Article by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
Saints who saw Hell
And Other Catholic Witnesses to the Fate of the Damned
by Paul Thigpen
This book is completely faithful to Catholic Tradition. Hell is real and the God who has created us with free will will not force us not to end up in hell.
The author tells us that there are two kinds of revelation: public and private.
Public revelation has to be believed. Private revelation, even those approved by the Church, need not be. However, it is fitting insofar as it helps us keep faith.
The saints examined in this book were wonderful people who cannot be accused of undue pessimism. St John Bosco, for example, was full of joy. But he had vivid visions of hell. So did the great St Teresa of Avila, as did St Catherine of Siena, Anne Catherine Emmerich, and Mary of Agreda. Those who think that a merciful God will not allow souls to end in hell need to read the visions that St Faustina, secretary of Divine Mercy, had of hell. Perhaps most famously, there are the descriptions of hell given by Sister Lucia, the great seer of Fatima.
Liberal Catholics don't believe in hell. Or, they think no one actually goes there. There is ample evidence in this book to show us otherwise.
Someone told Padre Pio that they didn't believe in hell. Padre Pio responded: "you will when you go there!" This book is a much needed reminder of the reality of hell.