The Saints Speak On Hell
‘The strongest desire of a damned soul in hell is to die. (Men shall seek death and shall not find it. And they shall desire to die: and death shall fly from them Apoc. 9,6). For knowing it can never appease God’s anger, it desires death as the only means of escape. But it will desire this in vain; the damned person will live as long as God will live! Just as God forever preserves the saints in Heaven to delight them with new pleasures, so He will allow forever the damned to live in hell, to always torment them with new sufferings.’
St. Anthony Mary Claret
‘Poor Judas! Above seventeen hundred years have elapsed since he has been in Hell, and his Hell is still only beginning.’
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
‘The Blessed Virgin, one’s guardian angel, all the saints, love a man, however wicked, as long as he lives on earth.
But once he is condemned by God, then God’s friends agree in God’s judgment and condemnation. For all eternity they will not have a kind thought for this wretched soul. Rather they will be satisfied to see him in the flames as a victim of God’s justice. (“The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge” – Ps. 57:11.)
They will abhor him. A mother will look from paradise upon her own condemned son in hell without being moved, as though she had never known him. (“Better for him had he never been born” – Mk. 14:21).’
St. Anthony Mary Claret
‘Let us fancy we see hell, and imagine what is worst to behold – a horrible cavern full of black flames. Sulphur, devils, dragons, fire, swords, arrows, and innumerable damned who roar in despair. Imagine the worst you can, and then say, “All this is nothing compared to hell” . . . In that voracious subterranean cavern all the filth of the world is collected and inclosed, without exhalation or air, which must produce a most foetid pestilence . . . The sight is tormented by frightful devils; a holy religious saw at death two so monstrous and ugly devils, that he cried out that rather than see them again he would walk till the day of judgment on fire of sulphur and melted metal.’
St. Ignatius of Loyola
‘I looked up in terror and saw in the distance someone racing down the path at an uncontrollable speed. I kept my eyes on him, trying to identify him, and as he got closer, I recognized him as one of my boys. His disheveled hair was partly standing upright on his head and partly tossed back by the wind. His arms were outstretched as though he were thrashing the water in an attempt to stay afloat. He wanted to stop, but could not. Tripping on the protruding stones, he kept falling even faster. “Let’s help him, let’s stop him,” I shouted, holding out my hands in a vain effort to restrain him.
“Leave him alone,” the guide replied.
“Don’t you know how terrible God’s vengeance is? Do you think you can restrain one who is fleeing from His just wrath?”
Meanwhile the youth had turned his fiery gaze backward in an attempt to see if God’s wrath were still pursuing him. The next moment he fell tumbling to the bottom of the ravine and crashed against the bronze portal as though he could find no better refuge in his flight.
“Why was he looking backward in terror?” I asked.
“Because God’s wrath will pierce Hell’s gates to reach and torment him even in the midst of fire!”‘
St. John Bosco
Alas! I could not bear the sight of them. How could I, as the mere noise of these despairing yells caused me an unbearable horror?’
St. Lydwine of Schiedam
‘When I beheld that vision in which I saw the magnitude of the stain of even one least sin against God, I know not why I did not die. I said: “I no longer marvel that hell is so horrible, since it was made for sin; for even hell (as I have seen it) I do not believe to be really proportionate to the dreadfulness of sin; on the contrary, it seems to me that even in hell God is very merciful, since I have beheld the terrible stain caused by but one venial sin. And what, in comparison to that, would be a mortal sin? And then so many mortal sins?”‘
St. Catherine of Genoa
‘I saw the torments of hell and those of purgatory; no words can describe them. Had poor mortals the faintest idea of them, they would suffer a thousand deaths rather than undergo the least of their torments during a single day.’
St. Catherine of Siena
Let us not doubt that baptized babies who die in their infant years will enter into the heavenly Kingdom. We should not, however, believe that all those infants who have begun to speak will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. For the entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven will be closed to many babies because of their parents’ bad rearing. In this city, there lives a certain man who is known to all; three years ago, this man had a son who, if I recall, would then have been about five years old, for whom he had such human love that he did not even try to discipline him.
For this reason, the boy, when someone prevented him from getting his way, used to blaspheme the magnificence of God – and let me emphasize that this is something dangerous.
When, three years ago, a deadly plague fell upon the region where he lived, this young boy succumbed to it and was near death. As eyewitnesses recounted, while the father took the child into his arms, the boy himself saw evil spirits coming for him. The boy began to tremble, to blink his eyes in fear, and to cry out in despair to his father: “Father, save me, protect me.” Simultaneously, as he cried, he turned his face towards his father’s chest, as though wanting to be hidden.
When the father saw his son trembling, in agony he asked him what he had seen. The son answered: “Black creatures came to me and wanted to take me away with them.” No sooner had he finished this phrase, than he immediately blasphemed the name of the Divine Magnificence and, with this blasphemy, expired.
Thus, God, the All-Powerful, in order to show by what sin the boy was given over to these evil servants, allowed him to die with this sin which his father, while the boy was alive, did nothing to prevent. And this boy whom God allowed, by His mercy, to live as a blasphemer, by His righteous judgment was also permitted to blaspheme at his death, so that his careless father might know well his sin. For this father, being indifferent to the soul of his young son, reared for the Gehenna of fire not an insignificant sinner, but a great sinner.’
Pope St. Gregory the Great
Therefore I also will deal with them in my wrath: my eye shall not spare them, neither will I shew mercy: and when they shall cry to my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them. ‘
‘But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’
‘And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice: If any man shall adore the beast and his image, and receive his character in his forehead, or in his hand; He also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled with pure wine in the cup of his wrath, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the sight of the holy angels, and in the sight of the Lamb.
And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever: neither have they rest day nor night, who have adored the beast, and his image, and whoever receiveth the character of his name.’