By Aaron S. Robertson
In this post, I describe a specific incident, or, perhaps more accurately, a specific way (because there was more than one episode spread out over time), in which I had found myself battling demonic harassment. Following my testimony, which, among other subjects, speaks to the power of the confessional and to certain prayers and saints, I offer three videos here from YouTube, each being a prayer in Latin, either spoken or chanted. These prayers have helped me immensely, and I include them in a regular prayer routine.
Setting some context in regard to my faith journey
I rediscovered my Roman Catholic faith back in December 2021 after nearly 20 years of wandering in the dark wilderness. An epic blog post about my conversion on a Sunday morning back in December immediately upon awakening from bed and the journey since then is pending. Since March 2022, after visiting the confessional one evening, I have been frequently experiencing very powerful and noticeable involuntary movements in my face and neck while praying. Sometimes, I experience an electrifying feeling going up and down my right leg while praying, as well. And still sometimes, I experience a feeling on the the right side in my head, near my ear on that side, as if a nerve is being pulled back. I cannot mimic any of these movements if I wanted to.
The leg incidents seem to happen most often while praying to/reflecting on God the Father, in particular, but the more frequent face and neck movements can occur while reciting a variety of prayers - whether invoking the Holy Spirit and engaging in conversation with Him, or while calling upon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or while asking Blessed Mary and/or any of the angels and saints for their intercession. The nerve-pulling sensation in my head can occur in different settings, such as during Mass or even in the confessional during the priest's absolution. I have been keeping a regular log of nearly every one of these powerful encounters with prayer and reflection.
My testimony regarding this one specific way in which I had found myself battling demonic harassment; speaking to the power of the confessional and to certain prayers and saints
|St. Philomena, 291-304.|| |
The taunts, I explained, usually take on the form of vile, hate-filled, abusive language directed toward our Lord, the very same profanity I had admittedly used toward, or about, so many individuals in the days prior to my conversion in December 2021. I explained to Father that I believe it’s coming from the devil for three reasons. The first reason is that these thoughts appear to be repelled and unable to enter my mind while listening to prayers of deliverance/minor exorcism, usually recited in Latin, and either spoken or chanted (see YouTube videos of these prayers below). Additionally, these thoughts are simply illogical. They make absolutely no sense; in that I have no hatred or anger for God. There appears to be an artificial disconnect created here between my mind and my heart, I explained, and God knows where my heart is at. I wouldn’t be attending Mass, confession, and praying regularly if I wasn’t a believer and if I didn’t have love for God. Finally, I return to the point that, by my own admission, these degrading and vile cuss words were used by me against others in my prior life. By the grace of Almighty God through previous confessions, I no longer use these words, and while I truly believe and understand that these past offenses were forgiven and forgotten by Almighty God, we know that the devil and his demon friends don’t forget - and they certainly don’t forgive. They will attempt to taunt us with our own pasts any way they can.
|St. Philomena, virgin and martyr.|
After hearing all this, Father told me that, yes, he believes this is the work of the devil, as well, and he reminded me of something I’ve heard from other priests and fellow lay believers alike - that I should consider it a compliment of sorts that I’m being harassed by the devil. It lets me know that I must be doing something right. As we try to get closer to God, the devil certainly does not want this, and so he will throw anything he can at us to scare us, confuse us, and get us to back off. He also reminded me that our Lord and Savior Himself was tempted and harassed by the devil, and that I should take comfort in knowing this. As penance, he assigned me to recite the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, a prayer that I had already certainly become well-familiar with. I recited it in the church immediately after my confession, but I also had with me the Litany of St. Philomena prayer, and I was wearing my blessed wrist cord devoted to her. I recited this prayer, as well, immediately following my confession.
|St. Michael the Archangel.|
Later on this same evening, well past my confession and prayers, something started to become very noticeable to me. I was watching television when the taunts, via this same horrible language, began again. This time, however, without listening to the same helpful Latin prayers/chants I just mentioned, the thoughts were instantly repelled. As quickly and as frequently as they tried to enter my mind, they were whisked away. I couldn’t even try to say the words in my mind by my own accord - I couldn’t complete them. I asked the Holy Spirit if this was due to the intercession of Ss. Michael and Philomena, and I received three involuntary neck movements that I took to be a powerful, "Yes."
The next day, on the morning of August 25, shortly after I had awakened, I prayed the St. Patrick’s Breastplate prayer. After reciting each one of these three lines in the prayer that follow one another consecutively, “In the faith of confessors, In the innocence of holy virgins, In the deeds of righteous men,” I received one intense involuntary movement of my neck, for a total of three. When it came to experiencing these movements at the reciting of these lines, I understood “In the faith of confessors” to mean the priest who had just heard my confession the prior evening; “In the innocence of holy virgins” to mean St. Philomena; and “In the deeds of righteous men” to mean God’s holy priests in general.
In the middle of the night between August 25 and August 26, at approximately 2:30am, I awakened to use the bathroom. I was experiencing attempted harassment and taunting by the devil again in my mind, the same hateful, abusive language I had previously described. The language was being repelled before it could fully enter my mind, but serious attempts to break in were being made. I briefly prayed before a picture of Christ, and asked for help from St. Philomena. At that moment, I received three involuntary movements of the neck. Of course, I took this to be a confirmation that both our Lord and the good saint were present and had heard me.
Flash forward to me publishing this here in October. I still occasionally experience this form of harassment, but it is far less frequent, and the words are still repelled before they can fully enter my mind. I can’t even complete them in my mind if I wanted to. They’re incinerated on arrival before they can take root. My own parish priest says that I can credit the role of my guardian angel in all of this, as well, which I certainly do.
Presenting these three Latin prayers via YouTube, and a sincere warning about not reciting these prayers yourself if you are not an ordained priest
What follows are three YouTube videos. Each one is a prayer in Latin. The first one is in spoken form. It is an exorcism prayer written by Pope Leo XIII, and it is recited here by Fr. Dom Lorenzo, SSCV. It can be read in English here. The next two videos feature prayers sung in chant form. The first one is St. Anthony's Cross Exorcism, while the second one is St. Benedict's Cross Exorcism.
All three of these prayers are beautiful and effective. I frequently play them in the background quietly while reciting my own prayers.
A sincere warning here that you should never recite prayers of exorcism yourself if you are not an ordained priest. Of the prayers presented here below, this is especially true regarding the first one written by Leo XIII and recited by Fr. Dom Lorenzo. Doing so can be very dangerous for us laypeople, since prayers of this type address and command Satan directly.