What is a Dragon?
The Hebrew word “tanniyn” is used to depict a mysterious and vile creature similar to a giant reptile. “Tanniyn” is found 28 times in the Old Testament, with English translations sometimes referring to it as dragon, sea-monster, serpent, whale, or jackal. In the New Testament the Book of Revelation uses the Greek word δράκων or drakōn a total of 11 times meaning “large serpent.”
The Book of Revelation identifies the dragon as, “The great dragon, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan.” (12:9 NAB) Similarly, the Rite of Exorcism states, “The dragon, the ancient serpent, no other than the demon, Satan,” and at times even calling him, “reprobate dragon” and “profligate dragon.”
What does a dragon look like?
“Rows of scales are on his back, tightly sealed together; They are fitted so close to each other that no air can come between them; So joined to one another that they hold fast and cannot be parted. When he sneezes, light flashes forth; his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn. Out of his mouth go forth torches; sparks of fire leap forth. From his nostrils comes smoke as from a seething pot or bowl.
His breath sets coals afire; a flame comes from his mouth. Strength abides in his neck, and power leaps before him…His heart is cast as hard as stone… When he rises up, the gods are afraid; when he crashes down, they fall back… Upon the earth there is none like him, he was made fearless. He looks over all who are haughty, he is king over all proud beasts.” (Job 41:7-26 NAB)
How do you get rid of, “the dragon and his angels,”? (Rev. 12:7 NAB)
This year an “Exorcismo Magno” was performed on the country of Mexico and also in the city of Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples, Italy because they had become a, “habitation of dragons.” (Is. 34:13 Douay-Rheims Bible)
Modern day Spanish exorcist Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea, one of the most renown and successful exorcist of our times said this year, “If this ritual (Exorcismo Magno) were to be carried out in more countries once year,…there will certainly be positive repercussions, because it will make a great number of the tempters flee, even if this exorcism is partial.” Similarly in ages past, St. Francis of Assisi via prayer and one of his religious brothers exorcised the city of Arezzo in Italy, and “the dragon and his angels,” (Rev. 12:7 NAB) left the city.
How do we invite, “the dragon and his angels,”? (Rev. 12:7 NAB)
When the people become, “the brother of dragons,” (Job 30:29 Douay-Rheims Bible) through sins that fly in the face of God and make idols like, “the dragon fountain,” (Nehemiah 2:13 Douay-Rheims Bible) then their land becomes, “a dwelling for dragons.” (Jer.10:22 Douay-Rheims Bible) They give their spiritual “inheritance to the dragons” (Malachi 1:3 Douay-Rheims Bible) and drink, “the gall of dragons.” (Deuteronomy 32:33 Douay-Rheims Bible) Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea states, “To the extent sin increases more and more in a country, to that extent it becomes easier for the demons to tempt (people).”
Likewise, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican’s chief exorcists (retired) states in 1992, “In some areas where paganism is prevalent we find an unleashing of demons… I researched this phenomenon in some areas of Africa… in some areas of old Catholic Europe (such as Italy, France, Spain, Austria) because there is a frightening drop in faith among the nations.” Countries are quickly becoming, “a dwelling place for dragons.” (Jer. 51:37 Douay-Rheims Bible) bringing to mind the two times in the Book of Revelation when the dragon is released, “But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Dragon has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12 NAB)
“He (the angel) seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years…After this, it is to be released for a short time.” (Rev. 20:2-3 NAB) This also brings to mind the prophecy from the approved apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, “Lucifer, together with a great number of devils, will be loosed from hell.”
