The definition of purgatory according to Catholic Catechism states that: "Purgatory is a place where the souls that committed minor sins before death, or the souls that couldn't receive the supposed penances for their sins before death would go for purification before they could be allowed into Heaven".
BUT WHAT DOES THE HOLY BIBLE REALLY TEACH CONCERNING PRAYING FOR THE DEAD AND HOPE FOR THE DEAD SOULS?
In the book of Maccabees, we find the practice of prayer for the dead with a view to their after life purification. This practice is accepted by the Mother of Christian Church; Roman Catholic and some minor Christians .
THE CHURCH'S INTERPRETATION OF PURGATORY:
Roman Catholic Christians who believe in purgatory interpret passages such as 2nd Maccabees 12:41–46, 2nd Timothy 1:18, Matthew 12:32, Luke 16:19–16:26, Luke 23:43, 1st Corinthians 3:11 & 15 and Hebrews 12:29 as support for prayer for purgatorial souls who are believed to be within an active interim state for the dead undergoing purifying flames after death until purification allows admittance into heaven.
St. Augustine of Hippo distinguished between the purifying fire that saves and eternal consuming fire for the unrepentant, while St. Gregory the Great established a connection between earthly penance and purification after death.
All Soul's Day was then established in the 10th century, that on every 2nd of November, the living believers should visit grave yards of departed souls to pray for them.
The Roman Catholic Church believes that the living can help those whose purification from their sins is not yet completed not only by praying for them but also by gaining indulgences for them as an act of intercession.
The exact location of Purgatory varied from author to author. Heraclides of Pontus thought it was in the Milky Way; the Academicians, the Stoics, Cicero, Virgil, Plutarch, the Hermetical writings situated it between the Moon and the Earth or around the Moon; while Numenius and the Latin Neoplatonists thought it was located between the sphere of the fixed stars and the Earth.
Most Protestant religions rejected the idea of purgatory as it conflicted with Protestant theology of "Salvation by grace alone". This made Luther's canon of the Bible excluded the Deuterocanonical books from their own version of Bible.
The English Anglican scholar John Henry Newman argued, in a book that he wrote before becoming Catholic, that the essence of the doctrine on purgatory is locatable in ancient tradition, and that the core consistency of such beliefs are evidence that Christianity was "originally given to us from heaven".
VISIONS OF PURGATORY:
Visions of purgatory abounded; Bede (died 735) mentioned a vision of a beautiful heaven and a lurid hell with adjacent temporary abodes, as did also by Saint Boniface (died 754). In the 7th century, the Irish abbot St. Fursa described his foretaste of the afterlife, where, though protected by angels, he was pursued by demons who said: "It is not fitting that he should enjoy the blessed life unscathed..., for every transgression that is not purged on earth must be avenged in heaven", and on his return he was engulfed in a billowing fire that threatened to burn him, "for it stretches out each one according to their merits... For just as the body burns through unlawful desire, so the soul will burn, as the lawful, due penalty for every sin."
With all the above proves both from the Holy Bible and from the Holy Church, I hope that you are now convinced of the existence of Purgatory and need of praying for the departed souls.
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Have a lovable February.
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