"Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament." - Padre Pio of Peitrelcina

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Life and Miracles of Padre Pio


The cause for canonization for most prospective Saints usually includes about five cartons of documentation that is submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. In Padre Pio’s case, over 100 cartons of documentation were initially submitted. 

The miracles attributed to Padre Pio are too numerous to be contained under one post. For further reading, please click on each of the links below:

Padre Pio on:

Stigmata 
* Bilocation 
* Gift of Healing 
* Gift of Reading Souls
Encounter with his Guardian Angel
* Purgatory
* Triumph over the Devil
* Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary

Padre Pio had wounds on the hands and feet, on the left side of the chest, and on the right shoulder were Jesus carried the Cross. He also had transverberation of the heart, wounds from scourging, and an invisible crown of thorns. All were very painful.

Padre Pio would have preferred to suffer in secret, but by early 1919, news about his stigmata began to spread in the secular world. Padre Pio’s wounds were examined by many people, including physicians. Those close to him attest that he manifested several spiritual gifts including the gifts of healing, bilocation, levitation, prophecy, miracles, extraordinary abstinence from both sleep and nourishment, the ability to read hearts, the gift of tongues, the gift of conversions, and the fragrance from his wounds. 

Padre Pio on Confession

Hearing confessions have played a prominent role in the life and miracles of Padre Pio. From 1918 to 1923, Padre Pio heard confessions 15 to 19 hours every day. The average confession made to Padre Pio lasted only three minutes. According to one estimate, Padre Pio heard a total of approximately 5 million confessions. 

In the 1940s and 50s, he generally heard confessions somewhat less than that, but still five to eight hours every day. There were so many people who wanted their confessions to be heard by Padre Pio that they had to wait two or three weeks before their turn came. In the 1050s, it even became necessary to open an office to give out tickets. The tickets were numbered which indicated where people should stand in line for Padre Pio’s confessional. A rule was also instituted that one could not go to confession to Padre Pio more than once every eight days.

One man from Padua, who had gone to confession to Padre Pio, tried to go to confession again before the eight-day waiting period had elapsed. In order to circumvent the waiting-period, he lied about the amount of days that had passed since his last confession to Padre Pio. When he entered the confessional, Padre Pio sent him out and forcefully accused him of his lie.  After being kicked out, the man said with tears, "I’ve told many lies during my lifetime, and I thought I could deceive Padre Pio too." But Padre Pio had a supernatural knowledge of his action. Padre Pio demanded that each confession be a true conversion. He did not tolerate a lack of honesty in the confession of sins. He was very stern on those who made excuses, spoke insincerely, or lacked a firm resolution to amend their lives. He demanded frankness and total honesty from the penitent. He also required a true and sincere sorrow of heart, and an absolute firmness in a person’s resolutions for the future.

Many of Padre Pio’s penitents made astounding statements that, when in his confessional, they would experience the awesome impression of being before the judgment seat of God. If the penitent was not honest, or just read through the list of his or her sins without the firm resolution to change, Padre Pio would often growl, "Get out!" Many people said that Padre Pio was brusque and irate, that he would sometimes snap shut the panel in the penitent’s face. Padre Pio would often denounce a penitent with a searing phrase.

One man, who was thrown out of the confessional by Padre Pio, stated, "What kind of blackguardly monk is that? He did not give me time to say a word, but straightway called me an old pig and told me to get out!" Another person said to this man that Padre Pio probably had good reasons for calling him an old pig and treating him in this way. "I can’t think why," said the man who had been thrown out of the confessional; and then, after a pause, the man said, "unless it is because I happen to be living with a woman who is not my wife." 

Padre Pio also threw certain priests and bishops out of his confessional. He once told a priest, "If you knew fully what a fearful thing it is to sit in the tribunal of the confessional! We are administering the Blood of Christ. We must be careful that we do not fling it about by being too easy-going or negligent." 

Another man went to confession to Padre Pio in order to test him. He wanted to see if Padre Pio could pick up that he was lying. The man told Padre Pio that he was not there to confess his sins, but to ask for prayers for a relative. This was not true, and Padre Pio knew it immediately. Padre Pio struck him across the face and ordered him out of the confessional.

One woman who came on a long trip to see Padre Pio said to him in confession, "Padre Pio, four years ago I lost my husband and I haven’t gone to church since then." Padre Pio replied, "Because you lost your husband, you also lost God? Go away! Go away!" as he quickly closed the door of the confessional. Shortly after this event, the same woman recovered her faith, attributing it to the way Padre Pio treated her - probably acknowledging how she had put her attachment to her husband above God.

