Pope Francis, the Devil, and You

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, talks frequently about the Devil.

This is another example of how Francis is, in his preaching, a bit more concrete than Benedict.

During his fervorino for Mass today, Pope Francis spoke about the “prince of this world”.

“We can safeguard the Church, we can cure the Church, no? We do so with our work, but what’s most important is what the Lord does : He is the only One who can look into the face of evil and overcome it. The prince of the world comes but can do nothing against me: if we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world. Here the question arises: do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord’s Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church … It’ s yours. Your Church is [made up of] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart”.

My friends, the Devil is real. Francis sure believes in the Enemy.

Let’s review.

The Devil and the fallen angels hate you.

They have angelic abilities. They never sleep, never tire, are never distracted, have no need to travel from point a to b, and they never miss what you are up to.

Think this through.

Imagine what sort of profile on you some government agency could put together.

Imagine that government agencies wanted to build a psychological profile of you, much as the FBI might when they use clues and evidence to hunt down an unknown serial killer.

So these government agents … just to make this fun, let’s call it The Agency (under Obama’s fourth term), teamed up with his newly minted Domestic Security Force, are profiling Catholics… because they are probably terrorists and dissidents and refuse to worship Moloch and offer sacrifices of incense to the statue of the POTUS.

The Agency and DSF start to plot your movements through your mobile phone as you move in and out of cells which they monitor to triangulate your location.  They learn something about you through your patterns of travel.  They learn about your tastes and interests through your purchasing history.  They monitor your calls, where you go on the internet, what you write and read in your email and on webpages.  They look at all your online transactions. Through your credit card records they hunt up the actual receipts and examine what you bought at every store…  including those embarrassing things.  After all, you leave amazingly information-rich and detailed trails and clues to who you are with every move and purchase.  The Agency and DSF review all your library checkouts, your magazine subscriptions, your movie going habits, your DVD choices through Netflix or digital downloads through iTunes.  They watch your channel selections through your cable or satellite. All this information can be mined.  They watch your every interaction with your friends… and strangers too, for that matter, with listening devices and cameras.  After gathering all this information, the Agency’s profiling experts build a picture of you, get into your head.   They figure out what you are about, who you are, and what you going to do next.

They are merely humans with a lot of bits of information.

How much better can fallen angels, the demons do this?

Angels, the holy angels and the fallen, have missed nothing of your live since the instant of your conception.  And they never forget anything.

Fallen angels, the enemy, the Devil, can’t literally get into our heads or thoughts or touch our will, but they don’t have to in order to know us really well.

And they hate you.   They hate you.  They hate you.

With relentless malice the “prince of this world” will work to trick you into letting him have some control in your life.  Demons will cleverly and with perfect timing stimulate appetites and passions based on how well they know your proclivities.   They strive to twist your heart and mind away from God in order to diminish even by a little the love everyone will share in heaven as they shine in the magnified glory of the Trinity.

The Devil and other demons are always held in check by God.  They cannot simply have their way with us or the material cosmos around us unless God permits it according to His plan.   But they are devious and tireless.

It is good that Pope Francis talks about the Devil, the enemy of our soul, the prince of this world.

Remember your Guardian Angels.  Call on them to help you.  Remember Our Lady, Queen of Angels.  Remember St. Joseph, whom we invoke in his beautiful litany as the “Terror daemonum… the Terror of demons”.

Examine your consciences and go to confession.

The Sacrament of Penance is a mighty weapon against the demonic agents of Hell.

A good confession can put to flight the dark legion that seeks your downfall.

A good confession prompts the angels and saints to raise joyful praise to God in their longing for you someday to be happy with them in heaven.


The nice people at Catholic News Service sent an email to alert me to this video.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Francis, GO TO CONFESSION, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. McCall1981 says:

    This topic is very timely for me, since I have just recently begun to develop a devotion to St. Michael the Archangel. I’m very glad Pope Francis is talking about these kinds of things in such a concrete way; as a Church, we need to be more aware of this spiritual reality around us.

  2. StJude says:

    I am glad he talks about evil too.
    Evil comes in many forms.. it chips away at the foundation of ones life until there is nothing left.

