PALO, Leyte, March 15, 2016 – Is it possible that an exorcism spared a church from super typhoon Yolanda’s destruction, saving the lives of his parishioners in November 2013?
“No way!” exclaimed Fr. Felix Ebacitas, an exorcist in the Archdiocese of Palo, saying it he can credit it to nothing but prayer.
He recounted, “The people were asking me and some priests were joking after the Yolanda, ‘Was it because you exorcised your place that no devil was coming to your parish?’”
“I told them, ‘You know, the secret was that every Thursday since I arrived in Marasbaras we had Holy Hour, including the night before (typhoon) Yolanda came which was a Friday,’” Ebacitas narrated during a Lenten recollection of parish ministries of Sto. Niño Parish held at the Pope Francis Complex for the Poor in Palo, Leyte on March 12.
Consecrated to Jesus
Ebacitas, parish priest of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal in Marasbaras, Tacloban City, also shared how he celebrated Mass in the early morning of Nov. 8, 2013 as the super continued to ravage Leyte.
He held it in his room in the convent, wearing his cassock and the white vestments he used during his ordination as the other vestments were in the church.
According to Ebacitas, with two altar servers, he celebrated the Mass “like it could be the last” he might celebrate.
He disclosed, too, that he had their monstrance with the Holy Host in it exposed in his room after that early morning Mass until 3:00 p.m. of Nov. 8, 2013.
“I consecrated the place to Jesus,” said the priest.
“In my room I kept praying the whole time not for deliverance but begging the Lord to protect us, while the people were crying downstairs so afraid,” he recalled.
Preparing for Mass, confession
Ebacitas narrated this victorious experience in underscoring the importance of having a proper disposition during prayer and reserving time for preparations before serving in the Mass.
He stressed the essence of being in a state of grace before receiving the Holy Eucharist and of confessing weekly, if possible.
“Life is a life of preparation for the Mass and thanksgiving after the Mass,” explained Ebacitas, quoting St. Jose Maria Escriva.
Ebacitas, who is now the priest-in-charge of Nuestra Señora de Salvacion Mission Station in Capoocan, Leyte and spiritual director of Prayer Warriors for Holy Souls, called on the liturgical ministers to prepare themselves spiritually and not just mechanically for their assignment during Mass.
“We must prepare ourselves because Christ is present in every Holy Mass,” Ebacitas said. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)