Les Femmes

It is a great act of charity to save souls from hell. Many want to pretend hell doesn’t exist, but we have eye witnesses who have seen hell! Let us never be complacent about salvation and let us do all we can to rescue those in danger of damnation!

ST. TERESA of AVILA: One day, while I was in prayer, I suddenly found myself plunged into hell. The Lord had long ago begun to grant me exalted states of prayer. I didn’t know how I had ended up here. Then I realized that the Lord wanted me to catch a glimpse of where the life of sin leads. The entrance to hell looked like a long, narrow alley or a low, dark furnace. The floor was covered with filthy mud that emitted a noxious stench. It was swarming with disgusting vermin. There was a small hole, like a cupboard, scooped out of the wall at the end of the alley. I found myself stuffed into it.

I experienced a fire in my soul that I could never begin to describe. I have suffered grave physical ailments in this lifetime. Doctors have told me that the excruciating pain I have endured is the worst a human being can bear here on earth. And the devil has also caused me terrible suffering. But nothing compared to what I experienced in hell. Yet even this paled compared to the anguish of my soul. I was strangled and suffocating. The agonizing despair was so intense that it’s impossible to find words strong enough to describe it. It would be inadequate to say that it’s as if the soul were being unrelentingly torn from the body. The truth is, the soul herself is tearing herself into pieces. I simply don’t know how to convey the fury of that inward fire and hopeless misery. (Theresa of Avila, The Book of My Life, XXXII)

BLESSED RICHARD of ST. ANN was martyred in Nagasaki, Japan in 1622. He told the story of two young students in Brussels where he lived in 1604. The two companions indulged in sinful pleasures. Instead of studying they visited houses of prostitution. After one evening of lust, one of the companions returned to his apartment and fell into a drunken sleep after praying several Hail Mary’s, a daily practice since childhood. He was awakened by a loud knocking and a man entered. It was his companion who told him that after his friend left he had been set upon and murdered, his body left in the road. Condemned to hell he had come by the grace of the Blessed Mother to warn his friend. Opening his shirt he revealed the demons tormenting him. Horrified the poor student spent the rest of the night sobbing and begging God’s forgiveness. When he heard the bells from the nearby Franciscan monastery ringing a call for prayer, he immediately ran there and begged admittance. The abbot, familiar with the young man, refused, but after hearing his story sent two monks to the address of the house of prostitution where they found the dead man in the road as described by his friend. The young man was admitted and in his spirit of penance and sacrifice became a model for his brother monks.

ST. PADRE PIO was asked once about people who don’t believe in hell. He wisely answered, “They will very well believe in hell when they get there.” Like St. Jean Vianney, who was constantly attacked by the devil, Padre Pio had many confrontations with Satan as well. The devil once tried to confuse him in the confessional. When the saint recognized who he was, he ordered him to say, “Long live Jesus! Long live Mary!” and the devil disappeared. Let us be zealous to save souls!

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