This unusual story
recounts the revelations of a lost soul to a former
acquaintance. It is a powerful record of the steps which led a
young woman to lose her soul in Hell for all eternity. Although
it has several times been printed with imprimatur, this in
itself does not guarantee the authenticity of the story. An
imprimatur merely indicates that the subject matter is free from
error in faith and morals. Is it true? Obviously, it cannot be
'`guaranteed" because the only evidence is that of the girl
herself. It certainly may be true and its instructional
qualities would pertain even if the story itself were not true.
In the July apparition at Fatima a vision of a Hell of fire was
given to the three little children, and significantly, its
existence was confirmed by the great public miracle on October
(Many people had
visions of Hell. The most famous among them are the visions of
Don Bosco and Josepha Menendez). Yet, Hell is little spoken of
in pulpits today.
And we have seen
that many Christian ministers, including some Catholic priests,
have "abolished" Hell as a place of physical pain. Because of
this, the special intervention of Heaven, may, as at Fatima, be
necessary to restore this sobering doctrine to its important
place in Christian dogma. It is well to remember that the Hell
spoken of here is the Hell which has a significant place in
Catholic doctrine, the Hell described vividly by Christ Himself,
the Hell seen in all its livid horror by the children at Fatima
on July 13th, 1917.
(The names of persons
and places are omitted because of the nature of the story plus
the fact of its recent origin.)
Clara and Annette,
both single Catholics in their early twenties, worked adjacent
to each other, employees of a commercial firm in Germany.
Although they were never very close friends, they shared a
courteous mutual regard which lead to an exchange of ideas and,
eventually, of confidences. Clara professed herself openly
religious, and felt it her duty to instruct and admonish Annette
when the latter appeared excessively casual or superficial in
religious matters. In due course, Annette married and left the
firm. The year was 1937. Clara spent the autumn of that year on
holiday at Lake Garda. About the middle of September she
received a letter from her mother: 'Annette, the victim of an
auto accident, was buried yesterday at Wald-Friedhof.’ Clara
was frightened since she knew her friend was not very religious.
Was she prepared to appear before God? Dying suddenly, what had
happened to her? The next day she attended Mass, received Holy
Communion, and prayed fervently for her friend.
The following night,
at ten minutes after midnight, the vision took place . . .
“Clara, do not pray
for me! I am in hell. If I tell you this and speak at length
about it, do not think it is because of our friendship. We here
do not love anyone. I do this as under constraint. In truth, I
should like to see you too come to this state where I must
remain forever. Perhaps that angers you, but here we all think
that way. Our wills are hardened in evil, in what you call
'evil'. Even when doing something 'good', as I do now - opening
your eyes about hell, it is not because of a good intention.”
“Do you still
remember our first meeting four years ago at . . .? You were
then 23 and had been there already half a year. Because I was a
beginner, you gave me some helpful advice. Then I praised your
love of your neighbor. Ridiculous! Your help was mere
coquetry. Here we do not acknowledge any good in anybody."
"Do you remember what
I told you about my youth? Now I am painfully compelled to fill
in some of the gaps. According to the plan of my parents, I
should not have existed. A ‘misfortune’ brought about my
conception. My two sisters were 14 and 15 when I was born.
Would that I had never existed! Would that I could now
annihilate myself! Escape these tortures! No pleasure would
equal that with which I would abandon my existence, as a garment
of ashes which is lost in nothingness. But I must continue to
exist as I chose to make myself as a ruined person. When father
and mother, still young, left the country for the city, they had
lost touch with the Church and were keeping company with
irreligious people. They had met at a dance, and after a year
and a half of companionship they 'had' to get married. As a
result of the nuptial ceremony, so much holy water remained on
them that my mother attended Sunday Mass a couple of times a
year. But she never taught me to pray. Instead, she was
completely taken up with the daily cares of life, although our
situation was not bad. I refer to prayer, Mass, religious
instruction, holy water, church with a very strong repugnance.
I hate all that, as I hate those who go to church and in
general every human being and everything."
"From a great many
things do we receive torture. Every knowledge received at the
hour of death, every remembrance of things lived or known is,
for us, a piercing flame. In each remembrance, good and bad, we
see the way in which grace was present, the grace we despised or
ignored. What a torture is this! We do not eat; we do not
sleep; we do not walk. Chained with howling and gnashing of
teeth, we look appalled at our ruined life, hating and
suffering. Do you hear? We here drink hatred like water. Above
all we hate God. With great reluctance do I force myself to
make you understand. The blessed in heaven must love God
because they see Him without veil, in all His dazzling beauty.
