In 2019, a Catholic bishop with good intentions had a devil of a time trying to save the city he loves. Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, overwhelmed by the crime wave that had besieged Buenaventura, Colombia, planned to fly over the city in a helicopter and rain holy water down upon it, all in hopes of ridding it of the murders, abduction, gang violence, drug trafficking and other evils for which it had become known. But his hopes of obtaining an Army chopper to perform his mass exorcism fell through.
Undaunted, the bishop hopped aboard a balloon-festooned fire truck and traveled through the city, tossing holy water onto crowds as they assembled to greet him. "We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port," Montoya said in a radio address. Unfortunately, the city, as well as many other areas of Colombia, continue to be besieged by violence and other social ills, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.
All about exorcism:
- The Vatican released its official guidelines on exorcism in 1614, and revised them in 1999.
- Exorcism actually means placing the supposedly possessing spirit under a religious oath, rather than casting out an evil spirit from someone's body.
- The hit 1973 film The Exorcist was based on an actual exorcism that took place in 1949.