The Catholic Chic is a personal and faith-based blog on the life of a Catholic woman in the modern world.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My notes on "Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult" by Fr. Syquia

"It is the enemy who should fear us, and not we him."
- Saint Faustina

"If we are at war with the devil, we are at peace with God."
- St. John Chrysostom


The parishioners of the Sanctuario de San Jose, together with the Defensores Fidei Foundation (DFF), a Roman Catholic lay foundation, organized a talk entitled “Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult.” It was held last August 16 at the Sanctuario de San Jose Parish in Greenhills, San Juan. The speaker was Fr. Jose Francisco “Jocis” Syquia, the director of the Office of Exorcism of the Archdiocese of Manila. 


I learned about Father Jocis when I got a hold of his book Exorcism, Encounters with the paranormal and the occult way back when I was in college. It is one of my favorite Catholic books until now because I learned a lot about the workings of evil against Christians and how I could defend myself and others from oppression. 

Father Jocis authors other bestselling books - Exorcist, a Spiritual journey and Exorcist vol. 2, Spiritual Battle Lines. I highly recommend these books to all Catholics who would like to learn more about combating evil in today's world.

The program started with some welcoming remarks from the founding head of Defensores Fidei, Henry Siy. It is then followed by a brief introduction of Fr. Jocis.

It was my first time to see Fr. Jocis Syquia in person and I was surprised that he looks quite young! Another thing I learned about him is that he has a licentiate in Spiritual Theology from Angelicum in Rome where he finished as a Magna Cum Laude. Awesome!

Anyway, here are some of my notes on the lecture of Fr. Jocis. I pray that you'll be guided by the Holy Spirit as you read on:

Fr. Jocis starting his lecture at the Sanctuario de San Jose.

Who is the source of your suffering?

Sufferings and trials are a part of life. I never really reflected about where my sufferings come from or who gives it to me. I just accept its existence and try to solve it as best as I could. Most of the time, people blame God for the sufferings they have in life.

According to Fr. Jocis, we should consider the fact that many of our sufferings come from the devil. He said: 

"Sufferings which come from the Lord should be life-giving. 
If it is not, it is caused by evil."

Are our sufferings life-giving? Let's take time to reflect on the cause of our trials. For all we know, they may not have come from above. 

Remember that the devil wants to be hidden from our awareness, to deceive us that our sufferings come only from ourselves or from God.


The acts of fallen angels

Uncertainties in life and the Loss of Faith opens us humans to temptation, sins, and the occult. Fallen angels use these situations in our lives as a way of getting nearer to us.

Fallen angels cause oppression, obsessions, infestation, and ultimately, possession (Read more about it here). According to Fr. Jocis, more Christians have experienced forms of oppression. Some of us may not even be aware of it but we are already being oppressed by the enemy at this point in time.  

Specifically, demons can cause physical, emotional, and psychological problems.

I realized that I have experienced some forms of oppression previously enumerated by Fr. Jocis. Some of them include persistent nightmares, waking up at 3 am, and having gory and bloody dreams. These happened when I neglected my prayer time before going to bed. Only when my husband and I started to diligently pray before going to bed and adding the Prayer of Humility and Hail Mary in our prayers did I stop having consistent nightmares.

My dad had the same oppressions before. He sleeps in the room next to ours. When he started wearing blessed sacramentals, aside from praying before sleeping, did his nightmares stop.

The reality of hell and the battle for the soul.

In the apparition of the Lady of Fatima, she showed the children who saw her, the reality of hell. Hell was described as a sea of fire beneath the earth, a place where souls and devils are together for eternity. Father Jocis discussed further that the devils look like loathsome, animal-like creatures, pitch black in color, and transparent in form.

On earth, God protects both good and evil people from the snare of demons; but once a soul goes to hell, God is not there and satan can do with the soul whatever he wants.

According to Fr. Jocis, it is impossible for a Christian to be left untouched by satan. Therefore, we should be steadfast in this battle for the soul. The more we battle the evil one, the more God is glorified.

An important step in this battle is to first detect the opponent. Remember that he is very deceptive so always pray for discernment and strength from Christ.

We should also be sure that we are on the side of the Lord. Fr. Jocis reminds us that even good people can be used by the deception of satan. 

Exorcism 101

Exorcism is an act of reconciliation with God. This process removes satan who attaches to our soul, body, and in the environment.

In the time of Christ, He has used the Ministry of Liberation/ Exorcism out of charity. If you read your bible, you would find numerous accounts of Jesus freeing people possessed by demons. He also allowed his apostles to perform this charitable work to help others.
Fr. Jocis reminds us to see satan in the eyes of Christ. If we have the mind of Christ, we will not be afraid. He added, Jesus combated the devil as a human being too. This fact should empower us that we too, as long as we are united in Christ, can defeat the devil as He did. Only through Christ can we expel a fallen angel.

Sacramentals for exorcism: Benedictine cross, rosary, and the Benedictine medal.
Syncretism in Filipino Christianity

Syncretism in our country is evident among Filipinos who combine their  pagan past with the practice of Catholicism and Christianity. 

There is a certain split-level Christianity when we believe in Christ and yet we also believe in feng shui, lucky charms, other gods, new age beliefs, etc.

I was struck when Fr. Jocis said something like, Sunday Catholics are still pagan. Sunday Catholics are those who attend mass on Sundays but do not really practice their faith beyond mere attendance. 

I realized that we should challenge ourselves to practice our faith in our every day living and also become more active in parish activities and even in Catholic lay organizations. We are to act with the heart of the law, and not by simply going through the rule of the law without understanding what it means to be truly Catholic.

We are called to actively participate in activities of our parishes and lay Catholic organizations.

The Sacramentals

Sacramentals include Holy water, Holy oil, Exorcised salt, Blessed candles, St. Benedict's medal, Rosary, Scapular, Holy cards, and Statues of the Saints among others (Read about their effects on evil spirits here). These sacramentals should be blessed and prayers must be used with it to become more effective.

Be reminded that sacramentals must be blessed because spirits can attach themselves to the sacramentals too.

I also learned that when we bless the food we eat, these become sacramentals as well and is used by God to heal us of physical ailments and bless our bodies.

Sacramentals for blessing by Fr. Syquia.

The blessing of the sacramentals.

I am also not aware of the Saint Michael prayer. Thankfully, this was introduced in the lecture and it is effective in battling the advances of satan (Learn more prayers here). 

Saint Michael, the Archangel, 
defend us in our hour of battle.
Be our protection 
against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God restrain him, we humbly pray;
And you, O prince of the heavenly host by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world
seeking the ruin of souls.


I hope you enjoyed reading my notes. What I've written is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the topic of exorcism. If you want to learn more, I suggest you buy the books of Fr. Syquia in bookstores near you. I personally bought my copy from St. Paul's bookstore.

For online information, please visit the Office of Exorcism of the Archdiocese of Manila website at 

Also, listen to Fr. Jocis' radio show at Radio Veritas. His show is entitled "Kristo, Liwanag sa Dilim" and it is aired every Saturdays from 6 - 7 pm.

Note: All pictures of the books of Fr. Jocis were taken from Google images and St. Paul bookstore website.

Yours in Christ,

The Catholic Chic

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