I Saw Satan Fall
by Benedict Heron OSB
This book is dedicated to the many kind people
who have supported the writing of it with their prayers.
Without their prayers
it would certainly never have been written.
1 Angels and Demons in the New Testament 1
2 Demonic Attacks 13
3 The Occult, Witchcraft, and Satanism 22
4 The New Age Movement and Alternative
5 Countering the Attacks of the Devil 56
6 Rebuking Evil Spirits and Offensive
Spiritual Warfare 69
7 The Testimony of a Catholic Psycbiatrist 81
8 Priest-Exorcists' Testimonies 88
9 The Challenge 104
10 Further Challenges 115
Appendix One: Some Official Texts of the
Catholic Church on Angels and Demons 129
Appendix Two: The Saints and Demons 142
Appendix Three: The Saints and Angels 154
Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division
of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.
Extracts taken from Healing in the Spirit by Fr J McManus published and copyright 1994 by Darton, Longman and Todd
Ltd and used by permission of the publishers.
Extracts taken from Renewal and the Power of Darkness by Cardinal Suenens published and copyright 1983 by Darton,
Longman and Todd Ltd and used by permission of the publishers.
Extracts taken from Angels - True Stories of How they Touch our Lives, by Hope Price, published by Macmillan General
Passage reprinted from The Curé DAis by Abbe Francis Trochu, with kind permission of TAN Books, Rockford,
Extracts from the following publications are also used with kind permission:
Vatican Council II Documents. Austin Flannery O.P., Dominican
Spiritual Warfare. Derek Prince, Derek Prince Ministries
Irish Bishops Statement 1993. Catholic Media Office.
Papal Statements, L'Osservatore Romano (English Edition).
Padre Pio - The True Story, Bernard Rulfin. Our Sunday
Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola, Society of
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Geoffrey Chapman,a
Send me your Guardian Angel, Fr. Alessio Parente, onvi
Christ said of His disciples: "In my name they will cast out devils" and St. Paul warns us that we have to struggle "against
the spiritual army of evil in the Heavens", but today there is little awareness
of the power of Satan and very often any mention of the Devil and demons is treated with scepticism or complete
We have been powerfully influenced by the secular society in which we live, but if we turn to
the Scriptures we will be surprised by the frequent references to both good and bad Angels. This teaching is reinforced
by the Constitutions on the Liturgy, and on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, by many texts in our Liturgy,
and the very clear teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The lives of many Saints contain accounts of attacks by the Devil and these are confirmed by
the contemporary records of the life of Padre Pio. We should then surely be ready to accept the personal testimony
of those who have witnessed cases of the powerful influence evil spirits can have over people and even cases of
full possession by the Devil. Many of these cases arise through people dabbling in occult practices such as astrology,
spiritualism, or magic, which illustrates the danger of such activities which can so easily fascinate people and
get them deeply involved without their realizing it.
Occult practices are, in fact, very widespread today including witchcraft and actual satanism
involving people giving their lives to Satan. The natural tendency is to deny the existence of such things for
fear of being thought crazy, but this does not alter the facts nor prevent satanism from being present in much
heavy metal music and so influencing many young people.
None of this should make us afraid because Jesus has power over all evil spirits and will always protect us if
we have faith in Him. But we must play our part through prayer, through frequenting the Sacraments and making use
of valuable pious practices which are too often neglected today. We can help others by praying for them to be delivered
from evil spirits but any attempt at exorcism must be left to those specially appointed by the Bishop because it
can easily be dangerous.
This book provides a wealth of information on all these topics and is a very timely reminder
of the reality of the Devil and his demons at a time when he is close to his greatest triumph in making us think
that he does not exist. it is equally important to avoid all exaggeration such as by those who condemn all alternative
therapies as the work of the Devil. The truth is that there is no objection to the therapies themselves but it
can happen that particular practitioners are under demonic influences and have a corresponding effect on those
The author throughout is very fair and balanced in his treatment, as in his discussion of the
New Age Movement which is popular because of its concern for the environment, the protection of our planet, and
for peace but contains many elements including reincarnation, astrology, and spiritualism wholly incompatible with
orthodox Christian belief.
We are all engaged in a spiritual warfare and it is not fanciful to suspect demonic powers as contributory factors
in much of the suffering and horrors perpetrated in recent years. It is vital that, while avoiding all exaggeration,
we should be aware of the widespread and powerful influence of the Devil and should equally make full use of the
means and power' Jesus gives us to conquer him and to heal those who have fallen under his power.
