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Your Stories of Holy Objects Surviving Storms, Fires, and Floods

Feb 09, 2017 By Gretchen Filz

I once posted an article from Aleteia.org on The Catholic Company Facebook page about a fire on a military base in Spain that charred everything except for a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary standing in what was the garden - including the flower vases that were next to it - "as if the flames had respected the space around the statue." It's hard to look at the photo and deny that God's providence was involved.

Statue of the Virgin Mary is Left Miraculously Intact After Fire. @JMZavalaOficial

The above photo was widely shared on social media at the time it happened. We received over 800 comments on our Facebook post, many of them from our followers sharing their own similar experiences with holy objects miraculously surviving accidents and natural disasters.

Some comments were so fascinating that I am resharing them below.


 

OUR FOLLOWERS SHARE THEIR STORIES

 

"My brother had his house burn and the only thing that did not turn to ash or melt was the wood cross from the top of our Father's casket. It had been blessed. Even being cherry wood it was made by Catholic monks and it was the only thing left hanging on the wall undamaged."

 

"Here in Atlanta during the tornado the hit the Dunwoody area in 1997 (?). Our friends had their yard and house tore up with trees etc... Their statue of Mary stood upright without one mark on it... It still gives me chills thinking about the image of all the devastation that looked like a war zone... And there stood Our Blessed Mother."

 

"The same thing happened after Katrina in Pass Christian...the church was washed away and all that was left was the statue of the Blessed Virgin and the crucifix."

 

"When my aunt lost everything in Chalmette during Katrina, everything was wiped out, gone, except the frame of her brick house and the Mother sitting upright right by the door. There were plants and other objects there, unmounted, and there She was; regal in all Her Glory!!"

 

"My mother's house burnt to the ground, we only could find a complete ceramic nativity set & a statue of the Infant of Prague all in tact. EVERYTHING else was ashes."

 

"We had a fire in 1985 ... Everything charred - the crucifix and rosaries hanging on the wall were not touched... God was truly in our home that day."

 

"I remember back in the early 60's when a co-worker's roof was blown off during a hurricane (in Kenmore, NY), and the only thing left standing in the house, on top of a dresser (in one of the bedrooms) was a statue of the Virgin Mary. Truly a miracle!"

 

"I live in Michigan and no matter how much winter/storm wind we have, Mary never moves. In the winter, no matter how much snow we get, there's always a 6 inch perimeter around Her where there is no snow. Even Mother Nature knows to respect our Mother Mary."

 

"Palm Sunday tornado, April 11, 1965.  St. Mary on the Lake Catholic Church."

Palm Sunday tornado left Mary Statue untouched

 

"When my hometown was burned to the ground by the Japanese during WW2, our house was the only one kept unscathed because a wooden image of the head of Jesus Christ was left in my grandma's altar in her bedroom! The statue was originally from Spain and has always been miraculous when we had it."

 

"Our friends were in a car accident (no one was hurt). All the windows in the van were shattered except for one. It was the one that had a holy card of the Blessed Mother propped up in it!"

 

"I am not surprised at this. My husband commissioned a local artist to do an oil painting of my favorite holy card of Our Lady of Lourdes. The artist's studio burned in a fire. One of the only things to survive the fire was the holy card."

 

"This also happened during the devastation of Katrina in New Orleans and through out the Gulf Coast. Churches and homes were destroyed but the statue of Our Lady was left standing and undamaged. St. Clare's parish in Waveland, Miss. is a good example of this."

 

Our Lady was left standing and undamaged after Hurricane Katrina. St. Clare's parish in Waveland, Miss

 

"Here at Hampton Beach, 8 or so years ago a whole block burned down. Mrs. Mitchells was one of the stores that burned to the ground. The only thing that was left was a Statue of St. Patrick. The Mitchells were great supporters of our beautiful beach church, St. Patrick's, which is 101 years old now."

