"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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Padre Pio on Guardian Angels


Padre Pio and the Guardian Angel by Guido Reni

Padre Pio had the privilege of having his Guardian Angel visibly beside him all his life. He played with him when he was a child, and the Guardian Angel sang for him when he was sad.

"My Guardian Angel has been my friend since my infancy." 

Padre Pio said about his Guardian Angel: "Little companion of my infancy, angiolino, angioletto, my secretary, inseparable companion, celestial person, celestial messenger, brother, friend, prevents danger, one of the family, translates for me the letters in other languages, I send him to console people suffering, prevents from stumbling, never lives us alone for an instant, from the cradle to the grave, even when we are sinning." 

Padre Pio said about the Angels: "The Angels envy us for one thing only: they cannot suffer for God."

When Padre Pio was a young friar, 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." 

Padre Pio often recommended that if people wanted to send him a message or a petition they could send him their guardian angel. Fr. Dominic, who handled the American mail for Padre Pio, asked him: "Padre . . . a woman wants to know if she sends her Guardian Angel to you, does he come?" Padre Pio replied, "Tell her that her Angel is not like she is. Her Angel is very obedient, and when she sends him, he comes!"

"It will be a great joy when at the moment of death we will be able to see our Guardian Angel. 

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

"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." 

"The mission of my Guardian Angel includes explaining me other languages." 

Padre Pio lived in close contact with his Guardian Angel, who taught him to translate letters in French and Greek. The Angel would keep Padre Pio up at night so that they could both chant God’s praises. Padre Pio’s Angel would also ease the pain that he suffered from beatings that he received from demons. 

Padre Pio wrote the following to his spiritual director on November 5, 1912: "I cannot tell you the way these scoundrels [the demons] beat me. Sometimes I feel I am about to die. On Saturday, it seemed to me that they intended to put an end to me and I did not know what saint to invoke. I turned to my angel and after he had kept me waiting a while, there he was hovering close to me, singing hymns to the divine Majesty in his angelic voice. . . I rebuked him bitterly for having kept me waiting so long when I had not failed to call him to my assistance. To punish him, I did not want to look him in the face; I wanted to get away, to escape from him. But he, poor creature, caught up with me almost in tears and held me until I raised my eyes to his face and found him all upset. Then he said: "I am always close to you, my beloved young man . . ." 

"Send the Guardian Angel. He doesn't pay a train ticket and doesn't consume shoes." 

One winter, a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio was walking along a country road heavily covered with snow in which it was even difficult to walk to the Convent where the good Padre was waiting for her but was uncertain she would reach the Convent in time for the appointment. Full of faith, she prayed to her Guardian Angel to tell Padre Pio she would have arrived at the convent late because of the snow. When she finally reached the convent, she saw Padre Pio smiling, waiting for her behind a window.  

"For whomever is alone, there is his Guardian Angel." 

"Your Guardian Angel prays for you; offers to God all the good works you accomplish; your holy and pure desires." 

A man narrated: "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!' Then 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."

"Oh, if all men could understand this great gift that God, assigned to us; this celestial spirit." 

"May the desire to see this inseparable companion incite you to leave this body quickly." 

"When you seem to be alone, here a friendly soul to whom you can unburden yourself and in whom you can confide your sorrows." 

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 repeated with the heart: "Padre Pio, help me! Guardian Angel, please, go to tell Padre 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 him about her sister’s illness. Padre Pio went in bilocation to the sick woman and healed her.

"Do not forget this invisible companion, always present to listen to you; always ready to console you." 

"For people that live alone there is the Guardian Angel." 

"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!" 

Padre Pio, Letter, April 20, 1915: "Often repeat the beautiful prayer: 'Angel of God, my guardian to whom the goodness of the heavenly Father entrusts me, enlighten, protect and guide me now and forever.' "

"Invoke often this Guardian Angel, and repeat the beautiful prayer: 'Oh, Angel of God . . .' "

Guardian Angel by Pietro da Cortona, 1656

Below is the traditional Catholic prayer to one's Guardian Angel:

Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom His love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
to light, and guard, to rule and guide.
Amen.

In Latin:

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me, tibi commissum pietate superna,
illumina, custodi,
rege et guberna.
Amen.

"What consolation when, at the moment of death, you will see this Angel, who accompanied you through life and was so liberal in maternal care." 

"Often remember his presence; thank him; pray to him; respect him; be in constant fear of offending the purity of his gaze." 

"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."

When asked, "How do you take care of the so many letters you receive?" The good Padre replied,  "The Angel does his job." 

One time, Padre Pio was asked: "All those Angels around you, don't they bother You?" He answered, "No. They are so obedient." 

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!" 

An Italian-American from California used to pray to his Guardian Angel to tell his needs to Padre Pio. One day, after confession he asked Padre Pio if he really heard his Guardian Angel. "Do you think I am deaf?" And he repeated what he had told recently his Guardian Angel to tell Padre Pio. 

Padre Lino Barbati sent his Guardian Angel to ask Padre Pio for the healing of a person. That person was not getting better. He asked Padre Pio: "Could it be that at times the Guardian Angel doesn't do what we ask him to do?" Padre Pio: "What? Are you thinking that he is disobedient like me and you?" 

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 at San 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.

Padre Eusebio Notte was with Padre Pio from 1960 to 1965

Padre 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 named Attilio De Sanctis from Fano was driving back home to Bologna with his wife and two children. During the trip he fell asleep at the wheel. He woke up a few miles from home. He said, "Who drove my car?" The wife said, "You were still, and didn't answer to us, and you avoided several collisions at last second. Your driving was different from usual." Two months later he visited Padre Pio, who told him from afar: "You were asleep and the Guardian Angel drove your car." The mystery was solved. 

