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January 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The best Christmas gift is always that which is rare and truly needed and of great value. Naturally, for all of us, the very greatest Gift is Christ Himself in the Holy Eucharist, and that is offered to us by priests. But apart from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass there are other gifts most valuable due to their rarity, our own need of them, and their importance for us. 

US Bishop Joseph Strickland, who is without doubt one of the most faithful bishops in North America, and indeed the world, offered what some may have thought a strange gift to his flock this Christmas. On December 22, Bishop Strickland published a blogpost called, “A very special Christmas blessing.” 

He admitted himself that many may find it “a very strange Christmas blessing,” but, he added that it was his prayer that would “enhance our celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

What was the Christmas blessing? What is so valuable, so rare, and so sorely needed by the faithful today so as to make this blogpost the best Christmas gift this year? 

It was the description of Hell from St. Faustina’s vision of hell. Read it below and see if you’ve every heard anything like it before. We are always supposed to contemplate the four last things. And here is that description taken from the diary of St. Faustina Kowalska. I warn you that this description is quite disturbing but most beneficial and necessary, especially today. 

In her “Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul,” St. Faustina writes: 

Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is!  

The kinds of tortures I saw; the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one’s condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it — a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies.  

These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. 

I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like. 

I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. 

Bishop Strickland noted that as St. Faustina speaks of her vision of hell she reminds us that this is a destiny we can avoid because, “God so loved the world that He gave us His only Begotten Son.” Bishop Strickland concludes: “Let us listen to Him, repent of our sins, seek reparation for our sins and embrace the fullness of His Mercy! May our celebration of Christmas this year be enhanced by a sober realization of what Jesus Christ God's Divine Son has saved us from! 

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.

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