✟ satan ✟
Truth of Faith

satan is a fallen angel that God had originally created good
but refused to submit to God's laws and commands.

Lay Catechist Notes on satan
satan (also known as "the devil" or "Lucifer") is a fallen angel first created good by God but, seeking himself over God, sinned against God and was cast out of Heaven (along with a large number of like-wise unholy angels). He is a real person (spiritual) and himself and the other evil angels are often referred to as "demons".

satan and his cohort "demons" have but one objective: to separate every man/woman from God for all of eternity through sinOriginal Sin, committed by Adam and Eve in Paradise, was committed at the behest of satan himself; and thus death and suffering entered the world.

They (the fallen angels or demons) have spiritual powers similar to other good angelic creatures, with Lucifer himself being among the more powerful of created angelic spirits (yet none have any more power than God Himself allows). satan and the other demons are at the root of most (if not all) of the evil prevalent in today's world; again, with the single key goal of separating mankind from God forever.

Defined Dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church
God the Creator
Divine Revelation (Scriptural Proof)
  • 12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations? 13And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. 14I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High. 15But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit. 16They that shall see thee, shall turn toward thee, and behold thee. Is this the man that troubled the earth, that shook kingdoms, 17That made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the prison to his prisoners? 18All the kings of the nations have all of them slept in glory, every one in his own house. 19But thou art cast out of thy grave, as an unprofitable branch defiled, and wrapped up among them that were slain by the sword, and art gone down to the bottom of the pit, as a rotten carcass. (Isaiah 14:12-19)
  • 1Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? 2And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. 4And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. 5For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. 6And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6)
  • 1Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. 3And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. 5Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple, 6And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, 9And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me. 10Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve. 11Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and ministered to him. (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • 44You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. (John 8:44)
  • 13For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)
  • 9And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)
  • 18And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightening falling from heaven. (Luke 10:18)
  • 27And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly. (John 13:27)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • 391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil". The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."
  • 392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God." The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".
  • 395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."
  • 550 The coming of God's kingdom means the defeat of Satan's: "If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Jesus' exorcisms free some individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus' great victory over "the ruler of this world". The kingdom of God will be definitively established through Christ's cross: "God reigned from the wood."
  • 1708 By his Passion, Christ delivered us from Satan and from sin. He merited for us the new life in the Holy Spirit. His grace restores what sin had damaged in us.
  • 2852 "A murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father of lies," Satan is "the deceiver of the whole world." Through him sin and death entered the world and by his definitive defeat all creation will be "freed from the corruption of sin and death." Now "we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one."
      The Lord who has taken away your sin and pardoned your faults also protects you and keeps you from the wiles of your adversary the devil, so that the enemy, who is accustomed to leading into sin, may not surprise you. One who entrusts himself to God does not dread the devil. "If God is for us, who is against us?"
Ecumenical Council Documents
  • General Council of Chalcedon (451)
    • "His birth in time in no way subtracts from or adds to that divine and eternal birth of his: but its whole purpose is to restore humanity, who had been deceived, so that it might defeat death and, by its power, destroy the devil who held the power of death. Overcoming the originator of sin and death would be beyond us, had not he whom sin could not defile, nor could death hold down, taken up our nature and made it his own."
    • "It was the devil's boast that humanity had been deceived by his trickery and so had lost the gifts God had given it; and that it had been stripped of the endowment of immortality and so was subject to the harsh sentence of death. He also boasted that, sunk as he was in evil, he himself derived some consolation from having a partner in crime; and that God had been forced by the principle of justice to alter his verdict on humanity, which he had created in such an honourable state. All this called for the realisation of a secret plan whereby the unalterable God, whose will is indistinguishable from his goodness, might bring the original realisation of his kindness towards us to completion by means of a more hidden mystery, and whereby humanity, which had been led into a state of sin by the craftiness of the devil, might be prevented from perishing contrary to the purpose of God."

  • 4th General Council of the Lateran (1215)
    • 1. Confession of Faith
      • "...who by his almighty power at the beginning of time created from nothing both spiritual and corporeal creatures, that is to say angelic and earthly, and then created human beings composed as it were of both spirit and body in common. The devil and other demons were created by God naturally good, but they became evil by their own doing. Man, however, sinned at the prompting of the devil.

  • General Council of Trent (1545)
    • Decree Concerning Original Sin
      • 1. If anyone does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he transgressed the commandment of God in paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice in which he had been constituted, and through the offense of that prevarication incurred the wrath and indignation of god, and thus death with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam through that offense of prevarication was changed in body and soul for the worse, let him be anathema.
    • Decree Concerning Justification
      • CHAPTER I - The Impotency Of Nature And Of The Law To Justify Man
        • "The holy council declares first, that for a correct and clear understanding of the doctrine of justification, it is necessary that each one recognize and confess that since all men had lost innocence in the prevarication of Adam, having become unclean, and, as the Apostle says, by nature children of wrath, as has been set forth in the decree on original sin, they were so far the servants of sin and under the power of the devil and of death, that not only the Gentiles by the force of nature, but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses, were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom, though free will, weakened as it was in its powers and downward bent, was by no means extinguished in them."
    • Canons Concerning Justification
      • Canon 5. If anyone says that after the sin of Adam man's free will was lost and destroyed, or that it is a thing only in name, indeed a name without a reality, a fiction introduced into the Church by satan, let him be anathema.
Papal Encyclical Documents
  • Humanum Genus (1884) - The Human Race - Leo XIII
    • "The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, "through the envy of the devil," separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God."

