Father Pio's Miracles

 

                

It is very difficult to define the word "miracle". Miracles could be considered expressions of the supernatural. Also, we can say that a miracle is a phenomenon in which the heart obeys an interior force: the will of God!

Padre Pio's life was full of miracles, but the nature of the miracles was always divine. For this reason, Padre Pio invited people to thank God, the only source of miracles.

 

One miracle that has been identified as Padre Pio's first miracle occurred in 1908. At that time he lived in the monastery of Montefusco. One day he gathered chestnuts growing in a nearby forest into a bag and sent the bag to Pietrelcina to his aunt Daria. She always had a great affection for him. The woman received and ate the chestnuts.  She saved the bag as a souvenir. A few days later she was looking for something in a drawer where her husband usually kept the gun powder. It was in the evening so she used a candle to light up the room when suddenly the drawer caught on fire, and aunt Daria’s face got burned. After a moment, she took the bag father Pio sent and put it on her face. Immediately, her pain disappeared and no wound or burn mark remained on her face.

 

During the Second World War, in Italy, bread was being rationed. Padre Pio’s monastery always had a lot of guests and the poor who begged there for food. One day the Friars went to the refectory and realized that the basket only had about two pounds of bread. They prayed and sat down before starting to eat. Padre Pio went into the church, and a while later when he came back he was holding a pile of bread in his hands. The Superior asked Padre Pio: "Where did you get all these loaves of bread?" Padre Pio answered: "A pilgrim at the door gave them to me".  Nobody commented, but everybody thought that only Padre Pio could meet such a pilgrim.

 

Once in the monastery of Padre Pio, a friar forgot to consecrate the Hosts for Holy Communion. There were only a few Hosts available. But after confessions when Padre Pio started to distribute Hosts to the people, many Hosts remained at the end of the service, more than had been consecrated before.

 

A spiritual daughter of Padre Pio was reading a letter from him on the side of a road. The wind blew the letter away, blowing it downhill to a meadow. The letter flew far, far away from the woman, and then suddenly it stopped flying and settled on a stone. In this way the woman got her letter back. The day after, she met Padre Pio who told her: "You have to pay attention to the wind next time. If I hadn't put my foot on the letter it would have flown far away into the valley".

 

Mrs. Cleonice, who was a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio, said: “During the Second World War my nephew was a prisoner. We had not received news for a year, and everybody believed he was dead. His parents were very worried about his life. His mother went one day to Padre Pio and knelt down in front of the friar who was in the confessional: “Please, tell me if my son is alive. I won’t go away if you don’t tell me!”  Padre Pio sympathized with her, and some tears were on his face when he said: “Stand up and go in peace.”  Some days later, I couldn’t resist the thought of pain that the parents were enduring, so I decided to ask Padre Pio for a miracle. I faithfully said: “Father I’m going to write a letter to my nephew Giovannino. I will write his name only on the envelope because we do not know where he is. You and your Guardian Angel will take the letter to him where he is.” - Padre Pio didn’t answer, so I wrote the letter.  In the evening I put it on my bedside table before getting into bed. The morning after, to my great surprise, astonishment and fear, I found that the letter was not there anymore. I went in thanksgiving to Padre Pio and he told me: “Give your thanks to Our Lady.” Almost fifteen days later our nephew sent us a response to the letter. Then everybody in our family was happy and giving thanks both to God and Padre Pio.”

 

During the Second World War, Mrs. Luisa’s son was an officer in the Royal British Navy. At that time she prayed every day for her son’s conversion and salvation. One day an English pilgrim arrived to San Giovanni Rotondo, carrying some English newspapers. Luisa wanted to read them. She found a piece of news concerning the sinking of the warship on which her son was stationed. She immediately went crying to Padre Pio, who consoled her: “Who has told you that your son is dead?” In fact, Padre Pio was able to explain to her exactly the name and the address of the hotel where the young officer was staying after he escaped from the shipwreck in the Atlantic.  He was there waiting for a new assignment again. Immediately Luisa sent him a letter, and after a couple of week she received an answer from her son.

 

A woman at San Giovanni Rotondo was such a good person that Padre Pio said it was impossible to find any fault in her soul to forgive. In other words, she lived to go to heaven. At the end of Lent, Paolina felt seriously ill. The doctors said there were no hopes for her. Her husband and her five children went to the convent to pray with Father Pio and ask him to help her. Two of the five children pulled Father Pio’s habit and cried. Father Pio got upset, but he tried to console them and promised to pray for them, nothing else!  Some days later, at the beginning of the Seventh hour, the sainted Padre’s behavior changed. In fact, he asked for Paolina’s healing and told everybody: “She will resuscitate on Easter Day.” But on Good Friday Paolina lost consciousness as she fell into a coma.  On Saturday, after some hours, Paolina finally died. Some of her relatives took her wedding dress in order to put it on her according to an old tradition of the country. Other relatives ran to the convent to ask Padre Pio for a miracle. He answered them: “She will be resuscitated” and he went to the altar for the Holy Mass. When Padre Pio started to sing the Gloria and the sound of the bells announced Christ’s resurrection, Padre Pio’s voice broke off with a sob and his eyes were full of tears. In the same moment, Paolina resuscitated. Without any help she got up from the bed, she knelt down and she prayed for the Creed three times. Then she stood up and smiled. She has recovered...or it should be better to say: “She has resuscitated.“  In fact padre Pio had not said, “she will recover” but “she will resuscitate.” When she was asked what happened during the period when she was dead, she answered: “I went up, went up, went up; when I entered into a great light, I came back.”

 

A woman said:  “My first daughter, who was born in 1953, was rescued by Father Pio when she was eighteen months old. On the morning of January 6, 1955 my husband and I were in church attending the Holy Mass and our daughter was at home with her grandfather. There was an accident: she fell into a tub of boiling hot water. She was burned on her stomach and back. The doctor came in an hour and he said, “take your daughter to a hospital immediately because she could die from her wounds”. For this reason he did not give us any medicine. After the doctor left I started to pray for Father Pio’s help. It was nearly noon. As I was getting myself ready to go to the Hospital, my daughter who was alone in the bedroom called me:  “Mommy, I don’t have a wound anymore!” “Who has taken your wound?” I asked her out of curiosity. She answered: “Father Pio has come. He took my wounds by putting his whole hand on my burn”. Actually there was no sign of burns on my daughter’s body even though the doctor had told me my daughter was going to die.

 

The peasants of San Giovanni Rotondo fondly remember the following event. In spring, the almond trees were blossoming and they were promising a good harvest. But unfortunately millions of voracious caterpillars arrived and devoured the leaves and flowers. They did not spare even the shell. After two days of trying to stop that infestation, the peasants, for whom the almonds were the only economic resource - decided to speak to Father Pio about the problem. Father Pio looked at the trees from the window of the convent and decided to bless them. He put on the sacred vestments and started to pray. When he finished praying he took the holy water and made the sign of the Cross in the air, in the direction of the trees. The next day, the caterpillars had disappeared but the almond trees looked like sticks. It was a disaster: the harvest had been lost. What happened next is incredible! We had the most abundant harvest; a harvest like we had never seen before, but how is it possible that trees without flowers could produce fruits? How was it possible to have fruit from trees that looked like sticks? Scientists have never been able to give any reason for this phenomenon.

 

In the garden of the convent there were trees; cypresses, some fruit and some pine. Especially on summer afternoons, Father Pio used to stay in the shade together with his friends and guests in order to have a little relief from the hot weather. Once when Father Pio was speaking with some people a large number of birds suddenly started to chirp and make noise from the shade of the trees. The birds had composed a symphony.  Father Pio became annoyed with the symphony so, looking at the birds he said: “Keep silent!” At which point, the birds, the crickets and the cicadas fell silent. The people who were in the garden were greatly astonished! In fact Father Pio had spoken to the birds like Saint Francis.

 

A gentleman said:  “My mother came from Foggia and was one of the Father Pio’s first spiritual daughters. She had asked Father Pio “to convert and protect my father”. In April 1945 my father was condemned to be executed by firing squad. He was in front of the platoon when he suddenly saw father Pio appear in front of him to protect him. The commander of the platoon gave the order to fire but no shots were fired from the rifles that were pointed at him. The seven members of the platoon and their commander, astonished, checked their rifles but they didn’t find any problem. So the platoon again pointed their rifles at my father and the commander ordered his soldiers to shoot again, but for a second time the rifles did not work. This mysterious and inexplicable occurrence stopped his execution. Afterward my father was pardoned due to having been awarded a medal during the war; moreover he was disabled in action during the war. After my father returned home, he converted to Catholicism, receiving the sacraments at San Giovanni Rotondo, where he had gone to thank Father Pio. In this way my mother obtained the miracles she had always asked from Father Pio: “her husband’s conversion!”

 

Father Onorato said: “I went to San Giovanni Rotondo with a friend of mine by motorcycle. I arrived at the convent some minutes before noon. After paying my respects to the superior, I went to the refectory to meet Padre Pio in order to kiss his hand. It should be taken into account that my motorbike model was called “wasp” so Father Pio told me: “Son, did the ‘wasp’ sting you?” I was quite surprised because Padre Pio had not seen me when I arrived at the convent, but he knew what kind of transportation I had used to get there. The next morning, we left San Giovanni Rotondo on my “wasp” motorbike and set out for Saint Michel, a little town not far from Saint Giovanni Rotondo. The gasoline tank was going empty, so we decided to fill up at Monte Saint Angelo. But as soon as we reached that little town, we had a bad surprise: all the gas stations were closed. At that point we decided to go back to San Giovanni Rotondo, and hoped to find somebody along the road who could provide us with some gasoline. I was worried about my brothers in the convent; it would be ungracious not to be back at the convent by lunchtime, for they were waiting for me. But low on gas, the engine started to make noise, and after a few feet it stopped altogether. We checked the tank; it was empty. With sadness I pointed out to my friend that we had only ten minutes to reach the convent and take part in the lunch with our brothers. We could not find any solution, and for this reason my friend stomped on the starter pedal. Unbelievable! The motorbike started again! We immediately set out for Saint Giovanni Rotondo without asking ourselves how the motorbike had started without gasoline. When we arrived in the middle of the square of the convent, the motorbike stopped working again. We opened the tank and realized it was still as dry as it was before. We were also astonished when we looked at our watches: it was ten minutes before lunchtime. That meant we had covered fifteen kilometers in five minutes: an average of 180 kilometers per hour. Without gasoline! I entered the convent as the brothers were coming down for lunch; and when I went to meet Father Pio, he was watching me and smiling.

 

It was the month of May in 1925.  Maria had a little baby who had been ill since birth. Maria was very worried about her baby. In fact, after a medical visit, she was told her child had a very complicated illness. There was no hope for the baby: he could not recover. Maria decided to go by train to Saint Giovanni Rotondo. She lived in a very little town in the south of Puglia (a poor region in the South of Italy), but she had heard some stories concerning Padre Pio, a friar who had the stigmata like Jesus, worked miracles, healed people of their diseases, and gave hope to the hopeless. She immediately set out, but during the trip the baby died. She watched over his little body all night, then placed it in a suitcase and closed it. The following day she arrived at the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo. She had no hope, but she had not lost her faith. That evening she met Padre Pio. She was in the line of people waiting for confession, and she had in her hands the suitcase that contained her son’s body. Her son had died twenty-four hours before. When she arrived in front of Father Pio, she knelt down, cried, and asked his help. He looked at her intently. The mother opened the suitcase and showed Father Pio the corpse. The poor padre was very shocked by the mother’s sorrow. He took the little body and put his hand on the boy’s head; then he prayed, looking up to Heaven. In a moment, the poor creature was alive again. A gesture, a movement of the feet, the arms...he looked as if he had just awakened after a long sleep. Speaking to the mother Padre Pio said: “Mother, why are you crying? Your son is sleeping!” The mother’s shouts of joy, and those of the crowd, filled the church.  Everyone spoke about the miracle!

 

In the evening an engineer was staying late at the convent, but, when he decided to leave, he noticed it was raining. So he told Padre Pio, “I do not have any umbrella! Could I stay here until tomorrow morning? If not I will get wet.”  - “I am sorry my dear, it is not possible. But don’t worry! I will keep you company!” answered Father Pio. But that engineer had thought it would be much better for Father not to do that penance, although it would have been less treacherous with Padre Pio’s assistance. Anyway, he put on his hat and started to cover the two miles between the convent and the town. But as soon as he went out he realized with surprise it was not raining anymore. It was just drizzling when he arrived at the home where he was a guest. “My God!” the woman who opened the door exclaimed. “You must be wet to the bone!” -  “Not at all,” the engineer answered. “It is not raining.” At that point, the peasants who were hosting him looked at each other dumbfounded. “What! It is not raining anymore? It is pouring! Listen!” They opened the door again and it was raining. They told him it had been raining for an hour without interruption. “How did you manage to come here without getting wet?" they asked him. The engineer answered, “Padre Pio told me he would have come here together with me.” Then the peasants realized it had been Padre Pio’s miracle and they were able to tell him, “Now everything is clear if Padre Pio told you that.” Everything has been cleared and they found themselves in the kitchen for dinner when the woman said, “For sure Padre Pio’s company is much better than an umbrella!”

 

A man from Ascoli Piceno (an Italian city) said, “Toward the end of the 1950s, I went to Saint Giovanni Rotondo with my wife to go to confession, and I received absolution after Padre Pio’s counsel and penance. In the evening I was still in the convent and Padre Pio saw me again and he said, 'Are you still here?'   - 'My “little mouse” did not start,' I answered. - 'What exactly is a little mouse?'  Padre Pio asked. 'It is my car,' I answered, 'a little mouse model.' - 'Let’s go and have a look,' said Father Pio. He invited me to leave the monastery, which we did without any problem. We traveled all the night and day and the following morning, I took my car to the mechanic in order to have him look at it.  The mechanic told me, after his checks that the electric system of the car was out of order. And he did not believe me when I told him I had traveled in the car all night. In fact, it was impossible to cover two hundred miles, between San Giovanni Rotondo and Ascoli Piceno, with such a car, and I realized Padre Pio had helped me, so I thanked him in my mind.  

 

A good woman’s husband was very sick. The woman ran to the convent, but she asked herself, “How do I reach father Pio?"  She had to wait for at least three days if she wanted to meet him for a confession. So during the Mass she stood-up and walked from one side of the Church to the other. Finally, she decided to tell Our Lady what her problem was and asked at the same moment for Padre Pio’s help. After the Mass, she started to move into the Church again, in order to reach Father Pio. Finally, she managed to reach the famous corridor where Father Pio had to pass. As soon as father Pio watched her, he said: “Woman with a little faith, when will you finally ask for my help? Do you think I am deaf? You have already told me it five times when you were in front of me, at my back, on my right and on my left. I understood! I understood! ...Go home! Everything is OK." She went home and found her husband was healed.

 

In the book of the convent, on the line of October 23rd, 1953, this annotation can be read.

"This morning Miss Amelia Z., a blind girl who was born blind, who is 27 years old, has come from the province of Vicenza (Italy) and she started seeing. She has asked to padre Pio to have her sight after her confession. Padre Pio said: "Be faithful and pray a lot". In the same moment the young girl saw Padre Pio: the face, the hand, the half gloves that hid the stigmatas.

The sight has quickly increased. She informed Padre Pio about the miracle and he said: "We can say thanks to the Lord."

Then the young girl asked the complete sight from Padre Pio and he said: "Step by step and it will come."

Pio (Francesco Forgione) was born to Mamma Peppa and Grazio Forgione in the little town called Pietrelcina, in Southern Italy, during the month of flowers, May 25th 1887.  He was fifth of eight children. His Mamma Peppa confided he was different from other boys: “he was never impolite or misbehaved”. He had celestial visions and diabolical oppressions from the age of five years and he saw and spoke with Jesus and Our Lady and with his Guardian Angel, but unfortunately this heavenly life was interwoven with hell and with the devil.

In 1903, Discipline and ill health had been woven together to crown the youth of Pio. Doctors diagnosed him as consumptive and were sure he would die. Strong in spirit Pio received the Capuchin Franciscan garb initialling religious life and therefore; Noviciate with its intense study, prayer, austerity, penance and finally vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

In 1909, we find him at Pietrelcina because of his illness, at his mother’s side. Now another intense chapter of extraordinary life opens with mystical afflictions an invisible stigmata and terrible battles with devils that wanted to destroy him began. Yet, “It all happened here”, he said, his whole future was prepared here.  On  August 10, 1910,  he was ordained  a Priest in the Cathedral of Benevento.

 

In 1916, we find him in the church of San Giovanni Rotondo, soon to become his Jerusalem, with the mystical and historical calvary of Gargano, where he was soon recognised as the “saintly friar” by the locals. Here he became a “victim of love”, by the reparation for sin, propitiator and regenerator of the many crowds who flocked to him, to venerate his bleeding wounds of his hands and feet. This very important event occurred in Father Pio’s life on September 20, 1918,  while he was praying in front of a Crucifix located in the choir in the little old church, when a strange personage like an angel, gave him the stigmata. Those stigmata have been remained opened and bleeding for fifty years. This was one of the reasons for which doctors, scientists, journalists and common people have gone to San Giovanni Rotondo for years, in order to meet the “Saintly friar “.

 

 

In a letter dated October 22, 1918, Padre Pio told his experience of crucifixion: “... What I can tell you about my crucifixion? My God! What a confusion and what humiliation I feel when I try to show somebody else what you have done in me your scanty creature! It was the morning of the 20th. (September) and I was in choir, after the celebration of the Holy Mass, when a rest, similar to a sweet sleep surprised me. All the inside and external senses, as well as the same faculties of the soul were in an indescribable quiet. There was a depth silence around me and inside me; a peace overcame me and then it all happened in a flash I felt abandonment with the complete deprivation of everything. While all this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious appearance, similar to the one I had seen on August 5th, differing only because His hands, feet and side were dripping blood. The sight of Him frightened me: what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I would die, and would have died if the Lord hadn’t intervened and strengthened my heart, which was about to burst out of my chest!  The appearance disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were pierced and were dripping with blood”. You can imagine the torment that I experienced then and that I am almost experiencing every day. The wound of the heart assiduously bleeds, particularly from the evening of Thursday until Saturday. My God, I die of pain, torment and confusion that I feel in the intimate of the soul. I am afraid I’ll bleed to death!  I hope that God listens to my moans and withdrawals this operation from me... “

He usually woke up in the early morning (we could say at night) in order to get himself ready for the Holy Mass. In fact, every morning, at 4 a.m. there were always hundreds and sometimes even a thousand people waiting for the door of the church to open. After the Mass he used to spend most time of his day in prayer and confessions.  After fifty years of stigmata he died September 23, 1968, thus he closed his mission of the Heart’s desire, with the real cross and the real crucifixion of his body.

Then, for years, from every part of the world, the believers went to this stigmatised priest, to get his powerful intercession from God. Fifty years lived in the prayer, in the humility, in the suffering and in the sacrifice, whether to effect his love, Padre Pio had two initiatives in two directions: the vertical one toward God, with the constitution of the “Groups of prayer”, the horizontal one toward his suffering community, with the construction of a modern hospital: “House Relief of the Suffering.”

In September 1968, thousands of devotees and Padre Pio’s spiritual children were assembled in conference at St. Giovanni Rotondo to commemorate together the 50 anniversary of the stigmata and to celebrate the fourth international conference of the Prayer Groups. Nobody would have imagined that at 2:30 a.m., September 23, 1968 we the earthly life of Father Pio of Pietrelcina would end.

A gentleman, who came from Foggia, Italy, was 62 years old in 1919 and he walked using two canes. He had fallen from a carriage breaking his legs. The doctors had been unable to help him. After confessing himself to Padre Pio, the friar told him: "Stand up and go away! You have to throw away these canes. That man carried out the order and started to walk by himself again. All of the witnesses were astonished.

 

Another extraordinary event happened in 1919 in San Giovanni Rotondo. A gentleman was 14 years old in 1919. When he was four years old he caught typhus. He also developed a side effect.  His back  became deformed.  Once he confessed himself to padre Pio who touched him with his holy hands. Suddenly the boy stood up and the  deformity in his back disappeared.

 

Grazia was a peasant who was twenty-nine years old. She had been blind from birth. She used to go to the little Church of the convent in order to meet padre Pio. Once Father Pio asked her "if she wanted to see", "Of course, I would!" answered the girl, "but I want to see, only if this is not due to me, not to any pity", "Well, you will recover said padre Pio and he sent her to Bari, Italy where there was a very good doctor who was the husband of one of padre Pio's friends. But the doctor, after checking the patient's eyes, told his wife: "There's no hope for this girl!  Padre Pio can heal her only by a miracle but I must send her back home without operating on her." His wife insisted and told her husband: "But if padre Pio has sent her to you...you could at least try to operate on her, at least on one of her eyes."  The doctor agreed and operated on both of her eyes. Grazia's eyes were healed! She could see now. When she was back in San Giovanni Rotondo, she ran to the convent and she knelt down at padre Pio's feet. The friar ordered her to stand up. She told him "Bless me, Father...bless me! So he marked the sign of the Cross on her but she was still waiting to be blessed. In fact, when she was a blind woman, padre Pio used to bless her by making the sign of the Cross on her head with his hand. So at that point padre Pio said: "How do you want to be blessed? With a bucket of water poured on your head?

 

A woman said “In 1947 I was thirty-eight years old and I had been suffering cancer of the intestine. The cancer was found by x-ray, and it was decided to operate. Before going to the hospital I wanted to visit San Giovanni Rotondo to meet Padre Pio. My husband, my daughter and one of her friends, took me to him. I desired to confess my sins to Padre Pio and to speak with him concerning my disease, but it was not possible to meet him. My husband told my problem to one of the friars. That friar was much moved and he promised to report all to Padre Pio. In a short time I was asked to go into the corridor of the convent where Padre Pio would pass. Padre Pio walked through the crowd, but he was interested only in me. He asked me the reason for which I was so distraught and told me I was thinking correctly concerning the surgeon. After that he encouraged me and he said he’d pray to God for me. I was amazed. In fact, he did not know the surgeon who was going to perform the operation, and nobody told him that I was the right person to speak to in the crowd. Yet, he appeared to know both the surgeon and me. I faced my operation hopeful and with peace. The surgeon was the first one who spoke of a miracle. He performed an appendectomy despite previous x-rays that showed cancer. The surgeon did not believe in God, but since then he put a crucifix in each room of the hospital. There was no evidence of cancer anymore. After this miracle and a short time of rest I returned to San Giovanni Rotondo in order to meet with Padre Pio. The saintly friar was going to the sacristy when he suddenly stopped and smiled at me - he said: “What do you know? You have come back here!”...and he gave me his hand to kiss, which I affectionately held in my hands.

 

 

A gentleman said: “My left knee was swollen for days and I had great pain in that part of my leg. The doctor told me the situation was very serious and he prescribed a lengthy series of injections. Before starting the treatment I wanted to go to Padre Pio. After my confession I spoke to him about my knee and I asked him to pray for me. When I was leaving San Giovanni Rotondo that afternoon, the pain disappeared. I observed my knee and noted it was not swollen anymore! Both my legs were now normal. So I immediately ran to Padre Pio in order to thank him. He said: “You do not have to thank me, but you have to thank God!  Afterwards, he added smiling: “Tell your doctor he can get the injections himself”.

 

A woman said: “I had a normal pregnancy in 1952, but during the birth some problems occurred. My son was born with complications and I needed a blood transfusion. But, because of the emergency they did not properly assess which type of blood I needed. I am “O” type but they gave me “A” type. The following consequences were very serious: high fever, convulsions and a pulmonary constriction along with other health problems. A priest was even called in order to give me holy viaticum, and he had to give it to me with a little water because I was in a very bad condition. When my relatives took the priest to the gate, I was alone. At that point Padre Pio appeared to me by showing me his stigmatized hands. He said: “I am Padre Pio, you will not die! Pray with me an “Our Father” and in the future you will come to San Giovanni Rotondo to meet with me.” The result of this apparition was the following: I was going to die some minutes before and I stood up and sat down some minutes later. When my relatives came back to my room they found me praying. I invited them to pray together with me and I told them about the vision. We prayed and my health got better. All the doctors realized a miracle had occurred. I went to San Giovanni Rotondo after several months in order to thank Padre Pio. I met with him and he gave me his hand to kiss. When I was thanking him I smelt the famous Padre Pio perfume. He told me: “You received a miracle but you do not have to thank me. The Sacred Heart of Jesus sent me to rescue you because you are devoted to His Heart and you practised the Nine First Friday’s of the month.”

 

A lady told: “In 1953 I had a medical check and x-rays because of pains to the abdomen. The situation was very serious: I needed an urgent operation. A friend of mine, to whom I confided my problem, suggested to me: “write a letter to padre Pio in order to ask for his prayers and help”. I had an answer in which padre Pio suggested me to go to hospital: he would pray for me there. So I went to hospital and I had a medical check-up and x-rays again prior to facing the operation. But the same doctors who told me I was seriously sick were astonished and realized I did not have the serious illness anymore. After forty years I am still thanking Padre Pio for his help. In fact he does not deny his powerful help to whoever asks for help.

 

A lady said: “In 1954, my father, who was a railway-man, fell ill with a strange disease which immobilized his legs. He was forty-seven years old at the time. He was treated by a lot of doctors without any success and after approximately two years of treatment my father was going to have to retire from his work. Since the situation got worse, my uncle suggested my father to go to San Giovanni Rotondo where a friar had been living to whom God had given a lot of gifts. So my father went to San Giovanni Rotondo with my uncle’s help, facing a lot of problems. In the Church he met Padre Pio who said: “Let that railway-man  pass!” Yet, Padre Pio had never met my father before then so he could not know my father was a railway-man. Anyway, Padre Pio and my father met and spoke to each other for some minutes. Later, Padre Pio put his hand on my father’s shoulder, he consoled my father and he encouraged him with a smile. As soon as my father left Padre Pio, he realized he had been healed. While my father took in his hand the tools he needed to walk he was not using them anymore, my uncle followed him astonished.

