Padre Pio of Pietrelcina manifested the ability to read minds and look far into the future - a mystical gift the good Padre was also known for - and these occurrences have touched the lives of many people. These had been recorded, documented, and below are just a few of them:
Padre Pio spent most of his day hearing confessions. From 1918 to 1923, he heard confessions fifteen to nineteen hours a day. During the 1940's and the 1950's, about eight hours a day. In 1962, 83,035 women and 19,837 men registered for confession with Padre Pio: an average of about 273 per day. In 1967, Padre Pio heard confession of about 15,000 women and 10,000 men: an average of 70 people per day.
People would come to him from all over the world. He heard the confessions in the old church, even after the new church was built.
|"Confession is the purification of the soul."|
"Tell me your sins." 'I'm not prepared. I'd better leave and come back when I'm ready.' Back to confession three years later, Padre Pio looking at him: "You took three years to prepare!"
A woman was preparing to confess to Padre Pio. The night before, she had eaten several figs, and decided to confess it as gluttony. "Father I have another sin to confess, but I can't remember it." Padre Pio said, "That's ok. Just a few figs."
When her turn to confess came, a woman knelt in the confessional but felt terrorized and couldn't utter a single word. " 'Do you want me to talk for you?' He said word by word all the things I had prepared to say, and then added 'I will be you spiritual father.' "
A priest preparing to confess was thinking: "This spiritual life at times it's like to clutch at straws." After confession, Padre Pio said smiling, "So you think that this spiritual life at times it's like to clutch at straws."
On a May 25, a woman wanted to say happy birthday to Padre Pio, but he was too far away, so she just thought about it. A few days later, at the end of the confession: "Happy birthday. Sorry I couldn't say it the 25th." "But you did already." replied Padre Pio.
Padre Pio was at the confessional when a woman in line was just told that there will be no more confessions for the day. She had a thought: "Father, send me a blessing, I need it." Instantly, Padre Pio turned his head from the grille of the confessional, looked at her, made a blessing sign, and then turned his face back to the grille.
|Padre Pio with actor Carlo Campanini|
Carlo Campanini went to confession to Padre Pio in 1950. Padre Pio said, "Begin in 1936." "But I confessed few days ago." "I told you to begin in 1936." Campanini remembered what he had done in 1936 and had been ashamed to confess. He concluded: "That confession changed my life, and I haven't missed daily Mass since than."
Campanini was on a tour in Brazil and went to Sao Paolo Cathedral for confession and communion. There was a very long line for confession. Campanini prayed to Padre Pio for help. The door from a nearby confessional opened and a priest called him in Italian: "Vieni (come)." He confessed and towards the end he could smell the typical fragrance of Padre Pio.
Carlo Campanini told his doctor in Florence: "Tomorrow I'm going to see Padre Pio." The doctor: "He is an hysterical who got the wound by thinking so much about Jesus on the Cross." When Campanini visited Padre Pio: "When you see him, tell him to think intensely about being an ox. Let's see if he grows horns."
Dr. Ezio Saltamerenda convinced sculptor Francesco Messina in 1949 to visit Padre Pio with him. Padre Pio asked if he wanted to confess. He said, "maybe but I'm not prepared." Padre Pio: "Don't say anything to me. Just answer." "Then he began to list my sins with incredible precision. It was as though he could read my soul."
Luisa Vario at the confession. " 'I don't know what to say.' 'Then I will speak.' 'He proceeded to tell me my whole life's story.' 'Do you have something to add?' 'I mentioned a sin that he had not told me.' 'That's the one I was waiting for.' "
Angelina Serritelli from USA came to Padre Pio for Confession and First Communion knowing only English. "I confessed and we understood each other. He spoke in English."
Gaetana Caccioppoli was told that today was her turn to confess with Padre Pio, but in reality her turn was a week away. On the church's square she said, "If you are Padre Pio send your friar right away to call me." Not even 5 minutes had passes that a friar came to her from the church: "Are you signora Caccioppoli? Padre Pio is waiting for you. He says that it's your turn to confess."
Francesco Cavicchi and his wife visited Padre Pio in June 1967. He had confessed three days before, but wanted to confess to Padre Pio anyway. The rule was at least seven days. He stood in line and when his turn was approaching, he got agitated. But Padre Pio calling him from the line said: "Come forward, my son, I have been waiting for you for a long time." He started the confession asking: "How many days has it been since last confession?" Francesco said that he couldn't remember. Padre Pio: "You have a short memory, don't you. But let me ask you this. Do you remember the bombardment In Rimini many yeas back? Do you remember the air raid shelter? Do you remember the trolley bus? But why I'm asking you to go back in time? You cannot even remember what you did less than a week ago!" At that point, Francesco started recollecting that in November 1943, when he was 28 years old, he was riding the trolley bus with about ten other people, including a middle aged monk. Then the bombs started falling. Francesco had difficulty getting off the bombed bus to reach the air-raid shelter and thought he was about to die. The monk helped him. The capuchin monk once in the shelter began to recite the rosary and inspired calm and confidence in everyone. After the sirens gave the 'all clear" signal, the capuchin monk was the first to leave. Suddenly Francesco: "Were you the monk?" "Well, who do you think it was?"
