ACTION ITEM: Priests in Rome, world to use Prayer of Exorcism (long St Michael Prayer) against diabolical influence in Vatican


I read the prayer this morning.  It is a powerful prayer, to be sure.  I hope other priests today will do the same, even if they are late to this post.

Originally Published on: Sep 28, 2019 @ 01:06

I received an email today which must share.

I am writing to let you know of an initiative taking place in Rome tomorrow. It being the Vigil of Michaelmas, various priests will be coming to a church near ___ and privately praying Leo XIII’s Prayer of Exorcism (the so-called long prayer to St Michael). The prayer will be made with the intention of expelling diabolical influence from the Vatican, especially in view of the Amazonian synod.

Although I’m not in Rome, I’ll be reciting the same prayer privately, and thought that some of you might like to know about the initiative, in case you wish to do the same.

It will take place at around 1530 Roman time, which is 1430 British time and 0930 am in the Eastern USA.

Thanks for this. What a great idea.  This is Chapter 3 of Title XI.

Priests now can recite this privately without special permission.  That is not what it will say in your old Rituale.  The Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” wrote in 2018 to Bp. Dewayne of Venice, FL, that “this prayer should not be used publicly or privately over persons without express permission of the local Ordinary. Further, public use over places or objects is also prohibited without the permission of the Ordinary.  The prayer may be said privately by priests as part of their personal prayer.”  This draws on the 29 Sept 1985 letter from the CDF concerning exorcisms.

This prayer can be prayed over places, etc., specifically as rite of exorcism, but that would require the permission of the local Ordinary (in this case, the Bishop of Rome or his Vicar).  This, on the other hand, is private recitation by priests who happen to have gathered in the same place – and they can be in other places, too – for the sake of praying against demonic influence in the Vatican.

And who can doubt that the Devil is constantly on the attack?  And who can doubt that prayer against the Devil’s attack by priests is a good thing?

I would only add three caveats.

First, if the priests gather in the same place, they can pray the prayer individually, which keeps it private, rather than together, aloud, as a group, which goes beyond private. Also, this shouldn’t be when and where the public can walk in.

I’ve posted before that I made recordings of the Latin of Chapter 3, the long Prayer to St. Michael for the use of priests and bishops to work on their pronunciation. HERE

Laypeople.  I really think it best that you not use that prayer.  Instead, I urge you to pray the beautiful Lorica of St. Patrick.

PRAYERCAzT: The Lorica of St. Patrick – text and recording

Comment moderation is ON.



I can picture this.

[Scene, a Roman street, with a church facade, not far from the Vatican.]  

A youngish sacristan opens the church a half hour before the customary 4:00 afternoon opening.  He glances up and down the street, eyes fixing on this and that. Raising his mobile phone, he taps for a moment, pockets it and withdraws into the church.

A minute or two later, cassock and saturno clad priests emerge as if casually from around corners, rosaries in one hand, black satchels in the other. With glances up and down the street, looking perhaps for traffic rather than for tails or watchers, they make their way into the church, tipping their hats to passersby who greet or insult them, to fellow clerics whose route they share.

Within the church the sacristan bustles to switch on lights and light candles at the main altar. A beautiful devotional painting of St. Michael the Archangel is already enthroned at the altar rail with votives aflame.

A priest exposes the Blessed Sacrament, the requisite prayers are sung, swelling as more priests enter, perform their double genuflection, and take a pew. Some remain on the pavement in the side aisles.


After a minute, the clerics deposit their rosaries in their saturno on the pew, withdraw small black books from their cases, and ready their hearts and minds for battle.

A priest in the front row rings a small bell.

A liquid sussuration of Latin begins to flow from the many priests, not excluding a modestly dressed bishop or two, each with his own accent, but with precision. This is vocal prayer. It must be pronounced, not merely scanned.

The undulating murmur trails off as priests finish their orations. Some remain to pray while others rise and, after their double genuflections, take rosary, saturno and head for the doorway and sunlight.

Priests take their places in the polished confessionals, draping their violet stoles.  Some take advantage and are shriven.

Meanwhile, additional priests entered, during the prayers, with only the sound of the moving door. Some still enter.  Now and again, a priest soberly nods to an acquaintance.  Another stops to whisper, “Amice, non est mihi liber. Tuum, ut recitam…?” With a smile the one hands his Rituale over to his brother.

The pattern repeats through the allotted time.

Finally, the priest in the front row rings a bells. Benediction is given. The Blessed Sacrament is honored with chant and Divine Praises. All depart.

From the outside, passersby might see a curious number of cassock clad priests flow from the little church. As each one exits he sets the saturno, a rosary drops from the fingers of his free hand, and feet turn to different directions.  They go as if casually, tipping their hats at greetings and at insults, with glances about, for traffic, not for tails or watchers.

One priest heads toward the Tiber and home. Having crossed the river, he strides along between the row of ubiquitous cars and the fronts of shops and residential gates.  His practiced eyes inspects nooks, corners.

He eyes the open doorway of a coffee bar as he passes. His paces slow to a dead stop.