 

A gentleman, who came from the south of Italy in Puglia, was a famous atheist in this region. He was well known for the fervor with which he fought the Catholic Religion. His wife was a Catholic woman but her husband had strictly forbidden her to go to church and speak about God to their children. In 1950 that man fell ill. The doctors made a serious diagnosis: he had two cancers, the first one in the brain, the second one behind the right ear. There was no hope for him! Here is his report: “I was taken to the hospital in Bari. I was very frightened by the pain and the thought of death. The fear drove me to pray to God. I had not prayed since I was a child. They moved me from Bari to Milan in order to try to operate on me and save my life. The doctor, who visited me, told me the operation was very difficult and there were a lot of doubts about its outcome. At night, when I was in Milan, I dreamt of Padre Pio. He came to touch my head and he told me: “Don’t worry you will recover in the future”. The morning after, I felt better! The doctors were astonished because of my improvement, however they thought it was necessary to operate on me. On my part, I was very terrified of the operation so I escaped from the hospital just some minutes before going into the operation room and I hid myself in my relative’s house in Milan, where my wife was as well. Some days later I had pain again and I went back to hospital. The doctors did not want to take care of me anymore but they did. They made other checks before going ahead with the operation. At the end of the medical checks all the doctors were astonished to realize, that I had no cancers. I was astonished too because I had smelt the scent of violets during the medical checks and I knew it was a signal of Padre Pio’s presence. I asked for the doctor’s bill before leaving the hospital but the doctor told me: “I haven’t done anything in order to heal you so you do not have to pay me”. When I went back home I wanted to go to San Giovanni Rotondo to thank Padre Pio. I was sure he had healed me. But when I arrived at the church convent, I started to have pain again. It was so painful I fainted! Two men carried me up to the Padre Pio’s confessional. As soon as I saw him I said: “I have five children and I am very sick, save me father, save my life.” - He answered: “I am not God, nor Jesus Christ, I am just a priest like any other priest, not more, maybe less. I can not do miracles!  I implored crying “Please, Father, save me.” Padre Pio turned his eyes to the sky and I saw his lips praying. At that same moment I smelt the scent of violets I had smelt in hospital. Father Pio told me: “Go home and pray! I will pray for you! You will recover! - I went home and the pain disappeared.

 

A gentleman said in 1950, my mother-in-law was taken to a hospital for an operation. She had cancer in the left breast. In fact, it was necessary to operate on the right side some months later, but due to the dissemination of the cancer cells in her body, the doctors said she could not live more than four months. In Milan somebody told us about Padre Pio and his miracles to us. I immediately went to San Giovanni Rotondo and I awaited my turn for confession. I asked Padre Pio to help my wife’s mother and heal her. Padre Pio sighed long twice and said: “We have to pray, everybody has to pray. She will recover! It happened! In fact my mother-in-law recovered after her operation and she went by herself to San Giovanni Rotondo to thank Padre Pio who smiling told her: “Go in peace, my daughter! Go in peace!” - Instead of four months my mother-in-law  lived for nineteen years! We all have thanked father Pio for years.

 

Another Padre Pio miracle was considered a permanent miracle. This miracle concerns a Tuscany railway-man who died in 1983 when he was seventy years old. He said: “I am a living challenge to science! In 1945 I lived in the Siena province. I was married and had a son. He was a caretaker in a railway electrical plant system. On 21st of May, in the morning, when he was going to work by motorbike, he crashed into a truck. He was taken to the hospital and the doctor diagnosed a fractured skull, the breach of the left eardrum, some ribs broken and five fractures of the left leg. Only several days after the incident could the doctors establish if his life was still in danger. He had had good improvement but not in his leg. The doctors could not heal it. He was taken from one hospital to another in order to find the right solution for his leg. He said: “I was taken to the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena where I had been under care for one year. Then I went to the Rizzoli Hospital in Bologna. I can say that after some operations my femur had  recovered but because of several problems my legs became completely rigid. The doctors told me I had a fibrous anchylosis on my left knee and they were not able to heal me. Moreover the wounds caused by the operations were not healing. Several trials had been done in order to bind up my leg without success. At that point the doctors of the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena decided to go ahead with another trial; in fact they wanted to practice a forced bending of my leg by using the Zuppinger machine in total anesthesia. Unfortunately the last attempt to recover my leg was done without success. In fact, when the doctor insisted with that effort, my femur broke again and and I was forced to have my leg put in plaster for a further two months. In 1948, at the beginning of the year, I was discharge from the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena and I was declared incurable. I had to remain with my rigid leg for all my life. I was thirty-five years old and I did not want to give up. So I decided to try with other doctors but I had so few hopes to recover, that I did not want to face a new operation. I was so demoralized and sad that I looked like a wounded beast. I could not stand anybody.  In desperation I didn’t want to live anymore! I vented all my anger against my wife who supported me. I used the canes to move myself but I hardly succeeded in dragging myself only for few meters.  My legs were both rigid and full of bleeding with painful wounds. I often tried to do something by myself but I usually fell down. So I cried, cursing everyone and God. My wife believed in God, but I did not believe in God. She went to Church and I told her off. I swore out of spite and she cried! A religious once came to our parish to hold a lecture. Somebody told him of my condition and he wanted to speak to my wife in order to give her support. Furthermore he told her: “Why don’t you take your husband to San Giovanni Rotondo, to Padre Pio, a friar that does miracles? My wife told me those words hopefully but I burst out laughing and I profanely spoke against Padre Pio. But my wife did not want to lose that chance so she decided to write a lot of letters to Padre Pio but she did not get any answer. Then she started again to speak to me about the friar asking me to satisfy her request. My condition was getting worse and I realized my life was ending. So I hopelessly surrendered myself to my wife and told her: “OK, let’s try this too! I had a very bad trip! When I was on the train I was laid on a stretcher but when I had to get up and go into the carriage I felt an atrocious pain in my leg. The first step was to Rome, the second step was Foggia. In order to arrive in San Giovanni Rotondo there was only a bus from in Foggia, which usually started in the early morning, so we decided to spend the night in a Hotel. While I was dragging myself with my canes, I fell down in a puddle. The railway station workers had heard I was a railway-man like themselves and asked me to spend the night in an office of the railway-station. So I spent the night there. In the early morning my wife, my son and I took the bus to go to San Giovanni Rotondo. The bus stopped two kilometers from the little church and Friary. At that time the roads were not asphalted. I don’t know how I managed to arrive at the church. As soon as I went into the little church I sat down on a chair exhausted. I had never seen a Padre Pio photo; therefore, I could not recognize him. In the church there were a lot of friars. Now close to me there was a friar who was hearing a woman’s confession. The curtain, which hides the priest in the confessional, was opened. The friar was inside the confessional was looking on the floor and his hands were hidden in the sleeves of the garb. When he raised his head to bless the woman in front of him I noticed he wore some particular half gloves. In that moment Padre Pio watched me for a couple of seconds. Under that look my body started to shake like a violent electric shock had hit it. Father Pio went out from the confessional some minutes later and went away. In the afternoon, at four p.m. we went again into the church. My son took me into the church while Padre Pio was still hearing confessions. There were some people before me and fifteen minutes later my turn came. Using my canes I approached Padre Pio. I tried to say something, but he did not give me time to speak. He started to speak and told me exactly my life, my character and my behavior. I was completely taken by his words and I forgot my leg and my problems. When he raised his hand to bless me I felt the same shake I had felt before in the morning. Without paying attention to my knee I knelt down and signed myself with the cross. Then, I stood up, took my sticks in my hands and I went away walking without any problem. My wife, who was in the Church, watched me with the sticks in my hands as I was going without any help but she did not see I was walking by myself. She just told me: “What a beautiful face you have!”  We stopped and prayed for a while and we went toward the gate. Only at that point my wife realized what had happened. She said, “Giuseppe, are you walking? I stopped and noticed I had the sticks in my hands. “It is true, I am walking and I do not have any pain”. “Daddy” my son said, “you even knelt when you were in front of Padre Pio”. I could now make all movements without any problems or pains. I examined my legs and I noticed all my bleeding and painful wounds had been healed. Now I could see just the dry scars. “I am really healed,” I told my wife and I burst out crying. My trip on the way home was a show. In fact whenever I had a stage, I spoke about my healing. I went again to the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena for a medical visit. The doctors were appalled. In fact they could not believe I had been walking. Moreover; after the x-rays were done again on my leg, they also realized that my leg had not changed. The fibrous anchylosis of the knee was still there and for that reason I could not have walked. My case was also shown during a medical conference in Rome. I was visited by a lot of scientists who came from foreign countries. Everyone went away amazed.

Sister Pagani said:  "I had planned a trip to see Padre Pio again but before I left I wanted to go to greet Brother Gianfranco. He was the priest of my town and he was in Hospital for a cancer to the lung. The patient asked to me to recommend him to the monk: "Tell  the Father something about my illness." 

When I arrived at St. Giovanni Rotondo, together with some other person, somebody let me stand in the corridor of the convent. Padre Pio would have crossed the corridor. I was absorbed in my thoughts when Padre Pio arrived. He shook the hand to me in order to kiss them and I spoke a little. The Father said: "Do you have other things to tell me? ". 

I was surprised at the question, but I said: "Father! Our priest has a cancer and he is waiting for some word from you."

Padre Pio said: "..if God wants to him to die, what can we do? 

"Father he wants to heal." 

The Saint stayed few minutes in silence and then he said: "OK, it is not a problem... 

When I went back home I knew that Brother Gianfranco had left the hospital. I went to him and I explained to him what padre Pio said.

 

Between the end of 1953 and the beginning of 1954 Pope Pio XII had a physical breakdown from stress: "He was unable to eat and when he did try he would vomit the food back up. He was also trouble by nausea and hiccup. The only respite he got were  short sleeps of half hours. Eventually it was necessary to feed him artificially.

While the Pope was sick, Padre Pio promised to pray for him and also offered up to God his own health and life instead of the Pope.

Some days later Padre Pio became sick with a high fever.

Father Costantino Capobianco said: I was unaware about Padre Pio’s promise and the reason for his sickness, but Father Agostino, who knew all the secret things from Padre Pio, told me: “Padre Pio is sick because of his great anxiety for the Pope."

Padre Pio took on his shoulders the burden that was destined for the Pope. Pope Pio XII made a quick recovery. Some days after, the Pope received news about the heroic offer made by Padre Pio in the Convent of San Giovanni Rontondo. Then, Pope Pio XII decided to write a letter to the Head of the Franciscan Friars in order to say thank you for Padre Pio’s prayers and sufferings.

 

A Priest and some orthodox believers of Romania have joined the Catholic Church after a miracle of healing made by Padre Pio. 

The priest and his community came from an orthodox religion joined Catholicism to express their devoted gratitude to St. Pio of Pietrelcina. The miracle occurred in  Pesceana, a town in the County of Vallea, center-southern Romania. Here the local priest's mother, aged 71, was diagnose with lung cancer which she had suffered with for a long time.

After having submitted her to all the possible clinical checks, due to the presence of diffused metastasis, all the doctors gave her only a few months to live. The cancer was at an advance stage which was inoperable.

The orthodox priest, did not want to resign himself to losing his mother, so he asked his brother who lived in Rome to bring their mother to the best Italian doctor in Rome. The priest’s brother succeeded in arranging a medical check for their mother with a well known doctor who confirmed the diagnosis of his Rumanian colleagues.

One day, during her permanence in Rome, the lady accompanied her son to a catholic church. She noticed in a corner a big statue of Padre Pio and she was impressed. She asked her son about the statue and he illustrated to her Padre Pio’s history. 

In the following days the woman went back to the same church and every time she stayed for a long time in prayer in front of the statue of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

After two weeks she was due further medical checks and the son brought his mother to the same doctor, but this time, with a big surprise the doctor said there was no sign of the woman cancer.

The lady wanted to go back to Romania, on her return she told everything to her son the priest. She also told him that she had prayed to Padre Pio requesting his help and she had been listened too, despite her affiliation to the orthodox Church.

The news quickly spread in the Rumanian town and people started enquiring  and finding out information on this stigmatized Monk. Some other people were healed by Padre Pio in the same town and they wanted to become catholic believers.

After some years their desire were finally turned into reality. They joined the Roman Catholic Church.

 

A woman said: "My son was playing football on the street when suddenly an iron gate felt on him. We realized he had an unstoppable losses of blood from the nose and from the left ear. My son was immediately brought to hospital, his condition was bad, he also had an absent look on his face. There was a lot of excitement among the doctors.

While I was crying and suffering, I turned my eyes to the wall and I could see a photo of Padre Pio. With so much faith I asked him to help my son.

Due to his critical health condition, my son was moved to another hospital and he was in a state of shock.

However, the following day, my son started to improve and after three days he left the Hospital. Before going back home we entered into a Church. In the Church there was a picture of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. My son saw that picture and he showed me the picture  saying: "Mum, he was also together with me in hospital! He has caressed me… ". 

My emotions crumble and I started to cry. Gladly I thanked Padre Pio. 

Bilocation can be defined as the simultaneous presence of a person in two different places. Numerous witnesses connected to the Christian religious tradition have reported events of bilocation, which have been attributed to many Saints. Padre Pio had this charisma and had been seen by eyewitnesses in different places at the same time. Here are several testimonials.

Mrs. Maria, one of Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters, said that one evening her brother was praying when suddenly he fell asleep. He was immediately awoken by a slap on his right check. He realised that the hand which hit him was covered with a half glove. He suddenly thought of Padre Pio. The next day he asked Padre Pio if he had slapped him. Padre Pio answered; “this is the way to cast away sleeping while praying?” With a slap Padre Pio had “awakened” the attention of the praying man.

 

One day, a former Italian Army Officer entered the sacristy and watching Padre Pio said; “Yes, here he is! I am not wrong!” He approached Padre Pio, and kneeling in front of him crying, he said; “Padre, thank you for saving me from death.” Afterwards, the man told the people present there, “I was a Captain of the Infantry and one day on the battlefield in a terrible hour of battle, not far from me I saw a friar who said; ‘Sir, go away from that place!’ I went towards him and as soon as I moved, a grenade burst in the place where I was before and opened a chasm. I turned around in order to find the friar, but he was not there anymore.” Padre Pio, who was bilocating, had saved his life.

 

Father Alberto, who met Padre Pio in 1917, stated “I saw Padre Pio standing in front of the window, looking at the mountain. He was speaking to himself. I approached him in order to kiss his hand, but he did not notice my presence and I noticed that his hand was rigid. At that time, I heard that he was clearly giving absolution and pardon to someone. After a while, Padre Pio shook like awakening from a nap. He looked at me and said; ‘you are here. I did not realize it!’ After some days, a telegram from Turin was delivered. Someone was thanking the superior of the convent for having sent Padre Pio to Turin to assist a dying person. I realized that the man was dying in the same moment Padre Pio was blessing him in San Giovanni Rotondo. Obviously, the superior of the convent had not sent Padre Pio to Turin, but he had bilocated there.”

 

In 1946, an American family went from Philadelphia to Saint Giovanni Rotondo in order to thank Padre Pio. In fact, their son, a bombardier plane pilot (during World War II), had been saved by Padre Pio in the sky over the Pacific Ocean. The son explained; “the airplane was flying near the airport on the island where it was going to land after it had loaded its bombs. However, the airplane was struck by a Japanese attack plane. The aircraft exploded before the rest of the crew had the chance to parachute. Only I succeeded in going out of the airplane. I don’t know how I did it. I tried to open the parachute, but I didn’t succeed. I would have smashed to the ground if I had not received a friar’s help who had appeared in midair. He had a white beard. He took me in his arms and put me sweetly at the entrance of the base. You can imagine the astonishment inspired by my story. Nobody could believe it, but given my presence there, they had no choice. I recognized the friar who saved my life some days later while on home leave, I saw the monk in one of my mother’s pictures. She told me she had asked Padre Pio to look after me.”

 

A woman was at her daughter’s home in Bologna. She had a tumor in her arm. So she agreed with her daughter to go for surgery. The surgeon told her to be patient and to wait some days before establishing a date for the surgery. In the meanwhile, her son-in-law sent a telegram to Padre Pio asking him to pray for his mother-in-law. At the moment when the telegram reached Padre Pio, the woman, who was in the dinning room alone, saw a capuchin friar enter through the door. “I am Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,”he said. Then, after asking her what the doctor had said and encouraging her to trust in Our Blessed Mother, he made the sign of the Cross on her arm and went out of the room. At that point, the woman called for the maid, her daughter and son-in-law. She asked them why they allowed Padre Pio to enter without announcing him. They responded that they had not seen Padre Pio and furthermore, they had not opened the door to anyone. The next day, the surgeon did a medical check-up on the woman in preparation for surgery; however, he could not find any tumor.

 

Padre Pio visited the Bishop who had ordained him on the 10 August 1910 in the Cathedral of Benevento. It happened before the Bishop’s death. Padre Pio bilocated there in order to give the Bishop his spiritual support.

 

Even Blessed don Orione spoke about padre Pio’s bilocation. He said: “I was in Saint Peter’s Church in Rome in order to attend the celebration of Saint Teresa’s beatification. There also was Father Pio, despite the fact that he was in his convent at the same time. I saw him. He was smiling and coming towards me through the crowd, but when I was not far from him, he disappeared.

 

In 1951, Father Pio celebrated Holy Mass for a convent of nuns in Czechoslovakia. After Mass, the nuns went to the sacristy to offer Father Pio coffee in order to thank him for his unexpected visit, but they did not find the holy man in the sacristy. Thus the nuns realised that Father Pio had bilocated there. 

 

In 1956, Padre Pio served Holy Mass for Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary in his Budapest prison. Someone who had news of the imprisonment had asked Father Pio directly: “Father Pio you have served the Mass to the Cardinal of Hungary, so you have spoken to him! So you have been in jail with him and you have seen him!” - Father Pio answered: “Of course, if I had spoken to him I have also seen him”. He was bilocating.

 

Mother Speranza, who founded the order of the Handmaids of the Merciful Love, said she had seen Padre Pio every day for one year in Rome. He had bilocated there. We know that padre Pio had never been to Rome, except once in 1917, in order to take his sister to a convent she had decided to enter..

 

An Italian General of the Army, called Cadorna, felt in such condition of depression after the defeat of Caporetto, that he was contemplating suicide. One evening he went to his room and he commanded his orderly not to allow anybody to come in. He took his gun from a drawer and pointed the gun at his head, but suddenly he heard a voice: “Oh General, why do you want to do such stupid thing?” The voice and the presence of the Friar helped the general change his mind. He wondered how it was possible that a Friar had entered his room.  He asked for explanations from his orderly but he answered he had seen nobody going into his room. Some years later, the General read in a newspaper of a Friar that worked miracles in the Gargano area. He secretly went there but he was astonished when father Pio said to him: “Hello General, you ran a great risk that evening, didn’t you?”

 

Father Agostino wrote: “A Nun, in Florence, told me after the communion Padre Pio had appeared to her to comfort her and to bless her. So I wanted to ask to Padre Pio.               

I told him: "Do you do some trips to Florence from time to time? " "A nun has told this to me." 

"Yes, I do, Father" He humbly said me. 

It was clear Padre Pio had gone to Florence in bilocation

 

The last bilocation of Padre Pio occurred the afternoon before the day of his death. Padre Pio has gone to greet in Genova (Italy) the brother Umile who was wounded. 

Around 16.30, in September 22nd , in 1968 Sister Ludovica goes to father Umile to bring him a cup of tea. The religious feels a strong perfume of flowers that floods the whole environment. Since she doesn't know the origin of the perfume she looks at the monk for an explanation. 

Father Umile with naturalness and spontaneity says: "Padre Pio has come to greet me and he has given to me his last goodbye." 

The following day the news of the death of Padre Pio spreads around the World.

 

Padre Placido Bux of Saint Marco in Lamis said:

"In 1957, I was brought to the Hospital of San Severo for a serious hepatic problem. During the night I could see Padre Pio near my bed. He spoke to me and he reassured me about my healing. Then Padre Pio desappeared throught the window by putting his hand on the glass of the window. The morning after Padre Placido felt better and he woke up and he went to the window. He recognized the print of Padre Pio's hand on the glass so he realized it was not a dream. This news was spread within the Hospital in few time and also in the town.

A lot of people went into the room in order to check the window by themselves and despite the glass had been cleaned with water a lot of time, the print was still there.

The priest of the Church of San Severo, Padre Alberto, decided to go first to the Hospital in order to pay a visit to Padre Placito and then to Saint Giovanni Rotondo to meet with Padre Pio.

As soon as Padre Alberto was in the corridor of the Convent he saw Padre Pio in front of him and before Padre Alberto could say anything Padre Pio asked for news about Padre Placido's health condition.

Then Padre Alberto said: "Father, everyone believes you have been in hospital last night to pay a visit to Padre Placido and you have left the print of your hand on the glass of the window..."

Padre Pio said: "Do you have any doubt?"

A lot of Saints of the Catholic Church possessed the charisma that allowed them to know distant things, or to view the future, or to see and to sense distance space using their senses and their normal intellectual abilities. Father Pio had the charisma of this supernatural knowledge. Just looking at a person he could see into the most secret parts of his soul. Many testimonies suggest this was the gift of Padre Pio.

 

A woman from Bologna (Italy) said: “Once my mother went to father Pio with some of her friends. She met with Father Pio in the sacristy of the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo as soon as he arrived. Padre Pio told her: “Why are you here? Go home, your husband is sick”. My mother thought she had left her husband in good condition. Anyway, she went back home on the first available train. When she arrived at home she asked about my father’s health. There was no news. But during the night my father had serious respiratory difficulties. Something pressed him in the throat. That night, at eleven p.m. my father was hospitalised brought into the operating room. The surgeon that operated on him extracted from his throat at least two basins of pus.  Father Pio had seen in advance what would happen to this lady’s husband and with his suggestion and prayer he had succeeded in influencing the happy solution of the case.

 

A spiritual son of Padre Pio who lived in Rome omitted out of shame to make his customary small reverence when he passed near to a church in the company of some friends. Suddenly he heard Padre Pio’s voice saying: “Coward!” After a few days he went to San Giovanni Rotondo, where he was reproached by Padre Pio:  “Be careful!  This time I have only scolded you; next time I will give you a slap.”

 

One day at sunset, Padre Pio was in the garden of the monastery.  He was chatting pleasantly with some of his spiritual children and others of the faithful, when he realized his handkerchief was missing.  He said to one of those present, “Here is the key to my cell.  Please go there and get me a handkerchief.”  The man went to the cell but besides the handkerchief, he took one of Padre Pio’s half gloves and put it in his pocket.  He could not pass up the opportunity to obtain a relic!  But when he went back to the garden and gave Padre Pio the handkerchief, Padre Pio said to him: “Thanks, but now go back to the cell and put back in the drawer the half glove that you put in your pocket”.

 

A certain lady used to kneel in front of a photograph of Padre Pio every evening before going to bed to ask his blessing. Her husband, a good Catholic, thought that the gesture was an exaggeration and began laughing and teasing her each time she did so. Once he told Padre Pio about his wife’s habit.  “Every evening my wife kneels in front of your photo and asks you to bless her.”  Padre Pio answered, “I know, I know…and you start laughing.”

 

A certain man had the reputation of being a good Catholic, admired and esteemed by all who knew him. Actually he was living in sin.  He had neglected his wife, and was now compensating for his loneliness by a relationship with another woman. On one occasion he went to confession to Padre Pio.  In order to justify himself, he started talking about a "spiritual crisis."  But he had not counted on facing an "extraordinary" confessor.  Padre Pio stood up at once and shouted, “What spiritual crisis? You are a litterbug! And God is angry with you. Go away!

 

A gentleman said, “I had decided to give up smoking and to offer this small sacrifice to Padre Pio.  Since then, every evening, with the intact packet of cigarettes in my hand, I stayed in front of his image telling him, ‘Father...it is one...’ The second day, ‘Padre, it is two…’ Three months later, I went to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio after doing the same thing every evening. ‘Padre,’ I told him as soon as I saw him, ‘I haven't been smoking for 81 days, 81 packets...’ Padre Pio said, ‘I know everything you know, you made me count the packets every evening.’”

 

A bus driver who was transporting tourists on a trip to Gargano was in the sacristy waiting to leave again when Padre Pio arrived. Although the bus driver was in the middle of the group of about ten people, Padre Pio noticed him and said, “Son, don’t you even ask for a blessing?" The driver, amazed, stepped forward from the group and knelt in order to receive Padre Pio’s blessing. But instead of blessing him, Padre Pio asked him: “So, what have you done?” – “Nothing Father, I haven’t done anything. I went to confession when I was at Monte Sant’Angelo, and I have even attended Mass with the tourists I am guiding. “And  afterward?" - “I have purchased some religious objects.” “Ah, it was not those holy images that made you curse but those sweets!"  The astounded driver remembered that after the Mass he had cursed because the number of nougats he bought turned out to be less than was needed by the tourists. Mortified, he tried to say something; but Padre Pio drew him far from the group and said, “That's not all. On the road on the way to St. Giovanni Rotondo, you slighted and offended a driver that you have met on your road..” The man who said he hadn't done anything started to say an act of contrition.

 

A lady came from England to have her confession heard by Padre Pio.  She went to his confessional but Padre Pio closed the window saying:  “I am not available to you.”  The woman stayed for several weeks and during this time, daily returned to his confessional and daily was turned away. Finally, Padre Pio consented to hear her confession. She asked the Padre why he made her wait so long to be heard.  Padre Pio answered:  “And You?”  “How long have you made Our Lord wait?” You should wonder how Jesus could welcome you after you committed so many sacrileges. You have delayed your judgment for years, besides sinning against your husband and your mother you have received Holy Communion in mortal sin.  The woman was stunned and reformed.  She cried when she  received absolution. She returned to England a few days later, very happy.

 

A gentleman tells this story.  Once I ate too many figs and I felt guilty about it.  I thought I had committed a sin of gluttony.  Since I would have confession with Padre Pio the next day I thought I would confess it then.  The following day as I was walking slowly on the road to the convent, I made an examination of conscience.  The sin of gluttony did not come to mind.  Padre Pio heard my confession but before concluding and before the absolution I said to him, “I think I am guilty of yet another sin but I can’t remember it.”  “Don’t worry,” he answered me smiling: “for two figs”.

