Be Bold As The Saints And Never Fear The Devil, God’s Enemy And Ours
If God is for us, who is against us?
Saint Leutfridus was tremendously wrathful against the devil. He acted with Holy Anger and Fought Furiously with the devil using Holy Wrath.
When Satan approaches, we should not be filled with fear but with Holy anger and disgust, because the devil is the declared enemy of our God and our souls. He wishes us every form of evil. Thus, when we are tempted, we should react with militant execration, like Saint Michael did.
Once, a friar called Saint Leutfridus from his cell to tell him that the devil was appearing in the chapel. Recognizing his old enemy, the saint ran to the Chapel and made the sign of the cross over the doors and windows, which closed, blocking all the exits.
Wisely, he captured the devil first, so that he could not get away.
Advancing towards the devil, the saint furiously beat him. The devil wanted to flee, but all the exits were blocked. Normally, he could have instantly left the body he had taken up, but apparently he had not permission to do so. God wanted to humiliate him further under Saint Leutfridus’ blows. The beating was physically given and spiritually felt, all under the Sign of the Cross. Just as the wicked souls are burned by Hell’s material fire, so too the devil’s soul was made to feel the saint’s blows. Naturally, these blows tormented and humiliated the devil. The devil was forced to flee by way of the tower, under the continued blows of Saint Leutfridus.
St. Teresa of Avila said, “If the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future [Revelation 20:10].”
St. Teresa had a lot of instances where she encountered Satan and beat him through the power of God but my favorite instance would have to be this one: One night, Satan appeared to St. Teresa of Avila as she was trying to sleep.
St. Teresa of Avila
One time late in the darkness of.the night, Saint Teresa of Avila saw the dark figure before her, she became frightened because she thought it was a burglar or an intruder to harm her or her convent sisters. She then realized that the figure before her was Satan and she then proceeded to say: “Oh, it’s only you. I thought it was someone who could actually harm me.” The devil was left humiliated and powerless to do anything since he was given no fear to exploit and immediately vanished in a rage.
“The devil…that proud spirit…cannot endure to be mocked.” –St. Thomas More
Once, St. Anthony decided to spend a night alone in a large tomb. A huge group of demons descended upon him and attacked his body. The devil “so cut him with stripes that he lay on the ground speechless from the excessive pain. For he affirmed that the torture had been so excessive that no blows inflicted by man could ever have caused him such torment.”
The next day, a friend bringing him supplies found him and brought him back to the nearby village. But that evening, he regained consciousness and asked for the friend to carry him back to the tomb. After his friend shut him back in the tomb, St. Anthony called out, “Here am I, Antony; I flee not from your stripes, for even if you inflict more nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ.” The demons returned, and here’s how St. Athanasius describes what happened next:
[I]n the night they made such a din that the whole of that place seemed to be shaken by an earthquake, and the demons as if breaking the four walls of the dwelling seemed to enter through them, coming in the likeness of beasts and creeping things.
And the place was on a sudden filled with the forms of lions, bears, leopards, bulls, serpents, asps, scorpions, and wolves, and each of them was moving according to his nature. The lion was roaring, wishing to attack, the bull seeming to toss with its horns, the serpent writhing but unable to approach, and the wolf as it rushed on was restrained; altogether the noises of the apparitions, with their angry ragings, were dreadful.
Though he was in terrible pain, he responded boldly to the demons:
If there had been any power in you, it would have sufficed had one of you come, but since the Lord has made you weak, you attempt to terrify me by numbers: and a proof of your weakness is that you take the shapes of brute beasts.
If you are able, and have received power against me, delay not to attack; but if you are unable, why trouble me in vain? For faith in our Lord is a seal and a wall of safety to us.
Suddenly, the roof opened up and a bright light filled the tomb. The demons vanished and his pain ceased. Realizing that God had saved him, he prayed, “Where were you? Why did you not appear at the beginning to make my pains to cease?” And God replied to him: “Antony, I was here, but I waited to see your fight; since you have endured, and have not been beaten, I will ever be a succor to you, and will make your name known everywhere.”
St. Athanasius writes that “[h]aving heard this, Antony arose and prayed, and received such strength that he perceived that he had more power in his body than formerly.
