Christian people may piously believe that the Blessed Virgin will help them after death by her continual intercession, her merits, and special protection.
- Pope Paul V, 1612
An Italian holy card of Mary and St Joseph interceding before Christ for the souls in Purgatory.
Notre-Dame de Grace
The miraculous image of Our Lady of Grace in Berzée, Belgium. The image is especially venerated as the patroness of the souls in purgatory.
The high altar of the basilica of Notre-Dame de Montligeon. Mary is depicted as the patroness of the souls in purgatory.
Notre Dame de Grace
The miraculous image of Our Lady of Grace in the church of Berzée, Belgium. Mary is venerated in Berzée as the patroness of the souls in purgatory.
Madonna delle Anime
The Madonna of Souls in the sacristy of the church of Santa Maria delle anime del Purgatorio (Our Lady of the souls in Purgatory) in Naples, Italy.
The church was built in the 17th century and consists of an upper and lower space. The latter is meant to create an impression of purgatory for those still alive. The space became the focal point of a popular local cult. Many Neapolitans would adopt one of the skulls kept in the lower church, which had previously been a burial ground. The adopter would pray for the release of the deceased person’s soul from purgatory. Then, once the soul arrived in heaven, they were expected to pray for the adopter’s soul in return.
The cult of the souls of purgatory, even though official forbidden by a Church decree in 1969, is still very much alive in Naples. Votive candles and offerings are still left by devotees in the underground purgatorial church.
Our Lady is very kind and benevolent towards those who are suffering in purgatory. She visits them continuously and gives them comfort and relief.
- St Vincenzo Ferreri
An Italian baroque painting of Mary offering solace to the souls in purgatory by offering them her breast milk.
An Italian etching of Mary delivering souls from Purgatory.
O Mary, may the souls who suffer cruel torments in Purgatory, purified by the ardor of the flames, be the object of your compassion!
Vergine S.S. delle Grazie
The image of Our Lady of Grace and the souls in purgatory in the church of Santa Maria la Nova, Naples.
A baroque painting of Mary as the protectress of the poor souls in purgatory in the pilgrimage church of the Holy Trinity in Weihenlinden, Bavaria.
A south German altar depicting two significant moments from Mary’s life: the annunciation and the crucifixion.
The altar reminds the onlooker of Mary’s role in the redemption story and the relief she brings to the souls in purgatory, as seen in the lower part of the central panel.