QUEEN OF PURGATORY
Usually when we pray to Our Mother of Perpetual Help we are praying for something that is urgent now in our lives. We might be praying for ourselves or for our friends or some situation which is so troubling us that it drives us to plead with our Mother.
But Mary’s perpetual help does not grind to a halt when we die anymore than our love for our deceased suddenly stops just because they die. Indeed when someone close to us dies, we pray all the more for that person!!
So, just as we continue to cherish our beloved dead and continue to pray for them, so too Mary, mother of all the faithful, continues to cherish and pray for those who have moved to a new stage of the journey into God.
While we are accustomed to think of Mary as Queen of Heaven, enjoying to the full the glory of her Risen Son, and as we also think of Mary as Queen of the Earth, mother of all the disciples of her Son, so too she has been called Queen of Purgatory, comforting and interceding for those who have died in Christ and are in a state of being purified, being made ready for the full glory of God.
Father Faber (1814-1863), who was received into the Church a few weeks after Blessed John Henry Newman, wrote a tender hymn to Mary called “The Queen of Purgatory”. In this hymn he begs Mary to pray for those being made ready for heaven,
They are the children of thy tears;
Then hasten Mother to their aid.
May Mary be a mother of perpetual help to our dear departed so that their share in glory be not delayed.
Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.