In the beginning of this month of November dedicated to the Holy Souls, we shared about Visitation Sister Marie Denise de Martignat who had a great devotion to the souls in purgatory.
As we near the end of this month, we highlight some aspects of another Visitandine’s life and experience of souls in purgatory, Sister Suzanne Marie de Riants de Villeray.
Sister Suzanne Marie was an extraordinary mystic, experiencing the stigmata and also served as as repeatedly chosen Superior in the Visitation Monastery of Lyons.
Sr. Suzanne was born in the Château de la Brosse, March 20, 1639. She entered the Visitation Antiquaille (Lyon) and made profession December 14, 1656. During her term in office as Superior a discovery on the grounds of the monastery (built on the hill of Fourvière) was made- the dungeons of the first martyrs of Lyon and particularly that of St. Pothin, first bishop of Lyon.
Sister Suzanne’s first biographer,Father Micaud mentions her autobiography, numerous letters and a treatise called the “ineffable grandeur of God.” The autobiography recounts the graces received by the Mother Suzanne from 1656 until 1670. It is entitled: Inside a dedicated soul to Jesus Christ, led and directed by the uncreated Wisdom in the ways of holiness.
Mother Suzanne Marie had over sixty appearances of the souls in purgatory; they showed themselves to her towards the end of their time of atonement, revealed the cause of their suffering, did not ask for help, but exalted the mercy of God.
Here is one of the occurrences:
A recently deceased Visitation Nun of the Macon, France, Visitation Monastery who had died just one year prior came to Mother Suzanne Marie and said, ” Oh the happiness of the souls that belong to Jesus Christ! You cannot obtain a greater favor, my Mother, than this Institute gives us. It unites us in a very intimate manner with the Savior.”
Sr Marie Patricia BURNS VSM
and Vingt-Cinq Apparitions des ames du Purgatoire a la Mere Suzanne-Marie de Riants de Villeray