Category: St. Padre Pio Miraculous Stories

Friends Of Padre Pio – Gene Ricci And Bishop Orestes Marengo, Share Their Testimonies. 

Friends Of Padre Pio – Gene Ricci And Bishop Orestes Marengo, Share Their Testimonies. 


Padre Pio and his Friends:

Two TestimoniesGene Ricci and Bishop Orestes, Marengo.

When Gene Ricci read the book, ‘The Priest who Bore the Wounds of Christ’, by Oscar DeLiso, he was deeply inspired. After reading the book, he had a great desire to meet Padre Pio in person. He decided to take his family to Padre Pio’s monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo. The year was 1961.

Gene had two sons and two daughters, ranging in age from five years to eleven years old. At the time, he did not have the financial means to make the trip so he borrowed the money. When he looked back on the experience, he said that it turned out to be the best investment he ever made in his life.

When Gene and his family stopped in Rome on the way to San Giovanni Rotondo, he assumed that most of the Roman citizens had heard of Padre Pio. Much to his surprise, not one person that he spoke to while in Rome had ever heard of the saintly priest. It was the same in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he made his home. No one that Gene was acquainted with had ever heard Padre Pio’s name. That was hard for him to understand. If someone had the five wounds of Christ, it seemed to Gene that the whole world should know about it.

The first day of their visit to San Giovanni Rotondo, Gene and his family waited in the early morning hours for the church of Our Lady of Grace to open. A few moments before the doors were unlocked a booming voice came over a loudspeaker and said emphatically, “This is the Lord’s house. Everyone is to behave in a dignified and proper manner!” It struck Gene as a rather unusual announcement but soon he would understand the reason.

When the doors finally opened, there was a mad rush on the part of those who were waiting to get inside the church as quickly as possible. Gene had to physically brace himself to protect his wife and his four children. He was afraid they might be trampled.

Gene and his family found good seats near the front of the church but soon they were forced out of them by the local people. “These pews belong to us!” Gene was told. There was an obvious resentment toward anyone who had come from a distance to attend Padre Pio’s Mass. Gene and his family were shoved and pushed right out of their seats and forced to sit in a pew farther back.

Padre Pio’s Mass lasted almost two hours. The Consecration was especially long. At the afternoon Benediction service that day, Gene noticed a beautiful perfume that seemed to pervade the whole church. Gene and his family attended Mass and Benediction every day during their visit to San Giovanni Rotondo.

Every morning after Mass, Padre Pio went to the sacristy to make his thanksgiving. One day, Gene decided to follow him. He felt extremely lucky for he was able to kneel down right beside Padre Pio for the entire time that he made his thanksgiving. Gene could not resist the impulse to reach out and touch Padre Pio’s habit. He held on to his habit for the duration of the time that they were praying.

One day after the Mass, one of the Capuchins escorted Gene and his two sons into a small room. The Capuchin told them to have a seat and wait because Padre Pio would soon come in to give them a blessing. Gene’s wife and daughters were not allowed to go with them since the area was open to men only. Padre Pio soon came in. His demeanor was serious and very reserved. He spoke not a single word but gave Gene and his two sons a blessing. Looking back on the experience, Gene said, “I cannot see how anyone, having met Padre Pio even once, would not find it in their heart to believe in God.”

Gene soon became friends with Mr. Bevilacqua, the owner of the hotel that he and his family stayed at while in San Giovanni Rotondo. Mr. Bevilacqua went to the monastery every day and was able to see Padre Pio during the lunch hour.

After Gene returned to Pennsylvania, he arranged to send a donation to Padre Pio each month through Mr. Bevilacqua. On one occasion, when Gene sent his donation, he included a note saying that his wife was ill and that the doctors could not determine what was wrong with her.

Gene was worried and asked Mr. Bevilacqua to relay the message to Padre Pio. A short time later, Gene received a reply in the mail. Mr. Bevilacqua said that Padre Pio began to laugh when he was told about Mrs. Ricci’s illness. “Mrs. Ricci isn’t sick,” Padre Pio exclaimed. “She is expecting a baby!” The whole family was surprised to find out that Padre Pio’s words were correct.

When Gene returned to his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, even though he could not really afford to do so, he bought fifty books by Oscar DeLiso, ‘The Priest who Bore the Wounds of Christ’. He mailed them to his friends and relatives with a card attached to each one and a simple message, “Please read this book.”

Gene began attending a Padre Pio prayer group in his area and enjoyed it very much. One of the members, Joe Peluso, was from a neighboring town. On one occasion, after the prayer meeting, Joe approached Gene and confided to him that he had terminal cancer and did not have much time left to live.

Joe told Gene that he had a number of Padre Pio’s relics and he wanted to give some of them to him. Gene was very surprised, since Joe was almost a stranger to him. He had seen him at the prayer meetings on occasion but did not really know him. Joe gave Gene a piece of the handkerchief that Padre Pio had used to dry his tears, a piece of his glove, and a medal blessed by both Padre Pio and Pope Pius XII. Joe explained that he had been in the U.S. Army when he was a young man and was stationed near San Giovanni Rotondo.

On one occasion, Padre Pio told Joe that his supply of religious medals had diminished and asked him to see if he could find some for him. When Joe succeeded in obtaining a good quantity of medals, Padre Pio was very happy. He blessed them and gave two of the blessed medals to Joe. After a moment, he asked for the two medals back. He prayed over them for a second time before returning them to Joe. He explained to Joe that he wanted to give them a special blessing.

Gene was elated to receive the precious relics. He was curious about the special blessing that had been given to the medals and wondered why Padre Pio blessed them, not once, but twice. Joe told Gene that he had wondered about it too, but said that Padre Pio gave no explanation.

The spiritual blessings that Gene received by visiting Padre Pio, have lasted through the many years since. “My life would not be what it is today if I had not made the trip to San Giovanni Rotondo,” Gene said. His faith was strengthened by the encounter and it has remained strong. As Gene stated, visiting Padre Pio was the best investment he ever made in his life.

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In 1955, Bishop Orestes Marengo, S.D.B. served as head of the Catholic diocese of Dibrugarh in northeastern India. When he first arrived in Dibrugarh, the residents of the town were still coping with the devastating effects of a terrible earthquake that had occurred some time before. The earthquake had caused dangerous landslides as well as flooding. A dyke was built to protect the area but it was eventually demolished by flood waters. As a result, some of the finest houses in Dibrugarh had been destroyed.

At the time, the Sisters who belonged to the religious congregation, Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrix, were building their first school in Dibrugarh. Bishop Marengo agreed to fund the project even though his financial resources were very limited.

