The History of Exorcism


By: Adam Blai

Due to the advancement of observable evil in our society, the topic of exorcism has increasingly come to the forefront in the West in this century. In Hollywood movies, exorcism has often been sensationalized and misconstrued. Although volumes have been written about demons and exorcism, little has been explained about what solemn exorcism really is within the larger context of deliverance ministry. But now, Church-decreed expert on demonology and exorcism Adam Blai thoroughly explores the roots of exorcism and breaks open its significance for you.

You will find answers to wide-ranging questions such as: Is possession an exclusively Christian phenomenon, or is it a universal problem? Did exorcism exist before Jesus, or did He introduce it? If it predated Christianity, how did other cultures see it and deal with it? How do other world religions view the phenomenon of possession and exorcism? Are there other methods of confronting it besides the Catholic rite?

Blai lays out how exorcisms were performed in the earliest days of the Church. Over time, a liturgical rite was developed and teachings were provided to safeguard the faithful in the practice of exorcisms.
In these pages, Blai reveals:

  • Twenty-one guidelines for exorcists, produced under St. Charles Borromeo
  • Fascinating examples of actual exorcisms (some made famous in movies!)
  • Astounding examples of how saints helped drive out demons (even from the great beyond!)
  • Which psalm is known for offering protection and deliverance from evil spirits (Can you guess?)
  • The revolutionary way in which Jesus performed exorcisms

You will learn about how a harpist helped deliver King Saul of an evil spirit and how the spirits of giants tormented people. As you read about the evolution of exorcism, you will observe how strange practices sometimes occurred through the use of magic and superstition. You will also find five exorcism guidelines from the Middle Ages and four signs of genuine possession today.

Additionally, you will see how the 1614 rite of exorcism differs from the 1998 rite. You will also find a helpful appendix about how to determine whether a disturbance is spiritual, mental, or medical. Extensive references are included throughout the book.


Thoroughly researched, well documented, and easy to read, Adam Blai masterfully traces the history and development of the practice of exorcism from ancient times to the present-day modern era, detailing and highlighting the ways in which this ministry has evolved, and how it has been fine-tuned through layers of practice that has produced the current Solemn Rite which aims to provide the healing help to those afflicted by demonic attack.

Rev. James Mattaliano

240 pages
The History of Exorcism