Andre Mandato spoke about the time he went to confession to Padre Pio, "I had been going to church every Sunday but I had no strong belief in confession. I went very seldom. I started to believe in confession only after I went to Padre Pio. The first time I confessed to him, he told me what sins I had committed."

Katharina Tangeri described going to confession to Padre Pio: " . . . Padre Pio began with his asking us how long it had been since our last confession. This first question established contact between Padre Pio and the penitent; it suddenly seemed as if Padre Pio knew everything about us. If our [the penitent’s] answers were unclear or inexact, he would correct them; we would get the feeling that . . . his eye could see our soul as it really was before God."

Padre Pio commented on the amount of confessions he heard, and how he was able to do it: "There have been periods when I heard confessions without interruption for eighteen hours consecutively. I don’t have a moment to myself. But God helps me effectively in my ministry. I feel the strength to renounce everything, so long as souls return to Jesus and love Jesus."

John McCaffery went to confession to Padre Pio, and writes of his extraordinary experience.  McCaffery wanted Padre Pio to pray for some of his friends. McCaffery recalls: "So, during a pause, I began to say 'And then, Padre…',  but he interrupted me smilingly and said: 'Yes, I shall remember your friends too!"

A woman named Nerina Noe went to Padre Pio for confession. She told him that she was thinking about giving up smoking; she did not anticipate the gruff reply Padre Pio gave her: "Women who smoke cigarettes are disgusting."

Frederick Abresch was one of those penitents who had been converted after going to Padre Pio for confession. Here are some of the things he described about the story of his incredible conversion:

"In November of 1928, when I went to see Padre Pio for the first time, it had been a few years since I had passed from Protestantism to Catholicism, which I did out of social convenience. I did not have the faith; at least now I understand that I was merely under the illusion of having it. Having been raised in a highly anti-Catholic family and imbued with prejudices against dogmas to such a degree that a hasty instruction was unable to wipe out, I was always avid for secret and mysterious things.

I found a friend who introduced me into the mysteries of spiritism. Quite quickly, however, I got tired of these inconclusive messages from beyond the grave; I went fervently into the field of the occult, magic of all sorts, etc. Then I met a man who declared, with a mysterious air, that he was in possession of the only truth: 'theosophy'. I quickly became his disciple, and on our nightstands we began accumulating books with the most enticing and attractive titles. With self-assurance and self-importance, I used words like Reincarnation, Logos, Brahma, Maja, anxiously awaiting some great and new reality that was supposed to happen.

I do not know why, although I believe it was above all to please my wife, but from time to time I still continued to approach the holy Sacraments. This was my state of soul when, for the first time, I heard of that Capuchin Father who had been described to me as a living crucifix, working continual miracles.

Growing curious . . . I decided to go and see with my own eyes . . . I knelt down at the confessional [and told Padre Pio that] . . . I considered confession to be a good social and educational institution, but that I did not believe in the divinity of the Sacrament at all . . . The Padre, however, said with expressions of great sorrow, 'Heresy! Then all your Communions were sacrilegious . . . you must make a general confession. Examine your conscience and remember when you last made a good confession. Jesus has been more merciful with you than with Judas.'

Then, looking over my head with a stern eye, he said in a strong voice, 'Praised be Jesus and Mary!' and went over to the church to hear the women’s confessions, while I stayed in the sacristy, deeply moved and impressed. My head was spinning and I could not concentrate. I still heard in my ears: 'Remember when you last made a good confession!' With difficulty I managed to reach the following decision: I would tell Padre Pio that I had been a Protestant, and that although after the abjuration I was rebaptized (conditionally), and all the sins of my past life were wiped out by virtue of holy Baptism, nevertheless, for my tranquility I wanted to begin the confession from my childhood.

When the Padre returned to the confessional, he repeated the question to me: 'So when was the last time you 'made a good confession?' I answered, 'Father, as I was . . .’ but at that point the Padre interrupted me, saying, ' . . . you last made a good confession when you were coming back from your honeymoon, let’s leave everything else aside and begin from there!'

I remained speechless, shaken with a stupor, and I understood that I had touched the supernatural. The Padre, however, did not leave me time to reflect. Concealing his knowledge of my entire past, and in the form of questions, he listed all my faults with precision and clarity . . . After the Padre had brought all my mortal sins to light, with impressive words he made me understand the gravity of these faults, adding in an unforgettable tone of voice, 'You have sung a hymn to Satan, while Jesus in His ardent love has broken His neck for you.'  Then he gave me my penance and absolved me . . . I believe not only in the dogmas of the Catholic Church, but also in the least of its ceremonies . . . to take away this faith, one would have to take away my life as well."

