Satan’s enigma: ‘Possessed’ nun’s 17th-century letter deciphered

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.

The message — indeed devilish — describes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as “dead weights,” the researcher said.

It was penned by Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione, a 31-year-old nun living at the convent of Palma di Montechiaro in Sicily. On Aug. 11, 1676, she was found on the floor of her cell, her face covered in ink, holding a note written in an incomprehensible mix of symbols and letters, according to historical records. Sister Maria apparently said the letter was written by the devil in an attempt to get her to turn away from God and toward evil, historical accounts suggest. [In Photos: ‘Demon Burials’ Discovered in Poland Cemetery]

The message, just 14 lines of jumbled, archaic letters, has for centuries defied every attempt at understanding its meaning.

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