Exorcist: ‘We can’t see evil, only its effects’ | Inquirer News

Exorcist: ‘We can’t see evil, only its effects’

/ 07:01 AM October 28, 2018

DEVIL’S FOE Fr. Marius Roque recalls his encounters with the devil.—TONETTE T. OREJAS

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Fr. Marius Roque fights the devil with these weapons — an image of St. Gemma Galgani, a medallion of St. Benedict, a crucifix, a rosary, prayers including an oracion written by Pope Leo XIII.

But the most powerful weapon in his exorcism arsenal is something unseen — Fr. Roque’s courage.

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“We are not magicians,” the 56-year-old Catholic priest said of the ministry of exorcism which was assigned to him last year by Archbishop Florentino Lavarias.

Pampanga-based priests Ervin Garcia, Carthy Macalino and Reagan Barrameda are part of his team of exorcists.

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Nationwide, more than 100 priests are permitted to conduct exorcism.

Roque has handled 30 possession cases since 2011.

First case

His initial exorcism case forced him to rely on instincts because he had no training.

“The first case that was brought to me was near San Fernando. It was a teenage girl. She was beautiful,” he said.

“I told her to pray. The voice sounded like it was coming from inside a can. That’s when I realized that the devil can imitate prayers,” Roque said.

“Her eyes were all white like Linda Blair,” he said referring to the Hollywood actress who portrayed a possessed girl in the 1973 movie “The Exorcist.”

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It took Roque several months to heal the girl.

He said he learned that the possessed undergo personality and physical changes.

“She had no control of her body. There were many evil spirits taking turns harming her,” he said.

Fear

That was when he contacted the Church’s exorcism office in Manila and learned about Pope Leo XIII’s prayer which only priests are authorized to recite.

At one point, Roque admitted he had been very afraid and wanted to run.

But he persevered because the victim’s family pinned their hopes on him.

Once she was healed, the girl requested she be allowed to sleep inside a church with her family.

“She slept well,” Roque said.

His second case involved 12 adults living in a compound.

“It was not a case of mass hysteria because each one hosted a different demon,” Roque said.

“It is a difficult task. We cannot see the devil and evil spirits,” Roque said.

“We cannot prove their existence through science. What we can see are the effects,” he added. —Tonette Orejas

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TAGS: Carthy Macalino, Ervin Garcia, exorcism, exorcist, Marius Roque, Reagan Barrameda
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