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Personal Stories About Padre Pio
Padre Pio spoke to a recently-widowed woman; her husband had left her and their two children to live with another woman for over three years. Suddenly cancer had taken his life. He consented to receive the last sacraments before his death, after many pressing appeals.
The woman asked: “Where is his soul, Padre? I haven’t slept, worrying.” “Your husband’s soul is condemned forever,” Padre Pio responded. The woman replied: “Condemned?” Padre Pio sadly nodded. “When receiving the last Sacraments, he concealed many sins. He had neither repentance nor a good resolution. He was also a sinner against God’s mercy, because he said he always wanted to have a share of the good things in life and then have time to be converted to God.”
Another woman told her fiancé that she could not go through with marriage unless he agreed to return to the Church. Upset and cynical, he agreed to go with her to Padre Pio’s monastery. They went together to the very early Mass; during the Mass the girl was amazed to see her fiancé staring at the altar, pale and appearing to be shocked. “Does this happen every day?” he quietly said to her. “Yes,” she responded in puzzlement, ignorant of the reason for his unusual question. Only after they came out of the Church was his reaction clearly explained to her. He saw a mass of thorns on Padre Pio’s head, and blood running down his face; and he thought everyone was seeing what he saw.
One day a priest brought a husband and wife to Padre Pio so that he could bless them. Three of their sons were in prison for burglary. Padre Pio said to them:
“I absolutely refuse to bless you! You didn’t pull in the reins when your children were growing up, so don’t come along now when they are in jail and ask for my blessing.”
Alberto Del Fante was a journalist who despised Padre Pio. He denounced him in magazines as a charlatan who preyed on gullible people. A few years later, Del Fante’s grandson, Enrico, was struck with kidney disease and tuberculosis. The doctors gave little hope that Enrico would recover. Relatives of Enrico traveled to see Padre Pio and ask him to pray for him. Padre Pio assured them the boy would recover. Desperate and distraught, Del Fante himself even said: “If Enrico gets well, I will make a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo myself.” He was convinced that nothing would happen, but the boy was healed. Del Fante was deeply moved by this miracle, and went to see Padre Pio who helped him turn to God. After Del Fante’s conversion, he became a dedicated promoter of Padre Pio.
A woman came to Padre Pio whose daughter had just died in the process of giving birth. The woman couldn’t think of anything else but the loss of her daughter. Padre Pio said to her: “And why are you weeping so much for her when she is already in Paradise? You would do much better to devote more attention to the activities of your seventeen-year-old daughter who comes home late at night from dances and entertainments.”
One young man in Rome was ashamed of his normal custom of tipping his hat when passing in front of a Catholic church. He was scared that his friends would make fun of him. But one time he heard Padre Pio’s voice in his ear saying: “Coward.” Later on, he met Padre Pio in person and without saying anything Padre Pio said, “Next time it will be a sound box on the ear!”
An elderly lady said to Padre Pio: “Padre, today I’m sixty. Say something nice to me.” Padre Pio whispered to her: “Death is near.”
One time Padre Pio was coming around the altar and spoke to a man taking photographs. He told the man that he must take no more than one or two photographs during the mass. The person agreed, but then shot two whole spools. They all came out blank.
A doctor took a single camera shot of Padre Pio, and then decided he would take some more pictures. When the doctor re-adjusted his camera and was about to shoot, Padre Pio said: “No, Doctor; no photographs, please!” “Right Padre, sorry!” And then the doctor proceeded to take one photograph after another. They all came out blank except the one picture the doctor shot before being forbidden.
Cesare Festa was a lawyer and the cousin of Padre Pio’s personal physician. Festa decided to go and see the famous priest whom his cousin had told him so much about. When they met, Padre Pio said, “You are a Mason.” In an arrogant expression of loyalty to the lodge, Festa said: “Yes, Father.” “And what is your task as a Mason?” Padre Pio asked. “It is to carry on our fight against the Church in the political sphere,” Festa replied. Padre Pio then said things to Festa that convinced him that he couldn’t have had such knowledge of him and his past except by supernatural means.
A Communist approached Padre Pio and started to speak to him. Padre Pio interrupted him saying, “May I see your membership card?” The man took it from his wallet and gave it to him. Padre Pio took the card and tore it to pieces.
One time Padre Pio said to a man named Antonio, “How can you call yourself a Catholic and a Communist at the same time? Take your pick. You are one or the other, but you can’t be both.” These statements jolted Antonio, and caused him to renounce Communism and return to the Catholic Faith.
Giovanni da Prato was a taxi-driver and a violent Communist. When he would get drunk, da Prato would sometimes beat up his wife. One evening he had done just that, and was staggering into his bedroom, and he threw himself on the bed. At that moment, he began to feel the bed being shaken strongly from the lower bed-rail, and looking down in amazement he saw a friar holding the rail and looking at him angrily. The friar told him very clearly what he thought of him and his activity, and then seemed to disappear. The violent Communist Giovanni sprang from his bed, quickly locked the front door, and then shouted to his wife: “Now then, where’s that so-and-so monk?”
