How to tell if someone you know is possessed
Catholic priest shares tips on how to tell the difference between a possessed person and someone struggling with a mental illness.
According to the Italian exorcist, the most important thing is to first figure out if the person is actually possessed by demons or just mentally ill.
Father de Meo, who has been an exorcist in Rome since 1952, said the best way to do is to pray for the person.
He told CNA’s Italian agency ACI Stampa, that the person’s reaction to a prolonged prayer is the key to telling if the person is not possessed but is simply struggling with some illness.
In his words, he will say “a prolonged prayer to the point where if the Adversary is present, there’s a reaction."
“A possessed person has various general attitudes towards an exorcist, who is seen by the Adversary as an enemy ready to fight him.
“There’s no lack of frightening facial expressions, threatening words or gestures and other things, but especially blasphemies against God and Our Lady.”
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Father de Meo advised priests to go through rigorous training because not all cases of possession look the same.
He said, “It’s up to the priest serving in this ministry to know how to deal with the case, by the will of God, with love and humility.
“For this reason, with my bishop’s authorization, for 13 years, I’ve led a school for exorcists. I’ve tried to especially prepare those who are beginning this ministry.”
He added, “Regarding spiritual preparation, humility and the conviction that we exorcists aren’t the ones who are going to cast out the demon that’s fighting Christ. We’re called to fight on behalf of Christ.”
The priest also shared advice on the best way to avoid demonic possession.
“It’s absolutely fundamental to get rid of sin and live in the grace of God,” he said.
Father de Meo noted a life of prayer is simply the best defence.
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