My understanding of Catholic teaching is that after the original sin, man was not only kicked out of paradise, but heaven was closed to him so that the after death, the souls of the just were in limbo awaiting liberation by Christ.
On Good Friday, Jesus promises the good thief that he will be with him that day in Paradise1.
In the Apostles' Creed, it is recited in the 4th thru 6th articles:
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Here is my question:
On Good Friday, did Jesus descend into hell (limbo), free the just souls who went before him, who then accompanied him with great joy into heaven?
Or did he free them, place them into paradise - the one Adam forfeited for him and us - rise on Easter Sunday, and then conduct the souls into heaven when he ascended on ascension Thursday? Or was it at some other time?
According to Catholicism, when exactly were the souls of those who died before Christ conducted to heaven?
1. Cf. Luke 23:43 (RSVCE).