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MONTLIGEON MIRACLE: HOW PRIEST TURNED INTO 'TRAVELING SALESMAN' OF PURGATORY

By Susan Tassone

Father Paul-Joseph Buguet was born on March 25, 1843, in Bellavilliers, Orne, France. His impoverished parents could barely support the two boys God graced them with. However, Father Paul entered the seminary in the city of Sees and devoted himself to God the Church and souls. He felt mortification, humility, and cultivation of the inner spirit were the three things  necessary to become a holy priest. Who could disagree!

He was ordained on May 26, 1866. 

Ten years later, on the evening of November 1, 1876, his brother, Auguste Buguet, was ringing the bells at the Church of Our Lady of Mortagne-au-Perche, in Normandy when, incredibly, one of the bells flung loose and killed him.

Father Paul was crushed with sadness by his brotherís untimely death. Only Godís goodness sustained him. Not knowing the state of his brotherís soul, he begged God to tell him that He saved his brother. He abandoned himself and his brother to the God's Will and prayed for his brotherís entry into paradise.

The priest considered this experience a call from Heaven to commit himself to a work of mercy for the departed.   

The 700-member parish of LaChalpelle-Montligeon to which Father Paul  was assigned was poor. Factories were replacing old cottage weaving industries. Machines were replacing hand-made crafts. The young went to the city for jobs. Employment was sinking (so much like today). Father Bugeut wanted to give the people work without leaving their region so as to have a future for the parish and the next generation.

The priest had two goals: "to have prayers offered for the neglected souls of purgatory, to free them from their pains by the sacrifice of the Mass, which contains the Supreme expiation, and in return, to obtain the means to support the worker to make a decent living. 

"This was in my mind as a reciprocal gift between the suffering souls in purgatory and the poor abandoned ones on earth," he once said. "It was a mutual deliverance." What a message for today! 

Each Monday, Mass for the deliverance of the most forgotten soul in  purgatory was offered in the Oratory dedicated to "St. Joseph, Patron of a Good Death. "

Here an extraordinary happening took place.

A mysterious woman attired with a sky blue dress, her head covered by a long white veil, appeared in church and approached Father Buguet, asking him to celebrate a Mass for her intentions. He'd never seen her before.

She came twice and both times disappeared shortly after.

Father Buguet confided to his closest friends that the mysterious lady praised him and thanked him "for this charity of offering Mass each Monday for the most abandoned soul in purgatory." From this visit he drew forth the rules of "The Work of Expiation," explaining: "To diminish purgatory, do penance. For that, one can offer everything from dusk to dawn, all oneís afflictions, sorrows, worries." He became known as "the traveling salesman of the souls in purgatory."

Permission was granted to establish an association for Masses to be celebrated for the benefit of the most abandoned souls. "If you do not succeed, you will be to blame; and if God wills it, nothing will stop your work," the bishop told him.

In 1887 a printing apostolate was formed to publish magazines about the work for the poor souls.  Pilgrimages were organized to pray for the holy souls to "Our Lady of Montligeon" in the parish church.

A new church was raised where requests "from the entire universe will be united every day, rising together to God." A statue of Our Lady of Deliverance was also fashioned.

Today Our Lady of Montligeon is the World Center of Prayer for the Dead. 

There are nine million Fraternity members. You can join an Our Lady of Montligeon Prayer Group. Visit their website. Offer Masses for the most neglected soul in purgatory. Start a Monday purgatory prayer group. Pray the Rosary on Mondays for the souls.

Who are the most abandoned? 

Non-believers and those who have no family to pray for them, and, often, priests, bishops, and consecrated religious, who many don't think need prayers. Offer a Mass for them and look forward to meeting them someday in the upper reaches of Heaven!

[see also: Our Lady of Montligeon and The Life of Father Buguet]

[Susan Tassone's books are available here; for Masses visit: www.spiritualtreasury.org]

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