The Ritual of EXORCISM
Exorcists in this day and age are on the verge of extinction. No one, religious or lay, would like to acknowledge the fact that Satan is alive and well, tormenting and destroying souls. Many religious do not believe in possession and many are afraid to believe that it can occur. It seems that most religious fear Satan and what he can do to them, more then they believe in God who can do ALL things. Fear is Satan's dear friend. When someone fears Satan, Satan has power over them. The religious clergy fail to realize that Satan's biggest fear, more than exorcism, is confession. A priest who preaches, and hears confessions, should not be afraid to be an exorcist. To not use the powers of exorcism that Christ has given, is a direct betrayal of His command.
PROCEDURE OF THE EXORCIST
The appendix of the Roman Ritual has the longer rite of exorcism and states that the exorcist should "Superpelliceo et stola violacea indutus," (wear an alb and a purple stole) right before the part of the prayer that begins "Ecce crucem domine, fúgite partes advérsae." The priest is instructed to "imponat extreman parte stolae ejus" (having made the sign of the cross over the victim, place the ends of the stole around this person's neck).
One may have two normal sized stoles sewn together in order to have a very long stole to extend from the priest to the victim's neck. It is truly amazing how the blessed stole calms and controls the possessed person. Certainly one initially may encounter violent reactions, but that is to be expected. The stole not only symbolizes, but demonstrates the power of the priesthood. Jesus binds the evil spirits with the use of this sacramental.
The Ritual next instructs the priest to place his right hand on the head of his vicitm. Of course, the imposition of hands was used by Jesus to heal the sick. The church mimics this use in the Sacrament of the Sick and in other ways. Jesus blessed children in this way. It has been noted by many individuals that hands of the priest's calm or burn them. If an assistant priest is present, they also may place hands on the person's head. A Bible containing both the Old and New Testaments should be on hand when questioning and commanding the demons to respond. After invoking the Holy Spirit, there is surprising response and confirmation, which are keys to opening up and freeing the person. For example, a woman who had been a war orphan revealed through scripture that she was not baptized. Another woman opened the Bible to Tobias where it stated that she was not married in the church. A couple opened the Bible to the Old testament reading on abortion, which confirmed, at some point to unforgiven sin. Others opened to a passage focusing on a generational curse. While still others read a verse on incest in the family. One girl indicated the story of Jacob and Essau. Her twin brother was murdered at three months of age. She was the second to be born and like Jacob became the first through infanticide. Others have indicated a need for greater humility, faith and fasting. The Rite of Exorcism uses passages from Jn. 1:1-14; Mk. 16:15-18; Lk. 1:17-20; Lk. 11:14-22; also use what ever passage the Holy Spirit inspires. This can hasten along deliverance and yield many crucial answers to the puzzle. It is always good to have on hand a collection of prayers that may be said both by the exorcist and those assisting. The Raccolta has a fine collection, as do other prayer books.
The rules for exorcism state that one should have relics of the saints at hand. Not all relics are of equal worth. First class relics are to be preferred. The greater the sanctity of the saint the more powerful the cure. One can tell by the reactions of the demons which relic gives better results.
According to the Act of the Apostles, handkerchiefs that were touched to Saint Paul and carried back to the sick curing them (remember the sick woman who was cured by touching the hem of Jesus?). The shadow alone of Saint Peter healed many. Although the Blessed Sacrament is the Body and Blood of Jesus, True God and True Man, and not any mere sacramental, it is an excellent practice to use it to bless the sick and possessed. The rules of exorcism in number 13 of the Roman Ritual states, "Sanctissima vero Eucharistia super caput obssessi, aut aliter ejus corpori ne admoveatur, ob irreverentiae periculum" (The Blessed Sacrament should not be placed on the head or any other part of the body of the possessed persons, due to the possibility of desecration). This rule or admonition need not apply in those cases where there is no danger or irreverence, that is cases in which the person's actions are nonviolent.
It is truly astounding to observe how many days (when proper use of the Blessed Sacrament is applied to the body of the possessed), can be taken off the whole length of time needed to dislodge the demons. It shortens the process. It may be wise in other cases for the priest himself to carry around his neck the Blessed Sacrament in a Pyx. This may prove at times, necessary for protection.
A Franciscan named Father Dominic Szymanski (a one time companion of St. Maximillian Kolbe) was working with a Benedictine priest, when Fr. Dominic asked the Benedictine if he was wearing the medal of St, Benedict. The Benedictine responded, "Yes, I am." Father Szymanski told him that he saw the devil in the form of a blue light going around him in circles, and that the evil spirit was unable to touch him because he was wearing the medal.
