Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know is a practical and theological guide to navigating the spiritual battle in which we all find ourselves. It pulls from the wisdom, teachings, and experiences of about twelve exorcists, as well as those of many of the great saints and Doctors of the Church, including...
St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Louis de Montfort
St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. Francis de Sales
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Teresa of Avila
St. John of the Cross
St. Pio of Pietrelcina
St. Bridget of Sweden
St. John Damascene
St. Raphael the Archangel
St. Gregory Nazianzus
St. Rose of Lima
St. John Chrysostom*
...to present to the faithful a thorough and systematic catechesis on the logic of spiritual warfare. It is easy to read and comprehend while also providing a rich and thorough theological framework for the spiritual realities underlying our battles with the demonic.
Slaying Dragons is written by Charles D. Fraune, a married layman with a Master of Arts in Theology, and an Advanced Apostolic Catechetical Diploma. He is a former seminarian, having discerned the priesthood and religious life prior to being married, and a current teacher of Theology to high school students. In the last twenty years since his conversion, he has taught nearly every age group, from second grade to college to adult Diocesan formation programs, and has completed three books, with Slaying Dragons being the most recent.
Slaying Dragons has been reviewed and supported by numerous exorcists, parish priests, religious (including Superiors), academics, and many noteworthy lay Catholics, in countries across the globe. (see here for more details)
There are eleven Chapters, not including the Introduction and the Conclusion.
Chapter One, The Motivation and Tactics of Demons, is a principal Chapter, covering a wide range of topics which are covered in even greater depth as the book continues. It covers topics such as the way demons think, the reasons for their fall, how they organize themselves, and the sort of principles by which they are motivated. In addition, it discusses the role that pride and humility play as we face common ordinary temptations. Finally, it presents the abilities that demons possess, as permitted by Our Lord, to influence us, as individuals, as families, and as societies.
Chapter Two, The Angelic Nature, is a brief though succinct presentation of the nature of angels in general and of how demons differ as a result of the absence of sanctifying grace. This Chapter discusses the power of their intellect and some of the ways in which they are able to interact with the physical world.
Chapter Three, The Stages of Diabolical Influence, addresses, in-depth, the six levels of diabolical influence against man: ordinary temptation, vexation, oppression, obsession, possession and subjugation. It presents the teaching of what these stages are, how they manifest, and how they can be resolved.
Chapter Four, The Authority of Our Lord Over Demons, presents the various ways in which Our Lord reveals, through His Church, that He has absolute authority over the activity of the diabolical. It provides examples from Sacred Scripture, the lives of the saints, and the experiences of exorcists, to demonstrate the fullness of this authority.
Chapter Five, How Exorcists Know What They Know, is a critical Chapter examining the difficulty which priests have in obtaining the training necessary to fulfill their role as an exorcist. It explains how the exorcism itself is a primary way to teach a newly appointed exorcist the art of this ministry, and a vital source of continuing knowledge of the power of the Rite and the work of demons.
Chapter Six, Inside an Exorcism, discusses the approach which exorcists take to discern if a person is truly possessed and the key signs that help them come to that conclusion. It explains the steps in the process of liberating the person from the demon and the manner in which demons tend to resist.
Chapter Seven, Authority and the Diabolical, explains the importance of authority structures, both in the Church and in the family, and the strictness by which demons follow these structures. It explores the role that the father plays in the family as well as the power and importance of binding prayers.
Chapter Eight, Sin and the Influence of Satan, shows how dedicated Satan is to obtaining victory, and the things that align us with his works of destruction. It presents the harsh reality of generational spirits and the possibility of the possession of children, as well as the gateway sins that cause these afflictions and some key spiritual solutions.
Chapter Nine, Resisting Diabolical Influence, presents the key ways by which the demons can possess us as well as some important practical steps to block their attacks.
Chapter Ten, Protecting Your Spiritual Life, is another critical Chapter, the longest and the most practical in the book. It discusses the power of the Sacraments and sacramentals and suggested ways to best utilize these great sources of grace. In this Chapter, the reader will learn about the importance of staying in a state of grace and the power of Confession. In addition, the reader will learn about the various powerful sacramentals, like holy water and blessed salt, as well as those that are lesser known, like blessed candles, blessed oil, and the Angelic Warfare Confraternity. Excerpts from the Roman Ritual blessings for these sacramentals are also discussed.
Chapter Eleven, Consorting With Evil, demonstrates the gravity of the problem of the rise of the occult and its power to pull souls into serious diabolical problems. This Chapters presents lots of statistics, as well as current events, that reveal the truth of this shocking reality, as well as many of the common diabolical traps which snare souls.
At the end of each Chapter there is a very helpful summary section called a Compendium. There is such a great amount of important material in the book that I realized there needed to be some reminders and summaries to help the reader remember and easily return to all of the insightful teachings of the exorcists.
In the back, there is an extensive References section containing the videos, articles, and books from which all of the material originated which is presented throughout Slaying Dragons.
NB: "Slaying Dragons" has received the Nihil Obstat and is awaiting the Imprimatur
*Of course, some of these saints are featured more extensively than others. St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Louis de Montfort, and St. Alphonsus Liguori, for example, all enjoy a heavy presence in the book.
A Collection of Samples from the Book
Spanish Edition Available!
Audible version Available!