Tag: St. Padre Pio

How St. Padre Pio Received The Stigmata Of Christ 

How St. Padre Pio Received The Stigmata Of Christ 

On the morning of the 20th September 1918, after having celebrated Holy Mass, the priest Padre Pio retired to the choir stalls for his usual thanksgiving. The place was S. Giovanni Rotondo and the church, Our Lady of Grace.

Outside in the small piazza the morning was similar to most other mornings on the Gargano. The friary, lying at the foot of the mountain, high above the village, seemed isolated and remote, altogether cut off from the world. Peace and quiet hung heavy in the mountain air filling the huge spaces with indescribable serenity and calm.

Padre PioChirpings of birds, muted and subdued, coming as if from far off and the monotonous drone of myriad flying insects were sounds to accentuate the silence of the place. They adorned but did not disturb it. Already the clear lines of morning were fading and merging into the heat of midday. High up, a blazing sun seared the massive garganic granite, sending all creatures hurrying to the cool oasis of shuttered rooms.

Only a few old folk long accustomed to this midday furnace moved slowly about, entering the small church to say their devotions, then emerging and making their way across to the ancient yew-tree dominating the middle of the piazza to rest silently in its shadow. A day like other September days with little hint that it could be any different from those which had preceded it or from those which must assuredly follow it.

For the young priest, however, just then kneeling in the chapel of the church, this morning was to be very different, a fateful morning like no other, containing within it a destiny, a summons whose imperious and exalted demands he would attempt to fulfill to the end. Here inside the church the silence was very great. Not a sound penetrated the thick walls from outside as P. Pio, oblivious to everything except the memory of his recent Mass, slowly prostrated in loving adoration before the outspread, bloodied figure on the crucifix.

With that marvelous facility possessed by the mystics by which all external objects are abandoned he withdrew into himself, his spirit yielding to the peacefulness which invaded his whole being, a peacefulness, he later wrote, “similar to a sweet sleep”. In this absolute silence he prayed, mind and heart totally wrapped in the burning love which consumed him like some incurable fever. A sweet calm heralding the forthcoming storm.

What happened next can best be told in the simple, unadorned words of P. Pio writing to P. Benedetto little more than a month afterwards: “It all happened in a flash. While all this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious Person, similar to the one I had seen on August 5th, differing only because His hands, feet and side were dripping blood. The sight of Him frightened me: what I felt at that moment is indescribable. ‘I thought I would die, and would have died if the Lord hadn’t intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. The Person disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were pierced and were dripping with blood” (Ep., V. 1, no. 5 10, p. 1094). P. Pio had just received the visible stigmata. There was nobody about. Silence settled once more round the brown robed figure now lying huddled on the floor.

The StigmataA long Calvary had just begun and with it the answer to a prayer: the prayer of his profound desire to identify with Christ crucified not only by participation in the priestly apostolate but in some mysterious way in that supreme immolation of Our Lord on Calvary (cf. Le Stimmate di P. Pio, G. Cruchon, SJ, Colana “Spiritualità”, No. 1, p. 102).

He had not desired this physical conformity and when he had recovered somewhat from the immediate experience his embarrassment was extreme: “I am dying of pain because of the wound and because of the resulting embarrassment which I feel deep within my soul. . . Will Jesus who is so good grant me this grace ? Will he at least relieve me of the embarrassment which these outward signs cause me” (Ep., V. 1, p. 1904). Not the wound, not the pain did he wish removed but only the visible signs which at the time he considered to be an indescribable and almost unbearable humiliation.

Later, much later, however, he would come to love and cherish these divine marks of predilection, drawing from them that rich source of superhuman energy which from then on marked his apostolate of love and suffering. With Catherine of Siena he could truly say: “My wounds not only do not afflict my body, but they sustain and fortify it. I feel that what formerly depressed me, now invigorates me.” His wounds, hitherto invisible but now manifested exteriorly, mark a definitive stage of his soul’s transformation into the object loved, namely, the Lord who suffered and was crucified.

For the next fifty years they would confound impartial science; their continuous and profuse effusion of blood, accompanied often by the sweetest fragrance, came to be regarded as a prolonged miracle, because, as the experts correctly state, blood for its production requires nourishment while this friar’s extraordinary frugality was such as hardly to maintain the life of a small child.

The remarkable nature of this miraculous gift becomes more apparent when it is considered how such loss of blood was simply inconsonant with and disproportionate to the stamina and energy with which P. Pio with ever greater activity and zeal conducted his life in all matters relating to the service of God.

Such are the bald facts of P. Pio’s stigmata. From his correspondence it is clear that very early in his priestly life there were, at least, indications of what eventually came to pass. Writing to P. Benedetto as early as 1911, only a year after ordination, P. Pio described a phenomenon which he had been experiencing for almost a year: “Then last night something happened which I can neither explain nor understand. In the middle of the palms of my hands a red mark appeared, about the size of a penny, accompanied by acute pain in the middle of the red marks. The pain was more pronounced in the middle of the left hand, so much so that I can still feet it. Also under my feet I can feel some pain” (Ep., V. 1, p. 234).

