Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/175

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MODERN INSTANCES OF DEMONIACAL POSSESSION.

demon to worship it. This was more than the devil could stand, and he cried out in a terrible rage, "The boy is possessed!" The good monk lays peculiar stress upon this incident, as furnishing conclusive proof of the real presence of Christ in the holy sacrament. Further interrogatories brought out the fact already mentioned, that the demons were ten in number, although the answers were always given in the first person singular and in the Bavarian dialect. Thus, when conjured to go out of the boy, the demon replied, "I mog net" (Ich mag nicht; I don't want to).

Father Aurelian, having now got the devil so far under control as to make him speak, felt sure of a brilliant success, and on the morning of July 14th threw the church open to the public. Wernding, it must be remembered, has not only a sulphur-bath for the periodical purging of the profane, but also a wonder-working shrine, to which thousands of pious pilgrims resort in order to be purified from sin. On this occasion the persons who filled the church were chiefly penitents of the latter class, and constituted a fit audience of eager and credulous witnesses fully in sympathy with Father Aurelian and the marvelous work he had undertaken to perform, howling, moaning, and praying, and wringing their hands as the priest went on with his exorcisms.

The following is the substance of the dialogue between the capuchin and the devil:

C. You must depart from the child; there is no help for you.
D. I can't.
C. Why can't you?
D. Because she is always banning.
C. Who is banning? Some woman?
D. Yes.
C. What is her name?
D. Herz.

On hearing this, the parents lifted up their arms and exclaimed, "She is our neighbor!"

C. Why did she send you into the child?
D. Because she was angry.
C. Had the child done her any harm?
D. No.
C. How long have you possessed the child?
D. Six months.
C. When are you going to get out?
D. I don't know.
C. Why don't you know?
D. Because this woman Herz keeps on banning, and so long as she does this I can't go.

This conversation, repeated again and again with slight variations, occupied the whole forenoon.