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John Paul Crucifix falls, killing man: Tragic accident an odd twist of fate?

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A freak accident killed a man when a crucifix dedicated to the former Pope John Paul II toppled over and crushed the man to death. This 98-foot crucifix started to splinter and then cracked before coming down, just a few days before the former pope is due to be canonized as a saint, according to the Daily Beast on April 25.

Adding to this tragic twist of fate, the man who was killed lived on a street that was named after Pope John XXIII. This pope is also scheduled to be canonized at the same time as John Paul II. While it is probably nothing more than pure coincidence, the connections are uncanny.

The 98-foot crucifix was made from wood and concrete and it was erected in the village of Cevo, near Brescia. In 1998 this was dedicated to Pope John Paul II when he visited the village.

According to the Raw Story, the crucifix fell over and instantly crushed the Italian man to death during a ceremony celebrating the canonization ahead of the event. No one can say why this crucifix started to tumble over at the time that it did.

AFP News via Yahoo reports that the sound of the crucifix splintering and cracking before it fell sent a group of boys running away from the crucifix as it started to tumble over. Cevo Mayor Silvio Citroni said it was an “inexplicable tragedy.” The young man who was crushed by the falling cross went the wrong way, he ran in the direction that the cross eventually fell.

The man was 20 or 21, report the local authorities. The crucifix was sculpted by artist Enrico Job and was dedicated to Pope John Paul II when he visited Northern Italy and came through the village in 1998. The 98-foot high crucifix weighs about 1,300-lbs and its unusual shape was the sculptor’s perception of how he wanted of the scars of World War II represented on the crucifix.

The mammoth crucifix was tightly secured to the ground with cables and sat on a hill overlooking a picturesque spot. What caused the sudden toppling of the statue is apparently a mystery today.