22. Padre Pio's personality, health, fevers, eating, sleeping, discipline, bloody garments

Padre Pio’s Personality

Summary: Personality; health; fevers; tears; eating; sleeping; discipline.

 

Witnesses

Padre Lodovico da San Giovanni Rotondo: “He is kind and affable with everyone; always smiling; sometimes he makes jokes, too.”[1]

 

Padre Pietro: He is candid, kind, charming, charitable, obedient, modest, and pious.[2]

 

Padre Luigi D'Avellino

Padre Luigi: He is always indifferent before any honor. We have never seen him abandon his simplicity.[3]

 

Padre Eusebio Notte

Padre Eusebio:” Padre Pio was a priest in whom God was particularly alive.”[4] 

 

“In Padre Pio the supernatural mixed with the natural in a way they you were unable to distinguish were the first ended and the second started.”[5]

“Padre Pio was the man of two worlds: heaven and earth.”[6]

 

“People would go to him not only for confession but with every kind of question you could imagine. And when he after confession had to go upstairs, along the corridor were people after him with more questions. And the same questions by different people got different answers. He never said “Let me think about it. He had the answer bing, bing, bing, bing. If I should speak like that you would think that I am a madman.[7]

 

Padre Alessandro da Ripabottoni

 

Padre Alessandro: “Like the Morgione rock in Pietrelcina, Padre Pio had an almost stubborn interior stability.”[8] 

 

Padre Alessio Parente

Padre Alessio: “In San Giovanni Rotondo the extraordinary became ordinary, and nobody paid much attention to it.”[9]

 

Don Giovanni Rossi: ‘Padre Pio was a man filled with the Holy Spirit.”[10]

 

Maria Winowska: Padre Pio had all the beautiful qualities of a southern Italian, including a touch of humor that inspired in him immediate answers and biting witticisms, flavored by peasant shrewdness.[11]Padre Pio never stopped to say “Yes” to God.[12]

 

Clarice Bruno: “He gave all. All is of divine design.”[13]

 

Padre Raffaello Rossi, future Cardinal

Mons. Raffaello Rossi in 1921: “Whatever extraordinary happens in the person of Padre Pio cannot be explained. But it certainly doesn’t happen through diabolic intervention, deception or fraud.”[14]

 

“He has deeply felt profound humility, and outmost simplicity and indifference, as if nothing had ever occurred around his person. He is generally polite and respectful. [15]

 

Mary Ingoldsby: “A masterpiece of God’s creative hand.”[16]

 

Mons. Paolo Carta

Bishop Paolo Carta: “He reached the summit of transforming union and mystical experience.”[17]

 

 

 

Barbara Ward

Barbara Ward: “Padre Pio was the last man in the world to forget that Our Lord not only preached to souls but also healed bodies and promised Heaven to those that feed the hungry and clothe the naked.”[18]

 

Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti: “Despite all his afflictions of body and soul, Padre Pio continued to trust Christ and to find great joy in God.”[19]  “Padre Pio was bargaining with God for souls”[20]

 

Dorothy Gaudiose: “His authenticity, originality, and genuineness were indisputable, and the sincerity of his spirit was above suspicions.”[21]

 

 

Benedict XV

Pope Benedict XV in 1920: “Padre Pio is truly a man of God. He is not appreciated by all, as he deserves to be.”[22] [23]

 

Paul VI

Paul VI: “Padre Pio was a representative of Our Lord marked with the imprint of his wounds. He was a man of prayer and suffering.”[24]

 

Dr. Bruno Pavone: “At the Casa Sollievo Padre Pio told continually the nuns, the nurses, the doctors: “When you see the patient, look at Jesus Christ. In every sick person, see Jesus suffering. In the sick poor see Jesus twice, because Jesus was very poor.”[25]

 

Rev. Jean Derobert: "Padre Pio was the gleaming of God." (see related book)

 

Padre Lorenzo da San Marco in Lamis: “For the time he was at Montefusco he was always exemplary. He was the most exemplary, not a grumbler.”[26]

 

Padre Lorenzo: “Padre Agostino and Padre Benedetto used to go to Padre Pio for advice, and some friars would comment: “They went to consult the saint in Mecca.”[31]

 

Padre Lorenzo: “His humility is remarkable. One cannot suppose the existence in him of duplicity. He is very simple, so that he rather needs direction an advice. He is a little prone to judging his superiors.”[50]