"Father, my income doesn't allow me to come to see you as often as I'd like." "Who told you to come here? Don't you have your Guardian Angel? Tell him what you want, send him here, and you will have an answer right away." 

Padre Alessio Parente

Padre Alessio approached Padre Pio with some letters in his hand in order to ask him something but Padre Pio told him abruptly, "Boy, leave me alone, don't you see that I am busy?" Padre Alessio went away mortified. Later, Padre Pio apologized and explained: "Didn't you see all those Angels who were with me? They are the Guardian Angels of my spiritual children who brought me their messages. I had to report to them the answers they needed." 

Joe Peterson and Joe Peluso in 1988 visiting Padre Pio's birthplace

Joe Peterson was stationed in Foggia, Italy during WWII and met Padre Pio several times. When he returned to the States in Yonkers, N.Y., he lectured about Padre Pio throughout the Northeast for 40 years to more than 4,000 parishes, religious classes, and Catholic high schools. He was a member of the Padre Pio Foundation's Board of Directors. 

Joe Peluso, from a very small town in Pennsylvania, was stationed in Foggia, Italy during WWII and met Padre Pio on October 6, 1944. He visited with him several times for the next ten months, until his Army unit was transferred to France on July 15, 1945. He met also Padre Pio's father Grazio, his brother Michael, and Michael's daughter Pia, and her fiance Mario. He returned to Italy in 1988 as member of the Padre Pio Foundation of America in Cromwell, CT, for a documentary on Padre Pio's birthplace. 

"Joe, when the war is over and you return to the United States, tell the American people that for those who would like me to be their spiritual father, my answer is yes. I accept all Americans as my spiritual children. I only have two requirements - that they lead very good Catholic lives and that they regularly receive the sacraments. And please, tell them never to embarrass me in front of Jesus and Mary. You must tell them, Joe." Joe made a slide show presentation of Padre Pio's life and over the years he showed it to thousands of people. Joe died in 1996 after having spent 50 years sharing the message of Padre Pio with more people than he could have imagined. 

"Joe, pick a name for your Guardian Angel and call him by the name always. When you send him to me, he will come instantly." 

"All of Paradise is close to the altar when I say Mass." 

"The angels attend my Mass In legions." 

"The angels around the altar adore and love." 

"The Holy Virgin assists me."

Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Padre Pio's Special Intervention


With Padre Pio the extraordinary was ordinary, the uncommon was common, the supernatural was natural, the unthinkable was routine, the unpredictable was norm.

On February 1958, Laurino Costa sent a telegram to Padre Pio: "Pray for me to find a job." He received  a telegram back: "Come to San Giovanni Rotondo at once." On the 4th, he met Padre Pio for the first time: "Laurino, I see you have arrived. You will feed my sick." "But Padre," Laurino protested, "I’ve never cooked an egg in my life." Padre Pio insisted: "Go and feed my sick. I’ll always be near you." Laurino went to Casa Sollievo and was told: "You must be the experienced cook we’ve been waiting for." The same day he was preparing meals for 450 people. Laurino admitted to Fr. John Schug, Capuchin: "To this day (14 years later) I still don’t know what happened. All day long I found myself calmly working and telling others what to do, as though I was carrying out a routine I had been used to."

Gift of Tongues

Professor Bruno Rabajotti was present to a long conversation between Padre Pio and a German gentleman. Prof. Rabajotti: "They spoke presumably in German. A language unknown to me." Padre Pio: "Why don't you join the conversation?" "We spoke German all three of us. It was so easy."

Angelina Serritelli

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."

Padre Andrea D'Ascanio with Padre Pio
Levitation

Padre Andrea D'Ascanio testified: "The sacristy was full of people and they were looking at the door from were Padre Pio had to go to the confessional. There was no way that Padre Pio could reach the confessional walking through such a large crowd. The door didn't open, and I saw Padre Pio walking over the heads of those people and go to the confessional. Later I asked him about it." "I assure you, my son, it was like walking over bricks." 

Padre Pio with Brother Bill Martin, later Father Joseph Pius

Brother Bill Martin was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 1, 1938. He first visited Padre Pio in 1959. He returned in 1964 and entered the convent as a lay friar. He helped Padre Pio's last three years (1965-1968). In 1969, after the death of Padre Pio, Brother Bill Martin entered the Morcone novitiate assuming the name of Joseph Pius, and was ordained priest in 1974. He caught Padre Pio falling in his last Mass. "It was near the end of his life. Another brother and I were helping him to the altar. He was going to say Mass. I remember thinking 'Why his weight on my arm feels like nothing at all.' That's when I looked at the floor. Padre Pio's feet were six inches off the ground. He was just gliding. He was levitating on his way to say Mass. I exchanged a glance with the other monk. We had come to the same realization at about the same time. We never spoke about it. We just knew." He died May 3, 2000.

Odour of Sanctity

One of the doctors who examined Padre Pio decided to take with him a cloth that covered the side wound for laboratory analysis in Rome. Nobody knew about it. During the trip several people told him they were smelling the perfume of Padre Pio. And the patients smelled the same perfume during the doctor's visits.

