If there is any truth about the devil it is this, he loves to scare, tempt and draw away those who are closest to God. Here are some of the stories from saints who were tormented and tempted by the devil and his minions.
1. Saint Gemma Galgani
The Lord does not will attacks of demons upon His faithful, but He does allow attacks to happen to strengthen their soul. Jesus warned Saint Gemma that the devil was going to “wage war” against her, and she immediately prayed for Jesus to give her strength and help. When the attacks began, the devil brought violent headaches and other ways to distract Saint Gemma from prayer. He also blasphemed against God, asking Saint Gemma why she prayed to God when He allowed her to suffer so much. Saint Gemma’s story shows why we need to hold strong to prayer and always look to the Cross.
St. Gemma, pray for us that we can endure all attacks against us.
2. Saint Catherine of Siena
Today, pornography is so easy for us to access. It is hard to imagine one of the greatest saints having to battle temptations such as this, yet this is how the devil tempted Saint Catherine. Satan felt like he could tempt her by showing her men and women committing disgusting and sensual acts, which lasted for days. She instead prayed unceasingly. But even with prayer, she was unable to see her Divine Spouse. Finally, she was able to see Christ crucified before her, and the devils fled as Jesus stood gloriously before her. Saint Catherine asked our Lord, “My Beloved Lord, where were You when my soul was filled with such terrible bitterness?” Jesus replied, “I was in your heart.”
Saint Catherine, pray for us that we can stay pure of heart.
3. Saint Theresa of Calcutta
It’s not always direct, physical attacks that the devil uses against us. He can also use a darkness that can overcome us, making us feel far from God. Just like Saint John of the Cross, Saint Theresa suffered from “a darkness of the soul.” She was made to feel like there could be no God, because there was so much sadness and desperation. How could a loving God forget about these beautiful souls? She wrote, “the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.” The devil bring this darkness in order to make us feel desperate and depressed so that we can’t see God past the sadness. Saint Theresa was able to move past this darkness and continue her work helping the poorest of the poor.
Saint Theresa, pray for us to always see the light through the darkness.
4. Saint John Vianney
After a long day, Saint John Vianney was just trying to get a good night’s rest. But the devil had other plans. As he was falling asleep, the demons would pound on the window and door to startle John Vianney awake. This happened every night for several nights. After searching outside and his room, he came to the conclusion that it was not a person or robber who was keeping him awake. This persecution continued for years. One night, the demon literally pushed John Vianney out of bed! Every time John Vianney would get up, he would be pushed back onto the floor. After a bit, he finally exclaimed, “Fine, you take the bed, and I’ll take the floor” and proceeded to fall asleep.
Saint John Vianney, pray for us to have a restful sleep.
5. Saint Michael the Archangel
It is believed that Saint Michael and Lucifer, along with the other angels, lived happily in Heaven together serving God. Lucifer, who refused to serve God, gathered other angels and turned them away from God. God called Michael, who gathered his own army to defend against Lucifer and his army. As we read in Revelation, Michael defeated Satan and his army, and threw them into the fiery pit. It is through jealousy that Satan and his followers turned away from God. Whenever we are feeling jealous, we should to look to the Cross where Jesus had nothing to ultimately gave us everything.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle.
6. Our Own Guardian Angels
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we all are given an angel to be our protector and guide. Saint Padre Pio was given the gift to communicate with his guardian angel and the angels of others, too. He even used his angel to translate French and Greek, which he never studied! Padre Pio wrote in a letter to his spiritual father that he was tempted not to write to him because the devil disguised as a Provincial Monk convinced him not to write to him any more. His guardian angel told the saint it was the devil’s lie not to write, and told him to bless the envelop with holy water. He wrote, “That friend of my infancy, my guardian angel, always tries to support me and to give me some hope.” We can ask our guardian angels to protect us from the devil’s attacks.
Angel of God assigned to our protection, guard us from all evil.