“Jesus rebuked him and said, ‘Quiet, come out of him!’ The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.”
A good friend of mine related this true story to me of an older priest he met while working at an inner-city soup kitchen. The older priest recounted a story of an exorcism experience that he encountered early in his priesthood while he was stationed in a diocese on the east coast. This priest, only a few years ordained at the time, was ask to be the exorcist of that particular diocese because of his piety and apparent holiness. At his first experience as an exorcist, he was sent by the diocesan authorities to a home of an elderly woman where he encountered a young man – her son, who was obviously in great emotional distress and anguish of soul. Sometime during the course of the exorcism, the young priest asked the young man why he was so troubled. The young man answered in a shrill-like voice, that he was possessed by an unclean spirit from hell – a demon. The priest then responded with the question directed to the unclean spirit, “Then what is your name or what do you call yourself!” The demon retorted, “My name is hatred for the Mother of God!” .
I don’t mind admitting to you that when my friend first told me this story, I got goose bumps, and the chills ran up and down my spine.Continue reading →
Down through the centuries the followers of Christ would be called upon to profess their faith at various times and under various circumstances. For example, in Japan during the 16th and 17th centuries a persecution of the Church broke out. Many Catholics openly professed their faith and were tortured for it and put to death.
But one particular Japanese Christian lacked faith strong enough to endure persecution. Under torture he renounced his faith and his life was spared and he was given freedom to live. But when he did so, a Jesuit missionary priest, Father Mastrilli, bravely came forth from the crowd that had been watching him. He acknowledged that he was a Catholic priest. The Japanese officials arrested him immediately and began an excruciating ordeal of sixty hours of torture, finally executing him by beheading him.