As you enter Ss. Stomata di San Francesco (Church of the Holy Stigmata of St. Francis) in Rome, there is a plaque on the left of the door as you enter.
“Every Mass celebrated at the altar dedicated to the Sacred Stigmata of our Seraphic Father St. Francis, frees a soul from purgatory. Pope Leo XIII, 21 September 1894”
This is a very beautiful privilege granted to the high altar of this simple but beautiful Baroque/ Rococo style church. It is located on Largo delle Stimmate on the right as you head towards the Pantheon. Quite often, the church is locked, but I just happened to enter as a very nice young woman was cleaning the church.
Every time I think of this church, I recall that the High Altar dedicated to the Stigmata of St. Francis is privileged, and not the free standing altar that sits in the front of it. How sad that this beautiful, altar is not used, and one that looks like a picnic table, cluttering the sanctuary is used on a daily basis or more. The poor souls that could be assisted with the Holy Mass celebrated at that altar once again.
Don’t forget to pray for the Poor Souls!
What a beautiful story, Father. Yes, what a shame the help for a soul is no longer given by means of the celebration of sacred Mass on that beautiful altar. However slower a process it may be, prayers , especially the prayer of St. Gertrude, helps relieve them of the purification fires that flame their souls towards holiness. Our Blessed Mother is a powerful advocate too for their release.