Fra Modestino of Pietrelcina

Fra Modestino reported: "I was serving Padre Pio's Mass when I started smelling his perfume. It was so intense that I was about to faint, and mentally asked him to stop. The perfume stopped. Later, I asked Padre Pio about it: 'My son it's not me. It's the lord. He decides who smells it, and when. Everything happens if and when He wants.' "

A woman involved in an accident broke her arm and shoulder, and after three years of surgeries the doctors said that she would never be able to use her arm. She went to Padre Pio. "Don't despair. The arm will recover." She went back home. No improvement. Three months later, on September 17, 1930, feast day of the wounds of St. Francis, she and all in the family, and the neighbors smelled a strong perfume of daffodils and roses. It lasted about 15 minutes. The arm returned normal. The radiographs showed no abnormality in the bones and cartilages.

A woman testified: "My husband was taken to the hospital in Taranto with life threatening injuries after a car accident. After several days of no improvement I prayed to Padre Pio. I smelled a marvelous perfume of lily. From then on my husband made a fast recovery."

On October 1949, Maria Galiano was about to die from uterine adenocarcinoma. The daughter sent a telegram and two letters to Padre Pio. On April 29 1950, Maria smelled an intense perfume. It lasted for two days. The third day she felt healed. The doctors ran tests and found that 'the tumor has completely disappeared.'

Joe Spada was hospitalized with terminal cancer in 1975. He, his wife, the nurses and other people at the hospital were frequently overcome by the beautiful aroma of fresh flowers. One night he was alone and saw Padre Pio sitting beside him. When Margie returned her eyes fell on a handkerchief that she did not recognize. As she reached for it, Joe said, "That's Padre Pio's handkerchief. He put it there on the stand just before he left." Still, today on several occasions, Padre Pio's handkerchief has given off the aroma of fresh flowers.

Padre Pio beside Leo Fanning, Joe Asterita and Mario Avignone

Joe Asterita, 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 passes right on. At that moment the air become 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 that 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.


Padre Clemente Tomay da Postiglione lived for 26 years in the convent and was confessor and friend of Padre Pio. He testified that on October 3, 1923, while approaching Padre Pio, he was "surrounded by an intense odor of violets, so intense that I was almost overcome. So it was for about ten minutes." He also reported: "I was bringing the Holy Communion at the home of Dr. Sanguinetti, who was sick. When I rang the bell I found myself surrounded by a strong perfume. Back to the Friary I told the story to Padre Pio and asked him, 'Padre, why did you make me smell your perfume?' Padre Pio replied: 'Because I love you.' "

Acknowledgement

Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Padre Pio on His Gift of Reading Souls


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
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 Asterita

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.

Acknowledgement

Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Friday, April 27, 2012

Padre Pio on the Gift of Healing


One of the many wonderful attributes of Padre Pio is his amazing gift of healing, and below are just some of them:

The first ever newspaper article about Padre Pio was published on IL MATTINO of Naples on June 20, 1919: "Padre Pio, il ‘santo’ di San Giovanni Rotondo, opera un miracolo sulla persona del Cancelliere del paese. Presente un nostro inviato." Translated, "Padre Pio, 'the saint' of San Giovanni Rotondo, performs a miracle on the local courthouse's chancellor. Our envoy was present." 

The journalist, Renato Trevisani, reported that Padre Pio saw the 35 year old Pasquale Di Chiara walking painfully with two canes. Padre Pio: "Throw away those canes." 'How could I? I will fall to the ground.' "Throw away those canes," Padre Pio insisted. Pasquale let the canes go while trying to reach for a support. But there was no need. He was standing normally. "Man of little faith. Go and walk." Renato Trevisani and several people were present, and all of them clapped their hands in admiration.

Alberto Del Fante was a journalist who despised Padre Pio. He denounced him in magazines as a charlatan who preyed upon gullible people. A few years later, Del Fante’s grandson, Enrico, was struck with kidney disease and tuberculosis. The doctors gave little hope that Enrico would recover. Relatives of Enrico traveled to see Padre Pio and ask him to pray for him. Padre Pio assured them the boy would recover. Desperate and distraught, Del Fante himself even said: "If Enrico gets well, I will make a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo myself." He was convinced that nothing would happen, but the boy was healed. Del Fante was deeply moved by this miracle, and went to see Padre Pio who helped him turn to God. After Del Fante’s conversion, he became a dedicated promoter of Padre Pio.

Pasquale Di Chiara's daughter had braces on her legs due to infantile paralysis. When she met Padre Pio, he asked her to take them off. She was able to walk and never use them again.

Francesco Visco, age 43, had walked on crutches because of a deformity contracted since birth. He lived near the convent and children used to make fun of him all the time. He asked Padre Pio, "Heal me." Padre Pio said, "Throw away those crutches." Francesco walked normally for the first time, and for several years until his death.

Pasquale Urbano of Foggia had been walking with two canes after falling from a carriage. After confession in 1919, Padre Pio said, "Get up and go. Throw away those canes." He walked away to every one's amazement.

In 1919, a 14 year old boy who had severe deformations on the back due to typhoid fever at age 4 went to Padre Pio for confession. After confession, Padre Pio touched him with the wounded hand. The back returned instantly normal.

On July 1930, 24 years old Giuseppina Marchetti had her right arm and shoulder badly crashed in an accident. Several doctors could not help. She went to Padre Pio with her father. Padre Pio told her, "You will recover." Back home, on September 17, father and daughter smelled an intense perfume of daffodils and roses lasting 15 minutes. She felt healed. An x-ray showed she was perfectly normal.

A woman involved in an accident broke her arm and shoulder, and after 3 years of surgeries, the doctors declared that she would never be able to use her arm. She went to Padre Pio. "Don't despair. The arm will recover." She went back home. No improvement. Three months later, on September 17, 1930, feast day of the wounds of St. Francis, she and all in the family and the neighbors smelled a strong perfume of daffodils and roses. It lasted about 15 minutes. The arm returned normal. The radiographs showed no abnormality in the bones and cartilages.

