The priest, exorcist – I can no longer live without Medjugorje
The priest, exorcist – I can no longer live without Medjugorje
Fr.Leonid,a Redemptorist from Ukraine, participated in the 15th International seminar for priest in Medjugorje and gave his testimony, first to the other participants and then to Radio Station Mir Medjugorje.
We publish the testimony as it was given: My first pilgrimage to Medjugorje was related to my obligations and to my occupation in the priest- vocation. Namely, in 2005 the local Church entrusted me with a huge responsibility and gave me a heavy burden to carry and this was the service of an exorcist. The first year was filled with God’s love and grace, but also with great difficulties and tempations. One of the major difficulties took place during one session of exorcism over one possessed person. That person spoke to me in a very rough voice, full of horror, in these words: “I am horrible, I am powerful, and I will destroy you. I will destroy your priesthood and all of your life.” Although that was quite bad, I did not take that seriously at all. After all, I believed in God completely and I did not have any reasons to doubt that. I also knew that if I had fear in front of the Satan that would be as if I already lost something. But God allowed this situation to take place, and I am going to share with you how great and how mighty his Mother is, and how Medjugorje is sacred ground.When I was in great pain, when I suffered and when I was tempted daily, I was not able to pray at all. I would go to Confession every single day, but Satan tempted me all the time. The temptations were so strong that I lost peace in my soul completely. And not only that, I also felt that I lost my priesthood and my vocation. I felt that it was the complete and total destruction of my life. In that difficult reality, while I was still unable to figure out what was happening to me, somebody invited me to Medjugorje. And I came. I was with a group of priests. I was just not able to pray, not even when they prayed. During that pilgrimage I met another priest, father Ambrosias from Slovakia. He had completely sacrificed his life and his vocation working with people from Ukraine in the region of Carpatho – Ukraine. He had travelled soon after having an heart attack, and he also had diabetes. He was a Franciscan priest who came to Medjugorje five times before. He absolutely thrilled me with his life and humbleness. He became my friend, I would help him around, take him by the hand, as he was an old man. It appeared as I was helping to him, but the truth was that it was the other way round. We were once climbing up the Hill of Apparitions and it was to be the apparition of one of the visionaries. The hill was packed. I sat next to Fr. Ambrosias.I turned my back to the apparition site. I felt myself not worthy of being there at all. But during the time of the Rosary, I felt a desire to look in that direction.I wanted to see what was happening there. At the same time, as I felt that desire, an inner voice was telling me not to look there. "You are failure and you will end up in hell", I heard. It was horrible. Those first, positive feelings however directed my look towards the apparition site. I started to look and I was searching for a sign. Maybe I was to see something at the end. Hope was being born in me slowly, but also more new arguments about how my humiliation was not to be changed. But, I believe, in a crucial moment,just for a moment and in that very moment, as the answer to all of my questions arose, I was able to feel how Our Lady was coming down, from Heaven to this world. It was horrible in that moment though.There was such a powerful perception, scent of the other world I used to feel up to that point. But then, I was appeased by certain gentleness, light touch, like a gentle breeze of Our Lady’s presence. She was coming closer to me. And as She was closer to me, the power of evil was disappearing. In my heart I experienced a new revelation. I was able to experience how powerful Her presence is, how she was humble. Then I realised that She does not cast away evil spirits, but they ran themself. They are not able to bear Her purity and the beauty of Her presence. She does not humiliate them nor does She send them away. She simply loves them and they can not stand that! And then, the change of spirits within me took place. The Spirit of Satan, the spirit that destroys, disappeared with all of his depressions and fears. Instead of that spirit, Our Lady’s spirit was replaced. In my heart, I heard the voice: “Do not be afraid, I am your mother! I am your guarantee that you will not be destroyed, that you will not fail.” Everything was changed. That experience of the presence of Our Blessed Mother became a miracle of love that saved me, my vocation and my life! I started to feel Our Lady’s presence in every exorcism I perform. I will just share one little example, since there are many similar ones. Our priests were dealing with one possessed girl who came to confess in front of one young priest who had just returned after his studies in Rome. And as he was saying the words of the Absolution, Satan in that person hit the priest so hard that he fell down immediately. Then, that same person started calling other priests in some strange voice. That priest was scared and he called me. After fa ew moments that girl was in front of me and I started to pray over her. As I began the exorcism( I knew the diagnosis straight away, the girl was severely possessed and I invited five devoted faithful to pray as well), as I recited the traditional prayers of exorcism, Satan just laughed. Satan spoke to me in the English language.He humiliated me and constantly laughed at me. Then, I began to pray to Our Lady. I was totally exhausted. I began to be nervous as well. I felt that I needed to finish my prayer.But the evil spirit was not going away. It was the spirit of suicide. I began to call Our Lady with all of my heart. In the same way a the child calls his mother. And real screaming began at those moments: “ I can not stay here any longer, Our Lady is here, I need to go away.” And the spirit was gone. This was just one situation and there are so many similar ones.
During these five years, as I have been entrusted the service of exorcism, I experience many temptations and trials. I had those before; I know I will have them in the future as well. But, Our Lady keeps me in Her heart. I CAN NO LONGER LIVE WITHOUT MEDJUGORJE AND JERUSALEM. I need to be in Medjugorje and Jerusalem every year. That is what faith is for me. Here I have faith, blessing and grace. I am grateful to dear God that I am able to witness Our Lady’s grace in this way. I would like each one of us to want to love more our Blessed Mother, Mother of God. She is our Mother. She loves Her children. She is prepared to do anything Her children asks of Her. I feel that if it wasn’t for Her presence, we would all be destroyed. That is why we should try to live every second of our lives with Her. I would invite people to Medugorhe.I want to help other people to come to Medjugorje. I want to bring here all of those people who experience tremendous spiritual suffering.”
At the end, priest Leonid blessed all of the listeners of Radio Mir.