By Michael H. Brown
Angelic Encounters: Readers Recount Experiences With ‘Mysterious Strangers’
Some years ago I was writing a book called The Trumpet of Gabriel about angels and prophecy and in the course of researching that book came across many who believe they’ve encountered angels. Their descriptions were astonishing in both their lucidity and consistency. In case after case the angels came as “mysterious strangers” who appeared out of nowhere to help, often looked unusually young for their age, smiled unforgettable smiles, and usually had unforgettable eyes.
Many of us have had such experiences. I wrote about my own (a mysterious older woman in Manhattan). We received quite a few e-mails after that story, from people who’ve had similar encounters — and once more they fit with the classic descriptions. Old or young, there is an ineffably different quality about these strangers, and they come at the most urgent times. Take it from one woman named Peggy who wrote from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “When I was pregnant with my first child and working as a reporter at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, I doubled over on the street with cramps after an incredibly long and tiring four days,” she wrote. “A taxi pulled up beside me and out of nowhere a man approached me and said, ‘I am a gynecologist and you are in labor’ and he put me in the cab that had pulled up and instructed the driver to take me to the emergency room. They saved my pregnancy and my son’s life.”
An angel? Or a doctor sent by an angel? They come when they are called, as Monica Snow of Altamonte Springs, Florida, will attest. This happened when she and her family lived in Upstate New York near Binghamton. “One day while sitting watching TV, I had just taken down old curtains the day before, and I noticed fire on the screen,” she says.
“We had an old barn out back somewhat by the side of our house. When I realized what it was I jumped up and looked out the window only to see a towering inferno. I screamed to my sister, who was upstairs, to get out of the house and asked her to grab the children, who were outside playing, while I called 911. We ran next door to my sister-in-law’s house and I remember asking the warrior angels, which I had read about in The Trumpet of Gabriel, to please protect my house and not to let the fire touch the side of my house. I had also had my home enthroned with the Sacred Heart of Jesus many years before. My sister kept trying to get into her car, which was close to the fire, but every time she tried it was too hot to get close enough to get in the car. Next she ran over to the house. On the other side was a hose and she wanted to hose down the side of the house that the fire was close to but it was too hot and she couldn’t get close enough. Finally out of nowhere appeared this old man with white hair but who had a very young face with blue eyes. She said that when he spoke, he spoke in a very low voice which she could hear but that when she spoke she had to yell over the roar of the fire.
“He took the hose and walked over to the side of the house (which she could not walk to) and started to hose it down. Later after everything had calmed down I went over to the side of the house to see the damage. To my surprise near the bushes about 12 inches from the house was a straight black line where for some reason the fire had stopped. There was no damage to the house except for some of the paint had pealed from the heat of the fire.”
We heard the same from a nurse, Olivia Smith of Petrolia, Pennsylvania, who invoked the angels when she had to rush from taking care of one patient to helping another. “I petitioned my guardian angel to stay and keep watch over [the first] patient,” noted Olivia, afraid that while she was out of the room the restless patient, who was not in full command of her senses, would climb out of bed. “This dear old woman refused to eat and could not understand the danger of casting her legs over the side rails. Very shortly afterwards, this kind older lady came to my patient’s bedside. She was feeding my patient and the woman was eating. What a surprise. She visited with the patient for four hours! And when she left my patient had a peace and contentment and joy on her face that was hard to comprehend.”
Another older woman was involved in a case reported by a correspondent named Rita. “A few years ago, coming out of morning Mass, my daughter and I saw this very old lady standing in the parking lot, as if looking around for someone,” she told us. “I approached her and ask her if she was waiting for someone to pick her up. She had a very thick accent and the most beautiful old face. She smiled and ask if we were going near the Welfare office. I asked her if that’s where she wanted to go and she answered yes. She was dressed something like my grandmother would have dressed in the 40’s, not richly but clean and had a strange strange beauty in her smile. We said we would take her there. She got in the car, sat in the back seat… and as we are not in the habit of picking up strangers, I turned around to look at her as my daughter drove. She looked directly in my eyes and said: ‘Do you know what my name is?’ I answered ‘No’ and she said, ‘Fiona.’ And then she said, ‘Do you know what that means?’ When I answered ‘no’ she said, ‘light,’ and when she said that I felt as if something absolutely unearthly was about to happen. Such a feeling of light flooded over me and suddenly the thought occurred that this was my guardian angel. Just at that moment we arrived at the Welfare office. She opened the door, got out, moved very lightly for such an old woman. She put her hand on my shoulder through the open window and said to me: ‘God will bless you greatly.’ When I turned to look at my daughter she was looking at me and when we looked back to say something more to the woman, she was gone, just simply gone. We just sat there in shock. There was no way the woman could have vanished into thin air. It took us all morning to get over the feeling she had left us with.”
Some say it’s strange; that it’s impossible to tell their age; that the “strangers” seem both young and old at the same time. One angelic “person” appeared out of nowhere to encourage Dianne Duffin of Sciate, Massachusetts (who was in near despair over slow business). Somehow he knew her name — and said, “Diane, just remember that good things happen to good people” (when she got back to her office, there was a message that resulted in her first piece of business in five months!).
In Malaysia a correspondent named Edith was also blessed by an unusual “beggar” woman while a writer named Joni from New York told us how an unusual young boy appeared out of nowhere at her side as she was walking a crowded sidewalk in Manhattan and lifted her mood in a miraculous way after she suffered a miscarriage.
Another woman writes of a “bum” who appeared at a McDonald’s as she and her family were at the drive-in. At first they closed the windows but then called the man back and gave him money and that’s when they noticed his incredible eyes — just before he too vanished inexplicably.
Nancy McKinnon from Toronto remembers an incredible beggar who came to her family’s door for food and then vanished. When they looked out, they saw seven footprints that then just stopped in the snow — leading to nowhere!
Another, Rose Walters of Bartlett, Illinois, writes about a terrible accident in which she was hit by a drunken driver, surviving in a way that seemed miraculous. “When I got out of my car a man dressed in a clean crisp white shirt appeared from nowhere,” she testifies. “He embraced me and told me that I must keep thanking God. After the police left and I was just about to leave, he hugged me and put a piece of paper in my hand, and said, ‘Here is my phone number. Call me and I will pray with you.’ When a few days went by and I looked at the paper, his name was Isiaha. I called the number but there was no one there by that name.”
And then there’s Julie Ash of Great Falls, Montana. “In 1995 I was walking in downtown Cleveland, searching desperately for work in a strange city, broke and miserable. Suddenly an ordinary-looking woman in a conservative skirt and blouse came out of a coffee shop and asked me if I had any money. I told her I wished I did, but I that I was unemployed. She said her name was Jean, that she was on her way to the cathedral, and that she would pray for me to get a job. I thanked her and started to walk away, but she spoke again. ‘I would shake hands with you, but my hands are dirty,’ she said. Then, she lifted her hand up, palm towards me, as if in blessing — but her hand wasn’t dirty at all. In fact, it was as white as snow. I will never forget it. I felt I had been blessed by an angel, maybe even my own guardian angel. It wasn’t long afterwards that I did find work. But the job wasn’t as important as the sense that in my darkest hour, God’s angels were there by my side, watching over me and helping me when I needed it the most.” Amen!