A Year with the Saints – 5 February


The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it. Saint Vincent de Paul

When Macarius was returning one day to his cell, he met the devil, who, with a scythe in his hand, tried to cut him in pieces. But he could not do it, because as soon as he came near, he lost his strength. Then, full of rage, he said, “Great misery do I suffer from thee, O Macarius; for, though I wish so much to hurt thee, I am not able. It is strange! I do all that you doest, and even more; you dost fast sometimes, and I never eat; you sleepest little, and I never close my eyes; you art chaste, and so am I. In one thing only you surpassest me.” “And what is that one thing?” inquired Macarius. “It is thy great humility,” replied the demon. Saying this, he disappeared, and was seen no more.

The devil once appeared to a monk in the form of the Archangel Gabriel, and said that he was sent to him by God. The monk replied, “See that you be not sent by another!” And the devil immediately disappeared.

When an old priest was exorcising a possessed person, the demon said that he would never come out, if he did not first tell him what the goats and what the lambs were like. The good priest quickly answered: “The goats are all those who are like me. What the lambs may resemble, God knows.” At these words, the devil cried out: “Through your humility I can no longer remain here,” and immediately departed.

MLA Citation