Saturday, September 10, 2011

I found it!

I think...
Even Fr. Z has asked where the quote comes from referring to souls falling into hell like snowflakes - or leaves falling from the trees in Fall.  Some have attributed it to St. Teresa of Avila (I never came across it), others to the messages of Our Lady of Fatima (I never found it in any of the writings), but now I think I may have found what appears to be the closest, most verifiable contemporary source. 
From a message given by the Blessed Virgin to Venerable Elena Aiello, an Italian nun and mystic, soon to be beatified:
“The Madonna then came closer, and with a sad expression, showed me the flames of Hell. She said:” ‘Satan reigns and triumphs on earth! See how the souls are falling into Hell. See how high the flames are, and the souls who fall into them like flakes of snow look like transparent embers! How many sparks! How many cries of hate, and of despair! How much pain!’" - Mystics of the Church
Soon after my conversion in 1972 I read many mystics and revelations regarding coming chastisements and so on.  I was impressed for a time with Mother Elena, due in part to her devotion to the Holy Face.  Over the years I tried to mortify my interest in private revelation and apparitions since many were in dispute and most seemed unfulfilled.  I also felt such things were novel distractions, somewhat like spiritual science fiction entertainment - not to mention that a lot of crazy people got themselves all worked up over such things.  The freaks often scared me away, but if I did get involved, the initial excitement and fervor gradually diminished and ended in disappointment that nothing 'big' ever happened. 
In the meantime, preachers and teachers kept saying things like, 'in every age there were doomsayers', 'back in such and such century even some of the saints believed the world would end', 'the end of the world comes to every person at death', yadda, yadda,yadda.  So I more or less ignored the increase of mystics and their private revelations, although always keeping in mind the 'warnings' I heard before from mystics such as Mother Aiello.  The earlier revelations became a sort of reference point by which to discern the plethora of new warnings - usually resulting in my wondering if the new mystics hadn't read the same stuff I had.  So here I am today - and the mystics are getting beatified - and I'm still my sinful, skeptical self -  "time will prove where wisdom lies." [Matt. 11:19]
One thing about M. Aiello's 'messages' is that today we can look back on what she wrote and kind of see more clearly what they referred to and how they were either fulfilled or perhaps mitigated.  We also can learn something regarding the nature of private revelations as well - that they are received according to the mode of understanding of the receiver.  In other words, some stuff can be mixed up in the translation, some stuff is symbolic, and so on.  Such communications and messages remain interesting to read and ponder however, and they can be useful to jump-start a tepid devotion, or to cast light upon one's state of soul and/or the troubled times we live in.  Hence they can be good insofar as they lead one to a deeper, more solid devotion and fidelity to the Church and the Gospel.
As Catholics we have the added consolation of knowing that holy persons are never canonized for their private revelations or the mystical phenomena and charisms they may have exhibited while on earth. 
Venerable Elena Aiello will be declared Blessed on September 14, 2011 -Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross.
Photo:  Flaky Bayside visionary, Veronica Lueken claimed to be 'miraculous photo'  of souls falling into hell.  Another reason I don't get involved in mystics and apparitions.


  1. It should also be noted that Mother Elena lived in some hot desert region where snow and tree leaves were rather uncommon.

  2. I thought it was Blessed Anna Maria Taigi.

    Maybe these blesseds have similar visions. How else to describe something so awful those of us who haven't seen it?

    I love blessed Anna Maria so much and now you have introduced me to another from whom I can learn.

    Thank you Mr. Nelson!

  3. Thank you Terry I had never heard of Venerable Elena before. I remembered something earlier today that happened a long time ago that I never confessed. When I was 20-21 I had some doctrinal questions and doubts I was working through and I was sharing these things with a girl I knew who was a convert to the Church. She ultimately converted to Judaism several years later and she thanked me that I had gotten her thinking about Judaism. God have mercy!

    Then I just read what Our Lady told V. Elena, "The sins that distress God the most, are those of the souls who should perfume the air with the fragrance of their virtues. Instead, they contaminate (by their sinful lives) those who come near them."

    Could everyone say a Hail Mary in reparation, please?

    Thank you.

  4. To those with a poor understanding of how to interpret them correctly, private revelations can be a source of extreme and morbid anxiety.

    This I even more so when private revelations "reveal" things that are contrary to Church teaching on morality. For example, St. Bridget of Sweden said married people go to hell for sex during pregnancy and after childbearing years. Such things are horrifying and can cause great anxiety and lack of trust in the Church and her pastors. There's also ghat famous vision where some saint sees 5 out of 33,000 people escape hell, and all 5 were consecrated religious. Why even try as a layperson?

    I find that I have to force myself to ignore most such revelations and simply trust the Chuch an the Catechism and my spiritual director / confessor. Though I love to pray the Fatima prayer - lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.

    Interestingly, people usually use the snowflake thing to "prove" that all but a very tiny, tiny amount of people burn in hell do all eternity. But the quote here seems to indicate the tenuousness of the souls as they are whirled about by the flames, not necessarily the number as such.

  5. +JMJ+

    If the "photo" were an artistic depiction, I'd let it seep into my prayer life and it would probably do some good. Why do even mystics have to be so literal these days?

  6. Love the Girls - she lived in Calabria, Italy - they actually have some trees there - although no forests - and it's been known to snow in the winter time. It wasn't like she's from the Sahara.

