The Golden Legend

And Saint Augustine said: Anon, when Jesus Christ had died, the soul that was united to his Godhead was quick and living and descended into the deepness of Hell. And when he was at the deepest of the darkness, like as a robber shining and terrible to the tyrants of Hell, they beheld him, and began to demand and enquire:
  ‘Who is he that is so strong, so terrible, so clear and so shining? The world, which is subject to us, never sent to us such a dead one as this, and never sent such gifts into Hell. Who is he then that is so constant, that has entered into the furthest end of our parts, and does not fear our torments, and has undone the bonds of those whom we held and kept?  Those that wailed and wept under our torments, no longer fear us, but threaten and menace us.’
   And they said to their prince: ‘What prince are you? All thy gladness is perished and all thy joys are converted into tears. When you hung him on the cross you did not know what damage you would suffer in Hell.’
   After these cruel words of those of Hell, at the commandment of our Lord, all the locks, and all the bars were broken. Then all the saints came kneeling before him, crying with piteous voices, saying: ‘Our Redeemer! You have come to redeem the world where we have waited for you every day; you have descended into Hell for us. Do not leave us, but let us be with you when you will return to your world!. Lord God, show that you have destroyed Hell, bond the author of death with his bonds, rendered gladness to the world, and quenched its pains; and for your pity unbind the captives while you are here, and pardon the sinners!’
   Thus said Saint Augustine.
And it is read in the gospel of Nicodemus that Carinus and Leucius, sons of old Simeon, arose with Jesus Christ. And they were adjured and sworn of Ananias, of Caiaphas, of Nicodemus, of Joseph, and of Gamaliel, that they should tell and say what Jesus did in Hell. And they rehearsed and said: ‘When we were with our fathers in the place of obscurity and darkness, suddenly it was all so light and clear as the colour of the sun, like purple, gold, and light royal, which lit up all the habitation upon us. And Adam, the father of the human lineage, rejoiced, saying: “This light is the light of the creator of the eternal light, who promised to send it to us.” And Isaiah cried: “This is the light of God the Father, who lived on the earth as I prophesised: The people that were in darkness saw a great light.” Then came our Father Simeon, and in rejoicing said: “Glorify our Lord, for I received Christ, a child born in the world, in to mine hands in the Temple, and I was constrained by the Holy Ghost to say, I  I have now seen with mine eyes the salvation you brought, and made ready for all your people.”
  ‘After that,  there came one which seemed to be an hermit, and when we asked him who he was, he told us that he was John that baptized Christ, and he that he had gone before him to prepare his way, and showed him with his finger when he said: ‘Behold the lamb of God’, and I have come here to show to you that he would come soon to visit you.”
   ‘Then Seth said: “When I came to the gate of Paradise to pray, our Lord to send me his angel, and said that he would give to me of the oil of mercy for to anoint the body of Adam my father, which was sick.  When the angel Michael appeared to me he said: “Labour not in praying by weeping for the things here,” anon they were transfigured and were no more seen.’

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