THE LONELY SOUL
The Anima Sola or Lonely Soul is a Catholic depiction of a
suffering person -- almost always a woman -- in chains amidst
the barred prison doors and flames of Purgatory, the place
where sinners go while awaiting final judgement.
It is said that those who die while wearing a blessed brown
scapular, as directed by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will not
suffer long in Purgatory, but on the Saturday following
their death, the Virgin of Mount Carmel will arrive bearing
the Infant Jesus in her arms, accompanied by a group of
angels, and at her direction, the angels will pull from the
flames all those who died while wearing her scapular. Thus
the Anima Sola, whose purgatorial chains are broken, is
closely identified with the Carmelite devotion to Mary.
Following on the popularity of this form of veneration, the
Church subsequently approved a total of 17 scapulars of
various colours, most of them connected with specific
monastic orders, confraternities, and pilgrimage sites.
These include the scapulars of Our Lady the Help of the
Sick, Our Mother of Good Counsel, St. Joseph, the Passion,
St. Michael the Archangel, the Sacred Heart, the Sacred
Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Anyone who wears such a scapular is benefitted after death
by the mercy of Mary.
Because the Anima Sola looks penitential and reverent and
her chains are broken, the image sends an ambiguous message
of suffering and release from suffering. Due to this
ambiguity, the Anima Sola may be petitioned for blessings
and intercession in hastening the conclusion of a
purgatorial sentence meted out to a relative or loved one
who died while in sin -- or she can be implored for aid in
prayers or spells designed to send an enemy or ex-lover to
either a literal or a figurative Purgatory of suffering
until release is earned.
Related pages of interest:
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Order Catholic Saint Bath Crystals from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
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