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IN ANNALS OF SAINTS IS CONVERT'S STRIKING DEDICATION TO THOSE SOULS IN PURGATORY
MAGDALEN OF THE SERAPHIC ORDER
By Susan Tassone
St. Margaret of Cortona was a great sinner in her youth. She lost her mother when quite young, and so was mostly left to herself. Her beauty and lively temperament soon led her into a sinful life which lasted for a considerable time. She was swept off her feet by a handsome young lord. They lived together for many years but the young lord would never consent to marriage. They had a son together.
One day the Lord went off to inspect his estate and was assassinated.
Margaret left Montepulciano for her father’s home in Cortona. Her father and stepmother would not welcome her or the young son. She went to the Franciscans, who gave them a place in their home and provided Margaret with spiritual direction.
Margaret became a Third Order Franciscan and her son later became a Friar Minor. She founded a hospital, St. Mary of Mercy, still in operation today. And interestingly enough, she became known as the Magdalen of the Seraphic Order.
After her conversion, the most striking was her love and devotion for the poor souls in purgatory, for whose deliverance she sacrificed her time and rest.
Not only did Magdalen show compassion for the poor souls, but she always remembered her deceased mother and father who had rejected her and her son, and her uncharitable step mother. She offered up communions, Masses, and other good works.
And God revealed to her, that she had very much shortened their sufferings in purgatory as a result -- delivered their souls from purgatory much sooner than it was determined and they were in Paradise.
Margaret prayed with great ardor for all the dead whether known or unknown to her. It was her special daily occupation. Her every thought and desire was tending toward the release of the suffering souls.
This was her only goal. She forgot her own self for all the merits which she gained by her virtuous and penitential life and bestowed unselfish love on her poor suffering souls in purgatory.
Great was Magdalen's reward for it! As she lay on her death-bed, she saw a crowd of souls, released by her suffrages, hastening to her side to form, as it were, a guard of honor -- escorting her to eternity!
If we pray, we shall find prayers; if we offer our suffrages, we shall find them; if we free others, we ourselves shall be freed.
Those who practice charity will received charity. Those who are merciful will receive mercy. Whoever frees a soul from purgatory will find a host of friendly souls surrounding them on their deathbed. “Blessed is he who considers the poor!
"The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive.” (Psalm 40:2)
[resources: afterlife books]
[Susan Tassone writes books and speaks about purgatory]
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