MarysoulspurgatoryLast November I started reading Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints to the kids every morning. I have learned so much about God’s mercy and how we can do so much for the suffering souls in Purgatory. There are also many things we can do to avoid Purgatory according to the Purgatory book. One way to avoid Purgatory is our Lady’s second scapular promise, known as the Sabbatine Privilege.

After reading about this promise I decided last week to start praying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin. Luckily, I have 2 copies of this book so I am keeping one downstairs for morning prayers and the other one upstairs by my bed for night prayers. Also a few weeks ago I began to abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year in accordance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have to admit that abstaining from meat 3 days a week has been difficult.

So what is the Sabbatine Privilege? The Sabbatine privilege (the word "Sabbatine" meaning Saturday), was given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Pope John XXII in the year 1322, seventy-one years after Our Lady gave her Scapular to St. Simon Stock, and is as follows:

"I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after thier death, and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free."

There are three conditions for obtaining this privilege: 1) the wearing of the scapular; 2) the practice of chastity according to one’s state of life; 3) the daily recitation of The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, which can be viewed here. Those who cannot read can abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead of reciting the Little Office. Those who fulfill these conditions have Our Lady’s promise that she will herself remove them from Purgatory the Saturday after death. Source: Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints

Since the time of Pope John XXII sixteen popes have added the weight of their approval to this Privilege. One of the clearest explanations of the necessary condition is found in a decree of Pope Paul V given in the year 1613: "It is lawful for the Carmelite Fathers to preach that Christians may piously believe in the help promised to the Souls of the brethren and members of the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel, namely, that the Blessed Virgin will assist by her continual intercession, suffrages and merits and also by her special protection, particularly on the Saturday after death (which day has been consecrated to her by the Church) the Souls of the brothers and the members of the Confraternity departing this life in charity who shall have worn the habit, and shall have observed chastity according to their particular state of life, and also have recited the Little Office or, if unable to read, have kept the fasts of the Church, and have abstained from the use of meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays, unless the Feast of the Nativity of Our Divine Lord should fall on one of those days."