The Unrepentant Prostitute.

The Unrepentant Prostitute.

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The Unrepentant Prostitute.

In the year 1707, St. Francis Jerome was preaching, as was his habit, in the neighborhood of the city of Naples. He was speaking of Hell and the awful chastisements that awaits obstinate sinners.

A brazen courtesan (prostitute) who lived there, troubled by a discourse which aroused her remorse, sought to hinder it by jests and shouts, accompanied by noisy instruments. As she was standing close to the window, the Saint cried out: “Beware, my daughter, of resisting grace, before eight days God will punish you.” The unhappy creature grew only more boisterous. 

Eight days elapsed, and the holy preacher happened to be again before the same house. This time she was silent, the windows were shut. The hearers, with dismay on their faces, told the Saint that Catharine (that was the name of the bad woman) had a few hours before died suddenly. “Died!” he repeated. “Well, let her tell us now what she has gained by laughing at Hell. Let us ask her.” He uttered these words in an inspired tone, and everyone expected a miracle. 

Followed by an immense crowd, he went up to the death chamber, and there, after having prayed for an instant, he uncovered the face of the corpse, and said in a loud voice, “Catharine, tell us where art thou now.” At this summons, the dead woman lifted her head while opening her wild eyes, her face borrowed color, her features assumed an expression of horrible despair, and in a mournful voice, she pronounced these words: In Hell, I am in Hell.” And immediately, she fell back again into the condition of a corpse.

“I was present at that event,” says one of the witnesses who deposed before the Apostolic tribunal, “but I never could convey the impression it produced on me and the bystanders, nor that which I still feel every time I pass that house and look at that window. At the sight of that ill-fated abode, I still hear the pitiful cry resounding: “In Hell, I am in Hell.”

~Source:

“Life of St. Francis Jerome” by Father Bach.

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