And Jesus asked him, saying,
What is your name?
And he said, Legion: because many demons were entered into him.
Read Chapter 8
Cornelius a Lapide
And Jesus asked him, i.e. one of the devils, saying, What is thy name? For Christ willed that the evil spirit should declare his name, that from it the number of the devils, and thence the mightiness of the power which expelled them, might be known.
And he said, Legion. A legion was composed of6000 men, and S. Ambrose thinks that this was the exact number of the devils; others, following the Scripture, take the word generally as meaning "many," "because many devils were entered into him."
S. Gregory of Nyssa adds, "The devils, imitating the angelic host call themselves Legion; nay more, they would liken themselves to God Himself, who is called the Lord God of Sabaoth, i.e. the Lord of Hosts. For Satan is the counterfeit and mockery of God."
Learn then how great must be the number and the malignity of the devils, that so many should possess one man. So we read in the life of S. Dominic, that very many devils were cast out of a man by his prayers and entreaties.
Therefore, since we a...
He did not put the question through ignorance of his name, but that his answer might show forth the divine power in a more glorious manner; as also for our instruction, that knowing the great number of our invisible enemies, we might work out our salvation with fear and trembling, placing all our confidence in God. (Denis the Carthusian)