spiritual warfare

St.Anthony of Padua’s battles with the demons

Saint Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon in 1195. He entered into the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine at a very young age and became a priest. However, one day he heard the tale of a martyr in Morocco from some Friars Minor, sent by Saint Francis of Assisi to announce the Gospel to the sultans.

Fascinated by the spirit of the new order founded by Saint Francis, Fernando left his own order and joined the Friars Minor, taking the name of Anthony. Thanks to his great eloquence, his superiors sent him to Italy to preach. He ended up in the city of Padua, where he preached the Lenten sermons that upset the entire town.

It is here where he died in 1227. After his death the miracles obtained through his intersession were so numerous that he was canonized the following year.

Often Satan tormented Saint Anthony with diabolic illusions when he retired in prayer to his small hermitage of Brive. Often times fellow petitioners, that wanted to imitate his love for the poor and lonely, would join him. When the supply of food ended Saint Anthony would send them to look for help in the nearby village. One night on the way back from the village, some of his friends saw a band of pimps that were destroying a camp of one of their benefactors. They went right away to warn the Saint.

Saint Anthony replied to them: “Do not be afraid. It is only a decoy from the demon that wants to distract you from prayer.” The next day, in fact, the camp of the benefactor was found completely intact just as Saint Anthony assured them.

A case of diabolical obsession, that yielded to the power of St Anthony of Padua, was recorded in Portugal during the reign of King Denis. 

Under the guise of a heavenly visitant, the devil frequently appeared to a woman of Lisbon and urged her to throw herself into the river Tagus in order to obtain the remission of her sins and eternal happiness. 

The tormented woman at length decided to drown herself. Passing a Franciscan chapel on her way to the river, she entered, and kneeling before the altar of St. Anthony, implored the Saint to help her save her soul. Overcome by fatigue, she fell asleep. 

During her slumber St Anthony appeared to her, revealed the deceit of the “father of lies” and released her from the obsession. On awaking, the woman found a letter which the Saint had given her during the vision. It contained the prayer now known as the “Brief of St Anthony.” The original of Saint Anthonys Brief was preserved with the crown jewels by the King of Portugal. Pope Sixtus V caused the efficacious lines to be inscribed on an obelisk, which he had erected in the quadrangle in front of Saint Peter’s. 

SAINT ANTHONY’S BRIEF

Behold the Cross of the Lord!
Fly, ye powers of darkness!
The Lion of the tribe of Juda,
the root of David, has conquered.
Alleluia!

It is a devout practice to wear this blessing known as Saint Anthonys Brief on one’s person, or to put it up in the home, and often repeat it.

Passion of Christ comfort me! Comfort me for the day is long and weary, comfort me as I fight my up the path of life safe to the haven of Thy Sacred Heart. Comfort me in pain and sorrow and tribulation, comfort me when temptation rages around me and every hope seems lost. And when that last dread hour has sounded and my eyes are closing on this world of sin, Passion of Christ! comfort me then, and lead me gently to Thy Wounded Feet above. Amen

spiritual warfare

Spiritual Warfare in the Life of St.Anthony The Abbot

Anthony was born in Coma, Egypt, located off the shores of the Nile, around the year 250. He is considered one of the founders of eastern monasticism.

After the death of his parents he distributed all of his belongings to the poor and in 270 he retreated to the Theban desert where he began a life of penitence. There many disciples reached him and thus he founded various ascetic communities in Egypt. He sustained the martyrs in the persecution of Diocletian and he adopted many against the Arian heresy helping Saint Athanasius in his battles. This same Saint Athanasius wrote the biography of Saint Anthony. In spite of him leading a hard life full of deprivation, Anthony was very long-lived: in fact death took him at the age of 105 years old, on January 17, 355, in his hermitage on Mount Qolzoum.

It was one of the most rigorous hermitages in all of ancient Christian history.

In his first year as a hermit the devil tried to displace him from the ascetics inspiring him with the memory of riches, the thought of reuniting with his sister, his love for his relatives, the pleasure of food, the love of money, the desire and glory and every joy of life. Then he tempted him with the sin of sloth. He suggested the bitterness of virtue and the work it requires and he put before him long periods of physical weakness trying to show him that he could not tolerate his whole life continuing on this path of ascetics. Satan tempted him assuming the appearance of a woman with the sole intent of seducing him.In spite of these provocations Anthony began to dedicate himself always with more intensity to the ascetics. He kept himself in a cave very far from the villagers ordering a friend to bring him bread at long intervals.