 

God sees everything we do and we will have to give him a response for everything we do. The following story illustrates that God knows even our most hidden thoughts.  In 1921 a man, who had belonged to a gang of unrepentant criminals had decided to kill his wife in order to be free to marry another woman.   He put together a plan that would provide him with a good alibi.  His wife was a devotee of  Padre Pio  who lived in the small town of Gargano. Since no one in that town knew of him or his reputation he thought it would be a good place to put his homicidal plan into effect.  One day he suggested to his wife that they make a trip to Gargano and while they were there she could take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Friar she admired so much. When they arrived in the town, he left his wife in a hotel, and went alone to the convent to arrange for her to have confession with Padre Pio.  He thought that while his wife was at confession he would be seen in town to corroborate his alibi.  He looked for an inn where he would invite some of the town’s people to have a drink with him.  Then, he would make some excuse, leave the inn, go kill his wife who had just left confession, and then later return to the inn.   The convent was surrounded by open country  and in the faint light of evening  he felt sure no one would see anything. The plan was perfect. When he reached the convent he saw Padre Pio in the confessional.  At this point he felt an impulse that he couldn’t contain.  He knelt in front of Padre Pio’s confessional, and began to make the sign of the cross.  Before he finished, cries came from the confessional.  “Go away”  Go away” “Go Away” “Don’t you know that it is forbidden to kill somebody?”  Then Padre Pio grabbed the man by the arm and lead him away.  The man was stunned, incredulous, and dismayed.  He ran away to the country where he tripped on a boulder and fell face down in the mud.  For the first time he acknowledged the horrors of his life full of sin.  After a while he saw all of his existence and among the torments of his mind he understood his inhumane wickedness.  Tormented to the depths of his soul he returned to church and asked Padre Pio to hear his confession.  Padre Pio consented and with endless sweetness spoke to him as if he were an old friend.  Padre Pio listed for him his whole life, moment by moment, sin after sin, crime after crime, everything in incredible detail, until he finally came to his  recent intention to kill his wife. The man listened to Padre Pio speaking about the homicide that he had planned in his own mind.  He had never told anyone else about it.  Exhausted but finally free the man threw himself at the feat of the monk and begged forgiveness.  This was not the end.  Before the absolution was finished Padre Pio asked him, “You have desired to have children haven’t you?  Well, do not offend God anymore and you will have a child”.  The man returned a year later to Padre Pio, totally converted and he had become the father of a child who was born from the same wife he had wanted to kill.

 

The friar who was the Guardian of the convent of St. Giovanni Rotondo related:  "Last year a dealer from Pisa came come to Padre Pio for a healing of his daughter. The holy man looked at him and said: 'You are sicker than your daughter. I see you dead.'  'No, no, no Padre, I'm very well' answered the man.  "Wretch!," Padre Pio cried.  'Unfortunate! How are you well with so many sins on your conscience? I can see at least thirty-two sins!' Everybody can image the amazement of the dealer. After his confession, he told  whomever would  listen to him: "He already knew everything and he has told me everything about my life!"

 

A priest told of an adventure that happened to a brother of his who had travelled very far to go to confession to Padre Pio.  After his confession Padre Pio asked him: "My son, do you have anything else to confess?"  "No, Padre."  Padre Pio told him to look for something else to remember. He examined his conscience again without success; he could not find anything else to confess. Then, with sweetness, Padre Pio told him: "Son, you arrived yesterday morning in Bologna at 5.00 a.m. Churches were still closed. Instead of waiting you went to the hotel to rest before Mass. You went to bed and then you fell asleep so deeply that you woke up at three o'clock in the afternoon, when it was too late to attend a mass. I know you have not done it in malice, but it was a negligence that hurt Our Lord!"

 

Because of the great crowds that went to see Padre Pio, two policemen were assigned to the convent to protect him. One day in the sacristy after the celebration of Mass, while Padre Pio was disrobing the sacred vestments, he turned smiling to one of the policemen and said:  "As soon I have given thanksgiving for the Mass and you are finished here, come to my room because I have to speak to you."  The policeman was very happy for this invitation so, when he ended his service, he went to Padre Pio's cell.  Padre Pio told him: "Listen to me!  In not more than eight days you will die at your father's home, my son."   The policeman answered him: "But Padre, I am feeling very well."   But Padre Pio added: "Don't worry about it! You will be better in eight days. What is this life? A pilgrimage.  We are on a train, my son!   Ask your boss to go on leave to enjoy your family...you are going to die...and your relatives???  They do not know anything about this..."  The policeman, stunned by these words, asked: "Father, can I tell what you have told me?"  "Not for now," the Father answered, "you can tell it only when you will be at home."  The young man went to the town of St. Giovanni Rotondo and he asked for permission to go home. His boss did not want to grant him the permission because there was no suitable motivation.  However,  on Padre Pio's intercession, the policeman received the permission to go home.   When the policeman reached his house, he told his parents: "I've come to greet you and Padre Pio has told me that I will die."  After eight days the policeman died.  

 

The monks of the convent of Venafro, who entertained Padre Pio a few times, were witnesses of other inexplicable phenomenon besides the visions.   While Padre Pio was seriously ill, he was able to know the thoughts of people. One day Friar Augustine went to find him.  "This morning say a particular prayer for me, " Padre Pio requested.   Going down to the church, Friar Augustine decided to remember the brother in a special way during the Mass, but then he forgot to do it.   When he returned to Padre Pio,  the Padre asked him:  "Have you prayed for me?"  "I forgot to do it,"  Father Augustine answered. Padre Pio told him: "Don't worry.  God has accepted the intention you made while you were going down the staircase."

 

Padre Pio was solicited more than once to expiate the sins of a man.  Padre Pio, who was praying in choir, lifted his head and severely says: "This man has made Our Lord wait for twenty-five years to confess and he is not able to wait for me for five minutes?"  It was ascertained that the fact was true.  

 

Padre Pio’s prophetic spirit as told by Padre Carmelo, who was Superior of the Convent of St. Giovanni Rotondo, is contained in this testimony:  “During the last World War, we spoke of the war every day and of the uproarious military victories of Germany on all the fronts of battle. I remember one morning I was in the little parlor of the convent, and I read in a newspaper the news that the German troops were moving by now in the direction of Moscow. For me, it was important news; in fact, I saw in that news that the war would end with the final victory of Germany. Going out in the corridor, I met Padre Pio, and gladly I told him shouting: “Father, the war is ended! Germany has won!” - “Who has told you it?” asked  Padre Pio. - “Father, the newspaper,” I answered. - And Padre Pio said: “Germany has won the war?  Keep in your mind that Germany, this time, will lose the war, worse than the last time! Remember it! “.  I told him: “Father, the Germans are already near Moscow.”  He added: “Remember what I have told you!”  - I said: “But, if Germany loses the war, Italy will lose the war as well!“  - And, he emphatically answered me: “We will see if together they will end the war.” -  I didn’t understand those words, taking into account the alliance of Italy and Germany, but the words became clear the following year after the armistice with the English and Americans of September 8, 1943, and the Italian declaration of war against Germany.  

 

A lady said: “I wanted to take part in a trip to St. Giovanni Rotondo, in order to meet and to approach Padre Pio. It was the year 1961. A man in the bus suddenly cried: “My wife wanted me to bring her to this “impostor.” - The reference to the dear Padre Pio was evident, for that insult had struck me to the  heart. When we arrived at St. Giovanni Rotondo, we immediately went to the church to take part in  Holy Mass. At the end of the Mass, Padre Pio came toward us. When he was next to us, he stopped just in front of the gentleman who had insulted him on the bus and said: “Come here! Come to this impostor.”  - The man became pale; he knelt, and stammering, he said: “Forgive me Father! Forgive me!” Then Padre Pio put his hand on his head and, blessing him, added: “Stand up, I forgive you.” That gentleman converted instantly to the delight of all present.

 

Some Saints possessed the gift that is known as  “odor of sanctity”. The phenomenon is called osmogenesia. This gift allows somebody to perceive the Saint’s presence in the smell of personal perfumes. St.Pio has the gift of holy perfumes called odors of holiness, therefore; the people who were next to him, could very often smell his perfumes. The perfume often emanated from his body or from the objects that he touched or from his clothing. Sometimes the perfume was perceivable in the places through which he passed.

One day, a famous Doctor had removed a bandage from a sore on padre Pio’s chest. The gauze  was saturated with the blood and the doctor had enclosed it in a container in order to bring the gauze to his laboratory. During the trip to Rome to analyze the gauze, an Officer and other people that were traveling with the doctor said “they smelled the perfume that usually emanated from padre Pio”. Not one of those persons knew that the doctor had the gauze soaked with the blood of St. Padre Pio in the container. The doctor saved that gauze in his laboratory, and the strange perfume had stayed in the room for long time, so that when the patients went to him for the medical visits, they asked him for an explanation.

 

Friar Modestino said: “Once I was on vacation at St. Giovanni Rotondo. I went to Padre Pio in the sacristy that morning to serve the Holy Mass, but other monks were already arguing in the sacristy as to who would have this privilege. Padre Pio interrupted those discussions by saying – ‘only he will serve the Holy Mass’ - and he pointed me out!  I accompanied Padre Pio to St. Francis altar, I closed the gate, and I started to serve the Holy Mass in profound awe. When the Mass got to the point of the “Sanctus” I suddenly had a desire to smell again that indescribable perfume that I had already perceived when I had kissed Padre Pio’s hand. The desire was immediately granted me and it was like I was wooed by St. Pio’s perfume. The perfume increased more and more, so much so that the perfume caused me to breathe irregularly. I leaned my hand on the communion rail so as not to fall! I was about to faint when I mentally asked Padre Pio to save me from embarrassment in front of the people. In that precise instant the perfume disappeared. In the evening, while I accompanied him to his room, I asked Padre Pio for an explanation about that phenomenon. He answered me: “My child, I am not able to explain it. “God intervenes to allow somebody to smell the perfume whenever He wants.”

 

From my small window (I was on one side of the confessional) I saw that Padre Pio was hearing the confession of a lady on the other side.  While I thought that I was going to speak to the saint, I was wooed by a strong perfume of lilies. Yet, this really got me confused, because I had never believed the stories of the perfumes, and so I myself was convinced that  padre Pio’s perfumes really existed.

 

A lady from Bologna, who was 24 years old, had her right arm fractured. The same arm had been operated three years prior because of a serious accident. After an operation followed by a long painful recovery the surgeon told the girl’s father that she would not have use of the arm anymore. In fact the arm was completely immobile, because of the removal of a section of the shoulder blade. A bone graft had not succeeded!   Father and injured daughter departed for St. Giovanni Rotondo. Padre Pio met them, he blessed them and he declared: “Above all do not despair! Confide in God! The arm will recover.” Toward the end of July, 1930 the woman returned to Bologna without any improvement of her arm. Was it possible to think that Padre Pio had been wrong? For months nobody thought anymore of the problem. On the 17th.of September (the celebration of the stigmata of St. Francis), suddenly, the apartment where the family lived became scented by a delicious odor of jonquils and roses. The scented phenomenon lasted about a quarter of an hour while everybody tried to understand where that perfume originated. From that day the girl started to use her arm again. An X-Ray which she preserved jealously, showed that the bone and the cartilage were completely fused and healed.

 

A man said: “One day I decided to follow my wife’s suggestion to go see Padre Pio. It had been twenty-five years precisely from the day of my marriage since I had seen the inside of a church. I felt my years of guilt weighing me down and I needed to confess my sins, but as soon as I was next to Padre Pio, he said brusquely (without looking at me): “Go away!”  I answered: “I am here to confess, that you may give me Jesus’ absolution.”  I had spoken roughly to him, but he roughly responded: “I have said: “Go away.” I went away running across the garden from the small Church then onto the hotel. My wife, who had seen me go out of the Church, reached me at the hotel. “What has happened? What are you doing?” she questioned me.  “I am packing my suitcase and I am leaving,” I answered.  At that moment a cloud of perfume wooed me. It was an intense perfume, marvellous to the senses. I was confused. It soothed me instantly and I felt inside me a great desire to return to Padre Pio. It took me a day to muster enough courage to return to the Padre.  I prepared myself, carefully I examined my conscience before meeting the Padre who kindly welcomed me and gave me absolution I needed.”

 

A lady said: “My husband was in an automobile accident and was critically injured. He was transported to the hospital in Taranto, Italy. The doctors had no hope of his survival. On the hospital grounds there was a shrine dedicated to Padre Pio.  Before visiting my husband I would stop and pray to Padre Pio for my husband’s recovery.  One day, as I stood there praying, the “Saintly” Pio smells, a marvellous perfume of lilies engulfed me.  I took it as a sign that my prayer request had been heard. From that moment on, the condition of my husband improved and he healed from the injuries he sustained.”

 

A gentleman from Toronto said: “In 1947, my wife that fell seriously ill and was hospitalised in Rome, requiring surgery. I travelled to St. Giovanni, Rotondo to see Padre Pio.  While I was there, the good Padre heard my confession.  After receiving the absolution, I talked to the Padre about my wife’s condition. Then I asked him: “Father, help me to pray!” Immediately I smelled a delicious and persistent perfume that surprised me. I returned home in the late evening. As soon as I opened the door, I smelled again that same scent that I had smelled when I was next to Father Pio. I became confident. My wife underwent the operation without any problems. I told her the marvellous experience that I had and together we thanked Padre Pio.”

 

A married couple in England were experiencing problems and were at a point of despair. They did not know where to turn to.  Someone spoke to them about Padre Pio. They wrote to Padre Pio about their problems but did not receive any answer.  They, then decided to go to St. Giovanni Rotondo to meet the Padre and obtain his wise counsel. From England to Puglia (Italy), the journey was long! Moreover, it was in the middle of winter with snowy conditions prevailing.  Despite the weather, they embarked on their journey. They spent their first night in Bern in a lowly hotel for that was all they could afford.  Doubts filled them once more. They wondered what they would do if the Padre did not receive them. Should they continue with their journey or turn back. As they were debating on their options, the room was filled with a sweet, intoxicating perfume,  that had a very relaxing effect on them. The woman began to look for the source of the perfume and thought that some distracted traveller, before them had left a bottle of perfume in the room. The search for the perfume’s source was fruitless! Awhile later the perfume smell faded away and the room emanated the usual odor of a stench. The married couple shared their experience with the innkeeper. He was surprised as it was the first time that any of his clients believed to have smelled perfume in their room. The couple instead took it as a sign to continue with their journey to St. Giovanni Rotondo and to meet Padre Pio. When they got there, the young man, who was well versed in Italian, spoke to the Padre in Italian:  “We wrote to you, Father, but since you have not answered us…”  “What?” Padre Pio interrupted saying: “ Why do you tell me I did not answer you? Did you not smell anything that evening in the Swiss hotel?” The two lovers were joyful and full of thankfulness. They understood then, the perfume that they had smelled in the room of the hotel, was the perfume of Padre Pio. With just a few words of counselling, Padre Pio helped them to resolve their problems.”

 

A gentleman met Father Pio through a series of strange coincidences. He says: “The first time I heard somebody speak of this extraordinary religious man was after the war. A friend of mine knew the Padre well. He spoke enthusiastically of him. But I thought to myself his stories about the holy man were a bit much. So I must confess my initial reactions were indifference and disbelief. This was especially true when my friend told me about various phenomena attributed to Padre Pio, especially the scent of perfumes. “Many people claim to detect an aroma of perfume even when they are not any where near the sainted Friar.  You can imagine my surprise when this started to happen to me. I would catch the aroma of violets in unusual places, where even the hint of a flower could not be found. I began to wonder about myself. I started to doubt my senses. I even told myself I must be dreaming. “One day the phenomenon happened when I was on vacation with my wife. I had gone to the post office to mail a letter. The post office in question did not normally lace its air with perfume. I don’t know of any that do. But all of a sudden I smelled the unmistakable odor of violets. Catching the scent, my wife said to me ‘ Where is this odor of perfume coming from?’ Excitedly, I asked her ‘Can you smell it too?’ “Then I told my wife about Padre Pio and about the stories of unusual perfumed aromas surrounding his presence. These aromas could be detected even if one were at a distance from the good Padre. My wife was moved. She said to me: ‘If I were you, I would leave for San Giovanni Rotondo right away.’ The next  day, we were on our way. We met with Padre Pio and he said to me ‘Ah, here is our hero. How much effort I expended to get you here.’ That same day, I had a chance to speak with Padre Pio personally. From that moment on, my life was changed.”

 

Another person once remarked : “Some years ago, I had a heart attack. The doctors recommended  I undergo surgery to improve my condition. I  entered the hospital at once. It was in June 1991. During the surgery, the doctors did a quadruple bypass. When I awoke from the anesthesia, my leg and right arm were paralyzed . I was really discouraged. After awhile, my faith returned and I began to pray to Padre Pio for help. I pleaded with him for three days. On the third day, as I was finishing my prayer, despite being surrounded by other patients, I noticed something significant. I caught a whiff of an overwhelming aroma of flowers. When the perfumed aroma faded, I felt a sensation in my right leg. I knew at once my prayers had been answered.”

 

A woman tells this story: “I had great problems with both of my eyes. I experienced pain and could see very little. I consulted several doctors and after several examinations, they gave me the diagnosis: irreversible ocular hemorrhage. They added  there was a probably a tumor present also. To make matters worse, the doctors told me  this form of blindness was final. There was no cure. “Upon hearing this bad news, I became very depressed and anxious. I was on a trip and I knew I would be passing close to Benevento. So I decided to go as far as Pietreicina, where I would have an opportunity to visit Padre Pio’s monastery. During my visit to one of the last rooms where St. Pio had lived, I was deeply moved. I had been praying for my relatives and all of a sudden, caught the scent of an intense burst of incense. “While I was returning to Rome by train, I thought a lot about what had happened in that room in Padre Pio’s monastery   I decided to plead with Padre Pio to heal my damaged eyes. I turned to him with as much faith as I could muster. Padre Pio didn’t  take long to hear my prayers. In fact, my sight progressively improved and before too long, I was totally healed. The doctors who examined me later could not believe I was completely and inexplicably recovered.”

Padre Pio started to have apparitions when he was a child.  The little Francesco didn’t speak of it because he believed that the apparitions normally happened to all people. The apparitions were of Angels, of Saints, of Jesus, and of Our Lady, but sometimes, also of devils. In the last days of December, 1902, while he was meditating on his vocation, Francesco had a vision. Here is the description that he gave several years later to his confessor. “Francis saw on his side a stately man of rare beauty, shining as the sun, that picked him up by the hand and encouraged him with the precise invitation: ‘It is convenient for you to come with me and fight like a good warrior.’ He was conducted to a spacious country, among a crowd of men divided into two groups: on one side were men with very beautiful faces and dressed in white dresses, candid as the snow. On the other side there were men with horrid faces and dressed in black dresses; they looked like dark shades. Francesco was situated in the middle of these two groups of spectators and he saw that a tall man, so tall that he could touch the clouds with his forehead and with an ugly face, came toward him. The character that shined exhorted Francesco to fight against this monstrous character. Francesco prayed in order to avoid the fury of the strange character but the bright character didn’t disappear: ‘Your resistance is useless. It is worthwhile to fight against this bad character. Please, be faithful and enter confidently in the struggle. I will be nearby you; I will help you and I won’t allow him to defeat you.’ Francesco agreed and the fight was terrible. With the help of the bright character that always was nearby him, Francesco won the fight. The monstrous character was forced to run away and he dragged with him the big crowd of men with horrid faces, among howls, curses and cries. The other crowd of men with beautiful faces roared with applause and praises for him who had assisted the poor Francesco in that great battle. The splendid and bright character, more bright than the sun, put down on the head of victorious Francesco a wonderful crown that is not possible to describe. But then the crown was removed from Francesco’s head and the good character said: ‘Another crown, more beautiful than this one, I have preserved for you if you will fight with that character with which you have now fought. He will always return to the assault; you will fight without having any doubt of my help. Do not worry about his strength; I will be nearby you, I always will help you, and you will succeed in winning.’” Such visions were followed by real clashes with the Devil.  Padre Pio had several clashes against the “enemy hostile to souls” during his life. In fact, one of Padre Pio’s first goals was to tear souls from the clutches of the Devil. 

 

One evening Padre Pio was in a room, on the ground floor of the convent, turned guesthouse. He was alone and had just laid down on the cot when, suddenly, a man appeared to him wound in a black mantle. Padre Pio was amazed and arose to ask the man who he was and what he wanted. The stranger answered that he was a soul in Purgatory. “I am Pietro Di Mauro” he said “I died in a fire, on September 18, 1908, in this convent. In fact this convent, after the expropriation of the ecclesiastical goods, had been turned into a hospice for elderly. I died in the flames, while I was sleeping on my straw mattress, right  in this room. I have come from Purgatory: God has granted me to come here and ask you to say Mass for me tomorrow morning. Thanks to one Mass I will be able to enter into Paradise”. Father Pio told the man that he would say Mass for him..., “but…“padre Pio said: “I, wanted to accompany him to the door of the convent.  I surely realised I had talked to a dead person, in fact when we went out in the church square, the man that was at my side, suddenly disappeared”. I have to admit that I re-entered in the convent rather frightened. Padre Paolino of Casacalenda, Superior of the convent, noticed my nervousness, after explaining to him what happened, I asked “permission to celebrate Holy Mass for the deceased soul,”  A few days later, Father Paolino, wanting to verify the information, went to the office of the registry of the commune of St. Giovanni Rotondo.  He required and got the permission to consult the register of the deceased in the year 1908. The story of Father Pio Father was true. In the register of deaths of the month of September, Father Paolino found the name, last name and cause of death: “On September 18, 1908 in the fire of the hospice, Pietro Di Mauro died.”

 

Mrs Cleonice Morcaldi of St. Giovanni Rotondo was one of the Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters. Her mother had died.  One month after the death of her mother, Father Pio told Mrs Cleonice at the end of the confession: “This morning your mother has gone to Heaven, I have seen her while I was celebrating Holy Mass.”

 

Padre Pio told this story to padre Anastasio. “One evening, while I was alone in choir to pray, I heard the rustle of a suit and I saw a young monk that stirred next to the High altar. It seemed that the young monk was dusting the candelabra and straightening the flower vases. I thought he was Padre Leone rearranging the altar, and, since it was supper time, I went to him and I told him: “Padre Leone, go to dine, this is not the time to dust and to straighten the altar”. But a voice, that was not Father Leone’s answered me”: “I am not Padre Leone”, “and who are you? “, I asked him. “I am a brother of yours that made the noviciate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the noviciate. Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar, thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me.” I believed to be generous to that suffering soul, so I exclaimed: “you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass”. That soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared. That complaint produced in me a wound to the heart that I have felt and I will feel my whole life. In fact I would have been able to immediately send that soul to Heaven but I condemned him to remain another night in the flames of Purgatory.”

        Friar Pio wrote some experiences in his letters to his spiritual father:

 

Letter to Friar Augustine, on April 7, 1913, “My dear Father, I was still in bed on Friday morning, when Jesus appeared to me. He was battered and disfigured. He showed me a great crowd of priests, among whom were different ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating or where donning or removing their vestments. To see Jesus in this condition caused me much pain. I wanted to ask him why he suffered so much. He did not answer me, but showed me that priest being punished. But shortly after, he looked sadly at these priests and I noticed, to my great my horror, two tears running down his face. Jesus went away from that crowd of priests and with a great expression of disgust on his face, cried’: “Butchers!” Then He told me: “My Child, do not believe that my agony has been only three hours, no; actually I will be in agony till the end of the world because of the souls I love. During the time of the agony, my child, nobody can sleep. My soul goes looking for some drop of human pity, but they leave me alone under the weight of their indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers increase the agony for me. They badly respond to my love! The greater torment for me is that these people add their contempt to their indifference and disbelief. How many times my wrath was to strike them like lightning, but I was stopped by the angels and the souls who love me..... Write to your confessor and describe to him what you saw and heard from me this morning. Tell him to show your letter to the Provincial... “Jesus continued to talk but I may never reveal what he said...”

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Letter to Father Agostino of (February 13, 1913): “Don’t worry, I will make you suffer, but I will also give you the strength” - Jesus reveals to me. - “I desire that your soul be purified and tried with daily hidden martyrdom; don’t be frightened if I allow the Devil to torment you, and the world to disgust you, because nobody will win against those who suffer under the cross for my love, for I have decided to protect them. “

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Letter to father Agostino, (November 18, 1912), “... Jesus, his dear Mother, the Guardian Angel with the others to encourage me,  that they not forget to tell me that the victim, to be called victim, has to lose all his blood”.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Letter to father Agostino, of (March 12, 1913), “... my father, listen to our sweet Jesus’ complaints: “My love for men is repaid with so much ingratitude! Those people would have offended me less if I had loved them less. My father doesn’t want to tolerate them anymore. I would like to stop loving them, but... (And here Jesus kept silent and, afterward taken aback) but my heart is made for loving! The tired men don’t try to overcome the temptations. Rather these men enjoy their iniquities. The souls I love more than the other’s when they suffer a temptation, when they don’t succeed in withstanding. The weak souls are dismayed and desperate. The strong souls trust Jesus. They leave me alone at night and in the morning in Church. They don’t take care of the sacrament of the altar; they don’t speak of this sacrament of love anymore; also, the people who do speak of the sacrament do it with so much indifference and coldness. My Heart has been forgotten; nobody cares for my love; I am always saddened. My house has become a theatre of plays for a lot of people; even my priests that I have always protected carefully, that I have loved as the apple of my eye; they should comfort my sorrowful heart; they should help me in the redemption of the souls, instead.... Who would believe it? I receive ingratitude from them. I see, my Son, a lot of them that... (Here he stopped, sobs tightened his throat, he wept) that under false semblance they betray me with sacrilegious communions, stamping on the light and the strength that I continually give them... “.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Padre Alessio Parente said: "At the end of his life when Padre Pio was an old monk, Padre Alessio and Padre Onorato used to help him to go to bed. They washed his face and they helped him to go to bed. Once Padre Alessio said: "I have never been in Lourdes. We can go together and see Our Lady. But Padre Pio said: “I do not need to go to Lourdes to see Our Lady I meet with her all the nights". A few minutes after Padre Alessio said. “Ah! This is the reason for which you wash your face in the evening and not in the morning". Padre Pio did not answer but he smiled” (Ep. 1, p. 330-331).

 

Padre Alessio Parente said: "One day Padre Pio was praying with the Rosary when suddenlly he stop himself and start looking at the pavement. Then he jumped on the chair where he was sitting and raised his hands, In that moment his faces was covered with small drops of sweat. Padre Alessio took several handkerchiefs in order to dry him.

After few minute he had recovered and said: "Let's go to the Church for the Mass". After the Holy Mass we went to the garden of the convent and I asked Padre Pio: "Father, I saw you were suffering before the Holy Mass. What happen?

Padre Pio said. "If you had seen what I have seen you would have died".

 

An Italian-American, who lived in California, sometimes entrusted his Guardian Angel to report some messages to Padre Pio. Once, after the confession, he asked Padre Pio “if he really had received his messages from his Guardian Angel?”  Father Pio asked him: “What do you think? Do you think I am hard of hearing?” After that Padre Pio repeated the messages that were sent him some days before by his Guardian Angel.   

   

A Father Lino said: “I was begging my Guardian Angel to bring padre Pio a request of prayer for a lady who was very sick, but it seemed that nothing changed. When I met Padre Pio I told him: “Father, I begged my Guardian Angel in order to bring you a request of prayer for a woman who is very sick...is it possible he didn’t do it? And Padre Pio answered: “Do you believe your Guardian Angel to be disobedient as you and me?

