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Don’t be scared of ‘souls’ – priest to faithful

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JAROL, Iloilo, Nov. 4, 2014 – A young priest says a recent horrifying experience with the supernatural reminds the faithful that souls, which somehow make their presence felt, are not to be objects of fear, but should be loved through prayers and sacrifices.

Fr. Nathaniel Gentizon, assistant parochial vicar of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, called on the faithful to renew their devotion to the holy souls in purgatory by offering prayers for them. (Photo: CBCP News)

“I believe that my experience that early morning reminded me to pray for the souls in Purgatory. I felt that I was not alone during that time. There were immaterial beings surrounding me. Now, I know that I am not alone in my room!”,” said Fr. Nathaniel Gentizon, assistant parochial vicar of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles (Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral), after recounting events that followed a late night working on the parish year book with his editorial team.

‘Something strange’

The priest recounted that he went to bed at 2:00 a.m. but was awakened by a “something strange” in his room, he felt cold and had goosebumps.

“I was lying on my bed”, Gentizon recalled, “and all of a sudden I felt that there was somebody at my feet. I saw somebody creeping towards me. I couldn’t exactly identify him, but he had a familiar face. While he was moving towards me. I couldn’t breathe… Then I thought of praying Hail Marys. After some repetitions, I woke up…”

To his relief the young priest realized that it was just a dream, “I thank God because I thought it was real. Little did I know that it was a nightmare.”

Gentizon shared this terrifying incident in order to turn it into a teaching moment, saying, “Our belief in the Communion of Saints tells us that, as baptized Christians, wherever we are — whether we are in heaven, in purgatory, or on earth — we help one another through our prayers. The souls for whom we are praying will also pray for us here on earth once they are in heaven.”

As the month of November begins with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, the priest invited the faithful to renew their devotion to the holy souls in Purgatory.

Prayers for souls

“Let us include them in our prayers every day and not only during All Souls’ Day. Our prayer is a sign of our love, care, and concern for them,” Gentizon concluded.

Gentizon said that it was his first time to have such an experience since transferring to his temporary room on Sept. 1, when all residents of the Jaro Cathedral Parish had to transfer to other quarters due to the major renovation work being done in the rectory.

When the priest shared this experience with some friends, they told him that it was what they call in Hiligaynon as “bangungot”.

“Good enough”, he said, “that I was able to wake up. If not, I could have died,” Gentizon said. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)


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