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About aaalcala

Roman Catholic, Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Communion, Team Leader - Knights of Saint Benedict, Adoracion Nocturna Filipina member, Prayer Warriors for the Holy Souls member, Carmelite Third Order professed member, Sub-Parish Pastoral Council president, Parish Pastoral Council Executive Committee member, Head of the Commission on Family and Life.

Dangers of witchcraft – a warning to all

Now that Halloween is near, Catholics must be aware that halloween parties that promote a culture of death run contrary to their faith.

Witchcraft is never fun, never good, never for children nor for anyone who believes in God. Witchcraft is never a game!

BEGONE SATAN!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcMBJd6bnQc&feature=share

 

Increasing incidences of violence especially among church servants, a devil’s mark

People must realize that we are all being attacked by the devil everyday, in every way. God’s children must always be on-guard to identify Satan’s fingerprints that aim to inflict fear among people– fear to regard him as someone very powerful– and thus avoid confronting him with prayers.

St.Benedict, pray for us.
All Carmelite Saints, pray for us.
All Holy Angels and Saints, Virgins and Martyrs, pray for us.
Our Lady of Mt.Carmel, intercede for us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Deliver us from all evil. Amen.
‘Very strong’ man tasered during attack on deacon
By Trevor Wilhelm, The Windsor Star August 24, 2012
St. Alphonsus Church deacon Gerard Charette was attacked Wednesday while giving mass.
Photograph by: Dax Melmer, The Windsor Star , The Windsor Star
Tactical officers had to taser a man with seemingly superhuman strength who yelled and chanted as he allegedly assaulted a deacon during a Catholic Church service.
“They had to restrain him, unfortunately, because he was very, very strong,” deacon Gerard Charette of St. Alphonsus church, said Thursday.
“He was very uncontrollable, so he could have really hurt someone.
“So they made sure that didn’t happen. I think things worked out OK. He’s getting treatment, I think.”
Windsor police said charges are pending against the 46-year-old Windsor man. It is unknown if he was under the influence of drugs or other substances.
A priest had given the man communion near the end of noon mass at the downtown church.
“Then he became quite vocal, yelling and weeping, fell to the ground, rigid,” said Charette. “We tried to escort him to the back. Again he fell down. He kind of tore my vestment a little bit.”
Police were called at 12: 47 p.m. Wednesday to St. Alphonsus church at 85 Park St. E. The report was for a man causing a disruption.
Two officers arrived minutes later to see parishioners pouring out of the church. The adults looked distraught. Children were crying. Someone told police to “get inside quick.”
The officers ran in and found a man at the front of the church near the altar. With his back to police, he was sweating profusely and chanting loudly in an “intimidating voice,” police said.
He had his arms wrapped around the deacon.
“He had me in a lock, but I don’t know that he had any intention to harm me,” said Charette. “He was in his own world.
“He was yelling and weeping. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t catch exactly what he was saying.”
He wouldn’t let go. “It’s very concerning because the behaviour that was described was aggressive, disruptive and confrontational,” said Sgt. Matthew D’Asti. “Police indicated when they arrived there was a sense of concern or urgency on the face of the deacon.”
D’Asti said the deacon signalled to police that he needed help. Police ordered the man to let go. He ignored them. One of the officers grabbed the man.
“The guy released his grasp on the deacon, then the fight was on,” said D’Asti. There was a fierce struggle. Several other officers were called in.
“It took several officers to control the individual,” said D’Asti. “He was fighting back with what one officer described as enormous strength. He was sweating profusely. He was chanting some type of chant that wasn’t very coherent.”
Not even the arrival of the Emergency Services Unit was enough to make the man give in.
“When the tac team members arrived, they warned him, and he ignored their commands as well,” said D’Asti. “They felt it necessary to deploy the Taser, which was effective immediately.”
Police put him in handcuffs but that wasn’t the end of the fight.
“As soon as he started to recover, again he began struggling while in handcuffs and was trying to actively escape, and was chanting more chants,” said D’Asti.
Police eventually got him under control and escorted him to the hospital for assessment. “We’re grateful no one in the congregation was harmed,” said Charette. “I don’t think they were in serious jeopardy, although you can’t tell that in the heat of the moment.”
Charette said he talked to the man’s regular pastor from another church on Thursday to see what else they can do for him.
“I knew things would work out all right,” said Charette. “We have a good congregation, great pastor and I just had confidence that the Lord would make everything work out OK.”
© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star
 

Love for Liturgy is our hate for Satan

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all love the liturgy with all of our being…

Love for liturgy is love for Christ. Love for Christ is hate for Satan. Therefore, love for liturgy is our declaration of war against Satan.

The liturgy raises hearts to God like no other prayer, Pope says.

By David Kerr
 
Vatican City, Sep 26, 2012 / 10:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict says that the public prayer of the Church, known as the liturgy, is a wonderful school of prayer which raises the human heart to God like no other form of worship.
“It is in the liturgy that we ‘lift up our hearts,’ opening ourselves to the word of God as we gather with our brethren in a prayer which rises within us, and which is directed to the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit,” the Pope said at his Sept. 26 general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
“As the Second Vatican Council teaches, it is by means of the liturgy that Christ our Redeemer and High Priest continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church. This is the great marvel of the liturgy: God acts, while we are caught up in his action,” the Pope said.
He offered his reflections as part of an ongoing weekly exploration of the role of prayer in the story of salvation.
Pope Benedict explained to the estimated 10,000 pilgrims present that the “liturgy” comes from the Greek meaning “work done by the people and for the people.”
The people in question are the “new People of God, brought into being by Christ” through his passion, death and resurrection. This means it is a people “which does not exist by itself and which is not bound by blood, territory or country, but is brought into being through the Paschal Mystery,” the Pope noted.
It was almost a “chance occurrence,” he said, that the first document approved by the Second Vatican Council was the constitution on the sacred liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium.”
“Among the many projects, the text on the sacred liturgy seemed to be the least controversial, and, for this reason, is seen as an exercise in the methodology of conciliar work,” he recalled. As a young priest and academic, Pope Benedict attended the Second Vatican Council as the chief theological advisor or “peritus” to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne.
“But without a doubt,” the Pope stated, “what at first glance seemed a chance occurrence, proved to be the right choice, starting from the hierarchy of themes and most important tasks of the Church.”
“Where God’s gaze is not decisive,” he said, “everything else loses its direction.” The basic criterion for the liturgy, therefore, “is its orientation to God, so that we can share in his work.”
The requirement for a good liturgical celebration, he suggested, is both “prayer and conversation with God, first listening and then answering.”
In that sense, the liturgy is the opposite of how we normally communicate, where internal thoughts usually precede the formulation of external speech.
But in the liturgy “it is the inverse, the words come first,” Pope Benedict said. “God gave us the Word and the Sacred Liturgy gives us the words, and we must enter into their meaning, welcome them within us, be in harmony with them. Thus we become children of God, similar to God.”
He explained that this means there should be a “correlation between what we say with our lips and what we carry in our hearts.” It is this relationship which is “essential, fundamental, to our dialogue with God in the liturgy.”
When we experience the liturgy with this attitude, the Pope said, “it is as if our heart is freed from the force of gravity, which drags it down, and from within rises upwards, towards truth and love, towards God.”
“Dear friends,” the Pope said as he drew to a close, “we celebrate and live the liturgy well only if we remain in an attitude of prayer, united to the Mystery of Christ and his dialogue as the Son with the Father.”
 

While Satan is real, Jesus is truth

Be aware of the devil’s works in Churches, in occults and in New Age practices.
Every Catholic, specially priests and servers in parishes, must be aware of the “crack” where the devil finds its way in to desecrate the presence of the Lord most specially in the Holy Eucharist.

Reprinted from http://www.courageouspriest.com/evil-fallen-fashion:

Evil Has Not Fallen Out Of Fashion!

As Occult And New Age Practices Increase, So Does The Need For Exorcists!

