Fr. Gabriel Amorth’s important last book and testimony emphasizes the role of Mary and angels in the defeat of evil. As the Church anticipates the celebration of the one hundred year anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, and in light of Mary’s prophecy at Fatima, Father Amorth provides good food for thought.
Excerpt from An Exorcist Explains the Demonic
Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
“In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph”: Mary’s prophecy at Fátima reassures us that besides the body-to-body [struggle] with the demon (the exorcism), the earthly anticipation of the eschatological struggle between the Mother of God and the ancient dragon (cf. Rev. 12) also has her attention. Despite rampant sin and despite the man who abandons God, considering him only a useless impediment to his own unrestrained liberty, the tribulations of the Church will have an end. And the finale will be good: God will have the last word on history. For this reason, Mary is always invoked during the exorcism; although, to tell the truth, the old ritual did not include an invocation to her. Adding her to the ceremony is a practice I borrowed from Father Candido, however. It is a necessity, and the current ritual has gotten around this deficiency. During the prayer, the priest repeatedly invokes her intercession and her powerful action. Without her, little is accomplished in the struggle against Satan. It is always God who liberates one from his influence — it is good to keep repeating it—but His ear is especially attuned to the mediation of Mary, the Mother of His Son.
What role does the Virgin have in the liberation of the obsessed? Mary, as the Hail Mary says, is “full of grace.” She is the mediatrix of God’s every grace for all men, particularly for those who suffer much, including those who suffer from spiritual evils. The enmity between Mary and Satan—proclaimed solemnly by God in the first book of Genesis (Gen. 1:3–15) and manifest in the eschatological struggle with the dragon — makes her the number-one enemy of the demon. She will be the one to crush his head at the end of time.
The help of the Virgin, however, goes beyond the exceptional situations of the demoniacs. In man’s every struggle against Satan and sin, it is always she who represents the extraordinary and the irreplaceable. The demon is terrified of her. In order to be very clear, I wish to cite an episode at which I personally assisted many years ago. During an exorcism, Father Candido asked the devil a question: “Why are you more afraid when I invoke Mary than when I implore God Himself?” He responded: “I feel more humiliated being conquered by a simple creature than by God Himself.”
Mary is a creature like us, but, having been elevated to be the Mother of God, she has extraordinary power. Also for this reason I ask the persons who assist me to pray the Rosary. It is the most advisable prayer in that context, prayed individually, not aloud and collectively, as it is often prayed in church before Mass, so as not to disturb the exorcism. I would add that the Rosary, being the prayer most appreciated by our Lady, is an extremely powerful arm against the devil, and I warmly recommend it to anyone suffering from spiritual evils. This prayer has, in fact, a strong power of protection and liberation from evil. One day Sister Lucia, a seer of Fátima, revealed that God has conferred a power so great on the Rosary that there is no evil—personal, family, or social—that cannot be defeated by its recitation with faith.
What, then, can we ask of Mary in the Rosary? There is nothing else to ask of her except for the gift of peace — for the world certainly, but also for ourselves; for the serenity of our heart, so that we may be able to accept our crosses, so that we may know how to recognize the gifts that we receive each day from the good God and thank Him for this. It is also important to pray the Rosary together as a family in order to invoke peace in our homes and in our parochial communities, in workplaces, in nations, and in the world. Wars and the division of souls are unequivocal signs of the presence of the devil, which, not by chance, in Greek means “divider.”
I also recall that on March 25, 1984, St. John Paul II consecrated the world to Mary. It was a very important gesture in an epoch in which communism still represented an explicit threat to Christianity. During an exorcism, I asked an unclean spirit who was persecuting someone why he had so much hatred to- ward John Paul II. He replied: “Because he has ruined our plans.” I imagine that he was referring to the fall of communism. At Fátima, when the Virgin affirmed that her “Immaculate Heart will triumph,” what could it mean if not to trust in the Lord and her maternal help always—particularly before the danger of discouragement that lies in wait for everyone, but, above all, for those suffering from evil spirits, because often waiting for the results can seem interminable. It also means that, with the help of Mary, we must continuously engage ourselves in converting to God, so that we will know how to do His will — that is, to pardon and to love — and so that we may know how to make every event an occasion of sanctification and the realization of God’s plan for us. Mary brings us to Jesus, because initially she allowed the Holy Spirit to touch her intimately, permitting her to generate Jesus in time.
The Help of the Angels
What role do the angels have? We have already spoken of their choice for or against God in the third chapter. The word angel derives from the Greek angelos and means “messenger of God.” The angels are spiritual creatures, without matter. They are pure forms and have a nature different from that of men, who have a material and spiritual nature together. The angels are subdivided into angelic hierarchies according to the mission that is entrusted to them by God. They cannot reproduce or die: in fact, they have been created directly by God.
At the moment of our birth, Divine Providence assigns each of us a guardian angel, with the specific task of protecting us, assisting us, and interceding for us so that at the end of life we can arrive at our destination, which is paradise.
We have already seen that entire legions of angels have chosen the tragic road of rebellion against God, refusing to obey and to adore Him and, indeed, they tried to substitute themselves for Him. As a consequence of their choice, the devils radically changed their mission: now, in fact, they use their superfine intelligence for the unique objective of destroying men and making them their companions in misfortune. As Revelation tells us, that gigantic war that was fought in the heavens among the angels and the demons has another battle held here on earth: they are in a continuous battle for our lives and our hearts.
From all this, one can affirm that the angels who remained faithful to God have a certain degree of power against ordinary temptations as well as extraordinary spiritual evils. Why? Because they are of the same nature as the devils, and they fight with the same spiritual arms. The angels intercede with God in favor of the one being tempted; for this reason, we exorcists always invoke them during the prayers on the obsessed. Among the angels we give precedence to the three archangels, in particular to St. Michael, the most powerful in the struggle against demons. Incidentally, I am among those who regret that, after Vatican II, the prayer of protection to St. Michael the Archangel, recited after Mass, was eliminated. It seems to me to have created an impoverishment, a void. It is true, however, that one can freely say it privately.
In brief, it is good to invoke the angels often, even apart from their help with extraordinary spiritual evils. I always advise imploring their assistance. Our guardian angels have a special power of intercession with God, which is always the beginning of liberations (from demons). The angels help, they intercede, but they themselves do not have the power to liberate the possessed from the terrible effects of demons.
Mary, Mother of Grace, pray for us.
Angels of God, protect us.
Editor’s note: An Exorcist Explains the Demonic is available from Sophia Institute Press.