Joe Greco, a great devotee of Padre Pio, had a dream in which he met Padre Pio on a road and asked him to save his sick father. Joe’s father suddenly recovered after the dream. In order to thank Padre Pio, Joe decided to travel down to see him in person. After waiting four days, Joe managed to go to Padre Pio for confession. Joe described the meeting:

"This is what did it really, when Padre Pio saw me he said: 'Well your father is all right, then.' Well it shattered me really because I never had been down in San Giovanni Rotondo before. I had never been down in that part of the world, nor did I know anyone down there. And yet I posed in my mind a question to him, I was saying 'was it you, was it you?' And he replied, 'in the dream, in the dream.' Well, I started shaking, I was scared stiff to tell you the truth. I said, 'yes Father, in the dream, Father.' I told him my sins, and before he gave me absolution he said to me: 'now then, there is something else you know' [that you didn’t mention in confession]. I said, 'well Father, I can’t remember anything else.' Padre Pio went on to describe an incident with a girl in the park when I was first in the army. Well it all came back to me. I wished the ground had opened up and swallowed me, I was so embarrassed. I then said to Padre Pio, 'Yes Father, it all comes back to me and I’m afraid I forgot to tell it in confession, I’m so ashamed.' 'Well,' he said, 'you have been carrying this sin around with you ever since 1941, and the place was Blackburn to tell you the truth.' And I got up to go and Padre Pio said, 'There is something else you have forgotten,' and there was a slight smile on his face. I said, 'Oh no Father, truly there is nothing else I can remember.' I thought it was about some sin. And he said: 'look in your pocket.' So I took my rosary beads out [of my pocket], I gave them to him, he blessed them and gave them back to me. And that was it."

One man said to Padre Pio in confession: "But I am attached to my sins, for me they are a necessary way of life. Help me find a remedy." Padre Pio handed him a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to be said every day for four months.

Don Nello Castello, a priest from Padua, Italy, who had gone to confession to Padre Pio hundreds of times, recalled his incredible experiences:

"I went to confession to Padre Pio at least a hundred times. I recall the first time, his words both jolted and enlightened me. The counsels he gave me reflected exact knowledge of my whole life both past and future. At times he would surprise me with suggestions unconnected with the sins confessed. But later events made it clear that his counsel had been prophetic. In one confession in 1957, he spoke five times with insistence on the same question, using different words, and reminding me of an ugly fault of impatience. Furthermore, he enlightened me on the underlying causes that provoked the impatience. He described to me the behavior I should follow to avoid impatience in the future. This happened without my having said a word about the problem. Thus he knew my problems better than I did and advised me how to correct them."

Among those who came to see Padre Pio, there were professed unbelievers. Some of them came to see him out of curiosity, others to mock both Padre Pio and God.

Two Freemasons, who were bitterly opposed to God and the Catholic Church, decided to make mock confessions to Padre Pio of sins they simply made up. Their goal was to desecrate the Sacrament of Penance. These men went to him at separate times. As they began to confess their made up sins, Padre Pio stopped them, told them he knew what they were doing, and then began to tell each of them their real sins, as well as the time, the place and how they committed them. The two men were so overwhelmed that a few days later they repented of their sinful lives and converted.

An unbelieving Communist also came to Padre Pio for confession. At the time he still had not abandoned his evil beliefs. Padre Pio chased him out of the confessional, saying: "What are you doing in front of God’s tribunal if you don’t believe?  Go!  Go away! You are a Communist!"

In the confessional, Padre Pio would say things such as: "Why did you sell your soul to the Devil? . . . How irresponsible! . . . You are on the way to Hell!" . . . O you careless man, go first and get repentance, and then come here . . . !"

One person in confession questioned the very existence of Hell. Padre Pio responded, "You will believe it when you get there."

Padre Pio considered going to confession frequently to be something necessary for growth in the spiritual life. He went to confession at least once a week. He never wanted his spiritual children to go without confession more than ten days.

One time Padre Pio was asked: "We confess everything that we can remember or know, but perhaps God sees other things that we cannot recall?" He responded: "If we put into [our confession] all our good will and we have the intention to confess [all mortal sins] . . . all that we can know or remember - the mercy of God is so great that He will include and erase even what we cannot remember or know." 

