THE DOWNLOAD—OUR LADY, HELP OF EXORCISTS, TERROR OF DEMONS
Exorcists make a habit of calling on Our Lady for help in their difficult ministry, sometimes asking laity to participate in exorcisms by standing in the room simply to pray the Rosary. As a sign of God’s victory over a possessed soul and of the demon’s final defeat, exorcists often ask the demon before he departs the soul to make some sign of reverence toward Our Lady, whether by saying the “Hail, Mary” or by laying an object at the foot of a Marian image or statue — a great torture for demons, who will resist with all their might before doing any act of obeisance to Our Lady, so much do they fear and despise Her.
Of the many roles for which Our Lady is known — as health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, among others — she also has the primary role of being the one who crushes the serpent, of waging war and doing battle against the demons in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
“Thou art terrible as an army in battle array,” reads Canticle of Canticles 6:3. And in Genesis 3:15, the ancient battle between Our Lady and the serpent is first set forth: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”
There exists a burning enmity between Our Lady and Satan — hatred by Our Lady because Satan is snatching immortal souls away from Her Son, hatred by Satan because Our Lady signals his utter defeat and humiliation.
In fact, the saints have written that Mary is feared and hated by the demons more than they hate any other saint, even more than they hate God Himself, because unlike God She is a mere creature, yet through Her humility and perfect accomplishment of God’s will on earth, She helped redeem the world, and is now exalted as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Our Lord’s death on the Cross was a crushing defeat for Satan — but Our Lady’s cooperation in that defeat is a double-humiliation for him, because She as mere mortal helped obtain Her Son’s victory, and it is She before whom Satan must one day bow.
The Rosary is among the most powerful weapons by which Our Lady lays siege against the fortresses of Hell and tears down their spiritual strongholds. She herself described this prayer thus in 1214 when She urged St. Dominic to preach the Rosary in order to wipe out the Albigensian heresy:
I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.
Padre Pio called it “the Weapon,” this saint who did nightly physical battle against the devil himself, and who always ensured his Rosary beads were next to his bed or on his person.
The faithful on earth make up the Church Militant, the Christians who fight to advance the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and wage war against the legions of Hell. We are militants, soldiers in the body of Christ, called to spiritual warfare — and chief among our spiritual arsenal is the Most Holy Rosary, a great gift Our Lady has given us to help join in Her Son’s work of crushing the ancient enemy, snatching souls from his grip, and securing our own eternal salvation.
Watch the full episode: “The Download—The Rosary.”