Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Reminiscences of a May


May 1, 1989. It marked the beginning of an amazing saga in my life. It was  then that I started the life of an evangelist. Till the age of 32, God was only somewhere in my life. But at that age in 1988, God made me his own. It was Holy Mary who helped me to discover Jesus. My devotion to Holy Mary since childhood was an invaluable treasure that I inherited from my parents. With the dawn of May the statue of Holy Mary would be adorned with flowers.

It was Holy Mary who helped my birth as a new creation in March 1988. She appeared to me in a blessing posture after Jesus. Subsequently I had seen Her in numerous apparitions. It was in May 1989 that the latent love in me towards the Holy Mother came out. Even months prior to that, inspired by the Holy Spirit I used to go out with a Holy Bible in hand to pray in every house of the Suryanally village where I used to live during those days. I had pondered over ways to express my love towards the Holy Mother in the month of May. I obtained permission from Fr. Peter Mathirappally, Vicar of Suryanally to commemorate the month of May for the Holy Mother by saying the ‘veneration prayer’, the Rosary and a brief proclamation of the Word of God in the church which usually celebrated only a Holy Mass on Sundays.

Proclamation of the Word of God was a thirst for me. While a student in class IV I was asked by a Rev Sister to deliver a speech during the Sunday School Anniversary. Ignorant of how a speech was like, I sought the help of my elder sister who wrote one for me. I do still remember its opening lines: “As per the commandment of Jesus Christ to go out to the world and proclaim the word of God, his disciples went out to the world and proclaimed the Word of God”. Those lines uttered by me while in class IV were a call by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word of God, I perceive now. My thirst for proclamation increased after my encounter with Jesus in 1988. I wanted to say something about Jesus to someone. I had sought several times permission of the preachers whom I have known to grant me an opportunity to testify Jesus. But never have I got a chance. No, Jesus did not permit me to.

From May 1, 1989 onwards I proclaimed the Word of God for about twenty minutes each day. Participants in the prayer were very few and all of them were Tamilians. They numbered between twenty and thirty. After four days of service a thought came to my mind. Do they understand what I proclaim in Malayalam? On that day before going to bed I prayed to God to give them grace to understand in Tamil what I proclaim in Malayalam. It is said in the Acts (2:5-13) that when Peter proclaimed for the first time groups of people speaking more than sixteen languages heard him in their own tongues. That was why I prayed for giving them the grace to understand in Tamil what I proclaimed in Malayalam.

47052649KfJVOK_ph The next day I reached the church. We began the session with the Rosary and then passed on to the ‘veneration month prayer’. When the turn for proclamation came I took the microphone in my hand and started a prayer in Malayalam and then to proclaim. Hardly had I spoken for five minutes my voice changed, my language changed and I started proclaiming in Tamil. Frankly, I am an illiterate in Tamil. But I can communicate with Tamil workers with a smattering of Tamil. However, a great thing, something beyond my intellect and logic, happened. An illiterate in Tamil that I was, I spoke in Tamil for about an hour in that language! After a while I witnessed another miracle. Tamil people, all males, who seldom came to the church began coming in. There were many of them. When the service was over I asked them the reason for their coming. They told me that while in town they heard a speech in Tamil and they thought that some priest from Tamilnadu might be proclaiming in the church. From that day onwards males began to participate in the church prayers.

Then came the First Friday of the month. I used to give counselling on that day. Fr.Vicar had given me a room for that. In the previous months I have been going out to the village and praying in almost every house. This service was done on all Fridays. Since it was a very tedious task to reach many people I shifted the venue of prayer to the parish church. That was why counselling was done in the church. On that Friday after finishing counselling of the day and while proceeding to the church for prayer a woman rushed towards me. I told her that time for counselling was over and that it was time for prayer in the church. Yet she insisted me to pray over her which I did. Since then I began to feel restless day after day. My children began to cry out in their sleep terror-stricken and felt disturbed. On such occasions I used to pray for them with my palm placed on their head.

On the subsequent Wednesday I reached home for lunch from the farm land. There had formed in me the habit of saying the Rosary prior to lunch every day. That day while praying the Rosary something happened. I saw a serpent in front of me; it had three heads each one of them spitting fire. It was terrifying. It was a huge one with a two feet girth .It spat fire and vanished. All on a sudden another serpent with one head appeared spitting fire, that too vanished in a short while. I could not discern the meaning of these visions.

Came Friday. I reached the church and readied myself for the counselling service. I have been praying silently. A few persons were waiting for counselling outside the room. Suddenly a woman entered the room and sat on a chair. Hearing the noise I opened my eyes and recognized that it was the woman whom I had prayed over the previous Friday. Unmindful of her presence I resumed my prayer with closed eyes. After a while I felt that something was happening in front of me. I opened my eyes and saw the woman in a highly disturbed and contorted state. Her face was reddened. She stared at me wide-eyed. Her eyes too were reddened. There was an air of horror around. “What happened”? I asked. “I am afraid” she answered. “Don’t be afraid, Lord is in our midst”, I consoled her.

Again I elapsed into deep and intense prayer, unmindful of the ambience, as if in deep sleep and cut off from all relations. Suddenly a scream shook me and jolted and lifted me up from the seat. I felt my whole body shivering. The woman in front of me with terrifying looks and unkempt hair jumped from her seat. Stretching out her both hands as if to strangulate she came towards me. “You want to oust me”? She yelled. She could not get hold of me because there was a table which served as a buffer between us. Yet she came towards me by one side of the table. But soon I moved to the other side of the table facing her. Again she jumped towards me. And I turned to opposite side. When I felt certain of getting attacked I called out for help from outside. A few women came in. I asked them whether they could take her out. Four of them came forward and caught hold of her hands. No sooner had I thought that everything was settled than she simply shook off her hands to free herself, all the four were seen flying away. Soon all of them dashed out of the room.