Indeed to combat the invasion of, “the dragon and his angels,” (Rev. 12:7 NAB) we must “Proclaim a War!” (Joel 4:9 NAB) like the ancient dragon slayers! So who were the ancient dragon-slayers? And what were their weapons of war? For we are not the first dragon-slayers, and we must learn the weapons of choice from those who have gone before us in order to successfully defeat man’s most ancient foes, “the dragon and his angels,”. (Rev. 12:7 NAB)
Sign of the Cross
One of the weapons for warding off the dragon is faith in the Sign of the Cross for it is the sign of our salvation where Jesus died and shed his blood on the cross. (Col. 1:20 NAB) St. Columba is a great example of the power of the Sign of the Cross. He once protected a man from being swallowed up by a dragon. St. Adaman jots down in 565 AD, “The dragon suddenly rushed out and giving an awful roar, darted after him (the man) with its mouth wide open, as the man swam in the middle of the stream.” St. Columba raised his hand, made the Sign of the Cross and “commanded the ferocious monster saying, ‘Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed.’ Then at the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes.” Yes, scripture has, “dragons in the waters.” (Psalm 74:13 Douay-Rheims Bible)
Similarly in the 1st Century, St. Clement was sent to Metz to preach the gospel to a people held captive by a dragon. Entering the amphitheater with much prayer and his stole, St. Clement made the Sign of the Cross and the dragon was subdued. He led the dragon out of the town telling him to disappear into a place where there were no humans or animals, and the dragon obeyed while everyone but the king was converted.
Another powerful weapon of dragon slayers is holy water. St. Martha, the sister of Lazarus, heard there was a dragon in a swamp between Arles and Avignon, France that was destroying property and killing everyone with its fiery breath. This dragon brings to mind the scripture, “Thou great dragon that liest in the midst of thy rivers, and sayest: The river is mine, and I made myself.” (Ezekiel 29:3 Douay-Rheims Bible)
St. Martha with no other weapon than a jar of holy water went in search of the dragon. The dragon came out to devour her, but it was arrested solely by the power of the cross and the holy water the saint was carrying. As she prayed and sang hymns St. Martha bound the dragon with her belt and led the beast to the town of Tarascon, where it was killed by its citizens. St. Martha then preached to the people and converted many of them to Christianity.
Another very important weapon of dragon slayers is the crucifix. St. Margaret of Antioch in 304 A.D. in doing battle was swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon’s entrails causing him to expel her reminding us of the scripture, “He hath swallowed me up like a dragon.” (Jer.51:34 Douay-Rheims Bible)
She is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and hers was one of the voices heard by St. Joan of Arc. Similarly in the 7th Century, St. Romanus of Rouen (Archbishop and Apostle of Normandy) stopped a huge dragon with his crucifix and then bound the dragon with his stole where he took him in procession to town where the dragon was burned.
Likewise, St. Philip, the apostle, drove away a dragon in the Temple of Mars in Scythia with a cross. Saint Philip commanded the dragon to go into the desert without doing any harm to the people. After the dragon departed, Saint Philip preached and healed all the people who were sick, and he then raised three that were dead. He also baptized all who were in the temple. This banishment of dragons into the desert was done by some exorcists in the past reminding us of the scripture, “the dragons of the desert.” (Malachi 1:3 Douay-Rheims Bible) and when Jesus was tempted in the desert by the dragon. Although today the majority of exorcists send “the dragon and his angels,” (Rev. 12:7 NAB) to the foot of the cross so that Jesus can send them to their rightful place.
Having a blessed item is another powerful weapon that dragons slayers use. The battle between St. Radegund (520-587) and the dragon of Poitiers, France is a great tribute to female dragon slayers. The dragon would use underground cave tunnels during floods to come devour the nuns of the Abbey of the Holy Cross reminding us of scripture that refers to the, “dens of dragons.” (Jer. 9:11 Douay-Rheims Bible) With much prayer and faith, Saint Radegund faced the dragon with blessed bread and a small cross as weapons. When the dragon attacked she threw the blessed bread into his mouth and prayed while the dragon convulsed in horrible pains and then, “snuffed up the wind like dragons” (Jer.14:6 Douay-Rheims Bible) do when they are dying.
Another great weapon of dragon slayers is blessed incense. St. Raphael the Archangel instructs Tobiah on how to use incense to rid the dragon that had killed the previous seven grooms of his bride. When Tobiah put incense on the embers, the odor, “repulsed the demon, and it fled to the upper regions of Egypt; Raphael went in pursuit of it and there bound it hand and foot.” (Tobit 8:3 NAB) Fr. Gabriel Amorth is also in agreement, “Demons cannot stand the smell of incense; therefore it is beneficial to use it.”
