84 Dante’s journey into Heaven through Hell


Learn how love leads Dante through the depths of Hell, up mount Purgatory and into the highest Heavens! The Divine Comedy is one of the most significant Catholic works of all time, and certainly its greatest love story. Learn how human love can lead a soul into divine love. 

Excerpt from episode

“Dear friends, how many stories do you know dare to traverse the pits of hell while also ascending to the highest heavens? In the 1200s, an exiled Italian poet wrote a very profound love story, one that is now known as The Divine Comedy. This part fiction, part autobiographical tale of a man who journeys through the many rings of hell, up the mountain of purgatory, and into the highest spheres of heaven … is one of the most theologically and visually engaging works ever produced. In terms of its masterpiece-ness, T.S. Eliot famously wrote, “the literary world is divided between Shakespeare and Dante, there is no third.” Since Dante, countless stories and movies and art and video games and romances have been inspired by his imagery – so much so dear listener, that I guarantee you’ve come across Dante even if you think you haven’t … especially in the way you visually think of hell and heaven.

The title Divine Comedy can be a little confusing, for the piece isn’t a comedy in the way a sitcom or a stand up comedian is. Rather a comedy is a literary term for a story that ends with a happy ending, with the opposite being of course a tragedy. Well, the Divine Comedy is the greatest comedy ever written, not only because Dante ends up captivated by the Beatific Vision in heaven, but because, he begins by plummeting the pits of hell. It is a story of incredible suffering, but also of divine hope. And the inspiration for his ascent is actually the love of Beatrice, the one woman Dante dearly loved in his lifetime. More on that later … “

Sountrack credits
The main theme used this episode is Chaveliers de Sangrael (Hans Zimmer), with covers by Matthew Ward and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra