"He descended into Hell" - What does that mean?

Just a quick question from a line of the Rosary. What does that mean? Who went to hell? Why? Please explain.

Hello Luigi, and welcome.

Christ descended into hell.

The Church teaches that Jesus decended into hell and in his soul joined other in ther realm of the dead.
But he decended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.
Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was rec’d into “Abraham’s bosom”.
It is precisely these holysouls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.
Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned ,nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

:)Hope this helps! Peace, Carlan

Here is a link that explains it. It is from Pope John Paul II. He begins to address this in the first paragraph of “The Abode of the Dead.”

Hi,

This is taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

#632

The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.

#633

Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

#634

“The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

#635

Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.” Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

[quote]Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”

[/quote]


Hope this helps.

God bless.

That’s from the 5th article of the creed, not the rosary, the creed is just prayed at the beginning of the rosary,
and what it means is, that when Christ died, He went into the part of hell called “limbo” to free the just souls detained there, since heaven was closed before His death, so after He “Conquered death” He opened the gates of heaven and freed the souls from limbo.

to better understand the creed, here is an old book which covers just about everything you might want to know - archive.org/stream/creedexplainedor00devirich#page/n5/mode/2up
that’s free to read online.

ok, hope this helps, take care.

Jesus did not descend into the hell of the damned. He went to Limbo where the souls of those who had died, but could not enter heaven before redemption, were waiting. The word “hell” is somewhat misleading in this instance. Sheol is a better choice.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.