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DeeDee wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is there any thought from theologians or has there been any teaching from the Church which would clarify weather or not somebody who has been declared a Saint by the Church would have necessarily gone through the purification process of Purgatory, or not, before entering Heaven?


  { Could a canonized saint ever have bypassed Purgatory and gone straight to Heaven? }

and in a similar question:

Douglas Noga wrote:

Hi, guys—

When the Church canonizes a person:

  • Does that mean that the person went directly to Heaven after death without first going to Purgatory, or
  • Does it mean that the person is now in Heaven, and may or may not have been in Purgatory first?


  { When the Church canonizes a person as a saint does this mean they when directly to Heaven? }

Mike replied:

Hi, DeeDee and Doug —

To my knowledge the Church has never distinguished between Saints that have gone straight to Heaven and Saints that may have gone through Purgatory first in order to reach Heaven. I don't know how the Church would ever know such a thing, unless via miraculous communication.

  • Is it possible? <Sure!>

When the Church canonizes a person it means:

  1. they are in Heaven and
  2. they are solid Christian models we can imitate because they imitated Jesus and
    His Holy Life so well.

The purpose of the Church canonizing Saints is to show Christians, the world over, good, very holy models of Christian living who have, in addition, shown special heroic virtue in their lives.

Purgatory and Heaven go together in a sense.

  • Why?

Because those in Purgatory have been saved and are bound for Heavenly bliss.

  • Why is there a Purgatory then?

Because of our attachments to lingering self-love, in our lives. Although Confession forgives the guilt of our sins, remaining purification is needed because our holiness has been lessened.

Nevertheless, good works and deeds performed in this life, done "in Christ", can go to restore our holiness. Think of Purgatory as the Holy Hospital of Heaven. It's painful but it's a good pain.
[Like putting alcohol on a cut or wound.]

Purgatory is a state or place of purification where man is made totally holy so as to enter Heaven and worship God for eternity. Remember, there is no impurity in Heaven, or it wouldn't be Heaven : )

"Nothing unclean will be allowed to enter into Heaven." — Revelation 21:27

It's important to reiterate, Purgatory has nothing to do with ones justification or salvation,
rather it has to do with ones own personal holiness. Because each of us has a unique calling in life and we response to it differently with our free will, the personal holiness each of us will have at our particular judgment will probably vary from person to person.

On the contrary, Hell is total separation from God.

St. Therese, Doctor of the Church, tells us,

"There is no love in Hell."

I hope this answers your question.


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