A woman from Pesaro, the wife of a workman, brought her deaf and dumb daughter to Padre Pio. He cured her instantly. In an outburst of gratitude, the woman took a gold chain from the child's neck, the only object of value that she owned, and gave it to Padre Pio for the Virgin Mary. When she returned home, she told everything to her husband. He flew into a rage at the offering she had made to the Padre. He said that she should have chosen some other article rather than the gift that he himself had made to his daughter. The next morning they found the chain on the bed table.

On May 21, 1945, Giuseppe Canaponi of Firenze was hit by a truck while driving his motorcycle. He sustained multiple fractures from skull to feet, including 5 fractures of the left femur and had undergone multiple surgeries. Walking on crutches since, in 1948, he confessed to Padre Pio. After confession, he walked away normally without realizing it. He went back to thank Padre Pio. "I didn't do the miracle. I only prayed for you. The Lord healed you." 

On October 1949, Maria Galiano was about to die from uterine adenocarcinoma. The daughter sent a telegram and two letters to Padre Pio. On April 29 1950, Maria smelled an intense perfume. It lasted for 2 days. The third day she felt healed. The doctors ran some tests and found that 'the tumor has completely disappeared.'

A woman testified: "My husband was taken to the hospital in Taranto with life threatening injuries after a car accident. After several days of no improvement, I prayed to Padre Pio. I smelled a marvelous perfume of lily. From then on my husband made a fast recovery." 

In 1952, a woman was about to die during delivery because of an erroneous blood transfusion. She received the Last Rites. When the priest left, she saw a monk: "I am Padre Pio and you will not die. Say an 'Our Father' and one day you will come to see me." About a year later, she went to see Padre Pio. He told her: "You got the miracle because the Sacred Heart sent me to save you, since you are devouted to him and did the First Fridays of each month."

Padre Carmelo showing Padre Pio a framed Crucifix
In 1953, Padre Pio was sitting with other monks for a presentation. Padre Carmelo, the Superior, was sitting by him. He reported that Padre Pio "placed his arms on the back of the chair in front of him and rested his head on them, remaining silent and motionless for few minutes". The next day, Padre Carmelo went to visit a sick man and was amazed when the man expressed his appreciation for permitting Padre Pio to go visit him the previous evening. Padre Carmelo then understood what had happened.

Ettore Masone, Padre Pio's only nephew, was not yet thirty when he became gravely ill, fell into a coma, and the family made arrangements for the funeral next day. But all of a sudden, he woke up and shouted: "I'm not dying anymore." He recovered completely and was instantly healed. He recalled: "I was at the gates of heaven and saw my sister Giuseppina who died many years ago standing there at the door. Then I also saw Padre Pio. Both wouldn't let me in." That's when he woke up.

Padre Michelangelo Bellini reported that his grandma was over eighty years old and in a coma when he prayed to Padre Pio that she could live long enough to see him celebrate his first Mass. By the morning, she had made an extraordinary recovery and told him that she had seen in a dream a monk who had brought her ten more years of life. She lived exactly for ten more years on the day.

On January 29, 1957 in Alençon, France, Daniel Batonnier was about to die of cerebrospinal meningitis. The mother, at 1:30 PM, sent a telegram to Padre Pio. At 4 PM, the child was fully recovered. The doctors were puzzled. The child, seeing a picture of Padre Pio, exclaimed, "Mom, I know that friar. He came to see me twice today. He was humming so as not to scare me, and then he left. Mom when I grow up I want to be a friar like him." 

Frank Tenaglia with his parents
Frank Tenaglia of Philadelphia was born in 1965 with severe neurological brain malformations. His parent went to Padre Pio: "Don't worry about little Francis. He will be fine and I will always look after him". Frank became a opera tenor, performing with major orchestras.

Padre Pio restores sight to the blind

A blind man begged Padre Pio to restore his sight "even if only in one eye," so that he might again see the faces of his dear ones. Padre Pio questioned him repeatedly, "Only in one eye?" Padre Pio told the man to be of good heart and that he would pray for him. Some weeks later, the man returned in tears to thank Padre Pio because his sight was restored! Padre Pio said, "So, you are seeing normally again?" The man replied, "Yes, from this eye here, not from the other." Padre Pio said: "Ah!  Only from one eye? Let that be a lesson to you.  Never put limitations on God. Always ask for the big grace!"

One young man asked Padre Pio to cure him of his blindness. Padre Pio asked him: "Do you want to have your sight restored, or to save your soul?" The man responded, "If it is a strict choice, I should rather save my soul." "It is a strict choice," said Padre Pio, and it was a very bitter and hard thing for the young man to accept.

In 1919, a priest named Padre Carlo Naldi came with his Jewish friend, Lello Pegna. The priest explained that Pegna had recently become totally blind. They had come to Padre Pio to see if he could be healed. Padre Pio told Pegna, "The Lord will not grant you the grace of physical sight unless you first receive sight for your soul. After you are baptized, then the Lord will give you your sight."

Months later, Pegna came back without the dark glasses that he normally wore. Pegna explained to Padre Pio that, despite opposition from his family, he had become a Christian and was baptized. At the beginning, he was discouraged when his blindness continued, but after a number of months his sight returned. The physician who had earlier told Pegna that he was hopelessly blind now had to admit that his eyesight was in perfect condition. Father Paolino kept in contact with Lello Pegna for nearly thirty years, and reported that his vision was still perfect.