Pushing aside her denials and protests, Giovanni searched the house and found no one. As some time passed, he got sober enough to be convinced by his wife’s sincerity. His wife had been praying to Padre Pio for help; she wondered if this event was the appearance of Padre Pio as the answer to her prayers. She told her husband that she believed it was Padre Pio who had appeared in the bedroom. Giovanni said sternly, “Look, no monk makes a monkey out of me. I’m going down to have a look at this Padre Pio of yours and hear what he has to say for himself. I’ll also find out if he flies!”
Some days later, true to his word, Giovanni made a long trip in his taxi to see Padre Pio. He arrived and found Padre Pio. He recognized Padre Pio, and spoke to him. He was thunder-struck and Padre Pio led him to make a confession. After his confession, Giovanni admitted: “What I forgot, he recalled for me. I was weeping…” And at the end of the confession, Giovanni pulled out his Communist Party Membership Card and asked Padre Pio to destroy it. “Yes, I shall. But you have another of these cards in the drawer by the head of your bed. Destroy that too when you go home.” Padre Pio then said to him, “You have given great scandal, and now you must do something to make up for it. For your penance you will go every Sunday to Holy Communion at the last Mass in the main church until I tell you to stop.” In those days, the fasting rule was to abstain from all solid foods from midnight until Holy Communion. Giovanni had to do this for the better part of a year.
Giovanni had been an important figure among his Communist companions, but now he was just a regular “holy Joe.” He challenged some of the Communists that he knew by saying: “Why don’t you come down with me and see how you make out?” Month after month Communists would go down to see Padre Pio, and were always impressed and often converted.
One man named Franc s wrote to the official magazine of Padre Pio about how Padre Pio tried to help him. He wrote: “As you can see from the above address, I am in prison in England. I have been here for five years… Don’t worry I blame no one for where I am except my own stupid self. Yes, I am to blame… I am an alcoholic and that’s where all the trouble started… One night I was sleeping and I had a dream of Padre Pio warning me if I did not stop drinking I would end up in a lot of trouble. Well I never took any heed of the dream and here I am today in prison on a life sentence… I won’t go into the details, but I still say my rosary and of course my novena to the good man himself.”
Another interesting story sent to the magazine was the story of R. Van Gisbergen: “I’m a twenty-eight year old man from Holland… I was as a young child against everything of a religious kind. My parents always took me to church on Sunday, but when I had the opportunity I tried to escape out of their area. Yes something in me was against God. My life was filled with all kinds of sins against God… At this time I often tried to commit suicide and was full of hate against myself, people and the world… On September 23, 1988 the devil appeared in my dream and I was very scared. Outside this dream I didn’t believe in God or the devil. The devil appeared in the shape of dog heads and dragon heads with tongues full of blood. I was in a real panic. Then there came a monk with a beard and a brown habit. He said to me: ‘Don’t be afraid my son, I will protect you by Almighty God!’ And immediately I was awake and there was in me an inexplicable joy and happiness…
“Anyway, I phoned my mother and told her about this dream. She asked me to come over. I came up to her place and she showed me a book which was titled: Padre Pio from Pietrelcina. My mother opened it and I smelled a kind of perfume… Then she turned the pages and I couldn’t believe my eyes because the photo showed the same monk of my dream. I shouted, ‘…this is the same man as in my dream.’ My mother was full of wonder… suddenly I heard in Dutch, ‘come to my grave, come to my grave.’His voice was so clear… and last year I thanked Padre Pio… at his grave.”
 Dorothy Gaudiose, Prophet of the People, Alba House, NY, NY. p. 158.
 John McCaffery, Blessed Padre Pio, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, CO. p. 80.
 Fr. John A. Schug, Padre Pio, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, PA. p. 133.
 Bert Ghezzi, Mystics & Miracles, Loyola Press, Chicago, IL. p. 79.
 Clarice Bruno, Roads to Padre Pio, Seventh Edition, Barto, PA. p. 190.
 Fr. John A. Schug, Padre Pio, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, PA. p. 118.
 John McCaffery, Blessed Padre Pio, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, CO. p. 30.
 John McCaffery, Blessed Padre Pio, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, CO. p. 40.
 Padre Pio The Wonder Worker, Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, MA. p. 31.
 Dorothy Gaudiose, Prophet of the People, Alba House, NY, NY. p. 217.
 Fr. John A. Schug, Padre Pio, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, PA. p. 131.
 John McCaffery, Blessed Padre Pio, Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins, CO. pp. 29-30.
 Fr. Alessio Parente, God’s Graces Through Padre Pio’s Intercession, Vol. 2, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, PA. p. 331-332.
 Fr. Alessio Parente, God’s Graces Through Padre Pio’s Intercession, Vol. 2, National Centre for Padre Pio, Barto, PA. p. 493-494.
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