AMAZING TESTIMONY from the book Mystics and Miracles from St. Catherine of Siena(1347-1380)
Siena's magistrates had
sentenced two hardened criminals to a brutal public death. They were driven
about town in a cart while executioners tore at their bodies with red-hot
pincers. The condemned men showed no trace of remorse for thir crimes and roared
curses and blasphemies at the people who lined the streets. They had refused to
speak with the priests who had offered to prepare them for death.
Providentially for the prisoners, Catherine happened that day to be visiting a friend who lived on one of the roads the cart had to travel. "Mama, look at this horrible sight," said the woman as the tumultuous parade went by. While Catherine stood at the window observing the terrible scene, she was moved by compassion. In her mind's eye, she saw a mob of demons ready to punish the condemned men even more sadistically in hell.
Immediately she began to pray for the two unfortunates. "My most merciful Lord," she said with her characteristic frankness," why do you show such contempt for your own creatures? Why are you letting them suffer such torture now? And even more vicious torture by these hellish spirits?" Catherine never beat around the bush, even in conversations with God.
To the amazement of all, both criminals suddenly stopped shouting curses and cried out for a priest. They wept and confessed their sins to him. The crucified Christ, they claimed, had appeared to them urging repentance and offering forgiveness. They told the crowd that they expected to be with Christ in heaven, and then they submitted peacefully to their execution.