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The Devil in the Convent Header

 

"I will not leave you in peace until you leave the convent"

(Threat from the devil to Maria Dien) 

 

The Devil in the Convent  is not the title of a soap opera.

It is the report of a real case of collective infestation and possession, narrated by the exorcist who performed the exorcisms and expelled the demons: Dom Luis de Cooman M.E.P., former bishop for Vietnam.

He published a book with this title, where he describes the extraordinary action of the demon in a Convent in Vietnam, where he was a missionary.

 

A pagan asks the demons to take a girl from the Convent

The facts of this case occurred between 1924 and 1926, in Phat-Diêm, the then French Protectorate of Tonquim (today, Vietnam), in the convent and novitiate of the Sisters, Lovers of the Holy Cross.

With God's permission, the demon started to act in this convent. It started with Minh, a pagan, who had fallen in love with a young Catholic, Marie Dien. The girl wanted to be a nun and joined the Congregation of the Sisters Lovers of the Cross.

Upset, Minh went to the famous Buddhist pagoda in Den Song and asked the genies (in truth, the demons) to make the girl abandon her religious vocation to marry him. As a result, the demon started to infest the convent, trying to make life impossible, and trying to force Marie Dien to leave or to get expelled by her companions, who perceived the girl was at the center of this diabolic action.

 

Spanked by the demon

In spite of all the physical and moral torments from the demon, the young novice not only remained firm in her vocation, but used them for her sanctification.

The first extraordinary manifestations of the demon were attempts at personal infestation: nightly voices, and stones flying through the air, which interrupted the novices' sleep. At times, Marie Dien was beaten by an invisible hand all night long. This took place in mid-September 1924.

The nuns called Fr. Louis de Cooman, a young missionary to whom the convent was subordinated, and informed him of the events. At first, he did not believe the stories. Nevertheless, he took prudential measures, forbidding the nuns to talk with the mysterious voices or amongst themselves about the strange happenings. He hoped the phenomena was of natural origin or some nervous disturbances of the novices, and would soon cease.

But things became more and more serious. On the night of the 21st to the 22nd of September, while the demon was tormenting Marie Dien – an occurrence witnessed by all the novices – one of the novices took a crucifix and gave it to her to kiss; astonishingly, the image of Christ disappeared and was only found on the following day.

 

Stones hurled to the roof, amazing noises, ghosts

Almost every night, a mysterious and frightening shower of heavy objects – stones, bricks, sticks, potatoes, empty bottles, etc. – would hit the convent.

More impressive yet were the noises that lasted for two years: bird chirps, horse whinnies, car horns, boat sirens, dilacerating weeping, sardonic laughs, tooth gritting, door knocks, drum beats, etc.

All this made the nights terrible and submitted the young nuns' nerves to a tremendous trial. Without the help of divine grace, they would not have resisted: either they would have abandoned the convent, or they would have gone crazy.

The demon had told the Sister Marie Dien: "Someone has come to my pagoda (Den Song) to ask me to make you return to the world; I will not leave you in peace until you leave the convent".

And then there were the ghostly apparitions -- fantastic beings of extraordinary size and terrifying aspect. Sometimes, the demon took on the appearance of their confessor and gave bewildering advices to the young novices. What saved the nuns on these occasions was to fulfill their duties of obedience and report everything to their superiors, which would undo the snares of the demon.

 

Possession affects some nuns

One night, the demon lifted Marie Dien in the air and said he would take her to her lover's house. She was carried for 50 feet to the end of the novices' dormitory, where she was able to kiss a relic of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, which she had with her, and the Evil One dropped her. She fell to the ground, but was uninjured.

Little by little, several novices also started to show strange signs of demonic infestation and even of demonic possession. Showing unusual agility for girls without any physical training, they would jump to the top of branches on very high trees. Or, they would lie down on pencil thin branches, which normally would bend and break under their weight. But nothing would happen. To make them come down, it was necessary to pray intensely and to sprinkle them with holy water.

Another time, one of the novices, in the presence of Fr. Louis de Cooman, jumped up from a stand still position and grabbed the ceiling beams, which were ten feet from the floor. She then lifted herself up with her arms, crossed one of the beams and lay down on it, where she stayed for a long time, finally jumping to the ground. Although the noise of the fall was very strong, she got up laughing and suffered no harm.

 

The demon spread discord in the community

Another trial – maybe the most terrible of all – was the discord that the demon sowed in the community: the nuns developed a deep antipathy for Marie Dien, who was not expelled from the convent due to her superior's prudence and perception of the diabolic cause of the infestation. In fact, after a while this antipathy ceased completely and the nuns recognized they had been unfair to Marie Dien.

After spending some time studying the situation, the superiors charged Fr. Louis de Cooman to perform the exorcisms to free the nuns from this demonic infestation or possession.

 

Exorcism, novenas and penitence

In all, nine novices were exorcised. Each of them had to be dragged by force to the place where the exorcisms were to take place.

Gradually, thanks to the exorcisms and to novenas, personal sacrifices, penitence, etc., the possessions diminished and, in 1926, they ceased completely. The personal and local infestations lasted for a few more years, but they also ceased completely.

