Exorcist Diary #284: No Crosses in Hell — By: St. Michael Center for Spiritual Renewal

[Obelisk in St. Peter’s square in Vatican City, detail]

At the end of an exorcism session, one of the questions I ask of the afflicted person is: “What happened during the session?” As a result of their demonic possession, the “occult third eye” is typically opened and thus they are aware of some of what happens with the demons. So I asked the afflicted person about the session and she responded: “When you held up the crucifix, some of the demons left.”

Perhaps the most iconic moment in an exorcism occurs when the priest-exorcist holds up a crucifix and says: “Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae” (Behold the Cross of the Lord; depart you evil powers). Parodies of exorcisms typically make light of this moment, but in truth it is spiritually very powerful. In recognition of its efficacy, this act is found in both the pre-Vatican II and revised Rites of Exorcism. It is considered an essential part of an exorcism.

An interesting and often overlooked inscription is found on the base of the obelisk in St. Peter’s square. As shown above, it says: “Ecce Crux Domini, fugite partes adversae.” Thus there is a kind of perpetual “exorcism” as people enter the Holy See.

It is striking how odious to the demons and how effective it is in casting them out. St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440), mother, mystic, and miracle worker, was graced by God with a vision of heaven, hell and purgatory.* As St. Raphael was accompanying her through her terrifying vision of hell, the Archangel explained to her that the holy sign or form of the cross was nowhere to be found. The demons could not look upon the image and expunged any semblance to it.

For the faithful, it is customary to place a blessed crucifix in the home, particularly on the wall over the bed. It is a custom which has deep spiritual roots and should not be overlooked.

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*The Saint’s visions of heaven, hell and purgatory were just released in English and can be found in: “The Visions of Saint Frances of Rome” in the Spirit Daily bookstore. Click here or go to: https://bookstore.spiritdaily.com/products/pre-order-now-the-visions-of-st-frances-of-rome-hell-purgatory-and-heaven-revealed?_pos=1&_sid=493668d4c&_ss=r

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