For this reason one should say at the end of a confession, "and I confess any sins that I may have forgotten and did not mention in this confession."

Padre Pio on Modern-day Fashion

Padre Pio had extremely strong views on modern female fashions in dress. When the mini-skirt craze started, no one dared to come to Padre Pio’s monastery dressed in such an inappropriate fashion. Other women came not in mini skirts, but in skirts that were veryshort. Padre Pio got very upset about. One woman tried to change her skirt before going to confession; she borrowed a longer one from a friend. When she entered the confessional, he drew back the little shutter, and then snapped it shut again, stating: "Well?  Have we been dressing up for a carnival, then?" Any woman who came into his confessional wearing a skirt that was not eight inches below the knees was sent away immediately without being able to go to confession. Other women, who managed to enter dressed somewhat improperly, were ordered out by Padre Pio, with him sometimes shouting "out! out! out!" 

Padre Pio tolerated neither tight skirts nor short or low-necked dresses. He also forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. His severity increased each year. He would dismiss women from the confessional, even before they got inside, if he discerned their dress to be inappropriate. Many mornings he drove one out after another - ending up hearing only very few confessions. He also had a sign fastened to the church door, declaring: "By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter his confessional wearing skirts at least eight inches below the knees. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the confessional." 

Padre Pio would rebuke some women with the words, "Go and get dressed." He would at times add: "Clowns!" He would not give anyone a pass, whether they were people he met or saw the first time, or long-time spiritual daughters. In many cases, the skirts were many inches below the knees, but still were not long enough for Padre Pio’s severity. Boys and men also had to wear long trousers, if they did not want to be kicked out of the church. Shorts, and short sleeves, even on children, were anathema.

Padre Pio on Sins of Impurity

It was well known among the older priests that Padre Pio was not against using harsh, rough, and shocking language. This was especially true when he was dealing with cases of impurity, scandal, calumny, and sins against Motherhood. He did not forgive these people without a rebuke, and often a very severe one. While serious sinners were often admonished with a severe warning, others were refused absolution because they were not sufficiently prepared.

A man who was being unfaithful to his wife confessed to Padre Pio that he was having "a spiritual crisis." Padre Pio stood up and yelled, "What spiritual crisis? You’re a vile pig and God is angry with you. Go away!"

Another young woman confessed that she had committed sins against purity. However, she knew that when she returned home she would fall back into the same temptation and commit the sin again. She lacked the firm resolution to amend her life and cease sinning - an essential component in making a valid confession. Padre Pio refused to absolve her. She came back again and made the same confession, but Padre Pio again did not absolve her. This happened four times in a row. Right before her fifth confession, she thought to herself, "I’d rather die than commit this sin again," and she thought about this during her whole confession. Padre Pio examined her closely, and then absolved her.

A woman who had an abortion met Padre Pio. She said, "I never knew abortion was a sin." He replied, "What do you mean, you didn’t know that this was a sin? That’s killing . . . it’s a sin, a great sin."

One woman said she had read immoral books. Padre Pio said, "Have you confessed this before?"  "Yes," she replied. "What did your confessor say to you?" Padre Pio asked. "I wasn’t to do it anymore," she said. Without saying a word, Padre Pio closed the confessional door in her face and began to hear the next confession.

Special Intervention of Padre Pio

Padre Pio spoke to a recently-widowed woman; her husband had left her and their two children to live with another woman for over three years. Suddenly cancer had taken his life. He consented to receive the last sacraments before his death, after many pressing appeals.

The woman asked: "Where is his soul, Padre? I haven’t slept, worrying" "Your husband’s soul is condemned forever," Padre Pio responded. The woman replied: "Condemned?" Padre Pio sadly nodded. "When receiving the last Sacraments, he concealed many sins. He had neither repentance nor a good resolution. He was also a sinner against God’s mercy, because he said he always wanted to have a share of the good things in life and then have time to be converted to God."

Undershirt of Padre Pio bearing bloody marks on the
right shoulder
Another woman told her fiancé that she could not go through with marriage unless he agreed to return to the Church. Upset and cynical, he agreed to go with her to Padre Pio’s monastery. They went together to the very early Mass. During Mass, the girl was amazed to see her fiancé staring at the altar, pale and appearing to be shocked. "Does this happen every day?" he quietly said to her. "Yes," she responded in puzzlement, ignorant of the reason for his unusual question. Only after they came out of the Church was his reaction clearly explained to her. He saw a mass of thorns on Padre Pio’s head, and blood running down his face; and he thought everyone was seeing what he saw.  