 

Pious life and holy death of Marie Catherine Dien

In spite of all the demon's efforts, not one of the postulants or novices left the convent; later on, three of them abandoned the religious life, but for other reasons.

As for Sister Marie Catherine Dien, she not only persevered in religious life, but received mystical gifts: colloquies with the Divine Savior, and especial and visible assistance from her patroness, Saint Catherine of Siena. In the last years of her life, she was Mistress of Novices and guided many nuns in their religious life. She died a holy death on August 16, 1944.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020

Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes...

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April 8

Every virtue in your soul
is a precious ornament
which makes you dear to God and to man.
But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue,
is a jewel so precious
that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven,
even though clothed in mortal flesh.

St. John Bosco

 
My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

 

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Julie Billiart

She was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on...

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St. Julie Billiart

Born on July 12, 1751 in Cuvilly, France, Marie Rose Julie Billiard was the daughter of fairly well-to-do peasant farmers who also owned a small shop. From early childhood Julie had a keen interest in spiritual things and by seven years of age she had memorized the catechism and attained an understanding of it beyond her years.

During her youth, her father’s shop was robbed and her father attacked. This so traumatized his daughter that she became ill and gradually a physical paralysis took hold of her. Deprived of the use of her legs, she eventually had great difficulty in even speaking. Julie's paralysis lasted for twenty-two years, and throughout this whole trial she continued to teach her beloved catechism to children and to trust unwaveringly in the everlasting goodness of “le bon Dieu”. Her infirmities drove her to an even deeper life of prayer and union with God.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution when the pastor of Cuvilly was superseded by a constitutional priest sworn to the new atheistic government, Julie influenced her friends and neighbors to boycott the intruder. Though an invalid herself, she worked to hide and assist fugitive priests who remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and for this charitable work she was herself persecuted and obliged to escape from place to place – on one occasion, hiding all night under a haystack.

While taking refuge with the aristocratic family of Gézaincourt, Julie met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, a noblewoman who had barely escaped the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre before her execution. The two became close friends and collaborators.

After the Terror, they both dedicated themselves to the spiritual care of poor children, and the Christian education of girls in a generation sorely neglected by the ravages of the Revolution.

In 1804, after a novena to Him, Julie Billiart was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now physically free to pursue a full range of activity, her educational work increased rapidly.

At odds with the bishop of Amiens through the meddling influence of a misguided young priest, Julie and Françoise were obliged to move to Namur, in present-day Belgium, where with the full support of the local bishop, they proceeded with their work, eventually founding the Institute of Notre Dame de Namur, today in sixteen countries around the world.

Julie Billiart died on April 8, 1816 while praying the Magnificat. She was canonized in 1969.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort...

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And He Stole Heaven

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.
 
On his left hung another man, covered in the matted blood of his wounds. Yet, with the exception of a few intermittent words, there was no sound from him.

As time passed, the thief became more and more engrossed in the silent crucified beside him, and less and less in his own plight.St Dismas Picture

Indeed life is ironic, mused Dismas, this man who had lived in the open, and was acclaimed as a healer and even as a king, now hung beside him who had spent his life lurking and hiding.

And now they were lifted up, both on a high parallel. He could see the roof tops of the city, he could see the highways he had stalked, and he could see the way they had walked. Now he looked down on those gathered around this place of execution, the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the curious, the friends of the man beside him…and a young man supporting a lady directly beneath them...

And then he knew her; that upturned face, that maidenly majesty now wracked by sorrow, her tear-filled eyes fastened on the man on his left–Yes, he knew that face.

As the wheels of time rolled back in his mind,  his heart gave a jolt as he remembered that blessed day in the desert, decades ago, when a young family making its way to Egypt, sought refuge for the night in his family’s hovel. The man was strong and kind, the woman was the fairest his child’s eyes had seen, and she carried a golden haired babe, as if nothing in the universe was more precious.

He remembered the lady’s gaze on him, her beautiful eyes full of concern for the leprous sores on his young body. Then she and his mother talked. And next, he was being bathed in the same water the lady had just washed her infant son.

And then the sores were gone.  His mother wept for joy, and kissed the lady’s hands, and the baby’s feet. And even his robber-father was moved, and offered the strong man and his family the best in the house.

Now, in one revealing flash, he knew the identity of the wounded man on his left.  He looked again at the lady, and her eyes, those same sweet eyes of old, were on him once more.  
He felt his heart quiver, as the power of gratitude filled his being and softened his criminal soul.  And then came tears, rivers of tears.  When he could speak, he turned to the left,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And the Lord turned his face to him, His divine eyes on him, and he heard the most beautiful voice he had ever heard, a voice at once full of pain and full of strength, full of sweetness and full of majesty, a judge’s voice, and a father’s voice,

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

By Andrea F. Phillips
Based on: A Legend of St. Dismas and Other Poems,
Copyright by P. J. Kenedy and Sons. 1927, p. 18.

 

Free Meditation Booklet - Be Still and Know That I AM GOD

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.

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