Holy Man Appeared from Nowhere to Pray with Trapped Girl

Source: Daily Mail | James Nye

Pinned inside her mangled Mercedes, seriously injured and fading fast, Katie Lentz turned to her rescuers on the lonely open stretch of Missouri highway and asked them to pray.

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.

But as they joined hands a Catholic priest appeared, even though there were no bystanders and the road was blocked, who offered a prayer and an instruction to the rescuers that they would now be able to free her.

Suddenly, heavy equipment needed to cut through the metal arrived from a nearby town and Lentz was pulled from the wreck in time to be saved – but when they turned to thank the priest, he was gone.

‘He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,’ Chief Raymond Reed told KHQA-TV.

‘It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.

‘I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.’

‘We would like to find this gentleman and be able to thank him,’ Reed said.

‘As a first responder, you don’t know what you’re going to run into. We have a lot of tools, and we have intensive training.

‘In this particular case, it is my feeling that it was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle.’

Lentz suffered several broken bones to repair her legs, but her friends and family say that her spirit has been boosted by the apparent divine intervention.

‘Both of her legs are very damaged,’ Lentz’s friend Amanda Wiseman said.

‘Her wrist is broken, several broken ribs, so she’s had a lot of broken bones to deal with.’


Chief Raymond Reed said rescue crews were struggling to cut through the strong metal of Lentz’s Mercedes.

‘It was a very well-built car, and when you compact materials like that one, they become even stronger because you’re cutting through multiple things instead of one layer,’ Reed said.

Reed says Lentz was pinned in between the steering wheel and the seat and the prayer was offered just as he was told by the paramedics that Lentz was failing.

‘Where did this guy come from?’ Lentz’s friend Travis Wiseman asked.

‘We’re looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie.’

The driver of the other car in that accident, Aaron Smith, has been charged with a DWI, second degree assault and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway.

There are several Catholic churches in the area to Highway 19 – the nearest being St Paul’s – however, the mystery priest has still not come forward.


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Thanks for that post, George.

  2. I remember from Hegumena Aemiliane’s story how she was saved from a collapse of a building by just such a miracle. She did not recognize who saved her until later when she recognized her spiritual father who live thousands of miles from the accident. You can read about Hegumena Aemiliane’s miracle here:


    God is wonderful in all his works!

    • George Michalopulos says

      I too remember this as well. Isn’t it tragic that the powers-that-be drove Jonah out of office because of his support of people like Mother Aemeliane? Up is down, black is white, good is evil.

      • Thomas Jones says

        ” Isn’t it tragic that the powers-that-be drove Jonah out of office because of his support of people like Mother Aemeliane? ”

        Not true! He wasn’t DRIVEN out of office. + Jonah had his own agenda and was creating his own policy without the consensus of the OCA Synod. He was playing Little Pope. He was warned and eventually it came to a head with his brother bishops. Not support for Mother Aemeliane, but unilateral decisions and policies.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I didn’t say it was just support for Mother Aemeliane, but we can’t discount the furor of the Stokovites at the presence of “the DC Nuns.” (Visions of the Chicago Seven spring to my mind.) Yes, Jonah was “driven” out of office, that’s what a forced resignation following a long conspiracy is.

          But I’ll play your game: what exactly was “his own agenda”? I keep on wanting to find an actual bill of particulars against His Beatitude but so far there haven’t been any. Any truthful ones that is.

  3. Thanks for sharing this story George. I first read about it on Fr. Milovan’s blog Again and Again. On July 27th, Abbot Tryphon wrote about Angels Unawares on his blog The Morning Offering. I love when stuff like this happens. Isn’t it neat when God blesses us with a look through the veil into Heaven? Glory to Him!

  4. M. Stankovich says

    Today marks the 34th anniversary of the falling asleep in the Lord of Archpriest Georges V. Florovsky, arguably the most gifted and insightful Orthodox church historian, patristic scholar, Byzantine & Slavic history scholar, philosopher, and influential theologian and father of our generation and of the 20th century.