One day a priest brought a husband and wife to Padre Pio so that he could bless them. Three of their sons were in prison for burglary. Padre Pio said to them, "I absolutely refuse to bless you! You didn’t pull in the reins when your children were growing up, so don’t come along now when they are in jail and ask for my blessing."

A woman came to Padre Pio whose daughter had just died in the process of giving birth. The woman could not think of anything else but the loss of her daughter. Padre Pio said to her: "And why are you weeping so much for her when she is already in Paradise? You would do much better to devote more attention to the activities of your seventeen-year-old daughter who comes home late at night from dances and entertainments."

One young man in Rome was ashamed of his normal custom of tipping his hat when passing in front of a Catholic church. He was scared that his friends would make fun of him. But one time he heard Padre Pio’s voice in his ear saying: "Coward." Later on, he met Padre Pio in person and without saying anything Padre Pio said, "Next time it will be a sound box on the ear!"

One time Padre Pio was coming around the altar and spoke to a man taking photographs. He told the man that he must take no more than one or two photographs during the mass. The person agreed, but then shot two whole spools. They all came out blank.

A doctor took a single camera shot of Padre Pio, and then decided he would take some more pictures. When the doctor re-adjusted his camera and was about to shoot, Padre Pio said: "No, Doctor; no photographs, please!" "Right Padre, sorry!" And then the doctor proceeded to take one photograph after another. They all came out blank except the one picture the doctor shot before being forbidden.

Cesare Festa was a lawyer and the cousin of Padre Pio’s personal physician. Festa decided to go and see the famous priest whom his cousin had told him so much about. When they met, Padre Pio said, "You are a Mason." In an arrogant expression of loyalty to the lodge, Festa said, "Yes, Father." "And what is your task as a Mason?" Padre Pio asked. "It is to carry on our fight against the Church in the political sphere," Festa replied. Padre Pio then said things to Festa that convinced him that he could not have had such knowledge of him and his past except by supernatural means.

Night shirt of Padre Pio bearing blood
from scourging
A Communist approached Padre Pio and started to speak to him. Padre Pio interrupted him saying, "May I see your membership card?"  The man took it from his wallet and gave it to him. Padre Pio took the card and tore it to pieces.

One time Padre Pio said to a man named Antonio, "How can you call yourself a Catholic and a Communist at the same time? Take your pick. You are one or the other, but you can’t be both." These statements jolted Antonio, and caused him to renounce Communism and return to the Catholic Faith.

Giovanni da Prato was a taxi-driver and a violent Communist. When he would get drunk, da Prato would sometimes beat up his wife. One evening he had done just that, and was staggering into his bedroom, and he threw himself on the bed. At that moment, he began to feel the bed being shaken strongly from the lower bed-rail, and looking down in amazement he saw a friar holding the rail and looking at him angrily. The friar told him very clearly what he thought of him and his activity, and then seemed to disappear. The violent Communist Giovanni sprang from his bed, quickly locked the front door, and then shouted to his wife: "Now then, where’s that so-and-so monk?"

Pushing aside her denials and protests, Giovanni searched the house and found no one. As some time passed, he got sober enough to be convinced by his wife’s sincerity. His wife had been praying to Padre Pio for help; she wondered if this event was the  answer to her prayers. She told her husband that she believed it was Padre Pio who had appeared in the bedroom. Giovanni said sternly, "Look, no monk makes a monkey out of me. I’m going down to have a look at this Padre Pio of yours and hear what he has to say for himself. I’ll also find out if he flies!"

Some days later, true to his word, Giovanni made a long trip in his taxi to see Padre Pio. He arrived and found Padre Pio. He recognized Padre Pio, and spoke to him. He was thunder-struck and Padre Pio led him to make a confession. After his confession, Giovanni admitted. "What I forgot, he recalled for me. I was weeping . . ." And at the end of the confession, Giovanni pulled out his Communist Party Membership Card and asked Padre Pio to destroy it. "Yes, I shall. But you have another of these cards in the drawer by the head of your bed. Destroy that too when you go home." Padre Pio then said to him, "You have given great scandal, and now you must do something to make up for it. For your penance you will go every Sunday to Holy Communion at the last Mass in the main church until I tell you to stop." In those days, the fasting rule was to abstain from all solid foods from midnight until Holy Communion. Giovanni had to do this for the better part of a year.

