Skip to comments.MONTLIGEON MIRACLE: HOW PRIEST TURNED INTO 'TRAVELING SALESMAN' OF PURGATORY
Posted on 03/14/2009 3:08:19 PM PDT by NYer
Father Paul-Joseph Buguet was born on March 25, 1843, in Bellavilliers, Orne, France. His impoverished parents could barely support the two boys God graced them with. However, Father Paul entered the seminary in the city of Sees and devoted himself to God the Church and souls. He felt mortification, humility, and cultivation of the inner spirit were the three things necessary to become a holy priest. Who could disagree!
He was ordained on May 26, 1866.
Ten years later, on the evening of November 1, 1876, his brother, Auguste Buguet, was ringing the bells at the Church of Our Lady of Mortagne-au-Perche, in Normandy when, incredibly, one of the bells flung loose and killed him.
Father Paul was crushed with sadness by his brothers untimely death. Only Gods goodness sustained him. Not knowing the state of his brothers soul, he begged God to tell him that He saved his brother. He abandoned himself and his brother to the God's Will and prayed for his brothers entry into paradise.
The priest considered this experience a call from Heaven to commit himself to a work of mercy for the departed.
The 700-member parish of LaChalpelle-Montligeon to which Father Paul was assigned was poor. Factories were replacing old cottage weaving industries. Machines were replacing hand-made crafts. The young went to the city for jobs. Employment was sinking (so much like today). Father Bugeut wanted to give the people work without leaving their region so as to have a future for the parish and the next generation.
The priest had two goals: "to have prayers offered for the neglected souls of purgatory, to free them from their pains by the sacrifice of the Mass, which contains the Supreme expiation, and in return, to obtain the means to support the worker to make a decent living.
"This was in my mind as a reciprocal gift between the suffering souls in purgatory and the poor abandoned ones on earth," he once said. "It was a mutual deliverance." What a message for today!
Each Monday, Mass for the deliverance of the most forgotten soul in purgatory was offered in the Oratory dedicated to "St. Joseph, Patron of a Good Death. "
Here an extraordinary happening took place.
A mysterious woman attired with a sky blue dress, her head covered by a long white veil, appeared in church and approached Father Buguet, asking him to celebrate a Mass for her intentions. He'd never seen her before.
She came twice and both times disappeared shortly after.
Father Buguet confided to his closest friends that the mysterious lady praised him and thanked him "for this charity of offering Mass each Monday for the most abandoned soul in purgatory." From this visit he drew forth the rules of "The Work of Expiation," explaining: "To diminish purgatory, do penance. For that, one can offer everything from dusk to dawn, all ones afflictions, sorrows, worries." He became known as "the traveling salesman of the souls in purgatory."
Permission was granted to establish an association for Masses to be celebrated for the benefit of the most abandoned souls. "If you do not succeed, you will be to blame; and if God wills it, nothing will stop your work," the bishop told him.
In 1887 a printing apostolate was formed to publish magazines about the work for the poor souls. Pilgrimages were organized to pray for the holy souls to "Our Lady of Montligeon" in the parish church.
A new church was raised where requests "from the entire universe will be united every day, rising together to God." A statue of Our Lady of Deliverance was also fashioned.
Today Our Lady of Montligeon is the World Center of Prayer for the Dead.
There are nine million Fraternity members. You can join an Our Lady of Montligeon Prayer Group. Visit their website. Offer Masses for the most neglected soul in purgatory. Start a Monday purgatory prayer group. Pray the Rosary on Mondays for the souls.
Who are the most abandoned?
Non-believers and those who have no family to pray for them, and, often, priests, bishops, and consecrated religious, who many don't think need prayers. Offer a Mass for them and look forward to meeting them someday in the upper reaches of Heaven!
[see also: Our Lady of Montligeon and The Life of Father Buguet]
[Susan Tassone's books are available here; for Masses visit: www.spiritualtreasury.org]
When you consider the timespan of our lives within the framework of history, it is important to remember and pray for those who no longer have anyone to pray for them.
Very cool ~ thanks for posting.
> When you consider the timespan of our lives within the framework of history, it is important to remember and pray for those who no longer have anyone to pray for them.
And I have a silly studying-to-be-Catholic question for anyone who is of a mind to answer:
Aside from the obvious doctrinal issues, how different is the concept that you describe — praying for those who no longer have anyone to pray for them — different from the Mormon concept of being baptized for those who are dead already? It would seem that the intention is identical.
Thank you for posting this. This is the second recent post mentioning “St. Joseph, Patron of a Good Death”. No one in my family was familiar with (or had forgotten) that title. My mother, age 92 but very healthy, has now taken a great interest in St. Joseph due to these postings.
I would say the two concepts are very different.
Catholics pray for those already being purged of the dross of sin and attachment to sin in Purgatory. In other words, they’re already saved, we’re just helping them get cleaned up faster by asking God to dip His hand into the treasury of merits gained by His Son and apply them to these soon-to-be-saints.
