Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Week Earthquake Miracle

Posted by Tom McFeely

Monday, April 13, 2009 1:09 PM

This is the third instalment of our Easter Monday triumvirate of life-affirming posts.

It’s an account, published last week by The Times of London, of how an Italian doctor was led mysteriously to the precise place where his 20-year-old son lay trapped alive following last week’s devastating earthquake in Italy.

The article, tilted how “Divine intervention helped Antonello Colangeli find his son,” describes the inexplicable series of events that guided Dr. Colangeli to where his beloved only son Giulio lay entombed in the rubble of a building and that resulted in his rescue.

Inexplicable, that is, if you don’t credit the power of prayer and the intervention of a loving God.

“I am a doctor. I am a rational man. But I can only say that all those signs, all those coincidences, that led me to my son, must have been sent from God,” Dr. Colangeli, a lung specialist, told the Times.

When the earthquake struck in the dead of night April 6, Dr. Colangeli didn’t even know exactly where Giulio was staying. But he picked his way through the shattered streets of L’Aguila towards the neighborhood where he thought his son had been.

“As he staggered through the debris, underneath fractured balconies and shards of metal that hung precariously overhead, he made his way with the help of a few strangers in the direction of the block where he thought that his son was staying. He did not know the address, but that did not matter,” the Times reported. “The building was no longer there. In its place were only broken walls and shattered glass.”

“There were lots of mechanical diggers, each moving through the debris very slowly and precisely. I didn’t know what to do,” Dr. Colangeli told the Times. “I saw one of the cave experts, drafted in to help the rescue. I am not a mad man but I swear he appeared as if illuminated by some sort of divine halo. I followed him around the edge of the rubble, shouting, ‘Giulio!’ ‘Giulio!’”

Continued the Times article, “Then, he heard it — “a faint voice, saying ‘Papa, I’m here. I can’t breathe.’”

The miracles didn’t stop there. Immediately after rescuers were able to pull the gravely injured Giulio free, an ambulance came by with room for an additional patient.

Already aboard the ambulance was one of Dr. Colangeli’s own patients, whom he was able to treat as the ambulance sped to a hospital in Rome.

Giulio’s dramatic rescue does not eradicate the tragedy of the earthquake that claimed nearly 300 lives in the L’Aquila region of Italy near Rome.

But it’s a reminder that even in the face of the mystery of deadly natural calamity, the hand of God remains active and visible to those with the eyes of faith.

“Easter, [Dr. Colangeli] noted, was usually when congregations would be read scriptures such as Luke xxiv, 1-12 in anticipation of the Resurrection,” the Times article concludes.

“Searching for Giulio through the rubble that night, I couldn’t help thinking of those words,” Dr. Colangeli said. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's the best story Vincenzo--there are NO coincidences with God!