National Catholic Register
By: Elizabeth Deffner (edited for length)

Evil Has Not Fallen Out Of Fashion

Evil has not fallen out of fashion. Exorcism is a rite developed — and promulgated — to meet a need that still exists, due to more people delving into New Age and occult practices.
And, yes, satanic worshippers are a reality.
“They come in the church and steal the Blessed Sacrament to use in a ‘black mass,’” explained Father Gary Thomas, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Saratoga, Calif., and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose.
He has alerted his fellow priests to this danger — and trained his extraordinary ministers of holy Communion so that they note whether people receiving Communion are actually consuming it, not simply transporting it elsewhere for obscene purposes.
Father Thomas, a priest for 28 years, has even addressed people who appear not to be consuming the Eucharist.
“If I don’t know them, I’ll say, ‘Excuse me, will you please finish consuming the body of Christ in my presence?’” he said.

Is The Rite Of Exorcism Still Needed

Is exorcism simply a hot topic — or has the need for the rite grown?
It’s certainly a popular subject. The Rite was one of a handful of movies about exorcism released in the last two years, and a short-lived television series on the subject also launched. But that’s far from the point, says Father Thomas.

“There is a greater need for exorcism because there is a greater frequency of the practices of the occult, New Age and Satanism, both on the part of Catholics and other people alike,” he said. Conference speakers explained that  people begin experimenting with other traditions and rituals, often simply out of curiosity. They don’t realize that they are, at the same time, losing their spiritual center and turning away from God.

That being said, exorcists are quick to state that most of the people who come to see them are not possessed.

The number Of People Seeking Exorcism Is On The Rise

Father Jeffrey Grob, exorcist for the Archdiocese of Chicago, declines to give numbers of people who come to see him — or people he has exorcized — but says simply, “I see far more people than I need to see.”
Like Father Thomas — who says the vast majority of people who come to see him are dealing with mental-health issues, not issues of possession — Father Grob says that most people who hope to call upon his exorcism expertise are actually dealing with psychological issues, or even with a faith life that has gotten off track.

“Spiritually speaking, they don’t need an exorcist. They need their parish priest; they need a spiritual director,” he said. “They need someone who will get them back in the practice of their faith — bring them back to reality.”

After all, he points out, even if a person is not actually possessed, a focus on darkness and evil can draw him into horrifying actions, even including satanic worship and ritualistic murder.
One example comes quickly to Father Grob’s mind: the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, a high-profile crime in Toledo, Ohio. The nun had been strangled and stabbed multiple times in the chapel of a hospital, which she was preparing for the Easter vigil Mass. When the case was reopened in 2003, the hospital chaplain — Father Gerald Robinson — was charged with her murder, and evidence of a cult of ritualistic satanic abuse was uncovered. Father Grob was called as an expert witness to answer questions about cult activity and satanic worship.
“It’s proof positive how far afoul things can go,” he says. “It’s so unbelievable — people don’t want to think about it.

“But things like this happen.”

Those attending the “Christ Triumphant” tracks of the recent convention were not hoping for sensational “Amityville Horror”-style stories. On the contrary, many said they have already experienced the presence of evil and have no need of corroborating stories from others. They simply want to learn how they can help in this important work.
“I want the tools to be able to pray for people I feel are being afflicted,” said Jean Cordero, a parishioner at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach, Calif., who listened raptly to Father Thomas’ opening-day presentation.
Similarly, Father Art Najera — currently working in the Diocese of Sacramento, Calif. — attended the convention to gain knowledge he expects to find useful as he ministers in his parish. People sometimes call to request their houses be blessed because they are experiencing strange phenomena there, he explained.
“The reality is the devil is more active now,” he said simply.
Despite the need for exorcism and recent media attention to the rite and the priests who administer it, the number of exorcists is small. There are more than 180 dioceses in the United States, for instance, but only about 60 known exorcists, says Father Thomas.
But one need only read the Bible to see that Jesus himself was an exorcist, casting out demons from those possessed by them.

“It is the Church’s responsibility to provide the rite of exorcism when it is needed,” said Father Grob. “Our work is to return an afflicted soul back to the body of Christ.”

 

The nun who made pact with the devil

A must-read especially for those who easily believe in unauthenticated visions, miracles and powers allegedly from and by God, angels or saints. Know that Satan has a thousand ways to deceive people especially the Catholic faithfuls who remain ignorant of the Church’s teachings on this. Satan is, after all, the king of lies and deceit.

http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2011/12/sister-magdalena-of-cross-nun-who-made.html

Sister Magdalena of the Cross -The nun who made a pact with the devil


Sister Magdalena of the Cross -The devil’s saint for 40 years & her escape from an evil pact through extraordinary repentanceThe November 24, 2011 prosecution of the false Italian mystic, Mother Ebe Giorgini, foundress of the religious movement “La Pia Unione di Gesù Misericordioso”, once again brings to light the importance of careful discernment when it comes to mystics, visionaries and the like, and calls to mind the incredible life story of the false mystic, Sr. Magdalena of the Cross (1487-1560).The renowned Franciscan nun who made a pact with SatanSister Magdalena of the Cross (Magdalena de la Cruz) was born in Córdoba (Cordova) in Andalusia, Spain in 1487. Named after the mystic St. Mary Magdalene, the one whom Church tradition remembers as the great “..sinner from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons.” (Mark 16:9), and who was also known for her extraordinary repentance. As for herself, Magdalena of the Cross too would one day become an extraordinary mystic, and later a repentant sinner, doing severe penances for her sins. Not even the great Saint Teresa of Avila would ever have as much prestige across Spain in her lifetime as Sr. Magdalena of the Cross! Her (apparent) outstanding piety and the miracles that she performed were known throughout Spain, and even much of Europe. So much so, that even the Emperor Charles V, the sovereign ruler of the Roman and Spanish Empire asked for a piece of the habit of Magdalena of the Cross to wrap around the future Prince Philip II at his birth, to give his royal son the“assistance of a living saint from birth, to envelop him in Divine grace.” Incidentally, prince Phillip II later became the King of Spain in 1556.Little Magdalena’s first vision
But for now, little Magdalena is just 5 years old, and she is already known in town for her remarkable devotion, which is out of the ordinary for a girl of her age. Not long after her fifth birthday, she is praying in Church when she hears music of remarkable sweetness. Then a beautiful young man, with thick, black hair appears to her, wearing a mantle so brilliant that she has to close her eyes. Hearing the story, some believe it to be Jesus. News of this event spreads throughout Córdoba, and many want to see little Magdalena.

Sorting out the heavenly apparitions from the demonic ones
The difficulty that we will now have in sorting out Magdalena’s early life story is that as with all the mystics and their mystical graces, there is often the influence and appearence of the demonic along with the heavenly apparitions. Like in the case of the Biblical Job, God allows the devil to tempt and even attack the mystics, to test their faith, love and devotion. This is the case with most every mystic. And with Magdalena, the task of discernement of her obvious mystical gifts and graces is even more difficult in her early years, because there definitely was a period where Magdalena demonstrated authentic piety and deep devotion, with the sincerity and simplicity of a child. But we know that she made a pact with the devil, so there must have been a point where the heavenly apparitions slowed or even ceased altogether, and the diabolic apparitions took over.

But for now, little Magdalena is living a simple life with her family who were poor artisans, and while Magdalena remains of exemplary modesty and conduct, the visions continue, one after another, and as time goes on this attracts the attention of many; so much so that one day she flees her home to take refuge in a nearby cave, where she once again falls into ecstasy. When she awakens, she discovers that she has been miraculously transported back to her bed by her guardian angel.

Miraculous cures
Soon, a person whom she believes to be Jesus appears to her and asks her to somewhat moderate her asceticism, so as not to compromise her fragile childhood health. He informs her that a great destiny awaits her, and that she will need her strength. She flies to the church to thank Jesus and on the way meets a man with a severe limp who asks her to lend him her hand to climb the Church steps. He has hardly climbed a few steps when he stands erect and with great surprise and excitement he dashes through the whole town crying out that he is healed!

