(This article is a continuation of miraculous stories in the life of St Padre Pio. Part 1 which is entitled "Little known stories in the life of St Padre Pio" can be found here.
I would like to sincerely thank Brother Michael of the Cross and also Thomas Warner M.D. for transcribing these stories. -Webmaster)
A few days passed when one evening at 6pm the patient said to his wife: "Put someone at the door and don't let anyone in, because Padre Pio is coming, and I don't want to be seen by anyone.'
The wife nodded assent and assured him that their nephew was already near the door.
Later that night, at eleven o'clock, when all were in bed and only his wife was sitting up by the patient's bedside, and the patient had a significant fever he said to his wife: 'Put out the light because Padre Pio is about to come, and I don't want to be seen by anyone, not even by you.'
His wife obeyed and put out the light. All of a sudden the patient began to speak, very joyfully: "Oh! Padre Pio, are you here to heal me? I thank you. Pass your hand from my head to my feet. I cannot go on anymore and I do not want to leave my wife a widow...'
The patient felt Padre Pio near his bed. He passed his stigmatized hand over all his body. His wife saw nobody, but understood that Padre Pio was beside her beloved spouse, and trembling in a corner of the room on her knees, weeping she also prayed to Padre Pio: ' As you have come, Padre Pio, ask Our Lord for the grace of my husband's cure.'
Another ten minutes passed, then the husband told his wife to put on the light, because Padre Pio was gone. After putting on the light, his sister and Dr. Giannone came around the bed of the patient, whose eyes were shining, and who was emitting deep sighs. He said he felt better, and then told them the following:
After this account the patient repeated that he felt better. The cousin,a medical physician, examined him an noted a very significant change: the fever had already diminished, and by the next morning he was without any, and the fever never returned. Early that next morning Signora Vacarro went to visit him - the reader will recall that it was she who lent him the photograph of Padre Pio - and joyfully upon seeing him she said:
Nevertheless, the Mother Superior asked the sister to bring along a glass of water. The Mother Superior had a presentiment that it was the beginning of the end. Lucia told her with a happy smille: "I will die soon, Mother, Padre Pio came to see me. He was just like picture on the bureau. He said I could not be cured (i.e. by the doctors). But he also told me to hope, and to have faith in the help of Heaven.
Evidently, from the succession of events we will read below, Lucia has initially misunderstood Padre Pio. Two sisters assisted her to the chapel. She did not ask for water, and even refused when offered the glass that had been taken along. It was now already a quarter of an hour since she had taken anything to drink. After finishing her prayers she was brought back to her little room as it appeared that she was fainting. The chaplain was called and a drinking tube was put into her mouth, but she immediately pushed it away. Suddenly she opened her eyes with a strange smile on her lips. She sat up in her bed and gesticulated joyously, saying Padre Pio had just told her in the name of God: "You are cured. Get up! Come immediately to my monastery. I want to bless you and thank the Almighty with you." Lucia went to the monastery with two of the sisters on June 17. When they appeared before Padre Pio, he said with a smile: "I was waiting for you," and he blessed her.
"No matter how much I say with regard to the graces received through Padre Pio, I could not say enough, for he procured me a great number, and continued to do so. When I saw Padre Pio for the first time, it seemed to me like a dream, and my heart leapt for joy.
On July 20, 1921, a Monsignor D'Indico of Florence, whom this author [Fr. Charles Carty] met in 1923 when studying theology at the Archbishop's Seminary in Florence, was alone in his study. He felt the sensation of having someone at his back. He turned and saw a monk, who disappeared. He left his room to tell a chaplain what happened. The chaplain thought it was mere hallucination due to his state of anxiety over his sister, who was very ill. He invited him to take a short walk for mental distraction. When they returned they went to see his sister in her sick room. His sister, who a little before had been in state of coma, at the same hour when her brother felt the sensation of being in the presence of Padre Pio, told how she had seen a monk enter her room who approached her and said : "Don't be afraid; tomorrow your fever will disappear, and after a few days there will be no trace of your illness in your body." But, Padre, she answered, "are you then a saint?" "No, I am simply a creature who serves the Lord through His mercies."
