Centuries old advice on how to fight and remove evil spirits
By: Glenn Dallaire
This article is especially written in consideration for those who are being openly oppressed or attacked by demons and evil spirits, and are seeking to rid themselves or their homes of the influences or presence of malevolent spirits.
Having spent years studying the lives of dozens of Saints and Mystics for this website, one quickly discovers the role that God allows the demons to play for example in the lives of the mystic-saints. God Himself explains it when He said to St Gemma Galgani:
“You will be trampled underfoot by the devils. Prepare yourself, my daughter, the demon at My orders will be the one that will add the last touch to my plan that I will accomplish in you, that is, your sanctification."
-And what an incredibly hellish war the devil waged against Gemma! Those interested can read more about it here.
But the point is that literally every mystic that I have read have been assailed by the evil spirits through the express permission of God. But then, why would God allow the demons to attack the mystics or anyone for that matter? It is to draw us closer to Himself. God permits, at times, the devils to assail us, that we might turn to Him in prayer, with a renewed trust in His love and concern for us. The extraordinary priest St John Vianney, who's straw bed the devil tried to burn when he was sleeping in it, once remarked that "the devil is like a dog on a chain. He can only go so far as God permits."
So the first rule to remember is that God is always in absolute control, and the devil can do nothing without God's permission.
God always seeks to draw good out of everything, and He can draw good even out of evil, if we let Him. An excellent example of how God draws good out of evil is the Passion and Death of Jesus Himself. The Gospel of John says that at the last supper Satan entered Judas and he then went and betrayed Jesus. -You certainly know the story--Jesus was captured, tortured, and was nailed to a Cross, and died a torturous death. But was the death of the Son of God, this at act of pure evil, a victory for satan and the demons? No! -it was in fact satans defeat, because through Jesus' death on the cross we can be forgiven of our sins, if we desire to be. So we can readily see how God can and does transform evil into good.
A spiritual battle must be fought with spiritual weapons
So, how does all this correlate to those who are battling with demons, and want to rid themselves of the evil spirits? Firstly we need to look at how Jesus fought and expelled and cast out the demons. Among others you will certainly want to read Mark 5:1, Mark 1:23, and perhaps the most telling is Mark 9:29 in which the apostles were unsuccessful in driving a demon out of a boy. So afterwards they asked Jesus why they could not drive the demon out, and Jesus replies: "This kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting."
Prayer and fasting! Therein lies the primary spiritual weapons to be used to get rid of demons and evil spirits. Jesus said prayer first, because prayer is the first and most important weapon to be used against the devil. This can not be emphasised enough! Prayer unites us to God, and draws us closer to Him, and it is God alone who can free us from the demonic presences. We can do nothing without He Whom sustains us!
The other weapon against the devil that Jesus mentions is fasting. This is self-explanatory, but what is sometimes forgotten is the spirit that must accompany fasting. We are to fast from food in a spirit of sacrifice in reparation for our sins. Our sins are what separate us from God, so we are to fast in a spirit of penance and reparation for our sins, to put us in the proper disposition that God might forgive us of these sins. So, firstly prayer, and then fasting done in a spirit of reparation for our sins, is the primary recourse against evil spirits. The demons have no power over those who are closely united to God in prayer, and who are in a state of grace.
The devil does not make peace treaties
God loves us. And because God loves us, the devil and the demons hate us, because they hate God. "Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:7)
Satan and the demons do not make any peace treaties. They know only war. They prowl about the world constantly seeking to ruin our souls, to cause us to despair of God's mercy, and to drag us to hell. So, we need to follow in Jesus' holy example and face the evil spirits head on, with courage. We must do battle and fight the good fight. We cannot run away, because as Father John Corapi always says "surrender is not an option!"