Magdalena herself goes into Church then falls into a deep ecstasy. Soon, someone comes in looking for her and realises that she is seeing a vision. Looking closely at her eyes, she sees in the reflection in her eyes the heavens and what seems to be the Holy Trinity surrounded by the Communion of Saints. Soon afterwards, like Jesus after the cure of the blind man, Magdalena is subjected to all sorts of interrogations to discover any subterfuge, none of which can apparently be found. Not long afterwards, a mute person also allegedly receives his speech through her intercession.

Magdalena attempts to crucify herself
In 1497 at the age of ten, Magdalena is already quite beautiful, and in her purity she is very cautious to hide herself under long black dresses and skirts. Even so, she still finds herself too beautiful, and one day for penance she tries to crucify herself on the wall of her bedroom. She starts by nailing her two feet, then her left hand. Blood flows, and she faints from the atrocious pain. Her flesh tears and, falling heavily onto a chest, she breaks two ribs. Her parents call the doctor and he bandages all of her nail wounds, yet she is burning with desire to suffer terribly for the reparation of sins, and she repeatedly takes off the bandages, so as to suffer more. But this soon makes her very ill.

On Easter Saturday, 1497, Magdalena is bedridden and seems to be dying, probaly because of infection from the wounds of her failed crucifixion. At midnight, she lets out a great scream, sits up on her bed, once more rips off her dressings, saying that she is healed. She says that it is Jesus himself, who has just appeared to her and has cured her.

A prolonged fast and her first Holy Communion
Three months before her First Holy Communion, Magdalena seemingly stops eating. The pleadings of her poor parents make no difference; she fasts right up until the Sunday of her first Holy Communion, surprisingly without losing her healthy appearance. On the day of the ceremony, at the precise moment of consecration, she lets out another cry and prostrates herself for a long time. When she exits the church, she explains that the Lord Himself put the Eucharist in her mouth, without her needing to approach the priest.

Wounds seemingly heal overnight and the story of two stubby fingers
At sixteen, Magdalena contunes to astound many with her apparent extraordinary devotion and her remarkable desire to make reparation for sin. Many see her as a living saint- for who else but a saint could do such extraordinary penances? When she whips herself to bleeding point while doing penance, her wounds are miraculously healed the next day to everyones great surprise. She is healthy, and everything about her seems wholesome, except two fingers which have not grown like the others: at sixteen, they are no larger than the size of a child’s pinky. Some say that these two fingers are those that Christ touched one night in her childhood, during an apparition.


Magdalena becomes a Franciscan nun
In 1504, at age 17, Magdalena at last obtains what seems to be the great desire of her life: to become a Franciscan nun- a spiritual daughter of St. Francis and St. Clare. Because of her reputation for holiness, she is joyfully admitted to the Franciscan convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels in Cordova (Convento de Santa Isabel de los Ángeles), and she soon edifies and inspires the admiration of many of the nuns.

There are however some “red flags” though. She is seemingly not too discrete about her spiritual life and merits; she inflicts severe mortifications upon herself, carries a heavy cross all around the convent, kisses her companions’ feet, and she seemingly stops eating completely, apparently living only on Holy Communion. All of these facts are cause for some concern, but she does seem very devout and is willing to do even the most menial and unwanted tasks, so her “extravagances” are for the most part downplayed, at least for now.

After a few years as a postulant, in 1509, at age 22, she already has a reputation for sainthood, and because of this it is thought prudent to let her take her vows alone. The event is greatly anticipated and well prepared. All of the nobles seek to obtain a good place in the church and to add even more glory to the great day, the Archbishop himself has his throne covered by a dais of richly embroidered velvet.

At last, the day of the ceremony arrives. Magdalena will now be known as Sister Magdalene of the Cross, in memory of the heroic crucifixion of her youth. The ceremony begins and she comes forward and kneels outside the sanctuary, and waits to hear the Cardinal’s speech. But rather than exhort the novice to the practice of christian virtue and piety, as is usual, he publicly asks her for her prayers and protection in support of himself and the diocese.

The miraculous dove
Afterwards at the Kyrie Eleison, something very remarkable happens: a dove, which seems to descend straight from the high catherdral ceiling, catches the eye of everyone. The dove lands on Magdalena’s shoulder, and seems to speak into her ear. Afterwards it ascends up to a parapet, and remains there as if watching until the end of the ceremony. Afterwards it flies outside of the Church and those who run out to follow it see it rise almost striaght up, and for so long, that the sky finally seems to close over it. The news of these events spread like wildfire across the country and even spills outside its borders.

As the weeks and months progress after her solemn profession, Sr. Magdalene de la Cruz (as she is know known as) soon exhibits extraordinary faculties. Without ever going outside the walls, she seemingly knows many things that happens in Cordoba and elsewhere, particularly in the neighbouring Franciscan convent, and also in the aristocratic and noble homes in Cordoba. As in the past she continues to go into ecstasy often, and if she happens to be out of her cell while doing so, her companions carry her to her cell then withdraw discretely. Sometimes their curiosity gets the better of them and they listen not far away and often hear a gentle muttering of unknown words and also moans of suffering too.

Her fame continues to spreads across Spain and abroad
As can be expected, the gossip around all of these remarkable events swells and continues to spill outside of Spain. Correspondence floods the convent; people from all over petitioning Magdalena of the Cross for her prayers and spiritual help. Generous donations pour in also, and Magdalena’s convent is buzzing like a beehive with activity.

Magdalena’s prophesies
It is at this time that another prodigious mystical gift of Sr. Magdalena appears: she can seemingly predict the future. In 1515, she announces the death of King Ferdinand for the following year, which comes to pass as foretold, and also the regency of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros over the kingdom of Castile. In sign of gratitude, Cardinal Jiménez has a beautiful vermilion ostensory given to her, which increases the admiration and devotion of her fellow sisters and others even more.

A unexpected and remarkable pregnancy on the day of the Annunciation
On March 25, 1518, the day of the Feast of the Annunciation, Magdalena discreetly tells her Abbess some news which fills the pious woman with great confusion and perplexity–Magdalena states that on the preceding night, that is, the solemn Vigil of the Annunciation, she had conceived the child Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus Magdalene of the Cross, the shining light of the convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels, is pregnant.

Forseeing the enormous scandal that such news would inevitably provoke, the Abbess orders Magdalena to keep absolutely quiet about it for now, while she prays for guidence as to how to proceed. As the days pass, the Abbess discretely watches Magdalena and, after a few weeks, she is obliged to bow to the obvious evidence, for Magdalena’s abdomen is noticeably rounding out, and the moment is going to come when they will no longer be able to hide this “work” of the Holy Spirit….or of nature?

The nuns are divided concerning Magdalena’s alleged miraculous pregnancy
The nuns are all informed of the situation, and soon the convent is divided into two camps. On the one side, there are those who doubt the miraculous conception, some perhaps because they feel a hidden envy for Magdalena. Others because it is such a extraordinary thing that has never happened outside of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and there is nothing in Sacred Scripture that would point to such a second birth of Jesus into this world.

At this point most do not yet actually doubt her sainthood, however all these extraordinary things are without a doubt cause for careful discernment. And then there is all the generous donations that have been flowing in in honor of the “living saint”, and the countless individuals who request her intercession and prayers…all of this tends to relegate the other sisters to a lesser position in the convent, and causes them to feel somewhat inadequate in their spirituality and the practice of virtue. Certainly many of them accuse themselves of jealousy to their confessor, and must have harbored some envy towards her. And so to some, for various reasons this supernatural pregnancy appears inconceivable, most importantly because such a miracle is not announced in the Holy Scriptures.

On the other side, there are those, also numerous, who say that God works in mysterious ways, and that the Most High has been pouring all sorts of extraordinary graces on his humble servant for many years. Understandably they cannot fathom how she could have possibly stained her purity; she who is so seemingly devout and pious, and besides she never leaves the convent grounds. To that, the doubters reply that she receives her confessor alone, and also that the bars on the convent fence are so widely spaced as to allow the passage of a much more cumbersome being than the Holy Spirit.