Giovanni had been an important figure among his Communist companions, but now he was just a regular "holy Joe." He challenged some of the Communists that he knew by saying: "Why don’t you come down with me and see how you make out?" Month after month Communists would go down to see Padre Pio; they were always impressed and sometimes converted.

One man named Frances wrote to the official magazine of Padre Pio about how Padre Pio tried to help him. He wrote:  "As you can see from the above address, I am in prison in England. I have been here for five years . . . Don’t worry I blame no one for where I am except my own stupid self. Yes, I am to blame . . . I am an alcoholic and that’s where all the trouble started . . . One night I was sleeping and I had a dream of Padre Pio warning me if I did not stop drinking I would end up in a lot of trouble. Well, I never took any heed of the dream and here I am today in prison on a life sentence . . . I won’t go into the details, but I still say my rosary and of course my novena to the good man himself."

Another interesting story sent to the magazine was the story of R. Van Gisbergen: "I'm a twenty-eight year old man from Holland . . . I was as a young child against everything of a religious kind. My parents always took me to church on Sunday, but when I had the opportunity I tried to escape out of their area. Yes, something in me was against God. My life was filled with all kinds of sins against God . . . At this time, I often tried to commit suicide and was full of hate against myself, people and the world . . . On September 23, 1988, the devil appeared in my dream and I was very scared. Outside this dream I didn’t believe in God or the devil. The devil appeared in the shape of dog heads and dragon heads with tongues full of blood. I was in a real panic. Then there came a monk with a beard and a brown habit. He said to me: 'Don’t be afraid my son, I will protect you by Almighty God!' And immediately I was awake and there was in me an inexplicable joy and happiness . . . Anyway, I phoned my mother and told her about this dream. She asked me to come over. I came up to her place and she showed me a book which was titled: Padre Pio from Pietrelcina. My mother opened it and I smelled a kind of perfume . . . Then she turned the pages and I couldn’t believe my eyes because the photo showed the same monk of my dream. I shouted, ' . . . this is the same man as in my dream.' My mother was full of wonder . . . suddenly I heard in Dutch, 'come to my grave, come to my grave' his voice was so clear . . . and last year, I thanked Padre Pio . . . at his grave." 

Padre Pio’s Sufferings

One of the main reasons that the Devil hated Padre Pio so much is that he was winning so many souls through his sufferings. He often remarked on the extent of these astounding sufferings.

Padre Pio: "The heavenly Father has not ceased to allow me to share in the sufferings of his Only-Begotten Son, even physically. These pains are so acute as to be absolutely indescribable and inconceivable."

Padre Pio said that his sufferings could be compared "to that which the martyrs experienced when burned alive or brutally put to death when giving witness to their faith in Jesus Christ."

Padre Pio, November 25, 1915: "My condition is becoming unbearable and I remain alive only by a miracle."

Padre Pio, Letter, November 3, 1915: "The Lord caused me to experience the pains the damned endure in the infernal regions."

Padre Pio, Letter, August  13, 1916: " . . . I am not exaggerating when I say that the souls in Purgatory certainly suffer no greater pain."

Padre Pio: " . . . I am suffering immensely and I feel I am dying at all times."

Speaking to a person about some of his physical sufferings, Padre Pio said: "It is not so much the days. You see, when the events of the day begin, one thing carries me on to the next, and so the day passes. It is the nights. If I ever allow myself to sleep, the pain of these (and he held up his wounded hands to indicate the stigmata) is multiplied beyond measure."

Responding to a person who asked him if his stigmata hurt, Padre Pio replied: "Do you think that the Lord gave them to me for a decoration?"

Padre Pio: "Just imagine the anguish that I felt then and I still experience practically every day. The wound in the heart bleeds abundantly . . .” “ . . . I have been aware that there is in me something that feels like a sheet of iron that extends from the bottom part of my heart to the lower right side of my back. It causes very sharp pain and doesn’t let me get any rest . . ." 