The St. Benedict medal can be pinned to the clothes of infants who are agitated, pregnant mothers or anyone who wants protection from evil. The use of the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Rosary are two sacramentals specifically mentioned in the Vatican II document on the church "Lumen Gentium." The blessing of the rosary states, "Nos eriperes de potestate diaboli" Our Lord Jesus Christ through His life, death and resurrection has "snatched us from the power of the devil." Abundant graces are granted through proper recitation of the rosary, "Ab omni hoste visibili et invisibili et ubíque in hoc sáeculo liberetur" (from every enemy both visible and invisible and everywhere in this lifetime be freed). St. Dominic freed a heretic from 15,000 devils, when the man had blasphemed the Blessed Mother and the Rosary. St. Dominic preached on the fifteen mysteries of the rosary and asked the faithful to pray and meditate. For every mystery, 1,000 demons left him in the form of burning coals until he was delivered. The rosary is the chain that Our Lady uses to bind Satan. It is often seen in a possessed individual, that the demon is irritated and they complain that the rosary burns them and they often destroy the rosary.
Another medal of great importance which was used in the conversion of the worldly Jew, Alphonse Ratisbone, propagated by St. Maximillian Kolbe, and used by the founder of the Legion of Mary-Frank Duff-is the Miraculous Medal (Medal of the Immaculate Conception of Mary). While placing the medal around the neck, the Presider prays, "Ut piisima et Immaculáta caelórum Domina vos prótegat atique defendat'' (May the Holy and Immaculate heavenly Lady protect and defend you). Our Lady promises special graces to those who wear this medal around their neck. The same is true for the scapular. If worn with faith, "They shall not suffer the eternal flames of Hell" and "shall be delivered from Purgatory on the Saturday after their death."
Then there is the crucifix, which should always be present. The victim will often stare at the cross and be forced to look away. The cross is symbolic of the defeat of Satan through the death of Christ. The long prayer for Solemn Blessing of the Crucifix, "Ut quóties triúmphum divínae humnilitátis, quae supérbiam nostri hostis dejecit" and (how often the divine humility has triumphed casting out the pride of our enemy". "Dignáre respícere, bene + dícere et Sancti + ficáre hanc creaturm incensi, ut omnes languores, omnesque imfirmitates, atque insidiar inimici, odorem ejus sentientes, efffugiant, et separatur a plasmate tuo; ut num quam lædatur amorsu antiqui serpentes" (Deign to care for bless and sanctify those being inflamed by passion and weakness, any sickness, deceits of the foe and suspicious resentments felt by them. Be cast out and driven away from your creature) and "Numquam lædatur a morsu antiqui derpentis" (Never to be hurt by the bite of the ancient serpent).
The following are selected paragraphs pertaining to the instruction of the Exorcist as indicated in the Old Rite - Rules of the Roman Ritual of Exorcism.
(RULE 1)The priest who with the particular and explicit permission of his Bishop is about to exorcise those tormented by Evil Spirit, must have the necessary piety, prudence and personal integrity. He should perform this most heroic work humbly and courageously, not relying on his own strength, but on the power of God; and he must have no greed for material benefit. Besides, he should be of mature age and be respected as a virtuous person.
(RULE 5) Let the exorcist note for himself the tricks and deceits which evil spirits use in order to lead him astray. For they are accustomed to answering falsely. They manifest themselves only under pressure--in the hope that the exorcist will get tired and desist from pressuring them. Or they make it appear that the subject of Exorcism is not possessed at all.
(RULE 6) Sometimes, Evil Spirit betrays its presence, and then goes into hiding. It appears to have left the body of the possessed free from all molestation, so that the possessed thinks he is completely rid of it. But the exorcist should not, for all that, desist until he sees the signs of liberation.
(RULE 10) The Exorcist must remember, therefore, that Our Lord said there is a species of Evil Spirit which cannot be expelled except by prayer and fasting. Let him make sure that he and others follow the example of the Holy Fathers and make use of these two principal means of obtaining divine help and of repelling Evil Spirit.
(RULE 20) During Exorcism, the exorcist should use the words of the Bible rather than his own or somebody else's. Also, he should command Evil Spirit to state whether it is kept within the possessed because of some magical spell or sorcerer's symbol or some occult documents. For the exorcism to succeed, the possessed must surrender them. If he has swallowed something like that, he will vomit it up. If it is outside his body in some place or other, Evil Spirit must tell the exorcist where it is. When the exorcist finds it, he must burn it.
In order for Satan to be driven out of the possessed, the exorcist must be humble. He must rely on God and only God for his answers and direction. Sometimes God forces the demon inside the possessed to reveal truths. However, the exorcist must be careful not to believe all that the demon possessing the victim might say. The demon will reveal exactly what the exorcist wants to hear even though it is not the truth, in order to side track him. The exorcist, out of his own curiosity, should not ask questions to the possessed regarding matters other than the exorcism at hand. Only through much prayer, fasting and humility of the exorcist along with the willingness of the victim, and of course, the grace and Will of God, can one be freed of this affliction.
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