Spirit Daily


Asbestos Expert Who Was Electrocuted Says He Has Since Seen 'Jesus' And Saints

By Michael H. Brown

He was an asbestos removal worker, a foreman, Frank Kelly. He lives near Boston and was working at the New England Medical Center pulling insulation in a crawl space when he touched an exposed clot of wires and all the electricity of the hospital coursed -- slammed -- through his body.

It was 1985. For all purposes, Frank Kelly "died." He didn't see a tunnel or a light. He saw nothing. He recalls nothing. It's what happened afterwards.

"My right wrist went into the electrical for the entire hospital and it came out my hips, my calves, and my feet," he says. "I'm not sure, but they told me it seemed to go through me again and basically I was left to die."

Rushed for emergency treatment, the medical personnel thought of putting Kelly on ice to bring down his temperature, but they were afraid of shock and unable to do much of anything. They didn't believe he could survive anything like that anyway. But in the middle of it all, when they thought he was gone, Kelly's body suddenly popped up as newly dead bodies are wont to do and the doctor tried to push him back down. The physician didn't realize that Kelly was alive until he started to talk -- asking to go to the bathroom. "The doctor said that to them, I was better off dead, because now they wouldn't be able to explain what happened!" he says.

He was always a religious man, Kelly, even devout, a daily communicant at Catholic Mass, with a knowledge of the saints -- including recently canonized St. Padre Pio. And the asbestos worker had always come through close calls. He had once fallen 46 feet and walked away from that. He survived a severe car accident -- dragged by an automobile. But now, in the wake of the electrocution, his heart was stopping and he needed a pacemaker.

The idea of an operation, any operation, terrified Kelly and he wanted nothing to do with it. As a child, one of 12, he had been told about Padre Pio -- the stigmatic priest from the barren, wind-swept gargano of eastern Italy -- and had always remembered a Scripture passage about "signs and wonders."

"I prayed for his intercession to help me because of my fear of the operation," Kelly told Spirit Daily. "I had turned to my rosary and that night Padre Pio came into my room. I saw him clear as anything, like I would see you. It was evening, about 6:30 p.m. It was December 18 or 19. When he appeared he said, 'Be at peace, everything will be fine.'

"The fear just left me completely," continues the foreman. "Padre Pio just walked in dressed like I'd always seen him. I was wide awake, sitting up in my bed. The peace that came over me: nobody could give me that kind of peace. He was there a couple minutes. He just stood there and held his two hands out."

Kelly was in shock, but no longer afraid. They did the operation. It was the beginning of many remarkable experiences. "That's when everything opened up," he says. It was like the brush with death had put one of his feet in another realm. He was to see Pio twice more. He was to see saints like St. Jerome. He was to see St. Benedict Joseph Laboure. He saw the Blessed Mother once, he asserts. His prayer life "went off the scale." He was suffering rheumatoid arthritis -- during the electrocution, every joint felt like it had burned -- and at the same time trying to kick an intractable nicotine habit.

That was when -- allegedly -- Jesus appeared.

"My son was living with me, and I was getting these 'neon signs' that told me to stop smoking," says Frank, who now lives in Marshfield. "I was warned about cigarettes but one night went out to get some for the morning and came back home and lit up a cigarette and Jesus appeared. He said, 'From now on, you'll never smoke again.'"

We leave this all for your discernment. Did Christ actually appear to this injured worker? Did St. Pio? And Mary? Or was it all the result of the trauma?

This we know: Frank Kelly never did smoke after that. He claims that Christ told him it was in answer to his son Joseph's prayers. At the time Kelly was 38. "[Jesus] told me, 'In the morning, tell Joseph to do what he wants to do.' Then He said, 'From now on, I take over.' He was very masculine and powerful. I had no question Who it was."

Kelly claims the apparition most closely resembled classic depictions of the Sacred Heart -- and a painting that hangs in the Franciscan "Grotto of the Milk" in Bethlehem [left]. When Kelly repeated the words to Joseph the next day, his son took the cigarettes and destroyed every one of them. It was the end of the addiction.

Kelly now conducts healing services and has appeared on the Monday night Spirit Daily broadcast hosted by Dom Lettieri. "The main message is to keep His commandments, live His beatitudes in the love and tradition of the Church," says Kelly. "Right now we're abandoning the commandments, the teachings of the Church, but I also see a bright light coming, especially with newer bishops. I see a bright light coming in the bishops, especially in this country. We missed the mark. A lot of time when we pray for peace we pray for an end of wars. I say pray for peace in the home and then you will end the wars outside."

April 2004

[resources: Padre Pio, Man of Hope, Padre Pio's Words of Hope, and I Ask St. Philomena]

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