On December 26, 1973, what is considered one of the best horror films in history was released: The Exorcist. Possession of a little girl by a mythological demon and the fight of a priest to free her from torment he became a cult classic and the first feature film of this genre to be nominated in ten Oscar categories.
the tape of American director William Friedkin, which is part of the National Film Registry of the Library of United States Congress for its “cultural, aesthetic and historical” value, This year it will celebrate five decades as one of the most influential productions in popular culture and in the history of the seventh art.
“The most terrifying film”, according to the mythical poster of the cult jewel, opened the door for countless films to venture into this genre in subsequent years and aroused the curiosity of thousands of viewers who were interested in learning about the enigmatic world of demonic possessions, supernatural manifestations and the rite of exorcism.
Andres Tirado he never imagined that he would carry out for 20 years the same job that made Father Karras immortal on the ’73 tape.
It did not cross his mind that the book by the Italian priest Gabriele Amorth, recognized as one of the most important exorcists of history, which he bought out of curiosity in Bogotá, had such a profound influence on his life.
Far from it crossed his imagination as a restless child and a rebellious adolescent who was going to dedicate himself for the rest of his life to the service of God as a priest and later as bishop of the catholic church.
I believed in God my way
“My childhood was very complex, in very difficult economic and family conditions. I was not a good child, nor very sensible. And on the spiritual issue, I believed in God in my own way, far removed from”, told Caracol Radio the founder of the International Priestly Congregation, Monsignor Andres Tiradowho is currently one of the exorcists most recognized in the country.
During his adolescence he dedicated himself to attending pastoral groups and boy scout “to change the environment and look for a pretty girl”, as a way of resisting the hostile environment in which he grew up and with the intention of changing a destiny that seemed predetermined: “many friends were either killed or disappeared or ended up in hospitals or in indigence”.
On his way through the youth groups of catechism and missionaries of the parishHe felt that his spiritual “awakening” was beginning. Little by little, his curiosity about spiritual issues became more noticeable despite the fact that he did not like “neither the church nor the priests, and the mass was boring”. However, from the church that he attended with insistence, they invited him to start a vocational process.
“In this process I begin to love what I am doing. I see more and more possible to be a priest. When the years go by and I am a seminarian, a person comes to the church for a prayer, because he did not find the priestY in the middle of that sentence he receives a medically proven healing and that changes my mentality”, Monsignor Tirado told Caracol Radio.
Tirado had carried out his theological training at the hands of the scientific-critical current, “which is the avant-garde theological model today” and which proposes that everything has a verifiable answer by science. However, with this episode, began to question his beliefs and left his skepticism and disbelief in front of the paranormal phenomena.
“Some time later people began to arrive at the church. In one of those prayers that they came to ask for, an entity manifested itself. That’s where he turned my head and I start to wonder: whatwhy is there a demon?, what is this?, why is this happening?”, recalled the monsignor in an interview with Caracol Radio.
Curiosity led him to inquire about those “fallen angels” who revealed themselves to his skepticism: “to be an exorcist you have to know the enemy, because you have to know who you are going to face.” The names of Lucifer; Asmodeus; Baal; and Leviathan; they became habitual and their chilling manifestations in their “daily bread”.
After the 2,000 exorcisms, Andrés Tirado stopped counting them. After seeing seven-year-olds shaking off grown men who tried to control them; to women pronounced words in dead languages; to witness levitations and spontaneous combustionthere are few things that continue to surprise the monsignor.
After seeing the devil in the eye, there are few things that scare Andrés Tirado.
However, he knows that he cannot lower his guard; he knows that there is no day that he cannot stop preparing; he knows that priests can also be possessed and he is aware that “the devil is like a lion that is always on the prowl”.
This is the complete interview of the renowned exorcist Andrés Tirado for Caracol Radio where he answered some of the questions he always wanted to know about mythical trade It has been practiced for more than 2,500 years.