It was very evident that the forces of hell were under the direction of a high commander who, like a general and field marshal, sent forth new recruits for battle whenever the veterans, in their exhausted condition, were forced to retire. What pitiful sighs and pleadings they sent forth. One could hear voices to this effect: "Oh, what we have to put up with here; it is just terrible, all that we have suffered." There were other voices that kept on urging their fellow-devils not to let up: "And how we will again have to suffer and cringe under him, how he will torture us again if we return without having accomplished our task." They clearly referred to Lucifer as the torturer.
In order not to give Satan and his hordes any peace whatever, Father Theophilus finally decided to continue the exorcisms himself throughout the night, expecting thereby to achieve his victory. He was blessed with a muscular body and with nerves of steel. He had tested these out by a rigorous and abstemious life of self-denial, which had given him great powers of endurance. And indeed it was something almost superhuman that was demanded of him. For three days and three nights he kept on without any intermission. Even the Sisters who alternated were on the verge of a breakdown. Yet the desired effect did not come. It was only with the summoning of his last strength that the exorcist dared to continue. And at the close of the twenty-third day he was completely spent. He had the appearance of a walking corpse, a figure which at any moment might collapse. His own countenance seemed to have aged twenty years during those three weeks.