 

A Father Eusebio said: I was going to London by plane, against Padre Pio’s suggestion not to use this mean of transport. When we were flying over the Channel, a violent storm put the aeroplane in danger. Amid the general terror I prayed and, without knowing what to do, I sent my Guardian Angel to Padre Pio. When I went back to St. Giovanni Rotondo I met Padre Pio who said to me, “Are you well?  Is everything OK?”   I answered;   “I thought I’d die,” the saintly padre responded, “then why don’t you obey?  I responded “But I have sent you my Guardian Angel...  Padre Pio then said, “Fortunately he arrived just in time!“.

 

An Italian lawyer was driving coming back home from Bologna. In his FIAT 1100 were also his wife and their two children. At one point, he wanted to be replaced in driving the car because he was very tired. He asked his son Guido to drive instead of him but he didn’t answer because his son was sleeping.  Some kilometres later, next to the gate of St. Lazzaro, the lawyer fell asleep too. When he woke-up he realised he was not far from Eternity. That meant that while he was sleeping he had run on the railway for several kilometres. He was very frightened so he cried: “who was guiding the car? And what has happened?” but nobody could answer him. His son, who was on his right side, woke up and told him he had slept deeply. His wife and the smaller child were incredulous and marvelled. They said he had driven differently than usual. They said, “At one time the car was going to crash into another car but at the last moment it avoided the crash with a perfect manoeuvres. The way it took the curves was also different. But above all - his wife said: “you have been immovable for a lot of time and you have not answered our questions.” The lawyer said, “I could not answer because I was asleep. I have slept for fifteen kilometres. I haven’t felt anything because I slept...but who was driving the car? Who has prevented the catastrophe?  After a couple of months the mystery was disclosed, the lawyer went to St. Giovanni Rotondo. As soon as Padre Pio saw him, he said him, “You slept and the Guardian Angel drove your car.”

 

One of Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters was walking along a country road to the Convent. There Padre Pio was waiting for her. It was one of those winter days, bleached by the snow in which it was even difficult to walk. The road was so full of snow that the woman had the certainty she would not reach the Convent in time for the appointment with the director. Full of faith, she charged his Guardian Angel to tell Padre Pio she would have arrived at the convent late because of the snow. When she reached the convent she saw with enormous joy that the monk was waiting for her behind a window.  He greeted her smiling.

 

A man told: “Padre Pio often, stopped in the sacristy greeting his spiritual children and friends by kissing them. I looked with holy envy on those so fortunate and I thought: “Blessed him! If I were him! Blessed! Blessed him! On Christmas 1958, I knelt, in front of Padre Pio for confession. Afterwards, I looked at him and while full of emotion I asked him: “Father, today is the Christmas day, can I wish you Merry Christmas by giving you a kiss? And he, with a sweetness that I am not able to describe with the pen, smile at me and said: “Hurry up, my child, don’t make me waste time“! He also embraced me. I kissed him and as a bird, joyful, I went toward the exit full of celestial delights. And what can I say about some slaps on the head? Every time, before leaving from St. Giovanni Rotondo, I desired father Pio gave me a sign of particular predilection. In fact I also wanted two small slaps on the head as two fatherly caresses. I have to underline that he never refused me anything I wanted to receive from him. One day, there were a lot of people in the sacristy of the small church and father Vincenzo exhorted, with his usual severity: “don’t push, don’t shake Padre Pio’s hands go back“! I sadly thought: “This time I will leave without having the blows on the head.” I didn’t want to resign me and I begged my Guardian Angel to become a messenger and to repeat these words to Padre Pio: “Father I desire the benediction and the two blows on the head, as usual, one for me and the other for my wife”. Padre Vincenzo was still repeating “don’t push Padre Pio...stay far from him!” when Padre Pio started walking. I was in anxiety. I looked at him but I was sad. Suddenly Padre Pio came to me, he smiled and he gave me two taps and it made me also kiss his hand, “I would like to give you a lot of slaps...a lot of slaps, “ he told me the first time that I asked him for the small slaps.

   

A woman was sitting in the square of the church of the capuchins. The Church was closed. It was Late and she prayed with the thought, and she repeated with the heart: “Padre Pio, help me! Guardian Angel, please, go to tell father Pio to help me, otherwise my sister will die“! From the window above her Padre Pio’s voice came: “Who is calling me at this time? What is the problem? The woman told about her sister’s illness. Padre Pio went in bilocation, to the sick woman and healed her.

 

A guy told Father Pio: I cannot come and see you very often. My salary doesn’t allow me such expensive trips. Father Pio answered: “Who has told you to come here? You have your Guardian Angel, don’t you? You tell him what you want, you send him here, and you will have the answer.”

 

When father Pio was a young priest he wrote a letter to his confessor in which he said: “when I close my eyes and the night comes, I can see the Heaven that appears in front of me. I am encouraged by this vision so I can sleep with a sweet smile on the lips and with a perfect calm on the forehead waiting my small companion of my infancy came to wake up me and start praying together prayers to the beloved of our hearts.”

 

One day Padre Alessio approached Padre Pio with some letters in his hand in order to ask him something but Padre Pio told him abruptly, “Don’t you see that I am busy? Leave me alone.” Padre Alessio went away mortified.  Padre Pio later called him and told him, “Have you seen all those angels that were near me? They were the Guardian Angels of my spiritual children that came to bring me their messages.  I had to report to them the answers they needed.”

 

A doctor asked Padre Pio, “So many angels are always near you.  Do they bother you?” “No, they don’t,” he answered simply, “They are very obedient.”

 

Father Pio said to a person: "We will pray for your mother, so that the Guardian Angel will be with her in company."

 

One of the spiritual children of Padre Pio said: “ It seems that Padre Pio always listens to everybody who calls him.” One evening, a group of friends arrived to St. Giovanni Rotondo. They summarized the graces that they would have asked of Padre Pio, and they asked their Guardian Angels to bring their request to Padre Pio as soon as possible.  The next day,  after the Holy Mass, Padre Pio reproached them: “You do not leave me in peace even at night!” Watching Padre Pio’s smile they understood their prayer had been accepted.

 

A person asked Padre Pio, “Father, are you able to hear what the Guardian Angels tell you?”  And Padre Pio answered: “Of course! Do you think Angels are disobedient as you? Send me your Guardian Angel!”

 

Don’t write to me because I cannot answer you. Send me your Guardian Angel and I will do everything.                                                                                                               

 

Your Guardian Angel has reported to me some sentences that have made me understand your mistrust.                                                                                             

 

Invoke your Guardian Angel that he will illuminate you and will guide you. God has given him to you for this reason. Therefore use him!

 

If the mission of our Guardian Angel is a great mission, the mission of mine is for sure greater than the others, because he has to be a teacher and explain to me other languages.                                                                

 

Send me your Guardian Angel - he doesn’t have to pay a ticket for the train and he doesn’t wear out his shoes.                                                                                                  

 

For people that live alone there is the Guardian Angel.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

One day in the Convent, Padre Pio was sitting in the garden next to his room. Padre Alessio Parente, due to the fact they were alone in the garden, asked him some advise about a answer he had received in a letter. But Padre Pio said in a harsh tone: “Please, leave me alone. Do you not see that I am busy ? To be honest Padre Alessio could not see anyone around him, he did not say anything. But Padre Alessio thought: “Why did he said he was busy if nobody is around? He is just moving the Rosary in his hand.”

Padre Pio knew what Padre Alessio was thinking and he said: “Have you seen all the Guardian Angels of my spiritual sons that were standing in front of me? They go and they come and they do not leave me alone even for a moment.”

However he did not hesitate to give Padre Alessio the answer he was looking for.

 

The Guardian Angel used to help Padre Pio in his fights against the Devil. In some Padre Pio's letter to his spiritual father we can read: “With my Guardian Angel's help I was able to read the letter you sent me. My Guardian Angel gave me the advise to put some blessed water on the envelop before opening it. The Devil wants to defeat me but he will be crushed. My Guardian Angel assures to me that the Paradise is with us. Last Night the Devil appeared to me under the sharp of our Provincial Monk and he ordered to me not to write  a letter to you because it is contrary to the poverty and it is a serious obstacle to the perfection. My dear Father, I confess my weakness, since I cried a lot because I believed it was true. I had no suspected that it was a Devil's lie but my Guardian Angel told me it was a Devil's lie. Only Jesus knows which effort I had to do in order to be persuaded. That friend of my infancy, my Guardian Angel, always tries to support me and to give me some hope” (Ep. 1, p. 321).

 

The Guardian Angel used to translate the French language for Padre Pio who had never studied it at school. One time Padre Agostino asked Padre Pio: "Please, remove a curiosity from my mind: Who has taught the French language to you? You have never liked it but now you like it (letter of the 20-04-1912).

 

The Guardian Angel used to translate also the greek languages for Padre Pio. The priest of Pietrelcina (the town where Padre Pio came from) send to Padre Pio a letter in greek language and he said: "What do you think about this letter? Maybe your Guardian Angel can help you in reading it".

At this regard that priest made an official written statement:

"Pietrelcina, 25 August 1919. I state and undersign that after receiving the letter, Padre Pio explained literally to me all the content. I asked Padre Pio how was this possible fro him to read the letter since he had never studied the Greek alphabe an he said: "You know. The Guardian Angel explained it to me..

 

In Padre Pio's letters we can also read: "The Guardian Angel came to wake me up in order to pray together our Lord at the beginning of the day" (Ep. 1, p. 308).                        

 

One time Padre Pio was able to complain with his Guardian Angel and his Angel answered: "My dear. Say thank you to our Jesus because he put you on the Calvary. I see with joy and commotion what Jesus does with you. I am happy because I see you in troule. This is for your advantage. Jesus allows the Devil to attack you because He wants you to be like Him in the anguish of the desert, of the garden and of the Cross. Do not worry I am nearby." (Ep. 1, p. 330-331)

The Devil exists as much today as he did in the past. He continues to seduce mankind into sin.  The attitude of a disciple of Christ must be vigilant and strong in any confrontation with Satan. You can not be indifferent to his existence. It seems the mentality of people today is to relegate the figure of the Devil into ancient mythology and folklore. Baudelaire justly affirms that “The Masterpiece of Satan in the Modern Time” is to have people believe he does not exist.  It is not easy, therefore, for many to imagine the recent appearance of Satan when he came from hell to fight against Padre Pio. These battles were bloody in nature, as described in many letters that Father Pio sent to his Spiritual Fathers.             

One of the first contacts that Padre Pio had with the prince of evil occurred in 1906.  One night, Padre had returned to the convent of Saint Elia of Pianisi.  He couldn't fall asleep that night because of the enormous summer heat. He heard the footsteps of someone coming from a nearby room. Padre Pio thought, "Apparently, Friar Anastasio couldn’t sleep either."  He wanted to call out to him so that they could visit and speak for awhile. He went to the window and tried calling to his companion, but he was unable to speak. On the ledge of a nearby window, he saw a monstrous dog. Padre Pio, with terror in his voice, said, “I saw the big dog enter through the window and there was smoke coming from his mouth.  I fell on the bed and I heard a voice from the dog that said, "him it is, it is him". While I was still on the bed, the animal jumped to the ledge of the window, then to the roof and disappeared."

 

The Devil attacked Padre Pio with numerous types of temptations. Padre Augustine also confirmed that the Devil appeared to him under many different forms.  "The Devil appeared as young girls that danced naked, as a crucifix, as a young friend of the monks, as the Spiritual Father or as the Provincial Father; as Pope Pius X, a Guardian Angel, as St. Francis and as Our Lady.”  The Devil has also appeared in his horrible forms with an army of infernal spirits. There were other times when Padre Pio was approached by the Devil but without any apparition. He was troubled with deafening noises and covered with spittle, etc. Padre Pio succeeded in freeing himself from these attacks of the Devil by invoking the name of Jesus.

 

The struggle between Padre Pio and Satan became more difficult when Padre Pio freed the souls possessed by the Devil.  Father Tarcisio of Cervinara said, "More than once, before leaving the body of a possessed, the Devil has shouted, "Padre Pio, you give us more trouble than St. Michael"; also, "Father Pio don't steal the bodies from us and we won't bother you."

    Padre Pio described the Devil's assaults in many letters he sent to his Spiritual Fathers. .

In one of the letters to Padre Agostino, dated January 18, 1912, he stated, “The Devil does not want to lose this battle. He takes on many forms. For several days now, he has appeared with his brothers who are armed with batons and pieces of iron.  One of the difficulties is that they appear in many disguises. There were several times when they threw me out of my bed and dragged me out of my bedroom.  I am patient, however, and I know Jesus, Our Lady, my Guardian Angel, St. Joseph and St. Francis are always with me.”  

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to padre Agostino of November 5, 1912) “Dear Father, this is, by the mercy of God, my second letter to you, and is similar to the first.  I am sure that Padre Evangelista has already informed you about the new war that the demons, impure apostates, are making on me. My father, they cannot win because of my constancyI must tell you about the traps they set for me, and how they tempt me to ignore your suggestions.  I find your letters to be my only my comfort; and I glorify God that they serve to confuse them.   I cannot explain to you how severely they are attacking me. Sometimes I think I‘m going to die. Saturday I thought they really wanted to kill me, I didn’t know which saint to ask for help. I turned to my angel, but he deliberately delayed.  At last he came flying around me and singing hymns to God with his angelic voice. Then one of those usual scenes happened: I harshly scolded him about his delay, when I had called to him so earnestly for help.   To punish him, I deliberately did not face him, wanting him to keep his distance.  But the poor thing finally got my attention by crying, and when I faced him, I perceived that he was sorry.”

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to padre Agostino dated November 18, 1912)  “The enemy doesn’t want to leave me alone; he constantly attacks me.  He tries to poison my life with his infernal traps. He is upset that I tell you these facts, suggesting that I keep them from you as our secret.  He tells me to reveal to you only the good visits that I receive; in fact he says that you like only these stories. The pastor has been informed of the battle that I am doing with these demons, and with reference to your letters, he suggested that I open the letter only in his presence.  When your first letter arrived, therefore, I went to open it in his office. But as soon as I opened the letter in the presence of the pastor, we found the letter was all smeared with ink. Was it a devil’s revenge? I could not believe that you would send me a letter in that condition, especially since you know that I don’t see well.   At first we could not read the letter, but then we placed a crucifix on it, and then we could read it, at least in part.

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to Padre Agostino dated 13 February, 1913) “Now, twenty-two days have passed, since Jesus allowed the devils to vent their anger on me. My Father, my whole body is bruised from the beatings that I have received to the present time by our enemies. Several times, they have even torn off my shirt so that they could strike my exposed flesh.”

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to Padre Benedetto dated March 18th, 1913) “These devils don’t stop striking me, even making me fall down from the bed.  They even tear off my shirt to beat me! But now they do not frighten me anymore. Jesus loves me, He often lifts me and places me back on the bed“

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

Satan went beyond all the limits of deception when he went to Father Pio pretending to be a penitent. This is the Father Pio’s testimony:  “One day, while I was hearing confessions, a man came to the confessional where I was. He was tall, handsome, dressed with some refinement and he was kind and polite. He started to confess his sins, which were of every kind: against God, against man and against the morals. All the sins were obnoxious! I was disoriented, in fact for all the sins that he told me, but I responded to him with God’s Word, the example of the Church, and the morals of the Saints.   But the enigmatic penitent answered me word for word, justifying his sins, always with extreme ability and politeness.  He excused all the sinful actions, making them sound quite normal and natural, even comprehensible on the human level.. He continued this way with the sins that were gruesome against God, Our Lady, the Saints, always using disrespectful round-about argumentation. He kept this up even with with the foulest of sins that could be conjured in the mind of a most sinful man.  The answers that he gave me with such skilled subtlety and malice surprised me. I wondered: who is he? What world does he come from? And I tried to look at him in order to read something on his face. At the same time I concentrated on every word he spoke, trying to discover any clue to his identity.. But suddenly; through a vivid, radiant and internal light I clearly recognized who he was. With a sound and imperial tone I told him: “Say long live Jesus, long live Mary!” As soon as I pronounced these sweet and powerful names, Satan instantly disappeared in a trickle of fire, leaving behind him an unbearable stench.”  (Don Pierino is a priest and one of the father Pio’s spiritual sons who were present at the same time.)

 

Fr. Perino tells this story:  “One day, Padre Pio was in the confessional, hidden by two curtains. The curtains of the confessional were not closed all the way and I succeeded in seeing padre Pio. The men, following the bookings, were prepared on a side, all in single row. From the place where I was, I read the Breviary and, sometimes I looked up to see the Padre. From the little church, through the door, a man came. He was handsome, with small and black eyes, grizzled hair, with a dark jacket and ruled trousers. I didn’t want him to distract me and so I kept on reciting the breviary, but an internal voice told me: “Stop and look!“ I stopped and looked at padre Pio. That man, while taking footstep back and forth and without waiting his turn, stopped just in front of the confessional, after the previous penitent went away. He immediately entered among the curtains, standing, up in front of padre Pio. Then I didn’t see the dark haired man after that moment. Following some minutes I saw that man sank on the floor with his legs widened. On the chair in the confessional, where Padre Pio had been sitting, I didn’t see padre Pio anymore; but, Jesus. He was blond, young and handsome and he gazed upon the man that had fell to the floor. Then again I saw padre Pio coming up from there. He returned to take a seat to in his place and his appearance melted with Jesus’ appearance. Then I saw only Padre Pio. I immediately heard his voice: “Hurry up, everyone.”  Nobody noticed this happening!  Everybody started with their turn again.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."

It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5 from whom one has strayed by sin. It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.

It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.

It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace".

Confession was the principal daily activity of Padre Pio. He had the ability to look within the souls of his penitents. It was not possible to lie to Padre Pio during a confession. He saw inside people’s hearts. Often, when the sinners were timid, Padre Pio listed their sins during the confession.

Padre Pio invited all believers to confess at least once a week. He said: "Even if a room is closed, it is necessary to dust it after a week."

In the sacrament of confession Padre Pio was very demanding. He couldn't bear people that went to him only out of curiosity.

A monk once told the following story: "One day Padre Pio didn't give absolution to a penitent and he told him: "If you go to confess to another priest to have gain absolution you will go to hell together with him". He meant that the sacrament of confession is profaned by people that don't want to change their lives. They are guilty in front of God.

 

 

 

A man once went to St. Giovanni Rotondo to confess to Padre Pio. It was between 1954 and 1955. When he finished the accusation of his sins Padre Pio said: "Do you have anything else to confess?" and he said, "No Father!" He repeated the question: "Do you have anything else to confess?" "No Father!" For a third time Padre Pio asked him: "Do you have anything else to confess? At this third negative answer the hurricane exploded. With the voice of the Holy Spirit Padre Pio howled: "Go away! Go away! Because you are not reformed of your sins!"

The man was also petrified because of the shame that he felt in front of so many people. Then he tried to say something but Padre Pio said: "Keep silent, gossiper, you have spoken enough; I now want to speak. Is it true that you go to discos?”  "Yes, Father."  "Do you know that dancing is an invitation to the sin?" 

The man was surprised and he didn't know what to say: he had the membership card of a disco in his wallet. The man promised not to commit any other sins and after a lot of effort he received absolution.

 

Lies 

One day, a man told Padre Pio: "Father, I tell lies when I am with some friends of mine. I do it in order to make everybody happy". And Padre Pio said: "Oh, do you want to go to hell by joking?!" 

 

Gossip 

When a person speaks badly of a friend, he destroys the reputation and the honour of a brother who has the right to enjoy respect. 

One day Padre Pio said to a penitent: "When you gossip about a person it means that you have removed the person from your heart. But be aware, when you remove a man from your heart, Jesus also goes away from your heart with that man."

Once, Padre Pio was invited to bless a house. But when he reached the entrance of the kitchen he said: "There are snakes here.  I do not want to go in". And then he said to a priest that often went to that house to eat: “Don't go to that house because they say unpleasant things about their brothers and sisters.”

 

Swearing

A man was born in the region of Italy called Marche. He and a friend left their town in a truck, with some furniture they had to transport nearby to St. Giovanni Rotondo. While they were taking the last slope, before reaching their destination, the truck broke-down and it stopped. They tried to start the engine again but without success. 

At that point the driver lost his calm and full of anger he cursed. The day after the two men went to St. Giovanni Rotondo where one of the men had a sister. With the help of his sister they succeeded in going to Padre Pio to confession. 

The first man entered the confessional but Padre Pio sent him away.  Then it was the turn of the driver. He started saying something to Padre Pio: "I have been angry". But Padre Pio shouted: "Wretch! You have cursed our Mother! What did she do to you, Our Lady?" Then he sent him away as well. 

 

The devil is near to people who curse. 

 In a hotel in St. Giovanni Rotondo it was not possible to rest neither during the day nor at night because there was a girl who was possessed and shouted for hours. Everybody was frightened of her. The child’s mother brought her every day to the church. She hoped that Padre Pio would free the child from the evil spirit. The child also shouted a lot in the church. One day, when Padre Pio had finished hearing the women’s confessions, he met the child that howled fearfully in front of him. The child was being held back with difficulty by two or three men. The Saint was annoyed by the whole uproar and kicked the child with his foot and then he struck the child’s head and he said: "Stop! Enough!" 

The child fell to the ground as if she was sleeping. Padre Pio told a doctor who was standing there, to bring the child to St. Michael, in the sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo. When the group reached the destination, they entered the cave where Saint Michael had appeared. The child revived but nobody succeeded in bringing her near to the altar of the Angel. In the midst of the confusion, a monk took the hand of the child and touched the altar. She fell down as if she had been struck by lightening. A few minutes later she woke up and as if nothing had happened she asked her mother: "Could you buy me an ice-cream?" 

At that point the group of people returned to St. Giovanni Rotondo in order to inform and to thank Padre Pio. But Padre Pio told her mother: "Say to your husband not to curse anymore, otherwise the demon will return."

 

Missing Holy Mass 

In about 1950, a young doctor went to confess to Padre Pio. He confessed his sins and then he remained silent. Padre Pio asked the young doctor if he had other things to add but the doctor answered he had nothing else. Then Padre Pio told the doctor: "Keep in mind that on holy days you cannot miss Mass, because this is a mortal sin". Suddenly the doctor remembered he had "jumped" Mass with a Sunday appointment, a few months before.

 

Magic 

Padre Pio prohibited all magic, spiritism and practices of bad magic. A lady said: "I confessed to Padre Pio in November, 1948. Among the things I told him was that we were worried about our aunt who read Tarot cards in our family”. Padre Pio in a peremptory tone said: "Throw that stuff away, as soon as you can." 

 

Divorce 

In the united and holy family, Padre Pio saw the place where the faith can grow and develop. He said: “Divorce is the passport to hell".

A young lady finished the confession of her sins. She received her penance from Padre Pio who said: "You have to immerse yourself in the silence of prayer and you will save your marriage." 

The lady was amazed since her marriage didn't have any problems. After a long time, her marriage began to experience trouble. However she was ready to face the problems and overcame them and so avoided the destruction of the family because she had been following the suggestion that Padre Pio gave her.

 

Abortion 

One day, Padre Pellegrino asked Padre Pio: "Father, this morning you denied absolution to a lady who confessed to an abortion. Why have you been so rigorous with this poor unfortunate? ". 

Padre Pio said: "The day, in which people, frightened by the economic boom, from physical damages or from economic sacrifices, will lose the horror of the abortion, it will be the most terrible day for humanity. Abortion is not only homicide but also suicide. And with these people we see on the point of committing two crimes…do we want to show our faith? Do we want to save them? " 

"Why suicide?” Padre Pellegrino asked. 

"You would understand this suicide of the human race, if with the eye of reason, you could see the Heart populated by old men and depopulated by children: burnt as a desert.”

Beloved St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you have had the signs of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ on your body. You have carried this stigmata for everyone, enduring both the physical and mental sufferings that racked your soul and body in a continual sacrifice. We beg you to pray for us, so that we will be able to accept both the little and the larger crosses we too must bear during our life on earth and to offer these sufferings to God, assuring us a place with him in Eternal Life.

“It is to your advantage to commit yourself to the sufferings that Jesus will send to you.  Jesus cannot tolerate seeing you afflicted and he will come to you and comfort you, blessing you with many graces for your soul”Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

2nd DAY

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, together with Our Lord Jesus Christ, you’ve been able to withstand the temptations of the Devil. You suffered the beatings and the oppression of the demon of hell, who wanted to have you abandon your journey of holiness. We beg you to pray for us so that, with your help and the help of all of the Heavenly Kingdom, we will be able to find the strength to set sin aside and to persevere in our faith until the day of our death.

“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil.  Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

3rd DAY

Virtuous St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you love Our Holy Mother very much and have received daily graces and consolations from her. Please, we beg you to pray to the Holy Mother for us.  Place in her hands the sorrow for our sins and our prayers of reparation, so that, as at Cana of Galilee, her Son says ‘yes’ to His Mother and our name may be written in the Book of  Eternal Life.

“Mary has to be the star that illuminates your path and she will show you the secure way to go to the Celestial Father.  She will be an anchor to which you must cling in the hour of temptation”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

4th DAY

Chaste St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you loved your Guardian Angel, who served you well as your guide and as a defender and messenger. The Angels brought the prayers of your spiritual children to you. We beg you to pray for us, so that we may learn to call on our Guardian Angel who is always ready to guide us to what is good and to avoid falling into sinful actions.

“Invoke your Guardian Angel, who will enlighten you and guide you.  God has given him to you for your protection, therefore, you should use him accordingly”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

5th DAY

Prudent St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you have had a great devotion for the Souls in Purgatory for whom you have offered yourself as a victim to remit their punishments. Please pray for us and ask God to send us the same interest, compassion and love that you have for these souls. In this way, we will also contribute to reducing their suffering and, with our sacrifices and prayers, win for them their necessary Indulgences.

 

“My God, I beg you; let me bear the punishments that have been prepared for sinners and the souls in Purgatory.  Multiply these punishments for me, so that you may forgive and save the sinners and free their souls from purgatory”.  Padre Pio
 

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

6th DAY

Obedient St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you have loved the sick more than yourself, because you were able to see Jesus in them. You have performed many miracles by healing patients in the name of Jesus and thereby giving them peace of mind. We beg you to pray for us, so that sick patients, through the intercession of Mary, can be healed and their bodies restored so that they may benefit from the Holy Spirit and, therefore, thank and praise God forever.

“If I knew that a person was afflicted in his mind, body or soul, I would beg God to set him free of his affliction.  I would gladly accept the transfer of his affliction to myself, so that he may be saved, and I would ask that he benefit from the fruits of these sufferings... if the Lord would allow me to do it”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

Father Pio's Miracles

 

                

It is very difficult to define the word "miracle". Miracles could be considered expressions of the supernatural. Also, we can say that a miracle is a phenomenon in which the heart obeys an interior force: the will of God!

