A month later, Sr. Faustina went on an eight day retreat, during which she had a visions of Hell. She wrote about it in 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; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it - a terrible suffering, as it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is a 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 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. 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.
"Sister Faustina was ordered to describe her Visions of Hell. 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."
Visions of Hell - Children of Fatima
After this, Mary opened her hands and pointed down to the earth. The brilliant light opened the earth, burrowing deep into the bowels of the Underworld. The children were given a vision of Hell. In Lucia's third memoir, she describes it as follows:
"Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. 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 a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This particular one of the visions of hell lasted but an instant."
They spoke about a sea of fire, filled with devils and the souls of people, black or bronzed, burning fiercely, ghastly screams of indescribable pain coming out of them, being sucked into a river of fire, like molten lava, embers of burnt skin flying off their charred bodies. The demons could be distinguished from the people in that they looked like ghoulish, deformed animals. The grotesque vision would have bristled the hair on the necks of the strongest adults. These innocent little children were petrified by the vision of hell.
Mary spoke to Lucia.
"You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war will end, but if men do not cease to offend God, another worse one will begin.
"When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."
This vision of Hell, and Our Lady's words, had a devastating effect on the children, especially Jacinta, who was extremely sensitive and only seven years old. Actually, these were all little people, Lucia ten, Francisco eight, and Jacinta seven years old. Jacinta was upset by the vision of Hell. Really, she was disturbed by the whole idea of Hell.
The devil knew the great impact he had on the faithful and the powerful comfort he was to the souls in Purgatory.
Visions of Hell - Cure of Ars
"The Devil's nightly visits usually occurred when there were sinners, eager to return to the Sacraments of the Church. The Cure ofArs through his hours in the confessional, was calling many to new life, and the Devil was furious!
"Some priests, staying in the rectory, heard strange noises coming from his room, one night. When they inquired, he answered simply, "It's the devil. He is furious about the good that is being accomplished here."
"The priests snapped , "It's all in your head!"
"The next night, there was such a racket outside the rectory, the priests shot up from bed. They all panicked. There was a battle ensuing, coming from the Cure's room; they were positive he was being killed. They charged into the room.
The Cure was sound asleep but his bed had been dragged into the center of the room!
When they wakened and questioned him, he apologized, `The devil dragged out the bed. I'm sorry. I should have warned you. But it's a good sign: we'll catch a big fish tomorrow.'
"Imagine the fun his fellow priests had with him when tomorrow came and nothing unusual happened! But the day was not over; when evening came, there was a knock at the door. Monsieur des Murs, a nobleman, who like the rest of his class had long ceased receiving the Sacraments, had come to have the Cure hear his confession. There was no more kidding. Now it was, `The Cure is a Saint!'"
Visions of Hell - Saint Bernadette
St. Bernadette never actually had a vision of Hell, as much as she experienced the Sounds of Hell during one of the times when Our Lady appeared to her.
This occurred during the fourth apparition, which took place on Friday, February 19, 1858.
Our Lady had no sooner appeared to Bernadette, when the child heard the most horrible roaring sounds, much like screaming and raving, very low and guttural at first, very angry. The sounds seemed to come from the River Gave, which was in front of the Grotto of Massabiele. They started off with a low rumble, and graduated to loud yells. In his book on St. Bernadette, Abbe Francois Trochu describes the experience as follows:
"At a certain time, the apparition seemed different from before. Suddenly loud yells, belched from the Gave (River), had rent the sacred silence of Massabiele. They `challenged, crossed, collided with one another, like the clamor of a brawling crowd'.
One voice, more furious than the rest, dominated them all and roared out: `Get out of here!...Get out of here!'
Bernadette guessed rightly that the threatening curse was by no means addressed merely to her humble self, but was an attack directed beyond her to the Vision of Light standing above the child.
There are many more Visions of Hell in Bob and Penny Lord's book, Visions of Heaven Hell and Purgatory. Copyright Journeys of Faith
Code BHHP Many Photos 336 pages ISBN 0-926143-84-0 $14.95
Table of Contents: Visions of the Saints Visions of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino Visions of Saint Margaret of Cortona Visions of Saint Gertrude Visions of Saint Clare of Montefalco Visions of Saint Catherine of Siena Visions of Saint Frances of Rome Visions of Saint Catherine of Genoa Visions of Saint Teresa of Avila Visions of Saint Philip Neri Visions of Saint Catherine de' Ricci Visions of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi Visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Visions of the Cure of Ars Visions of Saint John Bosco Visions of Saint Bernadette Visions of Padre Pio Visions of the Children of Fatima Epilog