Episode 7: The Miracle of Hiroshima

Did I Blow Your Mind?
Average Time to Read: 4 minutes

Note: By now, you have surely heard of my new project, inspired by Jesuit Fr. Spitzer of bringing to light some of the most extensively studied miracles of the Catholic faith. It is my hope that you will share these stories with others (especially with those who believe that faith has no place in this scientific age of wonder. Well, these miracles have continued to defy science and I hope that, in addition to having them blow your mind, they will also strengthen your faith.

Episode 7: The Miracle of Hiroshima

“In the final stages of World War II, at about 8:15 AM of August 6, 1945, an American Boeing B-29 Super-fortress bomber christened Enola Gay, dropped the first atomic bomb in history over Hiroshima in Japan. The atomic blast generated an unimaginable ground heat of 6,000° C (10,832° F) and a tremendous wind at the sonic speed of 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles) per second. Everything within a two-kilometer (1.2-mile) radius of the hypocenter was annihilated, instantly killing 140,000 people. Concrete buildings collapsed to pieces and broken glass flew as far as 16 kilometers (9.94 miles) away. The atomic radiation generated by the bomb was so unbelievably strong that many of those outside of the range who were exposed to it lost all bodily functions, their cells underwent apoptosis – a kind of cellular suicide, and died within days. Between the blast itself, the resulting fires throughout the city and the radiation burns, some estimate that 200,000 citizens of Hiroshima lost their lives.

Yet, in the midst of burned bodies, charred skeletons, and structural damage, just eight blocks from ground zero (exactly 1 kilometer or 6/10 of a mile), a two story Catholic presbytery miraculously remained intact… When an investigation was made, it was discovered that there survived a community of eight German Jesuit priests who were all found unscathed, with only a few minor injuries.” (Catholic Herald). Among the survivors were Jesuit priests named Hugo Lassalle, Hubert Schiffer, Wilhelm Kleinsorge, Paul Ruge and Hubert Cieslik.

Father Hubert Schiffer who headed the community was…30 years old when the atomic bomb exploded at Hiroshima and lived another 33 years in good health to tell the miracle. The same is said of the other seven priests of the community. Aside from some slight surface abrasions or scratches, they all lived out their days in full health with no radiation sickness, no loss of hearing, or any other visible long term defects or cancer from radiation. Father Schiffer was thoroughly examined and questioned by more than 200 scientists who were unable to explain how he and his companions had survived the atomic blast. He attributed the miracle to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He declared: “I was in the middle of the atomic explosion and I am still here alive and well. I was not struck down by its destruction.” Furthermore, for several years hundreds of experts and investigators continued to study and investigate the scientific reasons as to why the presbytery house was not affected, and when asked, Father Schiffer remarked each time: “We believe that we survived because we were living the Message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary daily in that home.”

To put into proper scientific perspective just how bewildering this survival tale is, consider the expert testimony of Dr. Stephen Rinehart, a nuclear physicist with the U.S. Department of Defense. He said, ‘Their residence should…have been utterly destroyed (temp; 2000 F and air blast pressures; 100 psi)…Unreinforced masonry or brick walls (representative of commercial construction) are destroyed at 3 psi, which will also cause car damage and burst windows. At 10 psi, a human will experience severe lung and heart damage, burst eardrums and at 20 psi your limbs can be blown off. Your head will be blown off by 40 psi and no residential or unreinforced commercial construction would be left standing. At 80 psi even reinforced concrete is heavily damaged and no human would be alive because your skull would be crushed. All the cotton clothes would be on fire at 350 F (probably at 275 F) and your lungs would be inoperative within a minute breathing air (even for a few seconds) at these temperatures.’

[The expected outcome described by this expert, in fact, perfectly describes what occurred in the area immediately surrounding the Jesuit rectory. One of the survivors, Paul Ruge, said years later in his recollection of the event that after the nuclear blast occurred], “He opened his eyes and found himself laying on the ground. He looked around and there was NOTHING in any direction: the railroad station and buildings in all directions were leveled to the ground. The only physical harm to himself was that he could feel a few pieces of glass in the back of his neck. As far as he could tell, there was nothing else physically wrong”…’There are no physical laws to explain why the Jesuits were untouched in the Hiroshima air blast…All who were at this range from the epicenter should have received enough radiation to be dead within at most a matter of minutes if nothing else happened to them. There is no known way to design a uranium-235 atomic bomb, which could leave such a large discrete area intact while destroying everything around it immediately outside the fireball . . .”From a scientific viewpoint, what happened to those Jesuits at Hiroshima still defies all human logic from the laws of physics as understood today (or at any time in the future). It must be concluded that some other (external) force was present whose power and/or capability to transform energy and matter as it relates to humans is beyond current comprehension.” (EWTN)

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