Harrowing of Hell: Descent into the Realm of the Dead

Holy Saturday


In Christian theology, the Harrowing of Hell (Latin: Descensus Christi ad Inferos, “the descent of Christ into Hell”) is the triumphant descent of Christ into Hell (or Hades) between the time of his Crucifixion and his Resurrection when he brought salvation to all of the righteous who had died since the beginning of the world.[1] After his death, the soul of Jesus descended into the realm of the dead.

According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, the story first appears clearly in the Gospel of Nicodemus in the section called the Acts of Pilate, which also appears separately at earlier dates within the Acts of Peter and Paul.

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