All was quiet. Both the pastor and missionary, having offered up Holy Mass in the parish church that morning, went over to the convent where everything in a large room was in readiness for the exorcism. Fortified with the Church's spiritual weapons, they would dislodge Satan from his stronghold in the person of the possessed woman. How long would this process last? It was not to be expected that the devil would leave his victim without a fight. Certainly a few days would pass by before the powers of darkness would give in to the powers of Light, before the devils would let loose the soul redeemed by Christ, and return back to hell. It was well that neither the pastor nor the missionary knew with what kind of horde of evil spirits they would have to do battle.
The woman was placed firmly upon the mattress of an iron bed. Upon the advice of Father Theophilus, her arm-sleeves and her dress were tightly bound so as to prevent any devilish tricks. The strongest nuns were selected to assist her in case anything might happen. There was a suspicion that the devil might attempt attacking the exorcist during the ceremony. Should anything unusual happen, the nuns were to hold the woman quiet upon her bed. Soon after the prescribed prayers of the Church were begun, the woman sank into unconsciousness and remained in that state throughout the period of exorcism. Her eyes were closed up so tightly that no force could open them.
Father Theophilus had hardly begun the formula of exorcism in the name of the Blessed Trinity, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, in the name of the Crucified Savior, when a hair-raising scene occurred. With lightning speed the possessed dislodged herself from her bed and from the hands of her guards; and her body, carried through the air, landed high above the door of the room and clung to the wall with a tenacious grip. All present were struck with a trembling fear. Father Theophilus alone kept his peace.
"Pull her down. She must be brought back to her place upon the bed!"
Real force had to be applied to her feet to bring her down from her high position on the wall. The mystery was that she could cling to the wall at all! It was through the powers of the evil spirit, who had taken possession of her body.
Again she was resting upon the mattress. To avoid another such feat, precautions were taken and she was held down tightly by stronger hands.
The exorcism was resumed. The prayers of the Church were continued. Suddenly a loud shrill voice rent the air. The noise in the room sounded as though it were far off, somewhere in a desert. Satan howled as though he had been struck over the head with a club. Like a pack of wild beasts suddenly let loose, the terrifying noises sounded aloud as they came out of the mouth of the possessed woman. Those present were struck with a terrible fear that penetrated the very marrow of their bones.
"Silence, Satan. Keep quiet, you infamous reprobate!"
But he continued to yell and howl as one clubbed and tortured, so that despite the closed windows the noises reverberated throughout the neighborhood.
Awe-struck people came running from here and there: "What is the matter? What is up? Is there someone in the convent being murdered?" Not even a pig stabbed with a butcher knife yells with such shrieking howls as these.The news travelled through the entire parish like a prairie fire: "At the convent they are trying to drive out the devil from one possessed." Larger and smaller groups were filled with terror as they approached the scene of action and heard with their own ears the unearthly noises and howlings of the evil spirits. The weaker members of the crowd were unable to endure the continued rage coming from the underworld. It was even more tense for those actually present at the scene, who with their own eyes and ears were witnesses to what was going on before them. The physical condition of the possessed presented such a gruesome sight, because of the distorted members of her body, that it was unbearable. The Sisters, even the pastor, could not endure it long. Occasionally they had to leave the room to recuperate in the fresh air, to gain new strength for further attendance at the horrible ordeal. The most valiant and self-composed was Father Theophilus. He had been accustomed to Satan's howling displays and blusterings from experiences with him in previous exorcisms. God seems to have favored him with special gifts and qualities for facing such ordeals. On such occasions, with the permission of the Bishop, he carried a consecrated host in a pyx upon his breast in order to safeguard himself against injuries and direct attacks by the evil one. Several times, it happened that he was twisted about, trembling like a fluttering leaf in a whirl-wind.
One may ask: Does Satan dare at all to remain in the presence of the All Holy? How can he endure it? Does he not run off like a whipped cur? All we need to remember is that Satan dared to approach our Lord fasting in the desert. He even dared to take the Saviour upon a high pinnacle at Jerusalem; and again he carried Him up on a high mountain-top. If he showed himself so powerful then, he has not changed since. On the contrary, the devils living in the possessed displayed various abilities and reactions. Those that hailed from the realm of the fallen angels gave evidence of a greater reserve. They twisted about and howled mournfully in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, acting like whipped curs who growl and snarl under the pain of the biting lash. Those who were once the active souls of men upon earth and were condemned to hell because of their sinful lives acted differently. They showed themselves bold and fearless, as if they wanted every moment to assail the consecrated Species only to discover that they were powerless. Frothing and spitting and vomiting forth unmentionable excrements from the mouth of the poor creature, they would try to ward off the influence of the exorcist. Apparently they were trying to befoul the consecrated Host in the pyx, but failed in their purpose. It was evidently not granted them to spit upon the All Holy directly. At times they would spout forth torrents of spittal and filth out of the entrails of the helpless woman in order to give vent to their bitter spleen and hatred toward the All Holy One.
You say torrents? Actually those present had to live through some terrible experiences. It was heart-rending to see all that came forth from the pitiable creature and often the ordeal was almost unbearable. Outpourings that would fill a pitcher, yes, even a pail, full of the most obnoxious stench were most unnatural. These came in quantities that were, humanly speaking, impossible to lodge in a normal being. At that the poor creature had eaten scarcely anything for weeks, so that there had been reason to fear she would not survive. At one time the emission was a bowl full of matter resembling vomited macaroni. At another time an even greater measure, having the appearance of sliced and chewed tobacco leaves, was emitted. From ten to twenty times a day this wretched creature was forced to vomit though she had taken at the most only a teaspoonful of water or milk by way of food.