Padre Pio had a great love for the holy souls in purgatory. He said, “More souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.”
One time he said, “The souls in Purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours, because they are accompanied by their suffering. So, let’s pray for them, and let’s pray them to pray for us.” Another time he said, “Most of the saved pass through Purgatory before arriving at the fullness of beatitude.”
In 1910, Padre Pio asked Padre Benedetto, his spiritual director, the permission to offer himself to the Lord as a victim for poor sinners and for the souls in Purgatory. Once he had willingly offered himself, the apparitions of the deceased souls to Padre Pio became innumerable.
In 1922, Bishop Alberto Costa asked Padre Pio if he had ever seen a soul in Purgatory. Padre Pio said, “I have seen so many of them that they don’t scare me anymore.”
One evening Padre Pio was sitting alone absorbed in prayer in a room at the convent when an old man entered and sat next to him. Padre Pio asked, “Who are you? What do you want?” The man answered, “Padre Pio, I am Pietro Di Mauro, son of Nicola, nicknamed Precoco. I died in this friary on the 18th of September, 1908, in cell number 4, when it was still a poorhouse. One night, while in bed, I fell asleep with a lighted cigar, which ignited the mattress and I died, suffocated and burned. I am still in Purgatory. I need a holy Mass in order to be freed. God permitted that I come and ask you for help.” Padre Pio said, “You can rest assured that I will celebrate Mass tomorrow for your liberation.” Padre Pio told the superior Father Paolino da Casacalenda what had happened. A few days later, Father Paolino went to the town hall and looked at the vital statistics for the year I908 and found that on September 18 of that year, one Pietro Di Mauro had in fact died of burns and asphyxiation in Room Number 4 at the friary, then used as a home for the homeless.
When her brother died, Maria Pompilio asked Padre Pio to intercede so that her brother could come in her dreams. Her brother came in a dream and said: “Padre Pio assisted me in my agony. He stayed until the Judge judged me. I was given eleven years of Purgatory, but for intercession of Padre Pio the pain was reduced to one year. Many mysteries in the life of Padre Pio will be known only in the other world.” The next morning, Maria went to see Padre Pio, who said: “Are you glad now?” “Yes, it seems that you are everywhere.” “What sense has for me being on earth if I can’t go up and down. I know. Your brother told you that the mystery of my life will be known only in Paradise.”
One time someone asked Padre Pio how Purgatory could be avoided. He replied, “By accepting everything from God’s hand. Offering everything up to Him with love and thanksgiving will enable us to pass from our deathbed to paradise.”
In 1945, Fra Modestino asked Padre Pio a comparison between a fire on hearth and the flames of Purgatory. “They compare like fresh water and boiling water.”
“The souls in Purgatory repay the prayers that we say for them.”
“When we pray for the souls in Purgatory we will always get something back.”