The Signs a Soul is saved given to St Andrew Avellino

From Mary’s Blog:

Born 501 years ago in Naples, his mother named him Lancelloto. He trained to be a lawyer and practiced for 10 years. One day in court, he uttered a mild lie and was filled with so much self-loathing that he feared he’d go to Hell. His contrition was compounded when he read Wisdom 1:11, “a lying mouth kills the soul”. In reaction, he turned from using his great verbal skills for deception and used them instead for truthfulness and a forthrightness for which he became famous. 

At 36, he entered the Order of Theatines where he took the name Andrew. Regularly, he went on missions by foot within the region; going to the towns and hamlets of Campania to preach and meet with anyone who needed him. One night when he and a friend were returning from the countryside, there was a downpour that quenched the lamp he was carrying that had guided their steps. They could have been lost in the dark, but rays of light miraculously shone from Andrew’s body and he became like a walking flashlight that lit their way home. Multitudes of people came to him and sought his judgment; he was renowned for his advice, and he was especially good at helping people with problematic issues of conscience, moral difficulties and prickly matters of discernment. A grander miracle still happened when an attempt was made on his life; he was set upon by men who sliced him with swords. But he survived as though his skin had never been stabbed. 

He also was able to discern the state of souls in the next life, as to whether they were in Hell or Purgatory. When he went to pray for the dead, on occasion he would be filled with total revulsion at the act of praying for a person and he was enlightened that his feeling of being revolted evinced that the soul was damned; that no mercy could be applied to him or her. At other times, when he went to pray for the soul of a dead person, he was given consolation and a feeling of attraction; this meant that the soul was saved but in need of his supplications. When he wanted to offer Holy Mass for a soul, sometimes he was stopped by a force that prevented him from leaving the sacristy to offer the Mass he had intended, and by this he was told that the person for whom he wished to offer Mass was in eternal torment and unable to benefit from the Holy Sacrifice. This was in contrast to times he planned to offer Mass for a soul and he felt overwhelming joy; he knew this meant he was helping the soul in their passage through Purgatory. His correct discernment was rewarded with visions of the happy souls who came to thank him before they left Purgatory and entered Heaven. 

It was fitting he died in the month devoted to the holy souls. On November 10th, 1608, Andrew was stricken by a stroke at the foot of the altar, just as he was about to offer Holy Mass. He had said for the third time, “I will go unto the altar of God.” There was enough time for him to receive the Last Rites and so while his death was scarily swift – he is often shown in sacred art as having a seizure on the altar as in the above painting – his death was not unprovided for. We often think of “sudden” as being synonymous with someone dying without extreme unction, and it is a priority to pray that we are not met with immediate, unforeseen and unprovided for death. Indeed, you may pray to St Andrew that you don’t have a sudden death. I pray to him for this intention and for help with discernment. 

Today, the anniversary of his passing is his feast. I wish you and yours a very happy celebration of St Andrew Avellino! Please consider offering the novena to him against sudden death. 

Prayer to Saint Andrew Avelino Against Sudden Death

(This prayer can be said as a Novena for nine consecutive days)

I. O most glorious saint, whom God has made our protector against apoplexy, seeing that thou thyself didst die of that disease, we earnestly pray thee to preserve us from an evil so dangerous and so common. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

II. O most glorious saint, if ever by the just judgment of God we should be stricken with apoplexy, we earnestly beseech thee to obtain for us time enough to receive the Last Sacraments and die in the grace of God. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

III. O most glorious saint, who didst endure, before dying, a terrible agony, through the assaults of the devil, from which the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael delivered thee, we earnestly beseech thee to assist us in the tremendous moment of our death. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. By the intercession of St Andrew, stricken with apoplexy.

R. From a sudden and unprovided death deliver us, O Lord.

* * *

This post was informed by Dr Pius Parsch’s The Church’s Year of Grace and Schouppe’s Purgatory. The classic painting of the death of St Andrew Avellino was executed by Domenico Fiasella. 

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