War Vet Said 'Voice' Came To Him During Fatima 'Sign' And Later Saved Him In War
There are heroes and then there is Joseph Febo.
He was a hero in war. He is a hero to his family, which suffers from a range of maladies (for which we ask prayers).
He is a hero to the Marian movement, rescuing the only book of Catholic mystic Maria Esperanza some years back and making possible a revised edition.
A New Jersey financial adviser, he is also a lesson in the supernatural -- the mystical touch that, as one authority recently lamented, is missing from the modern Church, to its detriment.
That's because, as Febo reveals, it was a series of supernatural encounters by way of an alleged voice that led him through life and saved him during some of mankind's most horrific battles.
"The voice has spoken to me fifteen or twenty times in my life," says Febo, now 81 and recently awarded a flag and medal from a brigadier general.
The first, he asserts, was as a boy of 13 -- on the evening of January 24-25 in 1938, when, along with his father and a neighbor, he watched in awe as northern lights lit up the sky above New York -- later said by Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima to have been the "great sign" presaging military conflict.
"I thought it was from God," says Febo, who now supports Catholic causes. "I heard a voice in my head say that it meant 'there will be a war' and 'you will be shipped overseas.'"
That didn't make any sense to a teenager, but indeed Joe would later find himself at boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia -- from which he went to the 84th Infantry Division and was shipped overseas in 1944, first to France, then to Germany, and finally to Belgium at the tender age of 19.
As a sergeant, pointed out one recent article about him, Febo was assigned the task of crossing front lines before a battle to direct mortar fire at enemy machine gunners.
In one battle near Geilenkirchen, "heavy fighting" meant sixty percent casualties in the first wave of U.S. troops, forty percent in the second, and only three of more than thirty tanks reaching their objective.
We get the point: Joe Febo saw action and intense action.
Once, in heavy fog, the soldiers slept in a barn -- only to awaken the next morning to see that Germans were sleeping at the other end.
On Christmas night of 1944, Febo was sent to mine a road in a foot of snow and escaped death only by playing dead in a German fox hole that was filled with ice water. Lost for nearly a week, his feet turned blue and he was reported to his parents as "missing in action."
He saw daily combat during the "Battle of the Bulge." And he limps today due, in part, it appears, to old war injuries. After the frostbite, he had been told he would need an amputation (a fate he fortunately avoided).
But let's get back to the heart of this story:
During the famous battle, on December 22, 1944, Febo was in a position on the flat of a mountain with Germans below in a valley. Once more, there was dense fog and they couldn't bomb the enemy positions.
"We went on patrol back of the front lines and on the way back the Germans started shooting 'screaming meemies' at us," he recalls of a Nebelwerfer rocket attack. "It sounded like a man screaming as he jumped from a building.
"The shells landed all around us and many were killed but we managed to get out of the woods. One man cracked. They had to take him to the infirmary. The lieutenant said we needed reinforcements.
"And an hour later, in came 120 British troops who took a position along the edge of the woods, and they had about twenty little cooking fires going with those Bunsen burners. "This shook me up," Febo recounted to Spirit Daily. "I said that the Germans were going to see the fires and shoot those 'screaming meemies' at us.
"The voice spoke to me and said, 'you will have to hide under the tank or you will be killed.'"
It was the same "voice" that had spoken to him years before. It had been right then -- in 1938. He listened to it now. He didn't remember seeing a tank -- but indeed spotted a lightly armored one soon after. He tried to go back but suddenly couldn't move.
"The voice spoke to me again and said, 'Go tell the British to put the fires out or they'll be killed.'"
"I went up to one (group of British) and said they should put the fire out," he recalls. "They said, 'Yank, we're British. It's twelve o'clock and we want to have our tea. Move on.'" That happened at the next fire also. Watching him, some of the Americans laughed. They had warned him that Brits would not listen to an American.
"I didn't care," Febo, who is originally from Trenton, recalls. "I went fifteen or twenty feet and stopped because the voice spoke to me. This time it was outside of me and so loud my body shook. I'm looking around trying to see something!
"Just then a buddy came up to me, Cohen, and thought I was cracking up too. I went back to the first fire and warned them again. They asked how I knew there were tanks and I said a voice told me. The British laughed and one of them said, 'Here, you take my tea and give me what you're drinking.'"
Febo headed back for the tank while Cohen tried to convince him that it was only his subconscious speaking.
The tank was about a hundred to 150 feet from the fires. He hid under it. And after ten minutes, a shell exploded over a fire.
When Febo crawled from under the tank and went to that first fire, he noted 12 dead. The rest had scattered. The dead were those he had warned.
"Feeb, how'd you know that was going to happen?" asked the lieutenant.
There would be other times. There was another instance -- the voice warning him to dodge into that fox hole. Are these really voices?
It is a question that haunts the same Maria movement.
Many have likewise ascribed such voice to angels and in some cases Jesus or the Blessed Mother. They are known, of course, as locutions, and when they happen in the ear, they are called "auricular" ones.
Which are real? Which are a trick of the subconscious? Which are demons? Angelic?
Are any truly supernatural?
And the answer, of course, is yes: We know from Scripture that Heaven speaks to us. We know it from the mystics, the saints.
Watch out for the ones that talk at length and come too frequently.
But come they do, at certain times in life -- sometimes as words, usually as the soft touch of intuition.
"You will be shipped overseas." "Run. Time has run out." "Go tell the British to put the fires out or they'll be killed."
When they save your life, you tend to believe them.
[resources: The Bridge to Heaven]
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