One day, the Sisters spoke to Bishop Marengo about their concerns regarding the precarious future of Dibrugarh. Due to the problems that resulted from the earthquake, the authorities were speaking of the possibility of an evacuation of all the residents of the city in favor of a permanent relocation to a safer region.

If the city was going to be relocated, the Sisters felt that the construction on the school should stop at once. An enormous sum of money had already been spent in the building of the school. To continue to build would simply be throwing good money away.

Because everything was so uncertain, the Sisters urged Bishop Marengo to write a letter to Padre Pio and seek his advice in the matter. They explained that some of their Sisters in Thailand once sought out Padre Pio in a difficult situation. Through him, they received the help and guidance they needed and in turn, they were led to a successful resolution of their problem.

Bishop Marengo decided to act upon the Sisters’ advice. He wrote a letter to Padre Pio, giving him a detailed account of the entire situation in Dibrugarh. He explained that the authorities thought it might be best to build a new city forty-five kilometers to the north.

Padre Pio’s reply came a little more than two months later. It was a short note written in English by his secretary, Father Dominic Meyer. Padre Pio’s message was this: “Your Excellency, tell the good Sisters to go on working zealously for the Lord and not to be afraid. The government will build a second defense against the river, and the city will be saved.” Soon after the bishop received Padre Pio’s letter, engineers from Bombay arrived and were able to make steady progress in securing the city.

It was a joyous day when the Little Flower Catholic School in Dibrugarh was finally completed. It functioned in an excellent way from the first day that it opened its doors to the public. It was truly a blessing to the people of the community. The bishop treasured the letter that Padre Pio sent to him and decided to keep it on permanent display in the school for the benefit of all.

Bishop Marengo made a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo in 1960. He was able to greet Padre Pio in the sacristy both before and after Mass. Not only did he have the privilege of attending Padre Pio’s Mass, he was also invited to visit Padre Pio in his cell so that they could speak together privately. He was able to thank Padre Pio personally for his prophetic words, words which gave him courage during that fearful time when the future of the young Catholic diocese of Dibrugarh was so uncertain.

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“What precisely is our purpose? If we do not know the answer, we are wearing ourselves out for nothing. A traveler without a route suffers all the exhaustion of his journey and gets nowhere. The aim of our journey is the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Heaven. And our purpose must be purity of heart, for without this, no one will gain the kingdom. Let us fix our mind on purity of heart, this will plot our path and enable us to run straight ahead, confident of where we are heading. And if our thoughts sometimes stray, let us return to this purity at once. This one aim will set us on a straight path, so that all our effort will contribute to our single goal.”

– John Cassian.

Padre Pio’s Love For Children. 

Padre Pio’s Love For Children. 

A photo of Padre Pio offering candy to his grandnephew. Padre Pio said, “I will stand at the gates of Heaven and I will not enter until all of my spiritual children are with me.”


Padre Pios Love for Children.

Margaret Cunningham was frail from the time she was born. Her fatigue and weakness was a great concern to her mother. Various doctors were consulted but they could never determine the cause of her problem. The doctors believed that Margaret’s condition would probably improve with time.

When Margaret was eleven years old, she was examined by the school doctor. He suspected that Margaret had a problem with her heart and advised her mother to take her to a heart specialist. When the heart specialist’s report came back, it was discovered that Margaret had a hole in her heart and that the valves to her heart were smaller than what was normal. She was scheduled for an operation, but was so weak that the doctors had to postpone it. They put her on medication and waited for her strength to build up so that they could proceed with the surgery.

Margaret told her mother that she wanted to write a letter to Padre Pio and request his prayers. After she sent the letter, it wasn’t long before she received a reply in the mail. The letter said that Padre Pio was praying for her. It was a great consolation for Margaret and her family to know that she was included in Padre Pio’s daily prayers.

When Margaret returned to the doctor, x-rays were taken once again. The doctor came out and said to Margaret’s mother, “What have you done to your daughter?” “What do you mean?” her mother replied. “I have not done anything to her.” The doctor showed her the two x-rays. The x-ray which had been taken at the time of her diagnosis, showed a large hole in the area of her heart. The x-ray which had just been taken, showed that the hole was almost closed. Margaret did not have to have surgery and her health continued to improve from that time forward. ➕
Liberato Iannantuoni was just a little boy when Padre Pio and Father Benedetto visited his family’s home in San Marco la Catola. The year was 1911. As it happened, Father Benedetto and Padre Pio were passing through San Marco la Catola on their way to the Capuchin monastery in Venafro.

Since Father Benedetto and Liberato’s grandfather enjoyed a close friendship, Father Benedetto was glad for the chance to pay him a visit. Liberato’s grandfather was delighted to see his good friend and also felt honored to welcome Padre Pio into his home. Liberato’s mother too, was very happy to receive the two priests.
Little Liberato was fascinated by the crucifix that hung from the cord of Padre Pio’s habit. Over and over again, he kissed it. Padre Pio lovingly took Liberato in his arms and called him by his nickname, “Liberatuccio.” Padre Pio had penetrating eyes and a gentle smile. For the rest of his life, the memory of that visit remained vivid in Liberato’s memory.

All through his youth, Liberato’s grandfather told him stories about Padre Pio. As an adult, Liberato had a desire to go to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio once again. He told Capuchin Father Michael Colasanto, his friend and fellow townsman, about his desire.

Father Colasanto said that he had close connections with the Capuchins of Our Lady of Grace and could arrange a meeting. He explained that it would not be a private audience with Padre Pio. More than likely, it would be a very brief greeting in the corridor of the monastery. Liberato was very grateful that Father Colasanto was willing to make the arrangements.

In 1966, Liberato made the trip to San Giovanni Rotondo. He was able to speak to Padre Pio briefly in the corridor of the monastery. “You visited our home many years ago,” Liberato said. “You called me Liberatuccio, the name my mother always called me. Father Benedetto was with you.” Upon hearing the words, a beautiful smile came upon Padre Pio’s face. “Pray, hope, and dont worry,” he said to Liberato. “God is merciful and he will listen to your prayers.”
When Elio Leonardi was a little boy, his mother often took him to see Padre Pio. She told Elio that after she put him under the protection of Padre Pio, he was assisted on numerous occasions. She said that at least five or six times, Elio had been miraculously protected by Padre Pio and kept from harm’s way. Elio listened to his mother politely but was never really convinced that what she said was true.

One day, when Elio was walking down the road in San Giovanni Rotondo to catch a bus, a car hit him from behind. Elio was thrown into the air from the impact and flew over the top of the car. Elio saw, upside down, the statue of the Virgin Mary which was on top of the church. “Madonna, I beg you to help me!” Elio prayed quickly and with great intensity.