Amelia, 27 years old, born blind, after the confession asks Padre Pio to be able to see. He says, "Have faith and pray a lot." At that point, she saw the face of Padre Pio, and the arms with the half gloves. For the first time she was able to see. She thanked Padre Pio. He said: "Let's thank the Lord."

A Girl Without Pupils Sees!

Gemma di Giorgi was a child born without pupils in her eyes. Gemma was declared to be incurable by a number of specialists. At the age of seven (1947), Gemma’s grandmother brought her to meet Padre Pio. About half way there Gemma began to see. Gemma’s grandmother and other friends marveled at this miraculous occurrence; they called it a miracle! When Gemma arrived, Padre Pio, although never having seen Gemma before, called Gemma by name in front of the congregation at church, and heard her confession. During the confession, despite the fact that Gemma mentioned nothing of her blindness, Padre Pio made the sign of the cross over each eye. At the end of the confession, he blessed her, and said, "Be good and saintly."
         
Decades after this event, Gemma sees perfectly and still undergoes eye examinations by specialists who agree that there is no explanation for her ability to see. Gemma has no pupils, and it is a scientific fact that without pupils a person cannot see. Gemma’s grandmother also said: "Many eye doctors have arrived here in our home and all have declared the same thing: that without pupils in one’s eyes one should not be able to see and that, therefore, this is a miracle." 

Sometime in May 1925, a mom gave birth to a child with severe malformations. The doctors declared there was nothing that medicine can do. The mother decided to see Padre Pio and hurriedly boarded a train to San Giovanni Rotondo. However, her newly born baby died while en route, but she went to see Padre Pio anyway. At San Giovanni Rotondo, she implored Padre Pio for help. Deeply moved, Padre Pio put his hand on the head of the child. The mother cried loudly. Padre Pio said, "Why are you crying . . . Don't you see that the child was just asleep?" The child started moving like he had just been awakened from a long, deep sleep.

Paolina was a mother of five from San Giovanni Rotondo, and was known to Padre Pio as a special soul. She fell gravely ill before Easter and the doctors said there was nothing that they could do to save her. The husband and children went to Padre Pio to implore his help. He said: "She will resurrect on Easter Sunday." On Good Friday, she lost consciousness and on the morning of Holy Saturday, she went into a coma. The relatives went again to Padre Pio. He said: "She will resurrect." She died late Saturday evening. The family made the preparations for her body to be dressed in her wedding gown as it was customary in the area. Padre Pio started the Easter Vigil Mass and at the moment of the Glory, when the bells rang and the organ resounded, he started crying. At the same time, Paolina got up unassisted, knelt beside the bed and started reciting aloud the "Credo". Everybody was astonished. They asked her what had happened. She said: "I was climbing and climbing happily. When I was about to enter in a great light I started coming back and went back." Padre Pio had not said "She will recover" but  that "She will resurrect."

In 1926, Concetta Bellarmini, while in critical condition, was told to pray to Padre Pio. She did. Later, a capuchin friar standing and smiling at her bedside said: "Sunday morning you will be healed." She did recover. Weeks later, she went to thank Padre Pio. From afar she exclaimed, "That's him. That's exactly him." 

A woman went to stay with her daughter and son in law in Bologna while waiting to have surgery for a malignant tumor in her arm. She was sitting alone in the living room when a capuchin friar came through the door. "I am Padre Pio da Pietralcina." He exhorted her to have faith in the Madonna and blessed her arm. Then he said good bye and left. The day after, she met the doctor to go over the details of the surgical intervention. The surgeon examined the arm. There was no trace of the tumor.

Father Joseph reported that Dr. Millilo, a plastic surgeon at the Casa Sollievo, had a brain hemorrhage while in Milan, and the doctors wanted to operate. He asked to talk to Padre Pio first. Padre Pio: "Tell them to operate on their own brain. Get out at once." His wife picked him up by car, while his colleagues were nervously observing. A week later he was back on duty in San Giovanni Rotondo. 

Mario Avignone of Chicago

"I was stationed in Italy at Cerignola with the 304th Bomb Wing of the 15th Air Force under commanding general Nathan F. Twining. We were told about Padre Pio. We had never heard about him. Four of us went to see him. My buddy Joe served at the Mass. They say that when he said Mass he was with Christ being crucified. You could see the tears going down his face.

Padre Pio beside Leo Fanning with Joe Asterita and Mario Avignone
After padre Pio' birthday party, just before we left in ’45, Leo, Joe and I were at the monastery, and we asked Father Ignatius if we could have a piece of one of his bandages that he’d worn over his stigmata. "Oh, no!" he said. What you’re asking me to do is forbidden, and I could get into a lot of trouble. We finally convinced him to get one of those bandages if we promised not to tell anybody -including Padre Pio. 

He got us one small bandage and divided it in three. We came back to the monastery not so long after, and Padre Pio stopped us in the hallway. "You naughty boys," he said, really stern. "You caused one of my brothers to commit sin!" "Come on, Padre Pio," says Joe, "what did we do?" "You know what you did," he said. "You had Father Ignatius sneak into my room and take one of the bandages and give it to you." Nobody told him, but you couldn’t fool Padre Pio. He just knew things, which is why he was such a popular confessor. He was serious. But then he shook his head and his face sort of softened. He said to Father Ignatius, "I forgive you, Father. And I forgive you boys, too, but don’t go telling anybody. I wore those bandages over my heart. Go in peace." And we did. 