The second phase began like this, the most difficult battle with the demon.One night the devil entered into his cave with a multitude of demons and they beat him to the point of leaving him lying across the ground unable to speak. This time the suffering was very great so much so that not even an army of soldiers would have been able to create such a torment.

Thanks to the help of a friend he got back to his cave and returned to his life of prayer.

The devil did not give up and started to torment him again. However, he did not manage to tempt him not even when he surrounded him with dogs, lions, wolves, bulls, snakes and giant spiders.

During these attacks Anthony felt even more atrocious physical suffering: “If you have any strength and power, attack me still, but for us the faith in our Father is our seal and wall of defense”: said Anthony and the beasts were grinding their teeth. But the Lord did not leave him. Anthony saw the ceiling open and a ray of light came down to him. The demons suddenly disappeared and immediately his physical pain ceased.

spiritual warfare

Spiritual Warfare in the Life of St.Anthony the Abbot

Anthony was born in Coma, Egypt, located off the shores of the Nile, around the year 250. He is considered one of the founders of eastern monasticism.

After the death of his parents he distributed all of his belongings to the poor and in 270 he retreated to the Theban desert where he began a life of penitence. There many disciples reached him and thus he founded various ascetic communities in Egypt. He sustained the martyrs in the persecution of Diocletian and he adopted many against the Arian heresy helping Saint Athanasius in his battles. This same Saint Athanasius wrote the biography of Saint Anthony. In spite of him leading a hard life full of deprivation, Anthony was very long-lived: in fact death took him at the age of 105 years old, on January 17, 355, in his hermitage on Mount Qolzoum.

It was one of the most rigorous hermitages in all of ancient Christian history.

In his first year as a hermit the devil tried to displace him from the ascetics inspiring him with the memory of riches, the thought of reuniting with his sister, his love for his relatives, the pleasure of food, the love of money, the desire and glory and every joy of life. Then he tempted him with the sin of sloth. He suggested the bitterness of virtue and the work it requires and he put before him long periods of physical weakness trying to show him that he could not tolerate his whole life continuing on this path of ascetics. Satan tempted him assuming the appearance of a woman with the sole intent of seducing him.In spite of these provocations Anthony began to dedicate himself always with more intensity to the ascetics. He kept himself in a cave very far from the villagers ordering a friend to bring him bread at long intervals.

The second phase began like this, the most difficult battle with the demon.One night the devil entered into his cave with a multitude of demons and they beat him to the point of leaving him lying across the ground unable to speak. This time the suffering was very great so much so that not even an army of soldiers would have been able to create such a torment.

Thanks to the help of a friend he got back to his cave and returned to his life of prayer.

The devil did not give up and started to torment him again. However, he did not manage to tempt him not even when he surrounded him with dogs, lions, wolves, bulls, snakes and giant spiders.

During these attacks Anthony felt even more atrocious physical suffering: “If you have any strength and power, attack me still, but for us the faith in our Father is our seal and wall of defense”: said Anthony and the beasts were grinding their teeth. But the Lord did not leave him. Anthony saw the ceiling open and a ray of light came down to him. The demons suddenly disappeared and immediately his physical pain ceased.

Angels, guardian angels, spiritual warfare, Stories of the Supernatural

Spiritual Warfare and the Assistance of the Guardian Angel in the Life of Venerable Mary of Agreda

Maria was born in Agreda (Spain) in 1602. Her parents, of noble origins, had 4 children.In 1618, when Maria was only 16 years of age, the entire family decided to embrace the religious life.

The father and 2 sons entered the Franciscan Order.The mother and 2 daughters entered the Order of the Immaculate Conception which was under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor (Franciscans). From the beginning of her religious life, Maria was blessed with many extraordinary graces. In 1627, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and recounted her life and charged her with putting it in writing. The book was entitled “The Mystical City of God”. The first printing was burned by her confessor who did not believe her divine revelations. The nun was at the point of giving up when in 1655, the Lord appeared in the company of two Seraphim and, promising her His special protection, urged her to begin the work again. As soon as Maria sat down at the desk to begin again, the devil appeared to pester and annoy her by spilling the ink on the desk. Patiently, the nun put everything in order and began to write, confident in the divine help. As soon as she began again, the devil appeared again to distract her. But the Seraphim immediately intervened and cast him off. Sister Maria was thus able to complete her work.