 

"This reminds me of something I saw with my own eyes after Katrina We went to a friends house she lived in Chalmette. Her house was a total wreck Inside it looked like someone filled it with mud and water then shook it up Everything was piled almost to the ceiling She said she only wanted to find a statue of Mary that had belonged to her grandmother Bill climbed over debris to the room she had left it in He came back carrying the statue that he found standing in the middle of the room Perfectly standing perfectly clean and intact."

 

"After Hurricane Katrina at my house in Diberville, MS, my house had filled with 8 feet of water. All my furniture had been pulled out of the rooms and all washed into the front living room sideways, upside down including my refrigerator. But my 2 foot statue of our Blessed Mother was standing exactly in place on a wooden TV stand along with the 2 plants I kept along side her in the corner of the living room. I knew right when I saw her she was with us (and still is)."

 

"On the Island of Gozo during WW2 during a service at a Catholic Church the Germans dropped a 500 pound bomb which we straight through the roof and landed in front of the altar through an act of God it did not explode it is still there today in a glass case."

 

"My parents had a house fire and the statue and the wooden table my grandfather built with the statue on it did not burn nor were charred or blackened.... the power of Mary for sure."

 

"I remember when I return home in August 2005 after hurricane Katrina hit... My house was destroyed and everything was washed away except for my statue of Virgin Mary stood at the same spot in front of my yard and didn't even move."

 

"There was a huge grass fire near the UMary campus in Bismarck, ND last spring. The monastery's cemetery where the sisters are buried was left unscathed!"

UMary grass fire, cemetary of nuns left untouched.

 

"A fire was set by a teenager at St. Mary's church in Bangor, ME many years ago & the crucifix was about all that was left. It now stands in the new church on outer Ohio St."

 

"When Hurricane Katrina hit my home in St. Bernard Parish everything was gone. Literally....my car was in a tree next door. I lost 2 homes. But the Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my garden was untouched. No trees were standing, my yard was a mess, but there she was, standing strong and tall. God wanted her to stay and remind us all of his unfailing Love."

 

"Same here in our islands during a tsunami every thing was all damaged except the statue of Mary and the Cross of Jesus ...God bless us all."

 

"Yep, when I was 2 our house burned down, (spring 1958) my brother and father were badly burned. They had never treated anyone with such severe burns before. They learned a lot from treating him and were able to save many children in the fire of Our Ladof the Angels School fire in Chicago. Of all our belongings, the only things not damaged were the Family Bible, a Crucifix and a wall picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

 

"Huge tree limb SPLINTERED over Mary grotto during Hurricane Ike, leaving her untouched...with perfectly aligned and matched pieces on either side."

 

"Not surprised, after our house fire the only thing left in my sons room was his alter boy cassock. Not one speck of dirt."

 

"I've heard that many firemen have found Bibles fully intact inside charred homes as well. Fascinating!"

 

"The same thing happened at St John the Evangelist in Philly in 1898. The pictures in the Philly Newspaper back then looked just like this."

 

"When we were able to return to our New Orleans home many weeks after Katrina's flood waters had receded, the first thing I found was a very small statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal that I kept on a windowsill in my kitchen. The house had been inundated with 8 feet of flood waters and was completely devastated. Yet this statue of Our Lady still resided in exactly the same place as she did before the storm. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen."

 

"Also in Rockaway, Queens, after Sandy's flooding and then horrific fire, this grotto still stood among the ruins."

Queens Fire Sandy Mary Statue Still Standing

 

"The last big earthquake in Los Angeles, all the knick knacks and pictures on my aunt's walls fell except the Mary statuette and saint pictures!"

 

"One of the only things that was left worth salvaging in my husband's home after Katrina was a crucifix. It hangs above our bedroom door."

 

"It reminds me of the Oakland fire, a white house is spared from burning because the owner of the house pour the water from Lourdes of France around the house."

 

"This happened to my cousin also when a wild fire destroyed his home in Arizona. His statue was not damaged either."

