There would be no need for God to save anyone by baptism of blood (or “baptism of desire”), since He can keep any sincere souls alive until they are baptized, as we saw with the case of St. Alban and the converted guard. St. Martin of Tours brought back to life a catechumen who had died so that he could baptize him. St. Joan of Arc brought back to life a dead infant so that she could baptize him. There were many similar miracles. One striking example is said to have occurred in the life of St. Peter himself. While he was chained to a pillar in the Mamertine prison in Rome, he baptized two of his guards, Processus and Martinian, with water which miraculously sprang up from the ground within hands distance from St. Peter. These guards were also jailed with St. Peter and were to undergo execution the next day because they were converts. Their desire for baptism (baptism of desire) and their martyrdom for the faith (baptism of blood) weren’t going to be enough. They needed to be baptized with “water and the Holy Ghost” (Jn. 3:5). And God saw that they truly desired the Sacrament, so He provided it miraculously.
History also records that St. Patrick – who himself raised over 40 people from the dead – raised a number of people from the dead specifically in order to baptize them, something which was totally unnecessary if one can be saved without baptism. As one scholar notes,
“In all, St. Patrick brought to life some forty infidels in Ireland, one of whom was King Echu… On raising him from the dead, St. Patrick instructed and baptized him, asking what he had seen of the other world. King Echu told how he had actually beheld the throne prepared for him in Heaven because of his life of being open to the grace of Almighty God, but that he was not allowed to enter precisely because he was as yet unbaptized. After receiving the sacraments… (he) died instantly and went to his reward.”
The same scholar further notes:
“Many such saints have been recorded as resurrecting grown-ups specifically and exclusively for the Sacrament of Baptism, including St. Peter Claver, St. Winifred of Wales, St. Julian of Mans, St. Eleutherius, and others. But even more have raised up little infants for the sacrament of salvation: St. Gregory Nazianz… St. Hilary… St. Elizabeth… St. Colette… St. Frances of Rome… St. Joan of Arc… St. Philip Neri… St. Francis Xavier… St. Gildas… St. Gerard Majella… to name a few.”
One of the more interesting cases is the story of Augustina, the slave girl, which is related in the life of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary in 17th century Colombia.
“When Father Claver arrived at her deathbed, Augustina lay cold to the touch, her body already being prepared for burial. He prayed at her bedside for one hour, when suddenly the woman sat up, vomited a pool of blood, and declared upon being questioned by those in attendance: ‘I have come from journeying along a long road. After I had gone a long way down it, I met a white man of great beauty who stood before me and said: Stop! You can go no further.’… On hearing this, Father Claver cleared the room and prepared to hear her Confession, thinking she was in need of absolution for some sin she may have forgotten. But in the course of the ritual, St. Peter Claver was inspired to realize that she had never been baptized. He cut short her confession and declined to give her absolution, calling instead for water with which to baptize her. Augustina’s master insisted that she could not possibly need baptism since she had been in his employ for twenty years and had never failed to go to Mass, Confession, and Communion all that time. Nevertheless, Father Claver insisted on baptizing her, after which Augustina died again joyfully and peacefully in the presence of the whole family.”
The great “Apostle of the Rocky Mountains,” Fr. Pierre De Smet, who was the extraordinary missionary to the American Indians in the 19th century, was also a witness – as were his fellow Jesuit missionaries – of many people coming to baptism under miraculous circumstances.
Fr. De Smet, Dec. 18, 1839: “I have often remarked that many of the children seem to await baptism before winging their flight to heaven, for they die almost immediately after receiving the sacrament.” 
Fr. De Smet, Dec. 9, 1845: “… over a hundred children and eleven old people were baptized. Many of the latter [the old people], who were carried on buffalo hides, seemed only to await this grace before going to rest in the bosom of God.”
On this point the reader will also want to look at the section on St. Isaac Jogues and St. Francis Xavier later in this document.
In the life of the extraordinary Irish missionary St. Columbanus (+ 543-615 A.D.), we read of a similar story of God’s providence getting all good willed souls to baptism.
“[Columbanus said]: ‘My sons, today you will see an ancient Pictish chief, who has faithfully kept the precepts of the Natural Law all his life, arrive on this island; he comes to be baptized and to die.’ Immediately, a boat was seen to approach with a feeble old man seated in the prow who was recognized as chief of one of the neighboring tribes. Two of his companions brought him before the missionary, to whose words he listened attentively. The old man asked to be baptized, and immediately thereafter breathed out his last breath and was buried on the very spot.”
Father Point, S.J. was a fellow Jesuit Missionary to the Indians with Fr. De Smet in the 19th century. He tells a very interesting story about the miraculous resuscitation for Baptism of a person who had been instructed in the Faith but apparently died without receiving the sacrament.
Father Point, S.J., quoted in The Life of Fr. De Smet, pp. 165-166: “One morning, upon leaving the church I met an Indian woman, who said: ‘So-and-so is not well.’ She [the person who was not well] was not yet a catechumen and I said I would go to see her. An hour later the same person [who came and told him the person is not well], who was her sister, came to me saying she was dead. I ran to the tent, hoping she might be mistaken, and found a crowd of relatives around the bed, repeating, ‘She is dead – she has not breathed for some time.’ To assure myself, I leaned over the body; there was no sign of life. I reproved these excellent people for not telling me at once of the gravity of the situation, adding, ‘May God forgive me!’ Then, rather impatiently, I said, ‘Pray!’ and all fell on their knees and prayed devoutly.
