Apparitions of the Damned from Hell
In Chapter 16 of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a parable on Hell A rich man who has died and is in Hell pleads with God to send the poor man Lazarus, who has gone to Heaven, back from the dead to warn his five brothers that Hell really exists. God replies: "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." However, God is so merciful that He has reportedly allowed certain of the damned in Hell to return to earth to witness to others that there truly is a place of eternal suffering - Hell - for those who disobey God and His commmandments. Here are two examples of many such occurrences, documented in the annals of private revelation.
God's 20th Century Warnings of Hell
In this century alone, the number of persons being chosen by God to witness the reality of Hell is greater then all prior centuries combined. Clearly, as our world moves further away from belief in sin and punishment for sin, God increases His Divine Mercy by granting us more and more confirmations of that reality.
Blessed Faustina Is Shown Hell
Sister Faustina, the beatified Polish nun was shown Hell in 1936. Here is her account from her Diary
(741): "Today, I was led by an angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how
awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is
the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will
never change; (160) the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it-a terrible
suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a
terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each
other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan;
the seventh torture is the horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These
are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are
special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul
undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are
caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the
very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that
he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. (161) I am
writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or
that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like. I, Sister Faustina, by the order
of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I
cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils
were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but
a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who
disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly
souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly
plead God's mercy upon them. O my Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world,
amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend You by the least sin."
Sister Josefa Menendez's Description of Hell
One of the greatest mystics of this century was Sister Josefa Menendez, who died in 1923 at the age of 33. This young Spanish sister, who had a short religious life of great suffering, experienced revelations throughout much of her life, compiled in The Way Of Divine Love. More than once, she was taken to Hell to witness and feel the suffering first-hand. Sister Josefa was reluctant to write on the subject of Hell, and did so only to conform to Our Lord's wishes. Sister Josefa repeatedly dwelt on what she described as the greatest torment of Hell, namely, the soul's inability to love. One of these damned souls cried out: "This is my torture...that I want to love and cannot; there is nothing left me but hatred and despair. If one of us could so much as make a single act of love...But we cannot, we live on hatred and malevolence..." (March 23, 1922).
She records, too, the accusations made against themselves by these unhappy souls: "Some yell because of the martyrdom of their hands. Perhaps they were thieves, for they say: 'Where is our loot now?' ...Cursed hands... Others curse their tongues, their eyes...whatever was the occasion of sin... 'Now, O body, you are paying the price of the delights you granted yourself!...and you did it of your own free will...'" (April 2, 1922).
"I saw several souls fall into Hell, and among them was a child of fifteen, cursing her parents for not having taught her to fear God nor that there was a Hell. Her life had been a short one, she said, but full of sin, for she had given in to all that her body and passions demanded in the way of satisfaction..." (March 22, 1923).
"My soul fell into abysmal depths, the bottom of which cannot be seen, for it is immense...; Then I was pushed into one of those fiery cavities and pressed, as it were, between burning planks, and sharp nails and red-hot irons seemed to be piercing my flesh. I felt as if they were endeavoring to pull out my tongue, but could not. This torture reduced me to such agony that my very eyes seemed to be starting out of their sockets. I think this was because of the fire which burns, burns..not a finger nail escapes terrifying torments , and all the time one cannot move even a finger to gain some relief, not change posture, for the body seems flattened out and [yet] doubled in two. Sounds of confusion and blasphemy cease not for an instant. A sickening stench asphyxiates and corrupts everything, it is like the burning of putrefied flesh, mingled with tar and sulphur...a mixture to which nothing on earth can be compared... although these tortures were terrific, they would be bearable if the soul were at peace. But it suffers indescribably...All I have written," she concluded, "is but a shadow of what the soul suffers, for no words can express such dire torment." (September 4, 1922).
"Today, I saw a vast number of people fall into the fiery pit . . . they seemed to be worldlings and a demon cried vociferously: 'The world is ripe for me . . . I know that the best way to get hold of souls is to rouse their desire for enjoyment . . . Put me first . . . me before the rest . . . no humility for me! but let me enjoy myself . . . This sort of thing assures victory to me . . . and they tumble headlong into hell.' " (October 4, 1923)
"Tonight I was transported to a place where all was obscure. . . Around me were seven or eight people; I could see them only by the reflections of the fire. They were seated and were talking together. One said: 'We'll have to be very careful not to be found out, for we might easily be discovered.'
"The devil answered: 'Insinuate yourselves by inducing carelessness in them . . . but keep in the background, so that you are not found out . . . by degrees they will become callous, and you will be able to incline them to evil. Tempt these others to ambition, to self-interest, to acquiring wealth without working, whether it be lawful or not. Excite some to sensuality and love of pleasure. Let vice blind them . . . As to the remainder . . . get in through the heart . . . you know the inclinations of their hearts . . . make them love . . .love passionately . . . work thoroughly . . . take no rest . . . have no pity. Let them cram themselves with food! It will make it all the easier for us . . . Let them get on with their banqueting. Love of pleasure is the door through which you will reach them . . .' " (February 3, 1923).