This is his first mention of the phenomenon to his spiritual father because, as he says, he was overwhelmed with shame. He simply did not want to talk about it, hoping no doubt that it was a passing thing which would soon clear up and then be forgotten.

Four years later, in 1915, his beloved P. Agostino demands certain information in the name of Jesus: When did Jesus first favour him with celestial visions? Has Jesus made him a gift of his stigmata even though invisible? How often does he feel the crown of thorns and the scourging? P. Agostino asks these questions not out of curiosity but for the glory of God and the salvation of souls (Ep., V. 1, p. 659).

In his reply to this letter P. Pio recognizes the express will of God and willingly answers all three questions. To the first he replies that Jesus began to favour “his poor creature” not very long after his novitiate (Jan. 1903 to Jan. 1904); to the second, whether Jesus made him a gift of the stigmata, the reply is affirmative and we learn that from the start the wounds were visible, especially in one hand, but that P. Pio was so terrified in the face of this phenomenon that he begged the Lord to withdraw them.

From then on they did not appear again until September 1918 although their pain remained and were felt more acutely under certain circumstances and on determined days. The final question he also answers affirmatively. He experiences the pain of the crown of thorns and the scourging. How often he cannot say except that at the time of writing he has been suffering from them almost once a week for some years (cf. Ep., V. 1, p. 669).

Padre Pio - BlessingThe rest is history. News of the event spread like wildfire and by the following year there began that afflux of pilgrims to the tiny friary which has not ceased since. At first in a tiny stream they came, later in the tens of thousands, flocking to glimpse this priest with the wounds of Christ, to assist at his Mass, to kiss those mittened hands and for those who could speak Italian the privilege of confessing to him.

In all this, of course, there were dangers. The danger of a “personality cult”; of the possibility of self-induced wounds produced by a morbid, impressionable, temperament; the danger of fraud and deception, deliberate or otherwise, with the intent of leading a credulous faithful astray; that the stigmata was nothing more than an effect of natural causes rather than a supernatural gift; and finally, there was the dangerous possibility of preternatural and diabolic activity.

In the light of this, and in retrospect, it is understandable why the Church authorities took a course of action that at the time seemed harsh and cruel but which today can be seen, at least in part, as the anvil on which P. Pio’s sanctity was hammered out, put to the test and purified to become the luminous and diaphanous veil through which men glimpsed God.

[From: The Spirituality of Padre Pio, Augustine Mc Gregor, O.C.S.O., edited by Fr. Alessio Parente, OFM Cap. (San Giovanni Rotondo: Edizioni “Padre Pio of Pietrelcina” of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, FG, Italy, 1974). Used with permission of: The National Center for Padre Pio, 2213 Old Route 100, Barto, PA 19504, through which a subscription may be obtained.]

The Day The Devil Went To ‘Confess’ Before St. Padre Pio

The Day The Devil Went To ‘Confess’ Before St. Padre Pio

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

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

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

It is called the Sacrament of Forgiveness, Since by the priest’s Sacramental absolution, God grants the penitent “Pardon and Peace”.


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

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

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

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

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

Fr. Perino tells this story:  “One day, Padre Pio was in the confessional, hidden by two curtains. The curtains of the confessional were not closed all the way and I succeeded in seeing padre Pio. The men, following the bookings, were prepared on a side, all in single row. From the place where I was, I read the Breviary and, sometimes I looked up to see the Padre. From the little church, through the door, a man came. He was handsome, with small and black eyes, grizzled hair, with a dark jacket and ruled trousers. I didn’t want him to distract me and so I kept on reciting the breviary, but an internal voice told me: “Stop and look!“ I stopped and looked at Padre Pio. That man, while taking footstep back and forth and without waiting his turn, stopped just in front of the confessional, after the previous penitent went away. He immediately entered among the curtains, standing, up in front of Padre Pio. Then I didn’t see the dark haired man after that moment. Following some minutes I saw that man sank on the floor with his legs widened.

On the chair in the confessional, where Padre Pio had been sitting, I didn’t see padre Pio anymore; but, Jesus. He was blond, young and handsome and he gazed upon the man that had fell to the floor. Then again I saw padre Pio coming up from there. He returned to take a seat to in his place and his appearance melted with Jesus’ appearance. Then I saw only Padre Pio. I immediately heard his voice: “Hurry up, everyone.” Nobody noticed this happening! Everybody started with their turn again.

St. Padre Pio, Pray For Us!

Pope Francis To Venerate St. Padre Pio’s Relics Ahead Of The 50th Anniversary Of The Saint’s Death 

Pope Francis To Venerate St. Padre Pio’s Relics Ahead Of The 50th Anniversary Of The Saint’s Death 

Program shifted for March 17 visit to allow pontiff to spend time before the saint’s grave.

The program of Holy Father, Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo (Italy), planned for March 17, has been slightly modified, the Holy See press office announced. To the program, announced in December, will be added the veneration of the relics of the most popular Capuchin saint in Italy.