However, a vow of silence is agreed upon by both camps, however some cannot help themselves and soon the extraordinary news is spreading through all of Cordova and abroad. But how does Magdalena respond? She treats all of the news and insinuations with absolute and complete indifference.

Seemingly even more devout in the practice of virtue, she redoubles the severity of her penances, walking barefoot on pieces of broken glass and lashing her back and shoulders with instruments of severe mortification, along with wearing a rough cilice discipline.

The Archbishop orders a medical examination of Sr. Magdalena
Hearing the news, the Archbishop of Seville sends three experienced matron “midwives” to examine Magdalena. Having very carefully examined her, they announce that while it is indeed true that the nun is pregnant, it is also very much a fact that her virginity is completely intact and unquestionable. Prayers of thanksgiving explode in all the churches and throughout the land, and inside the convent the doubters and gossipers are reduced to utter silence and penances for their apparent doubts .

On Christmas Eve, 1518, Magdalena confirms that she will very soon give birth. A little house at the end of the garden is prepared for her, for in a vision her guardian angel recommends that she give birth alone, so as to suffer more without any human assistance. Magdalena remains locked up in the little house for three days, during which time the whole community remains in prayer. The story that Magdalena tells when she comes out is absolutely prodigious.

She relates that during Christmas night, at midnight, she gives birth to a magnificent baby who radiates so much light that she can see as if it were high noon. The cold air of her chamber is suddenly miraculously heated and the divine child doesn’t suffer at all from the cold.

During this time, strangely Magdalena’s hair begins to grow very fast and, from crow black that it was, it changes to the brightest blond, with its long length allowing her to swaddle the infant child in it, and keep him warm in the softest of tunics.

As proof of the miracle, she cuts a few of her blond curls before her hair turns back to normal. The nuns then compete for a few of the miraculous hairs to keep as precious relics.

Continuing with the story of the remarkable birth, Sr. Magdalene de la Cruz states that on the morning after Christmas she found herself alone, the beautiful little child gone, but with her breast chapped from suckling him, along with all of the stigmata of recent delivery still on her body. Soon the matron midwives are sent again to check on the veracity of these facts and to verify that Magdalena’s virginity has not suffered from the event. A solemn ‘Te Deum’ is then sung in the cathedral and donations flow in like never before. But in truth this entire event was orchestrated and perpetrated by the devil, in particular by two demons named Balban and Patorrio, as we will soon discover……

A few people continue to gossip, however, so in an attempt to put a definitive end to the calumnies an exorcist monk arrives at the convent one morning, while the nun is in ecstasy. He approaches her and pushes two long needles in her body, one into her foot, and the other into her hand. The needles penetrate deeply, yet Magdalena remains perfectly insensitive to them, without any reaction whatsoever, which confirms in the minds of many that her ecstasies are authentic. When the needles are are withdrawn, a little stream of blood flows from the wounds.

Her fast from food is subjected to a stringent test
In spite of this proof, Sr. Magdalena is subjected to another test, this time concerning her abstinence from food; a fast which she allegedly has been carrying out for eleven years. For, it was being insinuated that certain novices were secretly bringing her food.

So the Abbess then requests that a vigilant guard of two monks from the nearby Franciscan monastery be positioned at the entrance to Magdalena’s cell with a 24 hour watch; the two monks taking turns with others in a rotating schedule. Additionally, she even orders that the window shutters of the chamber be nailed shut. After a few days, it is discovered that Magdalena has suddenly disappeared. They look for her everywhere, and soon find her in the completely opposite part of the garden, asleep near a fountain. The monks assure the abbess that they have not relaxed their surveillance for an instant. For her part, Sr. Magdalena reveals that it is Saint Francis himself who transported her to this place. Of course nobody is able to give any explanation for this prodigy, and it is concluded that this is but another miracle in the extraordinary life of Sister Magdalena of the Cross.

A Cathederal is built in greater part through the donations given to Sister Magdalena
At this point, Sr. Magdalena now has a greater prestige than the Abbess herself. She is consulted for all the major decisions that need to be taken by the community. Her advice is even sought from outside, by great and small alke, and soon Magdalena and the other nuns who have befriended her are better informed of what is happening in the city than the Archbishop himself.

In 1523, the Archbishop is in need of a new Cathederal, and because of the abundant donations sent to Sr. Magdalena her convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels is the richest in Spain, and is able to furnish by far the greatest part of the money needed for its construction. Because of this, Sr. Magdalena is consulted on the new cathedral’s appearance.

Sr. Magdalena de la Cruz is elected Abbess
And so it is that for twenty-nine years Magdalena’s notoriety has grown in proportion to her alleged virtues, and she has led an existence which, although full of sometimes astounding events, has contributed for the most part in a positive way to the convent’s enrichment through her practice of virtue and the apparent signs from heaven which inspire the faithful. Always seemingly pious and disposed to sacrifice, she inspires and fascinates the Spanish high clergy, and many feel that she should have a higher position in the convent more suited to her merits. It is suggested that she should become the Abbess, since as time passes the current Abbess is becoming infirm. In a show of alleged humility, Magdalena protests and she uses her poor administrative abilities as a reason, stating:
“Let them elect Sister Isabella of the Holy Trinity instead.”

However, many of her fellow nuns want her as abbess so much that, on February 17, 1533 Magdalena is elected Abbess, in presence of the Order’s Superior, by forty-four votes as opposed to the seven given to Isabella of the Holy Trinity.

The new abbess Magdalena encourages severe mortifications and penances
With Magdalena now in charge, in the beginning life in the convent hardly changes, except Mother Magdalena seems to have a strong penchant for the practice of severe penances, and she exhorts her religious sisters to do likewise. In doing so, the new Abbess sometimes provokes very difficult scenes.

And so it is that during Confession the sisters, by hypocrisy or fear of too difficult penances, now usually only accuse themselves of small faults. Hearing of this, Mother Magdalena enters into holy wrath which soon causes unspeakable fear into her sisters. She orders them to admit to more severe sins, and the poor nuns become frightened by the severity of the abbess. Some burst into tears, and there are a couple of others who astonishingly go into a sort of semi-possession, rolling on the floor and arching their bodies, before slowly returning back to normal.

To reprimand the more guilty ones for their alleged spiritual weaknesses, the Abbess orders some to crawl on their knees in the refectory and make the sign of the cross with their tongues on the shoes of all the assembled nuns.

Soon, the confessions of the nuns are more to Mother Magdalena’s liking, supposedly revelaing the sisters true state of sin. Penances are now measured to the alleged gravity of the faults, for according to Abbess Magdalena, it is necessary to totally expiate sins, and to succeed in this endeavor the common cord whip disciplines are replaced with iron tipped ones.

As for the manner and the times in which the discipline (ie- scourge or lash/whip) should be applied, the Abbess modernises it. Before, when the occasion came for extreme penance and use of the discipline (ie -scourge or lash/whip), the candles were extinguished, so that no one else could see the nuns who chose to use this form of severe mortification. It was the nuns own choice to do so, and it was done in darkness so that no one might know who is choosing to discipline themselves. This is to preserve the nuns humility.

But from now on, Mother Magdalena orers that the candles are to remain lit, and the nuns are given all the necessary time to openly whip themselves in the performance of bodily mortification and penance, in the full light and prescence of the other nuns. According to her, the sight of the self inflicted penance should be an encouragement for all of them to likewise do the same, or be exposed to the indignation of others, along with provoking interior feelings of inadequacy and spiritual weakness and discouragement amongst many of the nuns. Knowing that Mother Magdalena was being guided by the devil at this time (which we shall soon see), it is assumed that these exraordinary penances were an attempt by the devil to instill spiritual pride in some of the nuns, and discouragement and despair in others

Gone now are the “little penances” consisting of begging food from each table; for according to Mother Magdalena a soul with pride can submit to that easily enough. For acording to her it is severe mortification which is the salt of true penitence. The nuns are now encouraged to remain on their knees on boards garnished with rounded iron nailheads; they are encouraged to wear cilices or belts with small iron spikes pointing inwards and are encouraged to stretched out in doorways so that the others nuns can walk upon them and some wear a crown made of thorns. Yet these extreme severities seemingly do not harm the outward devotion of most of the community to their new Abbess. She is twice re-elected with the majority of the votes. No one dares, it seems, to question her authority and power within the community.

