418. The Demoniac of the Decapolis.
29th September 1944.
Jesus and His apostles are still moving about the country. The mowing season is now over and the fields display scorched stubble. Jesus is walking along a shady path and is speaking to some men who have joined the group of the apostles.
"Yes" says one. "Nothing can cure him. He is more than mad. And he terrorises everybody, women in particular, because he chases them with obscene jibes. It would be a tragedy if he caught them!"
"One never knows where he is" says another man. "On the mountains, in the woods, in the fields... he appears all of a sudden like a snake... Women are terrified of him. One of them, a young girl, who was coming back from the river, died in a few days of a high temperature because she had been grasped by the madman."
"The other day my brother-in-law went to the place where he prepared a sepulchre for himself and his relatives, because his father-in-law had died, and he wanted to make all the preparations for the burial. But he had to run away because the demoniac, nude and howling as usual, was inside and threatened to strike him with stones... He chased him almost as far as the village, then went back to the sepulchre and the dead man had to be buried in my sepulchre."
"And what about the time when he remembered that Tobias and Daniel had taken him by force, had tied him and taken him back home? He waited for them hiding among the canes and the mud of the river and when they got into the boat to go fishing or to ferry, I am not sure which, with the strength of a demon he lifted the boat and turned it upside down. They saved themselves by a miracle, but what was in the boat was lost and the very keel of the boat was damaged and the oars were broken."
"But have you not shown him to the priests?"
"Yes, he was taken to Jerusalem tied like a bale... What a journey!... I was there and I can tell You that I do not need to go to hell to learn what happens and is said there. But it was of no avail..."
"Just as bad as before?"
"And yet... the Priest!..."
"But what can You expect!... It would be necessary..."
"What? Go on..."
There is silence.
"Speak up. Be not afraid, I will not accuse you."
"Well... I was saying... but I do not want to commit a sin... I was saying... that... well... the priest might be successful if..."
"If he were a holy man, you mean, but you dare not say so. I say to you: do not judge. But what you say is true. It is regretfully true!..."
Jesus becomes silent and sighs. A short embarrassed silence.
Then one dares to take up the thread of the speech again: "If we should meet him, will You cure him? Will You clear this countryside?"
"Do you hope that I may be able to do so? Why?"
"Because You are holy."
"God is holy."
"And You who are His Son."
"How do you know?"
"Eh! people talk, in any case, we live here, near the river, and we know what You did three months ago. Who can stop a river in spate, but the Son of God?"
"And what about Moses? And Joshua?"
"They worked in the name of God and for His glory, And they were able to do so because they were holy. You are greater than they were."
"Will You do it, Master?"
"I will, if we meet him."
They proceed. The increasing heat makes them leave the road and seek shelter in a thicket along the river, which is not ruffled as when it was in flood. Although still rich in water, the water is calm and blue, shining in the sun. The path widens and white houses appear at the end of it. They must be approaching a village. At the borders of it there are some small very white buildings, with only one opening in one wall. Some are open. Most of them are hermetically closed. There is no one about.
They are spread over bare uncultivated ground, which seems to be abandoned. There are only weeds and boulders.
"Go away! Away! Go back or I will kill You!"
"The demoniac has seen us! I am going away."
"And I will follow you."
"Be not afraid. Remain here and watch."
Jesus is so sure of Himself that the... brave ones obey, but they go behind Jesus. The disciples also remain behind Him. Jesus proceeds alone and solemnly, as if He saw and heard nothing.
"Go away!" The voice is a rending cry. It sounds like a growl and a howl. It seems impossible that it can be uttered by a human being. "Go away! Back! I will kill You! Why are You persecuting me? I do not want to see You!" The possessed man bounds, he is nude, swarthy, with long ruffled hair and beard. His dark bristly locks strewn with dry leaves and dust fall over his grim bloodshot eyes, which roll in their sockets, and reach down to his mouth. And his mouth, open in howls and bursts of laughter of a madman - they sound like a nightmare - is foaming and bleeding, because he is striking it with a sharp stone and he says: "Why can I not kill You? Who is binding my strength? Is it You? You?"
