Wednesday, February 9, 2011


No, I'm not talking about Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart isn't purgatory. Wal-Mart is hell. I'm talking about the real deal, purgatory. (By the way, do you like how I titled this post Purgatory! with an exclamation point? It looks like it could be on Broadway, like Purgatory! The Musical).

Actually, more specifically, I'm going to talk a little about the concept of Anima Sola.

But, before that, a quick disclaimer: All of the below information is a conglomeration of wikipedia and my faint memories of going to Catholic mass with my grandma. I am in no way an expert on religion and do not intend to belittle or demean anyone's religious beliefs. I'm just trying to blog about a necklace, here.

For those who didn't grow up Catholic, purgatory is the where you go if you aren't quite good enough for heaven, but you didn't quite do enough bad stuff for hell. You know, like Colin Farrell. (Somewhere, Colin Farrell is just happy someone typed his name...twice). Anyway, purgatory represents a place where you can  be purged of your sins. Purgatory is often represented as a firey place, where souls are cleansed of their sins through pain and punishment. So, how long does one remain in purgatory? That depends on how many friends you made on the outside. The length of time served in purgatory depends on the prayers of the living. So, if you were a jerk while living and didn't have very many friends, you will probably stay in purgatory for a while...

So, what is Anima Sola? It directly translates to "lone soul" and it is the visual depiction, usually of a woman, whose soul has been condemned to purgatory. This image is popular in Latin American countries as well as Palermo and Naples.  There is great debate about the image. Is she reverent because she is about to be released from purgatory and welcomed to heaven or did she just realized that she has been sent to hell? Hmmm...
I don't have that answer. But I do have a necklace with the Anima Sola image on it:
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