Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/176

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

When the exorcism was resumed at one o'clock in the afternoon, the devil was evidently considerably dispirited; occasionally he roused himself and "tore" the boy, but less violently than before, and no longer showed his spite by spitting at the priest. After having gone through with the usual forms of conjuration with the cross, and having brought the magic power of the Host to bear upon the stubborn imp, the capuchin called upon him in the name of God, and the mother of God, and the holy archangel Michael, to say whether he would now depart, and received the answer uttered in a humble tone, "Yes." This question was repeated three times, with the same result. "The first time," says Father Aurelian, "that the devil expressed his willingness to go out of the boy, I conjured him not to enter into any of the persons present nor into any living creature, not even into the woman Herz, who had banned him into the boy, but to depart to the place which God had assigned him. After a short pause I put the question, 'Have you departed from the boy?' and received the answer, 'Yes.' 'And also your companions?' 'Yes.' 'For the third time I conjure you to tell the whole truth: have you and your companions departed from the boy?' 'Yes.' 'Where are you now?' 'In hell.' 'And your companions, too?' 'Yes.' 'In the name of the most holy Trinity, and this sign of the cross, I conjure you to confess whether you and your companions are really in hell!' 'Yes, we are in hell!' was the horrifying reply. And it really seemed as though the voice came from hell. In his former answers the demon had spoken in a sharp and insolent tone, but this last response was utterly subdued and extremely mournful."

Michael Zilk, thus freed from the unclean spirit, quietly kneeled before the altar, kissed the crucifix, partook of the holy sacrament, and devoutly repeated the Pater noster and Ave Maria. A Te Deum was sung at the high altar, and on the following morning a special service of thanksgiving, consisting of high mass with rosary, was held in recognition of the "mighty work" that had been so successfully accomplished.

To Father Aurelian's mind, such as it is, the cause of the demoniacal possession is perfectly clear, and he states his views without reserve. The father of the boy, he says, was a Catholic, and the mother a Protestant; they were married by a Protestant clergyman, and the children were educated in the Protestant faith. The father afterward repented of his grievous fault, and endeavored to repair it by sending his three children to a Catholic school. This step excited the anger of his Protestant neighbors, one of whom, a woman named Herz, took to cursing and banning, and sent the devil into the eldest child by giving him on Shrove Tuesday a quantity of dried pears (Hutzeln) to eat,