In this Edition:
- Don’t forget! November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory
- New! Sterling silver Pardon Crucifix
- St. Teresa of Avila’s experiences with a soul from Purgatory
- News from the convent and new website feature: Build a Rosary!
November is the month that Holy Mother Church dedicates especially to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Carmelite daily prayers are filled with remembrance of these souls, saved by the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but detained in the place of purification and preparation for the perfect life of Heaven. Our Faith tells us that we, as fellow members of the Mystical Body of Christ, can assist these souls with our prayers — to pay their debt of punishment and hasten the time of their release from Purgatory.
Among the sacramentals we offer, is a chaplet just for this special devotion, called the Chaplet for the Souls in Purgatory. This chaplet is composed of indulgenced liturgical prayers for the Holy Souls. (We will share with you that it is one of our personal favorites here at our Carmel.) Please join us in praying for these captive holy ones, longing for the Beatific Vision!
The Holy Souls in Purgatory can also be helped through devotion to the Pardon Crucifix. The purpose of devotion to the Pardon Crucifix is to obtain pardon from God and the grace to pardon one’s neighbor. It differs in appearance from other crucifixes in that it has the full Latin text of the title of Our Lord’s cross: “Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum”. It also has an image of the Sacred Heart on the back with the words, “Behold this Heart, which has so loved men.” and “Father, forgive them.”
This beautiful little crucifix was particularly favored by Pope St. Pius X. He granted many indulgences for carrying and kissing it, all of which are applicable to the souls in Purgatory. We offer a sterling silver Pardon Crucifix on our website, which is perfect if you’ve been looking for just the right crucifix to wear or carry. You may also request to have this crucifix used for any rosary we make for you, as it a time-honored favorite for that purpose.
The following is from Our Holy Foundress St. Teresa of Avila’s own writings about one of her experiences with a soul in Purgatory. (Foundations, Chapter 10):
“…I was speaking with a distinguished young gentleman who told me that if I wanted to establish a monastery in Valladolid he would most willingly give me a house he owned with a large and good garden containing a vineyard. He wanted to give away the property immediately; it was very valuable. I accepted his offer, although I wasn’t too decided on making a foundation where the property was, since the place was about a quarter of a league outside the city. But it seemed to me that we could move to the city once the possession of a house had been taken in that district. And since he offered it so willingly, I did not want to refuse his good deed or hinder his devotion.
“Two months later, more or less, he was struck by a sudden illness that took away his speech, and he could not confess well, although he made many signs to ask the Lord’s pardon. He died shortly afterward, very far from where I was. The Lord told me that the young man’s salvation had been in great jeopardy, but that he had received mercy for the service he had rendered to the Blessed Mother in giving that house to be a monastery of her order; however, that he would not leave purgatory until the first Mass was said there– that then he would leave. I was so conscious of the grievous afflictions of this soul that even though I wanted to make a foundation in Toledo, I set it aside and hastened as much as I could to found a house in Valladolid…It couldn’t be made as quickly as I desired, for I was forced to delay…
“[Then] I was in prayer one day in Medina, when the Lord told me to hurry because that soul was suffering very much. Although I didn’t have the means available, I set to work and entered Valladolid on the feast of St. Lawrence (August 10). The license [for the foundation] could not be gotten so quickly… But permission was granted to say Mass where the church would be, and thus it was said for us. I had forgotten that what Our Lord told to me about that soul would then be accomplished. When the priest came with the Blessed Sacrament to the place where we were to receive Communion and I approached to receive it, the gentleman I mentioned appeared beside him, his face joyful and resplendent. With hands folded, he thanked me for what I had done so that he could leave purgatory and go to heaven…
“It is important to know that Our Lord is pleased with any service rendered to His Mother, and great is His mercy. May He be blessed and praised for everything. For He repays our lowly deeds with eternal life and glory, and He makes them great while they are in fact of little value…”
So as you can see, God bestows special blessings on those who assist the Carmelite daughters of His Blessed Mother. We know you will share our joy that we are receiving yet another postulant December 8th. It requires all our ingenuity to make room in our small convent for our new Sister. We trust in God’s Providence and goodness, along with the assistance of St. Joseph, that by Spring 2003 we will have the necessary funds to build on to the monastery and provide more room for the future vocations who are writing and hoping to enter. We pray that you will want to be part of our Carmelite family and God’s instrument of Providence by assisting us. We thank you for your help and promise our prayers for you and yours.
We are cloistered nuns, which means that we don’t leave our convent. That has made marketing our rosaries and other religious items a challenge. We were mailing brochures to people who would respond to our ads in religious periodicals, but we were still not able to reach many people with these beautiful sacramentals. Almost two years ago, with the encouragement and help of some friends of our convent who know the computer and internet world much better than we do, we decided to enter the 21st century and “get on-line”. We have been pretty successful with this venturing forth, and the whole project has been instrumental in helping to support our community and allowing us to pursue our number one purpose: our religious life of prayer and sacrifice.
Thanks to these same friends, we now have the only state-of-the-art site where you can build a rosary part by part and pay for it, all on-line. The site is designed so that it is impossible to make a mistake! People have been enjoying the opportunity to design their own heirloom-quality rosaries. When we see the completed rosaries, the beautiful results of these folks’ creativity and good taste, we are very impressed! Because of our extensive bead and parts choices, well over 10,000 different rosaries can be built on our site!
We know that at this time of year, people are thinking about where to find special and unique Christmas gifts. Consider custom-designing a rosary for those dear ones among family and friends. Try choosing a birthstone or a favorite color as a bead choice. This is truly a gift that can make a difference in someone’s life — and one that will last a lifetime!
Click here to design your own rosary and for other spiritual gift ideas.