The riddle of the ‘angel priest’; Appears from nowhere to pray with trapped girl, vanishes…
I love stories like this.
Did he look like Michael Landon?
Della Reese could not be reached for comment.
Thanks for this post.
I love them too. Probably because for those who would dismiss the possibility of the divine, even the most cynical explanation would be a beautiful story of how someone simply stepped in to comfort someone in need and then left without any need for acknowledgement.
That is a very cool story.
If my memory is correct, I may have read a long time ago in some saint’s biography that some saints have sometimes, during their life, been mysteriously brought or carried to another place in order to some ministry task or the other. But I cannot remember who they were or where I read it, am I am not sure if it was true or just a legend either. Could it be what happened there? Maybe someone else with a better memory could comment?
Maybe you’re thinking of Padre Pio and bilocation: http://www.ewtn.com/padrepio/mystic/bilocation.htm
Martin de Porres also was famous for this.
This is a very cool story, but I feel the need to point out that this line from the Daily Mail:
Struck head-on by a drunk driver on Sunday morning, emergency workers had been battling for an hour and a half to free Lentz, but to no avail.
belongs in Strunk and White.
Yeah, no wonder they couldn’t free her, since they were all concussed!
I saw it too – when will journalists learn not to do this?!
Somewhere in the world there is a very holy priest, perhaps only recognized as such in the small parish community which he serves, who, because he is completely open to doing the will of his Lord, was given the opportunity to administer His healing grace to a believer in need and to the good Samaritans striving to keep her alive. The identity of the bilocated priest may or may not ever be discovered, but it doesn’t matter.
A commenter on Rod Dreher’s blog comes to a reasonable explanation based on the description of him from this article: http://www.connecttristates.com/neighborhood/story.aspx?id=931256&gotocomments=1&fb_comment_id=fbc_540186676048580_4757207_540307162703198#.UgPYA2TF3x8
Based on the description, it could possibly be the parish priest at St. Mary’s church in Shelbina, MO, about 40 miles away: https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Marys-Catholic-Church-of-Shelbina-MO/325533647542316
Still a great story, though.
So in this article we read that he’s 5 foot 6, 200 pounds, dark complected and dark hair, and in the story above, he’s 6 feet tall, medium build, silver-haired, in his 50’s or 60’s – sounds like two completely different people!
The mystery deepens. . .
The dark-complexioned priest on that fb page does not have silver hair and, judging from some of the group photos, there’s no way he’s 6 feet tall.
The priest on that Facebook page has a slightly dark complexion and black-rimmed glasses but he looks nothing like Walter Matthau.
That would be Fr. Fessio.
Who knew Fr. Fessio could bilocate? 😉
(not that I’m saying it’s him…)
Regardless of whether the priest was supernatural, it remains that God provided for their dire need.
Something similar happened to my family when I was a kid.
My mom took my brother and I to San Antonio for vacation. My mom grew up in a very small town with 1 stop light. She is almost phobic about big city traffic. She really almost has panic attacks if she gets in more than 2 lanes of traffic. And when my mom panics, her brain locks. She literally cannot think of what to do except ask for help.
Anyway, we were in heavy San Antonio freeway traffic, and my mom missed her exit. She panicked. By the time she managed to get over and take the first exit, we were in the ‘hood. My mom is freaking out, so she pulls over and starts praying. A tiny Hispanic man taps on her window and offers to help. She’s crying now, explaining how lost she is. He just smiles and offers to show her back to where she needs to go. He says, “Follow me,” gets in his car, and leads mom back to where she needed to be.
He pulls into an open parking lot of a small convenience store, gets out, and comes over to make sure she’s okay. She is, and she’s so grateful she offers to take the man inside and buy him a coffee or a cold drink to thank him. He politely declines. She insists, turns to get her purse, and when she turns back, he is gone. The open parking lot is empty. That little old man disappeared in 2 or 3 seconds. To this day, she is absolutely convinced he was an angel.
So yeah, when the Bible tells us that we have often entertained angels but are unaware of it, I totally believe it.
