The skull responded that it belonged to a pagan man and that his soul was at the bottom of hell. Then the abbot questioned him about who was below his soul. The skull told him that at the bottom were the souls of “bad Christians” because “during their lives they treated with disregard the blood of Christ with which they were redeemed.”
Prayer, sacrifice can help sinners repent and avoid hell
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to the three Fátima children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos. The former two are now canonized saints and the latter has been declared venerable.
Our Lady urged the children to “make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Next, the children saw a vision of hell as Lucia later related: “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 succor, 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.’”
Our Lady then told the children: “When you pray the rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
Later, when Jacinta was very ill she would share many insights, among them: “The sins which cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
Joseph Pronechen of the National Catholic Register also contributed to this story.