Matt C. Abbott
'The Devil in the City of Angels'
By Matt C. Abbott
November 20, 2019

Below is an excerpt from The Devil in the City of Angels, by Jesse Romero. Thanks to TAN Books for allowing me to publish this excerpt in my column. Click here to order a copy of the book from


Life continues for all of us. This tragedy made the Mendozas become practicing Catholics. They convalidated their marriage in the Catholic Church after cohabitating for twenty years. About three months after their son Andy died, I received a phone call from Mr. Mendoza at about 3 a.m. He was exhilarated and very emotional; he spoke fast, like he was electrically charged. He said, "Jesse, Andy appeared to us; he appeared to us in our bedroom at the foot of our bed. My wife saw him also."

I told him calm down, slow down, speak slowly. Mr. Mendoza said his son appeared to him like a ghost at the foot of his bed in the bedroom and was shouting and pleading to him, saying, "Daddy, Daddy, help me. I'm burning here, help me. I'm burning here. I'm burning. Please, Daddy, go and offer thirty Masses for me. Please, Daddy, go and offer thirty Masses for me." His son then disappeared. Mrs. Mendoza was also on the phone with me; she confirmed that she saw the exact same vision of her son that Mr. Mendoza saw. Mr. Mendoza, who was very choked up, asked me, "Jesse, what does this mean?"

Mr. Mendoza was a very simple low information Catholic, and his son knew virtually nothing about the Catholic faith in his short life on earth. I told Mr. Mendoza, "Praise the Lord. Based on the vision of your son, he is in purgatory. There is a pious Catholic tradition given to us by Pope Gregory the Great in AD 590 that if you offer thirty consecutive Masses for the soul of someone who dies in a state of grace (i.e., with no mortal sins), the Lord will set them free from purgatory and they will enter heaven on the thirtieth Mass. Mr. Mendoza went in the morning to offer thirty consecutive Masses for the repose of the soul of his son Andy at his parish.

This young man was like St. Dismas, the good thief who stole heaven right before he died because he was forgiven by God himself. Objectively speaking, Andy's story is a modern-day tragedy; he committed suicide at a very young age, was a Satanist, and a drug addict. He made a pact with Satan and even had a satanic tattoo on the top of his head as a sign of his commitment to Satan. By all outward appearances, Andy was clearly headed for hell, but at the last moment of his life, it appears very strongly that he opened his heart to Christ while in a coma, received the prayers, repented in his heart, and had contrition.

It appears as if he totally opened himself to the sanctifying grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and died at peace and friendship with God. It appears that he did, in fact, have his many sins forgiven through the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and was being purified by the fires of God's love in purgatory. Mr. Mendoza's vision of his son is evidence that Andy was saved like the thief on the cross in the last moments of his life. My hope is that Andy has been released from purgatory and is now in heaven praying for us. My hope is that I will see him one day, no longer with a satanic tattoo on his head, but washed and made totally clean by the blood of the lamb.


Related link:

"Standing Against The Devil In L.A."

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 "Unsolved" podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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