Mother Magdalena relaxes other rules of the Order
Yet, surprsingly, the abbess Magdalena of the Cross relaxes some long-standing rules of the Order that have exsisted for centuries. This of course causes concern first and foremost amongst the other Franciscan communities in her order, and also with the Archbishop and the priests within the local Church itself. Yet, as in the past, her reputation for holiness goes before her, and she is allowed to relax many rules of the Order within her own convent.

St Francis allegedly appears to her, and dispenses her from Confession
Not only does Magdalena on the one hand encourage severe penances and mortifications, and on the other hand she relaxes some of the rules of the Order, but now apparently because of her “saintliness” Saint Francis, the founder of her Order allegedly appears to her one night and dispenses her from having to go to Confession in the future.

And for the confessions of her fellow nuns, she explains that it is an insult to them to be separated from their confessor by a grille. In her opinion, they are to sit face to face with the confessor. This causes quite a stir amongst not only the sisters, but also with the priests themselves, as such a practice is unheard of throughout Catholic Spain at that time.

Additionally, Mother Magdalena of the Cross authorises the sisters to no longer fast on Fridays “so as to be able to support even greater mortifications”. It is the belief of many of her fellow sisters that this great reform of the Franciscan Order that she is undertaking will bring new prosperity to the convent, and to the Order itself. It is no wonder then that within a couple of decades the great Spanish reformer and mystic, the Carmelite St. Teresa of Avilia would face such heavy opposition to the reforms that she was endeavoring to instill within the Carmelite Order in Spain only a few short years later.

Soon afterwards, Mother Magdalena states that on the previous evening, a dead woman, (presumably a soul from purgatory?) had come to confess to her. She immediately wants the young nuns and novices to confess to her at night in her cell. This most recent innovation of course causes even more murmurs and doubts, particularly from Isabella of the Holy Trinity who still hasn’t forgotten being beaten by Magdalena in the 1533 elections, and on whom Magdalena (as Abbess) has inflicted the severest humiliations upon ever since.

Mother Magdalena receives the admiration of many top dignitaries
Yet, amidst these troubling new reforms and directives from Mother Magdalena, the admiration that she receives from the greats of her time seem to easily blunt any criticisms– for Queen Isabella of Spain herself sends Mother Magdalena her portrait and beseeches Magdalena for her prayers, and also the Archbishop of Seville often writes to her, and in his letters he calls her “the happiest creature in the world”, presumably because of all the alleged heavenly graces that she supposedly receives.

The noblest ladies, while pregnant and nearing their deliveries would send the layette to be blessed by her, as did the Empress Isabel before the birth of Philip II. When, in 1535, the Emperor Charles V was starting from Barcelona for the expedition to Tunis, he sent his banner to C6rdova that she might bestow on it her blessing. Cardinal Manrique, the inquisitor-general, and Giovanni di Reggio, the papal nuncio, made pilgrimages to visit her, and it is said that even the pope sent to ask her prayers for the Christian Republic, although it should be said that this was often a common practice of the time for prioresses such as Mother Magdalena who were considered devout, for since they were in charge of their respective convents, the pope and the high prelates would often request their prayers in union with the sisters in their convents, for the benefit of the Church or their local dioceses.

The doubts about Mother Magdalena begin to mount
And so it is that the revelations and prodigies that direct and guide Mother Magdalena seem to cause her to make decisions that are more and more contestable and disconcerting. And now once again she reveals more troubling revelations one morning:

“The Holy Virgin has appeared to me and led me about the corridors last night. She smiled at you, Sister”and then gazing at one of those who had been opposing her “but she only gave a long look of scorn to you.”

Understandably, these revelations strongly displease those who are the victims. Their protestations join those of the families who, outside, see their daughters refused entrance into the convent, because for example one of their ancestors were perhaps Jewish. Mother Magdalena of course receives her information from the Holy Virgin Herself, but in the families, indignation and anger provoke the growing attitude of doubt concerning the supposed heavenly guidance recieved by the abbess.

The 1542 elections bring a surprising result
During the next elections for abbess, Mother Magdalena receives only a handful of votes, and Isabella of the Holy Trinity is elected by a large margin. In reparation (and perhaps some retaliation for her own humiliations?) that same evening, she obliges Magdalena to make as many signs of the cross on the floor with her tongue as there are tiles in the refectory.

In the middle of this, Magdalena the former Abbess falls into ecstasy. Always when this would happen in the past, the sisters would carry her to her cell. Now, she is left where she is in the refectory for a good part of the night. After the “ecstasy” she finally returns to her cell on her own.

With doubts continuing to mount, Magdalena is again suspected of receiving food clandestinely, as she is still said to be fasting on a daily basis for over thirty years now.

Add to this, one day, a little iron box containing Communion wafers is brought to the Abbess. This box, found under Magdalena’s bed, seems to prove that the miracle of spontaneous Communion, repeated many times in the past, has been just a trick.

A demonic presence is detected
In 1543, she falls gravely ill. This seems a good occasion for the Abbess to oblige her to make a general confession of her entire life. But at the moment when the confessor puts his stole on in preparation for her confession, Magdalena immediately goes into convulsions. The priest suspects a demonic prescence, so he sends for a doctor whom he knows to be also well versed in the spiritual life. He examines Magdalena and notices that during one of her ecstasies, Magdalena’s eyes do not remained fixed, which is one of the distinctive marks of real ecstasies. However, he stabs her with a needle and obtains no reaction. But when he wisely dips the needle in holy water, Magdalena lets out a moan. This immediately draws suspicion and concern that Sr. Magdalena may be infested or even possessed by a demon.

As time progrsses, Magdalena’s illness continues to get worse. Seemingly out of character, she is now worried, and often asks the doctor to keep her informed on the evolution of her illness. One December day, she hears:

“You are dying. You will not see another Christmas.”

Greatly anguished, Magdalena suddenly twists on her bed and then rises up and lets out mysterious words:

1544!…The forty years as announced!; I am a cursed dog! Take me to Hell!”

Then she falls back into her bed and begins uttering revolting blasphemies before suddenly being taken from her bed by an inisible force and held in mid-air. She then falls heavily onto the bed several times, but apparently without hurting herself.

After some reflection, the Abbess decides to have a very old and experienced priest, Rev. Don Juan of Cordova called in, and she asks him to examine, and if need be exorcise Magdalena immediately. Not long after visiting Magdalena the old man looks at her and orders:

“I order you in the Name of Jesus to leave this poor woman and dare to say your name!”

The demon first lets out a terrible cry in which the name “Balban” is recognised. Later during exorcisms it was discovered that another demon named “Patorrio” was also influencing her. The demonic laughing intensifies and the words uttered are horrible. The demon glories in all the disorder that he has been able to cause over so many years in the convent, and swears that he will return…

Thus the Rev. Don Juan of Cordova is able to establish at least a solid case of demonic infestation, and perhaps even possession, and the news spreads first among the nuns, and soon afterwards amongst the clergy and townsppeople of Cordova, and later throughout the whole of Spain. The following day however, the Provincial of the Franciscans goes in person to the dying nun’s bedside. He remains there for several hours and receives a complete confession, of which he says nothing.

Yet all those who meet him afterwards notice that he is carrying a very heavy burden, a frightful secret; a nightmare which has been a whole lifetime; the lifetime of the “saint” Magdalena of the Cross, the diabolic Abbess of Cordova.

Sister Magdalena of the Cross admits to a 40 year pact with the devil
Next, an Inquisitor is sent to investigate the thorny matter by the express order of Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera, the Primate of Spain. He is much younger than the Rev. Don Juan of Cordova and he inspires her with confidence. She reveals to him that the beautiful dark-haired young man who appeared to her at the age of five was in fact the devil. He had promised her fame and the respect of everyone, if she would consent to obey him always.