 

 

 

 

Bill Martin, later Father Joseph Pius

Father Joseph Pius: “To encounter Padre Pio was likely reading medieval history.”[27]

 

“We will never be finished with Padre Pio till the end of time.”[28]

 

 

Padre Saint John: “He had a nice chuckle and a nice smile. He was a gentle person. He had a very dignified walk. He spoke a few English words.”[29]

 

Padre Francesco Napolitano: “Padre Pio’s life on earth was in perpetual union with God.”[30]

 

Padre Meyer: “The crowd would steal his handkerchief, cut pieces from his habit and cut off his cord. He would not even notice it with all the people pushing and pulling.”[32] Sometimes Padre Pio took his cord and twirled it menacingly at people grabbing him. He would say: “This is paganism! This is fanaticism!”[33]

 

Suzanne Marie Adele Beauclerk, Duchess of St. Albans

Suzanne Duchess of St. Alban: “The fascination of his gruff manner and the magnetism of his extraordinary saintliness drew people to him, and once they had met him, the experience marked them for life.”[34]

 

Heidi: “Being in San Giovanni Rotondo is like having a mirror up to your face, but instead of showing your face, it reflects your soul.”[35]

 

Angelo Mischitelli: “A life between cell, choir, confessional, altar, hallway and veranda.”[36]

 

 

Giovanni Bardazzi

Giovanni Bardazzi: “Padre Pio is goodness walking.” (La bonta’ che cammina.)[37]

 

Padre Ignazio da jelsi

Padre Ignazio: One evening, joking with the friars, I made them try the effects or veratridine when it is drawn close to the nose. Padre Pio too, took some, and he had to go back to his cell because he couldn’t stop sneezing.[38]

 Padre Ignazio: He is humble. He is humble, I’ll repeat, so much that if not for that, with all that has been going around him…., and he is so obedient.[42]

 

 

Mary Bridget Nolan: “It doesn’t happen every day to hear about Angels smiling, crying, driving cars, involved in human events.”[39]

 

 

Dorothy Valls: “Padre Pio had such knowledge of the human soul that Freud could learn from him.” [40]

 

 

Padre Alberto D'Apolito

Padre Alberto: “So many people tell me that Padre Pio is a supernatural being. He is like Christ reincarnated sent by God to stem the evil of people.”[41]

Padre Atanasio Lonardo: “He was a real builder of God’s kingdom on earth.”[43]

 

Padre Innocenzo Santoro: “Padre Pio never refused anyone, anything. All one had to do was ask.”[44]

 

Padre Giovanni da Baggio: “Padre Pio had the ingenuous candor of a little child, and he opened his heart with great affection to those who approached him in a frank and sincere spirit.”[45]

 

Padre Cherubino: “Padre Pio is very simple, and for this reason he rather needs direction and advice from those around him.”[46]

 

Padre Marcellino Iasenzaniro

Padre Marcellino: “We will only really know Padre Pio in Heaven.”[47]

 

Padre Calogero Peri: “It is difficult for me to understand God’s plan on Padre Pio, whose saintliness has been opposed and exalted as in few cases in the history of the Church.”[48]

 

Padre Romolo: “In my opinion Padre Pio is informal, like a child who would need clear and definite orders in all the areas of his behavior.”[49]

 

 

Padre Giocondo Lorgna

Venerable Giocondo Lorgna: “Padre Pio is the most affable, cordial, angelic, obedient. He has healed others and he is always ill.”[51]

 

Mons. Adolfo Tortolo

Archbishop Adolfo Tortolo: “Padre Pio moved the world and continues[52] to move it.”

 

Archbishop Andrea Cesarano: “I saw Padre Pio in 1933 when he was in complete seclusion. He was calm, serene, cheerful, and fully obedient to the orders.”[53]

 

Padre Donato da Welle, Minister general

Padre Donato da Welle: “Padre Pio is a great saint.”[54]

 

Jim Gallagher (at the end of the Biography of Padre Pio that he wrote): “Now I understand what the gospel writer John felt when he wrote: There are many other things that Jesus did. It they were all written down, one by one, I suppose that the whole world could not hold the books that would be written.”[55]

 

     

