The Holy Angels - Safeguards, by Father Richard O'Kennedy

What are the safeguards against the demon's power?

(1) To trust in God, and to trust in Him unboundedly. God is the Sovereign Ruler and Preserver of all. In Saint Matthew (6:25) our Blessed Lord says: "Be not solicitous for your life what you shall eat, nor for your body what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air; for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?"

(2) To call on the holy Name of Jesus. Saint Bernardine says: "When the Apostle Paul was rapt to the third heaven, and saw the Divine Essence, in that vision we may assume, that when he saw the glorious God in the glory of the Father, established in the heavenly places above principality, power, virtue, and domination, and above every name that shall be named in this world and the next, and when he saw Him in such sublimity of glory, enraptured with the sight, he exclaimed from his inmost heart: Jesus! Jesus! my Lord! At the naming of that Name, and the utterance of that cry, all the heavenly citizens genuflected, adoring Jesus at the invocation of His holy Name. At that same invocation, he understood that the demons in hell prostrated themselves, as did also the souls of the Church suffering. And therefore it was that, returning from the heavens, and remembering what he saw, he wrote in the spirit of God commanding that in the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of those in heaven, on earth, and in hell the heavenly spirits by glory, the earthly spirits by grace, and the infernal spirits by everlasting justice adoring and honouring Him." - Sermon 49, Dominic Palm

"But because it is unwillingly and with the utmost grudge that the demons pay honour to this holy Name, it is therefore with the greatest hatred and loathing they hear it invoked, and therefore it ought to be ever devoutly and reverently on the lips of those who, through Him, have been saved." (Brognolo)

Upon the text: "And He gave them (the disciples) power over unclean spirits, that they would cast them out, and that they would heal every infirmity and disease" - upon the answer of "the 72," "they returning in joy said: Lord we have even cast out devils in Thy Name" and upon our Blessed Lord's reply: "I have seen Satan, as lightning falling from heaven" Saint Bernard has this most encouraging comment. Speaking in the Name of our Blessed Lord he says: "Do not be astonished if the devils fear my Name and that it drive them out of men, when by its power Satan and his angels were expelled from heaven and fell rapid as the lightning into hell. This also is what is stated in the Apocalypse (chapter 12). After the battle was waged in heaven between Michael and the dragon, and after he was overthrown, and cast into endless torments, the blessed of God rejoiced and cried: Now is Salvation and Power; that is, from the holy Name of Jesus has come a saving Power, and Virtue has gone out from His Christ." "Holy and terrible is His Name," says the Psalmist (chapter 10), holy indeed to His angels and the faithful on earth, but terrible to the demons.

We have examples, all through the ages of the Church, of demons being expelled at the invocation of the sacred Name.

In the Acts (chapter 16), we read that Paul expelled one of those demons from a Pythoness: "I order you," he said, "in the Name of Jesus Christ to depart from her. And he departed from her that hour."

Saint Clement tells that Saint Peter thus, spoke to a demon: "I care not how you entered, but in the Name of Jesus Christ I order you to depart from the man."

Of Saint John the Evangelist, we read that he said: "I interdict you in the Name of Jesus Christ that you dwell here any longer." And again: "In the name of Jesus Christ depart hence, and never again return."

All the Fathers who have written of the holy Name, in their Homilies, Sermons, Treatises, or Meditations, have unanimously enlarged on this power of the sacred Name. Thus spoke Saint Justin Martyr against Tryphon, Origen against Celsus, Tertullian on the Soldiers Crown, Saint Cyprian against Demetrius, and Saint Athanasius, de Incarn.

Saint Gregory writing on the text: "But the signs of those who will believe are those which follow. In My Name they shall cast out demons, they shall speak in strange tongues, they shall handle serpents, and if they shall taste anything deadly it shall not harm them. On the sick they shall lay their hands, and they shall recover." Mark (16) says: "Whether are we to conclude because these things now rarely occur, that there is little or no faith? By no means. But these things were necessary in the beginning of the Church; for when great crowds were being converted, it was necessary that their infant faith should be as it were nourished, just as we water young plants." This will answer an objection that some may raise as to the thing not being done so frequently in aftertimes as in the days of the Apostles; yet, anyone reading the Lives of the Saints and the more detailed histories of the Church will find innumerable examples.

Saint Cyriacus, Deacon, when in prison for the faith, wrought many miracles; among the rest he freed by his prayers from the possession of the demon, Arthemia, daughter of Diocletian. Being sent to Sapor, King of Persia, he rescued his daughter, Jobia, from the possession of a nefarious spirit. - Roman Breviary, August 8

Saint Bernardine tells of the great Saint Bernard that when he had come to Pavia from Milan, a certain man came to him, leading on his wife who was possessed by a demon. Then the demon through the woman's mouth began to cry out: "Not me from my betrothed will this feeder-on-herbs, this vegetable-eater, drive out." "It is not Bernard will drive you out," answered the Saint, "but it is our Lord Jesus Christ." By and bye, when the Saint was praying, the evil spirit cried: "Oh, willingly would I depart, but I cannot. The great Lord does not wish it." To whom the Saint made answer: "And who is the great Lord?" He replied: "Jesus the Nazarene." And then the man of God said: "Have you ever seen Him?" But he answered, "Yes." The Saint asked: "Where have you seen Him?" "In glory," was the reply. "And were you in glory?" asked the Saint. "Yes," answered the demon. (It must be understood not confirmed in glory.) "How then have you left it?" demanded Bernard. And he got for reply, uttered in a wailing tone: "Alas! many of us fell with Lucifer." Everybody standing by heard these replies coming from the mouth of the woman. Then the man of God put this query: "Would you wish to return?" But the demon, cackling in a most awful manner, cried out: "Too late! too late!" Then the Saint prayed, and the demon departed from the woman. But when the blessed Bernard had left, and was gone a good distance away, the demon attempted to return again into the woman, whereupon the woman's husband ran after the Saint and told him what had happened. But he, having taken a paper, cut it in the form of a circle, and wrote there on: "I order thee, demon, in the Name of our Lord Jesus, that you never again attempt to touch this woman." This he told the man to place around his wife's neck. He did so, and the demon never ventured to harm her thereafter.

"But for the honour and glory of this holy Name, as also for its utility to the faithful in general, it is well to add, that this Name is given to men, not only to cast out devils, but for many other purposes; and hence our Blessed Lord, after saying: 'In my Name they shall cast out devils,' immediately adds: 'They shall speak in strange tongues, they shall handle serpents,'" etc., etc. (Brognolo).

Saint Bernardine says: "This most holy Name is a general remedy for all who are ailing," - that is, who are ailing from the evils brought on by original sin. "And hence in every weakness, whether of body or of soul, arising from that, we are to have recourse to the holy Name."