“I again leaned over the supposed corpse and said, ‘The Black Robe is here: do you wish him to baptize you?’ At the word baptism I saw a slight tremor of the lower lip; then both lips moved, making me certain that she understood. She had already been instructed, so I at once baptized her, and she rose from her bier, making the sign of the cross. Today she is out hunting and is fully persuaded that she died at the time I have recounted.”
This is another example of a person who had already been instructed in the Faith but had to be miraculously resuscitated specifically for the Sacrament of Baptism, and the miraculous resuscitation occurred at the moment that the priest pronounced the word “Baptism.”
In the life of St. Francis De Sales we also find a child miraculously raised from the dead specifically for the Sacrament of Baptism.
“A baby, the child of a Protestant mother, had died without Baptism. St. Francis had gone to speak to the mother about Catholic doctrine, and prayed that the child would be restored to life long enough to receive Baptism. His prayer was granted, and the whole family became Catholic.”
St. Francis De Sales himself summed up the beautifully simple truth on this issue in the following manner, when he was discoursing against the Protestant heretics.
St. Francis De Sales (Doctor of the Church), The Catholic Controversy, c. 1602, pp. 156-157: “The way in which one deduces an article of faith is this: the Word of God is infallible; the Word of God declares that Baptism is necessary for salvation; therefore Baptism is necessary for salvation.”
Here is another description of an infant child who died without the Sacrament of Baptism and was raised from the dead through the intercession of St. Stephen.
“At Uzale, a woman had an infant son… Unfortunately, he died before they had time to baptize him. His mother was overwhelmed with grief, more for his being deprived of Life Eternal than because he was dead to her. Full of confidence, she took the dead child and publicly carried him to the Church of St. Stephen, the first martyr. There she commenced to pray for the son she had just lost. Her son moved, uttered a cry, and was suddenly restored to life. She immediately brought him to the priests; and, after receiving the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, he died anew.”
In the Acts of the Apostles alone we find three miraculous interventions involving Baptism – Cornelius the Centurion, the Eunuch of Candace, and Saul of Tarsus. And in each case not only is God’s Providence evident, but the individuals involved are obliged to be baptized with water even though their intention to do the will of God is clear.
The fact is that God will keep any sincere soul alive until Baptism; He is Almighty and He has decreed that no one enters heaven without Baptism.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican I, ex cathedra: “God protects and governs by His providence all things which He has created, ‘reaching from end to end mightily and ordering all things sweetly’...”
In fact, the first infallible definition stating that the elect see the Beatific Vision immediately after death was from Pope Benedict XII in Benedictus Deus. It is interesting to examine what he infallibly declares about the saints and martyrs who went to Heaven.
Pope Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus, 1336, ex cathedra, on the souls of the just receiving the Beatific Vision: “By this edict which will prevail forever, with apostolic authority we declare… the holy apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, virgins, and the other faithful who died after the holy baptism of Christ had been received by them, in whom there was nothing to be purged… and the souls of children departing before the use of free will, reborn and baptized in the same baptism of Christ, when all have been baptized… have been, are, and will be in heaven…”
In defining that the elect (including the martyrs) in whom nothing is to be purged are in heaven, Pope Benedict XII mentions three times that they have been baptized. Obviously, no apostle, martyr, confessor or virgin could receive the Beatific Vision without having received Baptism according to this infallible dogmatic definition.
 Fr. Jean-Marc Rulleau, Baptism of Desire, Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 1999, p. 36; Sulpicius Severus, Life of St. Martin, 7, 1-7.
 Father Albert J. Herbert, Raised From The Dead, Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1986, footnote adjacent to p. 93.
 Michael Malone, The Only-Begotten, p. 384.
 Michael Malone, The Only-Begotten, p. 385.
 Michael Malone, The Only-Begotten, p. 386.
 Fr. E. Laveille, S.J., The Life of Fr. De Smet, Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 2000, p. 93.
 Fr. E. Laveille, S.J., The Life of Fr. De Smet, p. 172.
 Quoted by Michael Malone, The Only-Begotten, p. 364; Malone is quoting The Catechist, by Rev. Canon Howe, cf. 9th ed., London: Burns, Oates, and Washbourne, 1922, vol. 1, p. 63.
 Fr. E. Laveille, S.J., The Life of Fr. De Smet, pp. 165-166, footnote 7.
 Introduction to The Catholic Controversy by St. Francis De Sales, Tan Books, 1989, p. lv.
 St. Francis De Sales, The Catholic Controversy, pp. 156-157.
 Quoted by Michael Malone, The Only-Begotten, p. 386; taken from Rev. Canon Howe, The Catechist, London: Burns, Oates, and Washbourne, Tenth Edition, 1922, Vol. 2, cf. pp. 596-597.
 Denzinger 1784.
 Denzinger 530
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