“…I know some of their torment. I know how desperately they need our prayers. They are so lonely that it is almost sickening to remember those moments I was there…”
After the Medjugorje visionaries’ experiences with Purgatory, the responsibility of praying for the souls in Purgatory was placed very strongly in their hearts. Our Lady showed them how much the souls in Purgatory suffer and how much they depend upon our prayers. The following is their description of Purgatory.
Vicka was deeply upset by what she experienced in Purgatory. Seeing the sufferings of the souls in Purgatory that were abandoned, who had no one to pray for them, caused her great anguish. Vicka went to Our Lady and asked Her if she could help the poor souls in some way. Our Lady spoke to Vicka about the seriousness of what she was asking. Our Lady told Vicka before she would accept her request, she was to go to her spiritual director and confessor, Fr. Janko Bubalo, and talked to him about it. Fr. Bubalo asked Vicka to pray and fast for three days so that she might have the strength and perseverance to accept whatever suffering or sacrifice she might be given to help the poor suffering souls in Purgatory. After praying and fasting for three days, Fr. Bubalo gave Vicka permission to sacrifice for the suffering souls. Almost immediately after Vicka spoke to Our Lady about this, she was strickened down with a brain tumor, suffering greatly with severe pain, lapsing into deep comas that would last for hours. 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. Nothing could be done. Vicka did not even want to go to the doctors. At one point, doctors wanted her to go to the hospital in Zagreb for further testing and to see if something could be 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 from the miraculous affliction for souls in Purgatory. Our Lady gave the exact date of her healing 6 months before it was to occur.1 After reading Vicka’s description of Purgatory, you will understand why she sacrificed and went through immense, terrible suffering for souls in Purgatory. The harshness of her suffering was so severe that Our Lady took away the pain from Her for a 40 day period. This period, however, was a more difficult suffering for Vicka, as she had no apparitions for the entire period. It seems Our Lady knew the severity of how Vicka’s suffering needed a reprieve. But after the forty day period, Vicka missed the apparitions so much, she prayed and yearned to accept the miraculous affliction’s pain back with the apparitions. The following comes from the book Words From Heaven, which describes when Our Lady gave Vicka this choice.
“For several years the visionary, Vicka, had been suffering from an inoperable brain cyst which caused her terrible headaches. During the course of her illness, Our Lady continued to appear to her and once, on her way to the hospital in Zagreb, Our Lady offered her two choices, saying
‘I will give you health with no apparitions or I will give you your cross with apparitions.’
“Because she had been suffering so tremendously she chose health but later regretted it. After forty days of not having apparitions, Our Lady appeared to her and gave her the offer once again. She joyfully took her cross back.”2
Vicka says it is a joy to suffer for these souls in Purgatory.
“Purgatory is an endless space of ashy color. It was quite dark. I could feel people strangling and suffering there. The Blessed Mother told us we should be praying for souls stranded in Purgatory. She said only our prayers and sacrifices can release them from that place…The people there are helpless. They are really suffering. We can be like Jesus a little bit if we just do some voluntary penance for the souls on Purgatory, especially for the ones who are abandoned by their families on earth…I am aware of their suffering. I know some of their torment. I know how desperately they need our prayers. They are so lonely that it is almost sickening to remember those moments I was there. It is really a great joy to do penance for the poor souls because I know how much it helps them…And many of our family members who have died desperately need our prayers. The Blessed Mother says we must pray courageously for them so that they might go to Heaven. They are powerless to help themselves.”3
Mirjana’s description of Purgatory:
“There are several levels in Purgatory. The more you pray on earth, the higher your level in Purgatory will be…The lowest level is the closest to hell, where the suffering is the most intense. The highest level is closest to Heaven, and there the suffering is the least. What level you are on depends on the state of purity of your soul. The lower the level the people are on in Purgatory, the less they are able to pray and the more they suffer. The higher the level a person is in Purgatory, the easier it is for him to pray, the more he enjoys praying and the less he suffers…The Blessed Mother has asked us to pray for the souls in Purgatory. They are helpless to pray for themselves. Through prayer, we on earth can do much to help them. The Blessed Mother told me that when souls leave Purgatory and go to Heaven most go on Christmas Day.”4
“Many people were there. They were suffering immensely…They were normal people, all kinds. There was much physical suffering…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 so many people who die are quite abandoned by their loved ones. They cannot help themselves in Purgatory. They are totally dependent on the prayers and sacrifices of the generous people on earth who remember them. Our Blessed Mother hopes Her own 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 the things that they did when they had their body that hurt and harmed themselves and others.
On July 24, 1982, the Blessed Mother said:
‘We go to Heaven in full conscious of the separation of the body and soul. It is false to teach people that we are reborn many times and that we 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 can see their loved ones during those moments when we pray for them by name.”5
Ivanka was asked why did the Blessed Mother show her Heaven and Purgatory:
Ivanka: “She wants to remind Her children of the results of their choices here on earth.”6
Marija, through several interviews, describes Purgatory:
“Purgatory is a large place.. It is foggy. It is ash gray. It is misty. You cannot see people there. It is as if they are immersed in deep clouds. You can feel that the people in the mist are traveling, hitting each other. They can pray for us but not for themselves. They are desperately in need of our prayers. The Blessed Mother asks us to pray for the poor souls in Purgatory, because during their life here, one moment they thought there was no God, then they recognized Him, then they went to Purgatory where they saw there is a God, and now they need our prayers. With our prayers we can send them to Heaven. The biggest suffering that souls in Purgatory have is that they see there is a God, but they did not accept Him here on earth. Now they long so much to come close to God. Now they suffer so intensely, because they recognize how much they have hurt God, how many chances they had on earth, and how many times they disregarded God.”7
Ivan speaks very little about his experiences in seeing Heaven, hell, and Purgatory. When asked about Purgatory, he shared the following:
“The Blessed Mother told me that those who go to Purgatory are those who prayed and believed only occasionally – that they were filled with doubt, that they were not certain that God exists. They did not know how to pray while on earth, or if they did know how, they did not pray…Souls in Purgatory suffer. If no one prays for them, they suffer even more.”8
1. Words From Heaven, 11th Edition, by a Friend of Medjugorje
2. A Friend of Medjugorje
3. The Visions of the Children, by Janice Connell
4. Queen of the Cosmos, by Janice Connell
5. The Visions of the Children, by Janice Connell
6. Queen of the Cosmos, by Janice Connell