Stages of Demonic Possession through a Catholic Lens

demonic possession

Stages of Demonic Possession: A Catholic Perspective

The Catholic Church categorizes demonic possession into four main stages: Infestation, Oppression, Obsession, and Possession.

Infestation refers to the stage where the demon makes its presence known through paranormal activities such as strange noises or objects moving inexplicably. This is often the demon’s initial attempt to create fear and uncertainty.

Oppression is the next stage, wherein the demon begins to exert control over the individual’s physical environment and personal circumstances. This may involve causing illness, financial problems, or other forms of hardship.

The third stage, Obsession, sees the demon dominating the individual’s thoughts and dreams. It is at this point that the person begins losing control over their mental faculties, leading to severe depression, anxiety and in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts.

paimon demon demon type

The final stage is Possession, where the demon takes full control over the individual – affecting their physical, mental and emotional faculties. This is the most severe form of demonic interference, and it is at this stage that the Church usually intervenes directly through the Rite of Exorcism.

Known Cases of Demonic Oppression, Obsession and Possession

Historically, the Catholic Church has documented various instances of demonic possession that align with the recognized stages: Infestation, Oppression, Obsession, and Possession.

One of the earliest recorded examples dates back to the 16th century, where a nun named Sister Jeanne des Anges reportedly exhibited signs of Infestation, such as unexplained noises and movements of objects in the convent. This was the beginning of what is known as the ‘Loudun Possessions’.

smurl demonic haunting

Advancing to the stage of Oppression, an example can be found in the case of the Smurl family in the 1980s. The family reported a series of misfortunes, including inexplicable illnesses and financial difficulties, which were later attributed to demonic influence.

The notorious case of Anneliese Michel in the mid-1970s demonstrates the stage of Obsession. Anneliese, a young German woman, began experiencing tormenting visions and thoughts, leading to severe depression and a loss of control over her mental faculties.

Finally, the stage of Possession finds its historical example in the infamous case of ‘Roland Doe’, the pseudonym for a boy who was allegedly possessed in the 1940s. The boy’s physical, mental, and emotional state was believed to be under the control of malicious entities, prompting the Church to perform an exorcism.

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