The intercession of dragon slayers like St. George is also a powerful weapon for defeating dragons. Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea (mentioned above) invokes the ancient dragon slayer St. George during exorcisms saying, “Come St. George, Come St. George” as the possessed convulses at hearing the name of St. George. When St. George arrives, Fr. Fortea asks St. George to make the possessed kneel so that she can receive Holy Communion and the demon obeys St. George but not without the it complaining, “Assassin leave me!” The protesting reminds us of the scripture, “I will make a wailing like the dragons.” (Micah 1:8 Douay-Rheims Bible) Fr. Fortea relates, “Of all of the saints and angels, the name of St. George is the most effective for this demon.”
But the most ancient intercessor of all dragon slayers is St. Michael the Archangel. St. Michael is the first to ever defeat the dragon, “Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail…” (Rev.12:7-8 NAB)
He is the commander of the armies in heaven and on earth. He is the chief dragon slayer! Fr. Gabriel Amorth uses, “simple blessed holy cards, such as those depicting Saint Michael the Archangel of whom demons are particularly afraid.” (An Exorcist Tells His Story) In the real story behind the movie, “The Exorcist,” it is a blessed statue of St. Michael brought to the bedside of the possessed that ultimately brings about deliverance when St. Michael speaks the name of God through the possessed boy.
Speaking at the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, Monte Sant Angelo on May 24, 1987, Pope John Paul II said, “Let us remember that the angels wish to stand with us, both in the life of the world, as well as beside each individual person, in the battle with Satan and his armies. The strength of their army surpasses that of the Evil One. There is, however, one difficulty: they await a declaration of war. They are the Knights of God. And so, (because they respect our right of free will) they also await an official invitation from each human person.”
“The one who crushes the serpent’s head.”
The most powerful of all dragon slayers is the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the beginning of time when Adam and Eve sinned, God prophesied, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Genesis 3:15 Douay-Rheims Bible) She is the Queen of Angels and Saints, and they serve her by interceding, caring, and protecting her children while the dragon says, “I will not serve.” (Jer.2:20 Douay-Rheims Bible) The Blessed Virgin Mary is also Our Queen and Mother, and we serve her by responding to her call to slay dragons, “I call upon the Apostles of the Latter Times,…Do battle, children of light, you, the few who see thereby; for the time of times, the end of ends, is at hand.” (Approved Apparition Our Lady of La Salette)
The Blessed Virgin Mary’s weapons against the dragon are the rosary and the scapular. St. Dominic prophesied, “One day, through the rosary and the scapular, she will save the world.” To rid the people of, “the dragon and his angels,” (Rev. 12:7 NAB), St. Dominic would place the rosary around their neck and pray. Fr. Gabriel Amorth relates that the devil confesses in pain, “Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.”
Concerning the scapular she promises, “Whoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” The 500 year old blessing prayer over the scapular that was used up until 1989 and can still be used emphatically states, “She will crush the head of the ancient serpent!” Incidentally, when Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in Mexico in 1531 to stop human sacrifice she came under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “Guadalupe” in the Nahuatl language means, “The one who crushes the serpent’s head.”
As we contemplate the ancient battle against, “the dragon and his angels,” (Rev. 12:7 NAB), it is important to review the lives of previous dragon-slayers who never “count(ed) the cost” (Lk. 14:28) as they risked their lives for the lost, the wounded, the slaves, the prisoners, and those headed to martyrdom. As previous dragon-slayers who fearlessly entered, “in the dens where dragons dwell,” (Is.35:7 Douay-Rheims Bible) we must trust that we too, shall “trample underfoot the lion and the dragon.” (Psalm 91:13 Douay-Rheims Bible)
We are the generation for which scripture states, “thou didst crush the heads of the dragons” (Psalm 74:13 Douay-Rheims Bible) because we discovered the mighty weapons of ancient dragon slayers! Lord, “Grant confidence to thy servants to fight most manfully against the reprobate dragon.” (Rite of Exorcism) Yes, the dragon slayer must learn from those who have gone fearlessly before them so, “Arise, arise, put on strength, O thou arm of the Lord, arise as in the days of old, in the ancient generations. Hast not thou struck the proud one, and wounded the dragon?” (Isaiah 51:9 Douay-Rheims Bible) THE END.
OUR LADY QUEEN OF ANGELS
LET US PRAY: August Queen of Heaven! Sovereign Mistress of the angels! Thou who from the beginning hast received from God the power and mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech thee to send thy holy Legions, that, under thy command and by thy power, that they may pursue the evil spirits, encounter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them hence into the abyss of eternal woe. AMEN.