Pope Francis has warned against conversing with the devil, as the Evil One is an incredibly intelligent being who often appears "disguised as an angel."
"He is evil, he's not like mist. He's not a diffuse thing, he is a person. I'm convinced that one must never converse with Satan - if you do that, you'll be lost," the pontiff told TV2000, a Catholic channel, according to The Telegraph.
"He's more intelligent than us, and he'll turn you upside down, he'll make your head spin," he said.
"He always pretends to be polite - he does it with priests, with bishops. That's how he enters your mind. But it ends badly if you don't realize what is happening in time. (We should tell him) go away!" he said.
Since the beginning of his papacy, Francis has issued repeated warnings about the devil and contended that whoever wants to follow Jesus must be aware of the reality of the Evil One. During a 2013 address to crowds of faithful in St Peter's Square, Francis said the Devil often appears "disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us."
In April, the pope said the devil is behind the hatred of the Christian faith that drives oppressors to persecute believers.
"With his death and resurrection, [Jesus] rescued us from the power of this world, the power of the devil, and the prince of the world doesn't want this," Francis said during a speech delivered at Rome's St. Bartholomew Basilica in memory of the "New Martyrs" of the 20th and 21st centuries.
"Because we were saved by Jesus, and the prince of the world doesn't want this, he hates us and provokes the persecution," the pope said.
Pope Francis also said that the Church today needs martyrs and said martyrdom "is a grace from God, not courage."
"What does the Church need today?" he asked, before responding: "Martyrs, witnesses, this means, every-day-saints, those who lead ordinary lives, carried forward with consistency; but also those who have the courage to accept the grace of being witnesses to the end, to their death."
The heritage of the martyrs, Francis said, "gifts us today peace and unity. They teach us that, with the strength of love, with tenderness, you can fight bullying, violence, war, and that with patience, peace can be achieved."
CNN notes that the pontiff has also shared guidelines on how to resist Satan's strategy:
First, it is Jesus who battles the devil.
The second is that "we cannot obtain the victory of Jesus over evil and the devil by halves," for as Christ said in the Gospel of Matthew, "who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."
"The demon is shrewd: he is never cast out forever, this will only happen on the last day," Francis said. "The devil also exists in the 21st century, and we need to learn from the Gospel how to battle against him."
He added, "The devil is intelligent, he knows more theology than all the theologians together."
In a survey conducted last year, Gallup found that while nearly 90 percent of Americans believe in God, only 61 percent believe in Satan.
"Gallup asked the question that includes the 'not sure about' option in random rotation with questions about belief in four other religious concepts: angels, Heaven, Hell and the devil," reported Gallup.
"Americans' belief in all of these is lower than their belief in God, ranging from 72 percent who say they believe in angels to 61 percent who say they believe in the devil, with 12 percent unsure on both. Belief in these four concepts is down at least marginally from when last measured in 2007, following the same pattern as the trend in belief in God using this question format."
Evangelist Billy Graham previously warned that one of the devil's most successful schemes is to convince people he doesn't even exist.
"While we should never make the devil the sole focus of our attention (for only Christ is worthy of that honor), we do need to be alert to his schemes and on guard against his attacks," the evangelist said. "Satan's primary goal is to block God's plans in every way he possibly can."
Sometimes, Graham explained, Satan's attacks are very open and obvious, but often he works in hidden and subtle ways, seeking to deceive people and turn them away from Christ.
"Jesus said that when the devil lies, 'he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies' (John 8:44)," he said.
The 99-year-old Baptist minister continued: "It's been said that one of the devil's most successful schemes is to convince people he doesn't even exist-and that's true. After all, if you don't think he exists, you won't be on guard against him. But he does exist, and he'll do everything he can to keep you from Christ and His will for your life."