(LifeSiteNews) — When the truth of the Gospel is conveyed, grace moves with it and impacts the soul. This reality is affirmed by the prophet Isaiah where the Lord promises that his word shall accomplish its purpose (55: 10-11).
In an environment that longtime exorcist Father Carlos Martins has described as something akin to a post-Christian world, an explosive new movie depicting demonic possession has sought to preach the Gospel in an unconventional way through the mouth of a demon.
And in Martins’ words, the result of this film, called “Nefarious,” “has the force of a sledgehammer” that leaves the viewer with plenty to contemplate and likely a spiritual movement toward conversion.
“I can say – without hesitation – that it is the best movie portraying demonic possession ever produced,” the Detroit-based exorcist said in an April 17 interview with the National Catholic Register.
Avoiding any nudity, profanity, blasphemy, or pronounced paranormal manifestations (levitation, spinning heads, etc.), this production “brings the viewer into the demonic mind,” he said. “Nefarious deftly exhibits the devil’s insatiable craving and formidable intelligence,” accurately depicting “how he smothers his victim’s hope.”
“As an exorcist, I can affirm it is true to life,” the priest said.
Viewers convicted of the reality of hell, moved to seek the salvation of souls
The story line involves a convicted serial killer named Edward Wayne Brady, who is receiving a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation the day of his execution to affirm his sanity, which is legally necessary for his death penalty to be carried out.
What becomes manifest is a pronounced possession of Brady by a demon who has reduced him to a tortured slave and is dragging him toward his death in order to condemn him to hell for eternity.
The viewer is horrified by the demon and moved to profound sympathy for the shattered, confused and weeping Brady, who is not only being constantly tortured by the demon but claims the latter is responsible for the murders he is convicted of committing, which the demon not only admits but brags about as well.
Though most of the movie is simply the possessed Brady and the assigned psychologist speaking across a table, Martins called it “dramatically acted theology, and the theology really is first-rate.”
Because the movie presents Christian doctrine so well, it resonates with the heart bringing about an impactful conviction regarding the seriousness of the reality in which we all live, with a battle raging all around us where we ourselves are the battlefield, the soldiers, and the plunder.
The film convincingly confronts the viewer with the reality of the demonic, hell, eternal damnation, and the fact that we ourselves or people we know, love, or even just sympathize with, can and do really and truly go there, forever.
The natural instinctive response is to desperately want to prevent this unspeakable tragedy from happening first to oneself, and then to every other person in the world, first and foremost our loved ones.
Testifying to the impact of this movie, an analogous response was historically documented by the reaction of the young visionaries at Fatima when they witnessed not just a movie or idea but an actual vision of hell early last century.
Children visionaries of Fatima ‘willingly endure any sacrifice to save sinners from Hell’
The apparitions at Fatima, Portugal stand apart from other reported private revelations due to the well-known Miracle of the Sun that happened on October 13, 1917. After a special sign was promised for that day by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three children seers in July, approximately 70,000 people, including Christian faithful, sceptics and unbelievers, witnessed the sun spinning, dancing in the sky, changing colors and more, all reported in secular newspapers around the world.
During that same July apparition when the October miracle was promised, the Mother of God also “opened Her hands” and as described by Lucia, “the light reflecting from them seemed to penetrate into the earth, and we saw as if into a sea of fire, and immersed in that fire were devils and souls with human form, as if they were transparent black or bronze embers floating in the fire and swayed by the flames that issued from within themselves along with great clouds of smoke … amidst wailing and cries of pain and despair that horrified and shook us with terror.”
The children cried out to the Blessed Virgin in distress, at which she explained, “You have seen Hell – where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wills to establish throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.”
After this vision, and their witnessing of the reality of hell, the children were profoundly impacted and became even more focused on praying and making personal sacrifices with ever greater austerity in order to save sinners from going to hell.
Father John de Marchi explains in his 1947 book “The True Story of Fatima” how the images of hell were impressed on the young minds of Lucia, age 10, Francisco, 9, and Jacinta, 7, where even at this tender age, they exercised penances most adult ascetics religious may not even attempt.
They deprived themselves of water “for days” while tending the sheep in the sweltering temperatures of Portugal’s summer months, and once when Jacinta did allow herself to drink, due to the headaches she was experiencing, she insisted on drinking dirty pond water to offer it as a sacrifice for poor sinners as well.
They gave their lunches away and fasted from fruit treats provided by their mothers. On one occasion, De Marchi writes that after Jacinta began to eat one of these figs with the other children, she “remembered the sinners whom she wanted so much to save from the fire of Hell. She put hers back and ran off for a while so that she would not give in to her desire for the figs.”
They also found some thick and very rough rope that they tied around their waists for the purpose of mortification. Despite the “sharp pain” it caused, “Jacinta insisted on wearing it” as she “would willingly endure any sacrifice to save sinners from Hell,” the priest recounted. They even slept with the rope on their waists until the Blessed Virgin asked them to only wear it during the day.
God provides simple devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Heart to save ‘souls of poor sinners’ from hell
As the heroic witness of these young children is inspirational, it can also serve to intimidate many or most of us who desire to strive for holiness, pray and make sacrifices to save poor sinners from going to hell, as we sense we do not have the strength for such penances.
For this reason, Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary have provided simple remedies all of us can do.
First, during Lent in 1943, Sr. Lucia wrote to her bishop confessor that Jesus said to her, “The sacrifice required for every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require.” She further explained that the reason for this is that “many, thinking that the word ‘penance’ means great austerities, not feeling in themselves the strength or generosity for these, lose heart and rest in a life of lukewarmness and sin.”
Therefore, while we can always strive to make additional sacrifices in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the salvation of souls, the Lord stipulates the fundamental requirements of the life of holiness. And while we may emulate the example of young St. Jacinta, and even strive for it, our sacrifices should be fitting to our respective states in life.
Five First Saturdays devotion weapon for soldiers of Christ to save their own souls and those of ‘poor sinners’ from the fires of hell
Secondly, as the Blessed Virgin Mary told the children in July of that year, in order to save “the souls of poor sinners [from Hell]… God wills to establish throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.”
In describing this devotion to her Immaculate Heart, the Mother of God told Sr. Lucia on December 10, 1925,
I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me.
Nefarious has the capacity to assist the public in realizing the spiritual drama we live in as individuals, families, the Church, and society at large, where the stakes could not be higher.
Faithfully conveying the doctrine of the faith in this unique way, the film vanquishes the fog of Modernism and turns the mind and heart with acute urgency toward the most important aspects of our lives in this world: conversion and the salvation of souls, which a loving God has literally died a hideous death to grant us.
While we may not be able to imitate the penances of Sts. Jacinta and Francisco, along with those of the late Sr. Lucia, Our Lord Jesus Christ has provided simple means for us all to become effective soldiers in saving “poor sinners” from falling into hell, and these include the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary, and the Five First Saturdays devotion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.