Padre Pio's life was full of miracles, but the nature of the miracles was always divine. For this reason, Padre Pio invited people to thank God, the only source of miracles.

 

One miracle that has been identified as Padre Pio's first miracle occurred in 1908. At that time he lived in the monastery of Montefusco. One day he gathered chestnuts growing in a nearby forest into a bag and sent the bag to Pietrelcina to his aunt Daria. She always had a great affection for him. The woman received and ate the chestnuts.  She saved the bag as a souvenir. A few days later she was looking for something in a drawer where her husband usually kept the gun powder. It was in the evening so she used a candle to light up the room when suddenly the drawer caught on fire, and aunt Daria’s face got burned. After a moment, she took the bag father Pio sent and put it on her face. Immediately, her pain disappeared and no wound or burn mark remained on her face.

 

During the Second World War, in Italy, bread was being rationed. Padre Pio’s monastery always had a lot of guests and the poor who begged there for food. One day the Friars went to the refectory and realized that the basket only had about two pounds of bread. They prayed and sat down before starting to eat. Padre Pio went into the church, and a while later when he came back he was holding a pile of bread in his hands. The Superior asked Padre Pio: "Where did you get all these loaves of bread?" Padre Pio answered: "A pilgrim at the door gave them to me".  Nobody commented, but everybody thought that only Padre Pio could meet such a pilgrim.

 

Once in the monastery of Padre Pio, a friar forgot to consecrate the Hosts for Holy Communion. There were only a few Hosts available. But after confessions when Padre Pio started to distribute Hosts to the people, many Hosts remained at the end of the service, more than had been consecrated before.

 

A spiritual daughter of Padre Pio was reading a letter from him on the side of a road. The wind blew the letter away, blowing it downhill to a meadow. The letter flew far, far away from the woman, and then suddenly it stopped flying and settled on a stone. In this way the woman got her letter back. The day after, she met Padre Pio who told her: "You have to pay attention to the wind next time. If I hadn't put my foot on the letter it would have flown far away into the valley".

 

Mrs. Cleonice, who was a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio, said: “During the Second World War my nephew was a prisoner. We had not received news for a year, and everybody believed he was dead. His parents were very worried about his life. His mother went one day to Padre Pio and knelt down in front of the friar who was in the confessional: “Please, tell me if my son is alive. I won’t go away if you don’t tell me!”  Padre Pio sympathized with her, and some tears were on his face when he said: “Stand up and go in peace.”  Some days later, I couldn’t resist the thought of pain that the parents were enduring, so I decided to ask Padre Pio for a miracle. I faithfully said: “Father I’m going to write a letter to my nephew Giovannino. I will write his name only on the envelope because we do not know where he is. You and your Guardian Angel will take the letter to him where he is.” - Padre Pio didn’t answer, so I wrote the letter.  In the evening I put it on my bedside table before getting into bed. The morning after, to my great surprise, astonishment and fear, I found that the letter was not there anymore. I went in thanksgiving to Padre Pio and he told me: “Give your thanks to Our Lady.” Almost fifteen days later our nephew sent us a response to the letter. Then everybody in our family was happy and giving thanks both to God and Padre Pio.”

 

During the Second World War, Mrs. Luisa’s son was an officer in the Royal British Navy. At that time she prayed every day for her son’s conversion and salvation. One day an English pilgrim arrived to San Giovanni Rotondo, carrying some English newspapers. Luisa wanted to read them. She found a piece of news concerning the sinking of the warship on which her son was stationed. She immediately went crying to Padre Pio, who consoled her: “Who has told you that your son is dead?” In fact, Padre Pio was able to explain to her exactly the name and the address of the hotel where the young officer was staying after he escaped from the shipwreck in the Atlantic.  He was there waiting for a new assignment again. Immediately Luisa sent him a letter, and after a couple of week she received an answer from her son.

 

A woman at San Giovanni Rotondo was such a good person that Padre Pio said it was impossible to find any fault in her soul to forgive. In other words, she lived to go to heaven. At the end of Lent, Paolina felt seriously ill. The doctors said there were no hopes for her. Her husband and her five children went to the convent to pray with Father Pio and ask him to help her. Two of the five children pulled Father Pio’s habit and cried. Father Pio got upset, but he tried to console them and promised to pray for them, nothing else!  Some days later, at the beginning of the Seventh hour, the sainted Padre’s behavior changed. In fact, he asked for Paolina’s healing and told everybody: “She will resuscitate on Easter Day.” But on Good Friday Paolina lost consciousness as she fell into a coma.  On Saturday, after some hours, Paolina finally died. Some of her relatives took her wedding dress in order to put it on her according to an old tradition of the country. Other relatives ran to the convent to ask Padre Pio for a miracle. He answered them: “She will be resuscitated” and he went to the altar for the Holy Mass. When Padre Pio started to sing the Gloria and the sound of the bells announced Christ’s resurrection, Padre Pio’s voice broke off with a sob and his eyes were full of tears. In the same moment, Paolina resuscitated. Without any help she got up from the bed, she knelt down and she prayed for the Creed three times. Then she stood up and smiled. She has recovered...or it should be better to say: “She has resuscitated.“  In fact padre Pio had not said, “she will recover” but “she will resuscitate.” When she was asked what happened during the period when she was dead, she answered: “I went up, went up, went up; when I entered into a great light, I came back.”

 

A woman said:  “My first daughter, who was born in 1953, was rescued by Father Pio when she was eighteen months old. On the morning of January 6, 1955 my husband and I were in church attending the Holy Mass and our daughter was at home with her grandfather. There was an accident: she fell into a tub of boiling hot water. She was burned on her stomach and back. The doctor came in an hour and he said, “take your daughter to a hospital immediately because she could die from her wounds”. For this reason he did not give us any medicine. After the doctor left I started to pray for Father Pio’s help. It was nearly noon. As I was getting myself ready to go to the Hospital, my daughter who was alone in the bedroom called me:  “Mommy, I don’t have a wound anymore!” “Who has taken your wound?” I asked her out of curiosity. She answered: “Father Pio has come. He took my wounds by putting his whole hand on my burn”. Actually there was no sign of burns on my daughter’s body even though the doctor had told me my daughter was going to die.

 

The peasants of San Giovanni Rotondo fondly remember the following event. In spring, the almond trees were blossoming and they were promising a good harvest. But unfortunately millions of voracious caterpillars arrived and devoured the leaves and flowers. They did not spare even the shell. After two days of trying to stop that infestation, the peasants, for whom the almonds were the only economic resource - decided to speak to Father Pio about the problem. Father Pio looked at the trees from the window of the convent and decided to bless them. He put on the sacred vestments and started to pray. When he finished praying he took the holy water and made the sign of the Cross in the air, in the direction of the trees. The next day, the caterpillars had disappeared but the almond trees looked like sticks. It was a disaster: the harvest had been lost. What happened next is incredible! We had the most abundant harvest; a harvest like we had never seen before, but how is it possible that trees without flowers could produce fruits? How was it possible to have fruit from trees that looked like sticks? Scientists have never been able to give any reason for this phenomenon.

 

In the garden of the convent there were trees; cypresses, some fruit and some pine. Especially on summer afternoons, Father Pio used to stay in the shade together with his friends and guests in order to have a little relief from the hot weather. Once when Father Pio was speaking with some people a large number of birds suddenly started to chirp and make noise from the shade of the trees. The birds had composed a symphony.  Father Pio became annoyed with the symphony so, looking at the birds he said: “Keep silent!” At which point, the birds, the crickets and the cicadas fell silent. The people who were in the garden were greatly astonished! In fact Father Pio had spoken to the birds like Saint Francis.

 

A gentleman said:  “My mother came from Foggia and was one of the Father Pio’s first spiritual daughters. She had asked Father Pio “to convert and protect my father”. In April 1945 my father was condemned to be executed by firing squad. He was in front of the platoon when he suddenly saw father Pio appear in front of him to protect him. The commander of the platoon gave the order to fire but no shots were fired from the rifles that were pointed at him. The seven members of the platoon and their commander, astonished, checked their rifles but they didn’t find any problem. So the platoon again pointed their rifles at my father and the commander ordered his soldiers to shoot again, but for a second time the rifles did not work. This mysterious and inexplicable occurrence stopped his execution. Afterward my father was pardoned due to having been awarded a medal during the war; moreover he was disabled in action during the war. After my father returned home, he converted to Catholicism, receiving the sacraments at San Giovanni Rotondo, where he had gone to thank Father Pio. In this way my mother obtained the miracles she had always asked from Father Pio: “her husband’s conversion!”

 

Father Onorato said: “I went to San Giovanni Rotondo with a friend of mine by motorcycle. I arrived at the convent some minutes before noon. After paying my respects to the superior, I went to the refectory to meet Padre Pio in order to kiss his hand. It should be taken into account that my motorbike model was called “wasp” so Father Pio told me: “Son, did the ‘wasp’ sting you?” I was quite surprised because Padre Pio had not seen me when I arrived at the convent, but he knew what kind of transportation I had used to get there. The next morning, we left San Giovanni Rotondo on my “wasp” motorbike and set out for Saint Michel, a little town not far from Saint Giovanni Rotondo. The gasoline tank was going empty, so we decided to fill up at Monte Saint Angelo. But as soon as we reached that little town, we had a bad surprise: all the gas stations were closed. At that point we decided to go back to San Giovanni Rotondo, and hoped to find somebody along the road who could provide us with some gasoline. I was worried about my brothers in the convent; it would be ungracious not to be back at the convent by lunchtime, for they were waiting for me. But low on gas, the engine started to make noise, and after a few feet it stopped altogether. We checked the tank; it was empty. With sadness I pointed out to my friend that we had only ten minutes to reach the convent and take part in the lunch with our brothers. We could not find any solution, and for this reason my friend stomped on the starter pedal. Unbelievable! The motorbike started again! We immediately set out for Saint Giovanni Rotondo without asking ourselves how the motorbike had started without gasoline. When we arrived in the middle of the square of the convent, the motorbike stopped working again. We opened the tank and realized it was still as dry as it was before. We were also astonished when we looked at our watches: it was ten minutes before lunchtime. That meant we had covered fifteen kilometers in five minutes: an average of 180 kilometers per hour. Without gasoline! I entered the convent as the brothers were coming down for lunch; and when I went to meet Father Pio, he was watching me and smiling.

 

It was the month of May in 1925.  Maria had a little baby who had been ill since birth. Maria was very worried about her baby. In fact, after a medical visit, she was told her child had a very complicated illness. There was no hope for the baby: he could not recover. Maria decided to go by train to Saint Giovanni Rotondo. She lived in a very little town in the south of Puglia (a poor region in the South of Italy), but she had heard some stories concerning Padre Pio, a friar who had the stigmata like Jesus, worked miracles, healed people of their diseases, and gave hope to the hopeless. She immediately set out, but during the trip the baby died. She watched over his little body all night, then placed it in a suitcase and closed it. The following day she arrived at the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo. She had no hope, but she had not lost her faith. That evening she met Padre Pio. She was in the line of people waiting for confession, and she had in her hands the suitcase that contained her son’s body. Her son had died twenty-four hours before. When she arrived in front of Father Pio, she knelt down, cried, and asked his help. He looked at her intently. The mother opened the suitcase and showed Father Pio the corpse. The poor padre was very shocked by the mother’s sorrow. He took the little body and put his hand on the boy’s head; then he prayed, looking up to Heaven. In a moment, the poor creature was alive again. A gesture, a movement of the feet, the arms...he looked as if he had just awakened after a long sleep. Speaking to the mother Padre Pio said: “Mother, why are you crying? Your son is sleeping!” The mother’s shouts of joy, and those of the crowd, filled the church.  Everyone spoke about the miracle!

 

In the evening an engineer was staying late at the convent, but, when he decided to leave, he noticed it was raining. So he told Padre Pio, “I do not have any umbrella! Could I stay here until tomorrow morning? If not I will get wet.”  - “I am sorry my dear, it is not possible. But don’t worry! I will keep you company!” answered Father Pio. But that engineer had thought it would be much better for Father not to do that penance, although it would have been less treacherous with Padre Pio’s assistance. Anyway, he put on his hat and started to cover the two miles between the convent and the town. But as soon as he went out he realized with surprise it was not raining anymore. It was just drizzling when he arrived at the home where he was a guest. “My God!” the woman who opened the door exclaimed. “You must be wet to the bone!” -  “Not at all,” the engineer answered. “It is not raining.” At that point, the peasants who were hosting him looked at each other dumbfounded. “What! It is not raining anymore? It is pouring! Listen!” They opened the door again and it was raining. They told him it had been raining for an hour without interruption. “How did you manage to come here without getting wet?" they asked him. The engineer answered, “Padre Pio told me he would have come here together with me.” Then the peasants realized it had been Padre Pio’s miracle and they were able to tell him, “Now everything is clear if Padre Pio told you that.” Everything has been cleared and they found themselves in the kitchen for dinner when the woman said, “For sure Padre Pio’s company is much better than an umbrella!”

 

A man from Ascoli Piceno (an Italian city) said, “Toward the end of the 1950s, I went to Saint Giovanni Rotondo with my wife to go to confession, and I received absolution after Padre Pio’s counsel and penance. In the evening I was still in the convent and Padre Pio saw me again and he said, 'Are you still here?'   - 'My “little mouse” did not start,' I answered. - 'What exactly is a little mouse?'  Padre Pio asked. 'It is my car,' I answered, 'a little mouse model.' - 'Let’s go and have a look,' said Father Pio. He invited me to leave the monastery, which we did without any problem. We traveled all the night and day and the following morning, I took my car to the mechanic in order to have him look at it.  The mechanic told me, after his checks that the electric system of the car was out of order. And he did not believe me when I told him I had traveled in the car all night. In fact, it was impossible to cover two hundred miles, between San Giovanni Rotondo and Ascoli Piceno, with such a car, and I realized Padre Pio had helped me, so I thanked him in my mind.  

 

A good woman’s husband was very sick. The woman ran to the convent, but she asked herself, “How do I reach father Pio?"  She had to wait for at least three days if she wanted to meet him for a confession. So during the Mass she stood-up and walked from one side of the Church to the other. Finally, she decided to tell Our Lady what her problem was and asked at the same moment for Padre Pio’s help. After the Mass, she started to move into the Church again, in order to reach Father Pio. Finally, she managed to reach the famous corridor where Father Pio had to pass. As soon as father Pio watched her, he said: “Woman with a little faith, when will you finally ask for my help? Do you think I am deaf? You have already told me it five times when you were in front of me, at my back, on my right and on my left. I understood! I understood! ...Go home! Everything is OK." She went home and found her husband was healed.

 

In the book of the convent, on the line of October 23rd, 1953, this annotation can be read.

"This morning Miss Amelia Z., a blind girl who was born blind, who is 27 years old, has come from the province of Vicenza (Italy) and she started seeing. She has asked to padre Pio to have her sight after her confession. Padre Pio said: "Be faithful and pray a lot". In the same moment the young girl saw Padre Pio: the face, the hand, the half gloves that hid the stigmatas.

The sight has quickly increased. She informed Padre Pio about the miracle and he said: "We can say thanks to the Lord."

Then the young girl asked the complete sight from Padre Pio and he said: "Step by step and it will come."

Pio (Francesco Forgione) was born to Mamma Peppa and Grazio Forgione in the little town called Pietrelcina, in Southern Italy, during the month of flowers, May 25th 1887.  He was fifth of eight children. His Mamma Peppa confided he was different from other boys: “he was never impolite or misbehaved”. He had celestial visions and diabolical oppressions from the age of five years and he saw and spoke with Jesus and Our Lady and with his Guardian Angel, but unfortunately this heavenly life was interwoven with hell and with the devil.

In 1903, Discipline and ill health had been woven together to crown the youth of Pio. Doctors diagnosed him as consumptive and were sure he would die. Strong in spirit Pio received the Capuchin Franciscan garb initialling religious life and therefore; Noviciate with its intense study, prayer, austerity, penance and finally vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

In 1909, we find him at Pietrelcina because of his illness, at his mother’s side. Now another intense chapter of extraordinary life opens with mystical afflictions an invisible stigmata and terrible battles with devils that wanted to destroy him began. Yet, “It all happened here”, he said, his whole future was prepared here.  On  August 10, 1910,  he was ordained  a Priest in the Cathedral of Benevento.

 

In 1916, we find him in the church of San Giovanni Rotondo, soon to become his Jerusalem, with the mystical and historical calvary of Gargano, where he was soon recognised as the “saintly friar” by the locals. Here he became a “victim of love”, by the reparation for sin, propitiator and regenerator of the many crowds who flocked to him, to venerate his bleeding wounds of his hands and feet. This very important event occurred in Father Pio’s life on September 20, 1918,  while he was praying in front of a Crucifix located in the choir in the little old church, when a strange personage like an angel, gave him the stigmata. Those stigmata have been remained opened and bleeding for fifty years. This was one of the reasons for which doctors, scientists, journalists and common people have gone to San Giovanni Rotondo for years, in order to meet the “Saintly friar “.

 

 

In a letter dated October 22, 1918, Padre Pio told his experience of crucifixion: “... What I can tell you about my crucifixion? My God! What a confusion and what humiliation I feel when I try to show somebody else what you have done in me your scanty creature! It was the morning of the 20th. (September) and I was in choir, after the celebration of the Holy Mass, when a rest, similar to a sweet sleep surprised me. All the inside and external senses, as well as the same faculties of the soul were in an indescribable quiet. There was a depth silence around me and inside me; a peace overcame me and then it all happened in a flash I felt abandonment with the complete deprivation of everything. While all this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious appearance, similar to the one I had seen on August 5th, differing only because His hands, feet and side were dripping blood. The sight of Him frightened me: what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I would die, and would have died if the Lord hadn’t intervened and strengthened my heart, which was about to burst out of my chest!  The appearance disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were pierced and were dripping with blood”. You can imagine the torment that I experienced then and that I am almost experiencing every day. The wound of the heart assiduously bleeds, particularly from the evening of Thursday until Saturday. My God, I die of pain, torment and confusion that I feel in the intimate of the soul. I am afraid I’ll bleed to death!  I hope that God listens to my moans and withdrawals this operation from me... “

He usually woke up in the early morning (we could say at night) in order to get himself ready for the Holy Mass. In fact, every morning, at 4 a.m. there were always hundreds and sometimes even a thousand people waiting for the door of the church to open. After the Mass he used to spend most time of his day in prayer and confessions.  After fifty years of stigmata he died September 23, 1968, thus he closed his mission of the Heart’s desire, with the real cross and the real crucifixion of his body.

Then, for years, from every part of the world, the believers went to this stigmatised priest, to get his powerful intercession from God. Fifty years lived in the prayer, in the humility, in the suffering and in the sacrifice, whether to effect his love, Padre Pio had two initiatives in two directions: the vertical one toward God, with the constitution of the “Groups of prayer”, the horizontal one toward his suffering community, with the construction of a modern hospital: “House Relief of the Suffering.”

In September 1968, thousands of devotees and Padre Pio’s spiritual children were assembled in conference at St. Giovanni Rotondo to commemorate together the 50 anniversary of the stigmata and to celebrate the fourth international conference of the Prayer Groups. Nobody would have imagined that at 2:30 a.m., September 23, 1968 we the earthly life of Father Pio of Pietrelcina would end.

A gentleman, who came from Foggia, Italy, was 62 years old in 1919 and he walked using two canes. He had fallen from a carriage breaking his legs. The doctors had been unable to help him. After confessing himself to Padre Pio, the friar told him: "Stand up and go away! You have to throw away these canes. That man carried out the order and started to walk by himself again. All of the witnesses were astonished.

 

Another extraordinary event happened in 1919 in San Giovanni Rotondo. A gentleman was 14 years old in 1919. When he was four years old he caught typhus. He also developed a side effect.  His back  became deformed.  Once he confessed himself to padre Pio who touched him with his holy hands. Suddenly the boy stood up and the  deformity in his back disappeared.

 

Grazia was a peasant who was twenty-nine years old. She had been blind from birth. She used to go to the little Church of the convent in order to meet padre Pio. Once Father Pio asked her "if she wanted to see", "Of course, I would!" answered the girl, "but I want to see, only if this is not due to me, not to any pity", "Well, you will recover said padre Pio and he sent her to Bari, Italy where there was a very good doctor who was the husband of one of padre Pio's friends. But the doctor, after checking the patient's eyes, told his wife: "There's no hope for this girl!  Padre Pio can heal her only by a miracle but I must send her back home without operating on her." His wife insisted and told her husband: "But if padre Pio has sent her to you...you could at least try to operate on her, at least on one of her eyes."  The doctor agreed and operated on both of her eyes. Grazia's eyes were healed! She could see now. When she was back in San Giovanni Rotondo, she ran to the convent and she knelt down at padre Pio's feet. The friar ordered her to stand up. She told him "Bless me, Father...bless me! So he marked the sign of the Cross on her but she was still waiting to be blessed. In fact, when she was a blind woman, padre Pio used to bless her by making the sign of the Cross on her head with his hand. So at that point padre Pio said: "How do you want to be blessed? With a bucket of water poured on your head?

 

A woman said “In 1947 I was thirty-eight years old and I had been suffering cancer of the intestine. The cancer was found by x-ray, and it was decided to operate. Before going to the hospital I wanted to visit San Giovanni Rotondo to meet Padre Pio. My husband, my daughter and one of her friends, took me to him. I desired to confess my sins to Padre Pio and to speak with him concerning my disease, but it was not possible to meet him. My husband told my problem to one of the friars. That friar was much moved and he promised to report all to Padre Pio. In a short time I was asked to go into the corridor of the convent where Padre Pio would pass. Padre Pio walked through the crowd, but he was interested only in me. He asked me the reason for which I was so distraught and told me I was thinking correctly concerning the surgeon. After that he encouraged me and he said he’d pray to God for me. I was amazed. In fact, he did not know the surgeon who was going to perform the operation, and nobody told him that I was the right person to speak to in the crowd. Yet, he appeared to know both the surgeon and me. I faced my operation hopeful and with peace. The surgeon was the first one who spoke of a miracle. He performed an appendectomy despite previous x-rays that showed cancer. The surgeon did not believe in God, but since then he put a crucifix in each room of the hospital. There was no evidence of cancer anymore. After this miracle and a short time of rest I returned to San Giovanni Rotondo in order to meet with Padre Pio. The saintly friar was going to the sacristy when he suddenly stopped and smiled at me - he said: “What do you know? You have come back here!”...and he gave me his hand to kiss, which I affectionately held in my hands.

 

 

A gentleman said: “My left knee was swollen for days and I had great pain in that part of my leg. The doctor told me the situation was very serious and he prescribed a lengthy series of injections. Before starting the treatment I wanted to go to Padre Pio. After my confession I spoke to him about my knee and I asked him to pray for me. When I was leaving San Giovanni Rotondo that afternoon, the pain disappeared. I observed my knee and noted it was not swollen anymore! Both my legs were now normal. So I immediately ran to Padre Pio in order to thank him. He said: “You do not have to thank me, but you have to thank God!  Afterwards, he added smiling: “Tell your doctor he can get the injections himself”.

 

A woman said: “I had a normal pregnancy in 1952, but during the birth some problems occurred. My son was born with complications and I needed a blood transfusion. But, because of the emergency they did not properly assess which type of blood I needed. I am “O” type but they gave me “A” type. The following consequences were very serious: high fever, convulsions and a pulmonary constriction along with other health problems. A priest was even called in order to give me holy viaticum, and he had to give it to me with a little water because I was in a very bad condition. When my relatives took the priest to the gate, I was alone. At that point Padre Pio appeared to me by showing me his stigmatized hands. He said: “I am Padre Pio, you will not die! Pray with me an “Our Father” and in the future you will come to San Giovanni Rotondo to meet with me.” The result of this apparition was the following: I was going to die some minutes before and I stood up and sat down some minutes later. When my relatives came back to my room they found me praying. I invited them to pray together with me and I told them about the vision. We prayed and my health got better. All the doctors realized a miracle had occurred. I went to San Giovanni Rotondo after several months in order to thank Padre Pio. I met with him and he gave me his hand to kiss. When I was thanking him I smelt the famous Padre Pio perfume. He told me: “You received a miracle but you do not have to thank me. The Sacred Heart of Jesus sent me to rescue you because you are devoted to His Heart and you practised the Nine First Friday’s of the month.”

 

A lady told: “In 1953 I had a medical check and x-rays because of pains to the abdomen. The situation was very serious: I needed an urgent operation. A friend of mine, to whom I confided my problem, suggested to me: “write a letter to padre Pio in order to ask for his prayers and help”. I had an answer in which padre Pio suggested me to go to hospital: he would pray for me there. So I went to hospital and I had a medical check-up and x-rays again prior to facing the operation. But the same doctors who told me I was seriously sick were astonished and realized I did not have the serious illness anymore. After forty years I am still thanking Padre Pio for his help. In fact he does not deny his powerful help to whoever asks for help.

 

A lady said: “In 1954, my father, who was a railway-man, fell ill with a strange disease which immobilized his legs. He was forty-seven years old at the time. He was treated by a lot of doctors without any success and after approximately two years of treatment my father was going to have to retire from his work. Since the situation got worse, my uncle suggested my father to go to San Giovanni Rotondo where a friar had been living to whom God had given a lot of gifts. So my father went to San Giovanni Rotondo with my uncle’s help, facing a lot of problems. In the Church he met Padre Pio who said: “Let that railway-man  pass!” Yet, Padre Pio had never met my father before then so he could not know my father was a railway-man. Anyway, Padre Pio and my father met and spoke to each other for some minutes. Later, Padre Pio put his hand on my father’s shoulder, he consoled my father and he encouraged him with a smile. As soon as my father left Padre Pio, he realized he had been healed. While my father took in his hand the tools he needed to walk he was not using them anymore, my uncle followed him astonished.