I was tanding in the protection of a table. She tucked up her sari, and stood staring at me. Any time she might jump at me, I felt. I was shivering from top to bottom. I could not make out what was going on. I was totally ignorant of Satan and his ways. I called out: “bring somebody from her house”. I have been praying mutely, fearing disturbance in case of an audible prayer.

After a while her husband came. Seeing his wife in bewilderment he said: “It is devil, you pray, that is enough.” I did not understand him when he said that his wife was possessed by devil, for I was ignorant of devil. “Devil has been tormenting her for the past nine years. We administered medicines, performed witchcraft. Pentecost people prayed for her and a non-Catholic priest demanded Rs.5000 plus T.A. for exorcising but did not go for that for want of wherewithal. It was then that we came to know of your prayer,” he continued. Perceiving my exasperation he said again: “Don’t be afraid, pray, that is enough”. But I did not have the courage to pray for her. I said “It is time for the Rosary, I am going”. I went to the church for the Rosary. During the prayer I asked: “Lord, what is this?” I was terrified. Then the Lord said: “It is devil”. My younger brother also had come to the church for the Rosary. To him who had participated in renewal retreats, I explained the things. When I told him that it was devil he refused and said that it could be due to mental disturbance. After the Rosary we ag ain went to the room where the woman was in. 281156547A supervisor in our farmland by name Kunjappy alias Johnson aged about 50 also accompanied us. No sooner she saw us than she jumped to her feet and looked intensely at each of us. Seeing her changing moods and terrifying looks my brother asked her to look at him. To that she looked intimidating and showed certain wild gestures. After a while he muttered into my ears: “it is devil”. At that time I saw Johnson coming in with a large wooden cross. Placing the cross on the table he commented: “Is there a devil who is not terrified at the sight of a cross?” Then he ordered to her: “Hold this cross”. Her husband made her hold the cross with force. Placing their hands above them Johnson and my brother began to pray. I was watching the scene from a very close distance expecting something miraculous to happen. Suddenly she pulled out the cross and attempted to beat all of us with it; then I caught hold of it. There ensued a tussle between us, three of us on the one side and the woman and diabolic forces on the other for the three feet long cross. We managed to grab it somehow. What followed were eventful moments. She fell to the ground and started screaming and rolling. She was heavily built and therefore difficult to subdue. In that cacophony my brother, Johnson and myself placed our hands on her head and started praising Lord in a loud voice.

In three and a half hours eighteen evil spirits came out of her! Uninitiated in prayer as we were, we prayed whatever we knew and more of ‘Hail Mary’. Initially Satan tried to assault, terrorize and did everything to prevent us from continuing with the prayer. He employed many tactics like spitting on the face, screaming, producing horrendous sounds, scratching and kicking. In the meanwhile he said that we could not oust him and he would kill us. He was trying to terrorize and weaken our faith. We also on our part did not let him have his way. We had to do some wrestling to subdue him. We placed our hands on her head and prayed while her husband and a few others who accompanied them held her arms and legs tight. The evil spirits in her tried hard to resist such a prayer. At the end of two hours of prayer they agreed to go out of her. Thus in three and a half hours eighteen evil spirits went out of her one after another revealing their names. Thus she became free and sat up. Those cast out were the diabolic powers which had subjugated her in the past many years. When we returned home in great joy and amazement, it was past 12 o’ clock mid night.

I felt my body stinking. It did not leave even after a good bath. Stench of rotten meat! My brother and I could not have our food because of that. We applied some body spray and talcum powder on our body; yet the stench remained. We went back to the church, got inside and spent some time in prayer and then the stench vanished.

After Saturday, came Sunday. When we reached the church for the Holy Mass Fr Peter Mathirappally came rushing towards us. He told us that the woman whom we prayed over was missing. She ran away from home in the early morning. Some people have gone in search of her. Suddenly a fear gripped me. “O God, if something happened to her..?” But Reverend Father consoled me saying that nothing untoward would happen. We shall pray, he said. When the Holy Mass was going on, a large gathering of people came accompanying the woman. She was shut inside a room.

Soon after the Mass, Fr. Peter also joined us in prayer. Friday’s experience inspired us to pray intensely. That day also we prayed for about three and a half hours. As on Friday eighteen evil spirits were cast out of her. They had re-entered her because it was impossible to leave her, they said. After three and a half hours she became free. A large group of people had gathered outside the church. After she became free Fr Peter set out to bless her house heeding the request of her husband. Several villagers also joined us in that prayer. It was an event that created ripples in the village of Suryanally.

There was ‘group prayer’ in the church on every Friday. When I reached the church on the subsequent Friday, the church was houseful. The moment I started prayer there arose yells and screams from various parts of the church. Fear- stricken I turned back and saw many women and some men screaming and rolling on the ground. Evil spirits in them were coming out. I could not pay attention to them out of fear. I made a heart-rending prayer: “Lord I don’t have the courage to go near them, Lord, you may make them free”. After a while they became quiet. It was the beginning of a great service. It was from the service at Suryanally that I learned to bind, deliver and subdue evil spirits. It caused the conversion of many people in that place.

The ‘veneration prayer’ and the Rosary that started in May 1989 are still commemorated in every May in the Suryanally church. I consecrate with thanks the coming May to the Mother for having raised me as an evangelist, a devotee of Mother Mary and as one who has authority over evil spirits, and the Suryanally church which the Holy Spirit chose to impart me the rudiments of these and the several people who helped me in this. 2010 May is celebrated as a Great Festival of Pentecost at Ernakulam, Kerala. I offer a thousand thanks to the Mother who nurtured and raised me this much.