  7. When I was in my twenties, I really believed I was going to hell. I had become involved with very anti-catholic fundamentalists. They didn't think I, my children or any of my family were saved. I lost weight, became very depressed, even got a rare form of psoriasis. I looked like Job. I wished I had never heard of God or the devil. My misery seeped throughout the family.

    Eventually, after visiting priests and minister's I read a book about the Church and saw that it was true, the bible was explained to me by proper Catholic translaters and the deficiencies of sola scriptura were given to me. I still believed I had fluffed it with God. I could never sleep. One night as the thoughts inside my head kept telling me I was damned, I shouted out loud at them "I don't care if I am, God is still worthy of praise, so I will praise Him regardless"

    I slept like a flippin log!!! I learned to stop worrying about 'me' and concentrate on loving God. It's a lesson I need to be reminded of, regularly as scruples cause me to seek out scary stories, then run to God and Our Lady's protection in terror. A bit like a child playing "Boo" and "PeePoe"
    My next encounter with fear, came through alcohol. I didn't see that one creeping up.........

  8. Terry Nelson writes : "It wasn't like she's from the Sahara."

    True, but it does make a marked difference to those who hear or read it. If those who hear or read it are living in some German forest region, just as much as it would if she was from the Sahara.

    I once ran across Joe over at Cornell Society who insisted that perhaps 3 or 4 people per year at the most actually made it to purgatory. For him the revelation was if he lived in the densest of forests in year round snowfall.

  9. Mr. Clark Whitney,

    Most people cannot grasp Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

    Most likely your efforts were undone by Modernists extolling their heretical views regarding the Faith to the young lady.

    They will see a Spiritual battle and stand on the sidelines handing fresh ammunition to the enemy.

    Keep praying for her. She was not on the right road to begin with, and still is not.

    Have Faith the Lord will give you another chance, or direct her to His grace through someone else. Keep praying for her.

    Makes you take your Priest studies a little more serious, doesn’t it?

    Round one to the Devil.

    Stop by my web site sometime and listen to some of the sermons.

    I recommend the Requiem Mass sermons, Mrs. Mary Santorum for starters.

    I will remember you in my prayers at Mass tomorrow.


  10. "I once ran across Joe over at Cornell Society who insisted that perhaps 3 or 4 people per year at the most actually made it to purgatory. "

    Who can believe such a thing? If that is true, why even try? Why even pray for the dead, if you believe that everyone you ever loved is burning in hell? This is disgusting - not because I believe any person even deserves to make it to Purgatory or heaven, but because it makes God into a monster tyrant, and his Mercy into a disgusting joke. One can certainly fear such a God, but how can one love or trust Him?

    This makes me want to vomit.

  11. And does such a person ever think that he may very well be leading souls to hell himself by his reckless encouragement - yes, encouragement - to despair?

  12. Mercury: REMINDER!!!

    Are we asked by the angel of Fatima, to pray:

    'Don't Lead all souls to Heaven, but only three or four who are living in the desert to purgatory?'

    No! God sent this prayer through the angel, that best describes His Will, His Heart and His intentions, regarding not just some sinners, but the very worst!!!


    That is GOOD NEWS. That is a hope worth sharing! I guess that's why God did share it! The church has declared the authenticity of Fatima, so if you don't embrace any reassurances again, from the writings of saints, embrace that prayer, daily, hourly. Let the love and will of God towards sinners, the very worst become a part of your will. Mary does, get closer to your mother. Joy arrives soon after. One that the world can't take, cos they didn't give it in the first place.

    So, again Mercury, remember and repeat, the heart felt words of God Himself, because that is what they are.


    Repeat that prayer, knowing God is the author and completer of our souls. Faith moves mountains. Trust me, I'm a doctor! Well, not really, but I do believe in Him who can, if asked, does!

  13. Thanks shadow. Your "prayer" at the beginning of your post made me laugh out loud. :)

    By the way, last night I took a car trip to an event with a coworker from the restaurant I work at. She is also going through an annulment, but not living how she should be. She asked me "are you really not going to date anyone until you have the annulment" and I explained to her that no, I won't, and that even if there is no annulment, I'm going to stay faithful to my vows, which I must assume are valid until death, unless the sacrament can be proven never to have occurred.

    She's a cultural Catholic, not practicing as far as I can tell, so I hope I did the right thing by just calmly explaining how I understand my responsibilities to her and just hearing her out about the troubles she is going through in her life - I didn't "fraternally correct" her, since the way I handled it seemed more prudent. I do feel like I planted a seed, and I had prayed before the trip, asking for the opportunity to do so, to make some difference. When she dropped me off at my car, I prayed a rosary for her on the way home. So please, if anyone can remember my friend "B.V." in your prayers, even if it's just a little Hail Mary, then please do so.

    That means you, shadow :)

  14. Mercury,

    You read like someone who is very unhappy wanting to change the world and miserable because you can't.

    Cheer up, life is wonderful.

  15. Love the girls, why do I seem like I'm unhappy wanting to change the world?

    I'm unhappy because of myself and because I want to just love God and live life joyfully, but make it very hard on myself with worry and more worry.

    And then, just when I am able to stop, I learn from the saints and the wannabe saint trads online that I am going to hell along with everyone I love, and that everything I do and want is a sin.

    This is my fault, not God's.

    And am I supposed to be cheerful when some jerk says 3 or 4 people a year escape hell?


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