IT WAS as if St. Sister Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) wrote an affidavit, signed it, and had it notarized. At least that was how the first paragraph of her testimony appeared, in obedience to God’s order for her to tell us all that hell, that place of eternal damnation, exists.
Noted she: “most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.”
But that’s going ahead of her affidavit. Rather, her diary. And because many people go about daily life as if hell never existed. Nay, most are afflicted with presumptuousness that all go to Heaven, as indicated by widespread Facebook declarations marking a departed’s birthday, saying “Happy birthday in Heaven.”
No one ever posts “Happy birthday in hell” even for those who had led the most miserable lives. Perhaps because most people tend to ignore hell. Or its existence.
Which should not be the case, St. Sister Faustina Kowalska warned in her diary. Thus, the following affidavit, uh, testimony I feel obliged to share with readers:
“I, Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the Abysses of Hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence…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.”
She wrote further: “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 since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger. The fifth 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 is the constant company of Satan. The seventh 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. “I would have died. 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… 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 off end you by the least sin.”
THERE HAVE BEEN other visions of hell given to persons on earth. On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima showed hell to the children Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco for the same purpose that Jesus showed hell to Sister Faustina.
Father John de Marchi recounted how Jacinta’s father Ti Marto witnessed the children’s actions in the Cova da Iria that day. The visionary’s father recalled that “that Lucia gasped in sudden horror, that her face was white as death, and that all who were there heard her cry in terror to the Virgin Mother, whom she called by name.”
Later at the request of the Bishop of Leiria, Lucia described the vision this way:
“As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The 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 succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly: 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 what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”
Hell exists, whether we like it or not. Life is short, but that’s here on earth. What follows is everlasting.