The angel said: "The soul whose predicament you saw and whose sentence you heard finds himself in the most severe punishment of purgatory. This consists in his not knowing whether he will come to rest after purgation or whether he has been condemned. This is God's justice, because this man possessed great knowledge and discernment, but he used them in a material way for worldly ends and not in a spiritual way for the sake of his soul, for he forgot and neglected God altogether while he lived.
"Now his soul suffers from the burning fire and shivers from the cold. He is blind in the darkness, fearful of the horrible sight of demons, deaf from the devil's howling, hungry and thirsty within himself, and clothed in shame on the outside. Yet God granted him one grace after death, namely, that of not coming into contact with the demons. This was because he had shown leniency to his chief enemies for the sole sake of God's honor. He pardoned their grave offenses and made friendship with his chief enemy.
"Know, too, that, in accordance with God's just decision, whatever good he did, whatever he pledged and donated of his legitimate wealth diminishes and relieves his pain, especially with the aid of the prayers of God's friends. Any other, less legitimately acquired possessions that he gave away benefit their previous, legitimate owners, either in a spiritual or bodily way, provided they are worthy of it according to God's dispensation."
The angel speaks again: "You heard before that, through God's love and thanks to the prayers of God's friends, this man received contrition for his sins a short while before death, and that this contrition saved him from hell.
"Accordingly, God's justice decided that he should burn for six ages in Purgatory after death, unless he obtains help from God's friends in the world. These ages represent those that he lived from the first hour in which he knowingly committed a mortal sin until the time when he achieved fruitful repentance through God's love.
"The first age means that he did not love God for the death of Christ's noble body and the many sufferings Christ endured for nothing other than the salvation of souls.
"The second age means that he did not love his own soul, as a Christian ought, and did not return thanks to God for his baptism and because he was not a Jew or a pagan.
"The third age means that he knew well enough what God commanded him to do but had little desire to carry it out.
"The fourth age means that he knew well enough what God had forbidden to those wanting to reach Heaven but that he dared to go against it, following not the motions of his conscience but rather his passions and desires.
"The fifth age means that he did not make proper use of the means of grace and of confession, although he had plenty of time.
"The sixth age means that he cared little about the body of Christ and did not wish to receive it frequently, since he did not want to refrain from sin, nor did he possess enough divine charity to receive the body of Christ until the end of his life."
Then a man of very modest appearance appeared. His clothes were white and shining like a priestly alb; he was girded with a linen belt and a red stole about his neck and under his arms.
He commenced speaking in this way: "You who see this, pay close attention and commit to memory what you see and hear. You and all who live in the world cannot understand God's power and what He established before time in the same way as we can who are with Him. All those things that take place in an instant for God are incomprehensible to you except by means of words and images after a worldly fashion.
"I am one of those whom this man, now condemned to Purgatory, honored with his gifts in his life. For this reason God has graciously granted me that if anyone will do what I advise, then this man's soul will be transferred to a higher place where he will obtain his true form and know no pain other than such as a person would suffer after having had a great illness once all the pain has gone away, lying there like someone without any strength, yet full of joy in the certain knowledge that he would survive.
"As you heard, the soul of this man cried out its woe five times. Therefore I have five consoling things to tell him.
"His first woe was that he had loved God little. In order to free him from this, let thirty chalices in which God's blood is offered up be donated for his soul so that God Himself might be more honored.
"His second woe was that he had not had any fear of God. To release him from this, let thirty priests be chosen, who are deemed to be pious, each of whom should say thirty Masses whenever he can: nine Masses of martyrs, nine of confessors, nine of all saints; the twenty-eighth Mass is to be that of angels, the twenty-ninth that of Holy Mary, the thirtieth that of the Blessed Trinity. They should all have the intention of praying for his soul, so that God's anger may be appeased and His justice turned toward mercy.
"His third woe was because of his pride and greed. To release him from this, one must invite thirty paupers and humbly wash their feet and give them food, money, and clothing to comfort them. Both the person who washes and those who get washed shall humbly beseech God, for the sake of His humility and His bitter passion, to pardon this man's soul for the greed and pride of which he was guilty.
"His fourth woe was carnal lust. If, then, someone should help both a virgin and a widow to enter into the convent and should, moreover, provide for a girl to join in true wedlock, giving them all enough property to allow them to eat and dress sufficiently, then God will pardon the sins this man committed in the flesh, inasmuch as these are the three ways of life commanded and chosen by God to be states of life in the world.
"His fifth woe was that he had committed many sins that caused harm to a great number of people. In particular, he had made every effort to ensure the marriage of the two persons mentioned earlier, who were as closely related by blood as if they both came from the same family. Moreover, he procured their union more for his own sake than for the sake of the realm. He did so without asking the pope's permission and against the praiseworthy ordinances of the Holy Church. Many a person has become a martyr because he would not tolerate such deeds being done against God and his Holy Church and against Christian morality.
"If anyone wishes to make reparation for so great a sin, he should go to the Pope and say: 'A certain man committed such and such a sin,' without naming the person explicitly, 'but in the end he repented and obtained absolution though without atoning for the sin. Therefore, impose on me whatever penance you want that I can endure, for I am ready to atone for that sin on his account.' Truly, even if no greater penance should be imposed on him than an 'Our Father,' it will suffice to lessen this soul's punishment in Purgatory."