On December 30, 1937, Padre Pio was praying in the choir with the other friars. Suddenly he said: "Let's pray for our Provincial Father Padre Bernardo Apicella who is in agony." Nobody knew that he was sick. The day after they were told that he had suddenly died.
|Adelia Mary Pyle receiving Communion from Padre Pio|
Mary Pyle met Padre Pio on October 4, 1923. Mary herself said later: "We looked at one another only. Then, I fell on my knees and said: 'Padre'. He put his wounded hands on my head and said to me: 'My daughter, do not travel anymore. Stay here.' " She built a house near the convent and went daily to Padre Pio's Mass, received daily Communion, and confessed weekly to Padre Pio. In the mornings she helped with the correspondence coming to Padre Pio: "He knew the contents of each letter before it was opened."
"My wife is expecting. What name should we give to the boy?" "Call him Pio." "And if is a girl?" "Call him Pio." It was a boy.
Showing him a Rosary to be blessed: "But this is already blessed."
I showed him my Rosary and a Crucifix to be blessed, like I did every time I saw him. "How many times I have to give this blessing?"
"My wife every night kneels in front of your picture and asks for your blessing." "Yes, I know. And you laugh at her when she does that." That was true.
A man was told that he could ask Padre Pio for something by thinking about it during Mass. He did. Later, in the hallway: "Father, pray for my sister." Padre Pio:"You already told me."
"Father my daughter is sick." "And you are much sicker than your daughter." "No, no, I'm feeling very well." "How can you be well if you have so many sins on your conscience? I see at least 32 of them."
A women was on her knees hoping to kiss Padre Pio's hand when he passed. He passed but didn't stop and went on. She felt bad, and in her heart complained. Padre Pio turned around and came straight to her: "Ok. Here is my hand."
A Dominican friar came in casual dress, with pants and pullover, not wanting to be recognized. Padre Pio passing by told him: "Go, and come back in your Dominican habit."
The father of a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio was for the first time kneeling in the hallway. Padre Pio passing by told him: "You are Adriana's father. Right?"
A priest went to visit Padre Pio, wearing dress and necktie, not wanting to be recognized. Padre Pio passing by: "Reverend, You should not be ashamed of visiting me. Next time come dressed as a priest."
On a bus, in an organized trip to see Padre Pio, in 1961, a man tells his wife: "I'm going to just accompany you, because I don't believe in this impostor." When Padre Pio passed: "Well, here is the impostor." And puts his hand on his head, while the man asks for forgiveness.
A man decided to stop smoking and to offer it as a penance for Padre Pio. Every night he would stop by an image of Padre Pio and show an unopened packet of cigarettes, and say: "Father, here is one." Next night: "Here are two." And so on. When he met Padre Pio: "Father, it has been 81 days since I stopped." "I know, and you made me count the packets every night."
Joseph from San Giovanni Rotondo decided to get married on September 12 and went to Padre Pio to tell him the news. Padre Pio: "No, you will get married on September 8." Back at home, the mom told him: "Son, you can't marry on the 12th because your cousin has chosen that date for her wedding. We might have to choose the 8th." Joseph then told his mom of the conversation with Padre Pio.
Padre Pio told a policeman who was on duty near him: "Go home to your parents. In a week you are going to die." "But I'm perfectly healthy." "You will be even better in a week." He went on leave, and once home he told his parents what Padre Pio had said. A week later he suddenly had a heart attack and died.
In 1919 Padre Clemente Centra went to visit Padre Pio, bringing along his nephew Alberto. Padre Pio asked little Alberto: "Do you want be a monk?" "No." "Why not?" "I want to be a Salesian priest." "I understand." Then he said: "You will become a capuchin friar like your uncle." He became the capuchin friar Padre Alberto D'Apolito.