"I told Padre Pio that it’d be great to come back and bring along my wife and kid. "Don’t waste your money," he said. "Every time you receive Communion at church, I’ll be at your side." But a year or so after he died, in 1968, my wife and I went to pay our respects. When we went to visit his tomb at the church, my wife said I was in ecstasy, tears streaming down my face while I was there at his tomb, kneeling down and praying. She said I was talking out loud, carrying on a conversation with Padre Pio, but she couldn’t hear his voice, just mine. But I could hear his voice. He said he was happy I came to see him. Heck, who’d have thought a kid from the South Side of Chicago would end up back in Italy — you know, where my family came from, in the Piedmont - get wounded when a German plane bombed our Liberty ship in the bay in Naples, and end up having a saint as my friend and spiritual father. No, nothing surprises me." 

Back in Chicago he expresses his devotion to the saint by sharing his experiences with others, visiting the sick, and praying with the aid of relics. 

"For example, well, there was the undertaker. I still see him around the neighborhood. His wife called me up one day, and she was crying. She said, "My husband’s been diagnosed with cancer, and we wonder if you could have him come over and say some prayers to Padre Pio and bless him with the things you’ve got." So he came over to my house. We went down to the basement with my little altar there. And we prayed together to Padre Pio to ask him to help cure my friend’s cancer. About 10 days or so later, his wife called me up. She was crying and laughing and told me, "My husband just got home from the doctor and told us the cancer is gone." And then she asked me, "How can I thank Padre Pio?" "Don’t thank him, thank God," I tell her. "He’s his boss." 

Carol Wojtyla, future Pope John Paul II

The following notes were written in Latin, and were sent from Rome, where Bishop Wojtyla was visiting the Pontifical Polish College:

On November 17, 1962, Padre Pio received a handwritten letter from Monsignor Karol Woityla asking to pray for Wanda Poltawska from Cracow, having terminal throat cancer. Angelo Battisti, administrator of Casa Sollievo, reported that Padre Pio told him: "Angelino, conserva questa lettera, perche' un giorno diventera' importante." Translated, "Angelino, keep this letter, because one day it will become important."

Venerable Father, 

I ask you to pray for a mother of four girls, forty years old, from Cracow in Poland, (during the last war she was in a concentration camp in Germany), now she is extremely in danger for her health and her life because of cancer: May God use his misericordy to herself and her family, with the intercession of the Very Blessed Virgin. 
Very much obliged in Christ,
+ Carol Wojtyla 
Titular Bishop of Ombi, Capitular Vicar of Cracow
in Poland. 
Roma, Pontifical Polish College
Piazza  Remuria 2A
Roma

A few days later, in a letter to Padre Pio on November 28, 1962, Monsignor Karol Woityla wrote: "Wanda was completely healed from cancer on November 21, and surgical intervention was canceled. Deo gratias. Thank you Venerable Father."

Venerable Father,

The woman living in Cracow, Poland, mother of four girls, on November 21, regained her health immediately before surgery. Thanks to God. And also to you, Venerable Father, the biggest thank you from the woman, her husband, and the entire family.

In Christ,
+ Karol Wojtyla
Capitular Vicar of Cracow
Roma, November 28, 1962


Below is a follow up letter to Padre Pio from the future John Paul II, sent from Rome on December 14, 1963:
Venerable Father,

Your Paternity will certainly remember that already some few times in the past I took the permission to recommend to your prayers some particularly dramatic cases in need of attention. 

I'd like therefore to thank you deeply on behalf of the people involved, particularly about a lady, catholic physician, ill with cancer, and of the son of an attorney, gravely ill since birth. Both the persons are doing well, thanks to God. 

Allow me moreover, Very Reverend Father, to entrust to your prayers, a paralyzed lady, of this Archdioceses. 

At the same time I let myself to recommend to you the vast pastoral difficulties that my poor work faces in the current situation.

I take the opportunity to renew to you the senses of my religious regards, with which I love to prove myself, 

of your Paternity very devout in Jesus Christ 

+ Karol Wojtyla
Titular Bishop of Ombi
Capitular Vicar of Cracow

Acknowledgement

Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Padre Pio on Bilocation


Padre Pio was also known to have the gift of bilocation - the ability to be in more than one place simultaneously. Though he almost never left his monastery, he was seen elsewhere as testified and documented by many witnesses.

Padre Pio describes under obedience the person that bilocates: "He knows what he wants, knows were he goes, but he doesn't know if it's the body or the mind that goes." "There is an urgency, a grave danger, a soul or a body to save".

The first known bilocation of Padre Pio:

Marchioness Giovanna Rizzani Boschi, one of the six witnesses who testified at the Process of Beatification, reported coincidences that do not have a rational explanation: She was born January 18, 1905. At that time Padre Pio was 18, and studying philosophy in Sant'Elia a Pianisi. 

Padre Pio noted on February 1905: "I found myself in Udine, were a father was dying and a child was being born. And the Virgin Mary said 'I'm entrusting this child to you.' "

Now Giovanna was living in Rome. In the summer of 1922, while in St. Peter's basilica, she confessed to a capuchin friar. In 1923 she heard about Padre Pio and went to see him. "Giovanna I have been waiting for you. The Virgin Mary took me to Udine when you were born to be present at your father's death. Also, last year in St. Peter's I was the capuchin priest." And later: "One day you will be present at my death." Later she described the vision she had of Padre Pio's cell the night he died. She reported every detail of what happened, and described every person that was in the room. 

