Praise the Lord!
The Diocese of Lafayette in the U.S. state of Louisiana has shared an amazing story on their Facebook page. Last Saturday, a massive fire broke out last weekend at Zoosiana, a zoo in Acadiana, Louisiana. Despite the fire being huge and causing lots of damage to the zoo’s facilities, no animals were injured, and the zoo’s owner credits it all to… St. Francis of Assisi.
“The fire was enormous,” the diocese’s post reads. “The flames rose three stories high. It was so hot, the concrete slab started to explode.”
The zoo’s owner George Oldenburg, who is Catholic, says his “windows were glowing orange” with flames when he woke up Saturday night. The fire was only a few feet from the giraffe and monkey areas, and he was most worried about their safety.
“They’re trapped in enclosures,” he told the diocese. “I was prepared to start releasing them. I’d rather see them run free than have a death like that. I was ready to drive my truck through the fence to release them.”
Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. Firefighters were able to successfully contain the fire. Amazingly, even though the zoo’s train depot was completely destroyed, no animals were injured at all.
It was the next day on Sunday, when the owner was looking through the wreckage that something caught his eye: an unscathed statue of St. Francis of Assisi.
“I got goosebumps when I saw it. I mean, it’s unbelievable! The Holy Spirit was here protecting my animals, that’s for sure. […]
“I believe I had a miracle. It’s been so dry around here. It would have been easy for the fire to engulf the whole zoo. We’re surrounded by bamboo and wooden walkways. It’s a miracle it didn’t all go up. Why the flames stopped right there, I think it’s because of St. Francis. He was protecting the animals.”
You can read the full story in the original Facebook post below:
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
[See also: 12 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About the Great St. Francis of Assisi]
[See also: The Mystery of the Hidden Tomb of St. Francis of Assisi]