St. Mechtilde instructing the novice, St. Gertrude.
The following story, which tells of what happened to a lady, a privileged soul, on 2 February, 1968, the Feast of Candlemas, shows us the very great value and the fruitful use which one may make of the Our Father, composed by St Mechtilde for the relief of the souls in Purgatory.
It took place in Switzerland, at Hinsiein, a place of pilgrimage to Mary. On a weekday in winter, it was, the church was almost empty. Madame Aloisia Lex was praying with some relatives. Looking towards the High-altar, she noticed the presence of a very old nun, dressed in a very old-fashioned religious habit, dating from a bygone age. She went towards her and this nun gave her a prayersheet which she put mechanically into her pocket. There took place, then, something strange; the entrance door opened suddenly and she beheld an enormous crowd of pilgrims arriving, very poorly dressed, who walked with muffled steps, like phantoms. A flood of pilgrims, an almost unending line, which came into the church. A priest stood there and showed them the way. The country-woman wondered, in astonishment, how this immense crowd was going to have enough space in the church. She turned to the side, then, for a brief moment, to light a candle. When she looked behind again, the church was empty as at the beginning.
Completely amazed, Aloisia asked her parents where all the people had gone. Nobody, however, who had come with her, had noticed the procession of pilgrims and none either had seen the nun. Not believing her eyes, she sought, in her pocket, the sheet which she had been given. This sheet which she held in her hands, clearly proved to her that she had not imagined everything. It contained the text of a prayer which in times past, Our Lord had taught to St. Mechtilde, during an apparition. It was the Our Father, for the Souls in Purgatory. Each time St. Mechtilde recited this prayer, she saw countless Souls in Purgatory rise up to Heaven.
OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN,
I beseech You, O Heavenly Father, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, for they did not love You sufficiently, nor render to You all the honor which is Your due, due to You their Lord and Father, Who, by pure grace, have adopted them as Your children. By their sins, rather, have they driven You from their souls, where You none the less wished always to live. In reparation for these faults, I offer You the love and veneration which Your Incarnate Son showed You all during His earthly life, and I offer all the acts of penance and satisfaction which He performed and by which He effaced and atoned for the sins of men.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME,
I beg You, O Father Most Good, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, for they did not honor, always and fittingly, Your Holy Name, but often they took It in vain and proved unworthy of the name "Christian", by their lives of sin. In reparation for their faults, I offer to You all the honor which Your Well-Beloved Son rendered to Your Name by His words and deeds.
THY KINGDOM COME;
I pray You, Father Most Good, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, for they did not always seek or adore Your Kingdom with enough fervor and diligence;This Kingdom, the only place where true rest and peace reign. In reparation for their omissions, through indifference to do what is good, I offer You the Most Holy Desire of Your Son, by which He wished that they also might become heirs of His Kingdom.
THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN;
I pray You, Father Most Good, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, for they did not always submit their will to Your Will. In reparation for their disobedience, I offer You the perfect conformity of the Heart, full of love, of Your Divine Son with Your Holy Will and the most profound submission which He showed in obeying You unto death on the Cross.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD;
I pray You, Father Most Good, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, for they did not always receive the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist with enough desire, but often without contemplation, or love, or even unworthily, or they neglected to receive It. In reparation for these faults, I offer You the outstanding Holiness and the great contemplation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Divine Son, addressed to You in favor of His enemies when He was on the Cross.
FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US;
I pray You, Father Most Good, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, all the faults of which they have been guilty through succumbing to the Seven Capital Sins and also in not having wished either to love or pardon their enemies. In reparation for these faults, I offer You the outstanding Holiness and the great contemplation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Divine Son, addressed to You in favor of His enemies when He was on the Cross.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION;
I pray You, Father Most Good, pardon the Souls in Purgatory, because too often they did not resist temptations and the passions, but they followed the Enemy of all goodness. In reparation for all these sins, in thought, word, and deed. I offer You the glorius victory which Our Lord won against the world, as well as His Most Holy Life, His Work and Sorrows, His Suffering and His Most Cruel Death.
BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL;
and from all punishments through the Infinite Merits of Your Well-Beloved Son and lead us, as well as the Souls in Purgatory, into Your Kingdom of eternal glory. Amen.
St. Mechtilde, Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Amen.