In a conversation with Dr. Delfino:, Padre Pio asked, "What do you doctors think. Can a person do two thing at once?" The doctor replied, "I think two is possible." Padre Pio, said "Well, I can do three." And to Father Mariano and to Father Tarcisio, Padre Pio said, "I can do three thing at once: pray, confess, and go around the world." 

Italian General Luigi Cadorna
On November 12, 1917, General Luigi Cadorna, Supreme Commander of Italian Army, suffered a terrible defeat in the battle of Caporetto where, under his leadership, there had been many casualties, and was relieved of his command as a result. The general picked up his gun, and was about to commit suicide, when a friar appeared in front of him in his tent  and told him to lay aside his gun saying: "General, you will not do this stupidity!"

After the war was over, the general, who had never before met Padre Pio, went to visit unannounced the monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo. He immediately recognized Padre Pio as the monk who had appeared in his tent. Padre Pio from afar: "Yeah, general, we had a narrow escape that night!"  

On June 25, 1950, Padre Pio was seen attending to the death of a fellow monk in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, without leaving the convent. When asked about it he said, "If Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes, why cannot he multiply me."

Padre Pio seen in the Air

During World War II, some American and English pilots were ordered to bomb the area of San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. When they were getting ready to drop the bombs, the pilots reported seeing in the air a monk who, in stretching out his wounded hands, prevented them from dropping their bombs.

Padre Pio with the American servicemen
General Bernardo Rosini of the United Air Command reported that "Each time that the pilots returned from their missions, they spoke of this Friar that appeared in the sky and diverted their airplanes, making them turn back." "Everyone was talking about these incredible stories. But since the episodes kept recurring, the Commanding General of USAF General Nathan F. Twining, who happened to be in Bari, decided to pilot himself a squadron of bombers to destroy a target near San Giovanni Rotondo. When he and his pilots were in the vicinity of the target, they saw the figure of a monk with upraised hands appear in the sky. The bombs got loose from the plains falling in open areas, and the planes made a sharp turn to return to base without the pilots intervening. Back on the ground, everybody asked everybody else about the happening and wanted to know who was that friar. The General was told about Padre Pio and decided to visit him with the pilots in that squadron. The pilots immediately recognized Padre Pio, and he told the general: "So you are the one that wanted to destroy everything." The general become a friend of Padre Pio.

A Presbyterian, Colonel Loyal Bob Curry of Birmingham Alabama served on the 464th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force at the Base in Spinazzola under commanding general Nathan F. Twining from December 1944 until his plane was shot down and he was imprisoned by the Germans a month later, reported this as well saying, "Everybody was talking about it, both the American servicemen as well as the Italians who took care of the quarters." 

Alfonso D'Artega serving at the Air Base of Amendola reported: "One of the pilots said: 'I saw the phantom fly again.' " "Another pilot saw a figure of a monk flying as fast as the plain waving his arms. The pilots and copilots saw it." D'Artega and a pilot went to visit Padre Pio, and the pilot recognized in Padre Pio the monk seen through the clouds.

Professor Enrico Medi, Physicist and Scientist
In another account, Professor Enrico Medi reports that he was driving the narrow road to San Giovanni, thinking that was his daughter's birthday and she was blowing the candles at that time. He missed a narrow bend of the road, and was about to crash in an incoming car. But the cars stopped few inches from each other. That afternoon Padre Pio seeing him said, "You blow the candles, and I drive the car." 

Attorney Mario Gentile reports that his car slid on an icy road, went off street, and was totaled. During the accident he felt like somebody was holding him firmly on his seat. He was unharmed. Few days later he went to Padre Pio, who said, "Be careful, because the cars can play funny tricks."

Maria Pomplio walking with Padre Pio and a friar
Maria Pompilio testified that one evening her brother was praying when he began to doze off. Someone slapped him on the cheek and the hand seemed the one of Padre Pio. The day after, he asked Padre Pio if he had slapped him. "That's what happens when you doze off while you are praying." 

Pompilio also testified that a man approaching Padre Pio said: " 'Yes, he is the one. I'm not mistaken.' Then, kneeling and in tears said over and over: 'Father thank you for saving my life.' Outside the church he told Pompilio. 'I was captain in the infantry in the battlefield under heavy fire. I saw a monk a short distance away who called me.' "Captain come here by immediately." 'I did, and even before i reached him a grenade exploded were I had been, leaving a hole in the ground. When I turned back the monk was not there anymore.' " 

Saint Luigi Orione testified: "I saw Padre Pio in St. Peter's Basilica the day that Saint Therese of the Child Jesus was declared blessed. He came smiling towards me, walking through the crowds. He disappeared when we were few feet away from each other." That happened on April 29,1923. 

Padre Dominic Meyer with Padre Pio
Padre Dominic Meyer from Belleville, Illinois was sent in 1947 to the Convent to take care of the more than 250 letters Padre Pio receive daily in English and German. He did it for the next thirteen years. He described in September 1949 a bout with "sister fever" in which Padre Pio's temperature was measured by Dr. Sanguinetti with a special thermometer as 114 degrees. Padre Pio visited in bilocation his father on his deathbed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as testified by his daughter and son in law, and later confirmed to Padre Dominic that he was saved in Heaven. He gave many details of Christmas 1949 passed close to Padre Pio, and of the daily activities of Padre Pio in his letters to his relatives in Wisconsin and Illinois. 

In 1956, Padre Pio was saying the Mass for Cardinal Mindszenty who, at that time, was incarcerated in Budapest. The news spread. Padre Pio was asked: "Did you really talk to him, did you really see him?" He answered, "Certainly, if I have talked to him, I must have seen him." In another occasion, Padre Pio was asked: "Did you visit Cardinal Mindszenty while he was prisoner in Budapest in 1956?" His reply: "Yes. I have seen him and spoken to him."

