I have long been fascinated with Padre Pio, not so much for his stigmata (i.e., spontaneous wounds that appear in the hands, feet and sides of the body in the exact manner as that of the passion of Christ) for which he is more known, but for his numerous documented psychic and paranormal powers. Padre Pio was a source of constant embarrassment for the Catholic Church because he obviously possessed extraordinary “supernatural” abilities, which some of Church officials have condemned in others as being satanic. Because Padre Pio (who was later declared a saint) was such a devout Catholic priest, they could not honestly declare his powers as coming from the devil.
So strong was the fear of Church authorities of Padre Pio’s strange stigmata experiences and psychic powers that he was forbidden (from 1924 until his death in 1968) from writing anything at all or preaching. The only thing he was allowed to do was hear confessions.
Despite the harshness and unreasonableness, he obeyed it without any complaint at all. Nevertheless, his fame as an extraordinary psychic and clairvoyant spread throughout the world.
Who was this man who could cause such fear in the hearts of powerful Church officials that he had to be isolated from normal interaction with his fellow human beings?
Padre Pio (whose real name was Francisco Forgione) was born on May 25, 1887, in the village of Pietrelcina near Benevento, Italy. His parents were peasants.
As a child, he was very religious and quiet, preferring to devote his time to prayers, serving at Mass, and contemplation, rather than playing with kids his age. At a very young age, his psychic powers already manifested themselves. For instance, he knew that a priest hired to tutor him had been living in sin with a woman without his being told about it. Padre Pio was only 7 at that time. He was a sickly young man when, in 1902, he entered the Capuchin Monastery of Morcone. Despite his poor health, he obeyed to the letter the strict discipline and austerity of the Capuchin Monastery life. He could even go without food for long periods and never lost his good sense of humor.
The stigmata of Padre Pio appeared on Sept. 20, 1918. It was described by the Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty in his book on Padre Pio in the following manner: “Padre Pio was in the choir alone making his thanksgiving after Mass, when a piercing cry rent the silence of the chapel. One of the monks, Padre Leone, ran to the choir. He found Padre Pio lying unconscious, bleeding profusely from five deep wounds in his hands, feet and his side. He was carefully moved back to his cell where he regained consciousness, begging the monks to respect his secret.
“Some secrets are too hard to keep, or else they are not meant to be kept. The news spread quickly over that wild region, where there are scarcely any roads and where telephones must have been almost unknown. Nevertheless, people came flocking in droves to see ‘The Saint,’ and to kneel before him in the confessional.”
The Father Provincial of the Capuchins had the wounds photographed and sent to the Vatican for the record and for instructions.
He was repeatedly subjected to the most persistent and trying medical investigations as well as to every variety of attempted cure. Nothing changed the character of the wounds, neither did they become infected. The authorities finally decreed that the poor man was to be left in peace, and no more cures attempted.
Incidentally, at the time he received his stigmata, his tubercular lungs were healed miraculously.
The following are only few examples of the many psychic powers of Padre Pio as witnessed by a lot of people:
Precognition, or the ability to see the future. He seldom made predictions but he did so a number of times if such would help a person or a group, from predicting the sex of an unborn child to foretelling whether a city would be bombed during World War II. He also predicted the exact day the king of England would die.
Invisibility. Padre Pio had the power to make himself invisible to people whom he did not want to be seen by. There was a group of rowdy actors and giggling women who went to see him but could not find him. When they left, Padre Pio said he was in front of them but they did not see him.
Bilocation. Being seen in two places at the same time is probably one of the most common paranormal powers of Padre Pio. Numerous telegrams, telephone transcripts, testimonial letters and witnesses have given undeniable testimony that Padre Pio had been seen throughout Italy, in Austria, Uruguay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States of America, although he was at that time inside his cell.
Levitation, or the power to float in the air. During World War II, an American bomber pilot, about to bomb San Giovanni where Germans were still hiding, reported that he saw a monk flying in front of his plane as if trying to stop him from proceeding with the mission. Perplexed, he ordered the bomb be dropped on an open field. Later, the pilot was told about the Capuchin monastery there. The pilot went there and shouted in surprise when he saw Padre Pio among the congregation. He hadn’t left the monastery at the time the pilot saw him.
Distant healing. His presence could be felt by sick patients or a patient smelled roses and, almost immediately, he would be healed. Sometimes, a drop of blood in the form of a cross could be seen on the blanket or bed sheet of the sick person.
Many individuals possess psychic powers. But Padre Pio had extended such powers to a far greater degree than previously recorded to be possible. INQTel. 0998-9886292; email