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Purgatory is a place between Heaven and hell. It’s the middle of the two where souls who

have just passed away from the earthly life go to be purified before entering Heaven. When a

soul dies on earth they can’t enter Heaven before being cleansed from the sin they committed

during their earthly life. Purgatory is preparation for Heaven. It is essential but extremely

difficult for a soul to be in Purgatory. It is essential because a soul absolutely needs to be

cleansed to have the privilege of entering Heaven. It is difficult because souls in Purgatory can

see Heaven and they remain in so much pain because they are so close yet so far from perfection

with Our Heavenly Father. I personally didn’t grow up knowing much about Purgatory. I started

hearing about it in my high school years but still didn’t grasp the concept of it. It wasn’t until I

owned my faith for myself and became a missionary in 2014 where I started to desire to learn

more about the faith and the theology behind it all.

Dante Alighieri is an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and

political thinker. He was born between May 21-June 20, 1265 in Florence, Italy and died

September 13/14, 1321 in Ravenna, Italy. He is most recognized for his writing entitled Divine

Comedy. Dante changed the way Italian literature was perceived because of his intellectual

writings. His works left a mark on the entirety of the literary community in the world. His work

on the Christian community has had a drastic effect and been an instrument in the development

of one’s faith.

The Divine Comedy is one of the greatest works in European literature. This literary

journey takes its reader into the world of Heaven, Purgatory, and hell. It discusses the different

levels of each of the three and what they mean in depth. Divine Comedy changed the way others

saw the three stages of life after death. It represents the souls journey towards God. Several of
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Dante’s points in his writing he drew from the Thomistic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Dante wanted his readers to picture the afterlife in order to prepare one’s self for one of the three


There are nine spheres that Dante describes in his writings. The first seven deal with the

different stages Dante and Beatrice climb that indicate the different levels in Heaven. They show

the people who were faithful on Earth, the people who were just, the people who governed fairly,

the warriors, the saints and apostles, the Virgin Mary, and the nine orders of the Angels

surrounding God. There are seven terraces in Purgatorio. The terraces correspond to the seven

deadly sins; which are: Pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust. These terraces must

be triumphed in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Works Cited

GradeSaver. “The Seven Terraces of Purgatory | Divine Comedy: Purgatorio Wikipedia.”

GradeSaver: Getting You the Grade. Web 14 Jan. 2018

“9 Spheres of Heaven (Dante's Paradiso).” 9 Spheres of Heaven (Dante's Paradiso) – History

Lists. Web 14 Jan. 2018

Quinones, Ricardo J. “Dante.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 3 Nov.

2017. Web 14 Jan. 2018

Wikipedia. “Divine Comedy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Jan. 2018