That makes their bliss indescribable. We know this and the
knowledge makes us furious. Men on earth, who know God from
nature and from revelation can love Him, but they are not
compelled to do so. The believer, I say this with gnashing of
teeth, who contemplates Christ on the cross, with arms extended,
will end by loving Him. But he whom God approaches only in the
final storm, as punisher, as just avenger, because He was
rejected by him, such a person cannot but hate Him with all the
strength of his wicked will.
We died with
willful resolve to be separated from God. Do you now
understand why hell lasts forever? It is because our wills were
fixed for eternity at the moment of death. We had made our final
choice. Our obstinacy will never leave us."
"Under compulsion, I
must add that God is merciful even towards us. I affirm many
things against my will and must choke the torrent of abuses I
should like to vomit out."
“God was merciful to
us by not allowing our wicked wills to exhaust themselves on
earth as we should have been prepared to do. This would have
increased our faults and our pains. He caused us to die before
our time, as in my case, or had other mitigating circumstances
intervene. Now He shows Himself merciful towards us by not
compelling a closer approach than that afforded in this remote
inferno. Every step bringing us closer to God would cause us a
greater pain than that which a step closer to a burning furnace
would cause you."
"You were scared when
once, during a walk, I told you that my father, a few days
before my first Communion, had told me: `My little Annette, the
main thing is your beautiful white dress, all the rest is just
make-believe.’ Because of your concern, I was almost ashamed.
Now I sneer at it. The important thing is that we were not
allowed to receive Communion until the age of 12. By then I was
already absorbed in worldly amusements and found it easy to set
aside, without scruple, the things of religion. Thus, I
attached no great importance to my first Communion. We are
furious that many children go to Communion at the age of seven.
We do all we can to make people believe that children have
insufficient knowledge at that age. They must first commit some
mortal sins. Then the white Particle will not do so much damage
to our cause as when faith, hope and charity, these things
received in Baptism, are still alive in their hearts. Marta K
and you induced me to enter ‘The Association of the Young
Ladies’. The games were amusing. As you know, I immediately took
a directive part. I liked it. I also liked the picnics. I even
let myself be induced to go to confession and Communion
sometimes. Once you warned me, ‘Anne, if you do not pray, you
go to perdition'. I used to pray very little indeed, and even
"You were then only
too right. All those who burn in hell did not pray or did
not pray enough. Prayer is the first step
towards God. And it is the decisive step. Especially prayer to
her who is the Mother of Christ, whose name we never pronounce.
Devotion to her rescues from the devil numberless souls
whom sin would infallibly give to him. I continue my
story, consumed with rage and only because I have to. To pray is
the easiest thing man can do on earth. And God has tied up
the salvation of each one exactly to this very easy thing. To
him who prays with perseverance, little by little God gives so
much light, so much strength that even the most debased sinner
will, at the end, come back to salvation. During the
last years of my life I did not pray any more, so I lacked those
graces without which nobody can be saved. Here we no longer
receive graces. Moreover, should we receive them we would
cynically refuse them. All the fluctuations of earthly
existence have ceased in this other life. For years I was
living far away from God.
For, in the
last call of Grace, I decided against God.
I never believed in
the influence of the devil. And now I affirm that he has strong
influence on the persons who are in the condition in which I was
then. Only many prayers, others' and mine own united with
sacrifices and penances, could have snatched me from his grip,
and even this only little by little. If there are only
few externally obsessed, there are very many internally
possessed. The devil cannot steal the free will from those
who give themselves to his influence. But in punishment of
their, so to speak, methodical apostasy from God, He allows the
devil to nest in them.
I hate the devil too.
And yet I am pleased about him, because he tries to ruin all of
you, he and his satellites, the spirits fallen with him at the
beginning of time. There are millions of them. They roam
around the earth, as thick as a swarm of flies, and you do not
even notice it.
It is not reserved to
us damned to tempt you; but to the fallen spirits. In truth
every time they drag down here to hell a human soul their own
torture is increased. But what does one not do for hatred?"
