The small museum, called Small Museum of the Souls of Purgatory, is set up in a room adjacent to the sacristy of the neogothic church of the Sacro Cuore del Suffragio, called the "little Milan Cathedral".
The unique collection originated thanks to the French missionary Victor Jouet, following the events of 15 November 1897, when a mysterious fire blazed in the chapel of the Rosary. Not only the painting on the altar was spared from the fire, the priest and many believers saw into the flames a suffering face, which remained enigmatically imprinted on the wall. The image, visible in photographic reproduction inside the museum, was taking on a more serene expression with the intercession actions.
Father Jouet decided to travel around Europe in search of testimonies of the afterlife of the deceased and their contacts with living relatives, collecting extraordinary fingerprints, original or photographed documents, signs and manifestations of all kinds.
Later, the collection was rearranged and, at present, it is an original and small collection of various documents and relics of mysterious traces of the afterlife, since for many other materials found the ecclesiastical authorities considered the proof of authenticity insufficient.
Cloths, fabrics, cassocks, skullcaps, breviaries, nightgowns and wooden tablets jealously kept inside display cases thus narrate the apparitions of the deceased in the presence of family and religious, testified by their "fire handprints".
These testimonies, detailed and each with a particular history, date back mainly to the 18th and 19th centuries. The manifestations happened for requesting prayers, masses of intercession.
One case (1879) concerns the worry of a Belgian woman for the immoral life led by her son. The man converted to the faith, precisely by the continuous maternal attestations of an afterlife, to the point of founding a new religious order.
Every day 7.30am-11am and 4.30pm-7pm