Demon who had sex with a woman for at least six years, before being exorcized by St. Bernard.
When St. Bernard traveled to Nantes, Brittany, France, in 1135 to visit monks, he learned of a woman who was said to have enjoyed sexual intercourse with an Incubus. The supernatural affair had lasted six years before she apparently felt guilty and confessed her sin to priests. They prescribed for her almsgiving, pilgrimages, and intercessory prayer to saints. None of the remedies expelled the Incubus. The woman’s husband learned of the matter and left her. The Incubus became more sexually aggressive. The woman went to St. Bernard and appealed for his help. She said the Demon had told her that her appeal would be useless. Bernard comforted her and told her to return the next day. She did and relayed the Demon’s terrible threats to her. St. Bernard gave her his staff and told her to take it to bed with her. As long as the staff was in the bed, the Incubus could not approach her. Enraged, the Demon made threats of what he would do once the saint left town with his staff.
On the next Sunday, St. Bernard told all the townspeople to go to church with lighted candles. He took the pulpit, told about the case, and then anathematized the Demon, forbidding him in the name of Christ to assault the victim or any other woman. When the candles were extinguished, the Demon’s powers were ended. The woman was troubled no more.
Further Reading :
– Lea, Henry Charles. Materials toward a History of Witchcraft. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1939.