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Hello dear Father Angelo,

I have been following you since I was young and engaged and you have always given me answers full of light and love.

I have been married for seven years now and have three children. I have many work and relationship issues but God always gives me the strength to fight the good battle of the faith.

Today I would like to ask you a question that is creating almost a clash in my family and it is about a secret “prayer” that some would learn on a Christmas night and would serve to ward off the evil gaze, the envy etc… or even compliments paid from the heart and these things would cause to the affected person all sorts of ills, headaches, stomachaches, various physical and moral upheavals.

The content of this prayer cannot be revealed to anyone otherwise it would become inefficient, but from what I have learned, it consists in invocations to Jesus followed by the Holy Father and the Hail Mary. If the person who inwardly recites this prayer yawns or feels sick during the Holy Father, it means that a man has charmed; if the yawn or the discomfort happens during the Hail Mary, it means a woman has charmed the person who requested this prayer and soon after the ill harming the person in distress disappears.

It is often performed on children because they are the first to be affected as they are spiritually more at risk.

Having learned that a person of my family does these things, one day I warned her by saying that I do not approve of them and in my opinion they do not come from God and no longer had to be recited toward me or my family. I was told that they are prayers made to God to ward off evil and they are a blessing. There is no external rite, only interior prayers or at most three signs of the cross on the affected person.

Since then I have thought that it was all over and she had understood, instead I see that this relative inwardly keeps reciting these prayers unnoticed, although I do not agree.

My wife could have told her something more to make her understand that I do not want but in her silence she just let it all go as it is.

I am catholic and frequent the Sacraments. I love God and ask myself every second about how I can be loved by God and am absolutely not convinced of these prayers which come from the old culture of Southern Italy. What do you personally think about these things?

Are they just temporary things or threats I have to defend myself from? If they are, what can I do, since my opposition to an old culture is not worth anything? The point is that the people who practice these things really believe they are doing well, the intention is probably that but this is not the right way.

Because of these things, I cannot be at ease with her when I meet her (and she knows that) because I always think she does these things towards my small children and most importantly this is not aligned to the faith I am teaching them. In addition to that, I fear that in the future they will teach them these things when I am not there and without my consent.

How should I behave? What should I do? What do you advise me to do?

My priest, who is Calabrian and knows these things, told me this: let it go and keep praying.

As always, I fully confide in God during the holy mass and while reciting the holy rosary.

I will be waiting for your answer, I love you and will surely remember you and your whole order in the next holy mass.

I thank you heartily and look forward to your answer.


Dear Antonio,

1.     In the practices you told me about there is a blend of excellent prayers, such as the Holy Father and the Holy Mary, as well as superstition.

2.     The secret ”prayer” some people learned on one Christmas night and would serve to ward off the evil gaze, the envy… is pure superstition and for this reason it must be discarded.

This secret prayer that should not be revealed to anyone, otherwise it loses its efficiency, is not an act of faith, love, abandonment to God, whom everything depends on.

It is no use for staying with God, honoring Him, blessing Him, thanking Him and asking Him for protection. On the contrary, it seems to have value for itself like a magic spell.

If that is the case, this clearly means to have our life depend on magic spells rather than the Lord.

A similar practice partially deprives us from His grace and makes us more vulnerable to incursion from those who seek our hurt.

3.     What really makes us immune to curse is the grace of God, which is presented in the Holy Scriptures as a hedge that shields and shelters. Satan himself said it, like you can read in the Book of Job: “Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land(Book of Job 1:10).

The protection carried out by the grace is confirmed in many other passages, especially in Psalms, such as in this: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you (Psalm 91:4-7).

4.     Saint James, particularly, tells us about the importance of the observance of the commandments in order to keep the hedge unbroken, the grace of God, and not to fear anything: “So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4,7).

Submitting to God means to obey Him in everything and keep yourself in his grace.

Resisting the devil means to remove temptations. It also means to remove all that reminds of magical practices and superstitions.

If you do this, only the devil will fear and will thus flee away.

This is the safest way to defend yourself, which is taught by God himself.

5.     With regards to what your relative does, I advise you to keep calm: those practices can damage only her, not your children. God however will be compassionate to her because she does everything in good faith and is convinced of doing a good work.

6.     I recommend you to keep praying with the Holy Rosary at home.

This prayer is much more worthwhile than all those practices, which despite being harmless (hopefully) do not attract God’s benevolence.

Unlike these practices, while reciting the Holy Rosary at home you bring Jesus’ presence and his saving omnipresence into your house.

At the same time you also bring Mary’s presence, through which God established perfect enmity with the Devil, who escapes terrified as she is invoked.

7.     San Vincenzo de Paoli said that “after Mass, the devotion to the Rosary has sent down to the souls more grace than any other devotion, and through its Hail Marys makes more miracles than any other prayer”.

Moreover, Saint Giovanni Paolo II in his letter on the Rosary shared: “From my youthful years this prayer has held an important place in my spiritual life…To it I have entrusted any number of concerns; in it I have always found comfort [1]

(Rosarium Virginis Mariae).

8.     Do not say anything more to your relative because she would go ahead on her path in any case.

All in all, the practices carried out by her are harmless. You just have to keep protecting your family above all through the Holy Mass and the Holy Rosary. If one day your children ask you something about them, you can simply tell them they are good for nothing, they are just superstitions, they are at the very least useless.

Our blessing and protection from evil entirely come from preserving ourselves in a state of grace, perseverance in prayer and charities.

Thanks for your remembrance for me and the Order of Saint Dominic I belong to.

I gladly reciprocate it to you and your nice family.

I wish you a peaceful new year and bless you.

Father Angelo

Translated by Irene Visciano