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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
In one of the imperial hunts there was a deer of extraordinary size. A chain was placed around its neck with a plate bearing the words: “Do not kill me: I am the property of the emperor”, and no hunter would have dared to kill this animal.
When the Christian signs himself with the cross, it is as if he put on him the inscription: “Do not touch me, I belong to Christ”, and no demon will be able to take away the life of grace without our consent.
St. Anthony the hermit was exposed to terrible temptations from the devil in his desert, as was Our Lord Himself at the end of His forty days in the desert. The devil appeared to the Saint sometimes in the form of a snake, sometimes in the form of a ferocious beast: but at each apparition Saint Anthony made the sign of the cross, and at once Satan fled. So he advised his disciples to make the sign of the cross as soon as they were tempted.
As the dog fears the whip with which it has been chastised, so the devil is terrified by the image of this Cross by which he has been defeated.