 

A gentleman, who came from the south of Italy in Puglia, was a famous atheist in this region. He was well known for the fervor with which he fought the Catholic Religion. His wife was a Catholic woman but her husband had strictly forbidden her to go to church and speak about God to their children. In 1950 that man fell ill. The doctors made a serious diagnosis: he had two cancers, the first one in the brain, the second one behind the right ear. There was no hope for him! Here is his report: “I was taken to the hospital in Bari. I was very frightened by the pain and the thought of death. The fear drove me to pray to God. I had not prayed since I was a child. They moved me from Bari to Milan in order to try to operate on me and save my life. The doctor, who visited me, told me the operation was very difficult and there were a lot of doubts about its outcome. At night, when I was in Milan, I dreamt of Padre Pio. He came to touch my head and he told me: “Don’t worry you will recover in the future”. The morning after, I felt better! The doctors were astonished because of my improvement, however they thought it was necessary to operate on me. On my part, I was very terrified of the operation so I escaped from the hospital just some minutes before going into the operation room and I hid myself in my relative’s house in Milan, where my wife was as well. Some days later I had pain again and I went back to hospital. The doctors did not want to take care of me anymore but they did. They made other checks before going ahead with the operation. At the end of the medical checks all the doctors were astonished to realize, that I had no cancers. I was astonished too because I had smelt the scent of violets during the medical checks and I knew it was a signal of Padre Pio’s presence. I asked for the doctor’s bill before leaving the hospital but the doctor told me: “I haven’t done anything in order to heal you so you do not have to pay me”. When I went back home I wanted to go to San Giovanni Rotondo to thank Padre Pio. I was sure he had healed me. But when I arrived at the church convent, I started to have pain again. It was so painful I fainted! Two men carried me up to the Padre Pio’s confessional. As soon as I saw him I said: “I have five children and I am very sick, save me father, save my life.” - He answered: “I am not God, nor Jesus Christ, I am just a priest like any other priest, not more, maybe less. I can not do miracles!  I implored crying “Please, Father, save me.” Padre Pio turned his eyes to the sky and I saw his lips praying. At that same moment I smelt the scent of violets I had smelt in hospital. Father Pio told me: “Go home and pray! I will pray for you! You will recover! - I went home and the pain disappeared.

 

A gentleman said in 1950, my mother-in-law was taken to a hospital for an operation. She had cancer in the left breast. In fact, it was necessary to operate on the right side some months later, but due to the dissemination of the cancer cells in her body, the doctors said she could not live more than four months. In Milan somebody told us about Padre Pio and his miracles to us. I immediately went to San Giovanni Rotondo and I awaited my turn for confession. I asked Padre Pio to help my wife’s mother and heal her. Padre Pio sighed long twice and said: “We have to pray, everybody has to pray. She will recover! It happened! In fact my mother-in-law recovered after her operation and she went by herself to San Giovanni Rotondo to thank Padre Pio who smiling told her: “Go in peace, my daughter! Go in peace!” - Instead of four months my mother-in-law  lived for nineteen years! We all have thanked father Pio for years.

 

Another Padre Pio miracle was considered a permanent miracle. This miracle concerns a Tuscany railway-man who died in 1983 when he was seventy years old. He said: “I am a living challenge to science! In 1945 I lived in the Siena province. I was married and had a son. He was a caretaker in a railway electrical plant system. On 21st of May, in the morning, when he was going to work by motorbike, he crashed into a truck. He was taken to the hospital and the doctor diagnosed a fractured skull, the breach of the left eardrum, some ribs broken and five fractures of the left leg. Only several days after the incident could the doctors establish if his life was still in danger. He had had good improvement but not in his leg. The doctors could not heal it. He was taken from one hospital to another in order to find the right solution for his leg. He said: “I was taken to the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena where I had been under care for one year. Then I went to the Rizzoli Hospital in Bologna. I can say that after some operations my femur had  recovered but because of several problems my legs became completely rigid. The doctors told me I had a fibrous anchylosis on my left knee and they were not able to heal me. Moreover the wounds caused by the operations were not healing. Several trials had been done in order to bind up my leg without success. At that point the doctors of the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena decided to go ahead with another trial; in fact they wanted to practice a forced bending of my leg by using the Zuppinger machine in total anesthesia. Unfortunately the last attempt to recover my leg was done without success. In fact, when the doctor insisted with that effort, my femur broke again and and I was forced to have my leg put in plaster for a further two months. In 1948, at the beginning of the year, I was discharge from the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena and I was declared incurable. I had to remain with my rigid leg for all my life. I was thirty-five years old and I did not want to give up. So I decided to try with other doctors but I had so few hopes to recover, that I did not want to face a new operation. I was so demoralized and sad that I looked like a wounded beast. I could not stand anybody.  In desperation I didn’t want to live anymore! I vented all my anger against my wife who supported me. I used the canes to move myself but I hardly succeeded in dragging myself only for few meters.  My legs were both rigid and full of bleeding with painful wounds. I often tried to do something by myself but I usually fell down. So I cried, cursing everyone and God. My wife believed in God, but I did not believe in God. She went to Church and I told her off. I swore out of spite and she cried! A religious once came to our parish to hold a lecture. Somebody told him of my condition and he wanted to speak to my wife in order to give her support. Furthermore he told her: “Why don’t you take your husband to San Giovanni Rotondo, to Padre Pio, a friar that does miracles? My wife told me those words hopefully but I burst out laughing and I profanely spoke against Padre Pio. But my wife did not want to lose that chance so she decided to write a lot of letters to Padre Pio but she did not get any answer. Then she started again to speak to me about the friar asking me to satisfy her request. My condition was getting worse and I realized my life was ending. So I hopelessly surrendered myself to my wife and told her: “OK, let’s try this too! I had a very bad trip! When I was on the train I was laid on a stretcher but when I had to get up and go into the carriage I felt an atrocious pain in my leg. The first step was to Rome, the second step was Foggia. In order to arrive in San Giovanni Rotondo there was only a bus from in Foggia, which usually started in the early morning, so we decided to spend the night in a Hotel. While I was dragging myself with my canes, I fell down in a puddle. The railway station workers had heard I was a railway-man like themselves and asked me to spend the night in an office of the railway-station. So I spent the night there. In the early morning my wife, my son and I took the bus to go to San Giovanni Rotondo. The bus stopped two kilometers from the little church and Friary. At that time the roads were not asphalted. I don’t know how I managed to arrive at the church. As soon as I went into the little church I sat down on a chair exhausted. I had never seen a Padre Pio photo; therefore, I could not recognize him. In the church there were a lot of friars. Now close to me there was a friar who was hearing a woman’s confession. The curtain, which hides the priest in the confessional, was opened. The friar was inside the confessional was looking on the floor and his hands were hidden in the sleeves of the garb. When he raised his head to bless the woman in front of him I noticed he wore some particular half gloves. In that moment Padre Pio watched me for a couple of seconds. Under that look my body started to shake like a violent electric shock had hit it. Father Pio went out from the confessional some minutes later and went away. In the afternoon, at four p.m. we went again into the church. My son took me into the church while Padre Pio was still hearing confessions. There were some people before me and fifteen minutes later my turn came. Using my canes I approached Padre Pio. I tried to say something, but he did not give me time to speak. He started to speak and told me exactly my life, my character and my behavior. I was completely taken by his words and I forgot my leg and my problems. When he raised his hand to bless me I felt the same shake I had felt before in the morning. Without paying attention to my knee I knelt down and signed myself with the cross. Then, I stood up, took my sticks in my hands and I went away walking without any problem. My wife, who was in the Church, watched me with the sticks in my hands as I was going without any help but she did not see I was walking by myself. She just told me: “What a beautiful face you have!”  We stopped and prayed for a while and we went toward the gate. Only at that point my wife realized what had happened. She said, “Giuseppe, are you walking? I stopped and noticed I had the sticks in my hands. “It is true, I am walking and I do not have any pain”. “Daddy” my son said, “you even knelt when you were in front of Padre Pio”. I could now make all movements without any problems or pains. I examined my legs and I noticed all my bleeding and painful wounds had been healed. Now I could see just the dry scars. “I am really healed,” I told my wife and I burst out crying. My trip on the way home was a show. In fact whenever I had a stage, I spoke about my healing. I went again to the Orthopaedic Hospital of Siena for a medical visit. The doctors were appalled. In fact they could not believe I had been walking. Moreover; after the x-rays were done again on my leg, they also realized that my leg had not changed. The fibrous anchylosis of the knee was still there and for that reason I could not have walked. My case was also shown during a medical conference in Rome. I was visited by a lot of scientists who came from foreign countries. Everyone went away amazed.

Sister Pagani said:  "I had planned a trip to see Padre Pio again but before I left I wanted to go to greet Brother Gianfranco. He was the priest of my town and he was in Hospital for a cancer to the lung. The patient asked to me to recommend him to the monk: "Tell  the Father something about my illness." 

When I arrived at St. Giovanni Rotondo, together with some other person, somebody let me stand in the corridor of the convent. Padre Pio would have crossed the corridor. I was absorbed in my thoughts when Padre Pio arrived. He shook the hand to me in order to kiss them and I spoke a little. The Father said: "Do you have other things to tell me? ". 

I was surprised at the question, but I said: "Father! Our priest has a cancer and he is waiting for some word from you."

Padre Pio said: "..if God wants to him to die, what can we do? 

"Father he wants to heal." 

The Saint stayed few minutes in silence and then he said: "OK, it is not a problem... 

When I went back home I knew that Brother Gianfranco had left the hospital. I went to him and I explained to him what padre Pio said.

 

Between the end of 1953 and the beginning of 1954 Pope Pio XII had a physical breakdown from stress: "He was unable to eat and when he did try he would vomit the food back up. He was also trouble by nausea and hiccup. The only respite he got were  short sleeps of half hours. Eventually it was necessary to feed him artificially.

While the Pope was sick, Padre Pio promised to pray for him and also offered up to God his own health and life instead of the Pope.

Some days later Padre Pio became sick with a high fever.

Father Costantino Capobianco said: I was unaware about Padre Pio’s promise and the reason for his sickness, but Father Agostino, who knew all the secret things from Padre Pio, told me: “Padre Pio is sick because of his great anxiety for the Pope."

Padre Pio took on his shoulders the burden that was destined for the Pope. Pope Pio XII made a quick recovery. Some days after, the Pope received news about the heroic offer made by Padre Pio in the Convent of San Giovanni Rontondo. Then, Pope Pio XII decided to write a letter to the Head of the Franciscan Friars in order to say thank you for Padre Pio’s prayers and sufferings.

 

A Priest and some orthodox believers of Romania have joined the Catholic Church after a miracle of healing made by Padre Pio. 

The priest and his community came from an orthodox religion joined Catholicism to express their devoted gratitude to St. Pio of Pietrelcina. The miracle occurred in  Pesceana, a town in the County of Vallea, center-southern Romania. Here the local priest's mother, aged 71, was diagnose with lung cancer which she had suffered with for a long time.

After having submitted her to all the possible clinical checks, due to the presence of diffused metastasis, all the doctors gave her only a few months to live. The cancer was at an advance stage which was inoperable.

The orthodox priest, did not want to resign himself to losing his mother, so he asked his brother who lived in Rome to bring their mother to the best Italian doctor in Rome. The priest’s brother succeeded in arranging a medical check for their mother with a well known doctor who confirmed the diagnosis of his Rumanian colleagues.

One day, during her permanence in Rome, the lady accompanied her son to a catholic church. She noticed in a corner a big statue of Padre Pio and she was impressed. She asked her son about the statue and he illustrated to her Padre Pio’s history. 

In the following days the woman went back to the same church and every time she stayed for a long time in prayer in front of the statue of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

After two weeks she was due further medical checks and the son brought his mother to the same doctor, but this time, with a big surprise the doctor said there was no sign of the woman cancer.

The lady wanted to go back to Romania, on her return she told everything to her son the priest. She also told him that she had prayed to Padre Pio requesting his help and she had been listened too, despite her affiliation to the orthodox Church.

The news quickly spread in the Rumanian town and people started enquiring  and finding out information on this stigmatized Monk. Some other people were healed by Padre Pio in the same town and they wanted to become catholic believers.

After some years their desire were finally turned into reality. They joined the Roman Catholic Church.

 

A woman said: "My son was playing football on the street when suddenly an iron gate felt on him. We realized he had an unstoppable losses of blood from the nose and from the left ear. My son was immediately brought to hospital, his condition was bad, he also had an absent look on his face. There was a lot of excitement among the doctors.

While I was crying and suffering, I turned my eyes to the wall and I could see a photo of Padre Pio. With so much faith I asked him to help my son.

Due to his critical health condition, my son was moved to another hospital and he was in a state of shock.

However, the following day, my son started to improve and after three days he left the Hospital. Before going back home we entered into a Church. In the Church there was a picture of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. My son saw that picture and he showed me the picture  saying: "Mum, he was also together with me in hospital! He has caressed me… ". 

My emotions crumble and I started to cry. Gladly I thanked Padre Pio. 

Bilocation can be defined as the simultaneous presence of a person in two different places. Numerous witnesses connected to the Christian religious tradition have reported events of bilocation, which have been attributed to many Saints. Padre Pio had this charisma and had been seen by eyewitnesses in different places at the same time. Here are several testimonials.

Mrs. Maria, one of Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters, said that one evening her brother was praying when suddenly he fell asleep. He was immediately awoken by a slap on his right check. He realised that the hand which hit him was covered with a half glove. He suddenly thought of Padre Pio. The next day he asked Padre Pio if he had slapped him. Padre Pio answered; “this is the way to cast away sleeping while praying?” With a slap Padre Pio had “awakened” the attention of the praying man.

 

One day, a former Italian Army Officer entered the sacristy and watching Padre Pio said; “Yes, here he is! I am not wrong!” He approached Padre Pio, and kneeling in front of him crying, he said; “Padre, thank you for saving me from death.” Afterwards, the man told the people present there, “I was a Captain of the Infantry and one day on the battlefield in a terrible hour of battle, not far from me I saw a friar who said; ‘Sir, go away from that place!’ I went towards him and as soon as I moved, a grenade burst in the place where I was before and opened a chasm. I turned around in order to find the friar, but he was not there anymore.” Padre Pio, who was bilocating, had saved his life.

 

Father Alberto, who met Padre Pio in 1917, stated “I saw Padre Pio standing in front of the window, looking at the mountain. He was speaking to himself. I approached him in order to kiss his hand, but he did not notice my presence and I noticed that his hand was rigid. At that time, I heard that he was clearly giving absolution and pardon to someone. After a while, Padre Pio shook like awakening from a nap. He looked at me and said; ‘you are here. I did not realize it!’ After some days, a telegram from Turin was delivered. Someone was thanking the superior of the convent for having sent Padre Pio to Turin to assist a dying person. I realized that the man was dying in the same moment Padre Pio was blessing him in San Giovanni Rotondo. Obviously, the superior of the convent had not sent Padre Pio to Turin, but he had bilocated there.”

 

In 1946, an American family went from Philadelphia to Saint Giovanni Rotondo in order to thank Padre Pio. In fact, their son, a bombardier plane pilot (during World War II), had been saved by Padre Pio in the sky over the Pacific Ocean. The son explained; “the airplane was flying near the airport on the island where it was going to land after it had loaded its bombs. However, the airplane was struck by a Japanese attack plane. The aircraft exploded before the rest of the crew had the chance to parachute. Only I succeeded in going out of the airplane. I don’t know how I did it. I tried to open the parachute, but I didn’t succeed. I would have smashed to the ground if I had not received a friar’s help who had appeared in midair. He had a white beard. He took me in his arms and put me sweetly at the entrance of the base. You can imagine the astonishment inspired by my story. Nobody could believe it, but given my presence there, they had no choice. I recognized the friar who saved my life some days later while on home leave, I saw the monk in one of my mother’s pictures. She told me she had asked Padre Pio to look after me.”

 

A woman was at her daughter’s home in Bologna. She had a tumor in her arm. So she agreed with her daughter to go for surgery. The surgeon told her to be patient and to wait some days before establishing a date for the surgery. In the meanwhile, her son-in-law sent a telegram to Padre Pio asking him to pray for his mother-in-law. At the moment when the telegram reached Padre Pio, the woman, who was in the dinning room alone, saw a capuchin friar enter through the door. “I am Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,”he said. Then, after asking her what the doctor had said and encouraging her to trust in Our Blessed Mother, he made the sign of the Cross on her arm and went out of the room. At that point, the woman called for the maid, her daughter and son-in-law. She asked them why they allowed Padre Pio to enter without announcing him. They responded that they had not seen Padre Pio and furthermore, they had not opened the door to anyone. The next day, the surgeon did a medical check-up on the woman in preparation for surgery; however, he could not find any tumor.

 

Padre Pio visited the Bishop who had ordained him on the 10 August 1910 in the Cathedral of Benevento. It happened before the Bishop’s death. Padre Pio bilocated there in order to give the Bishop his spiritual support.

 

Even Blessed don Orione spoke about padre Pio’s bilocation. He said: “I was in Saint Peter’s Church in Rome in order to attend the celebration of Saint Teresa’s beatification. There also was Father Pio, despite the fact that he was in his convent at the same time. I saw him. He was smiling and coming towards me through the crowd, but when I was not far from him, he disappeared.

 

In 1951, Father Pio celebrated Holy Mass for a convent of nuns in Czechoslovakia. After Mass, the nuns went to the sacristy to offer Father Pio coffee in order to thank him for his unexpected visit, but they did not find the holy man in the sacristy. Thus the nuns realised that Father Pio had bilocated there. 

 

In 1956, Padre Pio served Holy Mass for Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary in his Budapest prison. Someone who had news of the imprisonment had asked Father Pio directly: “Father Pio you have served the Mass to the Cardinal of Hungary, so you have spoken to him! So you have been in jail with him and you have seen him!” - Father Pio answered: “Of course, if I had spoken to him I have also seen him”. He was bilocating.

 

Mother Speranza, who founded the order of the Handmaids of the Merciful Love, said she had seen Padre Pio every day for one year in Rome. He had bilocated there. We know that padre Pio had never been to Rome, except once in 1917, in order to take his sister to a convent she had decided to enter..

 

An Italian General of the Army, called Cadorna, felt in such condition of depression after the defeat of Caporetto, that he was contemplating suicide. One evening he went to his room and he commanded his orderly not to allow anybody to come in. He took his gun from a drawer and pointed the gun at his head, but suddenly he heard a voice: “Oh General, why do you want to do such stupid thing?” The voice and the presence of the Friar helped the general change his mind. He wondered how it was possible that a Friar had entered his room.  He asked for explanations from his orderly but he answered he had seen nobody going into his room. Some years later, the General read in a newspaper of a Friar that worked miracles in the Gargano area. He secretly went there but he was astonished when father Pio said to him: “Hello General, you ran a great risk that evening, didn’t you?”

 

Father Agostino wrote: “A Nun, in Florence, told me after the communion Padre Pio had appeared to her to comfort her and to bless her. So I wanted to ask to Padre Pio.               

I told him: "Do you do some trips to Florence from time to time? " "A nun has told this to me." 

"Yes, I do, Father" He humbly said me. 

It was clear Padre Pio had gone to Florence in bilocation

 

The last bilocation of Padre Pio occurred the afternoon before the day of his death. Padre Pio has gone to greet in Genova (Italy) the brother Umile who was wounded. 

Around 16.30, in September 22nd , in 1968 Sister Ludovica goes to father Umile to bring him a cup of tea. The religious feels a strong perfume of flowers that floods the whole environment. Since she doesn't know the origin of the perfume she looks at the monk for an explanation. 

Father Umile with naturalness and spontaneity says: "Padre Pio has come to greet me and he has given to me his last goodbye." 

The following day the news of the death of Padre Pio spreads around the World.

 

Padre Placido Bux of Saint Marco in Lamis said:

"In 1957, I was brought to the Hospital of San Severo for a serious hepatic problem. During the night I could see Padre Pio near my bed. He spoke to me and he reassured me about my healing. Then Padre Pio desappeared throught the window by putting his hand on the glass of the window. The morning after Padre Placido felt better and he woke up and he went to the window. He recognized the print of Padre Pio's hand on the glass so he realized it was not a dream. This news was spread within the Hospital in few time and also in the town.

A lot of people went into the room in order to check the window by themselves and despite the glass had been cleaned with water a lot of time, the print was still there.

The priest of the Church of San Severo, Padre Alberto, decided to go first to the Hospital in order to pay a visit to Padre Placito and then to Saint Giovanni Rotondo to meet with Padre Pio.

As soon as Padre Alberto was in the corridor of the Convent he saw Padre Pio in front of him and before Padre Alberto could say anything Padre Pio asked for news about Padre Placido's health condition.

Then Padre Alberto said: "Father, everyone believes you have been in hospital last night to pay a visit to Padre Placido and you have left the print of your hand on the glass of the window..."

Padre Pio said: "Do you have any doubt?"

A lot of Saints of the Catholic Church possessed the charisma that allowed them to know distant things, or to view the future, or to see and to sense distance space using their senses and their normal intellectual abilities. Father Pio had the charisma of this supernatural knowledge. Just looking at a person he could see into the most secret parts of his soul. Many testimonies suggest this was the gift of Padre Pio.

 

A woman from Bologna (Italy) said: “Once my mother went to father Pio with some of her friends. She met with Father Pio in the sacristy of the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo as soon as he arrived. Padre Pio told her: “Why are you here? Go home, your husband is sick”. My mother thought she had left her husband in good condition. Anyway, she went back home on the first available train. When she arrived at home she asked about my father’s health. There was no news. But during the night my father had serious respiratory difficulties. Something pressed him in the throat. That night, at eleven p.m. my father was hospitalised brought into the operating room. The surgeon that operated on him extracted from his throat at least two basins of pus.  Father Pio had seen in advance what would happen to this lady’s husband and with his suggestion and prayer he had succeeded in influencing the happy solution of the case.

 

A spiritual son of Padre Pio who lived in Rome omitted out of shame to make his customary small reverence when he passed near to a church in the company of some friends. Suddenly he heard Padre Pio’s voice saying: “Coward!” After a few days he went to San Giovanni Rotondo, where he was reproached by Padre Pio:  “Be careful!  This time I have only scolded you; next time I will give you a slap.”

 

One day at sunset, Padre Pio was in the garden of the monastery.  He was chatting pleasantly with some of his spiritual children and others of the faithful, when he realized his handkerchief was missing.  He said to one of those present, “Here is the key to my cell.  Please go there and get me a handkerchief.”  The man went to the cell but besides the handkerchief, he took one of Padre Pio’s half gloves and put it in his pocket.  He could not pass up the opportunity to obtain a relic!  But when he went back to the garden and gave Padre Pio the handkerchief, Padre Pio said to him: “Thanks, but now go back to the cell and put back in the drawer the half glove that you put in your pocket”.

 

A certain lady used to kneel in front of a photograph of Padre Pio every evening before going to bed to ask his blessing. Her husband, a good Catholic, thought that the gesture was an exaggeration and began laughing and teasing her each time she did so. Once he told Padre Pio about his wife’s habit.  “Every evening my wife kneels in front of your photo and asks you to bless her.”  Padre Pio answered, “I know, I know…and you start laughing.”

 

A certain man had the reputation of being a good Catholic, admired and esteemed by all who knew him. Actually he was living in sin.  He had neglected his wife, and was now compensating for his loneliness by a relationship with another woman. On one occasion he went to confession to Padre Pio.  In order to justify himself, he started talking about a "spiritual crisis."  But he had not counted on facing an "extraordinary" confessor.  Padre Pio stood up at once and shouted, “What spiritual crisis? You are a litterbug! And God is angry with you. Go away!

 

A gentleman said, “I had decided to give up smoking and to offer this small sacrifice to Padre Pio.  Since then, every evening, with the intact packet of cigarettes in my hand, I stayed in front of his image telling him, ‘Father...it is one...’ The second day, ‘Padre, it is two…’ Three months later, I went to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio after doing the same thing every evening. ‘Padre,’ I told him as soon as I saw him, ‘I haven't been smoking for 81 days, 81 packets...’ Padre Pio said, ‘I know everything you know, you made me count the packets every evening.’”

 

A bus driver who was transporting tourists on a trip to Gargano was in the sacristy waiting to leave again when Padre Pio arrived. Although the bus driver was in the middle of the group of about ten people, Padre Pio noticed him and said, “Son, don’t you even ask for a blessing?" The driver, amazed, stepped forward from the group and knelt in order to receive Padre Pio’s blessing. But instead of blessing him, Padre Pio asked him: “So, what have you done?” – “Nothing Father, I haven’t done anything. I went to confession when I was at Monte Sant’Angelo, and I have even attended Mass with the tourists I am guiding. “And  afterward?" - “I have purchased some religious objects.” “Ah, it was not those holy images that made you curse but those sweets!"  The astounded driver remembered that after the Mass he had cursed because the number of nougats he bought turned out to be less than was needed by the tourists. Mortified, he tried to say something; but Padre Pio drew him far from the group and said, “That's not all. On the road on the way to St. Giovanni Rotondo, you slighted and offended a driver that you have met on your road..” The man who said he hadn't done anything started to say an act of contrition.

 

A lady came from England to have her confession heard by Padre Pio.  She went to his confessional but Padre Pio closed the window saying:  “I am not available to you.”  The woman stayed for several weeks and during this time, daily returned to his confessional and daily was turned away. Finally, Padre Pio consented to hear her confession. She asked the Padre why he made her wait so long to be heard.  Padre Pio answered:  “And You?”  “How long have you made Our Lord wait?” You should wonder how Jesus could welcome you after you committed so many sacrileges. You have delayed your judgment for years, besides sinning against your husband and your mother you have received Holy Communion in mortal sin.  The woman was stunned and reformed.  She cried when she  received absolution. She returned to England a few days later, very happy.

 

A gentleman tells this story.  Once I ate too many figs and I felt guilty about it.  I thought I had committed a sin of gluttony.  Since I would have confession with Padre Pio the next day I thought I would confess it then.  The following day as I was walking slowly on the road to the convent, I made an examination of conscience.  The sin of gluttony did not come to mind.  Padre Pio heard my confession but before concluding and before the absolution I said to him, “I think I am guilty of yet another sin but I can’t remember it.”  “Don’t worry,” he answered me smiling: “for two figs”.

