An 80-year-old priest in Sicily has become the region’s most in-demand exorcist by ‘freeing’ people from possession in group purging sessions at weekly masses.
Franciscan Father Cataldo Migliazzo is able to perform exorcisms on several people at a time at his church in Palermo.
The priest was featured in an Italian documentary last year titled Libera Nos, which roughly translates to ‘Deliver Us’.
At the start of a special service used for purgings, he tells the group that there are ‘six, seven or eight possessed people here at the moment’.
Franciscan Father Cataldo Migliazzo, 80, has become the most in-demand exorcist in Sicily
The priest performs individual and group purgings on possessed people at his church in Palermo
Then he begins his sermon and says: ‘I am talking to you, Satan, Prince of Darkness. I curse you, I chase you out of my life.’
A woman can be heard yelling and groaning from the pews, while a man bites at the air and a boy weeps in the arms of his parents.
‘I refuse you Satan cursed and lying spirit. Go away Satan. I chase you out of my life,’ the priest says.
At one point during the mass, a woman is held down as flour is thrown in her face, another woman growls, spits and rolls on the carpet and a man snarls at clergymen as he’s held down with a crucifix across his face.
Throughout a trailer for the documentary, people can be heard screaming and groaning as th e priest performs exorcisms
At one point, a woman is comforted on the couch after shaking while an exorcism was being performed
During group purging sessions, the priest performs exorcisms on half a dozen people at a time
Libera Nos director Federica Di Giacomo said that the concept of exorcisms is a ‘growing phenomenon’ that’s ‘getting bigger’.
At another part of the documentary’s trailer, the priest can be seen performing individual exorcisms in churches and homes.
The documentary also appears to delve into the question of whether the people who believe they are possessed by Satan are mentally ill.
Di Giacomo that she’s still unsure if people are mentally unwell or actually possessed by Satan – but she’s trying to keep an open mind.
She told POV magazine in May: ‘It’s difficult for me to think about one entity called Satan that is possessing you.
At one point during the mass, a woman is held down as flour is thrown in her face, another woman growls, spits and rolls on the carpet and a man snarls at clergymen as he’s held down with a crucifix across his face
The documentary also appears to delve into the question of whether the people who believe they are possessed by Satan are mentally ill
Priests in Italy become exorcists after being nominated by the Catholic church and receiving special training and courses
‘But it’s also difficult for me to think that everything is psychological disease, and there is no spiritual disease.
‘As the priests said to me, people go to the psychiatrist, they go to the magician, they go to other kinds of healers, and they spend a lot a lot of money. When they finish the money, they go to the priests.’
Priests in Italy become exorcists after being nominated by the Catholic church and receiving special training and courses.
Between Rome and Milan, there are 12 exorcists, and the Catholic church has also implemented an emergency call centre.
France diocese also install at least one exorcist, while Spain’s archdiocese of Madrid is trying to fill seven exorcist positions.