Even Latin you have to leave in order to find the etymological origin of the term purgatory that we are now going to analyze. It comes from the Latin word “purgatorium”, which can be translated as “that purifies” and that derives, in turn, from the verb “purgare”, which is equivalent to “clean” or “purify”.
That term, in our language, became purgatory, whose most common use is in the field of religion.
In Catholicism, purgatory is the symbolic space that houses the persons who died with some sin and that they must be purified before they are able to access the Paradise. It is said that those souls who carry some minor sin that has not yet been forgiven or some serious sin that has not yet had its corresponding satisfaction through penance remain in purgatory.
Purgatory can therefore be understood as a state temporal that the person goes through after death while atoning for their sins. It is important to note that purgatory is never eternal: the doctrine indicates that all souls, in the long run, manage to access the Heaven. The length of stay may depend, among other things, on the prayers of the people in memory of the deceased and on eventual indulgences.
It is possible to link purgatory with hell: in both cases, the soul is far from God. However, whoever is destined for hell remains there for all eternity, while, as we already mentioned, purgatory is transitory. The purpose of purgatory is that the soul is purified and prepared to ascend to the Heaven.
It must be said that while the Catholic or Coptic Church does recognize and accept the existence of purgatory, the Orthodox does not. However, this does not prevent the religious of the latter from carrying out prayers with the clear objective of ensuring that their deceased receive God’s love and mercy for the sins they may have committed in life.
Purgatory, throughout history, has aroused the interest of many authors. A good example of this is Dante Alighieri, who turned him into one of the parts of his best-known and most important work: “The Divine Comedy.”
Within the cinematographic field it must be said that there is a film that is entitled precisely “Purgatorio”. It was released in 2014 and it is a thriller directed by the Spanish Pau Teixidor. Oona Chaplin or Sergi Méndez are some of the actors who lead the cast of the film that tells the story of a girl who is in need of taking care of her neighbor’s child.
The complicated part of the plot begins when not only does the mother not come to pick up the little one, but he also begins to say that someone else lives in the house, another child.
Purgatory, on the other hand, can be used as adjective in the same sense that purgative: an element or a substance that receives this qualifier is one that allows to purify an organism, a system, etc.