Signs of Eternal Life

During the course of our earthly lives the Lord God permits us to have a foretaste of eternal life, so that we may radically vanquish our egoism and mature to eternal life in Heaven..

A Meeting with the Dead

St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe died a martyr’s death in the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz on August 14, 1941. Immediately after his death he appeared to his mother. Maria Kolbe described this unusual meeting in one of her letters. Upon waking up one morning she knelt down and began her morning prayer. As yet she was still not aware of her son’s martyr’s death. At a certain moment she heard a delicate knocking at the door; she turned around, and was amazed to see her son dressed in his Franciscan habit. Maximillian was joyful, smiling, unusually handsome, and radiating a stunning brightness. Mrs. Kolbe, filled with joy at seeing her son, asked: “My son, have the Nazis released you?” The Franciscan walked through the room, approached the window, and said: “Don’t worry about me, Mother. Where I am it is full of happiness.” After speaking these words, he disappeared. Maria Kolbe understood immediately that her son had died, and that he had come to inform her of this.

Natuzza Evolo (1924–2009), the famous Italian mystic and stigmatic, had an exceptional gift for contacting the dead who were in heaven and in Purgatory, as well as the damned, who by God’s specific order had to offer testimony about the eternal punishment of hell. 

The Lord God endowed Evolo with this special gift of contact with the dead, and she saw them mostly when a living person had come to her with a request for prayer and spiritual help. “It often happens that when someone comes to me,” she said, “I see a dead person next to him or her; it may be a brother, a sister, a father, or a mother. And then these dead tell me important things that I repeat to their relative or friend. I recognize only the souls that are in heaven, because they radiate great happiness and levitate just a bit above the ground. The souls in Purgatory, on the other hand, are hard for me to distinguish from persons living on earth. Many times I have offered them a chair to sit on, and then they tell me: ‘I don’t need it because I’m a spirit from a different world.’”

The messages offered by the dead through Evolo’s mediation have involved, among others, instructions to spouses and about the raising of children. For example on October 5, 1947 the following words were written from a certain deceased woman: “First I speak to mothers: look after the raising of your children; they will be the kinds of persons you raise them to be. Woe to mothers who use contraceptives to oppose conception, and through the atrocity of abortion stifle their children’s births. If they do not repent, they risk eternal damnation in horrific suffering. Why do you want to kill the most innocent and defenseless people on earth? Don’t you know that God calls these children into the community of life with Him in order for them to be with the angels and saints in heaven?”

The souls in Purgatory also call for regular recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation. They encourage us to pick ourselves up from every lapse into mortal sin and to abide in sanctifying grace: “Somebody may think: why do I have to confess to a priest, who might be a bigger sinner than I am?” One of the souls from Purgatory said. “The answer is simple: because every priest in the mystery of the sacrament of confession represents God Himself, and is His instrument. Christ Himself acts through the sacrament of ordination, and performs the miracle of absolving all sins. Ask God for forgiveness for all of your mortal sins, repent and promise to amend your ways. After committing a mortal sin, go to confession immediately. By asking God for forgiveness for your sins you are protected from eternal damnation. On the other hand, penance must be done in Purgatory for all the consequences of sin, through undergoing a variety of often very great sufferings, but at least with the assurance of ultimate salvation.”

Everyone who asked Evolo for information regarding their dearly departed received such concrete and specific answers that they became certain that life does not end at the moment of death, but merely changes, and that heaven, Purgatory, and hell all exist. 

The famous Italian journalist and writer, Vittorio Messori, thoroughly investigated and described one amazing event. It so happened that a certain wealthy resident of Turin fell seriously ill and needed full-time expert care. So he called the convent with a request that they send him a nurse who could take care of him. After that call, a sister would come to the sick man’s house every evening and carefully take care of his nursing needs. After a few months of treatment, the man recovered, and went with his wife to the convent to thank the sister who had cared for him. You will understand their amazement when they heard that the sister for whom they were asking had died several years before. Since it was hard for the couple to believe what they heard, the sisters led them to the cemetery. Only then, seeing the picture of the dead sister on her headstone, were they convinced that this was the same sister whom they had come to thank. Knowing that the dead sister had provided nursing care for several months, the couple reconciled themselves with God in the sacrament of confession, and began to pray earnestly and to attend Mass.


