Description of Purgatory
Medjugorje visionary Vicka tells us that Purgatory is a very big space and, in appearance, is much like a misty grey fog that looks like ashes. Their people are weeping, moaning, trembling in what seems like terrible suffering. The Blessed Mother told Vicka, “These people need your prayers, especially the ones who have no one to pray for them.” Vicka adds that this is why we have to pray so much for these poor souls; they desperately need our prayers to go from Purgatory to Heaven. Vicka accepted this sickness and suffering with great joy, knowing that she was helping the souls in Purgatory that were suffering so greatly and in need of our prayers to get to Heaven. Documentation, multiple medical exams, x-rays, etc., showed unequivocal evidence of an inoperable brain cyst. Vicka did not even want to go to the doctor. At one point, doctors wanted her to go to the hospital in Zagreb for further testing and to see if something could have been done. Vicka did not want to go and only went when Jakov asked Our Lady if she should go. Our Lady said: November 15, 1982, “It is necessary to send Vicka to Zagreb.” This amounted to more testing and more irrefutable evidence of a medical condition that could not be cured, a brain cyst in a part of her brain that would kill her if they tried to remove it. The suffering she fasted for and asked for was so debilitating that Our Lady eventually told her a date she would be miraculously cured of the miraculous affliction for souls in Purgatory.
Many people were there, suffering immensely. I could see the people shivering, thrashing, and writhing in pain. I saw this place for a short time. The Blessed Mother was with me (during the vision). She explained to me that She wanted me to see Purgatory. She said so many people on earth today do not even know about Purgatory. I could not hear them. I only saw them. The Blessed Mother said their loved ones quietly abandon so many people who die. They cannot help themselves in Purgatory. They are dependent on the prayers and sacrifices of the generous people on earth who remember them. Our Blessed Mother hopes that her children will help the souls in Purgatory by prayer and fasting and various penance for the poor souls to make restitution for them. Those who have died no longer have free will as they had on earth. They no longer have a body. It is no longer possible for them to make up for what they did when their bodies hurt and harmed themselves and others. On July 24, 1982, Blessed Mother said:‘We went to Heaven fully conscious of the separation of the body and soul. It is false to teach people that we are reborn many times and pass to different bodies. One is born only once. The body, drawn from the earth, decomposes after death. It never comes back to life again. Man receives a transfigured body. Whoever has done very much evil during his life can go straight to Heaven if he confesses, is truly sorry for what he has done, and receives Communion at the end of his life.’ Our Lady said that the souls in Purgatory could see their loved ones during those moments when we pray for them by name.
Among the history of the Church who have written and spoken about Purgatory, many emphasized the sorrows or pains. They have done so rightly since the sufferings of Purgatory are real. However, I think it’s safe to say some have over-emphasized the pains of Purgatory, such that many have lost sight of its joys. We must find a happy medium. St. Francis de Sales taught, “If Purgatory is a species of hell as regards suffering, it is a species of paradise as regards charity. The charity which quickens those holy souls is stronger than death, more powerful than hell.” His mention of charity being a species of heaven is noteworthy. As for his view that Purgatory is a “species of hell,” we will see later that the Magisterium today does not articulate the sufferings of Purgatory in this way. Catechism teaches that the “final purification of the elect” in Purgatory is “entirely different from the punishment of the damned.” The Italian mystic St. Catherine of Genoa writes, “I believe no happiness can be found worthy to be compared with that of a soul in purgatory except that of the saints in paradise.” Let’s now turn to that sweet joy of Purgatory and see what might give a suffering soul reason to say with Paul, “I rejoice in my sufferings” (Col. 1:24).