At noon on May 20, behind closed doors in the Cathedral of San Luis Potosí, a unique event in the modern history of Mexico took place. Headed by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, and guided by the famous Spanish priest and exorcist Fr. José Antonio Fortea, a group of priests performed a “Great Exorcism." This rite is intended to be used to exorcise a diocese or a country.
In his book The Great Exorcism, Fr. José Antonio Fortea explains this ritual step by step. He writes that this ceremony “drives away demons” and “is useful in situations in which great violence has been unleashed in a country.”
Mexico suffers from a growing wave of violence, and according to official numbers, approximately one hundred thousand abortions have been performed just in the capital since abortion was legalized in 2007.
Due to the private nature of this rite, it was only made known through social networks or isolated publications, such as an article published on the website Verycreer.com by the Mexican journalist Roberto O’Farrill, who was present for the Great Exorcism.
In a conversation with ACI Prensa, the Archbishop of San Luis Potosí, Jesús Carlos Cabrero, confirmed that the Great Exorcism took place on May 20 in his archdiocese’s Cathedral.
“This celebration is a sacramental of the Church,” he explained, and indicated that during the ritual “some priests were present, and Cardinal [Sandoval] did me the favor of accompanying us, in response to an invitation I sent him.”
Archbishop Cabrero explained that the ceremony was handled in private because “otherwise morbid interests appear, and misinterpretations.” “What we want is to seek the good above all,” he clarified.
The Mexican archbishop indicated that this rite “prays, for example, about the problem of divorce and of abortion, which often are favored by inhuman laws, laws that go against nature itself.”
We ask God, he said, “to free us from the strong presence of the Evil One, that makes itself felt. To do that, we turn to this special prayer, which is certainly extraordinary, but which is nonetheless a Church practice.”
Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez agreed with the Archbishop of San Luis Potosí that the Great Exorcism “is a prayer asking God to drive away the Enemy, to drive him away from these places. From San Luis, first of all, and then from all of Mexico.”
In declarations to ACI Prensa, Cardinal Sandoval Íñiguez affirmed the importance of people becoming aware of “the very grave situation we are living through in Mexico, whose root is very deep, beyond human malevolence; it is the devil, who is very connected to death. He is a murderer from the beginning.”
“It’s time for people to become more aware of the seriousness of the situation in Mexico. I hope what we did here is multiplied,” he encouraged.
The Mexican cardinal lamented “violence against young and old” in Mexico, since “it’s true that abortions are performed even when it is not legalized, but when a country, a Christian country, legalizes abortion, that is a tragedy. It is a very, very grave sin.”
“Acts of revenge, now occurring between assassins and the government; deaths here, deaths there, and deaths everywhere: this violence is nothing else but the Devil who is tearing us apart,” he lamented.
The Mexican cardinal spoke in favor of renewing the custom of praying the prayer to St. Michael Archangel, written by Pope Leo XIII.
Roberto O’Farrill, a Catholic journalist who participated in the Great Exorcism, believes that Mexico is going through a demonic infestation, similar to what happened in these lands before evangelization and the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, when pre-Columbian cultures offered human sacrifices to their false gods.
“Many of these sacrifices were human sacrifices: young warriors and young maidens. Their chests were opened to remove their heart and offer it to these demons,” he told ACI Prensa.
Laws persecuting the Church, and the recent approval of abortion, he alleges, have returned Mexico to the situation it was in before the appearance of the Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac.
“In the past eight years, more than 120 thousand abortions have been performed in Mexico City, which have been reported, in abortion clinics run by the government of the Federal District,” O’Farrill indicated.
Roberto O’Farrill mentioned the case of Ángel, a Mexican from Morelia, Michoacán, possessed by four demons. The priest Juan Rivas, of the Legionaries of Christ, took him to Rome with a letter from Cardinal Sandoval to the exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth.
On that occasion, according to O’Farrill, the demons possessing Ángel “said, ‘you are stupid, because She [the Virgin Mary] cast us out of Mexico, and now you with your stupid laws have allowed sacrifices to return to Mexico, human sacrifices. We don’t want to say this but She is stepping on our head and forces us to.’”
“During that exorcism, the Virgin Mary forces the demons to say that they have returned to Mexico, that there is once again an infestation, principally in Mexico City and in other parts of the country,” he pointed out.
The Archbishop of San Luis Potosí explained that before celebrating the Great Exorcism he went to “a training session, a catechesis, because I realized it was necessary; that this is not a common rite.”
He also expressed his confidence that other Mexican bishops might carry out similar ceremonies.
He suggests that this ceremony “needs to be done – as I understand it, because of its very nature — privately. Not in an elitist way, but privately, because there is a lot of influence from foreign films that represent the action of the evil one and the Church’s task of exorcism in a sensationalistic light. And this should be handled carefully, as a very intimate and well prepared prayer.”
One of the fruits that Archbishop Cabrero trusts will be received from God after the Great Exorcism, is that “we will know the dignity of the human person; that we will be able to see how God calls us” both to holiness and to become truly “conscious of our Christian vocation and of his call to eternal life.”