Friday, October 2, 2015

Launch of Patron Comics: Message of Archdiocese of Manila Exorcist Msgr. Winston Cabading, O.P.


Fr. Winston Cabading, OP, Secretary General of the University of Sto. Tomas and Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila

Patron Comics, a Catholic comic book series merging exorcism, pro-life, and teen superhero genres, was launched last 19 September 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm, at Bosco Hall, Don Bosco Technical Insitute, Makati City. Patron Comics is published by Regina Caeli Publishing owned by Anthony James Perez who is also the author of the series. Present with him at the launch and comic book signing are penciller Gilmond Monsanto and inker Raymond Ferrer. The launch was attended by family and friends of the writers and artists, the funders of the comic book startup, and members of the Filipinos for Life, and students from UST's Varsitarian press. Msgr. Winston Cabading, OP, Secretary General of the University of Sto. Tomas and Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila, gave the inspirational message. Below is an edited transcript of his message.

Inspirational Message of Msgr. Winston Cabading, OP

Congratulations, AJ and your team!

When AJ gave us the storyline, we in the office were thrilled. We looked at each other: we understood what this would mean. We did not yet tell him at that time that he must prepare himself, because what he is doing is not something nice to the ears of someone. I suppose, AJ, you have experienced that already. If the Lord wants this, then this can happen but not without lots of difficulty. This is always the experience of many saints: a kind of break in consolation from the Lord. We can't prevent this experience from happening, especially since Patron Comics deals with the devil and how the priests and his team bring Christ to many young people through spiritual liberation and exorcism. You will all be tested. I wonder if the person who is drawing or writing the story experienced these desolations we mentioned a while ago.

Spiritual warfare. This is very true in many ways, even if you are not aware of it. If you wish to be a good Christian, temptations are hurled along your way. You are already being attacked. Unless you are in a state of grace and you have closed all the psychic openings, it will be on these openings that you will be attacked. It is not really something that is easy to face.

But we did smile about AJ's project. It is not a horror comics: we initially thought otherwise when when it was given to Fr. Jojo Zerrudo, an exorcist of the Diocese of Cubao. So we thought that maybe we can help the author to strategize, e.g. AJ must show less of the devil and concentrate more on the power of God. In this way, we would be able to have a strong catechetical medium that the Archdiocese of Manila can support.

When my brother priests ask me if I am afraid of the devil, I tell them that our Lord has triumphed over death and the devil. The exorcism is terrifying because of the horror part, but that is only part of the story. In the seminary, we don't give much importance to how the demons look like, but rather on how they act. The devil is an over-rated creature. People either don't talk about him or are afraid of him. But once you passed that stage, you are not afraid to fight, because it is not you who is fighting but Jesus.

As the Director of the Institute of Religion in Sto. Tomas, we teach compulsory religious theology to civil law faculty members. If we make Patron comics a supplementary reading for our students in Christian Ethics subject, just imagine how many students we can reach per year level.

This is the wonderful thing about Patron comics: it is not all about demons. It is more about how you and I can protect ourselves from their actions and see how powerful our God is when He works through ordinary means, i.e. the Sacraments. Prayer life and liturgy are powerful means to protect oneself. You must go to Church with the intention of growing in your spiritual life. And only then you can fight. In this spiritual battle, you don't only do spiritual defense but also spiritual offense. You attack. When you humble yourself by putting your trust in the power of God, wonderful things happen. The launch of Patron Comics is a sign of how grace is able to work amidst many adversaries.

Congratulations, AJ and your team! God really loves you.
Cover of Patron Comics
Cover of Patron Comics

Sample page of Patron Comics
Sample page of Patron Comics

Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans
Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans
Ecclesiae Militantis: A Course in Spiritual Warfare and Exorcism
Ecclesiae Militantis: A Course in Spiritual Warfare and Exorcism