Remembering Deceased Superiors

Discussion in 'In Memoriam' started by Julia, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Julia

    Julia Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

    When I was arguing the case for prayers to be offered for the souls of dead Popes, I substantiated my argument with an account of the time Pope Innocent III appeared to St Lutgarda in her native Belgium. The Pope was enveloped in flames when he begged Lutgarda's help.

    Pope Innocent III was not the only person who in his lifetime had wielded power over others in the Church who visited Lutgarda from Purgatory.

    Lutgarda was visited by Abbot Simon, who before his death had ruled a Cistercian monastery. Abbot Simon had been a dear friend of the Benedictine nun, Lutgarda. He was charming to her and treated her with kid-gloves. But this was the 13th century, and he treated the priests who were his underlings with a shocking severity, and when these boys and men were guilty of infractions of the Rule, Abbot Simon disciplined them to the fullest measure, and was excessively harsh. He did not spare the rod.

    For this, when he went to God and was judged, he received 40 years in Purgatory.

    When Simon appeared to Lutgarda in his helpless state, she took pity on him. In life, he had lorded it over those who had vowed to obey him, but in Purgatory he had to submit to the exacting rigors of Divine Justice.

    Lutgarda doubled her prayers and penances for him, and cried out to Heaven, "I will not cease to weep, I will not cease to importune Your Mercy until I see him freed from his pains."

    She was soon given the glad assurance that Abbot Simon's sentence was much reduced, but the mere fact that Simon was to be assayed for 40 years speaks as a proof of sorts that those who punish others unjustly in religious life may well be punished justly in the next life.

    (This account was given by Lutgarda to her biographer, Thomas of Cantimpré)

Share This Page