Elio was rushed to the Home of the Relief of Suffering where he had a thorough examination. He knew that he was very lucky to be alive. After he was released from the hospital, he rushed over to the monastery and was surprised to see that all of the monastery doors were open.

Padre Pio happened to be praying in the choir loft at the time. Elio burst into tears as he approached Padre Pio. He fell to his knees in front of him and said, “Thank you, Padre Pio! Thank you for saving my life!” “Don’t thank me,” Padre Pio replied. “Thank the Madonna. It was she who saved you.” Padre Pio smiled at Elio and with an expression of immense love he added, “My son, I can never leave you alone for a minute!”

St. Paul teaches that this life of ours is like traveling abroad from our home country. He says, “As long as we are in the body, we are traveling away from the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6).” Since we are still traveling in a foreign land, we ought to keep in mind what our home country is – that country to which we must hasten by turning our backs on the attractions and delights of this life. This Homeland toward which we travel is the only place where we can find true rest because God does not wish us to find rest anywhere else. The reason is simple: if God gave us perfect rest while we were still abroad, we would find no pleasure in returning home.” 

St. Augustine.

Remarkable Testimonies: Padre Pio’s Intercessions In The War Years. 

Remarkable Testimonies: Padre Pio’s Intercessions In The War Years. 

The incorruptible mortal remains of St Padre Pio

Padre Pio’s intercession in the War Years: Remarkable Testimonies.The efficacy of Padre Pio’s prayers for the deceased was revealed on one occasion in a startling way. 

During the first World War, the main door of the monastery of Our Lady of Grace was locked every evening after the ringing of the Angelus bell. An iron bar secured the door and kept the monastery safe from intruders.

One evening, the superior of the monastery, Father Raffaele, heard voices shouting, “Viva Padre Pio! Viva Padre Pio!” (Long live Padre Pio!) He immediately notified the porter, Brother Gerardo.

“Strangers have somehow managed to enter the monastery, even though the door is locked,” Father Raffaele said. “They are downstairs in the hallway shouting in unison. You must go down there immediately and make them leave!”

Brother Gerardo left at once to take care of the matter. He returned a short time later and said to Father Raffaele, “The door is locked and secured and there are no intruders downstairs.” Father Raffaele was perplexed. He knew what he had heard and he could not doubt it. He was also well aware that unusual incidents happened from time to time at the monastery of Our Lady of Grace. Those unusual events almost always involved Padre Pio. Father Raffaele had lived with Padre Pio long enough to know that he was living in a supernatural reality. As one of the Capuchins described it, “Padre Pio was living with one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.”

Father Raffaele decided to ask Padre Pio about the mysterious voices he had heard in the hallway. The next morning he said to Padre Pio, 

“Something very strange happened last night. Even though the doors were locked, I was certain that intruders had broken into the monastery. I distinctly heard them shouting your name in the corridor and saying, “Viva Padre Pio!” I have no doubt about what I heard.

When Brother Gerardo went downstairs to escort the people out, there was no one there. Do you know anything about this?”

“Those were the souls of deceased soldiers who had walked up the hill to thank me for my prayers,” Padre Pio replied. “There are more souls of the dead than of the living who climb the hill to the monastery to request my prayers.”✙

One morning after the Mass at Our Lady of Grace monastery, a number of people gathered around Padre Pio in order to greet him. Maria Pompilio, one of Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters, was in the church that day. The year was 1919. Maria noticed a man in the crowd who was staring intently at Padre Pio. She was close enough to hear the man exclaim, “Dear Lord, it is him. Truly, it is him. I am not mistaken!” Upon saying that, the man knelt down and began to cry. “Padre Pio, thank you for saving me from death! Thank you!” the man said. Padre Pio put his hands on the man’s head in a blessing and said, “You must not thank me, my son. Thank our Lord and the Virgin of Graces.” Padre Pio and the man spoke together for a few moments but they were speaking so softly that no one nearby could hear the conversation. Then Padre Pio went to the choir loft in the church to pray.

Some of the people who had been present when the man and Padre Pio were speaking together became curious. They asked the man what Padre Pio had said to him. The man explained that he had been a captain in the infantry. On one occasion, when he was on the battlefield engaged in combat, he noticed a friar standing a short distance away. The friar had a very distinct look about him. He was delicate and fair-skinned and had beautiful and expressive eyes. The captain could tell by looking at him that he was not a military chaplain for he wore the clothing of a simple friar. 
The friar spoke to the captain and said, “Captain, come here quickly. Move away from where you are standing immediately!” The captain followed the friar’s instructions. No sooner had he run toward the friar, than a grenade exploded right in the spot where he had been standing.

The force of the explosion left a large hole in the ground. If he had not followed the command of the friar, he would have been killed instantly. The captain had the greatest desire to thank the friar for saving his life but when he looked in his direction once again, the friar was no longer there. He was nowhere to be seen.

When the captain recounted his story to his fellow-soldiers, one of the soldiers told him that he too had been rescued from death by a “beautiful monk.” At the Italian military base, others reported that they too had seen a friar on the battlefield who raised his eyes toward Heaven and prayed.

One of the soldiers said that the friar’s name was Padre Pio who lived in a monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo. The captain had made a trip to the monastery of Our Lady of Grace in order to see if Padre Pio was the priest who he had seen on the battlefield. How happy he was to be able to confirm that it was indeed Padre Pio who had rescued him and how glad he was to be able to thank him personally for saving his life.✙

Padre Pio often reminded people of the importance of praying for the souls of the departed. He used to say, “We must empty purgatory with our prayers.”

When Padre Pio celebrated Mass, during the time of the prayers for the living and the deceased, he would pause for an extended period of silence. At times, the Lord enlightened him regarding the state of those who had already passed away. He once said to Father Alessio Parente, “You are going to be amazed to find souls in heaven who you would never have expected to find there.”

In the monastery of Our Lady of Grace, there was a wooden box mounted to the wall with a notice above it reminding the Capuchins to pray for the deceased. A categorical list was posted, which included souls of deceased priests, souls close to heaven, forgotten souls, etc. Small disks were inside the wooden box with numbers on them referring to the category of souls to pray for. Regularly, Padre Pio would take a disk from the box and pause in silence as he devoutly recited the prayer for the deceased – Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.✙

As an American soldier, Joe Peluso was stationed in southern Italy during World War II. One day at the base, he received a letter from his mother who told him that there was a holy priest named Padre Pio living in Italy. She did not know what part of Italy he lived in but she wanted Joe to find out and to visit him. Joe asked the military chaplain on the base if he knew anything about Padre Pio.

