Last Saturday in the Octave of Easter, I experienced the power of the Risen Lord over a person possessed by an unclean spirit. This was the third time that I ministered to the person. Prior to the pray-over, I celebrated Holy Mass and beseeched the Lord to make manifest to us the grandeur of the triumph of His resurrection over the evil one.
I began the pray-over with the anointing of the oil of catechumens, followed by a Litany to the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. As we already have a name of the major demon involved in this case which was extracted in the first two earlier sessions with the afflicted, the team agreed to seek the intercession of the holy archangels in combating this ancient foe. During the pray-over, it did not take long that the demon manifested itself, as the spiritually afflicted started to react with a series of coughing at first mild then becoming heavier and heavier. When it came to the part of the prayer that commands (Praecipio) the unclean spirit to give its name, it did not respond immediately. This was to be expected. So I immediately proceeded to read the part of the gospel according to Mark 16:15-18. During the reading of the Gospel, it was very clear that the unclean spirit was agitated. Was it perhaps because it speaks about the power given by Christ to those who will believe in His name?
I knew from previous experiences that if an unclean spirit reacts immediately, it meant it is already sorely vexed as an effect of the previous exorcisms and the intense prayer life of the spiritually afflicted, so much so that an additional powerful exorcism prayer would be a heavy blow to its stronghold. I did not return immediately to the Praecipio prayer, but instead begged the Blessed Mother for assistance as we prayed aloud the August Queen of the Angels. The prayer did not elicit any violent reaction from the demon, until the part that we added the words Hallelujah at the end of the prayer. During Eastertide, the Hallelujah is added to prayers as a sign of rejoicing. When the Hallelujah was said the demon suddenly said in a loud voice: "No!" I followed the prayer with the verse: "Deign that we may praise you O Sacred Virgin, Hallelujah!" And immediately the demon screamed: "No!" But that was drowned by the response of the team: "And give us strength against your enemies, Hallelujah!" Again the demon screamed: "No!" I was wondering whether it was reacting to the prayer to Our Lady or to the Hallelujah? Perhaps both.
I proceeded immediately to the Praecipio prayer. I wanted to test my theory on whether the demon was reacting to the news of the resurrection, so when it came to that part of "...ut per mysteria incarnationis, passionis, resurrectionis, et ascentionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi,..." I deliberately toned down my voice on the incarnationis (incarnation) and passionis (passion) and there was not significant reaction on the part of the unclean spirit. When it came to the resurrectionis (resurrection) word, I upped my voice in a confident and triumphant tone. And there the demon reacted vehemently: "Nooooo!" I repeated the word three times and it was very evident that the unclean spirit was very much vexed. When I reached the part of "dicas mihi nomen tuum" (tell me your name), it immediately answered: "Asmodeo" (Asmodeus). It was the same name it gave in the earlier exorcism sessions. But when I asked it: "diem, et horam exitus tui" (day and time of your departure); it answered: "Never!" I repeated the Praecipio prayer a couple of times more in the manner I did earlier and I received the same reaction and answer.
|Artist's conception of the demon Asmodeus|
Now certain of its identity, I went to pray the Exorcism Prayer I: "Exorcizo, te, Asmode, immundisime spiritus,..." (I cast you out, Asmodeus, you unclean spirit...). Armed with the thought that it is sorely oppressed by the news of the resurrection of Christ, I capitalized on it each time I would mention the name of Christ. I would address Christ as the Risen Christ. Hence, when it came to the line: "in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi eradicare, et effugare ab hoc plasmate Dei." (In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, depart and vanish from this creature of God.) and also "quid stas, et resistis, cum scias, Christum Dominum via tuas perdere?" (Why do you tarry by resisting, when you know that Christ the Lord has brought your plans to nothing? I added resurrexit (risen) to Christ's name. As expected its reaction to the addition was immediate. It knew of its defeat in the resurrection. But its pride prevents it from surrendering immediately. I repeated those lines again and again but each time its answer was a defiant "No!" It threatened of killing me in the night but I did not listen nor feared him. I know very well he has no power over me. Everything is in the hands of the Heavenly Father.
