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Observations placeholder

The nuns who halted the train at the Catona Bridge, Italy



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 1


Camille Flammarion himself suggests that a 'telepathic influence' occurred which left the seminarist's mind and produced a visual hallucination in the engineer's

A description of the experience

Death and its Mystery, At the Moment of Death; Manifestations and Apparitions of the Dying – Camille Flammarion
Source: Mattino of Naples April 22nd 1906 Reggio correspondent [Calabria]

The other day at the central station of Reggio, a young seminarist boarded the Regio-Battipaglia-Naples express, which leaves here at 5.55 and took his seat in a compartment in which was the comptroller in chief of the road Signore Dominic Fischetti.

When the train had started, Signore Fischetti asked the seminarist what his destination might be.  The latter answered that he had to go to Catona, to be present at the festival of Saint Francis.  The comptroller then gave the future priest to understand that he had made a great mistake, for the train in which he was did not stop at Catona and in order to get off at that place he should have taken the other rain which leaves Reggio at 6:17.

One may imagine the grief and disappointment of the seminarist!  He began to work himself up, to ask for help, to pray to the Holy Virgin, with tears in his eyes; when his travelling companion confirmed what he had already said, he threatened to throw himself out of the door if the train did not stop at Catona.

All this time the train continued on its way.  When they had got to the bridge, which is reached before Catona station, they heard the repeated whistling of the locomotive and immediately afterward, the emergency whistle.  The train began to slacken speed then finally stopped.

What then happened?

The seminarist, full of joy, triumphant almost, threw himself from the railway carriage, crying out that Saint Francis had just worked a miracle in his favour.

The travellers on the train learned from the engineer, a certain Signore Tricepi, that the halt was due to the presence of a nun, clothed in white and two other women, in the middle of the track, despite the whistling of the locomotive they had not stirred.

The passengers got off to see them, but saw no one save the seminarist, running towards the station as fast as his legs could carry him.

Signore Fischetti, astounded, told what the young man had said, to the stupefaction of those who heard him; the engineer, in the most explicit way, gave assurance of having seen the three women on the track, motionless, immovable.

Then since no explanation of this strange fact could be given, talk of a miracle began.  As documentary proof, the train’s extraordinary stop upon the Catona bridge is entered according to regulations on the daily record

The source of the experience

Other religious person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Extreme emotion