The military chaplain started laughing and pointed to the mountain that was directly in front of them. “Padre Pio lives right on that mountain,” he said to Joe. One day, curiosity got the better of Joe and he decided to make the short trip to see Padre Pio. It was October 6, 1944.

Padre Pio loved the visits of the American soldiers and always greeted them cordially. His counsel to the soldiers was unique. He often used simple and childlike words when talking to them and giving them advice. Sometimes he would pat them on the head in a paternal way and simply say, “Be a good boy.”

Joe was able to visit Padre Pio many times and the two became very close. Often, he was invited to eat with the Capuchins at the monastery. While everyone else enjoyed their food, Joe noticed that Padre Pio simply pushed his food around on the plate. Padre Pio once said, “I need very little of this world’s goods. I need just a little bit of food, a little sleep and few possessions.”

It was Padre Pio’s habit to give a religious medal to the pilgrims who came to the monastery to see him. Because of the war, religious medals and rosaries became scarce and almost impossible to acquire. Padre Pio felt very bad that his supply of medals was exhausted and he had none to give his visitors.

During his frequent visits to the monastery, Joe had become acquainted with Mary Pyle. He and Mary tried to think of a way to replenish Padre Pio’s supply of medals. Joe decided to take the 220-mile trip from his military base to Rome to see if he could acquire the medals. Padre Pio and Padre Pio’s brother Michael both gave him letters to deliver to their sister, Sister Pia. She was a nun of the Order of St. Bridget and lived in the Brigittine Convent in Rome.

When Joe arrived in Rome, something prompted him to follow a road leading up a hill. As he drove up the hill, he saw a large sign which said, “Cloistered Motherhouse of the Benedictine Nuns.” Joe remembered that the St. Benedict medals were a favorite of Padre Pio. Joe knocked on the door and the nuns who greeted him were extremely happy to give him a large supply of medals for Padre Pio.

On one occasion, Padre Pio asked Joe to select a name for his guardian angel. “Pick a name for your guardian angel and call him by that name always,” Padre Pio said to Joe.“When you send him to me, he will come instantly.”

One day Joe asked Padre Pio if he would accept him as his spiritual child and Padre Pio readily agreed. Joe then asked Padre Pio if he would accept his wife as his spiritual child and he agreed as well. Realizing the wonderful opportunity that was at hand, he next asked Padre Pio if he would accept his daughter. Joe thought about his aunts and uncles and realized that they needed to be mentioned as well. Somehow, the way the conversation was going struck Joe and Padre Pio as funny. They began to laugh.

They laughed so hard that tears were rolling down their faces. Suddenly Padre Pio became very serious and said to Joe:

“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 felt that it was an impossible request. He lived in a very small town in Pennsylvania. He was not an important person. He did not know many people. How could he tell all of America what Padre Pio had asked him to? Nevertheless, when he returned to the U.S. he tried to do what was asked of him. He 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 fifty years sharing the message of Padre Pio with more people than he could have ever imagined.

Ray Neameyer was a military pilot who was stationed in Italy during World War II. He visited San Giovanni Rotondo and felt honored to meet Padre Pio. Once, when Ray was flying a twin engine fighter known as a P38, one of the engines blew up during the flight. Black smoke was pouring out of the plane, indicating the extreme danger of the situation. Luckily, he managed to return to the base on one engine.

Later, the head mechanic who worked on Ray’s plane confided in him. He told him that he had worked as a mechanic for many years and had witnessed a number of serious aircraft accidents. Referring to Ray’s safe landing, the mechanic said, “That was an act of God if ever I saw one!” Before Ray had left San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio had put his hand on his head in a blessing. He did the same to the other soldiers who were with Ray. He prayed that they would all return home safely.✙

Corporal Joe Asterita was an American serviceman who was stationed in Cerignola, Italy during World War II. Along with other soldiers in his squadron, Joe used to visit Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo when he had the opportunity. Joe was fluent in Italian with the added benefit of being able to understand the dialect of those who lived in San Giovanni Rotondo. He often translated for the other GI’s who wanted to speak to Padre Pio.

On one occasion, Padre Pio told Joe that five people who had visited the monastery needed a ride back to their homes in Foggia. He asked Joe to drive them back. Joe told Padre Pio that it was against United States Army regulations to use military vehicles to provide transportation for civilians. Padre Pio was very firm and insisted that Joe do him the favor. Joe carefully considered the matter but finally decided against it. The risk of getting caught was too great. “Army regulations forbid me to transport those who are non-military. I am sorry but I cannot break the rule,” Joe said.

Speaking with authority, Padre Pio then said to Joe, “Remember this. Anytime I ask you to do something for me, it will work out. You need have no fear.” Joe was finally convinced. He then allowed the two men, two women and a little boy to get into his military jeep.

Shortly after they were on the road, Joe saw two Military Police Officers coming in their direction. The Military Police Officers looked in the jeep but passed right on by without stopping Joe. At that moment, the air became filled with a delightful perfume. As they continued on the road to Foggia, they encountered one Military Police Officer after another, but they were never pulled over. The fragrant perfume stayed in the air until the five Italian citizens were dropped off safely in Foggia.✙

“Let us always keep before our eyes the fact that here on earth we are on a battlefield and that in paradise we shall receive the crown of victory; that this is a testing-ground and the prize will be awarded up above; that we are now in a land of exile while our true homeland is heaven to which we must continually aspire.”

St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

The Remarkable Story Of Padre Pio’s Last Days.

The Remarkable Story Of Padre Pio’s Last Days.

The incorruptible mortal remains of St. Padre Pio enclosed in a Glass casket.

Padre Pio passed away on September 231968. He lived a holy life and died a holy death. The following is the remarkable story of his last days:

Padre Pio’s health steadily declined during the last years of his life. In 1968, the year that Padre Pio died, Father Carmelo, the superior of the monastery, was keenly aware of Padre Pio’s deteriorating condition. He told Padre Pio that he did not want him to overtax himself and that he could dispense with hearing confessions if he wanted to. But Padre Pio would not even consider it. He never wanted to “retire” from his priestly ministry. He wanted to work right up until the end and that is exactly what he did. 

A few days before his death, although weak and extremely ill, he insisted on hearing confessions. “He desired to die on his feet, at his place of work, after a day spent with others in prayer and in his ministry for good,” Father Carmelo said.

