Wednesday, 2 November 2016

St. John Damascene, in his ardent love for the Holy Souls, wrote a remarkable dissertation on Purgatory,

in which he relates that Josaphat, king and hermit, on the death of his father Abenner, remained at his grave for seven days without eating, drinking or sleeping, to invoke divine mercy for the departed soul. "My Lord and my God," he continued to exclaim, "remember not the sins of my father, destroy the handwriting of his debt, and grant eternal rest to his soul." After having repeated these words again and again for a long time, he was rapt in ecstasy and saw two diadems of glory resplendent with precious stones and alike in beauty. He was told that one of these crowns was destined for his father, the other for him. His first thought was: "How can this be? My father, who scarcely did anything for heaven, shall receive the same crown as I, who have left my throne to suffer these mortification's?" He was then informed that one day he would be told the reason, and that in part he was himself the cause. The royal hermit adored the inscrutable counsels of God and asked pardon for his fault. He continued to pray for his father's soul, and had the consolation to know that he was admitted to heaven.

From The Heroic Act of Charity for the Suffering Souls. § 63. The Practice of the Heroic Act of Charity.