A priest blesses religious objects, including images of saints and rosaries, in Manila. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
One of the country's leading exorcists reminded Catholic priests to perform the blessing of sacramentals, or religious objects, properly to avoid "demonic infestation."
Father Michell Joe Zerrudo, head exorcist of the Diocese of Cubao, said the blessing of religious objects must not be done in haste.
"Catholic priests should not take lightly the blessing of objects," Father Zerrudo said during a talk on "spiritual warfare" in Quezon City on Oct. 11.
"When blessing sacramentals, use the (church) ritual because sorcerers use their own ritual," said the priest, adding a warning that anything can be a source of "evil infestation."
He said even rosaries bought in church stores can become an "object of curse" if not properly blessed by a priest.
But the rosary can also be a "very powerful" weapon against the devil.
Father Zerrudo, however, said the "best instruments" in spiritual warfare are still prayers, penance, mortification, and sacraments.
"Pray with humble hearts," he said, adding that "even the vocal prayers when they are said from the heart and by the heart are powerful instruments against the devil."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the church" but added that "these expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the church, but do not replace it."