20. Voting (video), letters, veranda, garden.
When padre Pio went to vote downtown, it was like a ticker parade. The car in the picture taking Padre Pio to the ballots, a FIAT millequattro, has been preserved by the owner. The Italian "Carabinieri" provided escort.
The video below is about Padre Pio meeting the faithful outside the convent. He he goes to vote downtown San Giovanni Rotondo, and you won't believe you eyes watching Padre Pio treated to a flowers and confetti parade. The background music added is the chorus from Bach's cantata BWV 19
When Padre Pio met people, frequently he was given letters. Padre Pio received quite a bit of mail from all over the world. Several friars worked on the correspondence. Padre Pio used to pass by the mailroom, give a blessing to the letters, and outline answers to those singled out for significance. Nicola Cocomozzi, employee of the post office in San Giovanni Rotondo, brought for several years to Padre Pio the mail items that needed his signature. Padre Pio blessed Nicola's wedding, and also baptized his child. An endorsed check ended up on eBay. Padre Pio writing a letter while sitting in fine balance on the tip of the chair. The official Vatican image for the proclamation of sainthood of Padre Pio shows him holding letters. The last two pictures show the letters received in 1967 (last full year of life).
Elm tree, circular bench
The elm tree with the circular bench has been there for several decades. Padre Pio too used to sit there talking to visitors in the early days. The actual tree has been replaced several times. Until Padre Pio was alive, the large bush that now prevents people from sitting and resting, was not there. "Innumerable souls took refuge under it's shadow before and after meeting Padre Pio."
side door to the convent from the garden has a characteristic lancet arch.
The space in front of it was used to park carriages, and later cars. Some days
Padre Pio went to the threshold to bless carriages or cars. The container of the
holy water has been preserved.
Veranda, rattan chair
Padre Pio used to spend time on the veranda, sitting on a rattan chair. There he prayed, and had contacts with friars, friends, and faithful. Beniamino Valente holds the panettone
In good weather Padre Pio spent about thirty minutes every late afternoon to relax with friars and friends in the backyard garden of the convent. When he was not able to do it anymore because of health reason he spent time on the enclosed veranda.
Padre Pio prays the breviary on the terrace, assisted by fra' Daniele. Breviary used by Padre Pio. Padre Pio went on the terrace for few breaths of fresh air, to meditate, and pray.
Last few months of life Padre Pio made the same routes, but in a wheelchair.