Photographer Modesto Vinelli testifies that he used to see Padre Pio almost daily and take pictures of him. One day at the end of 1918 Padre Pio told him: "Modesto, we have fifty years ahead of us." He was also taking pictures on the day of the 25th anniversary, in 1943. Padre Pio told him: "Modesto remember that we still have 25 years to go." On September 20, 1968, Padre Pio told him: "Modesto, the fifty years are over." Padre Pio died a few days later, Modesto lived until 1983.
|King George V of England|
The evening of January 20th, 1936, Dr. Guglielmo Sanguinetti, was talking to Padre Pio in his cell. Suddenly Padre Pio took to his knees and urged them to pray "for a soul that is soon to appear before the tribunal of God." Afterwards Padre Pio said: "Do you know for whom you prayed? It was for the King of England." Around midnight Padre Pio went to the room of Padre Aurelio: "Let's pray for a soul which at this moment is about to appear at the tribunal of God." The next day the newspapers announced the death of King George V.
Umberto (Bert Longo) in 1951, at 20, moved with his mother to Leominster, MA, from San Giovanni Rotondo, to stay with his father Matteo. He Married Clara di Nardo. When Matteo migrated, Bert's uncle Gerardo Miniscalchi became very close to him. Gerardo had a barber shop in town, and for many years was Padre Pio's barber and cut his hair. He always wore a suit and tie when he went to the convent, as a sign of respect. In 1939, Gerardo started taking Bert with him when he was 8, and Padre Pio was always kind to him. One day he said: "Just like my own father your father emigrated to the United States in order to make a living. Many people believe that the United States is so rich that the tiles on the roofs of the homes are made of pure gold. That is why so many people want to leave Italy and move there."
Each Sunday afternoon there was Vespers service at the monastery. Vespers included singing, prayers, and a benediction, and lasted almost one hour. The English Count, John Telfener, owned a villa near the convent. Gerardo used to direct the religious plays that were performed in the hall adjacent to the church of Our Lady of Grace. They used to go to Mary Pyle's home to rehearse the plays. When the Holy Family Capuchin monastery and church were being built in Pietrelcina, they didn't have enough water. Padre Pio was shown a blueprint of the area and pointed to a certain spot on the blueprint and said: "Dig five meters in this area and you will find all the water you need." They did and found plenty of water for the construction, and for the town. When Gerardo retired, his brother Vincenzo assumed the privileged task of cutting Padre Pio's hair. Uncle Gerardo gave Bert several precious relics of Padre Pio. He has saved some hair and a piece of bloodstained linen that covered Padre Pio's side wound. Not long after he had moved to Massachusetts, Bert received a handwritten letter from Padre Pio.
Assigned to the 304th Bomb Wing with Mario and Joe, "Joe told Padre Pio 'I want to introduce you to my friend, Corporal Leo Fanning.' Padre Pio replied, 'But that is not correct. It is Father Leo Fanning.' Padre Pio told him: 'You are to go to the altar of God. I do no want you to go anywhere else.' " Back home, Leo entered the seminary and was ordained in Paterson, New Jersey, on May 30, 1954. Ten minutes before the ordination, Leo received a Western Union telegram: 'Congratulations on the day of your ordination. Padre Pio.' Leo couldn't believe it. He had not told him."
|Padre Pio beside Leo Fanning with Joe Asterita and Mario Avignone|
One day Leo, Joe, and Padre Paolino made a surprise visit to Padre Pio. Padre Pio went in the convent to see whether Padre Pio was available. When Padre Pio saw him, said: "Oh, you have finally arrived. I have bee expecting you and the two American soldiers all morning." Padre Pio invited Mario, Leo, and Joe for his 58th birthday on May 25, 1945. They brought a sheet cake with the words "Happy birthday, Padre Pio" on it. They sung "Happy Birthday" and at the end, all the friars, including Padre Pio, broke into applause.
Joe, of the same Neapolitan origin as Padre Pio, was fluent in Italian and often translated for the other GI's. One day Padre Pio told Joe that five people needed a ride back to Foggia. Joe refused because it was prohibited to transport civilians in military vehicles. Padre Pio said; "Remember this. Anytime I ask you to do something form me, it will work out. You need have no fear." Joe was convinced, and allowed the two men, two women, and a little child in his military jeep. On the road, Joe saw two Military Police Officers. They looked into the jeep and passed right on. At that moment, the air became filled with the perfume of Padre Pio. As they continued, they encountered many MP's but Joe was never pulled over. The perfume was smelled until the five Italians were dropped off safely. Before leaving, Joe told Padre Pio he was thinking of entering the Trappist order. "Joe, you talk all the time. You cannot keep silent even for a minute. You could never be a Trappist. Your vocation is to the married life."
When the war was coming to an end, Joe, Mario and Leo got word of their new assignment: Leo to Japan, Mario in other part of Europe, and Joe back to New York. This was on a new military point system. They told Padre Pio before leaving. Padre Pio replied: "Points or no points I tell you that you will go home together." When they returned to the Base, their transfer orders had been changed. They were all to go back to the United States.
Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com