Monday, January 22, 2007


St. Pio of Pietrelcina
An Amazing Story

The first time I heard of Padre Pio was back in grade school (back when I was a still an altar boy). I remember the good Sisters telling us about him and the stigmata. Being good Catholic school kids, we call knew what the wounds of Christ were. Heck, there was a crucufix in the front of every classroom. As I kid, I just wondered how a guy got around with all that bleeding going on. Of course, I later learned the wounds, while visible, didn't bleed all the time.

One of the other amazing things the Sisters told us was the good Padre had the gift of bilocation. Of course, with our solid Catholic schooling, we knew this was one of the powers possesed by the angels: to be in two places at the same time. Wow. As a kid, you imagine how cool that must be. Even Superman with his super speed couldn't do that!

Anyway, fast forward to the future. At the back of our Latin Mass chapel inside the maseoleum at the local Catholic cemetery (our bishop, in my humble opinion, has a rather stingy idea of what "generous application" of the indult is, but that's another story) there is a table with religious material for the taking. Someone occasionally puts out the Padre Pio Newsletter.

Well, I grabbed one last week and read the story of a religious brother who got to stay with the Padre for three months, including assisting him at daily Mass (0500 every day!). He says during the Consecration, Padre Pio's feet wouldn't touch the ground, he'd actually be floating above the carpet!

I also learned recently that Padre Pio was a corpsman in the service during WWI.

Here's another interesting story. Padre Pio spent most of the day after Mass hearing confession. (The guy hardly ate anything and got by on three hours of sleep a night!) It didn't matter what language you spoke in. Even if it was a language he didn't know, he'd understand you in the confessional. He said it was his guardian angel's job to translate for him.

That's it. Nothing profound or funny in this post. Just thought I'd pass on some of the amazing things I learned about a truly holy man who was known and seen by many people still living today.

10 Comments:

Blogger SleepyBob said...

In my youth, I often served Mass for a Jesuit whose feet never touched the ground during Mass. Nothing spiritual about it though. Father was very tight with the father of one of my classmates. The parent was a big shot at a local brewery. The altar boys loved to serve for Father. He could get through a low Mass faster than one could blink an eye.

7:48 AM  
Blogger G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

At least you heard about such things in Catholic grade school. I was in Catholic grammar and high schools from September 1969 until May 1982, then at Boston College until May 1986, and never heard anything about Padre Pio, bilocation, the stigmata, and a heck of a lot more besides. And it wasn't as if I wasn't paying attention, since I always got an "A" in religion.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

St. Pio had the true Gift of Speaking in Tongues. He spoke and heard Italian while everyone else spoke and heard their native languages.

Speaking in Tongues is not rolling around on the ground and frothing at the mouth while gibberish pours out of ones mouth!

Dr. Eric

P.S. Did you know that through his prayers that a girl with no pupils regained her sight, and to this day that same woman (girl) still has no pupils and has perfect 20/20 vision! Amazing!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Carolina Cannonball said...

my old parish priest said that altar boys use to have the hold the hem of his robes to keep him floating higher & higher during the consecration. Truely amazing stuff. He could also tell when someone was holding back in the confessional and would send them away until they were ready to be honest. Powerful stuff indeed.

1:52 PM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

Padre Pio is one of my favourite saints. I have a beautiful framed photo of him in my kitchen, and the best Padre Pio book I have read is "The Holy Man on the Mountain" by Frank Regga, published in the last few years. There are so many amazing Padre Pio stories!

12:45 AM  
Blogger Tito said...

That is an incredible story. I've got to read more about this very interesting saint.

Thanks for sharing!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Cajun Nick said...

Former Altar Boy,

Thanks for the post.

St. Padre Pio is one of my favorite saints (after my patron saints, of course). (I can't help calling him Padre.)

It is of great significance to me that St. Padre Pio's miracles and charisms all occurred well within modern memory. Indeed, probably there are some people alive today who knew him.

Some people (...family members...) who refuse to accept the miracles in the lives of the saints all seem to be of the opinion that, because they occurred soooo long ago, the witnesses can't be trusted.

St. Padre Pio's miracles occurred within full vision of the modern world, at the beginning of the post-Christian era. The reports of his miracles came under modern scrutiny...and have withstood them.

With older saints, people may scoff at miraculous healings and say that ancient medicine and science simply didn't understand enough to make an adequate explanation.

Padre Pio's medical miracles cannot be explained by modern medicine or modern science. God has surely provided all rational thinkers with enough rational basis for faith.

The rest is up to us to believe.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

It is of great significance to me that St. Padre Pio's miracles and charisms all occurred well within modern memory. Indeed, probably there are some people alive today who knew him.

We really needed miracles in Padre Pio's day -- and still do -- and that's why he was called. I think he would make a great patron saint against the Smoke of Satan that Paul VI spoke of that entered into the Church in the wake of Vatican II.

And while we're on the subject of patron saints for our time, Blessed Margaret of Castello is tailor-made to be a patroness against the scourge of abortion. Rome needs to get busy and raise her to the altar already -- she's only been waiting for almost 700 years!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

I love Padre Pio, he has a connection to my family so I grew up hearing about him. (He was a friend of my uncle's).

Lately he's had an amzing presence in my life; I have a bunch of prayer cards from prior to his canonization, and one day gave a stack to my friend whom, I had learned had a devotion also. Later on, that same friend told me that he had prayed to Padre Pio about a special intention and asked, as an affirmation, that someone give him a holy card. And there I show up and deliver a STACK!

I pray to him all the time and today I had to give a talk on sacramentals, part of which included relics. In the mail today I recieved, from a frien, a third class relic of Padre Pio! It came with me to class.

Unfortunately, I can't read the Italian written on the back (it's not similar enough to Spanish to figure out), and BabelFish just made me laugh!

He is a powerful intercessor.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Cajun Nick said...

Speaking of getting on the ball, we have two great candidates for sainthood here in Louiana: Fr. Verbis Lafleur and Charlene Richard.

Fr. Lafleur's story is awesome, and I'm sure one that VSC and Former Altar Boy would enjoy. He was a chaplain in the Pacific during WWII. If you want to read his story, there are great stories about him
here
and
here
.


Charlene Richard could teach us all about the redemptive value of suffering. She was a 12-year-old who offered her agony of suffering with acute lymphatic leukemia for the sake of others in the hospital. There are great stories about her
here
and
here
.

I really encourage everyone to read these stories and pray that they be raised to the altar of sainthood.

8:15 PM  

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