Rt.Revd. Ambrose Griffiths, OSB
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle
The writing of this book has been a very corporate activity. So many people have helped by sharing their experiences,
by giving advice, by encouraging, and above all by praying, that although I personally actually wrote nearly all
the book, yet I feel that in a sense it is 'our'
book not 'my' book. So, very many thanks to
all of those who helped.
Very warm thanks are due to my publishers, Gerard and Toni Pomfret of New Life Publishing, who
could not have been more helpful in every way.
Special thanks are due to Joan Lewington, who cheerfully deciphered my impossible handwriting and typed the text,
as well as rendering help in many other ways.
I gratefully thank Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB for his encouraging Foreword and helpful advice.
Special thanks are also due to the anonymous French psychiatrist (Dr. F.) who wrote the invaluable chapter seven.
Many thanks also to the priest exorcists who provided testimonies for chapter eight.
Over the years I consulted so many people about the contents of this book it would be impossible
to remember all of them. However, I should like to express publicly my gratitude to the following for their kind
help, with apologies to those whom I have mistakenly left out:
Father Luke Ballwegg OSB
Sister Regina Collins
Father Hubert Condron CP
Father Jeremy Davies
Father Peter Hocken
Father Michael Killeen
Fr James McManus CSSR
Dr. John Bonnici Mallia
Father Rufus Periera
The Rev John Richards
Father Sean Conaty
Father Jack Finnegan
Father Michael Gwinnell
Father David Keniry
Sister Agnes McKeon
Father Leonard May
The late Rev. Neil-Smith
and also Charles Whitehead, who not only advised helpfully, but who has kindly written the notice for the cover
of the book.
Needless to say, I cannot claim that all the above people would approve of everything in the book, although in
general I think they would very certainly do so.
Then I must thank my brother, Giles Heron and his wife Mary, whose knowledge of the English language
is more refined than my own, and who helped to tidy up my style.
Many thanks are also due to my monastic community, who have allowed me the freedom to develop
my healing ministry, and who have supported me in many other ways.
Benedict M. Heron OSB
Copyright © 1997 Benedict M. Heron OSB
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission
of the publishers.
ISBN 0 9529159 1 X
Typesetting by New Life Publishing, Luton
Printed and Bound in Great Britain by
Biddies Limited, Guildford, Surrey.
Charles Whitehead - President
As we look at what is happening ui the world around us, it must surely be obvious that evil is not merely the absence
of good, but an effective spiritual agent of destruction. Perhaps the greatest success of Satan is to have convinced
so many people, Christians included, that he and his evil spirits do not exist. Where he has foiled to do this,
he has sometimes succeeded in encouraging an excessive and urthecilthy interest in the activities of devils - an
equally effective deceit which distracts us from the truth of the Good News of salvation won by Jesus.
In this balanced and readable book, Benedict Heron deals with the difficult subject of spiritual warfare. He does
this in the framework of Catholic teaching and pastoral practice, acknowledging the existence and destructive activities
of Satan in their many and varied forms, whilst showing that his power is strictly limited. As children of God
we should not be intimidated by the lies and temptations of Satan, but should courageously challenge his activities
whenever we find him at work.
It is a timely and much needed book, a worthy sequel to Praying for Healing, and Catholics involved in any form of spiritual warfare will be greatly helped by its practical approach.
Books on this subject are difficult to write and therefore few and far between. I am grateful to Benedict Heron
for writing this one, and I hope it will encourage many more of our church leaders to recognise and deal with the
evil forces at work in our midst.
Benedict Heron is a monk from the Benedictine Monastery of Christ the King
in Cockfosters. He is much respected in the Christian Healing Ministry and this, his second book, was written to
answer an urgent need in the Christian Church today.
Book Order Information
Further copies of this book can be obtained from:
or by post from:
Good News Books & Audio
60 Wickstead Avenue
Luton, Beds. LU4 9DP,
Tel: 44 (0) 1582 571011
Fax: 44 (0) 1582 571012
Other books by Dom Benedict Heron,
also obtainable from Goodnews Books:
Praying for Healing, the challenge
Come Holy Spirit, help us to pray
This Version: 15th November 2001