Demonic Possession in Saints

  • Gabriele Nanni Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Keywords: possession; enslavement; attack; struggle; holiness; exorcism; demon; satan; release


Very rare are the saints experiencing possession. Even less often they are documented in writing. Of course, there are testimonies that the Saints were violently attacked by a demon, but very little is said about cases of possession or enslavement. There is extensive documentation of two cases of people proclaimed saints – two Carmelite nuns: Saint. Maria Magdalena de ’Pazzi (1566-1607) and Saint. Maria Baouardy (1846-1878), “Little Arab Woman”. The example of the Saints who were temporarily possessed during their lives creates a rich source of very important and practical information about God’s power and the role of Satan in the economy of human salvation. This information can talk to the theological reflection and to the exorcists themselves, and also – as a consolation – for all who experience similar states. Saints possessed by a demon teach us how and why this happens, as well as testify that above all there is a merciful and powerful God who saves man.


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