 

"After Hurricane Katrina at my house in Diberville, MS, my house had filled with 8 feet of water. All my furniture had been pulled out of the rooms and all washed into the front living room sideways, upside down including my refrigerator. But my 2 foot statue of our Blessed Mother was standing exactly in place on a wooden TV stand along with the 2 plants I kept along side her in the corner of the living room. I knew right when I saw her she was with us (and still is)."


 

These stories are a testament to the fact that sacramentals (statues, crucifixes, icons, and other material objects representing our Catholic faith) are truly "sacred signs instituted by the Church to prepare us to receive the fruit of the sacraments and to sanctify different circumstances of our lives" (CCC 1677). They are spiritually powerful when they carry the blessing of a Catholic priest.

Sacramentals matter, and they serve a very important purpose to strengthen our faith, to invite us into prayer, and to deepen our relationship with God. I hope that reading these stories will encourage you to keep blessed objects in your home, your car, and any other place where you and your family members spend a significant amount of time.

Do you have more stories and photos to add? Please share in the comments below!

Reader Stories of Holy Objects Surviving Storms, Fires, and Floods

This article has been updated and was originally published in August 2015. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved.

Comments

Carol
Carol says
Aug 31 2017 10:09PM
IN 2016 we had a lightning strike outside mycomputer room window. It left a 2 ft. Hole I n the ground, threw dirt clear over the house onto the deck by the living room door. It knocked my centennial picture off the wall, knocked it out of the frame but left the frame on the wall. It knocked a statue of Emmet the clown off a shelf onto the floor breaking his arm. But on the window sill I had a glass cross that was still in place and not broken. The jolt felt like a bomb going off and it blew out the TV and every telephone and light bulbs everywhere in the house and traveled through wires to the yard light and bulbs clear out in the barn. We never heard of lightening striking the ground before. It traveled underground to the landline box attached to outside of the house. The electrician said it was the aluminum siding that saved the house from catching fire. I think the glass cross had a lot to do with that idea.
Timothy Strongreen
Timothy Strongreen says
Feb 26 2017 11:02AM
During Hurricane Sandy the same thing happened in our yard. We live in Breezy Point and during the flood everything in our yard was destroyed and washed away. Except for the statue of the Blessed Mother she never moved or was damaged still in same place today!
Maria
Maria says
Feb 10 2017 7:54PM
Hi, my name is Maria. Like many people I've had a rough life, am a cancer survivor, diabetic and was brought to the us when I was just a child to keep me away from my biological mother. My faith is what has kept me grounded, that and the blessing that I saw with my very eyes coming from a frame that was hanging on a wall of the image of Sacred Heart Of Jesus. Till this day I still remember what I saw. I know I'm am loved, he has proven over and over again.....
Augustine Kastherody
Augustine Kastherody says
Feb 10 2017 2:08AM
Amazing and very touching ,God never and will never fail His children.Let us just look back in History what wonder God did to His children to those who fear and love Him.

Our father in faith Abraham trusted God even went out the way to offer his son ,God is always faithful to what He promised.Mother Mary humbleness to submit herself to God will "Behold handmaid of the Lord be it done unto me according to your Word." Only that it is already showing great desire and be a perfect adorer of the Three Holy Trinity.