    Born in Odessa, Russa in 1893 to an Orthodox priest father and a mother who was a teacher, he was educated at the University of Odessa and said to have had an “encyclopedic mind and memory,” but the ability to “analyze with insight.” He fled Russia with his family to Prague where he completed his advanced education and taught philosophy until he was invited to hold the chair of Patristics at St. Sergius’ Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris in 1926. In 1948, he became the first Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York and simultaneously taught at Union Theological School (which originally housed SVS) and Columbia University. In 1956 he accepted the chair of Eastern Church History at Harvard University, and simultaneously taught at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School in Brookline, Massachusetts until 1964. From 1964 until his repose on August 11,1979, Fr. Georges was Visiting Professor at Princeton University. I have been told by friends who live in Princeton – and perhaps with a certain amount of “apocrypha” – that there are only two people who have literally stopped traffic simply by their appearance: the first was Einstein, and the second was Florovsky.

    While there is no question that Fr. Florovsky dramatically influenced modern church historians and commentators, and that he is nearly single-handedly responsible for what he termed the “new patristic synthesis, that is, one must return to patristic thought for a point of departure,” his influence was accomplished before his major works (e.g. The Eastern Fathers of the Fourth Century, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth to the Eighth Centuries, The Ways of Russian Theology), were ever translated into a Western language! Such was his extraordinary blessing as a scholar and theologian.

    Finally, what is frequently forgotten is that, for as much as Fr. Georges Florovsky was a theologian and father of our generation, he was an Orthodox priest very intimately involved in parish life, who loved the Liturgy, who loved to preach, who loved his role as confessor and pastor as his first calling. He is buried, simply, next to his beloved wife, in the parish cemetery of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Trenton, NJ. May his memory be eternal and may he rest with the saints!

    • Thank you, M. Stankovic for remembering Father Georges.

      I am not sure that he stopped traffic, although he did wear frayed and faded podrashniki. His matushka stopped traffic because she would accompany him on the streets with an atomizer full of holy water that she would spray on anyone she felt might deleteriously affect her dear husband.


      The cemetery is in Hamilton, 296 Hunt Avenue, Hamilton Township, New Jersey, United States : http://goo.gl/maps/SshkE

      picture associated at link above

      He taught at Princeton Seminary, too, running Orthodox graduate seminars there: http://www.princeton.edu/~florov/

      Now, here’s the pity. In all this time (for which check the FBI wanted lists if you want), no one has continued the work of Nordland Publishers which was putting out volumes of Florovsky’s collected works in English. Publication, for obvious reasons, ceased and then began in Europe? Try and find them for sale. Does Vera own part of the copyright? What happens when the works of an author like Florovsky are kept from the hands of the reading public because their translator and publisher is on the lam from the law? What happens with the copyright?

      Collected works published 1972-1979 (vol. 1-5) in Belmont, Mass. by Nordland Pub., and 1987-1989 (vol. 6-14) in Vaduz, Europa by Büchervertriebsanstalt.

      Collected Works. Volume 1: Bible, Church, Tradition
      Collected Works. Volume 2: Christianity and Culture excerpts online
      Collected Works. Volume 3: Creation and Redemption [excerpts online]
      Collected Works. Volume 4: Aspects of Church History excerpts online
      Collected Works. Volume 5: Ways of Russian Theology, Part I
      Collected Works. Volume 6: Ways of Russian Theology, Part II
      Collected Works. Volume 7: Eastern Fathers of the Fourth Century
      Collected Works. Volume 8: Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century
      Collected Works. Volume 9: Byzantine Fathers of the Sixth to Eight Centuries
      Collected Works. Volume 10: Byzantine Ascetic and Spiritual Fathers
      Collected Works. Volume 11: Theology and Literature
      Collected Works. Volume 12: Philosophy
      Collected Works. Volume 13: Ecumenism I: A Doctrinal Approach
      Collected Works. Volume 14: Ecumenism II: An Historical Approach

      • M. Stankovich says

        Miss him,

        How wonderful to see your comments and thank you for the corrections! I saw Fr. Georges several times when the SVS choir visited Trenton, but I never met him. That occurred at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary celebration of SVS – for which I was checking coats because I could not afford a ticket! – when Fr. Georges arrived and was greeted by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. Who would ever have imagined such a reunion! I made it a point to later introduce myself, ask his blessing, and speak with him. I was honoured to be in the choir for the celebration of his 50th year ordination as a priest, and also at his funeral. May his memory be eternal!

