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Ghost? Angel? Mass Hallucination?

Reality doesn't have to be plausible or avoid hackneyed plots.

Sarah Hoyt


August 11, 2013 - 9:00 am

What if one of your favorite books seemed to be happening in real life?

This story from the USA Today once more proves that truth is not only weirder than fiction — if you wrote this as fiction, no one would believe it:

Emergency workers and community members in eastern Missouri are not sure what to make of a mystery priest who showed up at a critical accident scene Sunday morning and whose prayer seemed to change life-threatening events for the positive.

Even odder, the black-garbed priest does not appear in any of the nearly 70 photos of the scene of the accident in which a 19-year-old girl almost died.

Perhaps it is because I grew up reading Giovanni Guareschi’s Don Camillo stories, after watching the movies and loving them, that I can’t help but be charmed by that image.  In the real world of rationality, one finds it hard to believe in the supernatural, and all sorts of explanations spring to mind about this story.  But for just now I’m going to think of the Don Camillo stories, where the wall between the living and the dead is very thin indeed, the Christ over the altar speaks to the village priest (who speaks back, sometimes not very politely), and miracles happen when they are truly needed — and I’m going to let this story be, just as it is.

Sarah Hoyt lives in Colorado with her husband, two sons and too many cats. She has published Darkship Thieves and 16 other novels, and over 100 short stories. Writing non-fiction is a new, daunting endeavor. For more on Sarah and samples of her writing, look around at Sarah A. or check out her writing and life blog at According to

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All Comments   (6)
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Dang, it was just some sky pilot.

I did see the Image of the Virgin Mary in my bran muffin this morning, though. It didn't look much like her - more like the ghost of Zsa Zsa Gabor in 3D - but my guardian angel spoke unto me saying "Yep, that's the VM, alright. I'd know that punim anywhere."

So I saved my muffin with all my other special relics of things that remind me of other things.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The most interesting thing about this is how, when Father Patrick Dowling came forward as being the priest who was there, he in no way resembles the artists' sketch.

And I have no doubt it was him, I think the rescuers were distracted from so much as attempting to memorize him and describe him the fact they were engaged in rescuing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hate to burst your bubble but they found the Priest. Check it out on The Blaze.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment


There must be something wrong with me. I'm not at all surprised that this turned out to be an ordinary, real human-type, man, rather than an angel.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I tend to believe that this was a miracle, from God. The West needs this especially at this time.
Another moment: an interview with the murderous evil Paul Bernardo, who wants out of jail because it was a long time ago, etc.. one of the girls he and his girlfriend tortured refused - in the face of death - to perform a disgusting sexual act upon her captors. That is surely an act of a martyr.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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