SISTER JOSEFA MENENDEZ
Christ appeared often during the years 1921-22-23 to Sister Josefa Menendez-a coadjutrix sister of the Society of the Sacred heart of Jesus. This Order is known in the United Statesas the Mesdames of the Sacred Heart.
The story of Christ's visits to Sister Josefa is a gripping and inspiring one. It is published in a book sponsored by the nun's own religious order-with instructions from Our Lord that its messages be broadcast widely. It contains over 500 pages, all of which are devoted to telling mankind how much Jesus christ loves us, and begging all men and women to come to Him-with their love and receive Him.
In these pages Christ pleads with us to save our souls by finding His love before "The approaching last days of the world." This book is The Way of divine Love, published by Tan Publishing Books and Publishers, Inc. And is available from Catholic bookshops here in Australia
SISTER JOSEFA MENENDEZ Coadjutrix Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1890-1923)
Our Lord sent Sister Josefa into hell so she, too, could testify to the torments of the damned to prepare men for heaven through the fear of God if "the love of God is not strong enough to gain us salvation." The following is Sister Josefa Menendez' own writing after her return from descents into hell.
Sister Josefa wrote with great reticence on the subject of hell. She did it only to conform to Our Blessed Lord's wishes, Our Lady having told her on the 25th October, 1922: "Everything that Jesus allows you to see and to suffer of the torments of hell, is...that you may make it known. So forget yourself entirely, and think only of the glory of the...Salvation of souls.
She repeatedly dwelt on the greatest torment of hell, namely:
"One of these damned souls cried out: "This is my torture...that I want to love and cannot; there is nothing left me but hatred and despair. If one of us could so much as make a single act of love...This would no longer be hell...but we cannot, we live on hatred and malevolence...'(23rd March, 1922)."
Another of these unfortunates said: "The greatest of our torments here is that we are not able to love Him. While we hunger for love, we are consumed with desire of it, but it is too late."
She records, too, the accusations made against themselves by these unhappy souls: "Some yell because of the burning of their hands. Perhaps they were thieves, for they say: "Where is our loot now?...Cursed hands...Why did I want to possess what did not belong to me...and what in any case I could keep only for a few days?"
"Others curse their tongues, their eyes...whatever was the occasion of their sin...'Now, O body, you are paying the price of the delights you granted yourselfˇ...And you did it of your own free will...'" (2nd April 1922).
"I saw many wordly people fall into hell, and now words can render their horrible and terrifying cries: 'Damned for ever...I deceived myself; I am lost...I am here for ever'."
"Today, I saw a vast number of people fall into the fiery pit...they seemed to be wordlings and a demon cried vociferously: "The world is ripe for me...I know that the best way to get hold of souls is to rouse their desire for enjoyment...Put me first...Me before the rest...no humility for me! But let me enjoy myself...This sort of thing assures victory to me...and they tumble headlong into hell'." (4th October 1922).
"Tonight," wrote Josefa, "I did not go down into hell, but was transported to a place where all was obscure, but in the center was a red smouldering fire. They had laid me flat and so bound me that I could not make the slightest movement. Around me were seven or eight people; their black bodies were unclothed, and I could see them only by the reflections of the fire. They were seated and were talking together.
"One devil to another said: "We'll have to be very careful not to be found out, for we might easily be discovered.'
"Another devil answered: 'Insinuate yourselfs by including carelessness in them...but keep in the background, so that you are not found out...by degrees they will become callous, and you will be able to incline them to evil. Tempt these others to ambition, to self-interest, TO ACQUIRING WEALTH WITHOUT WORKING...Excite some to sensuality and love of pleasure'."
Josefa, on her return from hell, noted the following: "I saw several souls fall into hell, and among them was a child of fifteen, cursing her parents for not having taught her to fear God nor that there was a hell. Her life had been a short one, she said, but full of sin, for she had given in to all that he body and passions demanded in the way of satisfaction. Especially she had read bad books." (22nd March, 1923).
"Sounds of confusion and blasphemy cease not for an instant. A sickening stench aphyxiates and corrupts everything; it is like the burning of putrefied flesh, mingled with tar and sulphur...a mixture to which nothing on earth can be compared."