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1.
A place between Heaven and Hell, where the soul is not bad enough to be sent to an eternity of damnation in Hell, but not good enough to go to Heaven, so it is sent there temporarily where the person suffers, and is purified so that it can be sent to Heaven. Heaven is depicted as being above or in the realm of the sky, while Hell is depicted as below or within the bowels of the Earth. These locations are thought to be physical. Purgatory is often depicted as a mountain mostly due to Dante's Divine Comedy, but it is also sometimes depicted as a middle realm between Heaven and Hell or a level beneath Hell. In most instances, Purgatory is simply seen as a type of limbo perhaps suspended between the upper and lower realms of Heaven and Hell. Purgatory plays a prominent role in Catholic religion. Roman Catholics, among other Christians, believe in the existence of purgatory as a realm of the afterlife, as well as Heaven and Hell.
The Catholic Church used this to pressure people to buy indulgences. The selling of indulgences has really slowed now, but back in the day it was one way the Church made money. If the indulgences were bought from the church, the purchase of the indulgence would excuse/cause God to forgive past sin, and one would spend less time in Purgatory and get to Heaven sooner. The more indulgences one bought, the more extra forgiveness was given to that person. The more the Catholic Church sold indulgences the more they could build their empire on the backs of the poor and their fear of being stuck in Purgatory for a very long time. Purgatory is unbiblical, because it makes it seem like Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our forgiveness was not enough and places working for forgiveness back on the spiritual backs of us. Selling indulgences is totally anti Gospel, let alone unbiblical.

"Marriage is neither Heaven nor Hell, it is simply Purgatory." - Abraham Lincoln

"Of all the inhabitants of the inferno, none but Lucifer knows that Hell is Hell, and the secret function of Purgatory is to make of Heaven an effective reality." - Arnold Bennett
by Paul Wall Da People's Champ November 23, 2009
1242 281
 
2.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the souls of God’s people may go to a place called "purgatory" after death, which is a half-way house between Heaven and Hell. They teach that it is a place of purging, in which the soul will suffer for a while before being fit to gain salvation into Heaven. The prayers, candle burning, and financial gifts to the church of a person and his friends is supposed to shorten the length of time that the soul suffers in purgatory.
Purgatory is the place where the soul is purged after death for past sins and thus becomes fit for Heaven.
by World_Religions July 28, 2010
216 48
 
3.
That place on Facebook where your friend requests reside before you accept them as your friend. If someone requests to be your friend you can keep them in purgatory by neither accepting nor rejecting their friendship.
Ha ha, yeah, he's been in my purgatory for about a year now.
by nlitwiller October 29, 2006
165 43
 
4.
A celestial waiting room where christians are punished so that they may atone for their sins before passing into heaven, as written in the Divine Comedy by Dante Algheri. Purgatory is very unlike hell in that it is simply temporary.
If you follow dante's reasoning, most people will spend at least some time in purgatory before they are allowed through the gates of heaven.
by Nathan July 17, 2004
109 40
 
5.
A part of the afterlife where souls are kept until they are allowed to enter heaven. Catholics (such as Dante Alighieri) believe in this because they think souls need to be clean before they can be allowed into heaven, as opposed to Protestants who believe that accepting Jesus as one's personal savior entitles one to heaven automatically no matter how filthy your soul is.

It is unpleasant and fiery like hell, but the souls there are not like the damned, in that they love God and are already saved. Part of the torment is the waiting. A "term" in purgatory can vary widely in length, from a few minutes to the end of the world, and in intensity, from "just slightly less bad than hell" to simply kept in a waiting room. Like prison, visitations by angels and saints are allowed for some souls.
Purgatory: because your sins have to be burned off.

Purgatory: the final processing.

Purgatory: a very unpleasant place, but at least you age in reverse.

Purgatory: hot time in the celestial big house.
by BGMan April 19, 2008
53 22
 
6.
A state of mind that Roman Catholics believe you go to if you have sinned on earth but you believe in Jesus. You stay in purgatory untill you have paid off all your sins, however some people stay there forever.
If I used to ask myself over a coffin: "What good did it do the occupant to be born?" I now put the same question about anyone alive

E.M. CIORAN
by alice January 19, 2005
58 28
 
7.
Where one ends up when they're in a relationship that they're desperately trying to escape from; "Being stuck in limbo" unable to escape their relationship
"Man, being with her sometimes makes me feel like I"m in purgatory."
by Fox-kun December 18, 2007
31 16