Purgatory Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints by F.X. Schouppe SJ, first published in 1893 in French, is a collection of stories that reveal some aspect or another of Purgatory.
The history of the Church is littered with people, mystics or otherwise, who experience apparitions and/or visions. The author has done the hard work of collating the accounts which are relevant to Purgatory.
Purgatory as a concept is not explained in depth. The author assumes one understands the possibility of the need for temporal remission of sin after death. He does occasionally cite Scripture.
The text is organized into two parts. Part 1 is titled “Purgatory, The Mystery of God’s Justice” which contains 41 chapters. Part 2 is titled “Purgatory, The Mystery of God’s Mercy” which contains 65 chapters. Despite the two parts with their different emphasis, both parts are written similarly.
As mentioned above, the book is a collection of certain accounts involving the supernatural. Many of these are from biographies of saints and others are probably from oral tradition. Most of these involve some strange appearance of a soul—a person known to be dead—who is clearly suffering but not in Hell and who asks for prayers. Most accounts are straightforward, only a few at most read like legends. All chapters are brief, typically containing a few accounts.
In short, there is Purgatory and souls benefit from our prayers and good works. Souls in purgatory can also assist those in this life.
For an explanation of Purgatory, there is an article series on the subject here at Opinyuns. Please click here for Part I.
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