Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Antipodes of Jerusalem

Dante's Purgatory is a lofty island-mountain, the only land in the southern Hemisphere, at the antipodes of Jerusalem. On the lower irregular slopes are the souls whose penitence has, for some reason, been delayed in life and whose purgation is now delayed. Above that is the base of Purgatory proper, the place of active purgation, which consists of seven level terraces surrounding the mountain and rising one above another, connected by stairways in the rock.

On these terraces the seven deadly sins are purged by penance from the souls that have been beset by them. On the summit of the mountain is the Garden of Eden, or Earthly Paradise, from which the purged souls ascend to Heaven.


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