Begone, Satan! details one of the most publicized exorcisms in American history that even found its way into Time magazine in 1936. In 1928, a young woman of Earling, Iowa, pseudonymously called in this book "Anna Ecklund," experienced a 23-day-long exorcism under the care of Capuchin Fr. Theophilus Riesinger. Ecklund had apparently been cursed by her father and a local witch, who had been his mistress, before he died. Experiencing powerful temptations to suicide and various evil acts, Ecklund also found herself even knowing other tongues. This unpleasant tale of exorcism includes startling manifestations of the diabolical that seem incredible. Indeed, Fr. Carl Vogl, who interviewed everyone involved and published the book with the Imprimatur in German soon after the events, notes that the words of the demons—some of which are recorded here—are not to be trusted.
This frightful and incredible story seems unbelievable, but the point is not to inspire fear and terror. Rather, it intends to show that evil spirits are real, and they can have power over matter and even ourselves—if we let them. Most important, however, this book reveals that Satan and the demons are terrified of Christ, His Church, His priests, and the Church's prayers, sacraments, and sacramentals, such as Holy Water, Rosaries, and Crucifixes. Let us take heed of the message God would communicate through these events: that He has conquered Satan by His Holy Cross and Resurrection—and that He continues to do so through the instrumentality of Mary, who crushes the head of the serpent.
Crux sacra sit mihi lux; numquam draco sit mihi dux. Vade retro Satana; nec suade mihi vana. Sunt mala quae libas; ipse venena bibas!
May the Holy Cross be my light; never the dragon be my guide. Step back, Satan! Do not suggest me thy vanities. Evil are the things thou profferest; drink thou thy own poison!
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