  • Dominum Et Vivificantem (1986) - The Lord and Giver of Life - John Paul II
    • "Sin," in this passage, means the incredulity that Jesus encountered among "his own," beginning with the people of his own town of Nazareth. Sin means the rejection of his mission, a rejection that will cause people to condemn him to death. When he speaks next of "righteousness," Jesus seems to have in mind that definitive justice, which the Father will restore to him when he grants him the glory of the Resurrection and Ascension into heaven: "I go to the Father." In its turn, and in the context of "sin" and "righteousness" thus understood, "judgment" means that the Spirit of truth will show the guilt cf the "world" in condemning Jesus to death on the Cross. Nevertheless, Christ did not come into the world only to judge it and condemn it: he came to save it. Convincing about sin and righteousness has as its purpose the salvation of the world, the salvation of men. Precisely this truth seems to be emphasized by the assertion that "judgment" concerns only the prince of this world," satan, the one who from the beginning has been exploiting the work of creation against salvation, against the covenant and the union of man with God: he is "already judged" from the start. If the Spirit-Counselor is to convince the world precisely concerning judgment, it is in order to continue in the world the salvific work of Christ."
    • "28. Here we wish to concentrate our attention principally on this mission of the Holy Spirit, which is "to convince the world concerning sin," but at the same time respecting the general context of Jesus' words in the Upper Room. The Holy Spirit, who takes from the Son the work of the Redemption of the world, by this very fact takes the task of the salvific "convincing of sin." This convincing is in permanent reference to "righteousness": that is to say to definitive salvation in God, to the fulfillment of the economy that has as its center the crucified and glorified Christ. And this salvific economy of God in a certain sense removes man from "judgment," that is from the damnation which has been inflicted on the Sill or satan, "the prince of this world," the one who because of his sin has become "the ruler of this world of darkness." And here we see that, through this reference to "judgment," vast horizons open up for understanding "sin" and also "righteousness." The Holy Spirit, by showing sin against the background of Christ's Cross in the economy of salvation (one could say "sin saved"), enables us to understand how his mission is also "to convince" of the sin that has already been definitively judged ("sin condemned")."
    • "38. For in spite of all the witness of creation and of the salvific economy inherent in it, the spirit of darkness is capable of showing God as an enemy of his own creature, and in the first place as an enemy of man, as a source of danger and threat to man. In this way satan manages to sow in man's soul the seed of opposition to the one who "from the beginning" would be considered as man's enemy-and not as Father. Man is challenged to become the adversary of God!"

  • Evangelium Vitae (1995) - The Gospel of Life - John Paul II
    • "God proclaims that he is absolute Lord of the life of man, who is formed in his image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-28). Human life is thus given a sacred and inviolable character, which reflects the inviolability of the Creator himself. Precisely for this reason God will severely judge every violation of the commandment "You shall not kill", the commandment which is at the basis of all life together in society. He is the "goel", the defender of the innocent (cf. Gen 4:9-15; Is 41:14; Jer 50:34; Ps 19:14). God thus shows that he does not delight in the death of the living (cf. Wis 1:13). Only satan can delight therein: for through his envy death entered the world (cf. Wis 2:24). He who is "a murderer from the beginning", is also "a liar and the father of lies" (Jn 8:44). By deceiving man he leads him to projects of sin and death, making them appear as goals and fruits of life."
    • "104. In the Book of Revelation, the "great portent" of the "woman" (12:1) is accompanied by "another portent which appeared in heaven": "a great red dragon" (Rev 12:3), which represents satan, the personal power of evil, as well as all the powers of evil at work in history and opposing the Church's mission. Here too Mary sheds light on the Community of Believers. The hostility of the powers of evil is, in fact, an insidious opposition which, before affecting the disciples of Jesus, is directed against his mother. To save the life of her Son from those who fear him as a dangerous threat, Mary has to flee with Joseph and the Child into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-15).
Fathers and Doctors of the Church Documents
  • Against Heresies (Book 4) (180) - Against Heresies - Irenaeus
    • Chapter 21 - Christ is the Head of all things already mentioned. It was fitting that He should be sent by the Father, the Creator of all things, to assume human nature, and should be tempted by satan, that He might fulfil the promises, and carry off a glorious and perfect victory. 
      • "The Lord then, exposing him in his true character, says, "Depart, satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."(9) He both revealed him by this name, and showed [at the same time] who He Himself was. For the Hebrew word "satan" signifies an apostate. And thus, vanquishing him for the third time, He spurned him from Him finally as being conquered out of the law; and there was done away with that infringement of God's commandment which had occurred in Adam, by means of the precept of the law, which the Son of man observed, who did not transgress the commandment of God."

  • Summa Theologica - On the Angels (1265) - The Highest Study of God - Thomas Aquinas
    • 1. Of the Substance of the Angels Absolutely Considered
    • 2. Of the Angels in Comparison with Bodies
    • 3. Of the Angels in Relation to Place
    • 4. Of the Local Movement of the Angels
    • 5. Of the Knowledge of the Angels
    • 6. Of the Medium of the Angelic Knowledge
    • 7. Of the Angels' Knowledge of Immaterial Things
    • 8. Of the Angels' Knowledge of Material Things
    • 9. Of the Mode of the Angelic Knowledge
    • 10. The Will of the Angels
    • 11. Of the Love or Dilection of the Angels
    • 12. Of the Production of the Angels in the Order of Natural Being
    • 13. Of the Perfection of the Angels in the Order of Grace and of Glory
    • 14. The Malice of the Angels with Regard to Sin
    • 15. The Punishment of the Demons