Twice President Reagan faced life-threatening experiences and twice he had encounters with angelic beings who comforted him and helped pull him through his medical crises, says a new book, "Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan," by Mary Beth Brown.
As Reagan was fighting for his life after being shot by John Hinckley March 30, 1981, he was having trouble breathing. His skin had turned so pale, Nancy Reagan remembers, "He was the color of paper – just as white as a sheet, with dried blood around his mouth."
Reagan later recalled looking up from the gurney and praying. Half-conscious, he realized someone was holding his hand.
"It was a soft, feminine hand," he writes in his autobiography, "An American Life." "I felt it come up and touch mine and then hold on tight to it. It gave me a wonderful feeling. Even now I find it difficult to explain how reassuring, how wonderful, it felt."
Despite great efforts to find out who was holding his hand, no one in the hospital could help the president.
Reagan's children believe those mysterious nurses that helped pull their father through this life-threatening ordeal were angels.
"Patty believes they were angels, and so do I," said Michael Reagan, who wrote the foreword to "Hand of Providence."
The president had experienced a similar event when he was critically ill with viral pneumonia many decades before. He had been working on a movie with Shirley Temple when he became gravely sick.
In his autobiographical book, "Where's the Rest of Me?" he described days and nights of shivering with chills and burning with fever. His temperature kept rising, and it was difficult to breathe.
"Finally I decided I'd be more comfortable not breathing," recalled Reagan. "I don't know what time of night it was when I told the nurse I was too tired to breathe. 'Now let it out,' she'd say. 'Come on now, breathe in once more.'"
This went on all night, and Reagan says he decided to keep breathing out of courtesy to the nurse.
Once again, despite his efforts to thank the mysterious nurse, Reagan could never locate her. This led family members to consider other possibilities – such as angelic visitations.
In "Hand of Providence," Brown makes the case that the secret ingredient to Reagan's astonishingly successful presidency, never before explored fully in print, is his deep Christian faith.
Reagan is considered the most popular of modern presidents, according to recent opinion polls. And yet, to most biographers the man is still an enigma.
This is because, as Brown shows, no one has ever focused on the 40th president's faith. "Hand of Providence" explores the life and personality of Ronald Reagan by focusing on his deeply felt Christian beliefs, and showing how it was faith that guided Reagan along his distinguished career and led him to his unprecedented success.
With the support of Ronald Reagan's own words and writings and first-hand interviews of his family, friends, and co-workers, Brown weaves a magnificent story of Reagan's strong devotion to God. It is a story that will not only inspire Christians to enter public service and allow their faith to motivate all their actions, but also, according to the publisher's description, "help point others to the Cross of Jesus Christ – a cause that was near and dear to President Ronald Reagan's heart."
After the assassination attempt on his life in 1981, Reagan said publicly that the rest of his life belonged to God.
"Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan" by Mary Beth Brown is now available from the source, WorldNetDaily.