Turning swiftly, he pockets the rosary.  His free hand flexes, fists, flexes again. He steps into the dark of the bar and the odor of coffee and floor cleaner.


The only client drains with tosses his two doppio caffè corretto al vetro. With a lift of his fedora’s brim he rotates from the bar toward the cassocked silhouette framed against the light.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ACTION ITEM!, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Mail from priests, PODCAzT, PRAYERCAzT: What Does The (Latin) Prayer Really Sound L, Priests and Priesthood, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The future and our choices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ms. M-S says:

    Thanks for the advice on the laity and the Prayer of Exorcism. You might tell your three-year-old to swat the cat off the dinner table but you wouldn’t send him to shoo a mountain lion off the back porch. Lorica at 9:30.

  2. Immediately after reading this post I was looking at the news and saw this.

    Isn’t this person playing with fire?

  3. Pingback: Cdl. Burke: ‘We must pray and fast for the Church because we are in a moment of profound crisis’ | Catholicism Pure & Simple

  4. Fr. Hamilton says:

    Great suggestion… so glad I saw it earlier this morning. I joined in and have just completed the prayers for that intention, joining the effort at 8:30 am central time zone USA!

  5. Henry Edwards says:

    I understand that Pope Leo XIII published two versions of a longer Prayer to St. Michael—one without exorcism for laymen, and one with exorcism for priests.

    The non-exorcism version for laymen is posted here (in English translation of the original Latin) by Fr. Richard Heilman among his prayers and devotions recommended for Roman Catholic men.

    This layman’s version is the one usually described (e.g., in web posts) as “the longer Prayer to St. Michael”. It appears in an early twentieth-century Raccolta with the (evidently dated) note “His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.”

    The priest’s version contains prayers against Satan unlike any language in the layman’s version.

  6. I like it. Clerical flash mob?

    A lot more efficacious than one performing “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” in a shopping mall.

    Start of a new underground trend, Father?

  7. moosix1974 says:

    You should write a book, or two, or three, Father.

  8. Charles E Flynn says:

    An interesting description of the being being commanded in the exorcism:

    From Former Vatican bank head on Amazon: The real fire is the one burning up the faith:

    The instrumental use of environmental problems (which have not adequately been addressed in the necessary scientific research of their causes, but only in the effects) seems to aim at deposing man from the pedestal on which God has placed him, in order to lower him to the level of being a threat to our “common home” — making him feel like a “cancer of nature.” The risk of this humanitarian gnosis is the arrival of a new formula of faith: “I believe in man, the creator of heaven and earth, even if I believe that he does not know how take care of it, and that it is therefore necessary to impose new commandments ….” But this is the masterpiece of the great “retiree,” that gentleman who, after having fallen from the stars of the sky to the stables of the underworld, today has so many diligent collaborators that he no longer knows what to do in the hellish yard from which, in his boredom, he absents himself more and more often. This is how there are those who, while working with great zeal in that mill, consider it nothing more than a symbol.

  9. AthanasiusM says:

    Do you know of what composition the polyphonic recording of the Agnus Dei that starts around 0:30 on the recording of St. Patrick’s Loríca is from? It really is breathtaking.

  10. That is Palestrina. It’s the Agnus Dei from Missa in Duplicitus Minoribus 1 from the Soul of Rome album by the group Lionheart.


  11. JonPatrick says:

    But Father! All those RIGID priests in their medieval robes! What about the new Springtime of the Church started by Pope St John XXIII and now moving to a new and more exciting phase under Pope Francis! We don’t need these medieval practices anymore because … because we are creating heaven on earth with the help of the United Nations and that wisdom from all those indigenous people who have been ignored by the oppressive European medieval practices of that old church that you keep supporting because … you HATE VATICAN II!

  12. Mario Bird says:

    Gumby! You there? What was Tracer doing? C’mon, Faddah used the noun ‘sussuration’! That’s like grooving a fastball down the middle of the plate on a 3-1 count against a Minnesota Twin…

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    God bless those priests. Deo gratias.

    Interesting Roman scene you wrote Fr. Z. Thanks for having Tracer Bullet enjoy a manly beverage rather than one of those high falootin’ pumpkin spice lattes, which would have heaped shame and scorn on the Bullet family unto the tenth generation.

    …pumpkin spice Coffee, however, is the nectar of the gods, the stuff that dreams are made of.

    According to Man Cave Headquarters, men are prohibited from using one of those hipster coffee cups decorated with unicorns and daffodils. Nay, Men must use a Papa Ganganelli coffee mug, a canteen cup, or a spent shell casing from a 105mm howitzer. While quaffing, not sipping, this coffee a Man will cast a gimlet eye at the buffoonish antics of humanity while muttering: “Carthago delenda est.”

    Pumpkin spice coffee season opens at 0805 on 1 October, immediately after Lauds and Morning Colors.

    Have a great flight to Rome Fr. Z.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Mario Bird: Tracer was probably pondering some Yogi Berra quotes:

    “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

    “I never said most of the things I said.”

    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

    “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

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