Saint Peter Ravenna says: "This is the Name that has given sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, the power of walk to the lame and the stricken, speech to the dumb, life to the dead, and has put to flight even the whole power of legions of demons over obsessed or possessed bodies."

Saint Bernardine again says: "If any infirmity happens to you or yours, do not cast aside proper or suitable remedies, but at the same time have recourse to the most holy Name of Jesus. It often happens that natural remedies will not assist the sick, on account of the weakness of the person, or the strength of the disease, or the failure of properly diagnosing it, or that the sickness itself is irremediable of its own nature; hence the faithful ought at once to fly to the feet of Jesus and have recourse to that holy Name, by whose efficacy demons are driven out, serpents handled, poisons nullified, and infirmities driven away." "Everyone who calleth on the Name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved." (Acts 2)

Saint Bernardine relates a singular story of Saint Denis, the Areopagite, while he was still a pagan: "It happened that Saint Paul was passing by Athens, and a blind man came before him. Saint Denis, being still a pagan, said to the Apostle: If you will say to this blind man: In the name of my God open thy eyes and see, and that he shall see, I will at once believe in your teaching; but in order that you may not use any magic arts, he continued: I will myself prescribe the form of words that you are to use. These, they shall be: In the Name of Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, was crucified, died, and was buried, who arose from the grave, and ascended into heaven, receive thy sight. Then Paul replied: That there might be no suspicion of foul play or magic arts, I wish that you yourself would use those very words you have spoken. Saint Denis made use of the words: In the Name of the Lord Jesus, etc., I say to thee, blind man, receive thy sight; and lo! the blind man saw. And so," adds Saint Bernardine, "many in our times, have experienced both in their own cases as well as in those of others." - Sermon 49, On the Name of Jesus

(3) To call on the most holy Name of Mary. "We embrace under one invocation the most noble persons of Jesus Christ our Lord, and of the most blessed Virgin Mary His mother. It surely is not fitting to separate those who have been united in the closest bonds both of nature and of grace." (Brognolo) Arnold Carnotensis says: "It is but one, the flesh of Mary and of Christ, but one spirit, and one charity, and therefore it was said by the angel: The Lord is with thee." This the faithful understand, and hence in all their troubles and temptations they unite the sweet names of Jesus and Mary; and the Church has solemnly sanctioned this in granting an indulgence of 25 days for saying: "Jesus and Mary". The most august name of Mary signifies Queen, and she is Queen not alone of angels and of men, but of demons also; and the demons are as obedient as any others to her.

Saint Bernard says: "The demons not only fear the Blessed Virgin, but when they hear the name of Mary they tremble with dread." And again: "Whenever the name of Mary is invoked, the evil power of the demon is warded off; because Mary is terrible as an army set in battle array." And he gives the reason, when he writes on these words: "And she shall crush thy head." Mary crushes the head of the serpent, when the head being the seat of thought she tramples on and destroys every malicious suggestion of the evil one.

In the Revelations of Saint Brigid it is told: "All the demons venerate and fear this name, and when they hear her holy name they immediately depart from the soul which before they held possession of."

Saint Bonaventure says: "Not so much do men fear an army drawn up against them, arrayed in all the panoply of war, as the demons fear the invocation of Mary's name, or the power of her patronage. As wax melts and loses its natural strength and solidity when held to the fire, so the demons lose their brazen hardihood, wherever they find her sacred name frequently called upon, her patronage invoked, or her example followed."

Saint Germanus, addressing the Blessed Virgin, says: "Thou, by the bare invocation of thy holy name, dost put to flight the attacks of the most virulent demon, and preservest safe and secure thy clients who devoutly invoke thee."

Denis, the Carthusian, says: "There are no souls so cold in divine love, that if they invoke the sacred name with a firm purpose of amending, that the devil will not depart from them."

Brognolo says: "It sometimes happens that our Blessed Lord Jesus will grant a favour more easily at the invocation of most holy Mary's name, than even at His own."

Saint Anselm says: "More quickly at times does salvation come at the invocation of the name of Blessed Mary, than even at that of her Divine Son: and this, not indeed that she is greater or more powerful than He; nor is it through her that He is great and powerful, but she through Him. Wherefore, then, should it be that grace and favours will at times come to us more quickly through her than through Him? I say what I feel. Her Son is Lord of all, judging and discerning the merits of each. If, therefore, a sinner invokes His sacred Name, and He refuses to be instantly propitious, He acts as is just. But when the same sinner calls on Mary, and Mary presents herself instead of the sinner, then it is the Blessed Mary's merits, and not the sinner's merits that are weighed, and grace and repentance are granted. Thus does the Divine Son wish to show to men that through His most blessed Mother they may obtain all things."

Saint Bernard cries out: "O happy and blessed Lady, who ever loves you honours God, who clings to you will never lose God, who calls upon your venerable name shall indubitably obtain whatever he asks."

(4) To rely upon the protection of the angels, but especially of our guardian angels. "Although the first duty of the angels is to praise God continually, and as ministers to stand before His throne, yet they do not disdain to perform various kind offices for men, such as protecting and curing them. These two acts of protecting and curing are typified in two great and prominent examples which we have in the Old Bible. Three times is Saint Michael the great archangel introduced as combating Satan in the Apocalypse, where is related the war in heaven; in the Epistle of Saint Jude; and thirdly, where he guards the body of Moses. His name signifies Who is like to God - meaning, what enemy is powerful enough to injure those whom God protects. The second example is that of Raphael, who both protects and cures; and his name signifies The medicine of God." (Brognolo)

The angels protected Jacob when he returned from Mesopotamia and met his brother; and the book of Genesis calls the place Mahanias - that is, the place of encampment or protection.

In the fourth book of Kings it is told that Eliseus, being sought after by the king of Syria, was protected by those blessed spirits, which appeared in the form of fiery steeds.

In the book of Judges Deborah sings: "From heaven was war waged against them; the stars standing in order fought against Sisara in their course." Did lightnings or fiery darts come from heaven, or did the sun and moon and stars leave their places and fight against the uncircumcised? and if not, how can she say that heaven waged war against Sisara? Surely it was by the hand of a woman - to denote most ignominious defeat - that a nail was driven from one temple to the other of Sisara, and he was fastened to the earth?

Jacobus Alvarez says: "The heavens wage war against our enemies for us, when it sends us help, which as lightning flashes or darts of fire break up and overthrow the ranks of the enemy." "Thus plainly is it seen that the Israelites were delivered by angels from the hands of their enemies; and hence it is that Deborah sings, and Barac with her: Heaven has warred in our favour, i.e., the power of God has defended us; and the stars standing in their order and their course, i.e., the angels while standing before the throne of God, contemplating His Divine Essence, and never removed from the enjoyment of the Beatific Vision, fought against Sisara." (Brognolo)

The Abbot Rupert says: "The stars standing in their order and their course fight for men when they terrify and put to flight the demons attacking or rising up against them."