In the lives of many mystic saints there are instances of bilocation, that is, a state in which the person was in two different places at the same time, sometimes in locations separated by thousands of kilometers. This is one of the most mysterious phenomena in the lives of the mystics, and further indicates the existence of the immortal human soul.

St. Padre Pio had the gift of bilocation, and he used it often to bring help to people in need. For him, events of bilocation began when he lay down to sleep. Through bilocation he went to where Jesus sent him – to specific persons – with spiritual support, advice, and help. Saint Anthony of Padua or Saint Francis of Assisi often accompanied him in these “bilocative trips.” The reality of bilocation is not subject to rational explanation. What is really happening during such events? Well, a person leaves his body behind and goes off in spirit to some other place. Bilocation events in St. Padre Pio’s life are amply documented. Among their witnesses are pilots of the allied armies who were stationed in the area of Bari, Italy after August of 1943. Every time that military flights were on their missions and approached San Giovanni Rotondo, the image of the monk appeared in the sky. He would not allow the pilots to drop their bombs in that area, and was able to turn the planes round, sending them back home instead. Practically every place in the region was heavily bombed, while not a single bomb hit San Giovanni Rotondo.

“When the pilots returned after finishing their missions”, the American commander-in-chief, General Rossini remembered, “they explained that at a certain moment a monk appeared in the sky, and immediately the airplane would change its course all by itself.” At first many onlookers did not trust this unlikely story. However, more and more pilots began telling of similar experiences. Among them were representatives of many countries – Americans, British, Poles – and these came from many religions – Jews, Catholics, Protestants, and even non-believers. The general then decided to investigate himself the credibility of these stories. He led a squadron of bombers, which was supposed to destroy a German ammunition dump that was located near San Giovanni Rotondo. In great suspense, all those flying waited to see how the mission would go this time. 

When the squadron returned to the base, it was recorded that the American general was in a state of great shock. He recounted that when they were already close to their target he suddenly noticed, at the altitude at which the airplanes were flying, the figure of a monk with his arms raised. At a particular moment the bombs, acting on their own, released themselves from every single plane and fell harmlessly onto a nearby forest. At the same time, without any action on the part of the pilots, the airplanes turned back, facing towards the direction of their base. This event became the principle topic of discussion of the entire unit. During the discussion someone suggested that the monk was Padre Pio of San Giovanni Rotondo. After the American front advanced, the general and several of his pilots, went to visit San Giovanni Rotondo. At the entrance to the sacristy they noticed that among the monks there was the one who had turned the airplanes around. Padre Pio approached the general, placed his hand on his shoulder, and said: “You wanted to blow all of us to bits!” Hearing these words and seeing Padre Pio, the general experienced a spiritual shock. Afterwards the two men had an extensive conversation. They understood each other perfectly, even though the general was speaking English and Padre Pio was speaking his family dialect from Italy’s Benevento province. It was also well known that Padre Pio did not speak or understand English. After this encounter, the general became a Catholic.

The Lord God gives us signs of eternal life, so that we can face the difficulties of daily life with faith, and grow towards heaven. The Lord Jesus told the mystic Alicja Lenczewska that, “a person’s holiness is born of pain, and a soul is born into heaven by pain. This is why a struggle takes place in the heart – the final primal battle for your life with God. My Child, with your own efforts you must prepare your soul to be reborn in heaven. No one can do it for you. This enormous privilege grants you the right of sonship and a heritage in God. No other creation, aside from mankind, receives this privilege, either on earth or in heaven. Every soul has its own unique mystical contact with Me, which is not available to others, either on earth or in heaven.” (Words of Instruction, 156)