I think it is safe to say that for most Christians around the world there would have been a question that we would have liked to be answered. Yet for all the hours and hours of news coverage, this simple question was never asked, discussed or even hinted at. The question? Did faith in God play a role in the survival of the 33. Someone sent me a reference to an article that addressed this issue. Fr. Alfredo Cooper, the chaplain to the Chilean president reports that Chile has been “gripped by spiritual fervour in the aftermath of the miners’ rescue”. He continues: "Many (of the trapped miners) were Catholics, but many went down without any faith at all, many were nominal in their faith. And they all say this: ‘We were not 33, we were 34 because Jesus Christ was with us down there.’ …They had been praying daily for deliverance so they will testify had it not been for God we would not be here.” The priest goes on to say that, “..faith and prayer were central to how President Pinera handled the crisis. "When they first vanished, we didn’t know whether they were alive or dead. So outside of the mine the role of faith and prayer was central. The President called for an emergency prayer meeting. We prayed in the presidential palace. We left their photos on the altar in the chapel in the palace. That prayer meeting was attended by all the ministers and two weeks later they were found."
(The picture shows Chilean President Pinera at a prayer service for trapped Chilean miners. There is a picture of a saint, probably Saint Lawrence because he is shown wearing a dalmatic, holding a palm and a grill, which are the symbol usually associated with the martyr deacon. I do not know why, of all saints, his picture is here. )