Jesus looks at him and proceeds.
The madman rolls on the ground, bites himself, foams even more, strikes himself with his stone, springs to his feet, points his forefinger towards Jesus, Whom he stares at fixedly and wildly and says: "Listen! Listen! He Who is coming is..."
"Be silent, demon of the man! I order you."
"No! No! I will not be silent. What is there between You and us? Why do You not leave us in peace? Are You not satisfied with confining us to the kingdom of hell? Is it not enough for You that You have come to snatch man from us? Why do You force us back down there? Allow us to dwell in our preys! Since You are great and powerful, pass and conquer, if You can. But let us rejoice and be harmful. We exist for that. Oh! cur... No! I cannot say that! Don't make me say that to You! I cannot curse You! I hate You! I persecute You! I am waiting for You to torture You! I hate You and Him from Whom You proceed and I hate Him Who is Your Spirit. I hate Love, because I am Hatred! I want to curse You! I want to kill You! But I cannot! I cannot! Not yet! But I will wait for You, o Christ, I will wait for You. I will see You dead! O what a joyful hour! No! Not joyful! You dead? No. Not dead. And I defeated! Defeated! Always defeated!... Ah!..." Paroxism is at its utmost.
Jesus continues towards the demoniac keeping him under the radiation of His magnetic eyes. Jesus is now all by Himself. The apostles and the other people have remained behind. The people are behind the apostles, who are at least thirty metres from Jesus.
Some inhabitants of the village, which appears to be thickly peopled and I think is also wealthy, have come out, attracted by the shouts, and are watching the scene, ready to run away just like the other group. So the scene is as follows: in the centre the possessed man and Jesus, now a few metres apart from each other; behind Jesus, to the left, the apostles and the people of the country; on the right hand side, behind the demoniac, the citizens.
Jesus, after ordering the demon to be silent, has not spoken any more. He only stares at the demoniac. But now He stops and raises His arms, He stretches them towards the possessed man and is about to speak, The man's cries are now dreadful. He writhes, he jumps to the right, to the left, upwards. He looks as if he wanted either to run away or hurl himself upon Jesus, but he cannot. He is riveted there and apart from his writhing, he can make no other movement. When Jesus stretches out His arms, His hands extended as if He were taking an oath, the madman howls louder and after cursing, laughing and swearing, he begins to weep and implore. "No, not in hell! Don't send me there! My life is dreadful even here, imprisoned in man, because I want to travel through the world and tear Your creatures to pieces. But not there! No! No! Leave me outside!..."
"Come out of him. It's an order."
"In the name of the true God, come out!"
"Oh! Why do You defeat me? But I am not coming out, no. You are the Christ, the Son of God, but I am..."
"Who are you?"
"I am Beelzebub, the Master of the world and I will not surrender. I defy You, o Christ!"
The demoniac becomes motionless all of a sudden, stiff, almost dignified, and stares fixedly at Jesus with phosphorescent eyes, hardly moving his lips to utter unintelligible words and making light gestures with his hands near his shoulders and his elbows bent.
Jesus also has stopped. With His arms folded over His chest He gazes at him. Jesus also moves His lips lightly, but I cannot hear any word.
The people present are waiting, but they do not agree with one another: "He cannot do it!"
"Yes, the Christ will now succeed."
"No. The other one is winning."
"He is strong."
"Yes, he is."
"No, he isn't."
Jesus opens His arms. His face flashes command, His voice sounds like thunder.
"Come out. For the last time. Come out, o Satan! It is I Who command!"
"Aaaaah!" (it is a very long cry of never-ending torture. Not even a man slowly pierced by a sword would yell thus). And the cry ends in words: "I am coming out. Yes, You have defeated me. But I will avenge myself. You are driving me away, but there is a demon beside You and I will go into him and possess him, investing him with my full power. And no order of Yours will be able to take him away from me. In every age, in every place I, the author of Evil, procreate sons for myself. And as God procreated Himself by Himself, I procreate myself by myself . I conceive myself in the heart of man and he gives birth to Me, he gives birth to a new Satan, who is he himself and I rejoice having so many children! You and men will always find those creatures of mine, who are as many Satans. I am going, o Christ, to take possession of my new kingdom, as You wish, and I leave You this poor wretch whom I maltreated. In his place, as I am leaving him to You, the alms of Satan to You, God, I will take one thousand and ten thousand now, and You will find them when Your body in lurid tatters will be given as a plaything to dogs, and I will take ten thousand and one hundred thousand in future centuries to use them as an instrument for me and a torture for You. Do You think that You will win by raising Your Sign? My followers will knock it down and I will be the winner... Ah! It is not true that I will win! But I will torture You both in Yourself and in Your followers!..."
