The Holy Father Pope Francis takes on the enemy of holiness.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is releasing this new book featuring teachings by Pope Francis on the history of the devil

This week, Angelus features a selection of passages excerpted from “Rebuking the Devil,” a new book

released May 29 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) presenting a survey of Pope Francis’ teachings on the history of the devil, his empty promises, and works, and how we can actively combat him. The book can be purchased at the USCCB’s online bookstore at, for $12.95. In his homilies and addresses, in his audiences and meditations, and in his interviews and his

apostolic exhortations, Pope Francis addresses with regularity the topic of the devil and his works.

As a Jesuit, his thought is heavily influenced by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and author of the Spiritual Exercises. St. Ignatius taught extensively about the battle between good and evil, about how we must choose between the “two standards” of following Christ or following the ways of the

devil, as well as about our need for sound discernment of spirits.

Francis offers practical pastoral guidance — culled from the wisdom of the Church — for resisting

temptations and doing spiritual battle with the “evil one,” the “ruler of the world” (John 14:30).

Neither a myth nor a symbol

[W]e should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech, or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable. The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families, and our communities.

“Like a roaring lion, he prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). — Apostolic

Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, (On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World), no. 161

The devil is present in history

The “dragon,” evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand. The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope! — Homily, World Youth Day Mass, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 24, 2013

‘Terrible things in the world’

When you watch television, at home, remember these two things: there is a struggle against good and evil in the world, there are many suffering children, there are wars, there are dreadful things, because the struggle is between God and the devil. . . .

There are terrible, terrible, terrible things in the world, and this is the devil’s work against God; but there are holy things, saintly things, great things that are the work of God. There are hidden saints. — Address, Paul VI Audience Hall, Dec. 31, 2015

Pope Francis takes on the enemy of holiness

Fr. Fernando A. Lopez

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