In 1676, a Sicilian nun claimed she was battling Satan, and in the process produced a letter that was not deciphered until 300 years later.
A mysterious letter written more than 300 years ago by a Sicilian nun who claimed to be possessed by Satan has finally been deciphered. Scientists used a deep-web code breaker to read the letter.
Surprising to believe that the author of the letter was a nun who described God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "dead weights."
Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione, 31, lived at the convent of Palm di Montechiaro in Sicily. Imagine the horror when the sisters found her on August 11, 1676 on the floor of her cell, holding a letter written in a mix of symbols and letters that didn't make any sense. Her hands and face were covered in ink.
The shock deepened when she said the author of the letter was the devil himself, trying to lure her away from God and towards evil.
The 14 lines of archaic letters and their meaning stumped researchers for over 350 years.
Ludum Science Museum in Sicily used a code-breaking software to solve the riddle. The scientists also looked at the historical records concerning Sister Maria.
Sister Maria, (born Isabella Tomasi) was only 15 years old when she entered the Benedictine convent. Her family had just come to Sicily to live, and it appears her family was not very religious since she was baptized after joining the convent.
Sister Maria was known to scream and faint at the altar. She frequently warned others that the devil was trying to get her to serve evil rather than God.
She confessed that she was possessed by Lucifer to the Priest when she felt an intense fit of rage. She targeted her anger towards the Priest. After coming to her senses, Sister Maria showed no signs of being aware of what she had done.
The researchers believed the nun had used some type of shorthand, and they tested their theory feeding standard shorthand symbols into the software.
It turned the letter contained a mix of of words from ancient alphabets such as Greek, Latin, Runic and Arabic. The team found that Sister Maria had a good command of languages.
Once deciphered not all the contents made sense. She called the Holy Trinity "dead weights," and that "God thinks he can free mortals ... The system works for no one ... Perhaps now, Styx is certain."
Ludum director, Daniele Abate believes Sister Maria suffered from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. He said, "The image of the devil is often present in these disorders. We learned from historical records that every night she screamed and fought against the devil."
Abbess Maria Serafica, saw the letter as proof that she battled against "innumerable evil spirits."
According to the abbess' written account, Sister Maria instead of signing her name to the document ended it with "Ohimé" (oh me) which was the only part of letter to be easily understood.
What became of Sister Maria after that night in August, 1676, is unknown. The nuns continued to care for her as they had until then. Was she mentally ill, or was she possessed by the devil is a question left to be unanswered.
Perhaps her family recognized the early signs of her mental illness, and despite the fact they had not baptized their daughter, believed the devil was influencing her. Perhaps they thought the best place for her would be inside convent walls. Could the separation from her family, or vows taken when she was only a teenager have overwhelmed her as an adult, causing her to fall into the deep abyss of believing she was the devil's plaything?
Source - Catholic.org
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer