Gabriel Castillo Photos: Porta Luz

He Was Addicted to Lust . . . The Virgin Helped Him to Overcome the Addiction, This What He Says

I grabbed a brochure about how to pray the Rosary, which I got from the campus’ pastoral [office]. I had never prayed the Rosary on my own. I opened the brochure and began to pray, saying “I believe” in a loud voice. The moment I said “I believe,” I felt a physical force that seemed to asphyxiate me or grab me by the throat . . . “

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(ZENIT News – Porta Luz / Madrid, 16.10.2023).- In a  recent episode of “The Catholic Gentleman” podcast, presenters John Heinen and Sam Guzman talk with Gabriel Castillo, husband and father of four children, who shared his inspiring story of conversion.

Gabriel is an only child, he grew up in a Hispanic home with a single mother who, despite trying to give him the best, didn’t bring him very close to religion. “I knew nothing about Jesus; I only knew that Saint Judas Thaddaeus existed. Sometimes we went to Mass at Christmas and Easter,” he says.

He tried to be a good pupil, he points out, although his life had no transcendent purpose and, little by little he moulded his morality with the things he watched on television, such as MTV. Upon arriving at University, Divine Providence brought about his being given a scholarship in a Catholic University. “I went there ridiculing the idea of having to take courses in Philosophy and Ethics, among other tings . . . However, it was those courses that opened my mind to the Catholic faith, because I began to realize that something wasn’t right with me,” he confides and continues . . .

“Fortunately, I interacted with a group of friends who also led a sinful lifestyle but, at the same time, they went to receive the Sacraments and talked about making their Confirmation. I thought that if they were ‘almost Catholics,’ I also wanted to do what they were doing. “

Encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist



 Following his friends, he decided to take part in a Confirmation retreat, where he attended, for the first time a Holy Hour, despite not knowing what the Eucharist was and refusing to believe that in  “a white circle” Jesus was really present, he says.

“I went to the chapel, I knelt down and, like a fool, I stared at the Eucharist, saying: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” for some 15 minutes. Approximately in the middle of those 15 minutes, I began to listen to something in my head that was saying to me: “Stop talking, be silent.” I thought: “Oh great, I’m hearing things. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” he pointed out and adds: “All of a sudden, without prior notice, I felt as if God’s finger entered my soul. If my heart was ice, God’s finger sank into my heart, melted it, and I began to cry and cry. I began to see images of the Passion — in my mind –, and I felt as if God was saying to me in the depth of my soul only one thing: “I love you.”

This encounter was the start of Gabriel’s conversion, and he decided to live a Eucharistic life, where he “went every day. I did my homework every day in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament,” however, he confides, he continued attached to his vices.

A Paranormal Experience



Gabriel says that one day during Lent, the campus minister, Sister Claire Hunter, encouraged him to go to Confession and to give up something during that liturgical time. “She said to me: “What if you give up sin? What if you give up mortal sin and stop living a life of scandal? I answered her: “Sister, I’ll try.”

But, only three hours after going to Confession, Gabriel says he immersed himself again in pornography, fuelling sins of lust. “I realized that I wasn’t sinning because I wanted to, it didn’t make me happy, but that I was an addict. I had been an addict since secondary school and couldn’t stop.  It was at that moment, the first day of Lent, that I went into my room and cried, experiencing a true contrition. I said to God: “God, I’m sorry,” recalls this young father. And at that very moment, he heard a voice ridiculing him: “a horrible, sharp and monstrous voice, which repeated exactly what I was saying. “ Full of fear, Gabriel says that he was only able to implore: ”Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for me,” and the voices stopped.

“The next day, when the time came to go to bed, I was afraid of sleeping alone in my room. I grabbed a brochure about how to pray the Rosary which I got from the campus’ pastoral [office]. I’d never prayed the Rosary on my own. I opened the brochure and began to pray, saying: “I believe” in a loud voice. The moment I said “I believe,” I felt a physical force  that seemed to asphyxiate me or grab me by the throat. It pushed me to the bed and forced me to lie down in a way that didn’t seem normal,” he says. Frightened, Gabriel says that he tried to call his mother, who was in the next room, but he wasn’t able to speak. Desperate, he says, he heard a voice in his head that said to him to pray the “Hail Mary.”

“I couldn’t say the words in a loud voice, so I thought them in my head: “Hail Mary.” When I thought those words, I felt the grabbing of my throat loosening, and I was able to say them in a soft voice: “Hail Mary.” The moment I said “Mary,” everything stopped and returned to normality. Despite the fact I knew little about Mary, it was enough to say her name to be freed from an invisible force that I couldn’t resist,” he remarks.

That night, Gabriel recalls, he decided to look online for information about the influence of evil, lust and demonic attacks. Finally, he found a Web page that stated that to have pornographic material , New Age books, or images of false gods, could open the door to the devil.

In regard to this, he says his mother “had many statues, including statues of Buddha and African figurines at home. She had New Age books  and religious images everywhere in the house. That night was one of the greatest of my life. The next day I cleaned my room completely. I destroyed everything that was related to superstitions, Eastern religions or false African or Asian gods. The diabolic attacks stopped. It was a point of inflexion in my University life, and the people who knew me will say that there are two versions of me: that which was before this experience, and that which was after. I thank God [and] Mary, and although the devil played his card, it was the Virgin Mary who became a true and good mother to me, and it’s there where our relationship truly began,” he says gratefully.

Watch Gabriel Castillo’s full testimony in the following video:



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