It is also satan who leaves his mark by touching her two fingers which from then forward stop growing. And it is also he who teaches her the subterfuge of the wafers, and he assists her with the simulation of ecstasies. Her cries in the night are in no way inspired by the ecstatic love that she has for the Creator, but by the demon’s evil caresses.

Upon hearing such disconcerting admissions, the Inquisitor is horrified and almost instictively he makes the sign of the Cross upon himself. Immediately, Sr. Magdalena starts to insult the priest with vile and abhorrent words. She then begins to roll around the floor in her cell, and bites anything she can, while striking indecent poses and mimicking the vile copulations that she has performed with Balban for nearly forty years.

Because he is an experienced Inquisitor, the good monk had asked the older, more experienced nuns to stay in the corridor to write down the fallen Magdalena’s words, so as to be able to document and later serve as witnesses. From here, Sr. Magdalena de la Cruz’ case is well documented and quickly prepared.

The Exorcisms of Sister Magdalena begin
During the extended course of interrogations that were part of the ongoing exorcism during which Balban is very reluctantly dislodged from Magdalena, it is discovered that the most wicked and hideous means were used to undermine Magdalena’s soul as a child. It was believed that he originally chose her because she was in fact very pious and devoted to God, and so in his terrible wickedness he earnestly sought to despoil God of one of His favorites. But, we shall soon see how God wins triumphantly in the end.

During the ongoing exorcisms it is learned that when Magdalena became a young adult, the demon Balban ceased to appear to her as a beautiful young man, as he had been doing since she was age five. One night, when the young girl was waiting for him as usual, he presented himself to her in the form of a schimmering mist which condenses and takes the form of a very tall man with long hair, who radiates a reddish light.

She cries out “Jesus”, but this, of course, greatly displeases Balban, who lifts her with his burning hand and drops her on the ground. She is then forced to contemplate this horrid creature who now rises before her in a horrible metamorphisis, from a man into a vile beast.

The infernal creature is repulsive and the possessed nun describes in horror his wide, flat nose, his twisted horns and his toothless mouth. He commanded her to immediately become his wife, and he assures her that she will not lose her virginity, and he promises that her apparent sainthood would only grow in measure with the supposed unimaginable pleasures that she would enjoy with him. Lacking in spiritual fortitude; vanquished, Magdalena then gives in, and it is again the dark-haired, and very attractive young man that she now receives in her.

Next she confesses that it was also the devil who came to feed her in secret, and that she had really been pregnant by him. She had been told by him that she risked nothing if she followed his instructions. It was to play a joke by troubling the minds of the nuns and the Spanish clergy and laity that he had made her pregnant with an montorous caterpillar, which escaped from her body with a loud wind that famous Christmas night, before changing into Balban, and re-possessing her with unprecedented vigor.

A few holy and well known individuals were not fooledAnd so it is that the whole of Christendom discovers with horror that she of whom most everyone thought was God’s most-beloved, was in fact the most-beloved creature of the devil. Yet some of Sr. Magdalena’s contemporaries were not so easily fooled by her false mysticism, like the great St Ignatius Loyola who was incredulous and in 1541, it is said that he severely reproved Martin de la Santa Cruz, who endeavored to win him over towards Sr. Magdalena, for accepting exterior signs without seeking for the true interior ones; and the great St John of Avila (who is soon to be declared a Doctor of the Church) was also very sceptical and, when he was in Cordova, he was discreetly denied access to her.
Sr. Magdalena of the Cross becomes like her namesake, St. Mary Magdalene and deeply repents of the demons that were possessing her
As the Scriptures relate, Jesus had cast out seven horrible demons that were possessing St. Mary Magdalene,(Mark 16:9) and she became known as the great, repentant sinner. Tradition tells us that she spent the rest of her life in a cave making penance and reparation for her manifold sins, and she became a most extraordinary Saint. In fact, Jesus chose St Mary Magdalene to be one of the first witnesses to His glorious Resurrection, as Holy Scripture tells us.

The judgement of the Religious TribunalAs for the once renowned Sr. Magdelena de la Cruz, now fully exorcised and free of the demons Balban and Patorrio who are forced to reveal that they are leaving forever the body and soul of the possessed woman, she is then judged by the religious tribunal on May 3, 1546.

The Grand Inquisitor of the religious tribunal is Cardinal Jimenez, now the Primate of Spain, appointed by Isabella of Castile herself, and it is because of this that Magdalena is transferred to the Alcazar prisons to be further interrogated.

The demons Balban and Patorrio receive the majority of the blame
Sr. Magdalena is now sixty-one years old and she is extraordinarily repentant for all that she has done and she begs the court to put a rapid end to her torments and deliver her to the purifying flames. The judges however decide otherwise. Because of her great age, her sincere confessions and the quality of her repentance her deserved sentence is greatly mitigated. And rightfully so, they consider her to be a pitiful victim of the demon and perhaps they remember well the days of her glory when they too had exalted in having what was belived to be such an extraordinary saint in their midst. And so the inquisitors place a large portion of the blame on the demons Balban and Patorrio, most especially Balban, and not so much on Magdalena herself, since she was just an inexperienced youth when the demon(s) began influencing her. In short, they feel that as a youth Magdalena was heavily intimidated by the demon, so they conclude that her culpability is greatly lessened because of her age at the time.

The Catholic church relies on the principle that divine works are eternal and infinite. Those of the demon, on the other hand, are always limited in time and space. If Magdalena confesses, it is because, in 1544, her pact with the devil has arrived at its end. It is fear of Hell, as she says herself, which precipitates her revelations. And it is also God who in His infinite love and mercy inspires all of her admissions, and inspires and guides her deep repentance. And it is God who assures her that she will live if she confesses. She would become even more a heroine in repentance than she was in false virtue and fame.

So the judges decide that Sr. Magdalena is to be led to the scaffold with a gag in her mouth, a Spartan cord around her neck, and a candle in her hand. She is to remain exposed there for all to see for the time period of a High Mass, and that she should then abjure her manifold errors. For three months, she must keep her face exposed and cannot wear the black veil, and she must always walk last in all of the movements of convent life.

She abjures and repents in tears, in front of the Cathedral that she had had raised thanks to her deceptions in union with the demons Balban and Patorrio. She is also ordered to go to a different Franciscan convent in Burgos, where she lives long years or repentance and expiation without ever falling again into the slightest error.

At a young age, Magdalena succumed to a great pride and a false demonic promise that offered her prestige and power. But the great and small of her time were all later sure that her final deep humility and repentance had made her quite worthy of Paradise. Sister Magdalena de la Cruz died in 1560 at the age of 74.

Today, the name of this Sister Magdalena of the Cross is all but forgotten and her remarkable story is practically unknown. However, the great lawyer and writer, Maurice Garcon, for whom Magdalena is an important historical figure, documents how she was in fact very well-known throughout Christendom in the 16th and 17th centuries, and how many of the theological and demonological treatises make precise and detailed references to her case. In fact during this time period the many facts presented in theological books concerning demonic influences are illustrated by the statements and documents drawn from her trial.

And it is from the transcript of her trial that Maitre Maurice Garcon drew up his remarkable book on her life, using the transcript from her trial. Louis Pauwels used Maitre Garcon’s book (among other references) for his resume of Sr Magdalena’s life.

According to him there are only two copies of this very precious manuscript in the world, one in London and the other in Paris.

The important lessons learned through the extraordinary case of Magdalena of the CrossMagdalena had arrived so high in her reputation for sainthood that she had been the counseller of kings, emperors, and above all, of the great Church dignitaries. Yet the trial’s conclusions about this are very interesting. The outcome of the long and detailed trial by the judges concludes that in the end the only real dupe in this affair is the devil, himself. His subterfuges have turned against him: by intimidating and perverting Magdalena, he has in the end only reinforced the faith of the people, and she who had been submissive to him for so long, gloriously escapes from his wicked rule in the end, through the power and mercy of God. And Truth overcomes the devils lies and the deceptions that he inspires through his demons.

