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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 July 5, 2020

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do...

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July 5

 

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,
but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle


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

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Her goodness went as far as raising her husband’s illegiti...

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Elizabeth of Portugal known as “The Holy Queen” was born Isabel of Aragon in Zaragoza, Spain, the daughter of King Pedro III of Aragon and Queen Constanza of Naples. She was named after her great aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

From childhood, having received a most Christian upbringing, she learned to practice self-discipline, mortification of wayward tendencies, the avoidance of sin and the pursuit of virtue, prayer and union with God’s holy will.

Beautiful, talented and good, she was sought in marriage by several European monarchs, and was ultimately betrothed by proxy at the age of thirteen to King Dinis of Portugal.

A year and a half later she arrived in Portugal to assume her responsibilities as queen. Although he was an able ruler, her husband had an irate temper and sinful habits. While he respected and revered his queen, he was unfaithful to her and had several illegitimate children.

Elizabeth bore the conjugal betrayal with exquisite patience and heroic magnanimity, praying continuously for her wayward spouse. She and Dinis had two children: Constanza and Alfonso.

The young queen started her day with Mass and prayer, and then proceeded to see to the governance of her palace. In the free moments she sewed and embroidered with her ladies for the poor, and personally tended to their needs. Afternoons were dedicated to the care of the elderly, the poor or anyone else in want.

Amazingly talented, Elizabeth mastered several languages, sang beautifully, and enjoyed a remarkable understanding of engineering and architecture. She herself designed and oversaw the building of several churches, monasteries and hospitals, developing her own “Elizabethan Style.”

One day while inspecting a construction site, a girl approached and gave her a bouquet of flowers. The queen then distributed the flowers, one to each of the workers saying: “Let’s see if today you will work hard and well for this pay.” The men reverently placed their flower each in his own satchel, only to find, at the end of the day, a gold coin in place of the flower.

In her city Elizabeth built hostels for the poor, a hospital, a house for repentant wayward women, a free school for girls, and a hospice for abandoned children. She built bridges in dangerous places, visited and procured doctors for the ill, and endowed poor girls for the convent or for marriage. She kept a beautiful tiara and wedding dress to lend to poor brides so they could “shine” or their special day. Her goodness went as far as raising her husband’s illegitimate children.

A great devotee of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy centuries before the dogma was declared; she obtained from the bishop of Coimbra the establishment of the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, which was afterwards observed with great solemnity throughout the whole country.

A constant peacemaker, the holy queen ironed out many a conflict between bellicose rulers and nobles. Twice she reconciled her husband and son, on one occasion, even interposing her person between them in the battlefield.
In the end, Dinis died a most repentant man. In one of his poems he left his ultimate tribute to his ultimate queen:

God made you without peer
In goodness of heart and speech
As your equal does not exist,
My love, my lady, I thus sing:
Had God so wished,
You’d made a great king.  

After her husband’s death, Elizabeth took the habit of a Franciscan Tertiary and retired near a convent of Poor Clares which she had built, dedicating herself to the sick and the poor.

The saintly queen died at age sixty-five invoking Our Lady, and was canonized in 1625 by Pope Urban VIII who had vowed not to canonize anyone during his pontificate. He made the exception for Elizabeth at being promptly healed of a serious illness after praying to her.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. N...

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A Young Man and His Lady Love

In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.

The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.

Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.

Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."

The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.

Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.

Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.

After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

The young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.

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