The Fatima Children Are Shown Hell
In 1917, during World War I and that "hell on earth," the Virgin Mary appeared to three children at Fatima, Portugal on the 13th of the month from May through October. During here appearance on July 13th, 1917, she showed these three young children, ages 7 to 10, a vision of Hell. Lucia, who is still alive today, the Blessed Virgin Mary opened her hands, and "rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for help, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so sadly: "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. Thus, when you say the rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy." After this vision, the children lived dramatic lives of sacrifice and penance for sinners so that sinners might be converted and saved from the fires of Hell that God had shown them through His Heavenly prophetess.
Boy Raised from the Dead by St. John Bosco
A fifteen year old boy in Turin was about to die. He called for Don Bosco, but the saint was not able to make it in time. Another priest heard the boy's confession and the boy died. When Don Bosco returned to Turin, he set out at once to see the boy. When told that the boy was dead, he insisted that it was "just a misunderstanding." After a moment of prayer in the room of the dead child, Don Bosco suddenly cried out: "Charles! Rise!" To the utter amazement of all present, the boy stirred, opened his eyes, and sat up. Seeing Don Bosco, his eyes lit up.
"Father, I should now be in Hell!" gasped the boy. "Two weeks ago I was with a bad companion who led me into sin and at my last confession, I was afraid to tell everything . . . Oh, I've just come out of a horrible dream! I dreamt I was standing on the edge of a huge furnace surrounded by a horde of devils. They were about to throw me into the flames when a beautiful Lady appeared and stopped them. 'There's still hope for you, Charles,' she told me. 'You have not yet been judged!' At that moment I heard you calling me. Oh, Don Bosco! What a joy to see you again! Will you please hear my confession?"
After hearing the boy's confession, Don Bosco said to the boy, "Charles, now that the gates of Heaven lie wide open for you, would you rather go there or stay here with us?" The boy looked away for a moment and his eyes grew moist with tears. An expectant hush fell over the room. "Don Bosco", he said at last, "I'd rather go to Heaven." The mourners watched in amazement as Charles leaned back on the pillows, closed his eyes, and settled once more into the stillness of death.
The Old General and The Count
In Russia shortly before the horrible military campaign between Napoleon and Russia in 1812, two high-ranking military men, one a Count and the Military Governor of Moscow and the other a General, were scoffing over drinks about the existence of God, life after death and Hell. They made a mocking "pledge of honor": if there were a Hell, the first there would come to inform the other of it. A few weeks later, the General departed for the front. One morning, while the Count was lying in bed, the General suddenly appeared before him, pale, with his right hand on his breast, declaring: "What do we do now? There is a Hell and I am there! What do we do now?" He then disappeared. The Count ran to friends, eyes wild, hair on end, and exclaimed what had just happened. Two weeks later, word was received in Moscow that the General had died in battle - on the same day and at the very hour he appeared to the Count. He had kept his word of honor: Hell exists.
The Young Lord and His Mistress
In London during the winter of 1847-1848, a wealthy young widow in here late 20's suddenly found herself in an illicit relationship with a young Lord. Late one night as she was falling asleep, a glimmer of light started to grow and expand at her door. To her astonishment the door started to slowly open, and there was the young lord. He approached, grabbed here left wrist, and hissed: "There is a Hell." The pain in her wrist was so great she lost consciousness. When she came to, she had a terrible burn into her wrist down to her bone. The carpet also was scorched where his footsteps had come and gone. The next day she learned that the night before, her lord had been found drunk and had died in his servants' arms. She apparently lived the rest of her life with her charred scar as a reminder.
The Young Harlots
Rome, 1873. A prostitute dies late one night at the local hospital. At that instant, one of her "co-workers" back at the brothel starts screaming, waking up the entire neighborhood and bringing the police. Why? Because her friend at the hospital had suddenly appeared to her in flames, stating: "I am damned!" At daybreak, the poor girl left. Word followed of the death the night before of her friend at the hospital. Word then spread all over Rome of these events. As always, the wise listened, the foolish laughed.
Revelations of St. Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Confessor, and one of the 33 Doctors of the Church
"While I was at prayer one day, I found myself in a moment, without knowing how, plunged apparently into Hell. I understood that it was Our Lord's will that I should see the place which the devils kept in readiness for me, and which I had deserved by my sins. It lasted but for a moment, but it seems to me impossible that I should ever forget it even if I were to live many years.
"The entrance seemed to be by a long narrow pass, like a furnace, very low, dark, and close. The ground seemed to be saturated with water, mere mud, exceedingly foul, sending forth pestilential odors, and covered with loathsome vermin. At the end was a hollow place in the wall like a closet, and in that I saw myself confined. All this was ever pleasant to behold in comparison with what I felt there. There is no exaggeration in what I am saying.
