The story of the countless unpublished miracles of the friar of Pietralcina
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The story of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and the extraordinary events which occurred both during his life and after his death, is well known to the faithful around the world who have venerated him for years. Yet devotion to St. Padre Pio has only increased since June 16, 2002, when Pope John Paul II raised him to the altars. Many years before, when the friar was only 35 years old, another pontiff — Pope Benedict XV — said of him: “Padre Pio is truly a great soul, one of those extraordinary men whom God sends from time to time upon earth to convert men.”
The book Padre Pio: The unknown miracles of the saint with the stigmata (La Fontana di Siloe) by Spanish journalist José María Zavala not only traces the saint’s life, but also reports previously unpublished testimonies of conversions, miracles and graces obtained (also recently) by people of every age and background, through the intercession of the Capuchin friar who once prophesied: “I will have more followers dead than alive.”
More than forty years after his death, the presence of Padre Pio is more fruitful than ever, both in terms of the spirituality of his devotees who knew him directly or indirectly, and in the many people who, at crucial junctures in their lives, providentially “encountered” him from heaven, through receiving extraordinary gifts. Among the many miracles recounted first-hand in the book, here are a few we have chosen to highlight the extraordinary variety of miracles he performed in various situations of suffering.
SIX ABORTIONS, ANOREXIA, DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE, AND THEN FINALLY HEALING, RECONCILIATION, AND THE GRACE OF MARRIAGE AND MOTHERHOOD
“My story is not a story of a great miracle, but of many small miracles that Padre Pio performed in my heart. (…) I was raised in arrogance, certain of getting (…) all I wanted. (…) I had it all at the price of trampling on human dignity. My sex life was completely disordered. I had an abortion six times. Each time my heart denied God an immense gift. (…) So I ended up feeling a great self-loathing. I began to hate myself, and sank little by little into the dark abyss of drugs and alcohol. (…) I lost so much weight that my therapist diagnosed me with a form of anorexia. (…)
“In the years that followed, after divorcing an American manager twenty years older than me, I went to Dallas, to my parents’ home, to try to get my life in order. When I arrived, I looked like a corpse. As providence would have it, my mother was a friend of a Filipino priest (…) Since I had nothing to do, one day I accepted an invitation to attend a Mass at the home of a doctor. Father Santos Mendoza was the celebrant. Shortly afterward, he offered to hear my confession at a small apartment. I hesitated at the door, because it had been fifteen years since my last confession. But finally, I went in. At the end of my confession, Father told me with a smile that I was a “big fish” who had just fallen into the hands of God.
“When Father Santos died, I learned that he had been an exorcist, and that during confession, he read the soul of the penitent: I am a witness to this. Thanks to him, I discovered Padre Pio. (…)
“Padre Pio, through the hands of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, gave me the great love of my life: my husband Jesús, who is Basque, received a Jesuit education, and is the father of our daughter Anamaría. Whenever I contemplate my daughter, I thank the Lord for coming back to sow so much beauty in my womb, which I had so many times selfishly turned into a tomb.”
A MIRACULOUS HEALING FROM SURE BLINDNESS THROUGH A NOVENA TO PADRE PIO
“For a radiologist like me, one’s eyes are the main instrument for work. After countless treatments and interventions (…) in 2000, I was diagnosed with Ocular Hypertension. (…) By April 2010, the situation had worsened: the pressure in my left eye went up to 20-22, despite scrupulous medical care. So the risk of surgery on the only “healthy” eye was extremely high.
“One day, I invited a very good friend for lunch. I knew he had been praying for me from the time I received the news about my serious eye condition. While we were having coffee, he gave me a holy card of Padre Pio with a novena prayer and a small relic from his habit. I had never heard of the friar. “Take this, pray it with faith and he will take care of you,” my friend assured me.
“Worried about my future, I began to pray the novena that night. Within a few days, I received a message from my friend on the phone: “Put the relic on the diseased eye.” Again, I obeyed. Some days later, the doctors could not believe my sudden healing: the eye pressure had decreased to 10! Surgery was now completely unnecessary. Seeking to convince themselves, the specialists had me undergo a series of tests, which only confirmed the miraculous healing. I have to point out that neither in Spain, nor in the United States, where I had gone out of desperation, had the doctors been able to reduce my eye pressure. When I told my friend what had happened, he told me that he, his wife and their two children had prayed the novena to Padre Pio every night for my healing.”
THE GRACE OF A LITTLE BROTHER FORETOLD IN A VISION TO A LITTLE GIRL
“My wife Andrea and I underwent fertility treatment for four years. (…) Finally, in 2004, our daughter María Delfina Lujan was born. Three years later, after hoping for the arrival of the second, Andrea miscarried. It was a terrible blow. (…)
“We went to Salta, in Tres Cerritos, where more than 60,000 people were gather to pray the Rosary in honor of the Mother of the Divine Eucharistic Heart of Jesus (…) I saw my sister María, who worked as a housekeeper at the center, take a holy card of St. Padre Pio from her pocket and give it to Andrea to pray with. On the way home, Delfina, who was just three-and-a-half years old at the time, told us in the car that she had seen a friar behind the tree where her mother had been sitting. We didn’t give it much importance, thinking it was a typical fantasy of a little girl of her age. But later on, when I told my sister María about the episode, she explained to us that many people had seen Padre Pio next to the very same tree. (…)
“Our prayers to the saint of Pietrelcina were quickly answered. The following month we heard that Andrea was pregnant again. Her probable due date was September 23, the same day Padre Pio died. We decided that if it was a boy, we would name him Pio; and if it was a little girl, Pia. (…) Pío Santiago was born on August 1, and so we decided to have him baptized on September 23, in the Church of St. Pio, near La Plata. We later sent a copy of the ceremony to San Giovanni Rotondo, as a sign of thanksgiving.”
As we read in the introduction to Padre Pio: The unknown miracles of the saint with the stigmata, the real miracle Padre Pio performs every time he intercedes for someone who is suffering, restoring physical or mental health, is another: “As the testimonies collected in the book clearly show, after the Lord intervenes, the one who has received a grace through intercession of Padre Pio is invariably and radically transformed. I myself can guarantee that, to this day, I have not encountered a single case in which the “gift” granted by God through the intercession of St. Padre Pio was not accompanied by a radical change of life … a much closer, more demanding and joyful relationship with Christ.”
Translated from the Italian by Diane Montagna.