A 28-year-old woman in Northern Italy reportedly went through a nine-hour-long exorcism Sunday after she attacked an Italian priest. The unidentified woman went with her family to the Church of Saint Mary of Mount Berico in Vicenza to seek help from a priest and hear the woman’s confession.
According to witnesses, it was around 11 am when the woman began to scream and swear inside the basilica, speaking in Latin and other languages as it alternated in three different voices while screaming blasphemies. Seemingly out of control, she ran through the confession rooms and even jumped over furniture. She had even slapped her mother, attacked the friar confessor, and anyone who approached her.
Corriere del Veneto reported that four friars had intervened to subdue the woman as witnesses called the police as she tried to wriggle and fight her way from their grip. Authorities arrived together with an ambulance but remained outside of the church.
Together, all four friars and another friar from outside the region assisted in the exorcism through video conference. Father Giuseppe Bernardi, the exorcist from Monte Berico, Father Carlo Rossato, and another priest held down the possessed woman and performed an exorcism that lasted nine hours. Those who witnessed the incident stood outside the basilica and started to pray, frightened by the screams.
The woman was released from her possession with the exorcism ending around 8:30 pm. The woman collapsed right after and was then taken home by her family. The woman’s father and brother believed she was suffering from psychiatric problems as they claim she had long been behaving in a peculiar manner.
Father Rossato, prior to the friars of the order of the Servants of Mary told the media that it was the woman’s mother who understood she was “under the influence of the evil one”. The mother decided it best to take her daughter to a priest having suspected what she believed was behind her violent behavior.
“It was a real possession and it was only in the evening that the situation was resolved: the girl physically collapsed and was taken home.”
Despite the long ritual, Father Rossato explained that the path of liberation from the clutches of diabolical possession can last years, and with it also comes a lot of suffering.