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Exorcist Diary #248: Mary, Mother of Exorcists

[Basilica of San Frediano, Lucca Italy; Mary defending child from demon, photo by author]**

I have never heard of Jesus personally showing up in an exorcism and casting out the demons. Perhaps it has happened but I have not yet heard of one.

Of course, it is in Jesus' holy name that the demons are cast out. Recently, a possessed person told me that whenever I say the holy name of Jesus, it makes the demons "seriously angry" and he finds it "very painful." Jesus' death and resurrection is THE fundamental exorcism that smashed Satan's kingdom. The name and power of Christ casts out demons. So then why doesn't He personally show up at exorcisms?

Understanding who Satan is and thus his punishment is important. Satan tried to make himself equal to God. As one of our exorcism prayers addresses Satan, "In your great pride you still presume to be held equal [to God]." One might speculate that if Jesus, the God-man, were to show up in person to cast out Satan, it would support his delusions that he can be on the same plane as God, to challenge Him, and to be equal to Him. But Satan is dust compared to Jesus; he is a lowly creature who has made himself even lower because of his evil.

Moreover, it is often speculated by theologians that one of the reasons Satan originally rebelled against God was in response to the revelation of the Incarnation. For Satan, it was an insult that God would choose to exalt our lowly humanity instead of his superior angelic nature. Satan's pride blinded him and he became enraged against Jesus and all of humanity, perpetually dedicated to destroying it.

In response, Jesus sends a "lowly" woman from Palestine to cast him out. Her only "weapons" are her love for Jesus, her total humility, and her obedience to God. It is precisely in these that we humans triumph over evil. According to Divine justice, Satan is enduring a reality he never learned: the essence of true power belonging to God. As St. Paul says: "I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me" (2 Cor 12:9).

I personally believe that the entire ministry of exorcism has been delegated by God to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the Mother of Exorcists; I believe she is spiritually present at every exorcism; and she often makes her presence directly felt in casting out Satan.

I do not know a seasoned exorcist who does not have a deep, heart-felt devotion to the Mother of God. In fact, I tell new exorcists in training that such a devotion is not simply a pious addition to one's ministry. It is essential. We begin every exorcism invoking the aid of the most powerful Mother of God.

Mary, Mother of Exorcists, pray for us.


*The next online deliverance prayer session is Monday, July 17th, 7-8pm Eastern time. Register here or:

**Author's Note: While I like the depiction of Mary defending the child against the demons, the image of Mary violently swinging a bat might be misleading. When she casts out demons, she does so with the overpowering grace of love and humility from Jesus. It is not a violent act although the demons might perceive it as such.


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