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Emergency in Warsaw

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A Boeing 767 that took off from Newark, N.J., on Tuesday, Nov. 1, was forced to make an emergency landing in Warsaw, Poland, after its landing gear failed to deploy. None of the 230 people on board was injured.

The following was compiled from a report made by Trwam Polish TV network and by commentary from a reader named Iskra — both of which were translated from Polish by Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC, the Provincial Superior for Marians' United States and Argentina province.

Noting that among the airplane's cargo was a relic of Blessed John Paul II, Fr. Kaz says of the incident, "It fills my heart with a deep gratitude for it gives witness to God's providential love and mercy and Blessed John Paul II's intercessory prayer."

Trwam offers the following interview:

Father Peter Chyla, a curial member of the Polish Province of Redemptorists and a passenger on the Boeing aircraft that made the emergency landing at the Warsaw airport, had with him a relic of Blessed John Paul II.

"I am not saying that we survived unharmed on account of John Paul II's intercession," Fr. Peter said, "but I prayed and sought his intercession for this grace. I also absolved all the passengers twice, including a few seconds before the plane touched the ground. It was emotionally an overwhelming event. What's most important is what took place in the hearts and minds of the people who had to deal with this impending event. I cannot express my profound appreciation for the pilot and the crew of that Boeing aircraft.

"About 40 minutes before the landing the captain announced to the passengers that it will be an emergency landing due to technical reasons. For several minutes I felt helpless. I tried to control my emotions and clung to the Lord. There was no panic among the passengers, all including mothers with children remained calm. It was amazing. At the very moment of landing, there was only a terrifying silence. When the plane touched the ground, we expected an impact with a corresponding noise. But the plane touched the ground, as if on a sponge. Someone shouted that we managed to get the landing gear down. It turned out that was not the case. Then what followed was a very efficient evacuation."

The report noted that Nov. 1 — observed by the Catholic Church as the Solemnity of All Saints — is also the anniversary of the priestly ordination of Karol Wojtyla, later known worldwide as Pope John Paul II, who was beatified May 1.

A reader named Iskra added a striking commentary that echoes the sentiments of the heart of men and women of faith:

To land without landing gear, with relics of Blessed John Paul II on board, on the Solemnity of All Saints and on the anniversary of his priestly ordination (how to read this!). It's not normal for the runways to be covered with a sponge-like lining, therefore, any contact of the body of the aircraft with the hard surface of the runway will produce consequences dictated by the laws of physics, thus indicating a very different, drastic or tragic conclusion. Yet laws of nature here did not dictate the outcome. According to the laws of nature, destruction and death should have followed. Yet destruction and death did not prevail. Human life triumphed. 230 new graves did not need digging, nor 230 new candles lighting. The light of our merciful God has shown us the glory with which He surrounded his servant John Paul II. Through trusting prayer and John Paul's intercession, the inevitable tragedy of our nation was avoided.

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Helen - Nov 12, 2011

Thank you Lord for your boundless mercy, for overcoming the laws of physics, and producing an astonishing miracle. Thank you, John Paul II!

Jpd - Nov 4, 2011

What was amazing was when Fr.Peter said. "But the plane touched the ground, as if on a sponge." Its like an act of grace comming from the Lord, surrounded that plane--for the passengers to be safe. "Beyond the laws of physics" SUPER OUTSTANDING AND AMAZING what God did. Just imagine guys how wonderful this is--like heavenly clouds surrounding that plane. Not just that--the soul(John Paul II) is still being a humbly servent in heaven. Which they're some people who discourage saints--this can be a wonderful proof what the Lord did--around the relic of a saint. PRAISE THE LORD!

WichitaCatholic - Nov 4, 2011

I'm sure John Paul the Great provided some intercession. Thank God, too, for the rest of the aircraft that was so sturdily built and the skill of the pilots.

Joseph - Nov 4, 2011

For this the Glory and Honour is His alone, the Divine Mercy. Saint Faustyna asked the Lord to bless Poland and he did and this is the fruit of that blessing and it will remain with the land for eternity. LOT, ABRAHAM are great names in the Old testament.

jml - Nov 4, 2011

OH!As Our Blessed Mother loved Bl Pope John Paul II on earth,it comes to me that She also was covering everyone with her loving mantel as She did her beloved son on the day he was shot and asked graces from Her son Our Lord Jesus to spare every life on that plane.
YES! I do believe that through the intercession to BL. Pope John Paul II to Our Blessed Mother, She interceded to Her son Jesus Our Lord to spare all of the lives on the plane. It was HIS Hand which guided the plane safely!
Thank you Lord, Momma Mary, and Bl Pope John Paul II.

Fr. Dante - Nov 3, 2011

Doy gracias a Dios por el regalo enorme de Juan Pablo II. Gracias laos Marianos por compartir esta noticia con el mundo entero.

Faith - Nov 3, 2011

The landing of this plane with no functioning landing gear and with everyone safe and no injuries or deaths was not "luck" or "coincidence"---it was Divine Intervention!! Thank you, Jesus!!