Alleged thief Carlos Alonso sliced himself on a sword wielded by St. Michael the Archangel, prompting witnesses to call for help.
Call it holy retribution. While trying to steal a statue of St. Michael the Archangel from a Mexican church, a drunken thief tripped and seriously injured himself on the statue’s sword.
“That happened to him for doing bad things,” a neighboring shop owner told ABC Noticias. “Saint Michael is for protection, to combat evil. I think that’s why that happened to him.”
As the Catholic News Agency reported, 32-year-old Carlos Alonso snuck into the Christ the King Parish in Monterrey, Mexico, early in the morning on Jan. 14. He jumped a fence, broke a window, and tried to flee with a statue of St. Michael, the archangel tasked with defending the heavenly host.
But Alonso, who was drunk, bungled the robbery. As he tried to carry the statue out of the church, the thief tripped and inadvertently sliced his neck on St. Michael’s sword. ABC Noticias reports that the stunned and bleeding would-be-robber then crashed through a glass door.
Fortunately, Alonso appeared to have a sympathetic guardian angel. As he lay bleeding on the ground, a couple of people walking by noticed that he was hurt. They called for help, and the Monterrey Civil Protection rushed to the scene. They took the thief to a hospital and managed to save his life.
The statue of St. Michael, the Catholic News Agency reports, was unharmed.
Though the church’s priest, Father Benito Ramírez Márquez, seemed uninterested in talking to the media about the failed heist, nearby shop owners told reporters that St. Michael’s ability to “defend” himself and the church against the would-be thief was unsurprising.
St. Michael “is the great protector,” a shop owner named Cony who sells religious objects told ABC Noticias. “In the articles that we sell, he is included here, and he is a protector of homes.”
As the Christian Post notes, St. Michael appears frequently in the Bible, especially in the context of war. He appears in passages about the endtimes, and his name means “Who is like God” in Hebrew. He’s usually depicted wielding a sword, often while defeating the devil.
“Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven,” Revelation 12:7-8 reads.
Locals additionally noted that the church has been the site of “miracles” before. According to ABC Noticias, a baby boy was left on the church steps in 2017 and rescued by a sacristan; today, he’s a healthy five-year-old. Three years later, in 2020, police officers were also able to convince a man not to take his own life by jumping from the church bell tower.
Indeed, perhaps other would-be thieves should take note. Across the entrance of the Christ the King Parish are inscribed the Latin words: “Terribilis est locus iste hic domus dei est et porta coeli” — or, “This is a place that commands respect, this is the house of God and the gate of heaven.”
After reading about the thief who cut himself on the sword of a statue he was trying to steal, discover the stories of some more successful heists, like the Australian jewel thief who stole a Versace necklace using a fishing rod, or the thieves who managed to steal $12 million worth of art from Oxford during the COVID-19 lockdowns.