In the book of Machabees it is told that Judas Machabeus, finding himself with a handful of men opposed to a large army, begged of God to be his protection. Wherefore, we read: "When the battle was hottest, there appeared to his adversaries five men coming from heaven, of beautiful aspect, riding on golden horses, and affording protection to the Jews. Of these, two keeping Machabeus in their midst, and shielding him with their arms, preserved him safe. Into the ranks of his adversaries, however, they cast darts and flames of light, by which they were so confused, and by blindness, that they turned their backs and were slain in the greatest rout and disorder."

In the Lives of the Fathers of the Desert it is related that the Abbot Moses, being very much tormented and harassed by a demon, came to the Abbot Isidore to ask for a remedy. They talked for some time about spiritual things, and the Abbot Moses became quiet. Then, at the orders of Isidore, they went on the roof of the cell, when he told the Abbot Moses to turn his eyes to the west, and there he saw an immense multitude of demons, all in fury, and brandishing weapons as if ready to do battle. Then he told him to look to the east, and there he saw a glorious host of angels, with countenances reflecting the beauty of heaven. "Behold," said Isidore, "those that are to the west are they that would attack and smite us, those to the east are the angels whom God sends to shield and protect us." The holy Abbot was by this vision comforted and encouraged, and putting his trust in the protection of his guardian-angel, he was never molested any more by the demon.

"He hath given His angels charge over thee, that they guard thee in all thy ways." (Psalm 90)

Saint Augustine says: "These are the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, the blessed city, which is our mother on high, and they are sent down (by that mother) for the sake of those who have received the inheritance of salvation, that they would preserve them from their enemies, and guard them in all their ways."

Venerable Bede says in his comment on Saint Luke: "Since the unclean spirits are everywhere engaged in destroying peace, the Lord God has constituted for our protection an army of angels whose presence and protection overcomes the hardihood of the demons."

Saint Basil says: "As the walls of a city protect it on all sides, and ward off the fiercest attacks of its enemies, so God's angels, at your back and your breast, guard you round. And lest any portion should remain unguarded, a thousand shall fall on your left hand and ten thousand on your right; but the Lord God has given His angels orders that they guard thee in all thy ways."

Saint Chrysostom, on Saint Matthew (chapter 21), says: "What is this foss that guards the vineyard round? What but the angels in their course guarding the people of God, lest the invisible robbers should break into the vineyard. These are the guardians looking over the walls, that protect the city of Jerusalem and its flocks through the watches of the night, lest, like a lion, the enemy should hurry off with souls when there was no one to rescue them."

Saint Laurence Justinian says: "The angels ward off the demons, so that they cannot injure whomsoever they wish. For, were it not for angelical protection, I ask you who could combat and overcome the rage of such virulent and savage beasts, who avoid their traps, repel their temptations, or detect their evils? Truly those good angels hedge round our path, lest we strike the foot of the soul against the rock of scandal or the stone of offence."

Have the angels more power to succour and serve us than the demons have to harm us?

It must be remembered that the angels are divided into nine choirs, that each angel of a superior choir has naturally more power than the individual angels of an inferior choir. Now, the same power that the demons had before their fall, the same power they possess even still. Therefore, naturally, that is, if God does not otherwise ordain, some of the demons have more power than some of our guardian angels; because some of the fallen angels were originally in a higher choir or order. But God does ordain otherwise.

In the first place, then, we answer, that were they of the same choir or order originally, the desire of the good angel to benefit is more vehement, and therefore more effectual, than the malice or enmity of the evil one to do us harm.

Again, even though they were of a different order, the good angel has more power than the evil one; for the good angel has God behind him, the evil one has none.

"And by good right are they called Medici (healing or curing angels), for they are far more solicitous and far more powerful to do us service in our needs than the demons are to do us injury. And the reason is: Because the good angels, though of their nature inferior (that is, originally) to the bad angels (and consequently subject to them), yet by another order of nature they command those superior demons, because the power of the divine justice to which the good angels adhere is infinitely beyond the natural strength of any angels, and consequently can work great wonders. Again, much more solicitous is he in his works who expects rewards from his industry, than he who is sure that the harder he works the sharper will his punishment be. Now, the angels receive accidental glory from their good guardianship, and the wicked angels obtain for themselves but an increase of punishment." (Brognolo)

It is not to be doubted that the good angels receive joy, and therefore happiness and (accidentally) additional glory "there is more joy in heaven," etc. but it is generally held now that in hell there is no increase or decrease of pain. The master of Saint Bonaventure, Alexander Alensis (de Ang., q. 41), Saint Thomas (3, p. q. 113), as well as Saint Bonaventure himself (in 2, d. II., art. 2, q. 2) seem however to favour the position of Brognolo, that demons receive an additional share of accidental pain.

"Wherefore," continues the old Franciscan Father, "if the demons at the invocation or command of magicians, sorcerers, etc., bring various evils on human bodies, on the other hand the angels at the will of the Blessed Virgin, the Saints, and holy servants of God (God so designing) bring various benefits not alone to the souls of men, but even to their bodies, by curbing or expelling various evil and noxious humours, and by exciting healthy and useful ones instead, by healing scars and wounds, and by preserving the body and its organs from disease."

Petrus Blessensis goes so far as to say, that as parents when children are sick grow more affectionate and attentive, so the good angels show more solicitude for those that are weak, than for those that are well (Serin., de Angelis).

If, then, everyone has an angel guardian, how is it possible that some are harassed by the demon?

By way of reply, let us ask a question: If God be everywhere, and God is everywhere, - if, furthermore, God be more powerful than the demon, and God is more powerful than the demon, - how comes it to pass that any man is at all attacked by the demon? These are God s ways.

But let us hear an old Florentine theologian, Joseph Angles, in answer. "This, at any rate, does not arise from any want of caution on the part of our holy guardians; for, not to speak of just souls, all theologians confess that the angels do not wholly abandon even the most hardened sinners. But it happens, either because we repel them ourselves, or we will not listen to their counsels and inspirations; or because they cannot work for us against our perverse will; or again, because God does not permit them, perhaps on account of justice or punishment, or for our better illumination, or that we might be taught to cast ourselves more fully on His ever-watchful providence, and that He intends after a time to overwhelm us with gifts on account of the annoyance and struggles to which He has willed us to be temporarily subjected." The holy angels are therefore to be daily invoked by all.

Do the just in heaven assist us against the demons?

Saint John in the Apocalypse (chapter 5) describes the blessed in heaven as holding harps, and having golden phials in their hands.

