‘Purgatory’: The Forgotten Souls

Purgatory is a place of the afterlife that requires a bit of nuance to comprehend. While it is an indication that the souls present there will end up in heaven, it is also a place of immense suffering. It’s not just a waiting room for the dead, but a place where the sins on their souls are purged, ensuring that their entrance into heaven is just. While we don’t know exactly what purgatory will look, sound, or feel like, there simply haven’t been many speculations about its characteristics besides Dante’s Purgatorio. However, a new film by Michal Kondrat titled Purgatory was recently released, only playing in theaters on October 25 & October 28.

Oscar Delgado, former war correspondent for NBC and associate producer of Purgatory, joined John Morales on Morning Air to talk about this upcoming movie about the third realm of the afterlife.

John asked Oscar just how he got involved in the production process of this film. Oscar was involved in Kondrat’s last film, Love and Mercy: Faustina, so when he came to Oscar with the script, it piqued his interest immediately. As much as we would like to believe that all of the faithful departed are in heaven, we just don’t know. Besides canonized saints, we don’t know the destination of the souls in the afterlife, so we should always be praying for them in the hopes that their purgatorial burden is lessened. This idea of praying for the dead often falls to the wayside, so Delgado thought it was an important topic to address.

John agreed, saying that he has been praying for his deceased father for about 16 years, so the idea of remembering the dead hit home. John’s father was away from the Church for 40 years before finally coming back and going to confession the day that Morning Air launched in 2003. So, John continues to pray that his father is in heaven and if he is in purgatory, that his prayers will cleanse his soul. John says the acting, scenarios, and the interviews called his father to mind, reminding him of the ways the deceased play a role in our lives.

Oscar referenced a scene in the movie where a father mournfully watches his family go to a party instead of visiting and praying for him. The purgatorial process is long and painful, and the souls there cannot help themselves. “As you know, John, our doctrine says the holy souls are powerless to help themselves. We’ve got to pray for them. They’re waiting for our prayers, and I think that it’s important, as you did with your father, to continue to pray for our loved ones that are gone. And I think that’s been lost.” This film was made as a reminder to us that death isn’t the end. The dead still need help.

The movie also documents the lives of several mystics including Fulla Horak and Padre Pio. Padre Pio, who was berated with occurrences of undue suffering throughout his life, had an incredible affinity with the souls in purgatory, for whom he offered his pain. He had the stigmata, was constantly attacked both physically and mentally by the devil, and was in shockingly poor health for most of his life. However, St. Pio never buckled. He died as he lived: offering his many afflictions to Our Lord and the Virgin Mary and sanctifying his suffering for the souls in purgatory.

In one of St. Faustina’s visions, she says, “I heard an interior voice which said, ‘My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it.’” Purgatory makes an effort to portray the saints in this way, always conscious of the souls suffering in the afterlife. Christ has given us purgatory as an opportunity for the dead to cleanse their souls so that they may still enter His kingdom. However, the price is prayer and only the living can ease that load. Oscar says that funerals are often the last time people think about the destination of souls. Purgatory is trying to change that. During the end of October and the beginning of November, let us remember the faithful departed and pray that they may make their way to heaven.

In the spirit of contemplating the afterlife, make sure to go to relevantradio.com/souls to submit the names of your deceased loved ones. From November 2-10, we will be remembering the submissions of our listeners and praying for them at every Daily Mass at Noon CTChaplet of Divine Mercy at 3pm CT, and Family Rosary Across America.  As you pray, we pray with you.

Listen to the full interview below:

Tune in to Morning Air weekdays at 5am CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.