Saint Martin de Pores
As with the Curé of Ars, the devil stood close by Martin. On different nights when it was necessary, the holy brother would visit the infirmary. He used an old worn out stairway that was the quickest route between his room and the infirmary. One night, with his arms full of supplies, he approached the old stairs. A monstrous body with flashing eyes barred the way. Martin knew who it was. “What are you doing here accursed one?” he asked. The devil answered, “I am here because it pleases me to be here, and because I expect to profit by being here.” “Away with you to the cursed depths where you dwell!” cried the holy brother. The monster refused to move so Martin took off his belt and began to whip the monster with it. Then the devil vanished, because he knew that he would gain nothing by staying but more beatings…
And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself. (Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Colossians Ch. 2:15)
St. Frances of Rome Spits in the Face of the Devil
One day when St. Frances of Rome was going to receive Communion, the devil said to her: “How can you, who are so full of venial sins, dare to receive the Immaculate Lamb!” She instantly perceived that the enemy intended to deprive her of so great a joy, and silenced him by spitting in his face. After this the Blessed Virgin appeared to her, and having praised her conduct, she said that our defects, instead of being an obstacle, should be an incentive to Communion, since in Communion we find the remedy for all our miseries.
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
God Shows Little St. Therese in Her Dreams That the devils Fear Her Even as a Child
I remember a dream I must have had around that age and it is still deeply imprinted on my imagination.I dreamed one night I went to take a walk all alone in the garden. When I reached the foot of the steps leading to the garden and which have to be climbed to get into it, I stopped, seized with fright. In front of me, near the arbor, there was a barrel of lime and on this barrel two frightful little devils were dancing with surprising agility in spite of the flatirons they had on their feet. All of a sudden they cast fiery glances at me and at the same moment appeared to be more frightened than I was, for they jumped from the barrel and went to hide in the laundry that was just opposite. Seeing they weren’t so brave, I wanted to know what they were going to do, and I went up to the window. The poor little devils were there, running on the tables, not knowing what to do to hide from my gaze. Sometimes they approached the window, looking out to see if I was still there and seeing me there they began running like madmen. This dream, I suppose, has nothing extraordinary about it, and still I believe God permitted me to remember it in order to prove to me that a soul in the state of grace has nothing to fear from demons who are cowards, capable of fleeing before the gaze of a little child!
Satan appeared to Gemma in the form of an angel, resplendent with light, insinuating himself with the most subtle cunning, so as to throw her off her guard. Then as with Eve in the Garden of Eden, he depicted things in the falsest colors “Look” he said “I can make thee happy if only you will swear to obey me”. Gemma, who this time did not feel in her soul the usual disturbance indicating the presence of the demon, stood listening in her simplicity. But God came to her aid. After the first wicked proposal, her eyes were opened. She stood up exclaiming “My God! Mary Immaculate!” Make me die rather!” and with these words she rushed to the feigned “angel” and spat in his face. At the same moment she saw him vanish in the form of fire.
Saint Anthony of Egypt Taunts the demons Powerlessness Over Him
St. Athanasius wrote about an incidence that involved his fried Saint Anthony. One day Saint Anthony, then aged 35, decided to spend the night alone in an abandoned tomb. A great multitude of demons came and started beating him, wounding him all over. He lay on the ground as if dead. The claws of the demons prevented him from getting up. According to the hermit the suffering caused by this demonic torture was comparable to no other. The next day, by the Providence of God, a friend came to visit him and carried him on his shoulders to the nearest village for treatment. Anthony came to himself and begged his friend to bring him back to the tomb. Upon arriving there, Saint Anthony exclaimed: “Here is Anthony. I do not flee your beatings nor pain, nor torture; nothing can separate me from the love of God.”
“The demons made such a racket that the whole place was shaken, knocking over the four walls of the tomb; they came in droves, taking the form of all kinds of monstrous beasts and hideous reptiles. And the whole place was filled with lions, bears, leopards, bulls, wolves, asps, scorpions. The lions roared, ready to attack; bulls seemed to threaten him with their horns; snakes advanced, crawling on the ground, seeking a place of attack, and wolves prowled around him. They all were making a terrible noise. Groaning in pain, St. Anthony faced the demons, laughing: ‘If you had any power, only one of you would be enough to kill me; but the Lord has taken away your strength, so you want to frighten me by your number. The proof of your powerlessness is that you are reduced to taking the form of senseless animals. If you have any power against me, come on, attack me! But if you cannot do anything, why torment yourselves unnecessarily? My faith in God is my defense against you!!!’