The Power of Holy Water, From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila

Holy water: Numbers 5:17,8:7, Ezekiel 47:12

The Power of Holy Water,
From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila,
Chapter 31, 1562 A.D…

“From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once. It has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively. It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body. I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so very different from water which has not been blessed.”

Holy water is mentioned in the Bible in Numbers 5:17.

“One night, too, about this time, I thought the devils were stifling me; and when the nuns had sprinkled a great deal of holy water about I saw a huge crowd of them running away as quickly as though they were about to fling themselves down a steep place.”

“I will only describe something that happened to me one night of All Souls. I was in an oratory: I had said one nocturn and was repeating some very devotional prayers which follow it — they are extremely devotional: we have them in our office-book — when actually the devil himself alighted on the book, to prevent me from finishing the prayer. I made the sign of the Cross and he went away. I then began again and he came back. I think I began that prayer three times and not until I had sprinkled some holy water on him could I finish it. At the same moment I saw several souls coming out of purgatory: their time there must have been nearly up and I thought that perhaps the devil was trying to impede their deliverance.”

Exodus 40:12-16, Leviticus 14:49-53,15:7-11,16:23-24, Numbers 5:16-17,8:7,19:17-19, 2Kings 2:20-22 (salt is added to holy water), Psalms 51:2,7

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More about holy water

Submitted by Bob Stanley

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