According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Father Amorth played a major role in educating the world about the reality of Satan and was a beloved mentor of exorcists world-wide. He is said to have performed 70,000 exorcisms during the course of his long career.
Father Amorth was born in Modena in northern Italy on May 1, 1925 and entered the mother house of the Congregation of the Society of St. Paul in Alba in August 1947. He was ordained a priest on Jan. 24, 1951. For the next 30 years, he served in a variety of positions in the Society, such aspirant director, high school teacher, delegate of the Italian province, and spiritual director of various lay institutes. In 1985, he was appointed exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.
He is best known for his two books about exorcism and the workings of the devil in our world today: An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories.
Father Amorth is also the founder of the International Association of Exorcists, a Vatican recognized group which aids exorcists in their ministry throughout the world.
“Now he rests from his many battles with the devil,” said Spanish theologian and exorcist Father Jose Antonio Fortea, who first met Father Amorth in 1995, to CNA.
“His doors were open for me and for all priests. There were no mysteries or grandstanding. I could see his work and his simplicity,” Fr. Fortea said.
“His strong, vigorous voice spoke to millions of people about the action of the devil. He alone, one person, managed to revitalize the ministry in one country and then his influence reached everywhere in the Church. The means to achieve this was simply to tell what he had seen.”
And tell it he did, often causing controversy for his straight-forward declarations about the many ways evil disguises itself in the world today, such as through Harry Potter and yoga.
Speaking from experience, he claimed that Harry Potter books encourage children to believe in wizardry and black magic and said yoga was just as Satanic because it leads to the worship of false gods and a belief in reincarnation.
He also claimed in his memoirs that there are “members of Satanic sects” in the Vatican, including priests, monsignors and cardinals.
In an April 2015 Facebook post, he attributed the Islamic State group to demonic influence, stating that “ISIS is Satan.”
“As a Christian I fight the beast spiritually,” Fr. Amorth said. “Biblically speaking we are in the last days and the beast is working furiously.”
Just prior to his death on September 16, Father Amorth had been hospitalized for lung complications.
Even though the diocese of Rome now has nine resident exorcists, the loss of this spiritual giant will be sorely felt.