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Chaplain on doomed liner protected the Eucharist, helped other passengers

January 18, 2012

The Catholic chaplain on the ill-fated cruise ship Costa Concordia rushed to protect the Blessed Sacrament when the ship ran onto a reef.

Father Rafeali Mallena consumed the Blessed Sacrament when the "abandon ship" alarm was sounded. He also stored valuable personal items for crew members in a safe in his cabin, where he believes they will still be accessible.

Father Mallena reports that although some crew members may have fled from their responsibilities, he witnessed other displays of courage by staff members assisting passengers off the ship. The priest himself stayed to help with evacuations until crew members ordered him into a lifeboat.


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  • Posted by: Convert96 - Jan. 18, 2012 10:36 PM ET USA

    I converted from Protestantism 15 years ago. Not only have never had a doubt about the decision, but with each passing year I am more grateful to God for leading me into the Church established by His Son.

  • Posted by: kmbold - Jan. 18, 2012 6:42 PM ET USA