First published May 2021
In 69 years of life and 45 years of priesthood, I have had three occasions on which I met a PHYSICAL manifestation of Satan.
One of these incidents happened at the grotto in Lourdes, pictured above.
The other two happened in a parochical house in the diocese of Ossory and in the chapel of a retreat house in County Tipperary.
I was leading a pilgrimage of 120 pilgrims from Northern Ireland To Lourdes.
The feast of the Assumption of Our Lady on August 15 th occured during our pilgrimage.
The Troubles were very bad in N. Ireland at the time and I decided to do an all night vigil at the grotto for peace in N. Ireland.
All 120 pilgrims decided to do the vigil with me.
We began with a Mass of healing in St. Joseph’s chapel in Lourdes at 11 pm.
After Mass all 121 of us went in procession to the grotto.
For most of the night we had the grotto mainly to ourselves and I led the pilgrims in prayer some of the time and the rest of the time was spent in silent prayer.
About 3 am we had planned a break and all the pilgrims went across the river to have a snack of flasks of tea and coffee and some sandwiches.
I intended to join them but just remained for a few minutes at the grotto to read from my Office book.
Within a few minutes a deformed hand was on my right shoulder, pressing hard enough to cause me severe pain.
I presumed it to be one of those mentally ill people you often see at Lourdes who like to touch priests.
But the pain got so severe I reached my left hand up to pull it off me.
At that point I was pushed to the ground face down, my prayer book went flying across the grotto floor and I lay unable to move with what seemed like a cold concrete block on top of me.
A nun on the vigil with us ran into the grotto whipping her veil off and screaming “God is not here. Only the devil is here”.
Out of out pilgrims across the river saw me collapsing and shouted “Fr Pat is having a heart attack. Ring an ambulance”.
I then heard a scream coming from the pilgrims across the river.
I was able to stand up and quickly made my way over the bridge to find the pilgrims very quite hysterical.
They told me a big black dog with flaming red eyes had run through them.
We Christians HAVE to believe in Satan and Hell because Jesus spoke about those topics in the New Testament.
99.9% of the time Satan or the Devil uses human beings and worldly circumstances to accomplish his mission.
Only VERY RARELY does Satan or evil manifest itself in a physical form.
He does this when he is angry/frustrated at good being done.
That night, 121 of us were staying up all night praying for peace in N. Ireland.
We were doing good.
Where there is GOOD, EVIL is always near.
Incidentially there were 18 genuine apparitions at Lourdes.
There were also 18 false, deeply disturbing apparitions.