One of the interesting chapters in “The Mystical City of God” has the Madonna instructing her about the powers of hell: “My daughter, be careful and very cautious – because you must be aware of the sinister forces that surround so many people, unaware of their eternal salvation and not knowing the danger they find themselves by the constant harassment that the demons wage for their destruction. Men and women sleep, rest and carry on without any awareness of these powerful and restless enemies. This frightening ignorance is a result of two conditions. The first is that people are so concerned with earthly affairs that are physical and sensuous that they concern themselves only with dangers to their physical well-being. They think that anything concerning the spirit or interior life will not harm them. The other reality is that the powers of darkness are invisible and defy the physical senses. Since the senses do no touch, see or hear them, they forget to fear them. It is precisely because the enemy is so invisible that they should be more attentive and aware. The enemy is thus so much more cunning and capable of such treachery. This danger is real and more subtle; the harm that is inflicted is more deadly than can possibly be imagined.Be aware, then, that no intellect, no words, human or angelic, can express the rage and the furious anger that Lucifer and his demons harbor against humans simply because they are made in the image of God and thus capable of eternally enjoying His presence. A few years after her death in 1665, Maria was declared Venerable in 1679.

Pictured is the Incorrupt Body of Venerable Mary of Agreda

Powerful Sacramentals

The Green Scapular

The Green Scapular, called by Our Lady, “The Badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” was given to the world by the Blessed Virgin Mary through a series of apparitions to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, a Daughter of Charity, in the early 1840’s in Paris, France. On the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sept. 8th, 1840, the Mother of God appeared holding in her right hand her Immaculate Heart, mounted by flames and holding in her other hand a scapular.

The scapular consisted of a simple piece of green cloth, rectangular in shape, hanging from a green string. On one side was an image of Our Lady dressed in a long white gown which reached to her bare feet. Over this she wore a light blue mantle. However, she wore no veil. Instead, her hair hung loosely about her; and in her hands she held her Heart from the top of which gushed abundant flames. Her bearing was enhanced by a majestic beauty all heavenly. On the other side of the scapular was pictured her Immaculate Heart, all ablaze and transparent as crystal, with rays pouring out that appeared more dazzling than the sun. This Heart, pierced with a sword, was encircled by an inscription in the form of an oval and topped by a golden Cross. The inscription read:

“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, now and

at the hour of our death.”

At the same time an interior voice revealed to Sister Justine that God desired to establish among mankind a more tender and confident appreciation and love of His Most Beloved Mother by means of devotion to her through the title of her Immaculate Heart. When invoked under this title and through this holy image Our Lady would obtain great favors from her Divine Son, especially in the areas of physical health, peace of mind and spiritual conversion. She who is the Refuge of Sinners would particularly obtain the conversion of those who had fallen away from the True Faith, and those poor sinners who had no faith. Mary wanted copies of the scapular made as soon as possible and distributed with great confidence.

Unfortunately there were many delays. Many were caused by the normal and even healthy skepticism of Sister’s superiors and the Church authorities. It takes the discernment of the Church to determine if these apparitions are from Heaven, hell or personal delusion.

Sister suffered much during this time. Finally, after a thorough investigation and careful discernment, the local Bishop approved the apparitions and was ready to permit the spread of this new sacramental. Our Lady, however, had never been clear about certain aspects of this new devotion. Questions needed to be answered. What circumstances were necessary to make the scapular effective? Was there a special blessing for it? Was there a ceremony for enrolling persons in its use? Were there any obligations for those who used it? Was the scapular for use only by certain groups of people or in certain situations?

To resolve these difficulties it was decided that Sister Justine would ask Our Lady herself what God’s Holy Will was in these matters. Our Blessed Mother replied during an apparition on September 8, 1846 – exactly six years after her initial request for this “Badge of the Immaculate Heart”.

Our Lady replied: This scapular is not like others (it is not the clothing-habit of a confraternity) but merely two holy pictures on a single piece of material. Therefore no special formula is required to bless it or enroll someone in its use. It suffices that it be blessed by a priest and worn by the one whom we desire to benefit by Our Lady’s intercession. If, on the other hand, the person is unable or even unwilling to wear it or carry it, it may even be slipped, unknown to him, into his clothes, bed, room, or possessions etc.

There is only one prayer that needs to be said, at least once a day: “Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” If the person who is the intended beneficiary of the scapular’s use does not say it, then someone else can say it in his place. The Green Scapular may be used anywhere, for anyone. The greatest graces are attached to its use, but these graces are more or less great in proportion to the degree of confidence of the person praying. This was the meaning of the different kinds of rays that fell from the Mother of God’s hands at the last apparition.