"Deep down I was
rebelling against God. You did not understand it; you thought me
still a Catholic. I wanted, in fact, to be called one; I even
used to pay my ecclesiastical dues. Maybe your answers were
right sometimes. On me, they made no impression since you must
not be right! Because of these counterfeited relationships
between the two of us, our separation on the occasion of my
marriage was of no consequence to me. Before the wedding I went
to confession and Communion once more. It was a precept my
husband and I thought alike on this point. Why not comply with
this formality? So we complied with this, as with the other
formalities. Our married life, in general, was spent in great
harmony. We were of the same idea in everything. In this, too,
that we did not want the burden of children. In truth, my
husband would have liked to have one, no more, of course. In the
end I succeeded in dissuading him even from this desire.
Dresses, luxurious furniture, places of entertainment, picnics
and trips by car and similar things were more important for me.
It was a year of pleasure on earth, the one that passed from my
marriage to my sudden death. Internally, of course, I was never
happy, although externally at ease. There was always something
indeterminate inside that gnawed at me. Unexpectedly I had an
inheritance from my aunt, Lotte. My husband succeeded in
increasing his wages to a considerable figure. And so I was able
to furnish our new home in an attractive way. Religion did not
show its light but from afar off, pale, feeble and uncertain."
"I used to give free
vent to my ill humor about some mediaeval representations of
hell in cemeteries or elsewhere, in which the devil is roasting
souls in red burning coals, while his companions with long tails
drag new victims to him. Clara! One can be mistaken in depicting
hell, but never can one exaggerate. I tell you, the fire of
which the Bible speaks does not mean the torment of the
conscience. Fire is fire! What He said: ‘Away from Me, you
accursed ones, into eternal fire’, is to be understood
literally. Literally! How can the spirit be touched by material
fire, you will ask? How can your soul suffer on earth when you
put your finger on the flame? In fact the soul does not burn;
and yet what torture all the individual feels! Our greatest
torture consists in the certain knowledge that we shall never
see God. How can this torture us so much, since on earth we
are so indifferent? As long as the knife lies on the table it
leaves you cold. You see how keen it is, but you do not feel it.
Plunge the knife into the flesh and you will start screaming in
pain. Now we feel the loss of God; before we only thought of it.
Not all the souls suffer to the same degree. With how greater
wickedness and how more systematically one has sinned, the more
weighs on him the loss of God and the more the creature he
abused is choking him. The lost Catholics suffer more than those
of other religions, because they, mostly, received and despised
more graces and more light. He who knew more suffers more
cruelly than he who knew less. He who sinned out of malice
suffers more keenly than he who sinned out of weakness. But
nobody suffers more than he deserves. Oh, if that were not true,
I should have a motive to hate!"
"My death happened
this way . . . A week ago; I am speaking according to your
reckoning , because according to the pain, I could very well say
that it is already in years that I am burning in hell. A week
ago, then, my husband, and I, on a Sunday, went on a picnic, the
last one for me. The day was glorious. I felt very well. A
sinister sense of pleasure that was with me all the day long,
invaded me. When lo, suddenly, during the return, my husband
was dazzled by a car that was coming full speed, he lost
control. Jesses! (misspelling of JESUS, used frequently by
some people of German language) escaped from my lips with a
shivering. Not as a prayer, but as a shout. A lacerating pain
took hold of the whole of me, (in comparison with the present
one, only a trifle). Then I lost consciousness.
Strange, that morning
this thought had come to me in an inexplicable way:
'You could go to
Mass once more'. It seemed like the last call of Love.
Clear and resolute,
my 'NO' cut off that train of thought.
You will know already
what happened after my death. The lot of my husband and that of
my mother, what happened to my corpse and the proceedings of my
funeral are known to me through some natural knowledge we have
here. What happens on earth we know only obscurely, but we know
what touches us closely. So I see also where you are living. I
myself awoke from the darkness suddenly, in the instant of my
passing. I saw myself as flooded by a dazzling light. It was
in the same place where my dead body was lying. It was like a
theater, when suddenly the lights in the hall are put out, the
curtains are rent aside and an unexpected scene horribly
illuminated appears, the scene of my life.
My soul showed itself
to me as in a mirror; all the graces despised from my youth
until my last `NO' to God.
I felt myself like an
assassin, to whom his dead victim is shown during his trial at
repent? Never! Should I feel ashamed? Never!
However I could not
even stand before the eyes of God rejected by me. There was only
one thing for me: flight! As Cain fled from the dead body of
Abel, so my soul rushed from that sight of horror.
This was the
particular judgment: the invisible Judge said: 'Away from Me'.
Then my soul, as a
yellow brimstone shadow, fell headlong into the place of eternal