Demonic possessions are scoffed at by many as the stuff of fantasy, but the Vatican is pushing to have more exorcists in place, according to a report by ABC27. One of those exorcists recently revealed that he has come face-to-face with the devil several times and described the way he has seen people react when possessed by it.
Father John Szada is in charge of exorcisms in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and said since being given the job by his bishop he has performed seven exorcisms—and some were hair-raising encounters.
"A person was possessed and it took four fully grown men to hold this person down," Szada said of one incident. Another memorable incident took place at a hospital, where a girl had been admitted.
"Doctors couldn't figure out what was going on. Tranquilizers were not working. They stepped out to consult, they came back in and found her climbing up the wall, literally, like Spider-Man," Szada said. There was also a case in which a client who could not speak a word of Latin was able to answer Szada fluently in the language.
To perform an exorcism, Szada said the bishop must first approve the case. Only then can the exorcism, which entails prayer and ritual, take place.
"You sprinkle holy water on a person and they really react, pretty good clue that this is demonic," Szada said.
Having a standoff with the devil can sound intimidating, but Szada said he has never been scared because God is stronger than Satan. Which is why staying holy is the best way to be safe from possession.
Are there any other tips worth keeping in mind?
Szada cautions against Ouji boards and tarot cards, which can invite demons in.
The Vatican holds an International Conference of Exorcists every two years.
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