“Keep away from sexual immorality. All other sins that people may commit are done outside the body; but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?
You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God.” — 1 Cor. 6:18-20 New Jerusalem (emphasis mine)
I’ve often heard exorcists and other spiritual warfare experts talk about how sins against purity especially, along with occult-related sins, leave a person vulnerable to demonic harassment more than other sins. In vampire stories (where the vampires are clearly meant to represent the demonic enemies of our salvation), the creatures are warded off with garlic (an ancient symbol of purity) along with sacramentals. Purity is obviously very important to God and critical to the protection of our souls, but how come? This Scripture seems to offer some insight into that. St. Paul explains that while other sins are outside the body, sexual sin is a violation of one’s body which is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:43-45, is traditionally interpreted to mean that the empty sanctuary is a vulnerable one, no matter how otherwise clean. When we drive the Spirit from His temple and desecrate it, it makes sense that such an action creates a greater vulnerability than other sins. In the stories, others agree that it is not so much about the garlic itself but the virtue represented by it. We must keep our temples pure in order for the Holy Spirit to remain our protector from evil. Perhaps this is why demons are so afraid of St. Philomena, patroness of purity, in exorcisms and why devotion to her is subject to special attacks of the evil one. Let us ask her intercession to preserve or restore this most precious virtue in our hearts and lives: St. Philomena, pray for us! St. Philomena, always defend us!
St. John Berchmans composed the Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception for the protection of Holy Purity.
I composed this reparation prayer for sins against purity. It can be said for yourself, for others, and the world: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love You with my whole heart and soul! It grieves me deeply to think of all the pain it must cause You when Your beloved creatures sin against Your most cherished virtue of Holy Chastity. I offer You — and the Father through You — Your own spotless purity, the immaculate innocence of Your Blessed Mother, my own efforts to live chastely, and the sorrow that fills my heart when I see this priceless virtue violated and I ask You to accept and take comfort in this little offering of reparation for these violations. I love You, my Jesus, and long for the day when all shall strive to please You with pure love and holy lives! St. Philomena, Patroness of Purity, increase the virtue of chastity in our world today! Amen.
other symbols of purity: the color white, lambs, white doves, white Easter style lilies, white roses, white daisies, purity rings, cord of St. Joseph, cord of St. Philomena, water and rain, white or clear crystal, white diamonds, white pearls, ice, the metal silver, clouds and sky, snow, light, the moon, fire, veils.
“Wait. We need to arm up for the big bad. Garlic, symbol of purity, good for the blood, great on pizzas. Dracula hates the stuff…. You get the anointed water, Jen, but toss it only when you’re close enough to get a direct hit. It hurts Drac as much as sunlight. And Skaar, a dagger of pure silver. The bane of supernatural creatures according to Monsterpedia….” — A-Bomb (Rick Jones, Marvel superhero), preparing his team to face Dracula in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Season 2 Episode 21 “Days of Future Smash, Part 3 — Dracula”