BY SIMONE ORENDAIN, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
MANILA, Philippines – In the months leading up to Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines Jan. 15-19, Church leaders emphasized “spiritual preparation,” such as a special prayer for the Pope at the end of each Mass and a reminder to carry out small acts of kindness toward the less fortunate.
Along with prayerful devotion to Jesus, the Virgin Mary and veneration of the many saints, another aspect of the faith in this overwhelmingly Catholic country is its consideration of the forces of darkness and spiritual warfare.
At the spacious chapel inside the main building of the Manila Archdiocese, Msgr. Jesus-Norriel Bandojo said a prayer as he poured holy water into water bottles and bottles of olive oil and sprinkled it on colourful rosaries, rock salt, a selection of saints’ medallions and icons of various religious figures, all crowding a table on one side of the altar. He said the items had to be “cleansed” of any possible evil spirits hanging around them, waiting to take advantage of their unsuspecting owners.
Bandojo, an exorcist-in-training, had just concluded a Mass for archdiocesan employees; reads the rest of this story at the Catholic News Service