The Capuchins who lived with Padre Pio observed the decrease in his physical strength in his later years. On one occasion, Padre Rosario gave Padre Pio a Rosary as a gift. Shortly after, Padre Pio returned it to him. He explained that it was too heavy and he did not have the strength to hold it. Padre Rosario said, “He seemed always at the extreme limits of his strength and he was in constant expectation of death.” When saying goodnight, Padre Pio often asked his Capuchin brothers to recommend him to the Lord because he was not sure if he would be alive in the morning. “Padre Pio was not frightened of death, but he felt it looking over his shoulder, ready to snatch him away,” Padre Rosario said.

Several months before his death, Padre Pio asked that a picture of StJoseph be hung near his cell. His confreres noticed that he would stop every day before the picture and gaze at it in silence. It was only later that they learned that Padre Pio had been praying each day to StJoseph for a happy death.

Some of the Capuchins also stated that for a number of weeks before Padre Pio’s death, the monastery of Our Lady of Grace seemed to have an altogether different feeling about it. The corridors, the rooms and gathering areas, and the monastery itself seemed to be pervaded by what was described as a “mystical silence.” At that time, no one knew that Padre Pio would soon be passing away.

When Padre Pio knew that his end was approaching, he immersed himself in prayer. One of his spiritual sons said:

“Padre Pio’s life was dedicated to prayer, from the solitary prayers he learned as a child in Pietrelcina, to the Our Father which he prayed in his cell during the last hours of his life, when he was perfectly conscious of his imminent departure. In his temptations he prayed, in his joys he prayed, in the many vicissitudes of life he prayed, in his illness he prayed. God imbued his whole existence and his every action with prayer.”

In a sense, Padre Pio had always looked forward to the end of his earthly pilgrimage. He longed to return to his true home, Heaven, where he could be united to God for eternity. He wrote a letter to Padre Agostino and said:

“Living here below is wearisome to me, my dear Father. It is such a bitter torment to me to live in exile that I can hardly go on any longer. The thought that at any moment I could lose Jesus terrifies me in a way I cannot explain. (Letters I)”.

Not long before Padre Pio passed away, he spoke to Brother Modestino Fucci and asked him to assist him with his prayers. “But Spiritual Father,” Brother Modestino said, “it is you who must pray for me.” Padre Pio answered him, “My son, I tell you that the justice of God is severe. Pray for me.” Brother Modestino understood then that Padre Pio was speaking of his death.

Padre Pio also spoke about his death to his friend, Carlo Trabucco. He said to Carlo, “When my time comes to leave this life, if my heavenly Mother is not there to hold my hand, how will I have courage?” Carlo then began to contemplate the thought of his own death, knowing that he too, would have to render an account to God. As Carlo thought about it, he began to tremble.

There were many indications that Padre Pio had knowledge of the time and date of his death. To his niece, Pia Forgione Pennelli, he said in 1966, “I will not be alive in two years.” He would die in 1968. He told his friend Pietruccio Cugino that he would die in his eighty-first year, and indeed he did.

Padre Pio was very close to Father Onorato Marcucci, who assisted him in the last three years of his life. When Father Onorato had to travel to Montecatini a short time before Padre Pio’s passing, Padre Pio said to him, “Son, I beg you to return as soon as possible!” He wanted to have those he loved near him at the time of his death.

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Padre Pio told his spiritual daughter, Josephine Bove, that he would die when the crypt in the church of Our Lady of Grace was built. He knew that the Capuchins were planning to build a crypt for his burial. Nevertheless, he indicated that it was not his desire to be buried in a specially made crypt. Rather, he wanted to be buried in a simple grave. 

The construction of the new church of Our Lady of Grace was finished in 1959. Josephine Bove was afraid that the completion of the new church might in some way be a signal of Padre Pio’s death. But the building of Padre Pio’s crypt was put on hold for a number of years. It was finally completed and was blessed on September 22, 1968. Padre Pio died sixteen hours later.

Shortly before his death, Padre Pio conveyed the message that he would soon be entering eternal life to a number of his spiritual children. One was a woman who lived in Catania, Sicily. She visited San Giovanni Rotondo on September 8, 1968 and made her confession to Father Alberto D’Apolito. She asked Father Alberto for a favor. She told him that she had a great desire to see Padre Pio, even if only for a moment and to kiss his hand. Father Alberto told her that it would be impossible. There were too many pilgrims in the church that day. However, he could arrange for her to see Padre Pio on the following day.

The woman explained to Father Alberto that she had made the long journey to San Giovanni Rotondo from Sicily. She was poor and had made great sacrifices to get to the monastery. She did not have enough money to stay overnight in a hotel but would have to return to Sicily that very day. All of her life, she had wanted to see Padre Pio but could never afford to make the trip.

Pope Francis prays before the incorruptible body of St Padre Pio.

A few days before, she had a vivid dream. In her dream Padre Pio said to her, “If you want to see me, come to San Giovanni Rotondo immediately because in a few days I will die.” She had to borrow the money for the travel expenses.

Father Alberto was skeptical about the woman’s words. He believed that she was making up the story for her own purposes. He heard the same type of requests day in and day out and the more desperate the people were, the more they tended to exaggerate the truth. He had no indication that Padre Pio was going to die any time soon. When the woman began to cry, Father Alberto’s heart softened and he decided to help her. He led her through a corridor of the monastery to the elevator and told her to wait there. Padre Pio would be coming that way shortly. The woman knelt down and waited.

When Padre Pio passed by the area where she was kneeling, he stopped. He looked at her with great tenderness and spoke to her. She was deeply moved when he placed his hands on her head, giving her a blessing. Before leaving the monastery, she returned to the confessional to speak to Father Alberto. With tears in her eyes, she thanked him with all her heart for arranging the meeting. It was just fifteen days later that Padre Pio passed away.

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September 20, 1968 was the 50th anniversary of Padre Pio’s stigmata. For Padre Pio, it would be a day like any other day, a day devoted to Mass, prayer, and service to the Lord. But it was not a day like any other day for his spiritual children from around the world. Many had come great distances to be present for his anniversary.

The Mass on September 20th was at the usual early morning hour of 5:00 a.m. and the church was filled to capacity. Many people had to stand outside during the Mass. In keeping with Padre Pio’s wishes, there were no speeches, no festivities, no celebration. There was only one exception to the rule and that was the hundreds of deep red roses that decorated the sanctuary of the church. The crucifix in the choir loft before which Padre Pio received the stigmata on September 20, 1918, was also adorned with beautiful red roses.