The program of the Bishop of Rome did not change with regard to his visit to Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Padre Pio, where he will arrive by helicopter at 8 a.m. After briefly stopping at the Chapel of Stigmata, erected at the place where the saint received the stigmata for the first time in 1910, the pope will address the faithful present. Then, he will go at 8:15 to meet the community of Capuchins and some of the faithful, and give a speech.

However, the program is slightly modified with regard to the visit to San Giovanni Rotondo, the city where Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968. The two towns are about 75 miles apart.

The pope is expected to arrive at 9:30 a.m. After visiting the pediatric department of the hospital Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (founded by the saint) and meeting with children at 10 a.m., the pontiff will go to the Church of St. Mary of the Graces at 10:45. There, he will venerate the body of Pio Pietrelcina and the Crucifix of the Stigmata.

During this visit, the pope will be accompanied by Father Maurizio Placentino, Provincial Superior of the Capuchins, and Father Cario Laborde, guardian of the shrine, as well as Father Francesco Dileo, Rector. At the shrine, the Successor of Peter will greet the religious community of the Capuchins.

Then, as planned, the pope will celebrate Mass, and after the celebration he will greet some authorities and a representation of the faithful. His departure is shifted to 1 p.m. – instead of 12:45 – to land at the Vatican at 2 p.m.

St. Padre Pio, Pray For Us! 

Cancer Patient Unknowingly Gives St. Padre Pio A Car Lift 29yrs after The Saints Death!

Cancer Patient Unknowingly Gives St. Padre Pio A Car Lift 29yrs after The Saints Death!

St. Padre Pio

Let us always remember, all miracles come from God.

Anthony Fuina of Long Island is a walking miracle. He credits the cure of his cancer in 1997 through the intercession of Padre Pio.

Since then, he’s been devoted to bringing others to Christ. He does this in a way that is most familiar to him, through Padre Pio.

When a tumor was found in Anthony’s colon, half was surgically removed, and a biopsy was taken. He was anxiously waiting for the results a few days later.

The phone rang, but it wasn’t his doctor. It was a real estate agent asking for Anthony to bring the keys to the house so it could be shown. He said yes, hoping he wouldn’t miss the call from the doctor while dropping off the key. He recalled:

He was checked regularly. In 2000, the cancer was found to have returned, fourth stage:

I prayed to God for strength, for the sake of my daughter, who was to be married the following week. Once again my family was reliving this nightmare. This time it was more threatening and risky.

My daughter Stacey, came home and handed me a card with a picture of a man on it. I took one look at this picture and warmth began piercing my body. ‘Where did you get this picture? You must tell me! It’s him! This is the man I picked up that blessed and prayed over me and said I was healed, three years ago!’ My daughter responded, ‘Dad! This man is deceased.’ I said that was impossible. I insisted, ‘This is the man that sat with me in my car. She went to church to pray for me, then stopped by our friends, the Palazzo’s, who gave her the Padre Pio card. The family told her I was to hold onto this picture. We both cried and she said she would find out more about Padre Pio. I found my friend, who I had picked up three years ago! YES! It was PADRE PIO! He was there to help me then, and I know he is here to help me now. Padre Pio is all around me.

The prayers from everyone began to pour in from friends, priests and nuns, Knights of Columbus. The power of prayer enabled me to become less afraid. I began chemo and radiation treatments. My daughter told the Palazzolo’s of my jaw dropping reaction when she gave me the Padre Pio picture. They invited us to their home for a blessing with a crucifix and a medal of Padre Pio. I experienced the empowering feeling all over again, sending the chills running down my spine. Padre Pio was in our thoughts, in our prayers and beside me through the most difficult time in my life. I was praying to St. Padre Pio, to please destroy cancer cells I have in my body. I did this each treatment and visualized their disappearance.

I got the feeling that this was Padre Pio’s way of assuring me everything was going to be all right. Following an endoscopic procedure, I awoke and saw my wife crying, I thought dear God don’t let it be bad news. The doctor who had a bewildered happy face and blurted out the great news, ‘It’s gone! Your cancer is not there!’ I couldn’t comprehend because I was still a little oozy from the sedation. ‘You are one lucky man.’ My wife and I began to cry with tears of happiness.

I know who my cure was, and who was responsible for my success! He never left my side through many ordeals. He was always there for me and with me. My cure is ‘Padre Pio!’ He has changed our lives forever. Padre Pio, is a saintly soul who deserves the title of a true Saint. Padre Pio, from my family and me, thank you! Please continue to look over my family and I, as I will always continue to look upon you as my ‘Padre’.

Anthony and his wife attended the 2002 canonization of St. Padre Pio. Now the family places is dedicated to telling others about the love of God and Padre Pio’s powerful intercession. They place scribbled names of those who have asked for the intercession of St. Padre Pio under his statue: parents of babies with leukemia, the elderly sick, people with broken marriages, addictions, cancer. He’s started a foundation to help children with cancer, The Padre Pio Miracle Foundation. They hold a monthly prayer group at their parish, and Anthony joyfully gives his testimony wherever he is invited. “This is what we’re here for: to be disciples of Christ. We are to tell everyone about Him! Let us always remember all miracles are gifts from God.”

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