Key points for Catholics in the fight against the demonic
Catholics are in a privileged position in the battle against the evil spirits, because the Catholic church has been fighting against the powers of hell since Jesus instituted the Church upon Peter, the first Pope, and the Apostles (the Bishops) some 2000 years ago. For in the Holy Gospel Jesus says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt 3:16)
Along with prayer and fasting Catholics have powerful weapons to be used in the fight against evil presences. The most important of these is Sacramental Confession (also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation) where sins are confessed to God, and forgiveness of sins is obtained. A soul free from sin is in a state of grace and has nothing to fear from the devil! Along with Confession, the Mass and the frequent reception of the Eucharist are the most efficacious means of battling with evil. Also prayers before the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharistic adoration) is exceedingly powerful, because then one is praying right at the feet of the Lord.
The devil flees from Jesus on the cross so if you do not already have one, get a Crucifix and have it blessed by a priest, and place it in a appropriate and worthy place in your home--and most especially, pray to Jesus before it each day. Also, if you do not have one, get a crucifix on a necklace, get it blessed and wear it with devotion and prayer.
Prayers to the Virgin Mary, the Saints and Angels
(Pictured to the left is the Virgin Mary crushing the head of the evil serpent)
By the express power and will of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels and the Saints assist us in our battle with evil. Jesus gave us His Mother while He was dying, hanging between heaven and earth upon the Cross (John 19:26). And next to Jesus, our Mother in heaven is our greatest help and advocate against the devil and his minions. And the greatest prayer asking for our Blessed Mothers help is the most Holy Rosary. The Rosary is a chain that binds the evil spirits. Those interested might want to read more on the Blessed Virgin Mary's role in the battle against the demons here.
Along with the Blessed Virgin Mary certain Saints and Angels are especially powerful against the wickedness of the devil. St Michael the Archangel for example---the prayer to him has been recited for over a century and is exceedingly powerful---"St Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O' Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."
Throughout the centuries, the relics of the Saints have shown to be exceedingly powerful against the demons. Pray to the Saints, and if possible keep a relic on your person.
Sacramentals, especially holy water and blessed salt should be sprinkled in the affected areas of the home, and the holy water and blessed salt should be sprinkled on one's food and drink to protect from within. (*see note about exorcised holy water and salt below). Along with the relics of the Saints, blessed medals and holy cards carry with them the blessing of the Catholic Church, and the protection of the Saint whose image is on the medal or holy card. Also, the burning of blessed candles and blessed incense is recognised to be a very powerful weapon against the demons.
And so, to summarize the spiritual weapons needed to rid oneself or one's home of evil spirits:
First and foremost is prayer which draws us closer to God; fasting in a spirit of reparation for one's sins; Confession; Holy Communion; Eucharistic adoration; Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels and Saints, asking for their heavenly help and intercession; and the usage of Sacramentals (holy water, blessed salt, holy cards, medals, burning of blessed candles and blessed incense etc.). Abandon and renounce any sin in your life. Additionally, if your home appears to be the source of the demonic infestation, then it would be very prudent to get it blessed by a priest.
Additional important considerations
In closing, those oppressed by evil spirits should remember that faith, hope and love--most especially love, will help disarm the demons that plague them or their dwelling. The devil seeks to drive us to the opposite of faith, hope and love--that is doubt, despair and hatred---most especially despair. Do not not despair! Love and trust in Jesus and He will conquer and cast out the evil spirits.
Also, those who have ever engaged in dark practices such as demonic worship, invoking and calling upon the dead (thru ouija boards, medium and psychic practices etc) the occult, dark forms of witchcraft and wicca, black magic etc. MUST RENOUNCE THESE PAST PRACTICES before God and sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness for having engaged in them. Such practices offend God and open a portal to the demonic, and therefore the portal must be closed through sincere repentance and the desire for the mercy and forgiveness of God.
Finally, ask Jesus to pour out His precious blood upon you and your loved ones because the precious blood of Jesus is infinitely powerful.
*Note: There is a special ritual of prayer called an "exorcism blessing" that any Priest can recite to give salt and holy water a special blessing. This exorcised salt or holy water is especially powerful against evil spirits.