Father Armand Dasseville, OFM Capuchin, was one of the many pilgrims that day who attended the Mass that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Padre Pio’s stigmata. An active promoter of Padre Pio prayer groups in the United States, Father Dasseville had traveled from New York City to attend the Mass. Father Dasseville said:

“It is hard to put my impressions of Padre Pio’s Mass into words. All I had heard and read about his masses were true. I was touched by the humility, the sincerity, and the great faith of this man of prayer. He seemed oblivious to the noises and exclamations, the pushing and shoving that was going on in the church as people edged closer to get a better look at him. He literally lived the Mass. He relived the Passion of Christ. From the expression on his face, he actually suffered with Christ. As far as I could judge, the sufferings of Padre Pio were greatest at the moment of the consecration of the Mass. His eyes sometimes would close, his face would contort in pain, and his lips would tremble. Frequently I saw him wipe tears from his eyes with his handkerchief. He was seated for the Mass and faced the people. In obedience to his superiors, the Mass lasted only a good half hour.”

Like Father Armand, Dorothy Boes was another one of Padre Pio’s spiritual children who attended the Mass on September 20. Dorothy had always had a great desire to visit Padre Pio and when she heard that there would be a Mass at Our Lady of Grace monastery celebrating the 50th anniversary of Padre Pio’s stigmata, she immediately applied for a passport to travel to Italy. She received italy, just in time.

Dorothy and her friend Mary arrived in San Giovanni Rotondo on September 19. Knowing how crowded the Mass would be the next morning, they decided to get to the church at 2:30 a.m. to wait for the doors to open. When the church finally opened, the two women were almost knocked down by the crowds who rushed in all at once. Nevertheless, Dorothy and Mary managed to find good seats in the front.

Afterwards, Mary and Dorothy along with some of the other pilgrims in attendance were taken to a room in the monastery where Padre Pio was brought in to greet them. Dorothy said, “Padre Pio looked directly at Mary and I and said, “I knew for a long time that all of you would be coming to see me.” Then he called us his children.” Shortly after, Dorothy and Mary left San Giovanni Rotondo to return home. Just a few days later they learned that Padre Pio had passed away.

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Pope Francis prays in the reserved cell (room) of St. Padre Pio.

Mr. Gino Pin and his family also came to attend the 50th anniversary Mass of Padre Pio’s stigmata. Gino had a great devotion to Padre Pio and was a tireless worker for the Padre Pio prayer groups in Biella, Italy. Father Alberto D’Apolito was very happy to greet Gino when he arrived. He felt sorry for Gino because he knew that he had experienced many difficulties in his family life.

Padre Alberto went to Padre Pio with a request. He handed him a holy card and asked him to write a devotional message on the back. He did not tell him who he was going to give it to. He knew how much it would mean to Gino to have a prayer card that Padre Pio had inscribed. Padre Pio kissed the holy card and blessed it and wrote on the back, “May Jesus and Mary always sweeten your sorrows.” When Father Alberto read the message, he was disappointed. He did not want Gino to be reminded of his “sorrows” for he had experienced one trial after another in recent years. He decided not to give the holy card to Gino.

Instead, Father Alberto arranged for Gino to see Padre Pio personally. He took him to the veranda of the monastery so that he could greet Padre Pio. Padre Pio spoke to him with affection and said he would pray for his intentions. Before Gino left, Padre Pio gave him a blessing.

Afterward, Father Alberto decided to give Gino the holy card that Padre Pio had signed. Gino read the message on the back of the card and his eyes filled with tears. He said to Father Alberto, “Did you see the message that Padre Pio wrote to me?” indicating the reference to his “sorrows.” Father Alberto encouraged Gino by saying, “Be strong. Padre Pio is with you. He will help you.”

Later that evening, Gino came back to the monastery to see Father Alberto. He was crying as he told Father Alberto that his daughter, Maria Pia, had just been admitted to the hospital and was in very serious condition. The doctors suspected that she had a tumor or possibly peritonitis.

The next morning, Maria Pia’s condition was even more desperate. Gino wondered if he should take her back home to Biella to receive medical treatment there. He asked Father Alberto to explain the situation to Padre Pio and ask for his advice. Father Alberto went at once to look for Padre Pio and found him on the veranda, praying the Rosary. Father Alberto spoke to him about Gino, but he did not reply. It did not seem as though he was even aware of Father Alberto’s presence, for he was deeply immersed in prayer.

Father Alberto finally tapped Padre Pio to get his attention and he then looked up in surprise. “Padre Pio,” Father Alberto said. “Gino’s daughter, Maria Pia, is in the hospital in very serious condition. She may need an operation. Gino needs your advice. He wonders if he should take her back home to Biella. What should he do?”

“She should not be moved from the hospital,” Padre Pio replied. “If she needs an operation, she should be operated on here and not in Biella.” “Gino is a poor man,” Father Alberto said. “He cannot afford to have his daughter remain in the hospital and he cannot afford the cost of an operation. Can’t you invoke a cure from the Blessed Virgin for Maria Pia so that she doesn’t have to have an operation?” “Yes, I will pray about it,” Padre Pio answered.

Several hours later when Dr. Gusso, the head physician of the Home for the Relief of Suffering examined Maria Pia, he found that she was completely well. She was immediately discharged from the hospital. The miraculous recovery of Gino Pia’s daughter occurred on September 22, one day before Padre Pio’s death. It is considered to be possibly the last miracle, the last grace invoked by Padre Pio to the Blessed Virgin, before he died.

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Marissa Liberati, a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio, used to travel from Rome to San Giovanni Rotondo twice a month to make her confession to Padre Pio. She told him that she would like to bring her two nieces, Lucia and Anna to the monastery to receive their first Holy Communion from his hands. Padre Pio told her to have the girls receive their religious instruction in Rome and when it was completed he would be happy to give them their first Communion. Lucia and Anna attended catechism classes and completed their sacramental preparation but their parents kept delaying the date for the trip to San Giovanni Rotondo. Marissa frequently spoke to Padre Pio about the situation.

Toward the middle of September 1968, Marissa had a vivid dream. In her dream, Padre Pio told her to bring Anna and Lucia to San Giovanni Rotondo as soon as possible. There was an urgency in his words. When she woke up, she reflected on the dream and decided to cancel the pilgrimage that she was planning to make to Lourdes. Instead, she purchased the first Holy Communion clothing for her nieces and along with their mother, took the girls to San Giovanni Rotondo.

Padre Pio was extremely weak and ill on the day that Marissa arrived with her nieces and their mother. It was September 22 and the church was full to overflowing. The members of Padre Pio’s worldwide prayer groups were present at the Mass that morning. They had come to San Giovanni Rotondo to attend the International Prayer Group Congress.

Padre Pio said Mass on that day in thanksgiving for the prayer groups and in special thanksgiving for the official approval and recognition they had recently received from the Holy Office in Rome. It was a great joy for Padre Pio to know that his prayer groups were established on a firm foundation and were flourishing worldwide.