A loud crash, like thunder, is heard, but there is neither flash of light nor rumbling of thunder. Only a sharp lacerating crack, and as the demoniac falls like a dead body to the ground and remains there, a huge tree-trunk collapses near the apostles, as if it had been cut about one metre from the ground by a saw working as quickly as lightning. The apostolic group moves away just in time, while the local people run away.
But Jesus, Who has bent over the prostrated man and has taken him by the hand, turns round, still stooping and with the hand of the cured man in His own, He says: "Come. Be not afraid!" The people approach timorously. "He is cured. Bring a garment." A man runs away to fetch one.The man comes round slowly. He opens his eyes and meets Jesus'. He sits up.
With his free hand he wipes off perspiration, blood and foam, he pushes his hair back and looks at himself, When he realises that he is nude in the presence of so many people, he feels ashamed. He crouches and asks: "What happened? Who are You? Why am I here? Nude?"
"Nothing, My friend. They will now bring you some clothes and you will go back home."
"Where have I come from? And where are You from?" He speaks with the faint tired voice of a sick person.
"I come from the Sea of Galilee."
"And how come You know me? Why are You helping me? What is Your name?"
Some men arrive with a tunic which they put on the man cured miraculously. And an old woman arrives weeping and she presses the cured man to her heart.
"Mother! Why did you leave me for such a long time?"
The old woman weeps even more and kisses and caresses him. Perhaps she would speak more words, but Jesus dominates her with His eyes and inspires her with more pitiful ones: "You have been so ill, son! Praise God Who has cured you and the Messiah Who acted in the name of God."
"Him? What's His name?"
"Jesus of Galilee. But His name is Goodness. Kiss His hands, son, and ask Him to forgive you for what you did or said... you certainly spoke in your..."
"Yes, he spoke when he was feverish" says Jesus to prevent unwise words. "But it was not he who spoke and I am not severe with him. Let him be good now. Let him be continent ." Jesus stresses the word. The man lowers his head, embarrassed.
But what Jesus spares him is not spared by the rich citizens who have by now approached them. Among them there are some ineffable Pharisees. "You have been lucky! It is a good job that you met Him, the master of the demons."
"I... a demoniac?" The man is terrified.
The old woman bursts out: "You cursed ones! You have neither mercy nor respect! You greedy cruel vipers! And you as well, you useless minister of the synagogue. The Holy One master of the demons!"
"And who do you think has power over them but their king and father?"
"Oh! Impious people! Blasphemers! Be c...."
"Be silent, woman. Be happy with your son. Do not curse. They do not upset or worry Me. You may all go in peace. My blessing to good people. Let us go, My friends."
"May I follow You?" It is the cured man who asks the question.
"No. Stay here. Be My witness and your mother's joy. Go."
And among cheering shouts and whispered mockery Jesus crosses part of the little town and then goes back to the shade of the trees along the river. The apostles crowd round Him.
Peter asks: "Master, why did the unclean spirit offer so much resistance?"
"Because it was a complete spirit."
"What does that mean?"
"Listen to Me. Some people give themselves to Satan by opening a door to one capital vice. Some give themselves twice, some three times, some seven times. When one has opened his spirit to the seven vices, then a complete spirit enters him. Satan, the black prince, enters."
"How could that man, still young, be possessed by Satan?"
