You’ve probably heard about Missouri’s “angel” priest by now, but here’s a quick reminder (followed by an artist depiction of what he might look like).
On Missouri Highway 19, a girl named Katie Lentz, 19, got into a car crash near a town called Center. She was trapped behind the steering wheel and the seat of her car, and rescue workers were unable to get her out. Roughly an hour later, the conscious Lentz asked someone to pray over her.
Suddenly, this priest appeared out of nowhere wearing clerical garb and carrying anointing oil. He approached the girl and started to pray, just as she asked.
Rescue crews were then able to free her, but before anyone could thank the mysterious priest, he was gone.
Now that right there is enough for some people to say “miracle!” but the story actually gets weirder.
Rescue crews on scene came from three neighboring towns in the small community, and no one had ever seen the priest before. No big deal. But there’s only one Catholic church among those three towns, and the “angel” priest isn’t theirs. Okay, slightly creepy.
Finally, about 70 photographs were taken at the scene and absolutely none of them captured the priest.
Could be a coincidence, but the folks on the scene had little trouble believing that it was a miracle and that the priest was likely an angel.
Now, it’s not like the priest just appeared, worked his Jesus magic, and disappeared. He was actually there. Several people talked to him and he anointed each rescue crew worker in addition to Lentz. Someone described him as having a strange accent, being “dark complected,” and otherwise pretty normal.
The family wants to find him and thank him, and a local biometrics company even composed a composite sketch of him in hopes he’ll be identified.
But he hasn’t come forward himself, and that’s reason enough for the local diocese to not even bother looking for him.
“Out of respect for the privacy of any priest who may have been involved and does not wish to come forward, the Diocese does not plan to further investigate this incident. The Diocese is grateful that a priest was able to exercise his ministry in this manner and requests prayers for healing of the victim, as well as prayers of thanks.” Deacon Dan Joyce said.
Lentz’s friend Travis Wiseman still wants to find him, but admits that in the end, whether he’s supernatural or physical, his identity doesn’t really matter.
“Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie,” he said.
Here’s a sketch of what Missouri’s “angel” priest might look like, courtesy of UPI: