Fr. Scott Haynes
The Saints' Belief on Purgatory
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
If we turn to the saints, we can learn more about the Church’s doctrine of purgatory. St. Robert Bellarmine teaches us:
"The Souls in Purgatory can pray for those, who address to them their petitions, and obtain from God help, forgiveness, assistance against temptations, and, all favors, both temporal and spiritual, which they may need."
Saint Bellarmine is in good company teaching us to ask for the intercession from the Poor Souls in Purgatory. Yes, St. Alphonsus says:
"It is true, they are unable to pray or merit anything for themselves, yet, when they pray for others, they are heard by God."
St. Padre Pio had a very special relationship with the Holy Souls. Indeed, such was the relationship that they were his frequent visitors. When they attended his Masses, he would see them as their suffering was relieved and as they were admitted to the heavenly court. He once remarked:
"I see so many souls from Purgatory that they don't frighten me any more. More souls of the dead than the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers."
When Padre Pio was asked how long a particular soul would stay in Purgatory he replied:
“At least one hundred years.” Padre Pio reminds us that “we must pray for the Souls in Purgatory. It is unbelievable, what they can do for our spiritual good, out of the gratitude they have towards those on earth who remember to pray for them.”