In this passage a concluding statement is given by St. Irenaeus (180 A.D.) concerning the Gnostics' (Especially of the school of Valentinus) magical illusions and practices centered around their many gods (vis a vis in the modern age Karol Wojtyla's abominable Assisi gatherings) all emanating from the Mother goddess. The Valentinian Gnostics, in their blasphemous heretical sect had reformed the true Jesus Christ and His blessed mother into a version of the ancient pagan goddess-god of the Graeco-Egyptian Isis-Horus cult. The Marian apparitions are a modern version of that.
3. Since, therefore, there exist among them error and misleading influences, and magical illusions are impiously wrought in the sight of men; but in the Church, sympathy, and compassion, and stedfastness, and truth, for the aid and encouragement of mankind, are not only displayed278 without fee or reward, but we ourselves lay out for the benefit of others our own means; and inasmuch as those who are cured very frequently do not possess the things which they require, they receive them from us;-[since such is the case, ] these men are in this way undoubtedly proved to be utter aliens from the divine nature, the beneficence of God, and all spiritual excellence. But they are altogether full of deceit of every kind, apostate inspiration, demoniacal working, and the phantasms of idolatry, and are in reality the predecessors of that dragon279 who, by means of a deception of the same kind, will with his tail cause a third part of the stars to fall from their place, and will cast them down to the earth. It behoves us to flee from them as we would from him; and the greater the display with which they are said to perform [their marvels], the more carefully should we watch them, as having been endowed with a greater spirit of wickedness. If any one will consider the prophecy referred to, and the daily practices of these men, he will find that their manner of acting is one and the same with the demons.