With their harps they praise God, and while they praise the most glorious Lord, they not only serve and worship Him, but they even do battle against our adversaries for us. David says so (Psalm 149): "The praises of God on their lips, and double-edged swords in their hands, that they might bind kings in fetters, and the nobles of them in manacles of iron."

Saint Basil says: "These are they who, as towers, are our strength and our refuge against the enemy. O Sacred Choir (of martyrs)! O universal guardians of the human race! Ye are our ambassadors with the most powerful Lord! Ye are the stars of the world, and the blooming roses of the Church."

"But phials they hold in their hands, that they might confer benefits on men; for they are full of odours and medicines, which can heal all infirmities. For what disease is there so obstinate or dangerous that it shall not recede at the prayers of the saints?" (Brognolo)

In the life of that young virgin and martyr, Saint Agatha, we read that when she had been severely wounded and then cast into prison, an old man appeared to her that night, lighting up by the effulgence of his presence the darkness of her prison, and he told her he was sent to cure her. "Who are you," said Agatha, "that comest to cure me?" "I am the Apostle of Christ," the old man replied. "Be not suspicious of me, daughter; for He it was that sent me whom thou dost love in thy heart and with thy most pure soul. I am His Apostle, and in His Name remember Thou shalt be cured." And when she was cured the Saint said: "I bless thee, O God, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, and give Thee thanks, because Thou hast been mindful of me, and hast sent Thy Apostle to cure my wounds." (Roman Breviary, February 5) Now the Apostle was of course dead at the time.

(5) Recourse to fasting. In the Old Bible numerous examples are to be found of the utility of fasting - in the book of Judith, in the book of Esther, in the book of Daniel, in the books of Kings, in the book of Jonas.

Saint Basil says: "Even our Blessed Lord in His combat with the demon did not allow that flesh which He took on Himself for our sakes to be tempted until He had first prepared it by fasting. At all times fasting is useful, nor will the demon attempt to attack the person that fasts. Fasting gives arms sufficient to combat a whole legion of demons."

Saint Chrysostom says: "Against the nature of demons is constituted the power of fasting." And again: "Fasting supplies arms against the demon."

Saint Ambrose says: "We have our camps of safety they are our fasts, which secure us against the attacks of the demon. Fasting is a wall of brass for the Christian, warding off the demon and excluding the foe; for the devil is frightened at the paleness of the cheek, is discouraged at the weakness of the constitution, and totally banished by the hunger of the body." And again: "A more powerful weapon against the wily serpent you cannot find than the fasting of the body."

Tertullian says: "Fasting is our shield to fling back the enemy's darts."

Origen says: "When you fast, you overcome the demons, and put to flight all their class, their suggestions and temptations."

Saint Jerome says: "Beautiful is the spotless virgin that terrifies the demons: that virgin is fasting."

Saint Anthony: "Believe me, Satan fears the watchings and fastings of the pious soul."

Our Blessed Lord: "This class of demons is not to be cast out but by prayer and fasting."

(6) The Sacraments of our Blessed Lord. It is said that contraries are cured by contraries; if, therefore, the demon takes sensible forms and makes use of sensible things to injure man temporarily and eternally, what wonder that the Sacraments should have from our Blessed Lord, the opponent and conqueror of the demon, effects, even temporary effects, which would neutralise the malice of the evil one?

It is said in the Psalms (123): "In the midst of the waters thou shalt crush the heads of the dragons"; and in the waters of baptism the demon is crushed. In the prayers of the Ritual it is said: "Depart from him, thou unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Spirit, the Comforter"; and the Church, to show its contempt of him, puts him out with a breath from the priest's lips.

In the year 1596 a Gentile lady was possessed by a demon. It was told to her, that until she became a Christian she could not be freed from him. Thereupon she gave her consent to become a Christian, and had herself instructed and prepared for baptism. On the night previous to her receiving it, the demon came to her and said, "Are we going to be parted now after so long a friendship? Very well; but you shall not go scot-free. Your beautiful hair that you prided in I will lop off;" and taking a scissors he clipped the hair from her head, and tore her hair to pieces. Next day, however, she persisted in her purpose, received baptism, and was never afterwards molested by the demon.

Another example - There was a young man, a pagan. The demon frequently appeared to this young man in the shape of a huge dog, all hair, and exceedingly fierce-looking. The dog regularly spoke to him, and in spite of the young man carried him into the mountain fastnesses and kept him there several days. While there he tormented him in ways that would be shocking to relate. The young man had an inspiration. He fled one day to the church, and there hearing it explained what power God and His Church had over the demons, he got himself baptised, and was never more assaulted by the demon.

In the year 1549 a poor maidservant was most grievously tormented by a demon. Every night the evil spirit came in the shape of a black vulture with huge wings, and bore away in its talons the poor terrified girl from her bed. She was then a pagan, but on her being baptised she was saved from his assaults. These examples are given by Father Ludovicus Frois in his Japan letters.

I will give one example, which may be not alone interesting but useful to my brethren on the mission, and which I heard from the lips of one of the most revered and learned ecclesiastics in Ireland. A child was brought to the chapel to be baptised. The priest rightly asked if the child had been baptised privately, and on learning that the child had been privately baptised by the midwife, a correct and respectable woman, the priest went through the ceremonies as ordered by the Ritual, omitting to baptise it conditionally, and the child was carried home. But some unaccountable sickness seemed to have taken possession of it. It worked at times in convulsions, that were pitiable and horrible to see. It was taken to doctors, rounds were paid at holy wells, masses were even said, but all to no use. At last, after proper advice, the priest had it conditionally baptised, when the convulsions ceased, and the child recovered its natural strength, and never after suffered an attack.

Confirmation seems even still more calculated to save us from the attacks of the demon, as it, by its seven gifts, gives us that fulness of faith and trust in God, and that strength and courage as soldiers, so necessary to combat the evil one.

In the Second Book of Thomas of Canterbury, chapter 57, is the following: "The Bishop of London, the venerable Bonifacius" (writes Thomas), "told once in my presence that there was in a certain town a blind man. This blind man, by some compact with the evil one, was enabled to herd all the cows of the hamlet. He could drive them out in the morning, keep them from the crops, select proper grounds for them, tell whether they were white, or black, or brown, and such other things as were absolutely beyond the power of a blind man. On the occasion of the bishop's visiting the place, this man was struck with remorse for having bartered eternal light for a temporary advantage, and having confessed and received confirmation, and renounced all agreements for the future with the evil one, he lost the extraordinary power that he before had, lived a most edifying life, and died a holy death."

Penance - If the demon exercise his power for sin and because of sin, then the Sacrament of Penance which cleanses and drives out all sin, and brings the grace of God into the soul, is exceedingly well calculated to banish the demon from the soul of man.

