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December 4, 2009

The Devil Never Goes on Vacation

(St. Francisco Borgia performing a deathbed exorcism, by Francisco Goya)

There is a particular reason why we Catholics invoke the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary when we say, "Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen."

In addition to Scripture's repeated reminders that the devil is actively seeking the spiritual destruction of as many men and women as he can possibly destroy, many of the great saints (too many to be numbered here) have attested to the fact that the evil one is allowed by God to harass people with all kinds of temptations and even, in some cases, to make a final, furious, frantic attack on someone who is dying. St. Anthony of the Desert, St. Benedict, St. Dominic, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Anthony Claret, St. John Vianney, Blessed Padre Pio, and many others warn about this, as does the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This is why, in addition to prayer, the sacraments, cultivating virtue, and frequently invoking the intercession of Mary and the saints, we must always remember, trust in, and live according to this glorious truth about God's love for us:

"Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

With all that in mind, I bring you the following audio clip from my "Open Line" radio show yesterday in which I took a call from Kathy, who wanted to know about whether the devil and his demonic helpers were in the habit of harassing people on their deathbeds. She asked because of something she herself had seen as she attended her own mother in her dying days. Take a listen . . .


  1. Mr. Madrid,

    A question I have in regards to your article is as follows. I understand the current population of the world is approximately 4 billion people. As Catholics, we say the devil is tempting all of us, individually or collectively or, as you say in your article, even "harassing people on their deathbeds". When we say the devil is tempting us, are we saying evil in general or perhaps the other fallen angels (demons) or specifically Lucifer himself?

    I think you know where I heading: take an example where, lets say, 1 out of 8 people at any one time are being tempted or harassed on Earth (real low percentage probably). That would account to approximately 500 million persons being tempted at the same time. Obviously we know from the Church's teaching that the devil is very powerful but that type of ability would be almost omnipotent.

    The answer perhaps is that the tempting is actually coming from his demons helpers which could number billions or from an "influence" of evil but I don't think the devil himself could simultaneously tempt over a half a billion persons.

    I don't even know if its important to understand how the devil or evil can be so powerful. Maybe when we say the devil never takes a vaction, we are really saying the entire "evil forces" - devil, his demons, etc. are never at rest.

  2. Padre Pio commented that the ionasphere (where our space satellites are) is so thickly covered with demons! Remember that one third of the angels disobeyed God and were driven from Heaven! Remember also, the New Testament passage of the Princes of the Powers of the Air? WE were never told the total number of angels who joined Satan, but it is VERY possible that that number could be in the MILLIONS! Remember when Jesus cast out the demons of the naked man chained to the rock and Jesus asked him his name? The reply.....I am Legion....for WE are many! THINK! IF only ONE man could have a Legion of angels (about ten thousand) in him, then, is it NOT possible that the total number of "fallen angels" could number in the MILLIONS? WHY is that fact NOT even considered as a possibility? One third of the total number of Angels created by God the Father went with Satan's side. One third of HOW MANY? The devil NEVER takes a vacation because HE KNOWS that each and every demon condemned to HELL had that possibility and choice of serving God the Father and NOW HE knows his/their fate(s) as well as that "ordinary" puny many will take their place in Heaven where the demon once occupied! Talk about jealousy and utter hatred for man! Talk about Satan's and the demon's continual hatred for God and his creation (man!) Remember! each and every angel, good or bad were created with gifts/knowledge that far surpasses man and were not taken away from them even when they were condemned to hell! They just use these gifts to their advantage is snaring men and women, i.e. seances, etc.

  3. I read in the book entitled " The Glories of Mary " by St. Alphonsus DeLiguori that Our Lord revealed to him 15,000 devils come to tempt a soul when they are dying. This is why the Blessed Virgin Mary is asking all of us to wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Even Lucifer & his demons were compelled to watch the Crucifixion upon the orders of the Virgin Mary. " The Mystical City of God " by Venerable Mary of Agreda~