I think the Mormon practice is much different. A man, very much alive, undergoes baptism vicariously in the place of another long since dead person. It may be a request for mercy and help to the designated soul in a similar fashion to praying for the dead, but not on the part of the living Catholic is really done vicariously. We are wholly dependent upon Christ’s mercy and grace on both sides of the veil, while Mormons almost assume their vicarious baptism carried weight in itself.
I frequently dedicate a decade to the souls in most need.
One day, it may be me in need.
Me too. I pray the St. Gertrude prayer and I pray for anyone I can remember who has passed, and I pray for each person in the local obituaries everyday.
It's quite different. There is no "baptism for the dead". Rather, we offer up prayers for those in purgatory. God is Mercy itself. May our prayers assist those in purgatory attain heaven.
Welcome home! Will you be received into the Church this Easter?
- there is NOTHING so preposterous that it hasn't actually happened at one time or another. Who would have thought that that old joke had a basis in fact . . . . if you've ever read Dorothy Sayers's The Nine Tailors (and I highly recommend it), she mentions that bellringing can be a hazardous occupation. Aside from bells falling, usually due to poor maintenance of the wooden framework that holds them, a careless ringer can hang himself in the slack of his own rope.
Prayers for the Poor Souls!
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Me too. My prayers, every night, include “Those souls who are forgotten, those who have no one to pray for them, and those in most need of the Thy mercy.”
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
>> Aside from the obvious doctrinal issues, how different is the concept that you describe praying for those who no longer have anyone to pray for them different from the Mormon concept of being baptized for those who are dead already? It would seem that the intention is identical. <<
Actually, the intent is quite the opposite.
Mormons baptize non-Mormons after death: those who specifically have declined to be baptized while alive are “baptized” once they have died and can no longer refuse baptism.
Prayers for those in purgatory are for those who have already been baptized as Christians.
“What?” you may ask, “what about the non-Christians in purgatory?”
I’m afraid I have a very politically incorrect answer for that one. Purgatory is for Christians who have died AFTER receiving remission of the eternal effects of original sin through baptism, but who have not experienced complete remission of the temporal effects of sin.
Purgatory is a temporal effect of sin. Protestants say it can’t exist because Jesus forgives sins. Suppose you knock up a girl and she has an abortion, then you become a Christian. Great, your sins are forgiven, so you don’t go to Hell. But there’s still a dead baby, a spiritually damaged woman, and your loss of sexual purity. Those are temporal effects of sins.
But souls which have not had their original sin remitted through baptism don’t go to Heaven... and they don’t go to purgatory, the state wherein souls are purified to prepare them for Heaven. They go to Hell.
“What?” you say, “A loving God couldn’t send all non-Christians to eternal torment, could he?” Well, the idea that Hell is always a place of eternal torment is a Protestant innovation. Non-Christians who lead relatively decent, cruelty-free lives of good will don’t suffer the sorts of eternal punishment that the wicked and rebellious do, but neither do they experience the blissful harmony with Christ in Heaven.
As Christians, we can have hope for the salvation of non-Christians through “extraordinary means of grace” which we know not of. But in recent decades such hope has morphed into a sense that non-Christians don’t really need to convert, and that is perhaps one of Satan’s greatest triumphs.
>> There is no “baptism for the dead”. <<
Actually, there IS baptism FOR the dead, just not baptism OF the dead.
Any sacrament can be offered for the remission of the sins of souls in purgatory. Evangelists would often offer up the work they did in spreading Christ for such remission. Baptism FOR the dead is biblical. Unfortunately, humans interpret writings in the manner they are contextually primed to read them in. Therefore, when debating Mormon baptisms, it’s easy to mistake 1 Cor 15:29 to refer to baptism of the dead, even though the text refers specifically to baptism for the dead.
Read 1 Cor 15:29:
“Else, what shall they do, which are baptized for the dead if the dead are not raised at all? Why are they then baptized at all?”
The Mormon interpretation would suppose that this means that the dead are baptized for themselves. What a wierd thing to mention, that baptized people are baptized for themselves? But its also grammatically problemmatic: The subject and the indirect object don’t normally refer to the same thing or person. That’s why we don’t say stuff like, “I did it for me.” If it does refer to the same person, the sentence is reflexive, such as “I did it for myself.”
So if the bible meant what Mormons say it means, it would say something like, “Else, what should they do, the dead which are baptized for themselves?” Doesn’t that also invite you to ask, “Why would the dead do anything?” And also make you wonder why “for themselves” was added.
What this passage means is this:
“Else why were those who were baptized for the sake of the dead baptized if the dead do not rise?”
Pray that God will show His will to me clearly as to whether I should devote my time and prayers to the souls in Purgatory.
As Tasmanian has said, one day it (probably WILL!) be *me* in need...
I had long forgotten the lines I wrote...but they were fresh on the heels of losing my sister.
I prayed intensely for her sitting at her bedside in the hospital.
In those long hours,I wondered if there would be anyone to pray for my passing, My family is dwindling.
I also pondered all those that had no one to pray with them as their time came...and no one to pray for them after their passing.
Pax dear friend, Pax