At the Mass, Padre Pio gave Communion first to Lucia and then to Anna. Anna Fanoni was the last person to receive Holy Communion from Padre Pio’s hands for he died the very next day. As he left the altar, he almost collapsed. Several of the Capuchins who assisted at the Mass aided him and kept him from falling. Padre Pio looked out at the sea of people, and in a broken and shaky voice called out, “My children, my children.” Later, he went to a window of the monastery to greet and bless the prayer group members who were gathered in the piazza below. He was so weak that he had to be supported by two of his brother Capuchins.

That evening about 9:00 p.m. Padre Pio used the intercom to call Padre Pellegrino to come to his room. Padre Pellegrino, who took turns with Padre Onorato and Padre Mariano in assisting Padre Pio, was assigned to the evening duty that night. When Padre Pellegrino answered Padre Pio’s call and entered his room, he found him in bed and noticed that his eyes were red with tears. Padre Pio had called him because he wanted to know what time it was. Padre Pellegrino dried Padre Pio’s tears with a handkerchief and told him the time. After he checked to make sure that Padre Pio was all right, he went back to his room.

During the evening, Padre Pio called Padre Pellegrino to his room five or six times asking for small necessities. Every time he entered the room, he noticed tears in Padre Pio’s eyes. Nevertheless, Padre Pio joked with him by calling him Don Pellegrino rather than the usual, “my son” or “my brother.” He always called him Don Pellegrino whenever he wanted to make him laugh.

Around midnight, Padre Pio asked Padre Pellegrino if he would stay on in his room with him, and he was happy to do so. Usually Padre Pellegrino sat in the armchair but on this night, Padre Pio wanted him to sit right beside his bed. He took Padre Pellegrino’s hand in his and held it tightly. Padre Pio began to tremble like a frightened child. Every few minutes he wanted to know the time. Padre Pellegrino did not know what to make of it. It almost seemed as though he had an appointment with someone. He continued to wipe the tears from Padre Pio’s eyes and to stay close beside him.

A little after midnight, Padre Pio asked Padre Pellegrino if he had celebrated Mass. “Spiritual Father, it is too early to say Mass,” Padre Pellegrino answered. “Today you will celebrate the Mass for me,” Padre Pio said. Padre Pellegrino did not understand Padre Pio’s words and replied, “But I say Mass every day for your intentions.” “Today you will say Mass for my soul,” Padre Pio said. The words sounded strange to Padre Pellegrino but he did not ask for an explanation.

He then asked Padre Pellegrino to hear his confession. Padre Pellegrino was not his regular confessor but he had heard his confession many times in the past and he heard it on this night. “If the Lord calls me today, ask the Brothers to forgive me for all the trouble I have been to them and ask them and all my spiritual children to pray for my soul,” Padre Pio said.

Padre Pellegrino assured him that he had no need to worry for he still had a long time yet to live. Nevertheless, Padre Pellegrino added, “But if it is indeed near the time of your death, I ask you for a last blessing for the Brothers and for all of your spiritual children.” Padre Pio answered, “I bless them all and I ask you to have the superior give them this last blessing for me.”

Padre Pio then said that he wanted to renew his religious vows. At these words, Padre Pellegrino grew frightened because in the Capuchin tradition, the only time the vows of religious profession are renewed is when one is on his death bed. Padre Pio was putting everything in order, down to the last detail. Padre Pellegrino listened as Padre Pio renewed his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Padre Pio said:

“I, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, vow and promise to Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to our Holy Father, Saint Francis, to all the saints and to you, Father, to observe all the days of my life, the Rule of the Friars Minor, confirmed by Pope Honorius, and to live in obedience, without property, and in chastity.”

Padre Pellegrino spoke the response, “If you abide by this, on behalf of God, I promise you eternal life.” Padre Pio said that he could not breathe well in bed and wanted to get up. “Are there any stars in the sky tonight?” Padre Pio asked. “Yes, indeed. The sky is studded with stars tonight,” Padre Pellegrino replied. “Let us go to the veranda then and see,” Padre Pio said.

Padre Pio had severe arthritis and at eighty-one years of age, his posture was stooped and bent. Because it was very painful for him to walk, he used a wheelchair most of the time. But on this night for some reason, he was able to stand up straight and he walked briskly and with great ease, to the veranda, needing no assistance. To Padre Pellegrino, he suddenly looked twenty years younger.

When Padre Pio got to the veranda, he reached over and turned on the light. That was something he had not done in so long that Padre Pellegrino could not even remember. He knew from personal experience that unusual things often happened in Padre Pio’s presence and he reasoned that this night was no exception. Padre Pio then began to stare intently at a particular area on the veranda. Padre Pellegrino could not understand what he was looking at with such concentration, but soon he would understand. He was staring at the exact place where the Capuchins would carry his lifeless body in just a few short hours.

Suddenly Padre Pio began to feel very ill. He wanted to go back to his room but he was too weak to stand up. Padre Pellegrino quickly went to get a wheelchair. Meanwhile, all of the color had drained out of Padre Pio’s face and he was growing weaker by the minute. He began to repeat the words, Jesus . . . Mary . . . over and over. All the while, his voice was growing fainter.

Padre Pellegrino took him back to his room in the wheelchair but had great difficulty getting him into his armchair. Once he finally got him settled, Padre Pio began to stare intently at a picture that was hanging on the wall. He wanted to know who it was. Padre Pellegrino answered, “Those are photographs of your mother and father.” “But I see two mothers,” Padre Pio said. “No, there is only one mother there,” Padre Pellegrino replied, pointing to Giuseppa Forgione. “Don’t worry,” Padre Pio said, “I can see very well but I can see two mothers.”

Padre Pellegrino had lived with Padre Pio for a long time. He knew that Jesus and the Virgin Mary often appeared to him. Padre Pio also had the rare gift of being able to see his guardian angel in form. Many times, when he was in prayer, he seemed to be having a conversation with someone, someone that he could see but that no one else could see. Padre Pellegrino was convinced that the Virgin Mary was present in his room at that moment and that Padre Pio could see her.

Right after Padre Pio spoke of seeing “two mothers” he seemed to grow weaker. He broke out into a cold sweat and his lips began to turn blue. Padre Pellegrino became alarmed and started to go to get assistance. “I do not want you to disturb anyone,” Padre Pio told him. “Do not waken anyone.” But Padre Pellegrino insisted on getting help and quickly left the room. He woke up Brother Bill Martin and told him to place a call to Dr. Giuseppe Sala immediately. After that, Padre Pellegrino woke up all the other Capuchins and told them to hurry to Padre Pio’s cell.

