Some time ago, I called John Canavan about a painting I wanted framed.

Canavan is probably best known for his comedy act, and his auctioneering. He also runs Divine Mercy Publications, which apart from its Divine Mercy apostolate, is also official distributor of several other libraries of devotional literature.

(For example, Canavan organised Immaculée Illibagiza‘s national tour of Australia last year. She is an outstanding speaker, and her testimony is inspiring. Everyone should read her first book at least, Left to Tell.)

My attempts to reach Canavan were unsuccessful, but through a proxy I learned there was some sort of family crisis. I assumed one of the kids, some of whom I catechised, was sick. I offered a mass for the family’s intentions, and kept them in mind for a few weeks, but I must confess I forgot about it soon enough.

The Age reveals the details about “the family crisis,” which was more serious than I realised:

As doctors told John Canavan later, such things are not uncommon among accident patients. It was a voice, speaking to him as he tumbled from a ladder in the roof of his garage: “Don’t hit the concrete.”

It is the last thing Canavan remembers before waking up inside the house about 45 minutes later.

“I don’t know how I got there,” he says, “but I had two holes in my head like My Favourite Martian. They found a big pool of blood on the floor of the garage – and a dent in the car.” Somehow he had avoided a direct hit on the concrete floor.

Pray for his ongoing recovery. He’s a great family man (father of six), who does a lot of good in his professional life too — even though most of his jokes make you groan out loud. In a so-bad-it’s-funny good way, of course!