[The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, Fra Angelica, 1420s]
Our exorcist began to pray over a possessed woman. But at the very beginning of the session, the demons spontaneously shouted, "Charbel, you stay away from me!" The team had not yet been invoking the saints, or St. Charbel by name, so they were surprised he showed up. They were also surprised the demons admitted it. Moments later, as the Litany of the Saints ensued, the demons shouted again and again: "Not that name! Not that name!" This demonic reaction was unusual. Clearly something was up.
An astute exorcist discerns what is working in a session and adjusts the prayers accordingly. The exorcist was initially skeptical, as he should be, and careful not to be deceived by the demons. But as the session continued, it was becoming apparent that these and many other saints were indeed coming to help. Their holiness and intercession were visibly torturing the demons.
Normally, the Litany of the Saints is part of the opening of an exorcism session. Then the exorcist moves quickly into what are thought to be "more important" prayers. However, in this case, the exorcist adjusted his normal routine and stayed with the Litany of the Saints for hours, making it the bulk of the sessions.
Also he had dozens of first class relics of the saints at his fingertips. As the exorcist prayed each name, he laid the corresponding relic of the saint on the afflicted person's forehead. With each relic and invocation of a saint, the demons howled in agony.
The three consecutive days of intensive exorcism sessions were focused on and filled with hours of invoking the saints. Again and again, the demons shouted, "Not that name! Not that name!" St. Patrick. St. Rose of Lima. St. Maximillian Kolbe, The 12 Apostles. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Blessed Michael McGivney. St. Lawrence. Blessed Conchita. St. Teresa and the Carmelite saints. St. Catherine of Alexandria. St. John Eudes. And more.
On day two, the demons began to manifest their leaving. The afflicted woman started coughing up a white frothy foam. The demonic screaming reached a crescendo followed by a kind of demonic "explosion." Then she came back to herself. Again and again, as each set of demons left, there was coughing up of foam, a crescendo and explosion, followed by a moment of calm with the person returning to her conscious self.
Finally, at the end of day three, the exorcist invoked the special intercession of the Virgin Mary. This time, after the demonic explosion, a peace came over the woman and filled the entire room. She came back to herself and said, "It's over." She said that a great weight had been lifted and the demons were gone. Subsequent discernment continues to confirm that the demonic possession had ended.
Each possession and each path to liberation is always somewhat unique. In this case, the exorcist believes that the Lord was teaching him and the team the importance of the communion of the saints and their powerful intercession. Moreover, he said, "It taught me that every part of the Rite is exorcistic, not just the imprecatory prayers that command the demons to leave."
Now the exorcist does not fail to value the prayers which invoke the powerful intercession of the saints. Nor should we.
*We invite you to join Msgr. Stephen Rossetti on our next online deliverance webinar on Monday, November 28, 2022, from 7pm to 8pm Eastern USA time. Please register if you wish to attend.
**Msgr. Stephen Rossetti will lead an online Advent Deliverance Retreat from 11am to 2pm Eastern USA time (same as New York City) on Saturday December 10th. The three-hour session will include talks on identifying demonic portals and attacks, efficacious prayers for healing, authority in the deliverance ministry, and protecting self and family. He will answer a number of questions on spiritual warfare posed by those attending. Msgr. Rossetti will lead an extensive deliverance session including numerous prayers for deliverance and healing. This retreat is designed for those who want to know more about spiritual warfare and who want a deeper personal experience of deliverance and healing. Register here. Or register at: www.catholicexorcism.org