Dr. Sala arrived in less than ten minutes and realized that Padre Pio was having a severe bronchial asthma attack. He gave him an injection as well as oxygen in an attempt to ease his breathing which had become difficult and labored.

By that time, Father Mariano, Brother Bill Martin, Father Carmelo and the other Capuchins had gathered in Padre Pio’s room. Dr. Giovanni Scarale and Dr. Giuseppe Gusso soon arrived as well as Mario Pennelli, Padre Pio’s nephew. While the doctors were doing their very best to help Padre Pio, the Capuchins knelt down beside him and prayed the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the prayer for a holy death, and the prayer to St. Joseph, patron of the dying. Together, the Capuchins repeated, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may my soul peacefully expire in You.”

The Holy Oils were prepared and Father Paolo gave Padre Pio the Last Rites. Padre Pio was fully conscious and was very much aware of all that was happening. His feet and hands were becoming very cold and he was perspiring heavily. When the doctors realized that he was having a heart attack, he was given an injection directly into his heart. With his eyes closed, he continued to repeat the words, Jesus . . . Mary . . . Toward the end, his lips formed the words but he could make no sound, not even a whisper.

The Capuchins called out to him, “Padre, Padre!” He opened his eyes one last time and looked at his dear Brothers. At 2:30 a.m. with his Rosary clasped in his hands, Padre Pio gently bowed his head and died. Dr. Gusso, who had been present during Padre Pio’s final moments, stated that it was the most gentle and beautiful passing that he had ever witnessed. Padre Pio had lived a holy life and he had died a holy death.

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Last Moments.

During the months that preceded his death, Padre Pio’s stigmata had been slowly disappearing, beginning with the wounds on his feet. The Capuchins who attended him noticed that his wounds were bleeding less and less. The bandages that had to be changed regularly were significantly less bloodstained. On September 22, 1968, the day before Padre Pio’s death, his left palm still had a raised scab. During the Mass that morning, two scales fell from his hand.

When Dr. Sala and Father Carmelo examined Padre Pio’s body after his death, they discovered that the stigmata on his hands, feet, and side had disappeared completely. His skin was now smooth and regenerated in the places where the wounds had once been. There was no scarring whatsoever. The skin looked as fresh as that of a newborn baby. Dr. Sala noticed the beautiful fragrance of orange blossoms in the room. He had perceived the fragrance on many occasions when in the presence of Padre Pio.

As the two stood together and looked at Padre Pio’s lifeless body, a scab detached and fell from his left hand. It was the very last sign of the wounds of Christ which he had carried on his body for fifty years.

The news of Padre Pio’s death spread quickly. No one had anticipated it or had any reason to expect that he would die on September 23. The world was shocked and in mourning. In his hometown of Pietrelcina, the bells of the parish church tolled every half-hour.

Many who had come to attend Padre Pio’s 50th Anniversary Mass as well as the International Prayer Group Congress, were present at his funeral. It was as if Divine Providence had arranged for Padre Pio’s spiritual children from all parts of the world to be nearby at the time of his passing.

Padre Pio looked beautiful and serene in death. A Rosary was placed in his hands as well as a crucifix and the Rule of Saint Francis. Around his shoulders was draped his priestly purple stole. Before the funeral began, the casket that contained Padre Pio’s body was placed in an open hearse. Slowly and solemnly it made its way through the narrow streets of San Giovanni Rotondo, stopping in front of the Home for the Relief of Suffering for a last salute.

The funeral procession took more than three hours. Air force and police helicopters flew overhead, dropping flowers and prayer cards on the huge crowd below. It is estimated that one hundred thousand people attended Padre Pio’s funeral Mass. His body was placed in a granite crypt and buried directly below the main altar of the church.

Padre Pio assured his spiritual children that his death would not end their bond but that he would be ever ready to intercede and to help them from Heaven. On one occasion, Father Costantino Capobianco told Padre Pio that he hoped that he would die before Padre Pio did. “Why is that?” Padre Pio asked. “It is because I would like you to be with me to assist me at the time of my death,” Father Costantino replied. “But don’t you know that I can help you from Heaven?” Padre Pio replied.

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The stories that attest to Padre’s intercession since his passing are too numerous to count. One impressive testimony concerns a woman named Constance Woloskiuk who turned on her television set on September 23, 1968. She learned the news that Padre Pio has passed away that very morning and saw the crowds of people in San Giovanni Rotondo, all gathered to pay their last respects.

Constance had been suffering for a long time from a very painful lower back condition. As she listened to the report of Padre Pio’s death on her television set, she sent up a heartfelt prayer to him, asking for healing. Immediately, she noticed that all the pain in her lower back had vanished. Almost in disbelief, she kept getting up out of the chair and sitting back down again. That was something that previously, she could only do with great difficulty. It was a true miracle.

Another remarkable testimony concerns Mrs. Roversi who, along with her husband, owned a religious goods shop near the monastery of Our Lady of Grace. In addition to the rosaries and medals which were sold in their shop, literature about Padre Pio was also available, as well as his photographs and prayer cards.

When her husband passed away, Mrs. Roversi was put in a difficult situation. She needed an income to support her two children but had no knowledge of how to run the store. Her husband had always handled all aspects of the business. Mrs. Roversi went to Padre Pio’s tomb and prayed, “Padre Pio, I do not know how to manage the business. I need to support my children and I pray for your intercession. I need your help!” Immediately after the prayer, she felt a deep sense of peace and was greatly strengthened in spirit.

That night Mrs. Roversi had a dream in which she saw Padre Pio standing in front of her. He said, “Look, I can help you now much more than I could when I was on earth.” His hands were open and she saw that he no longer had the stigmata. In her dream, she said to him, “I know nothing about running the store and I am afraid that I will not be able to do it.” Padre Pio said to her, “Go forward with it. I will help you.” He showed her his hands and for the second time she saw that the wounds of the stigmata were gone. Then she woke up.

Mrs. Roversi acted upon the advice that Padre Pio had given her in the dream. She learned how to manage the store and everything went smoothly from that time on. The business did well and she was able to provide for her two children.

Once, a sick man who knelt at the tomb of Padre Pio, prayed for healing. He rose from his knees to find that he had been miraculously cured. He noticed a tiny rose petal on the top of the tomb and took it home to a friend. She too was healed.

“I will be able to help you more from Heaven than I can on earth,” Padre Pio often said to those who sought his counsel. And it is from Heaven that he has been helping so many of his spiritual children from every part of the world.

~St. Pio Of Pietrelcina, Pray For Us!

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