Catholic priest, asked to perform a blessing on the Las Vegas hotel room from which Stephen Paddock killed dozens of people, told Newsweek that he felt the presence of evil in the room.
After saying the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, he said “I felt like I was being pushed back.”
Last Wednesday, Father Clete Kiley of Chicago was at the hotel to comfort traumatized workers at the Mandalay Bay hotel where Paddock went on a shooting spree that killed 58 and injured more than 500 concertgoers on October 1. When the hotel manager asked him if he would bless the room used by Paddock, and recently released by the FBI, he collected water and a palm branch from the hotel lobby in order to invoke the Holy Spirit.
As he approached the room he said the prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel, which begins, “Defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.”
Once Fr. Kiley opened the room he felt something indescribable, Newsweek reported.
“I felt like I was being pushed back, like don’t come in here,” he said. “On the inside, I’m going, ‘Oh no, you have to go.’”
After calling on the Holy Spirit to cleanse the room of evil, Fr. Kiley said he immediately felt a sense of comfort – a sense that he said was shared by the hotel staff.
“You could see people go, ‘Thank God, that’s good,’” he said. “I really saw the whole thing as part of a healing process. A small part of a healing process.”
Fr. Kiley is a priest with the Archdiocese of Chicago, and serves as the Director for Immigration Policy for UNITE HERE, a union for hospitality workers. He was in Las Vegas for his work with the union.
MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, said in a statement last week that they have no plans to rent the room, according to a report in the Las Vegas Sun.
“This was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by an evil man. We have no intention of renting that room,” the company said in a statement. It did not say what it planned to do with the suite.
Read the Exorcism Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel here.