"But as to what I then felt, I do not know where to begin if I were to describe it; it is utterly inexplicable. I felt a fire in my soul but such that I am still unable to describe it. My bodily sufferings were unendurable. I have undergone most painful sufferings in this life, and, as the physicians say, the greatest that can be borne, such as the contraction of my sinews when I was paralyzed, without speaking of other ills of different types - yet, even those of which I have spoken, inflicted on me by Satan; yet all these were as nothing in comparison with what I then felt, especially when I saw that there would be no intermission nor any end to them.
"These sufferings were nothing in comparison with the anguish of my soul, a sense of oppression, of stifling, and of pain so acute, accompanied by so hopeless and cruel an infliction, that I know not how to speak of it. If I say that the soul is continually being torn from the body it would be nothing - for that implies the destruction of life by the hands of another - but here it is the soul itself that is tearing itself in pieces. I cannot describe that inward fire or that despair, surpassing all torments and all pain. I did not see who it was that tormented me, but I felt myself on fire, and torn to pieces, as it seemed to me; and I repeat it, this inward fire and despair are the greatest torments of all.
"Left in that pestilential place, and utterly without the power to hope for comfort, I could neither sit nor lie down; there was no room. I was placed as it were in a hole in the wall; and those walls, terrible to look on of themselves, hemmed me in on every side. I could not breathe. There was no light, but all was thick darkness. I do not understand how it is; though there was no light, yet everything that can give pain by being seen was visible.
"Our Lord at that time would not let me see more of Hell. Afterwards I had another most fearful vision, in which I saw the punishment of certain sins. They were the most horrible to look at, but because I felt none of the pain, my terror was not so great. In the former vision Our Lord made me really feel those torments and that anguish of spirit, just as if I had been suffering them in the body there. I know not how it was, but I understood distinctly that it was a great mercy that Our Lord would have me see with my own eyes the very place from which His compassion saved me. I have listened to people speaking of these things and I have at other times dwelt on the various torments of Hell, though not often, because my soul made no progress by the way of fear; and I have read of the diverse tortures, and how the devils tear the flesh with red-hot pincers. But all is as nothing before this: It is a wholly different matter. In short, the one is a reality, the other a description; and all burning here in this life is as nothing compared with the fire that is there.
"I was so terrified by that vision - and that terror is on me even now as I write - that though it took place nearly six years ago, the natural warmth of my body is chilled by fear even now when I think of it. And so, amid all the pain and suffering which I may have had to bear, I remember no time in which I do not think that all we have to suffer in this world is as nothing. It seems to me that we complain without reason. I repeat it, this vision was one of the grandest mercies of God. It has been to me of the greatest service, because it has destroyed my fear of trouble and of the contradictions of the world, and because it has made me strong enough to bear up against them, and to give thanks to Our Lord who has been my Deliverer, as it now seems to me, from such fearful and everlasting pains.
"Ever since that time, as I was saying, everything seems endurable in comparison with one instant of suffering such as those I had then to bear in Hell. I am filled with fear when I see that, after frequently reading books which describe in some manner the pains of Hell, I was not afraid of them, nor made any account of them. Where was I? How could I possibly take any pleasure in those things which led me directly to so dreadful a place? Blessed forever be Thou, O my God! And oh, how manifest is it that Thou didst love me much more than I did love Thee! How often, O Lord, didst Thou save me from that fearful prison! And how I used to get back to it contrary to Thy will.
"It was that vision which filled me with very great distress which I felt at the sight of so many lost souls, especially of the Lutherans - for they were once members of the Church by Baptism - and also gave me the most vehement desires for the salvation of souls; for certainly I believe that to save even one from those overwhelming torments , I would willingly endure many deaths. If here on earth we see one whom we specially love in great trouble or pain, our very nature seems to bid us compassionate him; and if those pains be great, we are troubled ourselves. What, then, must it be to see a soul in danger of pain, the most grievous of all pains, forever? It is a thought no heart can bear without great anguish. Here we know that pain at last ends with life, and that there are limits to it, yet the sight of it moves us so greatly to compassion; that other pain has no ending, and I know not how we can be calm when we see Satan carry so many souls daily away.
"This also makes me wish that, in a matter which concerns us so much, we did not rest satisfied with
doing less than we can do on our part - that we left nothing undone. May Our Lord vouchsafe to give
us His grace for that end."
Dear fellow Christians, Father Lombardi, in his public debate with Italian Communist leader Velio Spano in Cagliara on December 4, 1948 stated, "I am horror-struck at the thought that if you continue in this manner, you will be condemned to hell." Spano replied, "I do not believe in hell." Father Lombardi replied, "Precisely, and if you continue, you will be condemned; for to avoid being condemned, one must believe in hell." Hell is a grave reality that is easily forgotten in today's God-less and apathetic society. This is all the more reason why we should fear for our salvation and do all that we can to make sure that we are one of the elect. St. Leonard of Port Maurice said, "To be saved for all eternity, to be damned for all eternity, and to not make your every effort to avoid the one and make sure of the other, is something inconceivable." Do not let your life pass before it is too late; focus on saving your soul to the exclusion of all other things, lest you find yourself forever in the eternal fires after your judgment. O, my Jesus, forgive us our sins! Save us from the fires of Hell!