Over 300 years ago, at the convent of Palma di Montechiaro in Sicily , a nun named Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione claims to have been possessed by the devil.
Sister Maria was born on 1645 as Isabela Tomasi, She was just 15 when she joined a Benedictine convent in Palma di monetary it was then she was baptized and renamed as Maria. As devoted as she was to the God but she was not at peace, she told the others she was possessed by the devil himself.
She believed that the devil existed as she was often tormented by him and was even convinced that satan was trying to turn her into evil.
In 1676, one morning Sister Maria woke up covered in ink, as she having spent the night writing letters. Maria, is believed to have been screaming and fainting while writing the notes, which she said the ‘devil’ dictated to her. The language she used to write the note, wasn’t familiar to any body she didn’t used any recognisable alphabets instead the writing featured a bizarre mixture of letters from archaic alphabets and no one was able to decipher the messages.
According to reports, this was not the first time someone had been posessed in 1632 before Sister Maria claimed to have been posessed, a devistating plaque had killed many people. A group of 17 nuns have sealed themselves in the convent to save others. This sparked a controversy about the convent and it was belived the Nuns were also possessed by Devil.
For centuries many code breakers had tried to solve the code and unravel the mystry about the letter which was believed to be written by the satan himself. Thanks to researchers from the Ludum science centre in Italy, part of it has finally been decoded.
To decode it they used a highly code decryption programme software discovered on the dark web. But the scientist believes Sister Maria has created the code using a blend of existing Alphabets, because of her years of religious service she was skilled in ancient and modern languages.
The team manage to crack few lines of the code, the lines they could decipher of the letter it is said to describe God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as “deadweights” and states: “God thinks he can free mortals” but “this system works for no one.” It even goes as far she claims that God was invention by man. She also made reference of a mythological river, the River Styx, which in Greek mythology is said to separate the world of the living from the underworld or netherworld
Despite the findings, the scientist doesn’t believe Sister Maria was ever possessed by the devil, but instead that she may have suffered from a condition like from ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘bipolar disorder’.
Daniele Abate, director of the centre, explained “I personally believe that the nun had a good command of languages, which allowed her to invent the code, and may have suffered from a condition like schizophrenia, which made her imagine dialogues with the Devil.”
Nobody knows what cause Sister Maria to pen the note, every one has their own theory. Some believe it was written the devil some doesn’t. What do you think was it really satan? or the nun is actually hoax and suffered from some psychological disorder.
Visual by: Kunal Kaustav Duwarah
Article by Niladri Sekhar Dutta, The North-Eastern Chronicle