In the life of Saint Gregory, John the deacon relates that there were three persons who were attacked by the demon, and who came to confession to Saint Gregory, and that two of the three were immediately cured. The third person came again and again, and as many as eight times, and yet the demon did not depart, because each confession was bad. Being terrified by the continual assaults of the evil one, the penitent at length, on the ninth turn, disclosed the hidden sin, which was a sin of theft, received absolution, and, returning home, was never more molested.

The Blessed Eucharist - "As lions breathing fire we should return from that holy table, objects of terror to the demons." (Saint Chrysostom)

In the life of Saint Paul of the Cross, we read: "When he was occupied with a mission in a place called Rio, a poor woman came to him, who was ill-treated by her husband on account of the calumnies of another woman. Paul sent for this other woman, and persuaded her to retract what she had said. He then sent for the husband, and when he had come, Paul said to the calumniator: Now is the time to unsay what you had falsely accused this good man's wife of. Was it not all false? She fell away at once, and replied: No, no; it was perfectly true, every word . Paul then said: Very well; come with me before the Blessed Sacrament, and repeat that . She did so, and repeated it with an oath. Scarcely were the perjured words out of her mouth, when she was seized by an invisible power, raised in the air, and carried outside the church. Her tongue was hanging from her mouth black as ink, and her whole face became livid and horrible. Paul exorcised the evil spirit, and after some time the demon let the wretch fall half-stunned upon the pavement The Saint then took the Ciborium from the tabernacle, and blessed her with it. She recovered, and with great sorrow confessed her sins, and retracted all her calumnies."

Extreme Unction is so called because it is usually the extreme or last Sacrament in which anointing is given to the body. The Church wishes it to be understood that one of the natural effects arising from it is the restoration of bodily health. Now the sickness of the body may result from many causes, and a possible one is the evil action of the demon. In Saint Mark (chapter 6) we read: "And going forth they preached the doctrine of penance, and they cast out many demons, and they anointed with oil many that were sick, and they were cured."

(7) The Sacramentalia - By sacramentalia are meant things blessed by the Church, such as sacred images, crosses, medals, gospels, agnus deis, images of the saints, holy water, etc., etc., which have not of course the same virtue, efficacy, or grace as the sacraments; but which nevertheless are sacred, and by the blessing of the Church have a special power of their own. They are called sacramentalia, because of their resemblance to the sacraments in this, that sensible objects are the indirect, not the direct, as in the sacraments, means of grace. Some people attribute to them a power which is little less than superstitious - they treat them as if they were charms. In this they do wrong. Others laugh at them. This is wrong also. The Church blesses them, and it begs of God, that where these sacramentalia be kept, as sacred pictures for instance, or when they are piously used in a certain way, as the sprinkling of holy water, that they have a certain effect, and that the blessing of God be on that person, that house, family, or place. Those who laugh at and mock them, then laugh at the prayers of the Church, which no Catholic should do. Those who give them charmed or superstitious power attribute to them a virtue they do not possess. "Their dignity appears in this, that all of them are holy, either that because of themselves they are calculated to lead to holiness, or they are instituted and intended by the Church to lead to holiness." (Brognolo)

"Their efficacy is both internal and external internal, because, when assisted by the action of the person himself (ex opere operantis) they take away venial sins, by exciting to acts of contrition or love, by which venial sins are directly and immediately taken away; externally, by conferring temporal or spiritual benefits, or warding off the attacks of the demon or his agents." (Saint Bonaventure)

I will briefly state what are the effects of the sacramentalia as theology teaches. The sacramentalia are six in number, or six species, which are given in this way:

1, Orans; 2, Tinctus; 3, Edens; 4, Confessus; 5, Dans; 6, Benedicens - (praying, sprinkling, eating, confessing, giving, blessing).

1, Prayer made in a consecrated church; 2, Holy water; 3, Eating anything blessed by the approved ritual of the Church; 4, The confitior said at Mass or in the Office; 5, Giving (as for instance) alms; 6, The blessing of a bishop for example.

Now the effects of them. First, they do not remove mortal sins, nor even venial sins directly, but they are the means of obtaining great helps and graces from God, which enable a person, or which move a person, to make more frequent acts of contrition or charity or acts of the other virtues, or which dispose a soul to receive the sacraments more fittingly. If the sacramentalia had not some such effect, they would be but vain ceremonies. As, for instance, if prayer outside in the open field, ceteris paribus, were equal to prayer in a consecrated church, then the labour of consecration and the ritual and prayers were all vain and idle.

Saint Thomas says that the sacramentalia can obtain the remission of venial sins, when their use is accompanied by an act of detestation of sin, such as the confitior, striking of the breast, the sprinkling of holy water; but Saint Thomas takes care to add, that these do not of their own power remove sin, they but incline the mind to acts of sorrow or love.

To their use the Roman Pontiff may attach indulgences which would add a further merit to our own, and by which some of our just punishment may be wiped away.

Lastly, "they have the effect of repelling tempests, warding off harm, and expelling and coercing the devils." (Bonal)

The Crucifix - By the sign of the cross the demons are driven away.

Saint Paul says (Colossians 2): "Taking away the handwriting that was against us . . . and despoiling principalities and powers, He confidently gave Himself up, openly triumphing over them in Himself." He surely would not have triumphed over them, if He were not able to curb their malicious power.

Saint Athanasius says: "The sign of the cross takes away all magic."

The Saints made use of this holy sign to perform most wonderful works - to take away disease, to extinguish fires, to calm tempests, to avert calamities, but especially to banish the demons, with all their arts, works, and wiles (see their holy lives).

Of Saint Eligius, it is related that he used to say to his disciples: "Christians cannot be hurt by augury or any kind of magic, for wheresoever the sign of the cross with reverence and faith in God shall have preceded, there no enemy can approach to do harm."

The Patriarch, Saint Eutychius, used to call the holy cross a dart dreaded by the demons.

Saint Anthony, Abbot, used to dare the demons: "If you can, why do you not attack me? If one of you can harm me, why do you come to me in crowds? But you know that the sign of the cross and my faith in God are as a wall round about me, which you hate to see and are afraid to approach."

Saint Gregory, Pope, relates a story, showing how in the mouth of persons not Christians even, it puts demons to flight: "A certain man from the Roman Campagna, a Jew, came to Rome, and was passing the night in the temple of Apollo. He was awakened by a terrible noise, and saw around him a host of evil spirits. He signed himself with the sign of the cross, and the devils fled away shouting half mockingly, half-terrified: Vah, vah, an empty vessel thou art, but signed!"

Saint Gregory Nazianzen relates another, which shows in a more striking manner the power of the sign of the cross: "The Apostate Julian was once invited by a magician to be present at a nightly meeting of the demons. Being affrighted by the noise, he had instant recourse," says Gregory, "to his old practice which he had abandoned, the sign of the cross, and by this he triumphed over his tormentors."