Padre Pio refused all types of artificial heat, gas or electric heaters, even charcoal heat for the cold winter nights. One time Padre Pio went for twenty-one days without eating. He only received Holy Communion. "You must eat," said the superior. "Please, I cannot eat." "You must," the superior insisted and within minutes Padre Pio vomited everything he tried. Padre Pio often had a lack of appetite, spells of vomiting and perspiring. He had periods of high fever that baffled all the doctors, who did not know how to treat him. Some of Padre Pio’s temperatures were so high that the mercury shot out of the thermometer. Some ordinary thermometers broke under his armpit. On one occasion, using a different thermometer that did not break, his temperature came out to 127.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperatures in excess of 125 degrees Fahrenheit would sometimes come on without any reason whatsoever. Fr. Michaelangelo, a Franciscan who lived with him, said: "No ordinary thermometer could measure Padre Pio’s temperature . . . I was present once when the doctor wanted to take his temperature and see if it would break his thermometer. Padre Pio said, 'No, the thermometer will break!' In an instant, Bang! The mercury shot up and broke it immediately."

One doctor, who was speaking to another doctor about Padre Pio’s high temperatures, stated: "When I took his temperature, it went right off the scale. I had to have a special thermometer sent down, and it registered 125 degrees last night and 120 degrees this morning. He shouldn’t even be alive."

Padre Pio said about suffering: "No suffering borne out of love for Christ, even poorly borne, will go unrewarded in eternal life. Trust and hope in the merits of Jesus and in this way even poor clay will become the finest gold which will shine in the palace of the King of heaven."

Our Lord once spoke to Padre Pio about his sufferings in the following manner:

"My son, I need victims in order to appease my Father’s justifiable and divine anger: renew your sacrifice and make it without reservations."

Padre Pio: "If people would only understand the value of suffering, they would not seek pleasure, but only to suffer."

Padre Pio also complained of problems with blindness as far back as November 18, 1912. On January 30, 1915, Padre Pio wrote: " . . . my sight . . . has improved from time to time."

Another suffering (although not physical) was the fact that although God often made clear the status of the souls of others, Padre Pio remained in the dark about his own soul. Padre Pio said, "In other souls, through the grace of God, I see clearly, but in my own I see nothing but darkness."

Some other Visions given to Padre Pio

Padre Pio received many visions during his life. In March 1913, Padre Pio wrote his confessor, Father Agostino, and told him the following:

"Friday morning I was still in bed when Jesus appeared to me. He was very sad and upset. He showed me a multitude of priests regular and secular, among them various ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Others were putting on the sacred vestments; still others were taking them off. 

The sight of Jesus in distress gave me much pain, so I asked Him why He was suffering so much.  He did not reply, but kept looking towards those priests. When He became tired of looking, He glanced away. He raised his eyes towards me and two tears ran down his cheeks. He walked away from the crowd of priests with an expression of disgust and scorn, crying: 'Butchers!' Turning to me He said: 

'My son, do not believe that my agony lasted only three hours. No, I shall be in agony until the end of the world because of those for whom I have done the most. During my agony, my son, we must not sleep. My soul seeks a few drops of human pity. But alas, they leave me alone under the weight of indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers make my agony more difficult to bear. Alas, how they return my love. What pains me even more is that they add scorn and unbelief to their indifference. How many times I was ready to destroy them, but I was held back by the angels and the souls that love me. Write to your confessor and tell him what you have seen and what you have heard this morning. Tell him to show your letter to the Provincial.' 

While praying in church, Padre Pio heard Jesus say the following:

"With what ingratitude is my love for men repaid! I should be less offended by them if I had loved them less. My Father does not want to bear with them any longer. I myself want to stop loving them, but, alas! My heart is made to love! Weak and cowardly men make no effort to overcome temptation and indeed they take delight in their wickedness. The souls for whom I have a special predilection fail me when put to the test, the weak give way to discouragement and despair, while the strong are relaxing by degrees. They leave me alone by night, alone by day in the churches. They no longer care about the Sacrament of the altar. Hardly anyone ever speaks of this Sacrament of love, and even those who do, speak, alas, with great indifference and coldness. My heart is forgotten; Nobody thinks anymore of my love and I am continually grieved. For many people, my house has become an amusement center . . . I behold, my son . . . many people who act hypocritically and betray me by sacrilegious communions, trampling under foot the light and strength which I give them continually . . ."

Padre Pio's Room
Acknowledgement

Images are courtesy of caccioppoli.com
Many thanks to mostholyfamilymonastery.com

19 comments:

  1. Dear Padre Pio,
    Please help me and my husband to fix our relationship, it's been 2 years since he left me. We have a child, he's too young to suffer from this traumatic family challenge he have, please, make my husband think the importance his own family, especially that we have a 2 year old baby boy. Please make him come back to us. Amen.