        I absolutely agree that the circumstance regarding his translated works is tragic. I cherish my original Nordland copies like gold! I would note that searching the internet often leads to many of the articles, for example, that constitute the Collected Works volumes, as they were originally printed in other publications. Services like Scribd.com frequently have articles for free, & many more with a subscription. In just a quick search, I found The Ways of Russian Theology that can be read in its entirety on-line here. Where there is a demand, there will be a provider. Let us pray that more demand access to this remarkable father of our generation!

        • Dear M. Stankovich,

          Sometimes when I start thinking strongly about people in Orthodoxy I have known in the past, it is because something has happened to them. Please see the following two links (note slight name change by spelling!)


          and please see this blog, just about the time I started thinking about him and his


          • M. Stankovich says

            Miss Him,

            Fortunately, God will not have to read this book to know the truth! Several extraordinary men I have known found themselves deceived by someone they trusted: perhaps, like the tattered podradrznik of Fr. Georges, or the misaligned, chalk-covered podranznik of Fr. John Meyendorff, they were too per-occupied; or perhaps they knew and were attempting to help. We will never know. In the end, it was no reflection on them. The Lord said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jn. 14:27) If justice does not come by way of the Massachusetts State Police – “Where shall I run from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (Ps. 138:7) – there is a Just Judge. We can only pray for him.

  5. I scanned through a book last week concerning the incredible, story of Dan Piper, a Baptist pastor in Texas. He was pronounced dead following a collision between his car and an out of control truck in a remote section of Texas. An hour later another Baptist pastor came upon the scene and offered his services as a minister to the police officer in charge. He was told that there was one dead and two barely injured and that there didn’t seem to be any need for prayer. Meanwhile the newly arrived pastor was getting a message from God to pray for the dead man. His first reaction was that Baptists don’t pray for dead people. But the message was so insistent that he finally asked permission. The officer thought this was a bit strange but finally granted permission. He managed to climb through the back of the hatchback and lay a hand on the driver and began to pray and sing and sob and pray and sing and sob, until suddenly while singing the dead man began to sing along with him.

    God works in amazing ways when we are obedient.

    PS Dan Piper is still going strong today in spite of the many injuries he suffered and so is the prayer, whose name I don’t have at hand. Sorry.

  6. ocha Anthony says

    Maybe the priest was Eastern Orthodox?
    Maybe the priest was Oriental Orthodox?
    What jurisdiction?
    Maybe Western Rite?
    Was he canonical?
    Greek Catholic Uniate?
    Old Calendarist?
    Old Believer?
    Like Believer?
    probably just an angel…..cherubum? Seraphim? ooops, ran out of space.

    • Guy Westover says

      Well if he were Orthodox, he must have been OCA or Antiochian.
      They are the only ones wearing the clerical collar except for the Greeks. The girl was not Greek, therefore it could not have been a Greek priest.
      Lighten up eh….

      What a wonderful sign of God’s presence in this fallen world!
      Glory to God in His Angels and Saints!

  7. Pravoslavnie says

    The Catholic News Agency is reporting that the mystery priest stepped forward today. He is Roman Catholic Fr. Patrick Dowling of the Archdiocese of Jefferson City (Mo.) who was traveling that morning after having served an early mass in a nearby town. I’ve also read that there was another clergyman who prayed with and held the hand of the injured girl even before the police got there. He is a nondenominational minister named Doug Fern from Iowa City, IA. So it seems that when she called out to Jesus in pain and fear, that her prayers were answered twice over. May God continue to protect her.

  8. Nick Katich says

    Much ado but no mystery:


    Gotta love it when people jump to all sorts of conclusion based on insufficient evidence to formulate a valid opinion.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I took the story to say that a Catholic priest came upon the scene, and prayed with the people, and that thereafter the events took place as described by witnesses.

      The only “mystery” was that the priest left and was unknown.

      So what’s “invalid” about that?

    • Dear Nick Katich,

      He seems like a wonderful priest. He stopped to help. He listened. He took a confession and then prayed the rosary. He is in prison ministry and minitry to Spanish speakers. Nice story

  9. M. Stankovich says

    Add this to your collection, “Mystery priest from serious Missouri accident revealed” from CNN.