Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Situato nella Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, una piccola chiesa romana appena passato Castel Sant'Angelo, è un museo di una stanza dedicato alle Anime del Purgatorio. 

Located in the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, a small Roman church justpast the{mprestriction ids="*"} Castel Sant' Angelo, is a one-room museum dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory. 

You may walk past Chiesa del Sacro Curore del Suffagio if you are not looking carefully. Standing across the street you can appreciate its lovely exterior. The interior is small and usually very quiet and not well lit. The room housing the artifacts is off the right aisle and towards the alter. A silent employee will turn on the lights and a handout with a description of the exhibits is available.

The museum is a small, narrow room with photos or original examples of contact with souls in purgatory. Everything is kept under glass and the top row of exhibits is more difficult to view. 

The concept of a holding area for souls prior to going to heaven dates back to the 11th century. It is not mentioned in the Bible but All Soul's day is celebrated each year on November 2. In modern day masses, we hear "let us pray for the souls in purgatory,” prayers designed to hasten the assent to heaven for souls atoning for sins. 

French priest Fr. Victor Jouet’s mission was to find physical proof of the existence of purgatory and he is credited with establishing this purgatorial museum in 1917.    

The small number of exhibits include an assortment of burned prayer books, a tabletop, clothing, and other items that might substantiate the belief that souls are attempting to contact loved ones. 

Visiting a museum devoted to physical evidence of possible contact with souls who await entry into heaven offers a glimpse into the afterlife with a little of the supernatural. Places like the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory make exploring the endless number of little-known sites in Italy much more interesting than those listed in a tour book.