The story of the countless unpublished miracles of the friar of Pietralcina
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Fontana di Siloe) by Spanish journalist José María Zavala not only traces the saint’s life, but also reports previously unpublished testimonies of conversions, miracles and graces obtained (also recently) by people of every age and background, through the intercession of the Capuchin friar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.”