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Pope Francis' Exorcism Video & An Abortion Warning for Mexico

On May 21, 2013, two months into his papacy, Pope Francis laid hands on a possessed man in St. Peter's Square and relieved him of some demons. Videos of the encounter has been bouncing around the internet ever since (see below). Going nearly noticed, however, is the hidden warning to Mexico regarding its 2007 legalization of abortion. WARNING: This may be horrifying to some, though even in such a situation the pope's gentleness is striking.

The possessed man's name has since been revealed as "Angel V." and his exorcisms have been ongoing since 1999. According to the Spanish-language newspaper El Mundo, the poor man's demons have withstood 30 exorcism attempts by over 10 exorcists, including the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, Father Gabriele Amorth. 

Father Gabriele, the Vatican's leading exorcist, reports that he has sent over 160,000 demons back to hell. In his book, An Exorcist Tell His Story, Father Amorth invites the reader to witness the activities of the exorcist and to understand how little modern science, psychology, and medicine can do to help those under Satan's influence. 

Father Juan Rivas, a member of the Legionaries of Christ who accompanied Angel V. to Rome, recalled how Angel kissed the Pope's ring and fell into a trance instantly. 

"The Pope then laid his hands on his head and at that moment a terrible sound was heard (from him), like the roar of a lion," said Father Rivas. "All those who were there heard it perfectly well. The Pope for sure heard it [but] he continued with his prayer, as if he had faced similar situations before."

Following his encounter with Pope Francis, Angel V. discovered that for the first time in years, he was able to walk again. 

Though Angel V. remains possessed, even after Pope Francis' intervention, he remains so for a purpose, Father Amorth explains. "Not only is he possessed, but the devil who lives in him finds himself obliged by God to transmit a message," said Father Amorth.

"Angel is a good man. He has been chosen by the Lord to give a message to the Mexican clergy and to tell the bishops that they have to do an act of reparation for the law on abortion that was approved in Mexico City in 2007, which was an  insult to the Virgin," said Father Amorth. "Until they . . . do this, Angel will not be liberated."

In effect, as Father Rivas has stated, Angel V. is manifesting the evil that has infiltrated a solidly Catholic country, returning it to "the pagan times of the Aztecs with their human sacrifices" (Thavis). 

Father Juan Rivas is an extremely popular priest in Mexico, as the numbers of exorcisms are rapidly increasing in Latin America. He felt called to bring Angel V. to Mexico following Pope Francis' election to the papacy only months before, after hearing the pope speak bluntly about diabolical seduction. "One can't dialogue with Satan, because he is so cunning," the pope declared. The devil tries to "soften us" with flattery, but in reality he hates Christians and is always laying traps for them. 

Father Rivas has tried on several occasions to secure Angel a spot among the group of ill people who receive the pope's blessing following his audiences and Masses at the Vatican. After making their special trip from Mexico, Rivas and Angel had failed three times to get close enough for a papal encounter. On their fourth attempt, however, the Holy Spirit was with them following Pentecost Mass. They found themselves only a few feet away from Francis in St. Peter's Square.

Father Rivas recounts in detail what happened next. As Francis approached and greeted Angel, Rivas whispered in the pope's ear: "Holiness, this person needs a blessing. He has had more than thirty exorcisms, and the demons that live in him do not want to leave him." The pope responded by laying his hands on the head of Angel, who fell instantly into a trance. Angel's body heaved and his mouth opened wide. 

It was then that Angel made the unearthly sound heard in the video above, which to Rivas sounded like "the roar of a lion." "Everyone who was there heard it perfectly well. The pope certainly heard it, and his bodyguards heard it, as did a child who was at our side." 

Pope Francis was undeterred and, as we might expect by now, unafraid. Rivas recounts, "in spite of this horrific roar the pope did not let himself be moved; he continued with his prayer, as if he had faced similar situations before." 

Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican's leading exorcist
The scene did not last long. Vatican security guards quickly hustled the pontiff down the line, away from what might turn into an embarrassing scene. The guards are used to dramatic episodes involving outpourings of emotion whenever the pope greets the sick, but they recognized this one as potential trouble. The rash of YouTube videos and articles claiming the pope had performed an exorcism was later evidence of this. The Italian  Church-run TV channel, TV2000, ran the footage and interviewed several exorcists, including Father Amorth, who all agreed that Pope Francis said a prayer of liberation from evil -- an authentic exorcism, if not the full, formal rite (Thavis).  

The story of Angel V. is more thoroughly described in The Vatican Prophesies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age by John Thavis. You can also read more about Angel V.'s story below: 


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