Prior to this he had never seen Padre Pio or heard of him before.
The Church approved miracle for the canonisation of Padre Pio
January 20th , 2000, was a regular school day for seven years old Matteo Pio Colella of San Giovanni Rotondo until he started to shiver and develop a fever. He was brought home weak and vomiting. That he evening he was progressively worse with the development of bleeding into and necrosis of his skin. In the modern hospital of San Giovanni Rotondo (Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza ) he was found to have clots in his blood vessels, signs of kidney and liver failure and hyperacute meningitis with septicaemia : an extremely serious condition, which by next morning, had rapidly affected all organ systems with septic shock, respiratory failure, cyanosis, a heart rate of 20 , dilated pupils and cardiac arrest. Despite therapy, the prognosis for survival was hopeless. Meanwhile, prayers for his recovery were being offered by many through the intercession of Padre Pio. By mid-day, despite the most morbid prognostication, he showed signs of improvement. Even with a persistent lung problem he made great progress within ten days. In a few weeks recovery was complete.
Then his mother asked: “How did you know you were in Rome? “ Matteo recognized Luna Park ( a theme park ) which he had visited with uncle Giovanni! In conclusion, Matteo said “I was healed by Padre Pio“
Indeed, in 1209, when St. Francis travelled to Rome to submit the rule of his new order to Pope Innocent III, he was supported by a Roman noblewoman called Jacopa de Settesoli. Subsequently she followed St. Francis’ life of austerity and was probably the inspiration for the founding of the Third Order of St. Francis. Jacopa was present at the death of St. Francis in Assisi. She died in Assisi in 1239 where her remains were placed in the “Saint’s Crypt“ bearing the inscription : HIC REQUIESCIT IACOPA SANCTA NOBLISQUE ROMANA
Pope John Paul met Padre Pio in 1947, confessed to him and attended his Mass. This made a lasting impression on Fr. Wojtyla who recalled that Padre Pio “physically suffered “during the Eucharistic celebration. Also, in 1962 Bishop Wojtyla wrote to Padre Pio asking for his prayers for a friend who had advanced cancer. The malignancy disappeared the day before scheduled surgery.
There was no shortage of miracles during the life of “the man of prayer and suffering”, as Pope Paul VI called him. However, only those miracles occurring after death are considered for beatification with another, following that, for canonization. Again, the canonical documents were sent from the diocese of Manfredonia-Vieste to the Congregation and the medical testimony from Matteo’s cure was examined. In December 2000 the Theological Consultors met, followed by the Session of Cardinals and Bishops. Finally, the Decree of miracle and subsequently the Decree of Canonization were promulgated in the presence of Pope John Paul II.
Piazza San Pietro was packed for Mass on Sunday, June 16th. 2002. A large tapestry with the image of Padre Pio hung over the main door of the Basilica. No doubt many of his followers and spiritual children were ecstatic. The introduction included prayers, hymns and readings from Padre Pio’s writings. The choir sang the “Canto d’ingresso” followed by Psalm 97. Then the Pope recited a beautiful prayer in Italian, beginning with: “My dear brothers and sisters, today the Church inscribes the name of Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina in the Register of the Saints---“,followed by the Miserere nostri ---. The Litany of the Saints preceded the Rite of Canonization with the Formula solemnly read in Latin by the Pope “ --- Beatum Pium a Pietrelcina Sanctum esse decernimus et definimus, ac Sanctorum Catalogo adscribimus ----“. “In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti”. Amen.
Padre Pio's feast day falls on September 23rd, the anniversary of his holy death.
4. "Padre Pio, The Stigmatist". Fr. Charles Mortimer Carty. Tan Books.
For those interested, I am offering a St Padre Pio relic locket rosary in the Gift Store here.
See also the fascinating article: "Little known stories in the life of St Padre Pio"