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‘It’s a miracle’: Out-of-control SUV on collision course with elderly priest goes airborne at last second — on feast day celebrating guardian angels

A young man driving an SUV blacked out behind the wheel of his SUV last month, putting him on an intercept course with an elderly priest on his way to Sunday mass. The out-of-control SUV came within striking distance of the priest’s car but was thrown off course at the last second, leaving Father John Bok and his car without a scratch.

‘Thank you Lord’

Fr. John is an 87-year-old Franciscan priest who used to teach physics. On Oct. 2, he got a lesson in metaphysics on his way to celebrate mass at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Milford, Ohio.

The Catholic News Agency reported that around 8:40 a.m., as Fr. John was about to pull into the church parking lot, a17-year-old male driving an SUV nearby suffered a seizure and blacked out.

Unpiloted, the SUV jumped the curb hemming in the next road and sped across a field, careening toward Fr. John’s driver-side door.

Fr. John later noted that the situation was a “win-win,” granted that “heaven is going to be better than here.”

It was not, however, the old priest’s time to meet his maker.

At the last moment, the SUV struck a road sign and an old post and appeared on video to leap into the air above Fr. John’s Hyundai Sonata.

Fr. John told CNA, “I did not know that that car went over top of me because I was looking ahead and it was to my left and above.”

“And out of the corner of my eye I sensed something went by, but I just thought it was a bird or something like that,” he added.

The SUV landed nose-down, rolled off to the side, and soon came to an otherwise uneventful stop.

Fr. John wrote on the Franciscan Friars website, “I was not hurt and my car was not scratched.”

A police officer later notified Fr. John that the young man, Braden Varner, was admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, but was also all right.

Not only was Braden all right, but according to WXIX, he survived with only a “tiny scratch” on his hand.

Braden said it was a “true miracle.”

The 17-year-old had never had a seizure before the October incident, but is now being treated for epilepsy.

Guardian angels

Sunday just happened to be the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, a day when Catholics commemorate those celestial beings that many believe — on the basis of Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament — to be charged with keeping guard over “thee in all thy ways.”

The old priest marveled at the apparent coincidence, saying that the incident made him “reflect often on God’s providence, miracles, guardian angels, and the laws of physics.”

A security camera in the parking lot of a neighboring funeral home captured the incident:


Angels watching over Fr. John

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A member of the family who runs the funeral home showed the video to the priest.

“When I see it, I just scratch my head and say, ‘Thank you, Lord,” said the priest.

When reflecting on the physics behind his spotless brush with death, Fr. John wrote, “According to Google, [my car] is 4.83 feet tall. Why was the pole standing in that exact spot attached to nothing? By what laws of physics did it lift the boy’s car almost 5 feet in the air and send it over my car? So many questions.”

Although he may have to wait some time for conclusive answers to all of his questions, the priest underscored that he is “certainly thankful to God.”