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Purgatory and Dante's Divine Comedy - PURGATORY in the MODERN WORLD

In the 15th century, an unknown artist from Strasbourg (France) created this drawing of  “St. Patrick's Purgatory.” It appears in the Alsacian manuscript Legenda Aurea, cpg 144 of the University Library Heidelberg, folio 338r.  Online via Heidelberg University Library and Wikimedia Commons.

 

Purgatory is still a theological concept, viewed as a tenant of faith, in today's Catholic Church. In the "Profession of Faith," set forth in Catechism of the Catholic Church, we find its definition:

III. The Final Purification, or Purgatory
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent... (Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 291.)

Pope John Paul II (these links provide a video biography of his early life, when he was known as Karol Wojtyla) also discussed Purgatory in his personal writings:

We know that purification is needed on our path to God, and we also know that Purgatory exists among the "last things." In the path to God, which is also the path to eternal life after death and judgment, there is purgatory, in other words, the need for purification through reparatory suffering. (Karol Wojtyla [Pope John Paul II], The Way to Christ, page 117.)

Dante's concept of Purgatory—minus its more extreme form—is thus alive and well today.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Jun 23, 2019


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