 

God sees everything we do and we will have to give him a response for everything we do. The following story illustrates that God knows even our most hidden thoughts.  In 1921 a man, who had belonged to a gang of unrepentant criminals had decided to kill his wife in order to be free to marry another woman.   He put together a plan that would provide him with a good alibi.  His wife was a devotee of  Padre Pio  who lived in the small town of Gargano. Since no one in that town knew of him or his reputation he thought it would be a good place to put his homicidal plan into effect.  One day he suggested to his wife that they make a trip to Gargano and while they were there she could take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Friar she admired so much. When they arrived in the town, he left his wife in a hotel, and went alone to the convent to arrange for her to have confession with Padre Pio.  He thought that while his wife was at confession he would be seen in town to corroborate his alibi.  He looked for an inn where he would invite some of the town’s people to have a drink with him.  Then, he would make some excuse, leave the inn, go kill his wife who had just left confession, and then later return to the inn.   The convent was surrounded by open country  and in the faint light of evening  he felt sure no one would see anything. The plan was perfect. When he reached the convent he saw Padre Pio in the confessional.  At this point he felt an impulse that he couldn’t contain.  He knelt in front of Padre Pio’s confessional, and began to make the sign of the cross.  Before he finished, cries came from the confessional.  “Go away”  Go away” “Go Away” “Don’t you know that it is forbidden to kill somebody?”  Then Padre Pio grabbed the man by the arm and lead him away.  The man was stunned, incredulous, and dismayed.  He ran away to the country where he tripped on a boulder and fell face down in the mud.  For the first time he acknowledged the horrors of his life full of sin.  After a while he saw all of his existence and among the torments of his mind he understood his inhumane wickedness.  Tormented to the depths of his soul he returned to church and asked Padre Pio to hear his confession.  Padre Pio consented and with endless sweetness spoke to him as if he were an old friend.  Padre Pio listed for him his whole life, moment by moment, sin after sin, crime after crime, everything in incredible detail, until he finally came to his  recent intention to kill his wife. The man listened to Padre Pio speaking about the homicide that he had planned in his own mind.  He had never told anyone else about it.  Exhausted but finally free the man threw himself at the feat of the monk and begged forgiveness.  This was not the end.  Before the absolution was finished Padre Pio asked him, “You have desired to have children haven’t you?  Well, do not offend God anymore and you will have a child”.  The man returned a year later to Padre Pio, totally converted and he had become the father of a child who was born from the same wife he had wanted to kill.

 

The friar who was the Guardian of the convent of St. Giovanni Rotondo related:  "Last year a dealer from Pisa came come to Padre Pio for a healing of his daughter. The holy man looked at him and said: 'You are sicker than your daughter. I see you dead.'  'No, no, no Padre, I'm very well' answered the man.  "Wretch!," Padre Pio cried.  'Unfortunate! How are you well with so many sins on your conscience? I can see at least thirty-two sins!' Everybody can image the amazement of the dealer. After his confession, he told  whomever would  listen to him: "He already knew everything and he has told me everything about my life!"

 

A priest told of an adventure that happened to a brother of his who had travelled very far to go to confession to Padre Pio.  After his confession Padre Pio asked him: "My son, do you have anything else to confess?"  "No, Padre."  Padre Pio told him to look for something else to remember. He examined his conscience again without success; he could not find anything else to confess. Then, with sweetness, Padre Pio told him: "Son, you arrived yesterday morning in Bologna at 5.00 a.m. Churches were still closed. Instead of waiting you went to the hotel to rest before Mass. You went to bed and then you fell asleep so deeply that you woke up at three o'clock in the afternoon, when it was too late to attend a mass. I know you have not done it in malice, but it was a negligence that hurt Our Lord!"

 

Because of the great crowds that went to see Padre Pio, two policemen were assigned to the convent to protect him. One day in the sacristy after the celebration of Mass, while Padre Pio was disrobing the sacred vestments, he turned smiling to one of the policemen and said:  "As soon I have given thanksgiving for the Mass and you are finished here, come to my room because I have to speak to you."  The policeman was very happy for this invitation so, when he ended his service, he went to Padre Pio's cell.  Padre Pio told him: "Listen to me!  In not more than eight days you will die at your father's home, my son."   The policeman answered him: "But Padre, I am feeling very well."   But Padre Pio added: "Don't worry about it! You will be better in eight days. What is this life? A pilgrimage.  We are on a train, my son!   Ask your boss to go on leave to enjoy your family...you are going to die...and your relatives???  They do not know anything about this..."  The policeman, stunned by these words, asked: "Father, can I tell what you have told me?"  "Not for now," the Father answered, "you can tell it only when you will be at home."  The young man went to the town of St. Giovanni Rotondo and he asked for permission to go home. His boss did not want to grant him the permission because there was no suitable motivation.  However,  on Padre Pio's intercession, the policeman received the permission to go home.   When the policeman reached his house, he told his parents: "I've come to greet you and Padre Pio has told me that I will die."  After eight days the policeman died.  

 

The monks of the convent of Venafro, who entertained Padre Pio a few times, were witnesses of other inexplicable phenomenon besides the visions.   While Padre Pio was seriously ill, he was able to know the thoughts of people. One day Friar Augustine went to find him.  "This morning say a particular prayer for me, " Padre Pio requested.   Going down to the church, Friar Augustine decided to remember the brother in a special way during the Mass, but then he forgot to do it.   When he returned to Padre Pio,  the Padre asked him:  "Have you prayed for me?"  "I forgot to do it,"  Father Augustine answered. Padre Pio told him: "Don't worry.  God has accepted the intention you made while you were going down the staircase."

 

Padre Pio was solicited more than once to expiate the sins of a man.  Padre Pio, who was praying in choir, lifted his head and severely says: "This man has made Our Lord wait for twenty-five years to confess and he is not able to wait for me for five minutes?"  It was ascertained that the fact was true.  

 

Padre Pio’s prophetic spirit as told by Padre Carmelo, who was Superior of the Convent of St. Giovanni Rotondo, is contained in this testimony:  “During the last World War, we spoke of the war every day and of the uproarious military victories of Germany on all the fronts of battle. I remember one morning I was in the little parlor of the convent, and I read in a newspaper the news that the German troops were moving by now in the direction of Moscow. For me, it was important news; in fact, I saw in that news that the war would end with the final victory of Germany. Going out in the corridor, I met Padre Pio, and gladly I told him shouting: “Father, the war is ended! Germany has won!” - “Who has told you it?” asked  Padre Pio. - “Father, the newspaper,” I answered. - And Padre Pio said: “Germany has won the war?  Keep in your mind that Germany, this time, will lose the war, worse than the last time! Remember it! “.  I told him: “Father, the Germans are already near Moscow.”  He added: “Remember what I have told you!”  - I said: “But, if Germany loses the war, Italy will lose the war as well!“  - And, he emphatically answered me: “We will see if together they will end the war.” -  I didn’t understand those words, taking into account the alliance of Italy and Germany, but the words became clear the following year after the armistice with the English and Americans of September 8, 1943, and the Italian declaration of war against Germany.  

 

A lady said: “I wanted to take part in a trip to St. Giovanni Rotondo, in order to meet and to approach Padre Pio. It was the year 1961. A man in the bus suddenly cried: “My wife wanted me to bring her to this “impostor.” - The reference to the dear Padre Pio was evident, for that insult had struck me to the  heart. When we arrived at St. Giovanni Rotondo, we immediately went to the church to take part in  Holy Mass. At the end of the Mass, Padre Pio came toward us. When he was next to us, he stopped just in front of the gentleman who had insulted him on the bus and said: “Come here! Come to this impostor.”  - The man became pale; he knelt, and stammering, he said: “Forgive me Father! Forgive me!” Then Padre Pio put his hand on his head and, blessing him, added: “Stand up, I forgive you.” That gentleman converted instantly to the delight of all present.

 

Some Saints possessed the gift that is known as  “odor of sanctity”. The phenomenon is called osmogenesia. This gift allows somebody to perceive the Saint’s presence in the smell of personal perfumes. St.Pio has the gift of holy perfumes called odors of holiness, therefore; the people who were next to him, could very often smell his perfumes. The perfume often emanated from his body or from the objects that he touched or from his clothing. Sometimes the perfume was perceivable in the places through which he passed.

One day, a famous Doctor had removed a bandage from a sore on padre Pio’s chest. The gauze  was saturated with the blood and the doctor had enclosed it in a container in order to bring the gauze to his laboratory. During the trip to Rome to analyze the gauze, an Officer and other people that were traveling with the doctor said “they smelled the perfume that usually emanated from padre Pio”. Not one of those persons knew that the doctor had the gauze soaked with the blood of St. Padre Pio in the container. The doctor saved that gauze in his laboratory, and the strange perfume had stayed in the room for long time, so that when the patients went to him for the medical visits, they asked him for an explanation.

 

Friar Modestino said: “Once I was on vacation at St. Giovanni Rotondo. I went to Padre Pio in the sacristy that morning to serve the Holy Mass, but other monks were already arguing in the sacristy as to who would have this privilege. Padre Pio interrupted those discussions by saying – ‘only he will serve the Holy Mass’ - and he pointed me out!  I accompanied Padre Pio to St. Francis altar, I closed the gate, and I started to serve the Holy Mass in profound awe. When the Mass got to the point of the “Sanctus” I suddenly had a desire to smell again that indescribable perfume that I had already perceived when I had kissed Padre Pio’s hand. The desire was immediately granted me and it was like I was wooed by St. Pio’s perfume. The perfume increased more and more, so much so that the perfume caused me to breathe irregularly. I leaned my hand on the communion rail so as not to fall! I was about to faint when I mentally asked Padre Pio to save me from embarrassment in front of the people. In that precise instant the perfume disappeared. In the evening, while I accompanied him to his room, I asked Padre Pio for an explanation about that phenomenon. He answered me: “My child, I am not able to explain it. “God intervenes to allow somebody to smell the perfume whenever He wants.”

 

From my small window (I was on one side of the confessional) I saw that Padre Pio was hearing the confession of a lady on the other side.  While I thought that I was going to speak to the saint, I was wooed by a strong perfume of lilies. Yet, this really got me confused, because I had never believed the stories of the perfumes, and so I myself was convinced that  padre Pio’s perfumes really existed.

 

A lady from Bologna, who was 24 years old, had her right arm fractured. The same arm had been operated three years prior because of a serious accident. After an operation followed by a long painful recovery the surgeon told the girl’s father that she would not have use of the arm anymore. In fact the arm was completely immobile, because of the removal of a section of the shoulder blade. A bone graft had not succeeded!   Father and injured daughter departed for St. Giovanni Rotondo. Padre Pio met them, he blessed them and he declared: “Above all do not despair! Confide in God! The arm will recover.” Toward the end of July, 1930 the woman returned to Bologna without any improvement of her arm. Was it possible to think that Padre Pio had been wrong? For months nobody thought anymore of the problem. On the 17th.of September (the celebration of the stigmata of St. Francis), suddenly, the apartment where the family lived became scented by a delicious odor of jonquils and roses. The scented phenomenon lasted about a quarter of an hour while everybody tried to understand where that perfume originated. From that day the girl started to use her arm again. An X-Ray which she preserved jealously, showed that the bone and the cartilage were completely fused and healed.

 

A man said: “One day I decided to follow my wife’s suggestion to go see Padre Pio. It had been twenty-five years precisely from the day of my marriage since I had seen the inside of a church. I felt my years of guilt weighing me down and I needed to confess my sins, but as soon as I was next to Padre Pio, he said brusquely (without looking at me): “Go away!”  I answered: “I am here to confess, that you may give me Jesus’ absolution.”  I had spoken roughly to him, but he roughly responded: “I have said: “Go away.” I went away running across the garden from the small Church then onto the hotel. My wife, who had seen me go out of the Church, reached me at the hotel. “What has happened? What are you doing?” she questioned me.  “I am packing my suitcase and I am leaving,” I answered.  At that moment a cloud of perfume wooed me. It was an intense perfume, marvellous to the senses. I was confused. It soothed me instantly and I felt inside me a great desire to return to Padre Pio. It took me a day to muster enough courage to return to the Padre.  I prepared myself, carefully I examined my conscience before meeting the Padre who kindly welcomed me and gave me absolution I needed.”

 

A lady said: “My husband was in an automobile accident and was critically injured. He was transported to the hospital in Taranto, Italy. The doctors had no hope of his survival. On the hospital grounds there was a shrine dedicated to Padre Pio.  Before visiting my husband I would stop and pray to Padre Pio for my husband’s recovery.  One day, as I stood there praying, the “Saintly” Pio smells, a marvellous perfume of lilies engulfed me.  I took it as a sign that my prayer request had been heard. From that moment on, the condition of my husband improved and he healed from the injuries he sustained.”

 

A gentleman from Toronto said: “In 1947, my wife that fell seriously ill and was hospitalised in Rome, requiring surgery. I travelled to St. Giovanni, Rotondo to see Padre Pio.  While I was there, the good Padre heard my confession.  After receiving the absolution, I talked to the Padre about my wife’s condition. Then I asked him: “Father, help me to pray!” Immediately I smelled a delicious and persistent perfume that surprised me. I returned home in the late evening. As soon as I opened the door, I smelled again that same scent that I had smelled when I was next to Father Pio. I became confident. My wife underwent the operation without any problems. I told her the marvellous experience that I had and together we thanked Padre Pio.”

 

A married couple in England were experiencing problems and were at a point of despair. They did not know where to turn to.  Someone spoke to them about Padre Pio. They wrote to Padre Pio about their problems but did not receive any answer.  They, then decided to go to St. Giovanni Rotondo to meet the Padre and obtain his wise counsel. From England to Puglia (Italy), the journey was long! Moreover, it was in the middle of winter with snowy conditions prevailing.  Despite the weather, they embarked on their journey. They spent their first night in Bern in a lowly hotel for that was all they could afford.  Doubts filled them once more. They wondered what they would do if the Padre did not receive them. Should they continue with their journey or turn back. As they were debating on their options, the room was filled with a sweet, intoxicating perfume,  that had a very relaxing effect on them. The woman began to look for the source of the perfume and thought that some distracted traveller, before them had left a bottle of perfume in the room. The search for the perfume’s source was fruitless! Awhile later the perfume smell faded away and the room emanated the usual odor of a stench. The married couple shared their experience with the innkeeper. He was surprised as it was the first time that any of his clients believed to have smelled perfume in their room. The couple instead took it as a sign to continue with their journey to St. Giovanni Rotondo and to meet Padre Pio. When they got there, the young man, who was well versed in Italian, spoke to the Padre in Italian:  “We wrote to you, Father, but since you have not answered us…”  “What?” Padre Pio interrupted saying: “ Why do you tell me I did not answer you? Did you not smell anything that evening in the Swiss hotel?” The two lovers were joyful and full of thankfulness. They understood then, the perfume that they had smelled in the room of the hotel, was the perfume of Padre Pio. With just a few words of counselling, Padre Pio helped them to resolve their problems.”

 

A gentleman met Father Pio through a series of strange coincidences. He says: “The first time I heard somebody speak of this extraordinary religious man was after the war. A friend of mine knew the Padre well. He spoke enthusiastically of him. But I thought to myself his stories about the holy man were a bit much. So I must confess my initial reactions were indifference and disbelief. This was especially true when my friend told me about various phenomena attributed to Padre Pio, especially the scent of perfumes. “Many people claim to detect an aroma of perfume even when they are not any where near the sainted Friar.  You can imagine my surprise when this started to happen to me. I would catch the aroma of violets in unusual places, where even the hint of a flower could not be found. I began to wonder about myself. I started to doubt my senses. I even told myself I must be dreaming. “One day the phenomenon happened when I was on vacation with my wife. I had gone to the post office to mail a letter. The post office in question did not normally lace its air with perfume. I don’t know of any that do. But all of a sudden I smelled the unmistakable odor of violets. Catching the scent, my wife said to me ‘ Where is this odor of perfume coming from?’ Excitedly, I asked her ‘Can you smell it too?’ “Then I told my wife about Padre Pio and about the stories of unusual perfumed aromas surrounding his presence. These aromas could be detected even if one were at a distance from the good Padre. My wife was moved. She said to me: ‘If I were you, I would leave for San Giovanni Rotondo right away.’ The next  day, we were on our way. We met with Padre Pio and he said to me ‘Ah, here is our hero. How much effort I expended to get you here.’ That same day, I had a chance to speak with Padre Pio personally. From that moment on, my life was changed.”

 

Another person once remarked : “Some years ago, I had a heart attack. The doctors recommended  I undergo surgery to improve my condition. I  entered the hospital at once. It was in June 1991. During the surgery, the doctors did a quadruple bypass. When I awoke from the anesthesia, my leg and right arm were paralyzed . I was really discouraged. After awhile, my faith returned and I began to pray to Padre Pio for help. I pleaded with him for three days. On the third day, as I was finishing my prayer, despite being surrounded by other patients, I noticed something significant. I caught a whiff of an overwhelming aroma of flowers. When the perfumed aroma faded, I felt a sensation in my right leg. I knew at once my prayers had been answered.”

 

A woman tells this story: “I had great problems with both of my eyes. I experienced pain and could see very little. I consulted several doctors and after several examinations, they gave me the diagnosis: irreversible ocular hemorrhage. They added  there was a probably a tumor present also. To make matters worse, the doctors told me  this form of blindness was final. There was no cure. “Upon hearing this bad news, I became very depressed and anxious. I was on a trip and I knew I would be passing close to Benevento. So I decided to go as far as Pietreicina, where I would have an opportunity to visit Padre Pio’s monastery. During my visit to one of the last rooms where St. Pio had lived, I was deeply moved. I had been praying for my relatives and all of a sudden, caught the scent of an intense burst of incense. “While I was returning to Rome by train, I thought a lot about what had happened in that room in Padre Pio’s monastery   I decided to plead with Padre Pio to heal my damaged eyes. I turned to him with as much faith as I could muster. Padre Pio didn’t  take long to hear my prayers. In fact, my sight progressively improved and before too long, I was totally healed. The doctors who examined me later could not believe I was completely and inexplicably recovered.”

Padre Pio started to have apparitions when he was a child.  The little Francesco didn’t speak of it because he believed that the apparitions normally happened to all people. The apparitions were of Angels, of Saints, of Jesus, and of Our Lady, but sometimes, also of devils. In the last days of December, 1902, while he was meditating on his vocation, Francesco had a vision. Here is the description that he gave several years later to his confessor. “Francis saw on his side a stately man of rare beauty, shining as the sun, that picked him up by the hand and encouraged him with the precise invitation: ‘It is convenient for you to come with me and fight like a good warrior.’ He was conducted to a spacious country, among a crowd of men divided into two groups: on one side were men with very beautiful faces and dressed in white dresses, candid as the snow. On the other side there were men with horrid faces and dressed in black dresses; they looked like dark shades. Francesco was situated in the middle of these two groups of spectators and he saw that a tall man, so tall that he could touch the clouds with his forehead and with an ugly face, came toward him. The character that shined exhorted Francesco to fight against this monstrous character. Francesco prayed in order to avoid the fury of the strange character but the bright character didn’t disappear: ‘Your resistance is useless. It is worthwhile to fight against this bad character. Please, be faithful and enter confidently in the struggle. I will be nearby you; I will help you and I won’t allow him to defeat you.’ Francesco agreed and the fight was terrible. With the help of the bright character that always was nearby him, Francesco won the fight. The monstrous character was forced to run away and he dragged with him the big crowd of men with horrid faces, among howls, curses and cries. The other crowd of men with beautiful faces roared with applause and praises for him who had assisted the poor Francesco in that great battle. The splendid and bright character, more bright than the sun, put down on the head of victorious Francesco a wonderful crown that is not possible to describe. But then the crown was removed from Francesco’s head and the good character said: ‘Another crown, more beautiful than this one, I have preserved for you if you will fight with that character with which you have now fought. He will always return to the assault; you will fight without having any doubt of my help. Do not worry about his strength; I will be nearby you, I always will help you, and you will succeed in winning.’” Such visions were followed by real clashes with the Devil.  Padre Pio had several clashes against the “enemy hostile to souls” during his life. In fact, one of Padre Pio’s first goals was to tear souls from the clutches of the Devil. 

 

One evening Padre Pio was in a room, on the ground floor of the convent, turned guesthouse. He was alone and had just laid down on the cot when, suddenly, a man appeared to him wound in a black mantle. Padre Pio was amazed and arose to ask the man who he was and what he wanted. The stranger answered that he was a soul in Purgatory. “I am Pietro Di Mauro” he said “I died in a fire, on September 18, 1908, in this convent. In fact this convent, after the expropriation of the ecclesiastical goods, had been turned into a hospice for elderly. I died in the flames, while I was sleeping on my straw mattress, right  in this room. I have come from Purgatory: God has granted me to come here and ask you to say Mass for me tomorrow morning. Thanks to one Mass I will be able to enter into Paradise”. Father Pio told the man that he would say Mass for him..., “but…“padre Pio said: “I, wanted to accompany him to the door of the convent.  I surely realised I had talked to a dead person, in fact when we went out in the church square, the man that was at my side, suddenly disappeared”. I have to admit that I re-entered in the convent rather frightened. Padre Paolino of Casacalenda, Superior of the convent, noticed my nervousness, after explaining to him what happened, I asked “permission to celebrate Holy Mass for the deceased soul,”  A few days later, Father Paolino, wanting to verify the information, went to the office of the registry of the commune of St. Giovanni Rotondo.  He required and got the permission to consult the register of the deceased in the year 1908. The story of Father Pio Father was true. In the register of deaths of the month of September, Father Paolino found the name, last name and cause of death: “On September 18, 1908 in the fire of the hospice, Pietro Di Mauro died.”

 

Mrs Cleonice Morcaldi of St. Giovanni Rotondo was one of the Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters. Her mother had died.  One month after the death of her mother, Father Pio told Mrs Cleonice at the end of the confession: “This morning your mother has gone to Heaven, I have seen her while I was celebrating Holy Mass.”

 

Padre Pio told this story to padre Anastasio. “One evening, while I was alone in choir to pray, I heard the rustle of a suit and I saw a young monk that stirred next to the High altar. It seemed that the young monk was dusting the candelabra and straightening the flower vases. I thought he was Padre Leone rearranging the altar, and, since it was supper time, I went to him and I told him: “Padre Leone, go to dine, this is not the time to dust and to straighten the altar”. But a voice, that was not Father Leone’s answered me”: “I am not Padre Leone”, “and who are you? “, I asked him. “I am a brother of yours that made the noviciate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the noviciate. Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar, thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me.” I believed to be generous to that suffering soul, so I exclaimed: “you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass”. That soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared. That complaint produced in me a wound to the heart that I have felt and I will feel my whole life. In fact I would have been able to immediately send that soul to Heaven but I condemned him to remain another night in the flames of Purgatory.”

        Friar Pio wrote some experiences in his letters to his spiritual father:

 

Letter to Friar Augustine, on April 7, 1913, “My dear Father, I was still in bed on Friday morning, when Jesus appeared to me. He was battered and disfigured. He showed me a great crowd of priests, among whom were different ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating or where donning or removing their vestments. To see Jesus in this condition caused me much pain. I wanted to ask him why he suffered so much. He did not answer me, but showed me that priest being punished. But shortly after, he looked sadly at these priests and I noticed, to my great my horror, two tears running down his face. Jesus went away from that crowd of priests and with a great expression of disgust on his face, cried’: “Butchers!” Then He told me: “My Child, do not believe that my agony has been only three hours, no; actually I will be in agony till the end of the world because of the souls I love. During the time of the agony, my child, nobody can sleep. My soul goes looking for some drop of human pity, but they leave me alone under the weight of their indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers increase the agony for me. They badly respond to my love! The greater torment for me is that these people add their contempt to their indifference and disbelief. How many times my wrath was to strike them like lightning, but I was stopped by the angels and the souls who love me..... Write to your confessor and describe to him what you saw and heard from me this morning. Tell him to show your letter to the Provincial... “Jesus continued to talk but I may never reveal what he said...”

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Letter to Father Agostino of (February 13, 1913): “Don’t worry, I will make you suffer, but I will also give you the strength” - Jesus reveals to me. - “I desire that your soul be purified and tried with daily hidden martyrdom; don’t be frightened if I allow the Devil to torment you, and the world to disgust you, because nobody will win against those who suffer under the cross for my love, for I have decided to protect them. “

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Letter to father Agostino, (November 18, 1912), “... Jesus, his dear Mother, the Guardian Angel with the others to encourage me,  that they not forget to tell me that the victim, to be called victim, has to lose all his blood”.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Letter to father Agostino, of (March 12, 1913), “... my father, listen to our sweet Jesus’ complaints: “My love for men is repaid with so much ingratitude! Those people would have offended me less if I had loved them less. My father doesn’t want to tolerate them anymore. I would like to stop loving them, but... (And here Jesus kept silent and, afterward taken aback) but my heart is made for loving! The tired men don’t try to overcome the temptations. Rather these men enjoy their iniquities. The souls I love more than the other’s when they suffer a temptation, when they don’t succeed in withstanding. The weak souls are dismayed and desperate. The strong souls trust Jesus. They leave me alone at night and in the morning in Church. They don’t take care of the sacrament of the altar; they don’t speak of this sacrament of love anymore; also, the people who do speak of the sacrament do it with so much indifference and coldness. My Heart has been forgotten; nobody cares for my love; I am always saddened. My house has become a theatre of plays for a lot of people; even my priests that I have always protected carefully, that I have loved as the apple of my eye; they should comfort my sorrowful heart; they should help me in the redemption of the souls, instead.... Who would believe it? I receive ingratitude from them. I see, my Son, a lot of them that... (Here he stopped, sobs tightened his throat, he wept) that under false semblance they betray me with sacrilegious communions, stamping on the light and the strength that I continually give them... “.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

 

Padre Alessio Parente said: "At the end of his life when Padre Pio was an old monk, Padre Alessio and Padre Onorato used to help him to go to bed. They washed his face and they helped him to go to bed. Once Padre Alessio said: "I have never been in Lourdes. We can go together and see Our Lady. But Padre Pio said: “I do not need to go to Lourdes to see Our Lady I meet with her all the nights". A few minutes after Padre Alessio said. “Ah! This is the reason for which you wash your face in the evening and not in the morning". Padre Pio did not answer but he smiled” (Ep. 1, p. 330-331).

 

Padre Alessio Parente said: "One day Padre Pio was praying with the Rosary when suddenlly he stop himself and start looking at the pavement. Then he jumped on the chair where he was sitting and raised his hands, In that moment his faces was covered with small drops of sweat. Padre Alessio took several handkerchiefs in order to dry him.

After few minute he had recovered and said: "Let's go to the Church for the Mass". After the Holy Mass we went to the garden of the convent and I asked Padre Pio: "Father, I saw you were suffering before the Holy Mass. What happen?

Padre Pio said. "If you had seen what I have seen you would have died".

 

An Italian-American, who lived in California, sometimes entrusted his Guardian Angel to report some messages to Padre Pio. Once, after the confession, he asked Padre Pio “if he really had received his messages from his Guardian Angel?”  Father Pio asked him: “What do you think? Do you think I am hard of hearing?” After that Padre Pio repeated the messages that were sent him some days before by his Guardian Angel.   

   

A Father Lino said: “I was begging my Guardian Angel to bring padre Pio a request of prayer for a lady who was very sick, but it seemed that nothing changed. When I met Padre Pio I told him: “Father, I begged my Guardian Angel in order to bring you a request of prayer for a woman who is very sick...is it possible he didn’t do it? And Padre Pio answered: “Do you believe your Guardian Angel to be disobedient as you and me?

