In the midst of trials and misfortune, people look and pray to the heavens to ask for help and direction. Answered prayers come in different forms and often without a minute to spare.
Many accounts in the Bible tell of angels appearing in dreams or knocking on the doors of men to warn them of dangers, to guide in their actions, and to bring God’s answer to their prayers.
These winged creatures act as mediators in the role between heaven and earth. The Roman Catholic Church refer to angels as messengers; the gatekeepers, the defenders, and troopers of God against the clutches of Satan and his demons.
It was in the year 1916 when Sister Lucia and her friends in Fatima saw the first angelic apparition on a calm day. At an early age, Lucia and two of her friends were playing when a tree nearby shook violently. The children could see a luminous white presence that appeared from the cloudy mists.
It was an angel.
The deity was a young male who appeared transparent and of incredible magnificence. He guaranteed he was the Angel of Peace and asked them to pray with him. Lucia and her companions kept the story to themselves because, according to her, the incident itself demanded it.
But two years before Sister Lucia’s vision, a mysterious and miraculous apparition appeared to British and German soldiers in the French borders during the first world war, also known as the Great War.
In August 1914, The British and French powers battled the German Deutsches Heer, who outnumbered them three times to one in the Battle of Mons, named after a city in Belgium. The British were forced to retreat not only in light of the overwhelming size of the German Army but also because of the fall back of their Allied French, exposing Britain’s right flank.
However, with certain victory at hand the German army suddenly halted their advance while the British and French troops were in full retreat. Why did this occur?
On April 24, 1915, an account describing visions of specters – angel-like beings and warriors helping the British soldiers during their withdraw in the Battle of Mons was published in the British Spiritualist.
These accounts describe an angelic army that comes to aid of the outnumbered British during the war with German soldiers. And what makes it more interesting is that both sides of the front have stories to tell about strange apparitions. One record from German detainees portrayed the presence of phantoms who resembled bowmen, led by a tall figure on a white steed, encouraging British troops as they assaulted the German trenches.
The British claimed to see supernatural beings flying over the German lines as if to inspire the French and British underdogs which it did. Other accounts insist St. Michael the Archangel (God’s defender), the Virgin Mary, and even the French saint, Joan of Arc, appeared in the battle.
Such an occasion would have raised British and French soldiers’ confidence and spirit since it would suggest God was their ally. But were there really heavenly angels during the Battle of Mons?
The YouTube link below around the 5:00 minuet mark provides an account of the Angles in the Battle of Mons, strange and unbelievable as it may seem. The video describes the barrage of heavenly cavalry warriors dressed in white, who stampeded the German armies. The German forces reportably abandoned their weapons – panic-stricken fleeing in fear and terror.
The Great War had its devastating consequences for fighters who were at the forefronts of battle. Before PTSD, (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), the expression “shell shock” portrayed those who experienced combat stress. Shell-shocked soldiers were vulnerable and displayed unstable behaviors. They were terrified, panicky, unfit to talk, walk, rest, and their reasoning declined.
Fighters on the front experienced pitiful conditions. They had no bed to sleep on, only mud, by a trench filled with decaying bodies. Exhaustion from battle and the absence of rest incurred significant physical and mental damage on the weary fighters. Because of this, hallucinations were common among these men. Were such visions merely hallucinations born out of the misery of war?
Or was this story propaganda to boost the spirits of the troops and the general population? It is a fact the Allied forces endured heavy losses during the early course of the war. An account of divine intervention would have encouraged the masses and general well-being despite the horor of war. Arthur Machen who was a Welsh essayist published his story, “Bowmen” in a London daily paper on September 29, 1914. When readers asked for bits of proof, he maintained that the story was purely imaginary.
Others say even alleged eyewitness accounts are from different obscure sources. The years have gone by now without modern scientific studies.We may never know what exactly flew over the skies of Mons Belgium during the first war of August 1914. But it is captivating to consider angels crusading for justice in the heat of battle.
Regardless of whether it is valid, the narrative of the heavenly apparitions seen in the Battle of Mons brings one to contemplate the struggles we deal with each day. We, too, have demons to face in this modern world.
We can only wonder if Angels are real and if they are, are they watching over us?
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