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  2. i need my husband to speak to me to answer my question

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  3. Dear Padre Pio. I am worried because my son is dating a non christian

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  4. Padre Pio, I have this constant pain in my knees and elbow and wrist for playing tennis. I know it is stupid to play tennis if I am hurting. But what to do. I want to enjoy this life that God has given me. Please intercede for me and those suffering athletes.

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  5. Saint Padre Pio pray for us.

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  6. I recently lost my dad to cancer. He was a very good dad and friend. While undergoing chemo I prayed to Mary Jesus,God,st Joseph ,padre pio and all the angels and saints for a miracle that would cure my dad of his cancer. Although my prayers weren't answered with a cure my family and I were blessed with a miracle the day he died. We brought him home from hospital at 3.30 in the afternoon and he said thanks to my mum as we drove in the gates of the house. He was happy that he was home and he died an hour later. God was good to him and didn't let him suffer to a point where he needed paleative care. I honestly believe we were granted a miracle that day which has given me great strength at this very sad time. Thank you Mary thank you Jesus thank you god thank you Joseph thank you Saint Anthony thank you padre pio thank you all the angel and saints. Prayer is a beautiful gift. Please use it. Kevin

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  7. Please cure my son Calvin dear St Padre Pio

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  8. Dear St Padre Pio,
    Please pray for the complete healing of our marriage and the end to our separation.
    Thank you so much for your kindness, Lisa

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  9. John:

    Dear Padre Pio:

    Please help me find a loving Catholic Wife. Even if I do not deserve it.

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  10. Dear father, Give me absolution to all my sins. My sins are too hatred that offended god several times. I need forgiveness to lead a happy life. Help me father please.

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  11. Padre Pio, its true I do smell the fresh scent of flowers when I send my guardian angel for your intercession! Pray for us

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  12. My Dearest Padre Pio. Thank you for your intercession. I know you were here because I smell the sweetness of the flowers. Pray for us

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  13. Padre Pio, Please ask God to forgive all my life of sin. I have regretted all that offended God but I cannot forgive myself. Please pray for me so that I may one day be in heaven with God.

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  14. Padre Pio, please pray for me. I am a sinner that has not appreciated all of the many blessings given to me by the Lord over the years. I am only beginning to understand this and need guidance and courage to move forward into the life I was meant to live. My distress over my financial crisis is great and distracting. Please pray that the Lord remove this distraction and help me out of this crisis. I want to focus all of my attention on the Father, the Son and the Holy ghost. I must live my life for the Lord and no longer for myself. Of this I am sure but I am weak and need your help to do so.

    I also ask that you give me the strength and determination to pray daily for the Holy Souls in purgatory. They need our prayers.

    I thank you for your influence. I've read many of your stories and am inspired to change my ways. Please continue to move in my life and guide me to where I belong. Please pray that I may also continue to improve my relationship with the Holy Virgin Mother. I feel her love and sorrow for me. I want to please the Mother of Jesus.

    Please help me Padre Pio. I have much to learn from you. I am sorry for all of my sins and am ashamed of what my life has become. I beg you to have mercy on me and help me to do what I am supposed to do. I put my trust in you and seek you as my spiritual guide to a Godly life.

    Thank you Padre Pio for hearing my prayers.

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  15. Dear Padre Pio..

    Please be a spiritual Father to me and my 3 children ...lead them on a road that only is Gods will for each of them and that they each will be given the great grace of wisdom to know the difference between good and evil and always make the correct decisions...and that they will always stay close to Jesus and Mary.

    love Anna

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  16. Dear Padre Pio please help me to pray and ask God for enrichment in my faith, help me to pray and thank God for all Good things he has done for me and those around me.I also ask that you help me to pray for prosperity in my family.

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  17. Beautiful Padre Pio,
    Please stay with me all the days of my life.
    Thank you

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  18. Through your intercession Padre Pio I ask the Almighty to forgive me for all my sins. And I ask you Padre Pio to help Me thru this trying moment. We have been evicted from out current home and the notice has 5 days to go. This situation has put our marriage at risk. We don't have were to go with our four kids and three dependants. My husband has given me an altimatum of two days to find money or we go to a slum with a small house where even our stuff can't fit, no Church nearby, far from the kids school and the house lacks even the simple basics. I am not willing to go there , I have no money, we have debts I feel I am drowning in problems and going to this house may be the last blow to our marriage please help me don't abandon me In this hour of need. Please Padre Pio. Give me a starting point in my life.

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  19. Padre Pio I urgently need a financial miracle in my life. Am deep in debt, no home to live, evicted from the house , I'm in a stressed marriage and so confused.

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