"Oh! My friends! Do you know along which path Satan comes? Generally three are the beaten paths, and one is never missing . Three: sensuality, money, pride of the spirit. Sensuality is the one which is always present. Courier of the other concupiscences, it passes spreading its poison and everything flourishes with satanic flowering. That is why I say to you: “Be the masters of your flesh”. Let that control be the beginning of everything else, as that slavery is the beginning of everything else. The man enslaved by lust, becomes thief, swindler, cruel, murderer, in order to serve his mistress. The very thirst for power is also related to the flesh. Do you not think so? It is so. Meditate on that and you will see whether I am mistaken. It was through the flesh that Satan entered man and through the flesh he goes back into man, and he is happy if he can do so. He, one and sevenfold, enters with the proliferation of his legions of minor demons."
"You said that Mary of Magdala had seven demons. You said so and they were certainly demons of lust. And yet You freed her very easily."
"Yes, Judas. That is true."
"So, according to you, My theory is wrong. No, My friend. That woman wanted, by that time, to be freed from her possession . She wanted. Will power is everything."
"Why, Master, do we notice that many women are possessed by the demon, and we can say, by that demon?"
"See, Matthew. Woman is not equal to man in her formation and in her reaction to the original sin. Man has other aims for his desires which may be more or less good. Woman has one aim only: love. Man has a different formation. Woman has this one, sensitive, which is even more perfect, because its purpose is procreation. You know that every perfection brings about an increase in sensitiveness. A perfect ear can hear what escapes a less perfect ear and is glad of that. The same applies to the eyes, to the palate and to olfaction. Woman was to be the sweetness of God on the Earth, she was to be love, the incarnation of that fire which moves Him Who is, the manifestation, the testimony of that love. God had therefore gifted her with a supereminent sensitive spirit, so that, one day as a mother, she could and would know how to open the eyes of the hearts of her sons to the love for God and their fellow-creatures, as man would open the eyes of intelligence of his children to understanding and acting. Consider the command of God to Himself: “Let us make a helpmate for Adam”. God Goodness could but want to make a good helpmate for Adam. He who is good loves. Adam's helpmate, therefore, was to be able to love to succeed in making Adam's day happy in the blissful Garden. She was to be so capable of loving as to be the second, collaborator and substitute of God, in loving man, His creature, so that even when God did not reveal Himself to His child with His loving voice, man should not feel unhappy for lack of love. Satan was aware of such perfection. Satan knows so many things. It is he who speaks through the lips of pythonesses telling lies mixed with truth. And - bear this in mind all of you, both you who are present here and those who will come in future - he speaks such truth, which he hates because he is Falsehood, only to seduce you with the chimera that it is Light that speaks and not Darkness. Satan, cunning, tortuous and cruel, crept into such perfection, he bit there and left his poison. The perfection of woman in loving has thus become Satan's instrument to dominate man and woman and spread evil..."
"What about our mothers, then?"
"John, do you fear for them? Not every woman is an instrument for Satan. Perfect as they are in their feelings, they exceed in action: angels if they want to be of God, demons if they wish to be of Satan. Holy women, and your mother is one of them, want to be of God and they are angels."
"Do You not think that the punishment of woman is unfair, Master? Man also sinned."
"And what about the reward then? It is written that Good will come back to the world through Woman and Satan will be defeated."
"Never judge the work of God. That is the first thing. But consider that as Evil came into the world through woman, it is fair that through the Woman Good should come into the world. A page written by Satan is to be cancelled. And the tears of a Woman will do that. And as Satan will shout his cries forever, the voice of a Woman will sing to drown those cries."
"I solemnly tell you that Her voice has already descended from Heaven where Her hallelujah has been sung from eternity."
"Will She be greater than Judith?"
"Greater than every woman."
"What will She do?"
"She will turn Eve upside down with her treble sin. Absolute obedience. Absolute purity. Absolute humility. She will rise on that: a victorious queen..."
"But, Jesus, is Your Mother not the greatest, having given birth to You?"
"Great is he who does the will of God. And that is why Mary is great. Every other merit comes from God. But that one is entirely Hers and may She be blessed for it."
And it all ends.
"You have seen a man “possessed” by Satan. There are many replies in My words. Not so much for you as for other people. Will they be of any use? No. They will be of no use to those who need them most. Rest with My peace."