Contrast this story with this one:
Brian, I suspect the reason the priests in Boston were denied access to the bombing scene was because the incident commander (or whatever title they use nowadays) didn’t know these priests by sight, and had been trained to consider the possibility that in the event of a terrorist attack, accomplices of the original attackers might pose as clergy or other trusted figures in order to gain access to the attack scene — and then set off more bombs or start shooting rescuers. Also, the scene was extremely chaotic with thousands of wounded and frightened people milling around in the streets during a major sporting event (Boston Marathon). Not quite the same as being out on a remote rural Missouri highway with only one person (the woman trapped in the car) to worry about, and nothing to lose by allowing a stranger to intervene since all other rescue measures had failed.
All that said… I agree that it was tragic and inexcusable to deny the last sacraments to the bombing victims at a time when they needed it most. Hopefully something can be done about that situation so it doesn’t happen again.
Another reason Satan hates Catholic priests.
I suppose no one has considered thanking the first responders, the fire fighters who brought the fresh tools that got into the car, and the doctors who performed the surgeries and provided the supportive care that helped keep her alive after she was rescued? Maybe they had more to do with her survival than the priest. (And if he was an angel, why not just teleport her out and heel her wounds miraculously?)
Why do you suppose that? Do you routinely assume people are such ungrateful morons? Or do you just say stuff like this because you enjoy crapping on people having a bit of fun with a mystery because you are an ideologically driven atheist with the common inabilities to relate to normal social and affective cues?
Why do you suppose that?
Because the article talked all about everyone’s gratitude to the angel and no one, including the victim, seems to have thought it worth the trouble of thanking the paramedics or first responders.
people having a bit of fun with a mystery
So…does that imply that you expect the mystery to have a natural explanation (like, say, a priest who came in, did what he could to help, and then got out of the way so the first responders could keep doing their part) but think it somehow more fun to pretend that it might be a supernatural being? If religion is like astrology-a game that no one takes seriously but some people enjoy pretending is true-that statement makes sense and I suppose I was a bit rude to point it out. If religion is supposed to be reality…it doesn’t so much.
Of course we appreciate the first responders and others who helped out (incidentally, even they are intrigued with the mystery). Maybe they are taken for granted a little because we expect them to be on the scene of an accident helping to save lives, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate their hard work.
I don’t know whether there’s a natural explanation or not. If there is then we’ll find out and say, “Ah, that explains it!” I personally won’t be disappointed as long as the injured lady is okay, regardless of who the priest was. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with the story in the meantime. However, when someone butts in on a lighthearted conversation and starts falsely accusing us of ingratitude toward emergency responders, well, that spoils the fun a bit.
It’s not article about everything. It’s about this odd story. I think it quite like the story has a natural explanation. I also think it’s a fun mystery. Unclench your atheist sphincter, man. Lighten up.
Two things to consider: 1) This is a news story because it’s a mystery (for now). It’s man bites dog. First responders doing their job, a job we don’t publicly thank them nearly enough for, is, lamentably, not a story that will get much attention. It’s dog bites man. 2) Why are you assuming this? My brother is a first responder, and unless he’s a liar, he tells me he is thanked all the time by the people he encounters on his calls. That there isn’t a news story about his crew doesn’t bother him because, as he explains it, it’s just what they’re supposed to do.
>>>2) Why are you assuming this?
It seems that, when some militant atheists are faced with something like this that they can’t explain, they reflexively lash out at believers instead, grabbing at whatever stick they can. “Oh yeah? Well you’re all so excited about your non-existent deity that you can’t even show simple gratitude toward people who put their lives on the line for others. Just goes to show that God-belief strips people of common human decency. I’m so glad I’m not like you!” Putting us down makes them feel better.
,,, And he is complaining, essentially, because the stories did not report “dog bites man”.
Suppose the priest is a priest, not an angel. Suppose further that the priest has just heard about this or just recognized himself in the story. What’s his next move? Does he come forward and say, “That was me and I am, alas, no angel” or let the story stand?
I s’pose it depends on his sense of humor. But of course, whatever he does, you find reason to criticize. If he comes forward he’s seeking fame. If he doesn’t he allowing people to believe a falsehood. Heads you win, tails he loses.
How strange. It appears that the “angel priest” was in fact, just a run-of-the-mill priest.
Thank you, Lord, for the wonder of this event, which has confounded the wise, whatever the nature of the priest may be (human or angelic). May the young lady heal fully and swiftly from her injuries, and may Your blessings be upon the first responders.