The Exorcist

(Courtesy: John Waide, University Archivist, Saint Louis University)

The mattress began to shake.  Arms and legs flailing.  For hours he fluctuated between frenzy and calm.

The following phrases describe an exorcism that took place in March and April of 1949.  A cadre of Jesuit priests affiliated with Saint Louis University, led by Father William S. Bowdern, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, undertook the exorcism of a 14-year-old boy. They took turns praying over the boy, working to cast out the demon believed to have possessed him.