Intriguing, mysterious and faithful are just a few words that describe this beloved Italian priest who bore the wounds of Christ up to the time of his death in 1968. Padre Pio had been receiving five thousand letters a month and thousands of visitors each year. Some were asking for physical ills to be cured, some were looking for spiritual healing, and some were just curious. But they all believed in the intense spirituality and holiness of Padre Pio. There have been many miracles which astound the human mind, such as that of Maria Giuliani Cozzi, who was given a picture of Padre Pio by a friend before her surgery for tongue cancer. Her tongue was to be removed but when the surgeons began their work, they had to remove some teeth. At this time … they discovered that the tongue cancer had completely disappeared.
“This book would never have come into existence without the gracious assistance of the Capuchin Fathers of Our Lady of Grace Friary, San Giovanni Rotondo, whom I wish to thank for their kind permission to quote from their publications and reproduce photographs.” Thus spoke Pastor Ruffin in the acknowledgement section of this book which is thoroughly packed biography of Padre Pio, perhaps the greatest saint of our own times, in view of the stupendous miracles which God gifted him, and subsequently us, within these times which tend to shatter our very beings with bad news every day. His constant suffering of the stigmata, the wounds of Christ, he bore with humility and a good humor. St. Pio (now canonized) suffered from ill treatment for a time by jealous or disbelieving clergy who complained to Rome about him with incrediblely hostile lies He suffered intensely for a long time from this with no outward show. His sense of humor was gold.
“Pray and don’t worry” Padre Pio would say.
Here are some examples of how people reacted within themselves while attending his Masses:
“You truly saw that God was there” recalls one individual who worshipped at many Masses at which Pio was the celebrant. It was not that he was a showman who celebrated in a way that was more dramatic or emotional than that of other priests. Members of the congregation felt, rather, that they were actually in the presence of God.
One feels this supernatural aura, although to a somewhat lesser extent, when attending the true Mass of the ages the Latin Mass, in a Catholic Church, although not to the extent which those who were fortunate enough to attend Padre Pio’s Masses did.
For some reason, deep within him, Pope Francis displays an abhorrence of the Latin Mass of all ages, and with a vigor, as can absorbed by reading his recent document penned against the Latin Mass. This is the same Mass which so edified Mass goers at San Giovanni Rotunda where Padre Pio celebrated the Sacrifice. . . What would Padre Pio say?
“God Was There” Andre Mandato recalls, “At the beginning of the Mass, his face was really pale, just as if he were carrying our suffering, our pain, and our sin. After the Consecration, his face underwent an amazing change. It seemed to be transfigured with radiant light. From the very first time I went to Padre Pio’s Mass, I realized that the Spirit of God was there.”
During the course of the service, Mandato – and others- sometimes heard Padre Pio speak as if he were addressing invisible beings.”
Yes, this book gave me the much needed spiritual lift I needed in this world gone awry. Thank you Pastor Ruffin.