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Abbé Julio: Exorcising the Vampire

"Le Livre secret des grand exorcismes et bénédictions, prières antiques, formules occultes, recettes spéciales avec explication & application des signes et pentacles contenus dans les Grands Secrets Merveilleux, les Prières Liturgiques, le Livre des Exorcismes et les Petits Secrets Merveilleux"

Quite a mouthful, this is the title of a curious book that was published in Paris in 1908. The book is the work of l'Abbé Julio, a man whose real name appears to have been Ernest Houssay. He lived from 1844 until 1912. And he appears to have been archbishop within a sectarian church called the "Eglise Catholique Française". Among the Abbé Julio's works we can find titles like: "Grands secrets merveilleux pour aider à la guérison de toutes les maladies physiques et morales", "Prières liturgiques: assistance à la messe, hymnes et proses pour toutes les fêtes, calendrier perpétuel et ordre des fêtes pour chaque jour de l'année, invocation des saints", but you can also find a somewhat less spiritual title like: "Etude sur le papier-monnaie et les assignats émis en France de 1701 à 1796."

At first glance, the Abbé's remarkable "Livre secret des grand exorcismes, etc. etc." did not seem unsimilar to works like, let's say, "Gremoire du Pape Honorius" or "O livro Negro de São Cipriano". But it turned out to be an utterly comprehensive book that contains hundreds of practical tips and hints on how to deal with all sorts of difficult situations. There is a solution for literally every problem that you might ever want to solve. No matter what's the matter, the Abbé's book has all the answers.

There are prayers, Psalms and exorcisms that cure every disease: stomach trouble, cholera, anaemia, haemorrhoids, fever, tooth aches, wounds, snake bites, etc., etc. And, just to be on the safe side, there is even a special prayer to cure "all those diseases that have not been specifically mentioned in this book".

But the Abbé Julio's great spiritual talents are not limited to "medical science" alone. There is a curious exorcism that is supposed to keep bees at a distance. There are Psalms and prayers that prevent you from being murdered. There is a Psalm that is meant to solve crimes and discover the criminal. There is even - God help us all - a Psalm that cures... SUPERSTITION !

I could not help wondering if an exorcist as versatile and inventive as the good Abbé would have advice to offer on how to deal with "the Undead". I was not to be disappointed. Why, of course he has ! The book contains a special exorcism and the advice to sing Psalm 90, which for some theological reason or other turns out to be Psalm 91 in the King James version of the Bible. Abbé Julio's special exorcism is supposed to protect us from the dangers of the night:

" ... evil visions, nightmares, insomnia, illusions, phantoms, spirits of darkness, vampires, incubbi, succubi, things that haunt houses, wild beasts and annoying animals ... "

What more could anyone ever want ?

Of course I have the greatest faith and confidence in the learned writings of this Holy man. He is my hero and I'm sure that his inspired spells and divine mumbo jumbo will protect and deliver me from my worst enemies. Nevertheless we might consider wearing a string of garlic around our necks before we start doing our own bit of exorcising at home. Just in case we run into a vampire who is deaf or who lacks the education to understand the Abbé Julio's exorcisms which all happen to be written in Latin.

© 2009 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changes 28 July 2009
Photo "Fairground Skull" © 2005 by Rob Brautigam - Portrait "Abbé Julio" from a very old book

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