Action Alert!

Hint: how to identify the 'miracle priest' from that accident scene in Missouri

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 09, 2013

By now you’ve surely heard about the “mystery priest” who inexplicably appeared at the scene of an accident in Missouri, prayed with the victim and emergency workers, made things come out right, and then disappeared. (If somehow you’ve missed the story, here is just one among thousands of media accounts.) Who was that priest? No one recognized him; he wasn’t from the area. He showed up unannounced, although police had blocked off access to the road. In dozens of photos of the accident, his face is never seen. Emergency workers, and the young woman whose life was saved, want to meet this priest, just to thank him. But he hasn’t come forward.

There may be a very natural explanation for all this. But as the days pass and the mystery deepens, the people who say it was a miracle sound more and more convincing.

Who was that priest? I don’t know. But I do have a suggestion on how he might be identified:

  1. Start showing the witnesses photos of priests with a reputation for holiness.
  2. Include photos of priests who are no longer alive.
  3. Prepare for a shock.

Update: We now have a sketch-- and, sure enough, a possible match.

Update #2: Here’s another possible match.


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: fwhermann3492 - Aug. 12, 2013 12:38 PM ET USA

    Regardless of whether this was a supernatural event (at this point my inclination is to believe that it was), we should pray that the Holy Spirit uses it to bring people to faith and repentance.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Aug. 10, 2013 10:51 PM ET USA

    Omigosh, visions! What a thought. The media don't know the difference between angels and saints.

  • Posted by: visions - Aug. 10, 2013 11:01 AM ET USA

    Sunday, August 4, the feast of St JeanMarie Vianney.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 09, 2013 2:52 PM ET USA

    Intriguing suggestion. I had discounted the idea, already circulating, that this was an angel because the 'mystery priest' apparently administered the Sacrament of Annointing of the Sick, and if I understand my theology correctly, angels do not have the power of administering the sacraments.