Stories of the attacks of the demons against modern day mystic saints
"....And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, an Angel of Satan to beat me, to keep me from being too exalted." -St Paul to the Corinthians [2 Corinthians 12:7]The primary mission of the mystics is to be victim souls—that is, they are especially called by God to suffer in union with Jesus for the conversion of souls.
It is a spiritual battle for souls between God and the demons, where the victim soul is essentially the “battle ground”, and the stakes is the conversion of many persons who are at that moment in the hands of the devil.
For the majority of us, the devil and his demons prefer to wage a silent, hidden war, primarily because it is through this method that the demons stand the best chance of tempting and deceiving us, for if we physically saw a demon in its efforts to tempt and lead us to sin, we would be absolutely horrified by its hideous appearance and would in fact be strengthened in our resolutions against sin and evil deeds.
So it is in our daily lives that most of us are subjugated to unseen temptations and attacks by the demonic spirits--but in the lives of certain mystics, God allows the malignant spirits to use open warfare.
“War! War against you and your spiritual director!” When it comes to the mystic Saints however, there is much more at stake than one individual soul, for it is the victim soul who, through their mystical union with Jesus on the Cross, actually snatches souls out of Satan’s hands.
And with the victim soul, the devil is met with resolute resistance from the one who has offered him/herself in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners; and with the prospect of losing souls in his grasp, and unable to make the victim soul sin in any serious way, he takes the most fearful vengeance against them, using all the powers of hell in a demonic torrent of attacks in countless forms, all in an effort to cause the victim soul to despair and lose their trust and love for God.
So it is that in the case of many mystics, the battle with the demons is not hidden one but it is in fact open warfare. And this open battle is permitted by God to manifest to everyone the reality of both the devil and hell, which unfortunately many today try to disclaim the existence of.
For the devil and the demons are very much a reality, and in their dealings with God's mystic saints they show themselves in the most horrid and undisguised perversities of their vicious and corrupt nature, in the wicked hope of snatching from Christ the souls He loves, and for whom He has paid such a high a price in the shedding of His Precious Blood.
These battles between the demons and the victim souls are often epic, and terrible to witness or to even read of. Just one of many examples we will document below be that of St Gemma Galgani, who died in 1903.
The devil, in the form of either a hideous, hairy, ape like man or sometimes in the form of a black dog who would grab her by the hair and rip her out of bed onto the floor, taking out clumps of hair in the process, and would proceed to beat her mercilessly, dislocating her shoulder among many other things in the process, horribly cursing God and shouting “War! War against you and your spiritual director!”
(Those interested can read about Gemma’s epic battles against the demonic here).
But for the many reasons that God allows such diabolic and hellish attacks in the lives of the mystics, certainly one of these reasons is to teach us to have a great horror for grave sin.
And so let us contemplate a few of these battles of the mystics vs. the demons, so as to gain some new perspectives on the beneficial fear that we should have within ourselves for sin.