Even in the supplication prayer, I never failed to add the word risen whenever the holy name of Jesus Christ is mentioned. I would say that I was amused as the demon would react with a grunt whenever that word was added; but each time it would react, it emboldened me all the more, for I am seeing the effect of the mystery of the resurrection of Christ in the pain the demon was experiencing. Why am I saying that it is specifically angry at the word risen when in fact the same prayer without the word is used everytime in a solemn exorcism? This demon Asmodeus is not unfamiliar to us we have encountered him many times over but it does not react immediately this way. In the succeeding exorcism prayers I made sure to add the title risen to the Savior's name and emphasized them repeatedly. But each time the defiance was evidently becoming weaker.
At one point in the Exorcism Prayer II, when I was saying the words: "contremisce, et effuge, invocato nomine Domini illius, quem inferi tremunt: cui Virtutes caelorum, et Potestates, et Dominationes subjectae sunt: quem Cherubim et Seraphim indefessis vocibus laudant, dicentes: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth... (Quake and fly afar, as we call upon the name of the Lord, before Whom hell trembles, to Whom the heavenly Virtues and Powers and Dominations are subject, Whom the Cherubim and Seraphim praise with unending voice as they sing: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!) The spiritually afflicted was moving its bowed head left to right in the manner of saying no. The demon was saying: "Stop praying that!" But I continued repeating those lines and in fact asked the whole team to repeat with me the words: "Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory." We said the hymn of praise about seven times. And while the team was saying the hymn in unison and in clear confidence, I commanded the unclean spirit in these words: "Unclean spirit, Asmodeus, I command you in the name of Him who is the first-born among the dead (Colossians 1:18) and whose name is above every other name (Philippians 2:9), to worship and glorify Him in the words that you used to sing unceasingly in His presence before your expulsion from heaven." It was defiant in its answer: "No!" However, I commanded it again: "Asmodeus, in the name of Him who crushed your proud head (Genesis 3:15) by His resurrection from the dead, I command you to worship Him!" With a rebellious voice it responded: "Never!" So I continued: "Asmodeus, the Risen Lord Jesus has forever destroyed your dominion! You are completely under His power and authority! Worship Him!" And the spiritually afflicted bellowed out loud: "Aaaaaaaah!" And started to vomit so a large amount of frotty liquid. With this we knew that we have unshackled the victim from the demon.
I continued with all the exorcism prayers one after the other and the vomiting did not stop either. It was clear to us that the demon was no longer resisting as it was not talking or saying something. The afflicted was just expelling and expelling frotty liquid. I must have finished about six exorcism prayers, five from the Roman Ritual and one from the Eastern Catholic Exorcism Prayers until the afflicted stopped vomiting and there was no longer any reaction to the prayers.
I called the team for a moment of discernment and we left the client in the chapel. I asked him to pray and express gratitude to the Lord for the spiritual liberation. During the discernment period, the members of the team all expressed what they felt and seen during the pray-over. They saw a big angry demon shaped like a monstrous black bat; which disintegrated into small bats who lost its wings and fell to the ground and melted. Then they saw a big serpent whose body was being chopped during the prayers and those body parts were melting until they were no more. Then there was the bull that lost its horns and disappeared and a rooster that lost its legs and died These were all symbolic of the demon Asmodeus' defeat. I asked have we in God's mercy cast it out completely? And their answer was: "We did not see anything anymore after the first four exorcism prayers." I took that as a yes. And that the non-violent response of the spiritually afflicted to the prayers meant he has been spiritually liberated finally.
We went back to the adoration chapel and recounted our discernment with the client. I asked him how he is feeling. He said tired but very relieved and peaceful. There is no longer any pain in his chest, he said. And as he was praying alone, he was praising the Lord and he could say the divine praises now with devotion and no pressing feeling in his body. I prayed over him for the last time, the Infilling Prayer after Deliverance, and the Cleansing Prayer. I reminded him of his need to be truly converted and walk in the ways of the Lord to be truly liberated from the Evil One. I then told him to continually give praise to the Lord, after which I gave the Final Blessing.
That day was indeed a wonderful moment. We in the team saw with our own eyes the power of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. There is no doubt in my mind He has indeed become victor over sin, death, and the devil. Indeed how wonderful the words of the Te Deum referring to Christ's victory:
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free, you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.