 

A Father Eusebio said: I was going to London by plane, against Padre Pio’s suggestion not to use this mean of transport. When we were flying over the Channel, a violent storm put the aeroplane in danger. Amid the general terror I prayed and, without knowing what to do, I sent my Guardian Angel to Padre Pio. When I went back to St. Giovanni Rotondo I met Padre Pio who said to me, “Are you well?  Is everything OK?”   I answered;   “I thought I’d die,” the saintly padre responded, “then why don’t you obey?  I responded “But I have sent you my Guardian Angel...  Padre Pio then said, “Fortunately he arrived just in time!“.

 

An Italian lawyer was driving coming back home from Bologna. In his FIAT 1100 were also his wife and their two children. At one point, he wanted to be replaced in driving the car because he was very tired. He asked his son Guido to drive instead of him but he didn’t answer because his son was sleeping.  Some kilometres later, next to the gate of St. Lazzaro, the lawyer fell asleep too. When he woke-up he realised he was not far from Eternity. That meant that while he was sleeping he had run on the railway for several kilometres. He was very frightened so he cried: “who was guiding the car? And what has happened?” but nobody could answer him. His son, who was on his right side, woke up and told him he had slept deeply. His wife and the smaller child were incredulous and marvelled. They said he had driven differently than usual. They said, “At one time the car was going to crash into another car but at the last moment it avoided the crash with a perfect manoeuvres. The way it took the curves was also different. But above all - his wife said: “you have been immovable for a lot of time and you have not answered our questions.” The lawyer said, “I could not answer because I was asleep. I have slept for fifteen kilometres. I haven’t felt anything because I slept...but who was driving the car? Who has prevented the catastrophe?  After a couple of months the mystery was disclosed, the lawyer went to St. Giovanni Rotondo. As soon as Padre Pio saw him, he said him, “You slept and the Guardian Angel drove your car.”

 

One of Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters was walking along a country road to the Convent. There Padre Pio was waiting for her. It was one of those winter days, bleached by the snow in which it was even difficult to walk. The road was so full of snow that the woman had the certainty she would not reach the Convent in time for the appointment with the director. Full of faith, she charged his Guardian Angel to tell Padre Pio she would have arrived at the convent late because of the snow. When she reached the convent she saw with enormous joy that the monk was waiting for her behind a window.  He greeted her smiling.

 

A man told: “Padre Pio often, stopped in the sacristy greeting his spiritual children and friends by kissing them. I looked with holy envy on those so fortunate and I thought: “Blessed him! If I were him! Blessed! Blessed him! On Christmas 1958, I knelt, in front of Padre Pio for confession. Afterwards, I looked at him and while full of emotion I asked him: “Father, today is the Christmas day, can I wish you Merry Christmas by giving you a kiss? And he, with a sweetness that I am not able to describe with the pen, smile at me and said: “Hurry up, my child, don’t make me waste time“! He also embraced me. I kissed him and as a bird, joyful, I went toward the exit full of celestial delights. And what can I say about some slaps on the head? Every time, before leaving from St. Giovanni Rotondo, I desired father Pio gave me a sign of particular predilection. In fact I also wanted two small slaps on the head as two fatherly caresses. I have to underline that he never refused me anything I wanted to receive from him. One day, there were a lot of people in the sacristy of the small church and father Vincenzo exhorted, with his usual severity: “don’t push, don’t shake Padre Pio’s hands go back“! I sadly thought: “This time I will leave without having the blows on the head.” I didn’t want to resign me and I begged my Guardian Angel to become a messenger and to repeat these words to Padre Pio: “Father I desire the benediction and the two blows on the head, as usual, one for me and the other for my wife”. Padre Vincenzo was still repeating “don’t push Padre Pio...stay far from him!” when Padre Pio started walking. I was in anxiety. I looked at him but I was sad. Suddenly Padre Pio came to me, he smiled and he gave me two taps and it made me also kiss his hand, “I would like to give you a lot of slaps...a lot of slaps, “ he told me the first time that I asked him for the small slaps.

   

A woman was sitting in the square of the church of the capuchins. The Church was closed. It was Late and she prayed with the thought, and she repeated with the heart: “Padre Pio, help me! Guardian Angel, please, go to tell father Pio to help me, otherwise my sister will die“! From the window above her Padre Pio’s voice came: “Who is calling me at this time? What is the problem? The woman told about her sister’s illness. Padre Pio went in bilocation, to the sick woman and healed her.

 

A guy told Father Pio: I cannot come and see you very often. My salary doesn’t allow me such expensive trips. Father Pio answered: “Who has told you to come here? You have your Guardian Angel, don’t you? You tell him what you want, you send him here, and you will have the answer.”

 

When father Pio was a young priest he wrote a letter to his confessor in which he said: “when I close my eyes and the night comes, I can see the Heaven that appears in front of me. I am encouraged by this vision so I can sleep with a sweet smile on the lips and with a perfect calm on the forehead waiting my small companion of my infancy came to wake up me and start praying together prayers to the beloved of our hearts.”

 

One day Padre Alessio approached Padre Pio with some letters in his hand in order to ask him something but Padre Pio told him abruptly, “Don’t you see that I am busy? Leave me alone.” Padre Alessio went away mortified.  Padre Pio later called him and told him, “Have you seen all those angels that were near me? They were the Guardian Angels of my spiritual children that came to bring me their messages.  I had to report to them the answers they needed.”

 

A doctor asked Padre Pio, “So many angels are always near you.  Do they bother you?” “No, they don’t,” he answered simply, “They are very obedient.”

 

Father Pio said to a person: "We will pray for your mother, so that the Guardian Angel will be with her in company."

 

One of the spiritual children of Padre Pio said: “ It seems that Padre Pio always listens to everybody who calls him.” One evening, a group of friends arrived to St. Giovanni Rotondo. They summarized the graces that they would have asked of Padre Pio, and they asked their Guardian Angels to bring their request to Padre Pio as soon as possible.  The next day,  after the Holy Mass, Padre Pio reproached them: “You do not leave me in peace even at night!” Watching Padre Pio’s smile they understood their prayer had been accepted.

 

A person asked Padre Pio, “Father, are you able to hear what the Guardian Angels tell you?”  And Padre Pio answered: “Of course! Do you think Angels are disobedient as you? Send me your Guardian Angel!”

 

Don’t write to me because I cannot answer you. Send me your Guardian Angel and I will do everything.                                                                                                               

 

Your Guardian Angel has reported to me some sentences that have made me understand your mistrust.                                                                                             

 

Invoke your Guardian Angel that he will illuminate you and will guide you. God has given him to you for this reason. Therefore use him!

 

If the mission of our Guardian Angel is a great mission, the mission of mine is for sure greater than the others, because he has to be a teacher and explain to me other languages.                                                                

 

Send me your Guardian Angel - he doesn’t have to pay a ticket for the train and he doesn’t wear out his shoes.                                                                                                  

 

For people that live alone there is the Guardian Angel.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

One day in the Convent, Padre Pio was sitting in the garden next to his room. Padre Alessio Parente, due to the fact they were alone in the garden, asked him some advise about a answer he had received in a letter. But Padre Pio said in a harsh tone: “Please, leave me alone. Do you not see that I am busy ? To be honest Padre Alessio could not see anyone around him, he did not say anything. But Padre Alessio thought: “Why did he said he was busy if nobody is around? He is just moving the Rosary in his hand.”

Padre Pio knew what Padre Alessio was thinking and he said: “Have you seen all the Guardian Angels of my spiritual sons that were standing in front of me? They go and they come and they do not leave me alone even for a moment.”

However he did not hesitate to give Padre Alessio the answer he was looking for.

 

The Guardian Angel used to help Padre Pio in his fights against the Devil. In some Padre Pio's letter to his spiritual father we can read: “With my Guardian Angel's help I was able to read the letter you sent me. My Guardian Angel gave me the advise to put some blessed water on the envelop before opening it. The Devil wants to defeat me but he will be crushed. My Guardian Angel assures to me that the Paradise is with us. Last Night the Devil appeared to me under the sharp of our Provincial Monk and he ordered to me not to write  a letter to you because it is contrary to the poverty and it is a serious obstacle to the perfection. My dear Father, I confess my weakness, since I cried a lot because I believed it was true. I had no suspected that it was a Devil's lie but my Guardian Angel told me it was a Devil's lie. Only Jesus knows which effort I had to do in order to be persuaded. That friend of my infancy, my Guardian Angel, always tries to support me and to give me some hope” (Ep. 1, p. 321).

 

The Guardian Angel used to translate the French language for Padre Pio who had never studied it at school. One time Padre Agostino asked Padre Pio: "Please, remove a curiosity from my mind: Who has taught the French language to you? You have never liked it but now you like it (letter of the 20-04-1912).

 

The Guardian Angel used to translate also the greek languages for Padre Pio. The priest of Pietrelcina (the town where Padre Pio came from) send to Padre Pio a letter in greek language and he said: "What do you think about this letter? Maybe your Guardian Angel can help you in reading it".

At this regard that priest made an official written statement:

"Pietrelcina, 25 August 1919. I state and undersign that after receiving the letter, Padre Pio explained literally to me all the content. I asked Padre Pio how was this possible fro him to read the letter since he had never studied the Greek alphabe an he said: "You know. The Guardian Angel explained it to me..

 

In Padre Pio's letters we can also read: "The Guardian Angel came to wake me up in order to pray together our Lord at the beginning of the day" (Ep. 1, p. 308).                        

 

One time Padre Pio was able to complain with his Guardian Angel and his Angel answered: "My dear. Say thank you to our Jesus because he put you on the Calvary. I see with joy and commotion what Jesus does with you. I am happy because I see you in troule. This is for your advantage. Jesus allows the Devil to attack you because He wants you to be like Him in the anguish of the desert, of the garden and of the Cross. Do not worry I am nearby." (Ep. 1, p. 330-331)

The Devil exists as much today as he did in the past. He continues to seduce mankind into sin.  The attitude of a disciple of Christ must be vigilant and strong in any confrontation with Satan. You can not be indifferent to his existence. It seems the mentality of people today is to relegate the figure of the Devil into ancient mythology and folklore. Baudelaire justly affirms that “The Masterpiece of Satan in the Modern Time” is to have people believe he does not exist.  It is not easy, therefore, for many to imagine the recent appearance of Satan when he came from hell to fight against Padre Pio. These battles were bloody in nature, as described in many letters that Father Pio sent to his Spiritual Fathers.             

One of the first contacts that Padre Pio had with the prince of evil occurred in 1906.  One night, Padre had returned to the convent of Saint Elia of Pianisi.  He couldn't fall asleep that night because of the enormous summer heat. He heard the footsteps of someone coming from a nearby room. Padre Pio thought, "Apparently, Friar Anastasio couldn’t sleep either."  He wanted to call out to him so that they could visit and speak for awhile. He went to the window and tried calling to his companion, but he was unable to speak. On the ledge of a nearby window, he saw a monstrous dog. Padre Pio, with terror in his voice, said, “I saw the big dog enter through the window and there was smoke coming from his mouth.  I fell on the bed and I heard a voice from the dog that said, "him it is, it is him". While I was still on the bed, the animal jumped to the ledge of the window, then to the roof and disappeared."

 

The Devil attacked Padre Pio with numerous types of temptations. Padre Augustine also confirmed that the Devil appeared to him under many different forms.  "The Devil appeared as young girls that danced naked, as a crucifix, as a young friend of the monks, as the Spiritual Father or as the Provincial Father; as Pope Pius X, a Guardian Angel, as St. Francis and as Our Lady.”  The Devil has also appeared in his horrible forms with an army of infernal spirits. There were other times when Padre Pio was approached by the Devil but without any apparition. He was troubled with deafening noises and covered with spittle, etc. Padre Pio succeeded in freeing himself from these attacks of the Devil by invoking the name of Jesus.

 

The struggle between Padre Pio and Satan became more difficult when Padre Pio freed the souls possessed by the Devil.  Father Tarcisio of Cervinara said, "More than once, before leaving the body of a possessed, the Devil has shouted, "Padre Pio, you give us more trouble than St. Michael"; also, "Father Pio don't steal the bodies from us and we won't bother you."

    Padre Pio described the Devil's assaults in many letters he sent to his Spiritual Fathers. .

In one of the letters to Padre Agostino, dated January 18, 1912, he stated, “The Devil does not want to lose this battle. He takes on many forms. For several days now, he has appeared with his brothers who are armed with batons and pieces of iron.  One of the difficulties is that they appear in many disguises. There were several times when they threw me out of my bed and dragged me out of my bedroom.  I am patient, however, and I know Jesus, Our Lady, my Guardian Angel, St. Joseph and St. Francis are always with me.”  

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to padre Agostino of November 5, 1912) “Dear Father, this is, by the mercy of God, my second letter to you, and is similar to the first.  I am sure that Padre Evangelista has already informed you about the new war that the demons, impure apostates, are making on me. My father, they cannot win because of my constancyI must tell you about the traps they set for me, and how they tempt me to ignore your suggestions.  I find your letters to be my only my comfort; and I glorify God that they serve to confuse them.   I cannot explain to you how severely they are attacking me. Sometimes I think I‘m going to die. Saturday I thought they really wanted to kill me, I didn’t know which saint to ask for help. I turned to my angel, but he deliberately delayed.  At last he came flying around me and singing hymns to God with his angelic voice. Then one of those usual scenes happened: I harshly scolded him about his delay, when I had called to him so earnestly for help.   To punish him, I deliberately did not face him, wanting him to keep his distance.  But the poor thing finally got my attention by crying, and when I faced him, I perceived that he was sorry.”

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to padre Agostino dated November 18, 1912)  “The enemy doesn’t want to leave me alone; he constantly attacks me.  He tries to poison my life with his infernal traps. He is upset that I tell you these facts, suggesting that I keep them from you as our secret.  He tells me to reveal to you only the good visits that I receive; in fact he says that you like only these stories. The pastor has been informed of the battle that I am doing with these demons, and with reference to your letters, he suggested that I open the letter only in his presence.  When your first letter arrived, therefore, I went to open it in his office. But as soon as I opened the letter in the presence of the pastor, we found the letter was all smeared with ink. Was it a devil’s revenge? I could not believe that you would send me a letter in that condition, especially since you know that I don’t see well.   At first we could not read the letter, but then we placed a crucifix on it, and then we could read it, at least in part.

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to Padre Agostino dated 13 February, 1913) “Now, twenty-two days have passed, since Jesus allowed the devils to vent their anger on me. My Father, my whole body is bruised from the beatings that I have received to the present time by our enemies. Several times, they have even torn off my shirt so that they could strike my exposed flesh.”

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

(Letter to Padre Benedetto dated March 18th, 1913) “These devils don’t stop striking me, even making me fall down from the bed.  They even tear off my shirt to beat me! But now they do not frighten me anymore. Jesus loves me, He often lifts me and places me back on the bed“

(PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA: Epistolario I° (1910-1922) a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG)

 

Satan went beyond all the limits of deception when he went to Father Pio pretending to be a penitent. This is the Father Pio’s testimony:  “One day, while I was hearing confessions, a man came to the confessional where I was. He was tall, handsome, dressed with some refinement and he was kind and polite. He started to confess his sins, which were of every kind: against God, against man and against the morals. All the sins were obnoxious! I was disoriented, in fact for all the sins that he told me, but I responded to him with God’s Word, the example of the Church, and the morals of the Saints.   But the enigmatic penitent answered me word for word, justifying his sins, always with extreme ability and politeness.  He excused all the sinful actions, making them sound quite normal and natural, even comprehensible on the human level.. He continued this way with the sins that were gruesome against God, Our Lady, the Saints, always using disrespectful round-about argumentation. He kept this up even with with the foulest of sins that could be conjured in the mind of a most sinful man.  The answers that he gave me with such skilled subtlety and malice surprised me. I wondered: who is he? What world does he come from? And I tried to look at him in order to read something on his face. At the same time I concentrated on every word he spoke, trying to discover any clue to his identity.. But suddenly; through a vivid, radiant and internal light I clearly recognized who he was. With a sound and imperial tone I told him: “Say long live Jesus, long live Mary!” As soon as I pronounced these sweet and powerful names, Satan instantly disappeared in a trickle of fire, leaving behind him an unbearable stench.”  (Don Pierino is a priest and one of the father Pio’s spiritual sons who were present at the same time.)

 

Fr. Perino tells this story:  “One day, Padre Pio was in the confessional, hidden by two curtains. The curtains of the confessional were not closed all the way and I succeeded in seeing padre Pio. The men, following the bookings, were prepared on a side, all in single row. From the place where I was, I read the Breviary and, sometimes I looked up to see the Padre. From the little church, through the door, a man came. He was handsome, with small and black eyes, grizzled hair, with a dark jacket and ruled trousers. I didn’t want him to distract me and so I kept on reciting the breviary, but an internal voice told me: “Stop and look!“ I stopped and looked at padre Pio. That man, while taking footstep back and forth and without waiting his turn, stopped just in front of the confessional, after the previous penitent went away. He immediately entered among the curtains, standing, up in front of padre Pio. Then I didn’t see the dark haired man after that moment. Following some minutes I saw that man sank on the floor with his legs widened. On the chair in the confessional, where Padre Pio had been sitting, I didn’t see padre Pio anymore; but, Jesus. He was blond, young and handsome and he gazed upon the man that had fell to the floor. Then again I saw padre Pio coming up from there. He returned to take a seat to in his place and his appearance melted with Jesus’ appearance. Then I saw only Padre Pio. I immediately heard his voice: “Hurry up, everyone.”  Nobody noticed this happening!  Everybody started with their turn again.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."

It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5 from whom one has strayed by sin. It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.

It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.

It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace".

Confession was the principal daily activity of Padre Pio. He had the ability to look within the souls of his penitents. It was not possible to lie to Padre Pio during a confession. He saw inside people’s hearts. Often, when the sinners were timid, Padre Pio listed their sins during the confession.

Padre Pio invited all believers to confess at least once a week. He said: "Even if a room is closed, it is necessary to dust it after a week."

In the sacrament of confession Padre Pio was very demanding. He couldn't bear people that went to him only out of curiosity.

A monk once told the following story: "One day Padre Pio didn't give absolution to a penitent and he told him: "If you go to confess to another priest to have gain absolution you will go to hell together with him". He meant that the sacrament of confession is profaned by people that don't want to change their lives. They are guilty in front of God.

 

 

 

A man once went to St. Giovanni Rotondo to confess to Padre Pio. It was between 1954 and 1955. When he finished the accusation of his sins Padre Pio said: "Do you have anything else to confess?" and he said, "No Father!" He repeated the question: "Do you have anything else to confess?" "No Father!" For a third time Padre Pio asked him: "Do you have anything else to confess? At this third negative answer the hurricane exploded. With the voice of the Holy Spirit Padre Pio howled: "Go away! Go away! Because you are not reformed of your sins!"

The man was also petrified because of the shame that he felt in front of so many people. Then he tried to say something but Padre Pio said: "Keep silent, gossiper, you have spoken enough; I now want to speak. Is it true that you go to discos?”  "Yes, Father."  "Do you know that dancing is an invitation to the sin?" 

The man was surprised and he didn't know what to say: he had the membership card of a disco in his wallet. The man promised not to commit any other sins and after a lot of effort he received absolution.

 

Lies 

One day, a man told Padre Pio: "Father, I tell lies when I am with some friends of mine. I do it in order to make everybody happy". And Padre Pio said: "Oh, do you want to go to hell by joking?!" 

 

Gossip 

When a person speaks badly of a friend, he destroys the reputation and the honour of a brother who has the right to enjoy respect. 

One day Padre Pio said to a penitent: "When you gossip about a person it means that you have removed the person from your heart. But be aware, when you remove a man from your heart, Jesus also goes away from your heart with that man."

Once, Padre Pio was invited to bless a house. But when he reached the entrance of the kitchen he said: "There are snakes here.  I do not want to go in". And then he said to a priest that often went to that house to eat: “Don't go to that house because they say unpleasant things about their brothers and sisters.”

 

Swearing

A man was born in the region of Italy called Marche. He and a friend left their town in a truck, with some furniture they had to transport nearby to St. Giovanni Rotondo. While they were taking the last slope, before reaching their destination, the truck broke-down and it stopped. They tried to start the engine again but without success. 

At that point the driver lost his calm and full of anger he cursed. The day after the two men went to St. Giovanni Rotondo where one of the men had a sister. With the help of his sister they succeeded in going to Padre Pio to confession. 

The first man entered the confessional but Padre Pio sent him away.  Then it was the turn of the driver. He started saying something to Padre Pio: "I have been angry". But Padre Pio shouted: "Wretch! You have cursed our Mother! What did she do to you, Our Lady?" Then he sent him away as well. 

 

The devil is near to people who curse. 

 In a hotel in St. Giovanni Rotondo it was not possible to rest neither during the day nor at night because there was a girl who was possessed and shouted for hours. Everybody was frightened of her. The child’s mother brought her every day to the church. She hoped that Padre Pio would free the child from the evil spirit. The child also shouted a lot in the church. One day, when Padre Pio had finished hearing the women’s confessions, he met the child that howled fearfully in front of him. The child was being held back with difficulty by two or three men. The Saint was annoyed by the whole uproar and kicked the child with his foot and then he struck the child’s head and he said: "Stop! Enough!" 

The child fell to the ground as if she was sleeping. Padre Pio told a doctor who was standing there, to bring the child to St. Michael, in the sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo. When the group reached the destination, they entered the cave where Saint Michael had appeared. The child revived but nobody succeeded in bringing her near to the altar of the Angel. In the midst of the confusion, a monk took the hand of the child and touched the altar. She fell down as if she had been struck by lightening. A few minutes later she woke up and as if nothing had happened she asked her mother: "Could you buy me an ice-cream?" 

At that point the group of people returned to St. Giovanni Rotondo in order to inform and to thank Padre Pio. But Padre Pio told her mother: "Say to your husband not to curse anymore, otherwise the demon will return."

 

Missing Holy Mass 

In about 1950, a young doctor went to confess to Padre Pio. He confessed his sins and then he remained silent. Padre Pio asked the young doctor if he had other things to add but the doctor answered he had nothing else. Then Padre Pio told the doctor: "Keep in mind that on holy days you cannot miss Mass, because this is a mortal sin". Suddenly the doctor remembered he had "jumped" Mass with a Sunday appointment, a few months before.

 

Magic 

Padre Pio prohibited all magic, spiritism and practices of bad magic. A lady said: "I confessed to Padre Pio in November, 1948. Among the things I told him was that we were worried about our aunt who read Tarot cards in our family”. Padre Pio in a peremptory tone said: "Throw that stuff away, as soon as you can." 

 

Divorce 

In the united and holy family, Padre Pio saw the place where the faith can grow and develop. He said: “Divorce is the passport to hell".

A young lady finished the confession of her sins. She received her penance from Padre Pio who said: "You have to immerse yourself in the silence of prayer and you will save your marriage." 

The lady was amazed since her marriage didn't have any problems. After a long time, her marriage began to experience trouble. However she was ready to face the problems and overcame them and so avoided the destruction of the family because she had been following the suggestion that Padre Pio gave her.

 

Abortion 

One day, Padre Pellegrino asked Padre Pio: "Father, this morning you denied absolution to a lady who confessed to an abortion. Why have you been so rigorous with this poor unfortunate? ". 

Padre Pio said: "The day, in which people, frightened by the economic boom, from physical damages or from economic sacrifices, will lose the horror of the abortion, it will be the most terrible day for humanity. Abortion is not only homicide but also suicide. And with these people we see on the point of committing two crimes…do we want to show our faith? Do we want to save them? " 

"Why suicide?” Padre Pellegrino asked. 

"You would understand this suicide of the human race, if with the eye of reason, you could see the Heart populated by old men and depopulated by children: burnt as a desert.”

Beloved St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you have had the signs of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ on your body. You have carried this stigmata for everyone, enduring both the physical and mental sufferings that racked your soul and body in a continual sacrifice. We beg you to pray for us, so that we will be able to accept both the little and the larger crosses we too must bear during our life on earth and to offer these sufferings to God, assuring us a place with him in Eternal Life.

“It is to your advantage to commit yourself to the sufferings that Jesus will send to you.  Jesus cannot tolerate seeing you afflicted and he will come to you and comfort you, blessing you with many graces for your soul”Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

2nd DAY

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, together with Our Lord Jesus Christ, you’ve been able to withstand the temptations of the Devil. You suffered the beatings and the oppression of the demon of hell, who wanted to have you abandon your journey of holiness. We beg you to pray for us so that, with your help and the help of all of the Heavenly Kingdom, we will be able to find the strength to set sin aside and to persevere in our faith until the day of our death.

“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil.  Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

3rd DAY

Virtuous St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you love Our Holy Mother very much and have received daily graces and consolations from her. Please, we beg you to pray to the Holy Mother for us.  Place in her hands the sorrow for our sins and our prayers of reparation, so that, as at Cana of Galilee, her Son says ‘yes’ to His Mother and our name may be written in the Book of  Eternal Life.

“Mary has to be the star that illuminates your path and she will show you the secure way to go to the Celestial Father.  She will be an anchor to which you must cling in the hour of temptation”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

4th DAY

Chaste St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you loved your Guardian Angel, who served you well as your guide and as a defender and messenger. The Angels brought the prayers of your spiritual children to you. We beg you to pray for us, so that we may learn to call on our Guardian Angel who is always ready to guide us to what is good and to avoid falling into sinful actions.

“Invoke your Guardian Angel, who will enlighten you and guide you.  God has given him to you for your protection, therefore, you should use him accordingly”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

5th DAY

Prudent St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you have had a great devotion for the Souls in Purgatory for whom you have offered yourself as a victim to remit their punishments. Please pray for us and ask God to send us the same interest, compassion and love that you have for these souls. In this way, we will also contribute to reducing their suffering and, with our sacrifices and prayers, win for them their necessary Indulgences.

 

“My God, I beg you; let me bear the punishments that have been prepared for sinners and the souls in Purgatory.  Multiply these punishments for me, so that you may forgive and save the sinners and free their souls from purgatory”.  Padre Pio
 

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 

 

6th DAY

Obedient St. Pio of Pietrelcina, you have loved the sick more than yourself, because you were able to see Jesus in them. You have performed many miracles by healing patients in the name of Jesus and thereby giving them peace of mind. We beg you to pray for us, so that sick patients, through the intercession of Mary, can be healed and their bodies restored so that they may benefit from the Holy Spirit and, therefore, thank and praise God forever.

“If I knew that a person was afflicted in his mind, body or soul, I would beg God to set him free of his affliction.  I would gladly accept the transfer of his affliction to myself, so that he may be saved, and I would ask that he benefit from the fruits of these sufferings... if the Lord would allow me to do it”.  Padre Pio

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

 
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