Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/179

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MODERN INSTANCES OF DEMONIACAL POSSESSION

ab omnibus, he thinks, applies here with peculiar force and fitness, for there is no philosophical or theological tenet resting upon a broader basis of universal consent. Christ, he says, gave his disciples power and authority over all devils to cast them out, and this same power is conferred upon every priest by his consecration, although he is never to exercise it without the permission of the bishop.

Incidents like that which took place at Wernding have been of comparatively frequent occurrence even in recent times. In cloistral and episcopal archives there are many records of this sort that have never excited public sensation because they were not reported by the press. In 1842 a devil named Ro-ro-ro-ro took possession of "a maiden of angelic beauty" in Luxemburg, and was cast out by Bishop Laurentius. This demon claimed to be one of the archangels expelled from heaven, and appears to have rivaled Parson Stöcker in antisemitic animosity. When the name of Jesus was mentioned, he cried out derisively: "O that Jew! Didn't he have to drink gall?" When commanded to depart, he begged that he might go into some Jew. The bishop, however, refused to give him leave and bade him "go to hell," which he forthwith did, "moaning as he went, in melancholy tones, that seemed to issue from the bowels of the earth, 'Burning, burning, everlastingly burning in hell!' The voice was so sad," adds the bishop, "that we should all have wept for sheer compassion, had we not known that it was the devil."

A more recent case in point is that of a lay brother connected with an educational institute in Rome, who on January 3, 1887, became diabolically possessed, and was exorcised by Father Jordan. In this instance the leading spirit was Lucifer himself, attended by a host of satellites, of whom Lignifex, Latibor, Monitor, Sefilie, Shulium, Ritu, Haijunikel, Exaltor, and Reromfex were the most important. It took about an hour and a half to cast out these demons the first time, but they renewed their assaults on February 10th, 11th, and 17th, and were not completely discomfited and driven back into the infernal regions until February 23d, and then only by using the water of Lourdes, which, as Father Jordan states, acted upon them like poison, causing them to writhe to and fro. Lucifer was especially rude and saucy in his remarks. Thus, for example, when Father Jordan said, "Every knee in heaven and on the earth and under the earth shall bow to the name of Jesus," the fallen "Son of the Morning" retorted, "Not Luci, not Luci—never!"

It would be easy to multiply authentic and official reports of things of this sort that have happened within the memory of the present generation; but they all offer in the main the same features, being characterized by grossness and grotesqueness, with