Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections





The Church since its existence have always preach about a third place about from hell and heaven where souls go to after their death “called purgatory”.


What is purgatory


According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Purgatory is the state of those who die in God’s friendship, assured of their eternal salvation, but who still have need of purification to enter into the happiness of heaven”.


Pope John Paul II on 4th August 1999 speaking on purgatory said “the term does not indicate a place but a condition of existence.


Those who after death, exist in a state of purification are already in the love of Christ who removes from them the remnants of imperfection as a condition of existence.


Similarly in Pope Benedict XVI, speaking of saint Catherine Gerpa. (1447-1510) in relation to purgatory said that in her day it was depicted mainly using images linked to space a certain space was conceived of in which purgatory was supposed to be located.


Catherine, however did no see purgatory as a scene in the bowels of the earth. For her it is not an exterior but rather an interior fire. This is purgatory an interior fire.


The Teaching of Purgatory, How it Start


The Church teaching on purgatory can be traced back to the book of II Maccabees where Judas prayed for the souls of his late soldier and he offered gift to God as a form indulgence for them.


Indulgence according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, is a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sin.


It may reduce the temporal punishment for sin after death (as opposed to the eternal punishment merited by mortal sin) in the state of process of purification called purgatory (II Maccabees 12:38-46).





The Church teaching on purgatory is not spelled out in the Bible but from different Bible passage we can picture the idea of purgatory.


Some Bible passages siting the idea of purgatory include: 1Cor 3:13-15, Lk 12:47, 1John 5:16-17, Rev 21:27, Matt 5:26, 1John 1:9, Heb 12,14, 1Peter 3:19, 1Peter 4:6, Rev 20:12.


Do Other Church Believe in Purgatory?


Other Church have their different views on the Church teaching on purgatory. Generally, the protestant Churches do not believe in the Catholic teaching on purgatory.


Martin Luther was once recorded saying “As for purgatory, no place in scripture makes mention thereof, in either must we any way allow it, for it darkens and undervalues the grace, benefits and merits of our blessed, sweet savior Christ Jesus. The bounds of purgatory extend not beyond this world, for here in this life the upright, good and godly Christians are well and soundly scoured and purged.”


In the year 2000, the state of purgatory in Anglican doctrine was summarize as follows “purgatory is seldom mention in Anglican description or speculations concerning life after death, although many Anglicans believe in a continuing process of growth and development after death”.


What happen in purgatory?


According to the the Church teaching on purgatory, two things according to the Church happen in purgatory. They are; sanctification and satisfaction model.


In the satisfaction model, “the punishment of purgatory” is to satisfy God’s justice.


While the sanctification model may be pictures as a regimen to regain one’s spiritual health and get back into moral shape.


How can we help the souls being purified in purgatory?


Because of the communion of saints, the Church teaching on purgatory the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them especially the Eucharistic sacrifice.


They also help them by alms giving, indulgences and work of penance.


May God bless this teaching in our hearts.  Have a fruitful new week.



    Thanks so much for this lesson on Pulgatory

  2. Ekwem Emmanuela Chiamaka says

    Amen. Thank you for sharing 🙏

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