April 10, 2017
The composition is dedicated to Anne-Elizabeth Michel (Anneliese Michel). The work contains original records from the exorcism rites performed above she. The priest Ernst Alt, whom they met, on seeing her declared that 'she didn't look like an epileptic' and that he did not see her having seizures. Alt believed she was suffering from demonic possession and urged the local bishop to allow an exorcism. In a letter to Alt in 1975, Michel wrote, 'I am nothing, everything about me is vanity, what should I do, I have to improve, you pray for me' and also once told him, 'I want to suffer for other people...but this is so cruel'. In September of the same year, Bishop Josef Stangl granted the priest Arnold Renz permission to exorcise according to the Rituale Romanum of 1614, but ordered total secrecy. Renz performed the first session on 24 September. Michel began talking increasingly about 'dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church', and she refused to eat towards the end. At this point, her parents stopped consulting doctors on her request and relied solely on the exorcism rites. 67 exorcism sessions, one or two each week, lasting up to four hours, were performed over about ten months in 1975-1976. On 1 July 1976, Michel died in her home.