Mass, confessions, lunch, letters ... Discover how this saint lived in this exceptional video that gives a glimpse of history.
Accompanied by his Capuchin friars, St. Pio of Pietrelcina (commonly known as Padre Pio) lived very long days, as evidenced by this film dating back to 1950. The saint worked up to 19 hours a day, every day. In total, an estimated 20 million people attended his Masses and 5 million people confessed their sins to him.
While the date of this video is unclear, we can surmise that it was shot in the first half of the 20th century, most likely between the 1940s and 1950s, due to the black and white film (which began turning towards color in the 60s) and from Padre Pio’s middle-aged, graying appearance. At about four minutes in, there is a car that looks like a classic from the early 1940s, but it is possible that the model was old even when the video was shot.
About the solemn Mass celebrated on the 50th anniversary of his reception of the stigmata on September 22, 1968, Padre Pio said, “Fifty years of religious life, fifty years nailed to the cross, fifty years of devouring fire for you, Lord, for beings whom thou hast redeemed.”
That same evening he received Extreme Unction and died a few hours later at 2:30 a.m.
This final Mass celebrated by Padre Pio was actually caught on camera, in full color by 1968. While the video does not show the Mass in its entirety, we can hear the saint’s voice, and see his faithful demeanor as he consecrates the host.
This video and text originally appeared in Aleteia’s French edition, and has since been updated.