Padre Placido Bux di San Marco in Lamis
In 1957, Padre Placido Bux di San Marco in Lamis (he had taken the earliest photographs of Padre Pio's wounds) was hospitalized. "I saw Padre Pio at my bedside and he reassured me I would be OK. He left through the window putting his hand on the glass." The news spread and everybody went to see the fingerprint of the hand on the glass. The imprint was washed with soap and water several times. But it was still there.

Padre Alberto D'Apolito was told about it. He first went to see the window and that went straight to Padre Pio, several miles away. "Everyone believes that you went to the hospital of San Severo to visit Padre Placido, and that you left on the window the imprint of you hand." Padre Pio: "Do you have any doubt about it?" 

Padre Alberto D'Apolito
On January 29, 1957 in Alençon, France, Daniel Batonnier was about to die of cerebrospinal meningitis. The mother at 1:30 PM sent a telegram to Padre Pio. At 4:00 PM, the child was fully recovered. The doctors were puzzled. The child, seeing a picture of Padre Pio said, "Mom, I know that friar. He came to see me twice today. He was humming so as not to scare me, and than he left. Mom when I grow up I want to be a friar like him." 

A woman went stay with the daughter and son in law in Bologna while waiting to have surgery for a malignant tumor in her arm. She was sitting alone in the living room when a capuchin friar came through the door. "I am Padre Pio da Pietralcina". He exhorted her to have faith in the Madonna and blessed her arm. Than he said good bye and left. The day after she met the doctor to go over the details of the surgical intervention. The surgeon examined the arm. There was no trace of the tumor.

Padre Carmelo, superior of the convent, decided to have meetings with the group of early spiritual daughters at the Ventrella's house to gather first hand information about the beginning of Padre Pio's ministry in San Giovanni Rotondo. The first meeting was held on December 14, 1954, on January 10 and 25,1955, and at later dates. Ten spiritual daughter were present: the Ventrella sisters, the Pompilio sisters, Filomena Fini, Rosinella Gisolfi in Placentino, Rachele Russo, Rachelina Gisolfi and Nina Campanile. Padre Carmelo testified: "During the first meeting, Rachelina Gisolfi told everybody that Padre Pio was present. Back to the convent I didn't have the courage to ask Padre Pio about it. During the second meeting Rachelina said again that Padre Pio was there. Back to the convent I took the courage and asked him. The answer: "Why? You don't want me there? You don't want that I come to those meetings?" After the third meeting, back to the convent: "Yes I was there." After another meeting: "How come you don't ask me anymore if I came to the meeting?" 

Padre Carmelo showing Padre Pio a framed Crucifix
Padre Michelangelo Bellini reported that his grandma was over eighty years old and in a coma, when he prayed Padre Pio that she could live long enough to see him celebrate his first Mass. By the morning she had made an extraordinary recovery and told him that she had seen like in a dream a monk who had brought her ten more years of life. She lived exactly for ten more years on the day.

Ettore Masone, Padre Pio's only nephew, was not yet thirty when he became gravely ill, fell into a coma, and the family made arrangements for the funeral next day. But all of a sudden he woke up and shouted: "I'm not dying anymore." He recovered completely and instantly. He recalled: "I was at the gates of heaven and saw my sister Giuseppina who died many years ago standing there at the door. Then I also saw Padre Pio. Both wouldn't let me in." That's when he woke up.

In 1952 a woman was about to die during delivery because of an erroneous blood transfusion. She received the Last Rites. When the priest left she saw a monk. "I am Padre Pio and you will not die. Say an 'Our Father' and one day you will come to see me." About a year later, she went to see Padre Pio. He told her: "You got the miracle because the Sacred Heart sent me to save you, since you are devout to him and did the First Fridays of each month." 

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 remembered: "Were you the monk?" Padre Pio replied "Well, who do you think it was?" 

Padre Domenico da Cese Manoppello
Padre Domenico reported that early in the morning of September 22, 1968, he went to open the church at Manoppello located more than 200 kilometers away to the north of San Giovanni Rotondo in the province of Abruzzi. Inside the church, he found Padre Pio on his knees, his head in his hands, before the image known as the Holy Face. Padre Pio said to him: "I do not trust myself any more. Pray for me. Goodbye until we meet again in Paradise." Padre Pio died few hours later. The next day, Padre Carmelo went to visit a sick man and was amazed when the man expressed his appreciation for permitting Padre Pio to go visit him the previous evening. Padre Carmelo than understood what had happened.

Joe Spada was hospitalized with terminal cancer in 1975. He, his wife, the nurses, and other people at the hospital were frequently overcome by the beautiful aroma of fresh flowers. One night, he was alone and saw Padre Pio sitting beside him. When his wife, Margie, returned, her eyes fell on a handkerchief that she did not recognize. As she reached for it, Joe said, "That's Padre Pio's handkerchief. He put it there on the stand just before he left." Still today on several occasions, Padre Pio's handkerchief has given off the aroma of fresh flowers.

Padre Pio's last known bilocation:

Padre Umile, friend of Padre Pio, was bedridden in Genova because of a bad fall. On September 22, 1968 at 4:30 PM, Sister Ludovica brought to Padre Umile a cup of tea. In entering the room, she felt and intense perfume of flowers. Padre Umile said: "Padre Pio went to say me the last goodbye." Few hours later Padre Pio died.

Acknowledgement

Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com
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