Is it true our suffering ''saves'' others from Hell?

I remember reading that there was one saint (can’t remember her name, forgive me) who was on her deathbed and saw the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary told her that her suffering saved a number of souls from reaching Hell. The Blessed Virgin Mary then gave the saint two choices: Either to die immediately and to be taken into Heaven, or for her life to be extended for another 6 months in her state of anguish. Being the saint this person was, she chose the latter option and decided to live for another 6 months.

Is it true our suffering saves others from reaching Hell, and how exactly does this mechanism work out :confused:?

I don’t know how it works, but redemptive suffering apparently serves a purpose. At one time I remember feeling somewhat cheesed off with God and complaining about what I felt at the time (and still do) was very unfair treatment.

Then I happened to pick up a book or magazine or something, and glanced at some words. The text, *“Your suffering heals others…!” *almost leaped off the page at me.

So I have to assume that there is some truth in redemptive suffering. Paul was well aware of it, saying that “I fill up in my body the suffering of Christ”. Christ’s suffering was redemptive suffering - His crucifixion and death opened the way for the rest of us. However since the Church is the body of Christ, then the Church is expected to suffer with Him. And part of that suffering is redemptive suffering.

But I repeat that I don’t know how it works.

If I understand it correctly, redemptive suffering is only possible while in the state of grace and in communion with the Body of Christ. The rest is to get you to turn around…so don’t waste it. Pretty sure it depends on the difference between “actual” and “sanctifying” graces…

I am interested in finding out how this works too. I know that Saint Faustina agreed with Jesus to become a suffering soul for the salvation of souls but I have yet to find out how exactly the suffering of one can help in the salvation of another’s soul. Thanks for introducing the topic…I am eager to see what others know about this.


First, remember that God, not us, save others. Second remember that Hell is not a place but an absence of God. You cannot “go” to hell, you can only put yourself in a place far from God.

My friend explained it worked like this.

You hear of someone giving out free $100 bills…after some sort of trial. You pass the obsticle course for yourself and get the $100. Then you decide you want to do it for a friend. You do it and put the money in an envelope and put it in your friend’s hands.

The friend can choose to open the envelope and help themselves with their finances. They may give the envelope to the bank and hope for the best without looking. They may throw out the envelope.

This is similiar to the spiritual life. We are all connected through the body of Christ. God gives graces to us to get us through difficult situation. These graces are also given for non-trials such as mass, the rosary and many other prayers. When we will we can store up these graces for others.

In some cases the grace can be used immediatly. The reciepient (as with the money) can choose to immediatly use the graces to see that God is helping them through a hard time with extra love and support. The recipient can be willfully or unwillfully ignorant and accept it (as with the bank) and God himself can ply the heart with intense prayers. The recipiant can be hostile (throwing out the money) and God will store the graces for when the person is willing to recieve them.

This may help you:

yes, it does :slight_smile: it works as a prayer… on its own, the suffering has no merit BUT united to the Cross, it does. :slight_smile: so if we unite our suffering to Jesus’ Cross, and offer it to the Father, He uses it together with the Cross as a prayer, to help other souls.

This is in Scripture too… St Paul talked about it.

Here’s the explanation of why this happens :slight_smile:

God bless!

I work with kids who are in intense emotional pain, so the topic of redemptive suffering is quite interesting to me. I am wondering if any of you have ideas on how to explain this in simple terms to young children? In the past, I have said that God brings such goodness out of pain…but I want to be able to add on to it…maybe eventually write a book that could be used for dying kids…

I remember this scene from the movie, ‘’ exorcism of Emily Rose", where virgin Mary appeared to her and gave her two choices: or she dies to rest her soul in heaven or to extend her life 6 months with suffering of demons possession. As I remember in the movie, the second choice can save other faithless souls by witnessing to them that demons truly exist and if demons are real that means God (of the bible) is real, by this they try to avoid going to hell, because according to the movie ‘‘the biggest trick the devil did is convincing humans that he does not exist.’’ oops! I like horror movies:)

Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry the cross, contributing in this real sense to our salvation. God gives us all this great chance at dignity.

If united with Jesus sufferings and sacrifice and offered to God for souls, and endured with charity and patience, yes, then it can, but only through Jesus

Check out Fatima. It might be helpful.

Mystics of the Church
(links to Francisco, Lucia and what happened at Fatima are at the bottom of the page)

After they had been taken ill during the Spanish Influenza epidemic in October, 1918, Jacinta told her cousin that Our Lady had come and said she would fetch Francisco very soon, that Jacinta herself would go to two hospitals and be alone. Lucia relates in her memoirs how her little cousin said she never tired of telling Our Lord and Our Lady how much she loved them. ‘I have a fire in my chest but it doesn’t burn me.’ She was obsessed by the thought of Hell and saving sinners.

Jacinta went on to develop pneumonia and then tuberculosis. A purulent abscess in her side caused her great agony. She was taken to the hospital in Vila Nova de Ourem. Although she hated being separated from Lucia she welcomed the opportunity it gave her to offer up her suffering as a sacrifice. After two months she was no better and returned home. A local priest advised her to say her prayers in bed, since she fell over whenever she got up to say them. Later she was taken to Lisbon, but as there were no beds available in the hospital she ended up in a kind of orphanage. She was happy there since she was able to receive Communion every day.

On 2nd February, Jacinta was finally admitted to the Estfania hospital where she was lonely and unhappy. On 10th February two of her ribs were removed under local anaesthetic. Although the daily dressing of the wound caused her agony she never complained. She told the lady in charge of the orphanage when she visited her that Our Lady had appeared and promised to fetch her soon and that her pain would stop. It did. On the evening of 20th February, 1920, she asked to receive the Last Rites. A priest heard her confession and promised to bring her Communion next morning, but Jacinta died peacefully that night. Alone. She was almost eleven.

Not correct. See Church teaching.

CCC 1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of Hell and its eternity. **Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” **The chief punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

Ummmm STILL you cannot go there. Its not like deciding to go to walmart. You can simply be separated from God. Once you are stripped of a body their is no longer a physical place.

What, you don’t believe in the resurrection of the body to it’s reward?

I hope so

At the end of time. Till then when we die we’re just souls.

Ok, considering linear time, what happens to the body’s of the damned?

Mathew Kelly in his book, Rediscovering Catholicism explains this very well.
He states that one must ‘offer’ a trial or pain to God. Example, at work and it’s a bad day or you do not feel well. Mathew says to pray and offer your discomfort or pain to God as sort of a penance. This could be interpreted that by offering your discomfort you may be helping someone.

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