During World War Two, my best friend was a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber. He was about 18 years old.
On one particular mission, their airplane got shot full of holes and they lost two engines.
Because of the loss of power, they could not keep up with the rest of the bomber formation, so they dropped out.
They were sitting ducks for German fighters.
My friend was sitting in the tiny tail gunner’s compartment. It was super noisy. It was freezing cold. And my friend was scared to death.
All of a sudden, a calmness came over him and he knew everything would be alright.
Well, they limped all across Germany, and France and made it back to England.
45 Years Later, at a reunion, my friend asked the pilot of the B-17 bomber if he recalled that particular mission … and he talked about the feeling of calmness.
The pilot said, … that he did remember that mission and that feeling of calmness that came over him as well.
The pilot said … “that was when the Blessed Mother appeared to me in the cockpit.”
So, my friend, although a relatively non-religious protestant, witnessed an apparition of the Blessed Mother.
The pilot received Holy Communion daily and , after the war, visited Lourdes many times.