"....And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, an Angel of Satan to beat me, to keep me from being too exalted." Saint Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7
PRAYER AGAINST DEMONIC SPIRITS AND EVERY EVIL
(Special thanks to Catholic prayers blog)
Lord Jesus Christ, I place myself at the foot of Your cross and ask You to cover me with Your Precious Blood which pours forth from Your Most Sacred Heart and Your Most Holy Wounds. Cleanse me, my Jesus, in the living water that flows from Your Heart. I ask You to surround me, Lord Jesus, with Your Holy Light.
Heavenly Father, let the healing waters of my baptism now flow back through the maternal and paternal generations to purify my family line of satan and sin. I come before You, Father, and ask forgiveness for myself, my relatives, and my ancestors, for any calling upon powers that set themselves up in opposition to You or that do not offer true honor to Jesus Christ. In Jesus' Holy Name, I now ask that you reclaim any territory, both spiritual and temporal, that was handed over to satan and place it under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
By the power of Your Holy Spirit, reveal to me Father, any people I need to forgive and any areas of unconfessed sin. Reveal aspects of my life that are not pleasing to You, Father, and any ways that have given or could give satan a foothold in my life. Father, I give to You any unforgiveness; I give to You my sins; and I give to You all ways that satan has a hold in my life, that any and all ties and bonds to evil may be broken in the Name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You heavenly Father for Your forgiveness, Your love and Your mercy.
Heavenly Father, allow Your Son Jesus to come now with the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the holy angels and the saints to protect me from all harm and to keep all evil spirits from taking revenge on me in any way.
(Repeat the following sentence three times: once in honor of the Father, once in honor of the Son, and once in honor of the Holy Spirit.)
In the Holy Name of Jesus, I seal myself, my family and relatives, this place (home, church, car, plane, etc...), in the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, and I ask Jesus to pour out His precious Blood upon us, to wash and cleanse us of all of our sins, and to break any bonds of the evil one upon ourselves or this place.
(To break and dissolve all satanic seals, repeat the following paragraph three times in honor of the Holy Trinity because satanic seals are recited three times to blaspheme the Holy Trinity.)
In the Holy Name of Jesus, I break and dissolve any and all curses, hexes, spells, snares, traps, lies, obstacles, deceptions, diversions, spiritual influences, evil wishes, evil desires, hereditary seals, known and unknown, and every dysfunction and disease from any source including my mistakes and sins. In Jesus' Name, I sever the transmission of any and all satanic vows, pacts, spiritual bonds, soul ties, and satanic works. In Jesus' Name, I break and dissolve any and all links and effects of links with: astrologers; bohmos; channelers; charters; clairvoyants; crystal healers; crystals; fortune tellers; mediums; the New Age Movement; occult seers; palm, tea leaf, or tarot card readers; psychics; santeros; satanic cults; spirit guides; witches; witchdoctors; and, Voodoo. In Jesus' Name, I dissolve all effects of participation in seances and divination, ouija boards, horoscopes, occult games of all sorts, and any form of worship that does not offer true honor to Jesus Christ.
In the Name of Jesus, I rebuke all evil spirits that have any attachment to me, my loved ones, or this place, in particular the spirit of _________________. I command you to go directly to Jesus, without manifestation and without harm to me or anyone, so that He can dispose of you according to His Holy Will.
I thank You, Heavenly Father for Your Love. I thank You, Holy Spirit for your heavenly gifts. I thank You, Jesus, for setting me free through the infinite power of your Precious Blood. I thank You, Blessed Virgin Mary, for interceding for me with the holy angels and the saints.
Lord Jesus, fill me with charity, compassion, faith, gentleness, hope, humility, joy, kindness, light, love, mercy, modesty, patience, peace, purity, security, tranquility, trust, truth, understanding, and wisdom. Help me to walk in Your Light and Truth, illuminated by the Holy Spirit so that together we may praise, honor, and glorify Our Father in time and in eternity. For You, Lord Jesus, are, "...the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6 ), and You "...have come that we might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 ).
"God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior" (Isaiah 12:2 ).
Amen. Alleluia. Amen.