The Devil's Letter

The Devil's Letter is a missive written in incomprehensible characters and was kept in the cloistered Monastery of Palma di Montechiaro (Agrigento). The one in the possession of the Monastery would be a copy, while the original is located in the tower of the Cathedral of Agrigento.  According to legend, Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione of the Palma di Montechiaro convent in southern Italy woke after a fainting spell on August 11, 1676 to find her face covered in ink. Sister Maria and the others at the convent of Palma di Montechiaro believed the letters were a scheme by Lucifer to convince her to turn away from God.

Unfortunately, only one of Sister Maria’s letters composed in 1676 survived, and its text had stumped scholars and codebreakers since then.


341 years later, researchers from the Ludum Science Center in Sicily unscrambled the letter using an algorithm found on the Dark Web.

“We heard about the software, which we believe is used by the intelligence services for codebreaking,” Center director Daniele Abete told The Times of London. “We primed the software with Ancient Greek, Arabic, the Runic alphabet and Latin to de-scramble some of the letter and show that it really is devilish.”

The letter describes the relationship between humans, God and Satan in a rambling and inconsistent manner.

A popular legend states that the translation of the letter is as follows: "my son Calogero Iacona will command all countries and cities, but he will always be alone and will act in a gentle manner..."

The Devil's Letter inspired a novel by Sergio Campailla.

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