  3. capchoirgirl says:

    Amen. I just went to confession on Saturday and I’m resolved to start doing it every two weeks.
    One of my patrons is St. Michael the Archangel (my middle name is Michele), and I’ve started praying to him, and my guardian angel, a lot more in the past few years.

  4. Bosco says:

    “…if we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands…”
    Sounds like an echo of La Salette. Maybe Pope Francis has read the entire Third Secret of Fatima by now?

  5. God bless Pope Francis for clear and uncompromising teaching. And thank you, Fr. Z., for not tiring of reminding us to go to confession…

  6. StWinefride says:

    Father Z says: The Devil and the fallen angels hate you….They hate you. They hate you. They hate you.

    Dear Father, may Our Lady protect you and keep you, and all Priests, because they hate you 1000 times more than they hate us.

    Our Lady of the Clergy, pray for your beloved Priest sons!

  7. JabbaPapa says:

    I met the Devil — at the very instant that, completely unwittingly, I was about to take my first step on the Path that would lead to my conversion and my baptism into the Catholic Faith, there the Devil was, to try and prevent this.


  8. wmeyer says:

    Father, further to StWinefride’s comment, may you always continue to give the devil and the fallen angels good reason to hate you 1000 times more than they hate us! We need good priests in the trenches, now and forever!

  9. Wow! This is incredible. I just sent to this myself and will add it to a collection of Fervorinos/sermons/reports I am making for myself whe Francis comes out big!

    Serious question though? Why doesn’t the Vatican/Holy Father make these Fervorinos more widespread? Most people aren’t frequently checking news.va or Vatican radio. These are the sermons that should appear on the Vatican main website! In fact many of these Fervorinos are known to me because of bloggers like Fr Z posting them! If these were in more public view if bet this would silence much if the criticism from the Right of the Church (aka Trads/traditionalists)… And give the left something to fear.

  10. Katylamb says:

    markomalley- this is wonderful! Thank you.

  11. McCall1981 says:

    @ markomalley
    Thanks! Is it ok with you if I re-post this link?

  12. markomalley says:


    “Is it ok with you if I re-post this link?”

    By all means.

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Sandro Magister has an interesting article about the fervorinos:


    in which he notes, “These homilies of the pope are recorded in their entirety. But they do not undergo the procedure for his official discourses, when it comes to the parts improvised off-the-cuff.

    “That is, they are not transcribed from the audio recording, cleaned up in thought and expression, then submitted to the pope and finally made public in the approved text.

    “The complete texts of the weekday homilies of pope Bergoglio remain secret. Only two partial summaries of it are provided, by Vatican Radio and by “L’Osservatore Romano,” redacted independently of one another and therefore with a greater or lesser extent of word-for-word citations.

    “It is not known whether this practice – aimed both at safeguarding the pope’s freedom of speech and at defending it from the risks of improvisation – will be maintained or modified.”

    I wish they were “transcribed from the audio recording,” whether “cleaned up in thought and expression” or not, and very promptly “submitted to the pope and finally made public in the approved text” in its entirety!

  14. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The Holy Father said, “do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord’s Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church … It’ s yours. Your Church is [made up of] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart”.

    Presumably, he does, or would, extend this to those “in propriis Ecclesiis vel communitatibus ecclesiasticis” mentioned in Lumen gentium 15 – and not least those specifically referred to in Ut unum sint 62.

  15. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Z,
    Thank you for the perspective!

    It is easy to be anxious about statist aspirations.

    One may run the risk of near-paralysis when comparing the sweep of demonic reach and aspiration!

    But one of the most hair-raising sentences in Shakespeare is from Mistress Quickly’s account of the death of Falstaff, “Now I, to comfort him, bid him a’ should not think of God; I hop’d there was no need to trouble himself with such thoughts yet” (Henry V, Act II, scene iii).

    May the thought of this nakedness before malicious demonic gaze, rather help move to the thought of one’s greater nakedness before the Love of God (“miserando atque eligendo” videt!).

    As someone in a more recent play prays (if my memory serves me), “Thou art not despair!”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  16. Pingback: Like Only Nixon Could Go To China, Can Only Pope Francis Preach About The Devil?

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