Even the demons themselves declare their fear of this most holy sign. Being expelled on one occasion by Saint Patapius, they cried: "Truly terrible Thou art, O Nazarene - terrible Thou art, and everywhere boldest power and empire. Whither shall we go? If into the city - if into the desert - there Thou art before us, and by the bare sign of Thy cross, and the sole invocation of Thy Name, Thou drivest us away."

Saint Ephrem, encouraging every one to make use of this most salutary sign, says: "We Christians are distinct from Jews and Gentiles, and our door-posts we surmount and crown with the most precious and life-giving crucifix, saying with the Apostle: God forbid that we should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. But let us imprint that most saving sign not only on our doors, but on our foreheads, in our hearts, on our lips, on every sense and member of our body. Let us arm ourselves with this unconquerable weapon of the Christian, for when our adversaries, powerful though they be, even as all hell together, see this sacred sign, they depart in terror and confusion."

The Holy Gospels - Saint Paul says: "I do not blush at the Gospel; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every believer, to Jew first, and Greek afterwards."

It is a most pious custom, either to recite portions daily of the holy Gospel, or to have them about one either in print or in writing; as if faithfully and piously borne they are of great assistance in driving away the demons.

"And first, this is plain from the practice of the Church, which orders, during holy Mass, the sacred Gospels to be publicly read; and this also with many hidden and instructive ceremonies. For instance, it orders the deacon to turn to the North. From the North, says the Prophet Jeremias, comes every evil (chapter 1). Hence the Spouse, as if protecting the garden of the beloved from something foul and impure, wishes to drive it off. Very rightly, says William Mimatensis, is the Gospel read against the devil, that by its power it would expel him, for the devil hates the Gospel." (Brognolo)

At exorcisms the Gospel is customarily read by orders of the Church, and this shows what is the Church's belief regarding its power over the evil one.

"The Gospel kept in writing is also most useful in thwarting charms and magic." (Brognolo)

Saint Barnabas, who was of the Apostolic College, cured many sick by ordering them to wear a Gospel beneath their dress.

Saint Simeon wrote a Gospel and hung it round the neck of a sorceress, whom at once the evil spirit deserted, so that the woman never after phrensied or divined.

Saint Anthony expelled a demon that was haunting a man by writing a portion of the Scriptures on parchment and inserting it in the man's dress.

It was always, and is still, a custom with Christians to write the commencement of the Gospel of Saint John as an epitome of the whole Gospels, enclose it in leather or linen, and wear it as people wear an Agnus Dei or Scapular.

From what has "a Gospel" its protecting power?

It is not from the blessing of the Church, for it is not blessed. Anyone may copy out a portion of the Gospel as it is to be found in the Bible or at the end of the Prayers at Mass in prayer-books, and then wrap it up and wear it. It has its protecting power from the fact that these are the inspired words of God that these words are holy, because they tell about Jesus, and especially about that time when He publicly taught and instructed men, when He fought and conquered the demons, and redeemed us. Our wearing the Gospel, then, is a silent profession of our faith in Jesus Christ, a reverence for His holy Word, and an appeal to Him by that holy Gospel that He would, "out of Sion, protect us from harm." Our protection then will be in proportion to our faith in our Blessed Lord, our reverence for His holy Word, and the earnestness of our heart's appeal to Him.

"And not only the words of the Gospel and the sacred Name of God, but also extracts from other parts of the Testament, from the Apostles Creed, and from other prayers of the Church, are most useful in this respect." (Brognolo)

In the Chronicles of the Friars Minors, it is related that a certain Portuguese lady, being possessed by the devil, and grievously tormented by him, and being urged continually to commit suicide, invoked in her distress the intercession of Saint Anthony of Padua. He appeared to her during sleep and said: "Read the writing that is hidden in thy bosom, and you will be afflicted no more." The lady arose, and found there a slip of paper, containing the following words from the Office of the Church:

Behold the Cross of the Lord away ye adverse powers -
He hath conquered, the Lion of Judah's tribe, the root of David's stock.
Alleluia, Alleluia.

She quickly read, and piously kissed it, and that moment the demon left her. This writing, after the lady's death, was, by the orders of Dionysius, king of Portugal, preserved in the royal archives of the kingdom.

In the year 1843, there was in the Carmelite convent at Tours, in France, a holy nun named Sister Ste. Pierre: "This pious sister, in order to honour the Divine Child, got copies made of the Gospel read on the Feast of the Circumcision, and which is very short. These she enclosed in wrappers, and distributed among her acquaintances whom she knew to be devout to the holy Name of Jesus. M. Dupont also made many copies, and helped the good sister to distribute them. This is the Gospel known as the little Gospel of the Sister Ste. Pierre. These Gospels were carried to the sick, and wonderful cures and conversions were obtained through their means." - Vie de M. Dupont

The Agnus Dei - Agnus Deis, as commonly known, are small particles or portions of consecrated wax enclosed in leather or linen, and worn round the neck, or inserted in one's scapulars or in one's clothes. The words Agnus Dei mean Lamb of God, and the wax is called Agnus Dei wax, because it has the impression of a lamb stamped on it at the time it is blessed. It is blessed by the Pope, and by him only - and blessed only once in every seven years. It is always blessed on the first year, too, of the Pope's accession. The blessing has many mystical prayers. The Pope begs of God that those who wear it piously and devoutly should be delivered from all dangers, and in particular from all wiles, temptations, and assaults, bodily and mentally, of the enemy; that the demons would be warded off and terrified by the sign of the Cross and the figure of the Lamb, typical of our Saviour Jesus Christ, impressed upon it, and that the good angels from heaven surround and guard the person that wears it.

"It is certain that these prayers are heard, and that they have their effect, because they are poured forth in the sight of the Lord by him who stands in the person of Jesus Christ on this earth, and especially when the special blessing of the Pontiff is attached to them, which is never unavailing, as theologians commonly teach." (Brognolo)

Some vulgarly attribute to the wearing of the Agnus Dei an infallible effect which it does not possess; as, for instance, a person going to cross the seas puts on an Agnus Dei, and says he cannot be drowned. Now it has not the effect of absolutely saving from shipwreck or drowning. Of itself, it had not that effect, and the Pope never prayed that absolute effect for it. Indeed, if an Agnus Dei had that effect, no one would go to sea without one, and no one would be drowned. All the Pope prays for, and all, therefore, that can be vouched for, is, that God would thereby extend a special protection to persons in imminent danger; and, of course, among the persons in very great danger are persons on a sea-voyage.

