• Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Exorcist Diary #88: A Horror Beyond Description

Coppo di Marcovaldo, The Hell (1225-1274). Baptistery of St. John in Florence. Sinners being tormented by the Devil.

I was doing an intake of a person who reported seeing dark shadow figures. This is a sign that the person really is tormented by demons. In lower levels of demonic possession or oppression, demons are typically hooded and their faces are not seen. If the person enters more deeply into a relationship with the demons, and thus more inured to evil, the horrible visage of demons becomes increasingly revealed.

One possessed person had a direct vision of demons which he described to me. He said, "The demons were horrific to look at. They were distorted and misshapen...Some had claws instead of hands...if they had two eyes or any recognizable limbs, they were malformed...these demons were all like naked, ugly, vicious animals." He went on to say that they were uglier than one could possible imagine. He added that horror movies do not even come close.

Should one end up in hell, Satan and his demons are completely revealed. St. Faustina said the sixth major torture of hell is "the constant company of Satan." She exclaimed, "How terribly ugly Satan is!...Just the sight of him is more disgusting than all the torments of hell." Similarly, St. Catherine of Siena in her Dialogues said, "The sight [of the Devil] is more painful to them, because they see him in his own form, which is so horrible that the heart of man could not imagine it."

But St. Catherine also revealed that the "Saints exult in the sight of [God], refreshing themselves with joyousness ...with such abundance of love." This will be our end, the joyous sight of the surpassing beauty of love that is God, or the indescribable hideousness that is Satan...forever.


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