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Italy’s Museum of Souls in Purgatory beckons one to change while it’s still not too late

ROME, Italy — The Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio (Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory) is actually just a small room in a 17th-century convent within the same building as Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio (The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), yet it can scare you big time.

Outside, the church designed by engineer Giuseppe Gualandi has been sometimes dubbed as “little Milan Cathedral” for its Neo-Gothic style. 

But inside is the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, founded by priest Victor Jouet following an 1897 fire that burned a chapel of the church. Behind the chapel’s burned altar was an impressed image of a man with a sad face, making Jouet believe that it was a soul in purgatory asking for help from the living. 

Determined to help more souls in purgatory, Jouet collected similar artifacts and put them on display, hence the museum. The museum’s collection includes documents, photos and actual artifacts, including fingers imprinted on books and clothes. 

Not only does it house collected artifacts of what are believed to be souls in purgatory asking for help and prayers from the living; the museum is a reminder of what could happen in the after-life should one turns away from the divine.