Let us not be afraid to ask our mother Mary for intercession for she is the mother of our Lord and God. God favored her and we need just to love her.
Mary
Mary says
Feb 10 2017 1:51AM
When I was a little girl our house was hit by lighting. We were playing with the statues my mom had on a altar she had set up on our porch. It hit right by where we were playing. But the glass on the window melted but non of us was harmed and the house had little damage the fireman said technically the house should have caught on fire. We believe because we were playing church that we were all okay.
Judy Shadburn
Judy Shadburn says
Feb 9 2017 8:52PM
During Hurricane Bob, I went around my apartment with a blessed palm burning saying the Hail Mary. My neighbors laughed at me for doing so. We lived in a six tenement house all on the same electricity. All the lights went out except mine. They didn't laugh anymore.
LaVerne Books
LaVerne Books says
Feb 9 2017 2:18PM
A fire broke out in my daughter's bed room during the night. My husband and I managed to get the fire contained in that room before the fire department got there. On the wall was the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a rosary. The curtains right next to the picture and rosary were burnt. In the light of the next morning, there was the picture of Christ and upon removing the rosary from the wall, a black sooty image of the whole rosary was imprinted on the wall. Unfortunately, the wall was painted over but I took pictures of that image.
Ronda
Ronda says
Aug 17 2016 8:45PM
I had a dear friend who served on the destroyer USS Herbert C. Jones in WWII. At the website Haze Gray and Underway, there is a photograph the ship photographer took as they all followed special forces up the Italian peninsula. It is a church that has been totally destroyed by bullets and shells but the tabernacle and crucifix are untouched.
Elremg
Elremg says
Jun 13 2016 7:43PM
When the centuries old (16th century) church was destroyed by the earthquake in Bohol Island in 2013; the only remaining standing was the image of Our Lady of Lourdes. The whole church just fell into shambles of bricks and sand, but the Statue remained unscathed.
J Bedel
J Bedel says
Apr 26 2016 1:35AM
St Annes church in Hamburg, Indiana has been destroyed twice. Once by fire, then by a tornado in 1974. The only thing to survive both catastrophes was a statue of the Blessed Virgin.
Bernadette M. Dakay
Bernadette M. Dakay says
Apr 24 2016 11:57PM
Bohol, Philippines 2013, a powerful 7.2 earthquake hit after the strongest storm ever recorded in world history hit a few months prior .80% of Bohol's Spanish built churches , some 500 yrs old, were leveled to the ground due to the earthquake. In one of these churches, the statue of the Blessed Mother Mary stood firm and intact amidst the rubble.
Marisa
Marisa says
Aug 31 2015 8:22PM
About 17 years ago we had a cottage at the river in our town in Pennsylvania. We had picnic's , and went boating and water skiing. My 24 year old son was swimming in the river and when he got out of the river his gold crucifix and gold chain were gone. He never took it off and had it for many years. Needless to say he was very upset. Towards the end of summer that year we were hit very quickly with remnants of a hurricane moving into our area. We scrambled in torrential rains and winds to remove all the boats from the raging river. It was very scary. No loss of life or property which we were very thankful for. The following summer around July my son was swimming in the river on a beautiful sunny day. While standing on the boat dock , just the way the sun was hitting the water he saw something glimmering about 10 feet under water on roots from a tree. He dove in to see what it was. And hanging on those roots, fully intact was his gold chain and crucifix! We just couldn't believe after almost 1 year , a raging river and a hard winter that he found his cross. How it was not swept away we will never know! He still wears that cross and only takes it off when swimming! God is amazing!
Loretta Prince
Loretta Prince says
Aug 31 2015 6:29PM
Easter Sunday night of 2009 we lost our home to an arson fire in Huntland, TN. There were several things which amazed us after we were allowed to return and gather what we could. Two images of Our Lady of Guadalupe survive with no ash or burn marks. One of these was a pillow with the holy image on it although other items of clothes either burn or had heavy ash damage. But the one to really get our attention was a crucifix we had hanging in the dining room. It had been on my mom's coffin. The cross bent under the heat but the body of Christ didn't bend at all. The main fire was on the second floor and it was like Christ was holding back the fire to allow us to get out. Also a body of holy water recently discovered from that event in a box we hadn't sorted was still full, over 6 years later.

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Gretchen Filz Gretchen Filz

Gretchen is a Lay Dominican with a passion for fostering an increase in Catholic faith and devotion through content writing and journalism. She works as a digital content writer, creator, and marketer for The Catholic Company. In addition to blogging at GetFed.com, she is also editor of the MorningOffering.com daily devotional email and author at GoodCatholic.com. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics and converted to the Catholic Church in 2011. She is also active in R.C.I.A., pro-life work, and various faith-based web projects.

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