For those who study the lives of visionaries and the mystics of the Church, Magdalena’s extraordinary yet fraudulent mystical life replete with numerous alleged supernatural and mystical gifts that almost perfectly mimic the ones given to authentic mystics should serve as a very grave warning of how the devil can ape and mimic God’s works, and can be exceedingly convincing while doing so. For as we see in the case of Sr. Magdalena, he was able to decieve even Cardinals, priests, theologians and others who were very experienced in the mystical life and spiritual matters.

The root cause of the ongoing deception: The necessity of spiritual direction and obedienceThe important missing element which allowed for the ongoing demonic deceptions in the life of Sr. Magdalena was the absence of a priest spiritual director to guide and discern her alleged mystical gifts and supernatural graces. Obedience is the “litmus test” of the Church, and it seems that Sr. Magdalena was never subjected to obedience to a spiritual director. Had she been, the demonic deceptions would certainly have been detected much sooner. Mystics and visionaries should always be guided by a priest spiritual director, and it should always be the priest who directs the mystic, and NOT the mystic who directs the priest. A priest spiritual director represents Christ and His authority within the Church, and therefore mystical and supernatural graces should be subjected to this authority to help discern their authenticity.

For sure another one of the spiritual lessons is that all that glitters is not necessarily gold, and the devil does not counterfeit tin or copper, or even silver—he seeks to counterfeit gold. So we need to be very careful, with the help of God, not to be misled by his phony deceptions.

-May Jesus inspire, guide and protect us, and may the Blessed Virgin Mary cover us under Her mantle. St Michael the archangel, defend us in battle!

 

The best out of the movie of Vilma Santos:The Healing

To all Core Members and Prayers Warriors of the Knights of Saint Benedict, Catholic Lay Deliverance Team, and to those who engage in the ministry of healing and deliverance, I recommend the movie of Vilma Santos “The Healing” for awareness and practical study of common infestations brought about by the fascination of people in consulting the world of occult and witchcraft.
The movie presented the following:
  1. The folk religiosity of people and their belief in Faith Healing, Divination, and the like;
  2. The actual desperation of people to be healed from their ailments no matter what;
  3. The real and various attitudes of people towards Faith Healing and occultism after experiencing the so-called healing and relief;
  4. The risks in being involved in the world of occultism and New Age beliefs, causing bondage with satan;
  5. The various diabolic effects and haunting after engaging into the occult, causing chaos among members of the family and among families in a given community.
BELIEF IN FAITH HEALING
            Many have placed their beliefs in divination and faith healing (occult) especially the people in rural areas where they find in them the cheap yet quick and urgent relief from ailments. They are fascinated with the ritualistic moves and presentation of procedures. Many are deceived in its authenticity and religiosity by using the names of God, angels and saints, while displaying at the same time religious icons like Virgin Mary, St.Padre Pio, St.Joseph, Sto.Niño, Nazareno, Crucifix, etc., and using the Holy Rosary to complement their cosmic drama.
But what does the Catholic Church specifically teach us about this? Those in the ministry of Healing and Deliverance must understand, and be ready to caution people as much as one can, to refrain from getting involved in this kind of practice and to ask help through the Sacrament of Confession if one has already been involved in the past, voluntarily or involuntarily.
AFFLICTED PEOPLE DESPARATELY IN NEED
            People experiencing various types of sickness and diseases come and consult the faith healer (played by Daria Ramirez in the movie). Ironically, not only the poor within the locality consults the healer, even the well-off families from urban areas come to seek help out of desperation. Characters like the one portrayed by Robert Arevalo is an example of a medical patient who wants quick and instant healing, not wanting to surrender the old unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. The desire of people to cut-short the normal process of healing (usually at length and requires sacrifices to abstain from old harmful habits) make them impatient and desperate, thus, resulting to their submission to occult practitioners like “albularyo”, “tawas”, “santiguar”, etc. who promise instant healing.
            But is there real healing in them and through them? What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the faithful about it? All forms of divination are reprehensible even if it is for the sake of restoring ones health. We pray for the healing of the soul, more than the healing of our physical bodies. The regretful comment of Janice De Belen, whose daughter was demonically possessed in the movie by consulting the faith healer goes something like “Mas mabuti pang nanatili na lang na bulag ang aking anak…” (it should have been better if my child has remained blind).
            When a paralytic enters a room, and goes out still a paralytic but has become more loving, forgiving, humble and prayerful, this is True Healing. When the same paralytic consults a diviner, faith healer, witch doctor, occult and New Age practitioner, instantly comes out walking, jumping and dancing but remains poor in prayer life, unbeliever, unfaithful & disobedient to God and His Church, there never was a True Healing. In fact, he has become sicker and more miserable than before.
ATTITUDES OF PEOPLE ALLEGEDLY HEALED BY FAITH HEALERS
            Why one has to appear (instantly) healed after consulting witchdoctors, diviners, faith healers, New Age? Precisely because, they have to win the hearts and minds of the people.
            When Vilma Santos’ grandfather was instantly healed the very next day after their visit to the faith healer, Robert Arevalo sees to it that he enjoys everyday of his life, eating, drinking, and hanging-out with friends some 50 to 60 years younger than him – a strong tendency to enjoy and abuse the joy, living everyday of his life happier and merrier, not anymore giving importance to the value of life and health. After all, he can always seek the help of faith healers who give instant healing.
            Friends and neighbours, in amazement, have pooled-in to ask help from Vilma to accompany them to the faith healer. This is a very classic bandwagon scenario. Everyone believed and placed their faith in advance to the healer. Afflicted with various illnesses and diseases, they placed their hope only to the person (faith healer). This is a very good advertising strategy of the devil, a display of unimaginable power and magic, where people are being deceived in admiration of the devil’s preternatural power.
            Even after each member of the group experienced the so-called healing, not one of them is seen praying, or visiting the Church, or approaching a pastor of the Church and minister of God. There was no mention of God at all. God wasn’t present in the plan, during the healing, after the healing, and even in the entire period of crisis and hysteria when each person is being killed one after another, and causing distress and anxieties to other members of the group while waiting for their turn to die. To take God out of the picture is another best reason why there has to be instant healing. People would not want anymore a God who requires them to pray and obey rules of the Church if they have a faith healer at hand who (seemingly) heals them in an instant and quickly eases their pain and agony. A person who loves consulting occult practitioners will visit them over and over when they become sick. The faith healers and diviners are on top of their minds, replacing God and the Church in their list. Afterall, they get the physical relief that they want, and they don’t even have to pray hard and long. They have no tiring obligation of serving the Church, nor studying the Word of God.
            Instant superficial healing done by the devil aims to take every family and individual away from the care of the Church. In this way, the devil may work to destroy each one without difficulty.
THE RISKS INVOLVED
            Are there risks? Actually, the word “risks” is an understatement. Risk could mean just a threat or a possibility of danger. When one engages in the world of occultism, knowingly or unknowingly, there sure is a price one has to pay. There is a sure danger in the realm of evil – a very important note every one must be aware of. So important, that Christ Himself cautions us against it. The Holy Scripture, since the beginning, has been telling God’s people that the devil really exists. So important, that the Church up to the present has been vigilant in evangelizing the faithful through written guides in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Doctrines of the Faith, Encyclicals, etc.
            When one engages in occultism, he puts not only himself at stake, but his entire family, clan and the community where he lives in. Life becomes at stake, and there could be no simple way out.
DIABOLIC EFFECTS AND HAUNTINGS
            The movie shows real forms of diabolic infestations from the time the group consulted the faith healer.
  1. Terrifying dreams;
  2. Presence of a black bird;
  3. Scratching sounds, knocking (from unknown sources);
  4. Physical changes and manifestations (ugly and piercing looks, change of voice, physical deformity)
  5. Anger and violence (murder and suicide);
  6. Unwanted fears, worries and anxieties (diabolic depression & obsession);
  7. Misunderstandings & broken relationships (among friends and among family members);
  8. Lust, excessive love for self, pleasure and belly (gluttony);
  9. Total demonic possession.
        Other parts of the story are just products of the producer’s creativity to make the movie appealing and interesting to the viewers.
 