Mons. Raffaele Pellecchia, Archbishop of Sorrento and Castellammare di Stabia: “The glorification of Padre Pio is the clearest answer that the Church of the Ecumenical Council gives to the modern age, because the joys and the hopes, the sadness and anguishes of humankind today, especially of the poor and of people suffering, were also his joys and  hopes, sadness and anguishes. And anything that was genuinely human echoed in his heart.[56] 

 

Health

 

Padre Rosario da Aliminusa: “Padre Pio always seemed to be at the extreme limits of his strength, and perpetually at the point of death.”[57]

 

Rev. Bernard Ruffin: Since childhood Padre was plagued by ill-defined physical problems. He suffered from intestinal irritability, inability to retain solid food for weeks and months on end, spasms of violent coughing, excruciating headaches, and unusually high temperatures. Some days he would seem to be reduced to the point of death, only to recover just as suddenly. In 1908 in Montefusco a doctor made the devastating diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis, and he had to be sent home to prevent contagion. At home, Dr. Andrea Cardone refused to give that diagnosis, and suggested to see a specialist in Naples. In Naples the doctors were not able to say what the matter was. He went back to Montefusco, but he was soon seized by violent stomach cramps and persistent vomiting, and had to be sent home again. Each time he returned home he improved. He could not remain a single day at any friary without suffering a relapse. Padre Benedetto obtained for him a dispensation to live at home, with the Capuchin habit, and complete his studies privately. But he started feeling ill even in Pietrelcina. In March of 1910 he had continuous fevers, cough, pain in the chest and back. In April he was confined to bed. In May he had chest pains. In July the pains increased.[58]

 

Mons. Raffaello Rossi: “For his studies he went from convent to convent, however, many times the state of his health forced him to go back breathing his native air. He was said to suffer from bronchial pneumonia; in reality, the medical exams never confirmed this positively.”[59]

 

Padre Luigi: “What I saw is that at times he would fall ill very once in a while, and sweat in an extraordinary

manner.”[60] 

 

“Padre Pio fell seriously ill on the feast of the Immaculate in 1919, and in May 5, 1920. We thought he was going to die; the rumor had spread that he would die at thirty-three, the age he was about to turn then. Instead, he healed and got better.”[61]

 

Padre Nazareno in his notes in 1916, when Padre Pio was in Foggia, in St. Anna’s convent: “He got a bad fever of 41C (105.8F) degrees and higher. I called Dr. Del Prete, he found infiltration in both apexes and ordered complete isolation. Dr. Tarallo was called for consultation and he diagnosed the same thing. Both doctors would come every evening to visit Padre Pio. They were puzzled and said this must have been a special disorder, coming and going. The fever stayed for several days and then suddenly disappeared, with great confusion of the doctors. In summary both doctors said that he didn’t have tuberculosis. The same conclusion had been reached by Dr. Cardona in Pietrelcina.” [62] [63] [64]

 

Padre Marciano Morra: Prof. V. Ewans from London told Padre Carmelo, at a conference in “Casa Sollievo” on May 15, 1956: “For us doctors Padre Pio is biologically dead. A human being can’t work so long hours, and lose so much blood, without adequate food, rest, and vacation time. According to the scientific principles of the basic needs for survival, Padre Pio is biologically dead.”[65]

 

  

Fevers

In the old days the body temperature was taken by mercury thermometer, today no longer in common use. Normal body temperature is 98.2°F (or 36.8°C). A temperature at or above about 104 °F (40 °C) requires treatment.

 

Padre Pio had long bouts of high fevers, inexplicable mystical fevers, followed by normal temperatures.[66]

 

Padre Pio himself said that at times his temperature rose to 118.4. He said; “that happens when I am ill. But the illness is a moral, rather than a physical, illness"[67] and said it happened when he had “some representation of the Lord”, and seemed like he was "in a furnace, still always conscious".[68]

 

A friar attested that "even under the strain of this fever, Padre Pio is not knocked down, but gets up, moves about, and can do everything."[69] It is baffling that no delirium or other mental disturbances accompanied such high temperatures.[70]

 

In the military hospital he continued to suffer fevers with extraordinarily high temperatures. A thing which he and his colleagues in religion had become used to,

But which were completely new to the medical and nursing staff.[71]

 

On December 1915 at the Trinity Military Hospital in Naples, during the routine physical, Padre Pio's temperature was taken by Dr. Giuseppe Grieco, lieutenant medical doctor in the Italian Army, with an armpit mercury thermometer. In less than one minute the thermometer cracked, having gone over the maximum temperature of 42C (107.6). Three other thermometers cracked the same way. Dr. Grieco called in a colleague dr. Francesco Melle.

