Wojtyła’s spiritual battle against the devil
Karol Józef Wojtyłla considered spiritual battle against the prince of “impure spirits,” the great tempter, as the equivalent of spreading God’s word. He spoke and wrote of the lies and seduction of sin on many occasions.
On March 9, 2003, during the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the elderly and ill pope warned the world about the international situation of war and the need to convert our hearts to true peace.
“In this regard, how much more eloquent is the image of Christ who exposes and overcomes the lies of Satan with the force of truth contained in the Word of God,” he said.
The future saint, renowned for his spirituality and powerful prayer among those who worked with him, affirmed, “In the inner heart of every person the voice of God and the insidious voice of the Evil One can be heard. The latter seeks to deceive the human person, seducing him with the prospect of false goods, to lead him away from the real good that consists precisely in fulfilling the divine will.”
In February of 2004, in Paul VI Hall, he reminded his listeners how Christ fought against Satan. “We too, like Christ, are called to fight against the devil with all our might and determination. Only in this way, with renewed adherence to God’s will, can we be faithful to our Christian vocation: to be heralds and witnesses of the Gospel.”
On various occasions, Pope Wojtyła made it clear that the work of the devil manifests itself through the evils of drugs, war, moral decadence, the persecution of Christians, and ideologies in every age.
“John Paul II has given so many discourses about Satan on a doctrinal level, but the most publicized has been his discourse in front of the Cave of Saint Michael the Archangel, near San Giovanni Rotondo, near Padre Pio,” Father Amorth told TV2000 in one of the last interviews he granted to the media. Amorth died in September of 2016 at the advanced age of 91.
On May 24, 1987, during his visit to the shrine in Foggia (in the Italian region of Apulia), John Paul II asked Saint Michael the Archangel for help to fight against the devil, “because the devil is still alive and at work in the world. In fact, the evil that is in it, the disorder we see in society […] are not merely the consequences of original sin, but also the effect of the dark and infesting activity of Satan.”
“It is true that ‘the powers of death shall not prevail,’ as the Lord assured (Mt 16:18), but this does not mean that we are exempt from trials and battles against the snares of the evil one,” John Paul II affirmed. At the end of the Mass, the Pope repeated in Latin, “Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.”
Amorth pointed out that “this cave of the shrine of the Archangel Michael, where he is represented with a sword and the devil under his feet, has given rise to all the representations of Saint Michael, and on that occasion, [the pope] warned us that the devil is fully active in our days.”
“To those who do not believe it, I say that the devil is leading them all because without knowing it they are not with Christ; they are with Satan.”