 

The Knights of Saint Benedict

 

The Knights of Saint Benedict is a Catholic Lay Deliverance Team. Is the group limited to lay persons only?

No, it isn’t. Members of KSB is open to the laity and religious alike. KSB is described as a Catholic Lay Deliverance Team to stress the following:

CATHOLIC

The team is loyal to the Pope, to the Catholic Church and its teachings. It is created with aim of helping the Church, the priests and ordinary ministers of the Church in evangelization and in promoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Doctrines among the families and individuals, and not to compete nor to declare independence from the Church. KSB team condemns heresy and apostasy. Members of KSB are defenders of the Catholic Faith.

The ways, prayers, sacramentals, study materials and sources are of Catholic in origin, nature and content, and based on what the Church recommends and promotes.

LAY

The team is composed by a majority of “Lay Persons”, and currently being led by a lay (a Lay Carmelite). The prayers and actions of the team members are of lay, as the Church defines clearly the limitations of the laity especially in the ministry of Healing, Deliverance and Exorcism. The term “Lay” here is expanded to all non-ordained ministers, that is, to include also the Religious. KSB recognizes the special authority and faculty that rests upon the ordained ministers of the Church. Thus, the team has also several ordained priests on list as Prayer Warriors.

DELIVERANCE TEAM

The team prays the deliverance (simple exorcism) prayers with emphasis that it is not a “solemn” exorcism, a sacramental rite reserved only to the Catholic Bishops and their delegated exorcist-priests.

KSB promotes the ministry of Healing and Deliverance as a team, a Christian community of believers who stands for God, and continues the ministry of Christ by virtue of membership to the Catholic Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. For KSB, working as a team is crucial and of great importance.

What composes the team of Knights of Saint Benedict?

  1. Spiritual Adviser – a priest appointed to pastor the group and the members; He administers the Holy Sacraments for the spiritual growth of each member;
  2. Core Members (18 years of age and up) – one who actively leads in the visitation of the sick, families & household;
  3. Prayer Warriors (any age, as long as he/she prays) – one who commits to pray for the intention of Healing and Deliverance of the persons, families, households, and for the safety and protection of the entire deliverance team; may either stay in place or accompany a core member who leads the group (only 18 y.o. and up may accompany a core member);

What must an active member of the Knights of Saint Benedict be?

  1. Must be a faithful Catholic.

Since the team is a Catholic Deliverance team, basic requirement is that, an active member must be a faithful Catholic, which means, one who is a baptized Catholic, faithful to the Catholic Church (Magisterium) and frequents the Holy Sacraments (if married, marriage must be solemnized in the Church).

  1. Must be an active member of any Catholic community, group or organization.

Membership in any Catholic community is a must to ensure that each member is backed by his/her own community in terms or prayer and Christian formation. While KSB members share and discuss among themselves the Holy Scripture, Catechism and Doctrine of the Church, a member’s own local group and community will be best to provide the needed Christian formation for his/her own spiritual growth, needless to say, that each member’s community has its own Spiritual Adviser in the person of their Parish Priest who can best guide them.

  1. Must be willing to devote time in study, in prayer, in household & family visitation (for the sick and the infested).

Studying what the Catholic Church teaches, and the stand of the church on various issues especially related to healing, deliverance & exorcism, Blessed Virgin Mary, angels and saints, souls in purgatory, occultism, heresy and apostasy against the church, New Age beliefs, etc. is a must for all active members of the KSB. Equipped with knowledge and information, all of Catholic sources, a member may be able to at least defend himself and the church from lies, and come out with best assessment and decisions given a specific scenario.

An active member is expected to possess a stamina and love for prayer, as this should be understood as an effective way to commune with God, who is the author of Life and the real enemy of death & darkness.

Every active member must have the passion and apostolate to visit the sick and the oppressed, in order to serve the purpose of the healing and deliverance team.

The Home of a Member of Knights of Saint Benedict:

  1. has St.Benedict Medal or St.Benedict Cross on front door (and optional, in every room and back door);
  2. has a neat altar with Crucifix, image of the Blessed Virgin Mary (preferably with other favourite saints and Holy Family), enthroned with a Catholic Bible;
  3. blessed and enthroned with the image of Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, thus, consecrated to the Sacred Heart, to the Immaculate Heart and toSt. Josephas the silent head of the family;
  4. free from any occultic and New Age objects, lucky charms, etc.;
  5. regularly being blessed by parents or any head of the family using Catholic prayer of blessing and deliverance

What must be the regular activities of an active KSB member?

DAILY activities:

  1. Morning Prayer (or Breviary) (with special intentions for the souls, for healing and for deliverance);
  2. Holy Mass (if able);
  3. Holy Rosary;
  4. Readingand Reflecting on the Gospel / Lectio Divina;
  5. 3PM Prayer to the Divine Mercy;
  6. 6PM Angelus Prayer;
  7. Evening and Night Prayer (with special intentions for the souls, for healing and for deliverance).

WEEKLY activities:

  1. Special Holy Masses on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (if able);
  2. Regular SundayMass

MONTHLY activities:

  1. First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Holy Mass & Vigil before the Blessed Sacrament if able, preferably overnight);
  2. First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Holy Mass)
  3. Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation;

ANNUAL celebration of the feast (memorial) of St.Benedict is to be observed by enjoining all members to pray the Novena to St.Benedict from July 2 to 10, and hear Holy Mass on July 11 in honour of the saint.

OTHER regular activities must include studies of the Scripture, Catechism of the Catholic Church, lessons on Healing and Deliverance, and other Christian formation materials that maybe required by each own member’s religious community. Novena prayer to the saints is also being encouraged.

Who are the regular recipients of prayers of the members of Knights of Saint Benedict?

  1. The Pope (Magisterium);
  2. The Bishops and Cardinals;
  3. All the Catholic Clergy;
  4. All Religious Orders, Congregations, Apostolates, etc.;
  5. The KSB Spiritual Adiver;
  6. All KSB members and prayer warriors;
  7. The souls in purgatory (including souls of the aborted and miscarried babies);
  8. The sick, the dying, the poor, the oppressed and the infested (physical, psychological, emotional, moral, spiritual);
  9. All families (sanctification of families, parents & children to Jesus and Mary);
  10.  Own-self, own families, relatives and love-ones, friends and benefactors;

What are the devotions being promoted by KSB?

Catholic devotions help us in our Spiritual journey, that is, a journey towards holiness where each member of the church is called. The following are being promoted and every member is being encouraged to participate (but not limited to the following):

  1. Devotion to Saint Benedict – as the name of the team implies;
  2. Marian Devotions. – e.g. Lady of Fatima, Lady of Lourdes, Lady of Guadalupe, Virgin of Manaoag, Mother of Perpetual Help, Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Lady of Mt.Carmel, etc.;
  3. Devotion to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart) and to the Holy Family (with St.Joseph);
  4. Devotion to Holy Angels and Saints (St.Michael the archangel, St.Padre Pio, St.Gemma Galgani, St.John Marie Vianney, St.Therese of Child Jesus, St.Francis, etc.);
  5. Devotion and Novena to the Holy Spirit;
  6. Devotion to the Holy Cross of Jesus;
  7. Devotion to the Holy Wounds of Christ;
  8. Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament

What are the sacramentals recommended by KSB? (not limited to the ff.)

  1. St.Benedict Medal (blessed/exorcised by a priest);
  2. St.Benedict Crucifix (preferably wooden Cross, blessed/exorcised by a priest);
  3. Brown Scapular (wool) (blessed and imposed by a priest);
  4. Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Catholic Saints; Image of the Holy Family;
  5. Relics of the Saints;
  6. Holy Water / Exorcised Water;
  7. Blessed or Exorcised Salt;
  8. Blessed / Exorcised Oil (olive)