The identity of the mysterious priest who appeared at a car crash scene and disappeared has been revealed.
The Catholic priest has been identified as the Rev. Patrick Dowling, who has been a priest since 1982.
Dowling wrote in a comment on a story that he was the man who prayed for car crash victim on August 4 while emergency workers tried to free her from the scene.
In the comment which has since been deleted, Dowling wrote: "I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently."
The story of the 'vanishing priest' had gone viral after rescue workers and the family of the car crash victim could not identify him and his photo was not in any of the 69 shots taken that day.
According to CNN, the priest said he told a deputy at the scene who he was before he left and that he takes no credit for saving Lentz's life.
The diocese of Jefferson City confirmed that Dowling was the priest at the scene in a press release. "Fr. Dowling said that he is pleased that he was able to help by performing his ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident.
Dowling currently works in a prison ministry and with Spanish-speaking parishioners.
Dowling had been dubbed the mysterious "angel priest" after he appeared at a car crash scene in eastern Missouri on Sunday and prayed at the scene before vanishing without a trace.
Rescue workers arrived at the scene to see car crash victim Katie Lentz, 19, who was still conscious. However, her vital signs were quickly dropping as they attempted to remove her from the car. They had no choice but to attempt to flip the car over to get her out. But a move that could be life-threatening and the woman asked for someone to pray with her.
According to rescue workers, a mysterious priest suddenly appeared and said, "I will." He then prayed with Lentz and the rescue workers, sprinkling the victim with oil.
Afterwards, the car was turned over and Lentz was freed from the wreckage.
However, when Raymond Reed, the fire chief of New London, and the other rescue workers tried to find the priest to thank him for his prayer, he had disappeared from the scene.
Read Dowling's full comment he wrote below:
I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff's permission and approached the scene of the accident.
I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy.
I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff's request, gave me Katie's name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital -- I assumed she would be taken to Columbia.
I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.