Was Satan's explusion from heaven an exorcism?

August 10, 2018
Fallen Angels Guardian Angels


Was Satan's explusion from heaven an exorcism?


The story of Satan's explusion from heaven is found in Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation.  When the devil is cast down to the earth, the passage notes that the heavenly choirs and all of the redeemed sing for joy that "the accuser of our brothers is cast out."  Even some of the free angelic creatures whom God created to love, honor and serve Him rebelled and had to be expelled from heaven because "nothing unclean will enter there."

If exorcism is defined in general terms as the expulsion of demons from some place, then this passage from Revelation does reveal a sort of exorcism.  It was not, however, an exorcism in the technical sense that the Church understands it: namely, as an adjuration of an unholy spirit and its separation from a human body.

The passage says that St. Michael (an Archangel) and his angels performed the explusion of Satan from heaven.  Being of a lower order of angels than Lucifer (a Seraphim angel), St. Michael had less natural angelic power to expel a powerful Seraphim.  He could only act under some authority and power greater than that of a Seraphim angel to perform this work.  The authority was that of Jesus Himself, the Son of God, who is featured in the same passage as the male child "destined to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod." This battle was thus a celestial David versus Goliath battle and, here too, the smaller party won "in the name of the Lord of Hosts." Analogously, the flesh-and-blood exorcist has no power of himself to expel demons that are much stronger than he, spiritually.  He has only the power of the Name of Jesus and the authority of the Church which makes the work of exorcism possible.

By Fr. Thomas J Euteneuer "Exorcism and the Church Militant" page 2.