg was treated every day without showing any improvement, the poor patient began to be despondent about her cure.

Pitying her condition, a Sister gave her a Green Scapular, telling her to put all her confidence in Our Blessed Mother. Lovingly and with kisses, she put it around her neck. The Sister also gave her a prayer leaflet of Saint Joseph, and, since it was the month of March, she began a novena to Saint Joseph. On the nineteenth, Feast of Saint Joseph, she was much improved, for the greater part of the pain had ceased and the doctors now looked for her recovery. At the end of two weeks, she was permitted to return home, where later on two of the Sisters called to see how she was progressing. She told them her leg was getting on fine and that the attending doctor thought that he would only need to make two more visits before he discharged her. She was still wearing the Green Scapular and she said she felt sure her recovery was due to Our Lady of the Scapular. Again and again, her children, who are quite grown, expressed their appreciation of their Mother’s cure and their gratitude to the Queen of Heaven.

Miracles of the Saints, Preparation For Death

HOW SAINT ALPHONSUS SAVED A SOUL BY HIS EXAMPLE AND HIS WONDERFUL DEATH

Saint Alphonsus Liguori led a life so exemplary Christ would not never fail to produce the most abundant fruits through him ; and although we have many, many records and witnesses recorded of all the goods resulting from his Holiness in the edification of others, it will only be known in Heaven all this great saint has done. Yet it has pleased Providence, that many proofs of this great Saint should be on record. The great saint who while coming from great wealth was already known by his late teens for his great Holiness. It was at this point that his father gave him one of his many slaves to be used in his service, one that was much older then Alphonsus. The future saint and slave became so close that they both looked on each other as brothers instead of slave and master, and in no time the slave soon after manifested an in clination to become a Christian, and when asked what had made him think of such a thing, he replied : ” The example of my young master has made a great impression on me; for it is impossible that that religion can be false, which makes him lead a life so pure and holy.”

At hearing this many and especially Alphonsus was full of joy, so the saint had Fr. Mastrilla of the Congregation of St. Jerome, to undertake the duties of instructing him in the True Faith ; but almost immediately after his lessons in the Catholic Faith began the slave became ill and was sent to the hospital. One evening he expressed a great desire to see Fr. Mastrilla immediately. Upon his arrival, he requested to be baptized, saying: “I have seen our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. Joachim, and they have told me I must be baptized now, because they wish to have me in Paradise.” The priest replied that his illness was not dangerous, and besides, that he was not sufficiently instructed in the Faith yet.

“Let your reverence interrogate me,” replied the slave, “for I am prepared to answer all your questions.” In fact, he miraculously replied with the utmost precision and accuracy to every question. He was baptized, and then told to repose a little after the fatigue, but still he seemed to be in health and his sickness only being a minor.

“This is not a time to rest,” he said, “for I must go immediately to Paradise.” In about half an hour this poor slave, his countenance radiant with joy, surrendered his pure soul into the hands of his Creator.

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).

Pious Devotions, Preparation For Death, Preparation for Heaven, Spiritual Direction, spiritual warfare, Visions of the Saints

The Efficacious Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori:  “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” The chief thing is to persevere faithfully until death in this devotion.

Numerous examples show how agreeable the three Hail Marys Devotion is to the Divine Mother and what special graces it draws, during life and at the hour of death, on those who never omit it for a single day.

Many great saints have practiced and recommended the devotion of the “Three Hail Mary”. Here are the names of but a few of them: St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Bruno, St. Bonaventure, St. John Berchmans, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney (Cure of Ars), St. Anthony of Lisbon and of Padua, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. John Baptist de Rossi, St. Gerard Majella, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Marcellinus Champagnat, and, above all, the great Marian doctor St. Alphonsus Liguori who, in his writings recommended this devotion about twenty times.

This practice was revealed to St. Melchtilde while she was beseeching Our Blessed Mother to assist her in her hour of death. Our Lady appeared to her and said: “I will, certainly. But I also want you to say three special Hail Marys to me every day.

“The first Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Father, Whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you.”

“The second Hail Mary will be said in honor of the Son of God Who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled.”

“The third Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Holy Ghost Who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight.”

Our Blessed Mother also revealed to St. Gertrude the Great: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation.”

St. Leonard of Port Maurice, the celebrated missionary, had the Three Hail Marys recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or night; moreover he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice. He gave this devotion of Three Hail Marys as a penance in the confessional, especially for those who were struggling with sins of impurity.

Astonishing conversions, increase in virtues, cure of the sick, temptations conquered, business difficulties solved, holy death.and salvation.” 

– the promise made by the Blessed Virgin to St. Mechtilde.

The “Three Hail Marys”, are in the words of St Alphonsus Maria Liquori: “the best safeguard for chastity”

-This statement was recorded and attributed to St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori by St. Pius X; “that it is true, has been confirmed by our experiences as well as those of many missionaries” (according to Frassinetti). Even the number of graces and favors obtained through the practice of this devotion show us just how pleasing it is to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Here is the personal testimony of a sinner who used the devotion with good results: “For the last three years, I have been the slave of a bad habit against the virtue of purity. How could I get rid of this terrible passion? I tried every means available, but all proved useless. I used to give in to very serious sins and even to sacrileges. This was most disheartening. “Then, one day, someone recommended to me the devotion of the “Three Hail Marys”. And now, it is not yet quite one month since I started to pray the “Three Hail Marys” every morning and every night without fail. I cannot explain what has happened within me, but I do know and can assure you that, since the very first moment, it has produced wonderful results within me: I have not succumbed to the impure temptations since then. When I have been weak and just about ready to succumb, something or another has happened which has stopped me from giving in; and, indeed, I do know that it was something stronger than my desire of sinning.”

According to St. Gertrude (1256–1301), the Blessed Virgin Mary promised the following: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor of beauty so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with Heavenly consolation.”

Later on, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, “had the three Ave Marias recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or and night; moreover, he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) adopted this pious practice and highly recommended it. He told parents to train their children to acquire the habit of saying three Hail Marys in the morning and evening. After each Hail Mary, he advice that the following prayer be said: “By thy Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy.”

According to the St. Martha Catholic Church of the Pallottine Fathers, after Night Prayers, “Many Saints have had the practice of adding three “Hail Mary’s” here in honor of Mary’s purity for the grace of a chaste and holy life.”  Thus, it has been recommended as a daily practice for people who have received confirmation that they pray the Three Hail Marys for “purity of mind, heart and body” after examination of conscience.

Practice: Recite morning and evening, three Hail Marys in honor of the three great privileges bestowed upon Our Blessed Mother by the most Blessed Trinity with this invocation at the end: for the morning: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this day.” For the evening: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this night.”

(Pope St. Pius X gave his Apostolic Blessing to this practice and the devotion was raised to an Archconfraternity by Pope Benedict XV.)