Touched by an Angel

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Season 4, Ep 12, Aired 12/21/97
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  • Episode Description
  • When Joey breaks the Christmas angel while he and Wayne decorate the Christmas tree, Wayne leaves him alone to monitor the turkey while he goes out into the snow to buy a new angel. As the storm causes the lights to go out, Monica arrives to console Joey by telling him the story of the Christmas she spent with Mark Twain in 1909. Monica begins, explaining how Twain returned on Christmas eve after a long absence to find his beloved daughter Jean, his housekeeper Katy Leary, a townswoman, Mrs. Allen with her daughter Helen. Immediately prior to Twain's arrival, Jean shows the others her Christmas gift to her father, a copy of a lost verse from her father's favorite Longfellow poem. When he arrives, Jean hurriedly hides the scroll on the tree. Mrs. Allen and her daughter Helen then leave, Twain comments that such sweetness is the stuff of Heaven. Twain reflects on the deaths of his wife, daughter and infant son and says he is too old to be cheered up. Back in the present, Edna arrives to use Joey's phone but the lines are dead. As Wayne's truck swerves off the road, Monica resumes the story with the death of Jean on Christmas Eve. While attempting to console Mr. Twain, Monica is lambasted and told to leave. In the present, Tess arrives with the sheriff who tells Joey that they found Wayne's truck but not Wayne and Joey becomes more worried. Shortly thereafter, Andrew enters and Monica continues the story. Monica is sent back to Twain by God and prays for help. At that very moment Sam arrives and approaches Twain but is soon thrown out as he topples the tree. As Joey sits listening to the story, he is now convinced that Wayne is dead and topples his own tree. Monica then manages to calm Joey down for long enough to hear the end of her story. She continues with the young girl, Helen returning to present the scroll that was to be Jean's surprise gift. As Helen finishes reading the known verse, Twain reads the lost verse. "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail. With peace on earth goodwill to men. This restores Twain's faith and, in the present, Joey echoes his sentiment singing "Peace on Earth." As Joey sings, Wayne arrives and all join in and sing around the restored Christmas tree.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Roma Downey


  • John Dye

    Andrew (Episode 23-9)

  • Della Reese


  • Valerie Bertinelli

    Gloria (8-9)

  • Ken LaZebnik

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Monica: (to Joey) That is God's gift to you and to everyone at Christmas. Fear not, live in peace.

    Notes (2)

    • Guest stars John Cullum and Helena Carroll had previously appeared together in the off-Broadway play "Three Hand Reel" and the Broadway revival and national tour of "Private Lives" (starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton).

    • Guest star John Cullum, who plays an aged Mark Twain in this episode, played a middle-aged Tom Sawyer, opposite George C. Scott's Huck Finn, in the two-character Broadway play "The Boys in Autumn" in 1986.

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