"Wherefore these waxen forms, consecrated by prayers and benedictions, are efficacious not alone against lightnings, storms, burnings, and such like, but also against the demons power." (Brognolo)

The Relics of the Saints - The souls of the saints are with Christ in heaven; He has clothed them with everlasting bliss. Their bodies that are far away on the earth He will one day bring to heaven, and these too He will clothe in glory and bliss unfading. But until then will He have nothing to say to them? Are they lost to Him - the bones of the sacred dead - just as they are lost to relatives and friends on this earth? Is there no reward for them until the great recording day comes round? Or, will He permit those dead bones to serve Him even still? Surely there is a fitness in God's investing the bones - corporal things though they be - of the sainted dead with such power and awe, because they had during life served Him, as to drive away in terror and confusion those fallen creatures of His who in their day of trial disobeyed and defied Him - although, in their original state, the vanquished be indefinitely beyond their victors. It shows, moreover, God's great power, and the great power of His Christ, as well as demonstrating the contempt in which He holds the infernal hosts, that by His will things which are but dead dust and ashes, the very slime of the earth, should overcome and rout those splendid aerial beings whose luminous birth was before and beyond the stars.

Saint John Damascene calls the relics of the saints "fountains of aid, from which numberless benefits come to us."

Sometimes it happens that not alone a portion of their flesh or bone, but even the clothes or garments that touched them, or handkerchiefs dipped in their blood, are endowed by God with wonderful power. Thus does God honour those bodies that served Him in life. Sometimes, too, there exudes an oil or balsam or sacred liquor from the dead body, which has given sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and performed many other preternatural cures.

In the Roman Breviary, 1st August, we read: "In the year 969, a certain count, companion to the Emperor Otho, was possessed by an unclean spirit, so that this poor man tore and ate his own flesh. The Emperor ordered him to be taken to the Pope; and upon the Holy Father putting the sacred chains of Saint Peter round his neck, the evil spirit broke forth from the count's body, and never after molested him." - Feast of Saint Peter, Ad Vincula

"Whence has arisen the custom to pay public worship to these relics, to encase them in sacred shrines, to keep lamps burning before them, to have processions, feasts, and patterns in their honour; thus, in the first place, to give glory to God, who gave such glory to weak, humble creatures, and, in the second place, to beg the protection of those holy servants of God, whose relics these are." (Brognolo)

What honour is it proper to pay to relics?

When relics are solemnly exposed for veneration, it is fitting and proper to go down on one's knees, and adore God in the first place, and then reverence the relics that are solemnly exposed. If they repose in the church of the saint the same honour is paid them.

If they are not solemnly exposed, but encased privately in a shrine - if (1) it be a relic belonging to our Blessed Lord - a portion of the true cross, for instance, one of the sacred nails, some of the crown of thorns, etc. - we genuflect before it, not to adore, but to exceedingly honour it; but if (2) it be a relic of a saint, or some holy thing that has merely touched the cross or nails or crown of thorns, then we uncover our heads and reverently bow before it, and honour the relic or sacred thing, as belonging to a great servant of God, or as something very holy.

Have sacred pictures any power against the demon?

Yes. In the first place, a reverence shown to the images of the saints is most pleasing to God, does honour to the saints, and consequently must be strongly efficacious against the enemy of God and His saints. In the next place, a reverence of them is calculated to bring great blessings on the persons who practise it, and on the house or parish where it is practised; and, on the other hand, irreverence is frequently followed with severe chastisements. "The images of these saints, but especially that of the Blessed Virgin, are so hateful to the demons that they can scarcely bear to look upon them." (Brognolo) Saint Augustine relates that a very holy nun who was grievously tormented by the demon was freed from his molestation by a picture of Saint Jerome.

In the Spiritual Meadow it is told that a certain religious man prayed every day before an image of our Blessed Lady. On one occasion he was attacked by a most violent temptation, and this continued for some weeks. Harassed and wearied, he was praying to be delivered from it, when the devil openly appeared to him, and desired to enter into a compact with him to the following effect, that he would never trouble the man with this temptation any more, if the religious on his part would cease honouring the religious picture. On this the religious flung himself on his knees before the holy picture, lifted up his hands to heaven, and declared that henceforth he would pay it ten times more honour daily; and then he called on the holy Mother of God from his inmost heart to help him, when the devil was put to flight and the evil temptation ceased.

Holy Water - There is a common saying in almost every language to the effect that the "devil hates holy water," thus showing the universal opinion of the faithful regarding its power in the matter of warding off demons. Its frequent use at the church door, in the oratory, in the Christian's bedroom, its being sprinkled on almost everything that the Church blesses, has made it take its place beside the Mass, the Sacraments, and the Rosary beads, as one of the distinctive properties of the Catholic religion.

In the fourth book of Kings (chapter 5) is related the story of Naaman, the Syrian, how he was cured of his leprosy by bathing in the waters of the Jordan, "though there were rivers in Damascus". In the same book (chapter 2) the Prophet blesses salt, and cures the waters of their barrenness. "And he healed the waters, and there was no longer in them either death or barrenness."

In the New Testament (John 5) is told the miraculous power of the pond Probatica. In the life of Sister Emmerich, it is told that one morning, when a child, coming home from early Mass, the devil met her, and struck her on the face. The cheek became very swollen, and she suffered intense pain, but the pain instantly ceased and the swelling subsided in her cheek when she applied holy water to it.

The Church grants 100 days indulgence for making the sign of the cross while sprinkling oneself with holy water.

Dr. Murray, late Professor of Theology in Maynooth College, strongly recommended that the bed of the sick should be sprinkled with holy water frequently, not alone at the time of the priest's visit, or when the Sacraments were to be administered, but that the attendants should be advised and encouraged to sprinkle it often, and that a vessel containing holy water should be placed within reach of the sick person, so that when desirous he may sprinkle himself.

Saint Theresa, the great Spanish ascetic and theologian - she who could so miraculously tell where the Blessed Sacrament was preserved, even though there was nothing outwardly to indicate Its presence, says of holy water: "I have experienced over and over that there is nothing which so quickly drives away the demons as holy water, and prevents them so surely from returning. So everyone ought to have great faith in holy water. I have received such consolation and comfort by it that I cannot find words to explain how it strengthens and fortifies the soul. And this is not imagination, for I have often experienced it. I feel as if I were hot and thirsty, and that a draught of cool water were given to me. Oh, there is not the smallest or slightest thing in the ordinance of the Church that is not a matter of wonder, since a few simple words of blessing can make such a difference between water that is blessed and water that is not." - Her Life, written by herself, chapter 31

In the blessing of holy water, the Church prays: "In whatsoever house or dwelling of the faithful this water shall have been sprinkled, may it be free from all evil influence and escape all harm; may no pestilent spirit abide there, and no infectious breath dwell in it; all the treacherous snares of the enemy be far removed from it; and should there be anything in it marring the happiness and security of the household, may it be driven far away, and peace and joy, together with the invocation of Thy holy Name, tranquilly dwell therein."

This present age seems to look very sceptically on the power of holy water, and on the truth of that text of Saint Peter, where he describes the devil going about like a roaring lion. Now, it is well to impress it on the mind that both these things are just as true in this our day as they were in the first ages of the Church. In the life of M. Dupont, the saintly layman of Tours, who died on the 18th March, 1876, in the odour of sanctity, it is told: "At the school of Saint Martin, M. Dupont had learned to combat the enemy of the human race with all the weapons that faith and prayer could furnish. This was a special trait in the character of this great servant of God: he professed a particular and profound hatred for Satan, and this hatred he manifested on every occasion. He, as formerly the saintly bishop of Tours, looked upon Satan as the adversary of all that is good, and as the constant and envenomed enemy of God and man, whom it was one's duty on all occasions to contradict and oppose. The fine feeling of the supernatural with which he was endowed, as well as his intimate acquaintance with Holy Writ, made him discover the influence of the demon in a host of things, where others did not dream of the arch-rebel's evil presence. Thus at a time when the number of conflagrations all over the face of France was the theme of everybody's tongue - adapting the liturgy of the Church - 'Behold,' he said, 'the need of that prayer which the Church on Holy Saturday, when blessing the sacred fire, places on our lips: From the flaming arrows of the enemy, deliver us, O Lord. It does not require a great deal of ingenuity on Satan's part to bring about devastation by fire, and when the police will seize upon the incendiary, he will be found to be some poor wretch acting under an unaccountable impulse.'

"He was fond of quoting this passage from the great eagle of Meaux. Satan, says Bossuet, is not only the prince, the magistrate, the governor of this world, but, to leave no doubt of his terrible power, Saint Paul teaches us that he is its God - Deus hujus seculi. In fact, he acts the God upon this earth. He imitates the All-Powerful. It is not in his power to make new creatures to oppose them to his Master; but behold what he does. He corrupts those of God, and turns them as far as possible against their Author. Inflated with his success, he gets them to pay him divine honour; he demands sacrifices; he receives vows; he has temples erected; and in all things conducts himself just like a rebel who, through envy or spite, dons the regal ornaments, and disports himself as a king. Such is the power of our enemy.

"He constantly applied to himself the warning given by the Apostle when he speaks of the enemy going about like a roaring lion: Brethren, be sober and watch; for whilst he had the greatest faith in the watchful assistance of the guardian angels, he had no less belief in the deadly power of the evil one. The least obstacle in the way of devotion to Saint Martin always gave him occasion for discussing the ruses and plans of the wicked spirit. He was entering one day the temporary chapel that was being used; the lay-brother, the bell-ringer, and a priest were striving to open one of the doors. They had over and over attempted to turn the key in the lock, but all to no purpose; the spring would not go back. M. Dupont came up. He was informed of what they had done or had tried to do, but seemed no way astonished at their failure. 'This is another trick of his,' he said, shrugging his shoulders. Then taking the key, he dipped it into the holy water fount. Now try, he said. They put the key in the lock, and it turned quite freely; and even the door opened of itself. In this instance M. Dupont did nothing more than make use of the means indicated by Saint Theresa, when she declares that, according to her own experience, powerful though the demon be, a little holy water overturns all his plans and sends him hurriedly away.

"M. Dupont had a peculiar method of his own for warding off the demon, and this was both original and amusing. His principle was to humiliate the proud spirit. He thought there was not in the Scripture an expression more contemptuous or humiliating than that by which he is described in the book of Genesis antiquus serpens, the old serpent, because it recalls his first crime and the period of his fall; and this appellation he was never tired of reproducing."

What should "obsessed" persons do to repel the attacks of the demon?

The answer to this question is given, more particularly because of persons that are harassed by temptations, than of persons that are obsessed; but it is useful to both.

Holy writers say, that in the first place the conscience ought to be cleared, and that we should beg of God to save us from the attacks of our enemy, by vouchsafing to us His divine help. There should be frequent confession and holy communion; for, if the devil tries to draw persons into sin, and by sin endeavours to strengthen his hold over them, so by clearing the conscience, and by frequently doing so, we meet and oppose his power. And not alone do the sacraments remove sin, but also infuse a large increase of grace into the soul.

Secondly, we ought to elicit firm and fervent acts of faith, not contenting ourselves with saying, "I believe all the Church teaches; I believe in the Roman Catholic Church," but descending to particulars, and making acts of faith in the several great dogmas of religion; and particularly in God's providence, and that He does not wish this vexation, especially if it be injurious to us either in body or soul, or if injurious to the body, that it is not useful to our soul's salvation; and that God is ever ready to send us help, and to save us. "Wherefore if we unhesitatingly trust in His goodness and His protection, there is no question but He will free us from all harassing attacks of the demon, and that under His protection we will be safe and secure." (Brognolo) There is only one reason why God permits these things to continue happening to those who put their trust in Him, and that is for their greater sanctification.

Thirdly, when these imaginary or corporeal apparitions or attacks are made upon us by the demon, then we are to call upon God for help, but especially on the holy Names of Jesus and Mary; "and the demon will have no power in that hour of hurting those who place all their confidence in God." (Brognolo) Thus trusting in the power of God, and raising our minds to Jesus and Mary, let us mock and spurn the demon's power. "Begone, Satan, in the name of God!" "What harm can you do me, when I call upon the holy Names of Jesus and Mary?" "Begone, rebellious spirit; those who trust in God have no fear of you!" And should the attacks still continue, we have but to persevere in prayer, and soon they will either wholly cease, or God will lessen their power; for, the good God permits no man to be tempted beyond his power.

Fourthly, let us show no fear of the demon's attacks. Our opponent never has so much courage as when we turn our backs and flee before him. Now, when we show cowardice before the devil, we morally turn our backs. "The devil is a fly to those who oppose him like lions. He is a lion to those who oppose him like flies." (Brognolo) "A giant if his own words are to be believed, but a pigmy if the truth were known." (Idem) Saint Hermes was told by his angel guardian: "Do not fear the devil; while you fear God you are the demon's master, because there is no power in him. In whom, then, there is no power, in him surely there is nothing to be feared. But He, in whom there is glorious power, He is to be feared!" And again: "The devil makes a great noise, but it is sound, and no more. Do not, there fore, fear him, and he will fly from you." And he gives a reason: "The devil has no power over those servants of God who with their whole heart believe in the Lord."

Lactantius says, "The demons can indeed injure persons, but they can injure only those who are afraid of them, and who, therefore, are not protected by the powerful and high hand of the Lord."

With regard to the power of our angel guardian, and the trust we ought to have in him, the same Saint Hermes learned from his angel instructor: "Do not fear the devil; he has no power over you. I am with you, the angel of penance, and I command him; for in the Psalms it is written: He hath given his angels watch over thee, that they guard thee in all thy ways."