They decided to try with a bath thermometer, removed from the casing that could read up to 80C (176F). The thermometer read 48C (118.4).

They couldn't believe it, so they tried with a laboratory precision thermometer. This time the temperature was 49C (120.2).

They decided to inform the captain prof. Dr. Felice D'Onofrio, chief of medical services. He came in, measured again, and the reading was 49C. "This is a mystery. This is impossible. I can't believe my eyes. He should be in agony. This man is either a saint or a devil." He prescribed quinine and went to see him in the morning. He took again the temperature and was 36.7C (98.06). "I don't understand anything. Let's send him home to die in peace." [72]  [73]

 

Dr. Giorgio Festa in 1920 took Padre Pio's temperature as part of his investigation. The reading was 48.5C.

 

Padre Alberto D’Apolito reported that in 1920 “I would take Padre Pio’s temperature several times and it would register between 46C and 47C (114,8F – 116,6F).[74]

 

In 1921 Padre Lorenzo, superior of the convent, testified under oath to Mons. Rossi that he was skeptical, and had personally witnessed and recorded Padre Pio with fevers of 43C (109.4F) degrees Fahrenheit, then 45C (113F) degrees, and finally 48C (118.4F) degrees.[75] [76]

 

San Giovanni Rotondo, February 8, 1917: “I have been sick of pneumonia, with very high fevers.”[77]

 

 

 

The two thermometers used by Padre Paolino da Casacalenda, with a certificate of authenticity.

 

The fevers were over 42C, the maximum reached by a normal thermometer, because the thermometers cracked when used on Padre Pio.  During a similar episode, on January 27 1917, the superior of the convent, Padre Paolino da Casacalenda, decided to take Padre Pio’s temperature personally. The mercury climbed to 108F degrees, than broke the bulb of the thermometer. Padre Paolino hurried to the bathroom and fetched a bath thermometer, freed it from the wooden sheath, and placed it under Pio’s armpit. The temperature soared to

125.5F degrees.[78]

 

 

Padre Paolino da Casacalenda

“When I removed the thermometer from the armpit it had reached 52C. Fifty two degrees! Well, I looked at Padre Pio. He didn’t seem in bad shape. I put a hand on his forehead. It was not hat. The color was of somebody who has no fever.”[79] [80]

   

 

Dr. Giuseppe Avenia reported in a written testimony that in about 1941 he was at Padre Pio's bedside with Padre Damaso, the superior, and Padre Ezechia. He put the thermometer under Padre Pio's armpit and in few seconds the mercury reached the top of the scale and the bulb broke.

 

Padre Dominic Meyer, from Belleville, Illinois was sent in 1947 to the Convent to take care of the more than 250 letters Padre Pio received daily in English and German. He did it for the next thirteen years. He described in September 1949 a bout with "sister fever" in which Padre Pio's temperature was measured by dr. Sanguinetti with a special thermometer as 114F degrees.

 

Tears

      

Padre Pellegrino: “When Padre Pio prepared himself for confession, he invoked Our Lady and wept. He cried so many tears that with these alone he could have cancelled all of his sins. Once, he was crying and I told him about it. He said: “So now to cry for my sins I need to ask your permission?”[81]

 

Padre Eusebio was confessing Padre Pio. When he had finished confessing his sins he burst in tears. Padre Eusebio: “I can’t see any proportion between the sins you have confessed and your display of such pain and sorrow.” Padre Pio: “Son, I am the biggest sinner on this earth!” And he continued to cry sorrowfully.[82]

 

Padre Antonino testified: “In Sant’Elia a Pianisi, at the time of the common prayers, and especially after Communion, brother Pio shed so many tears that made a little pit in the pavement. We asked him for the reason, and he never told us. One day, since I was his spiritual director, I asked him under obedience, and he said: “I cry for my sins, and the sins of everybody.”[83]

 

Brother Leo (Fra' Leone) classmate of Padre Pio 1903-8, testified: "While praying, Padre Pio was always crying, silently, and so abundantly that his tears were leaving traces on the stone pavement of the choir. We youngsters made fun of him. So he took the habit of lying on the floor hi large handkerchief in front of him.

After praying he would take the handkerchief that was all wet. You could have squeezed it!"[84]  [85] [86]

 

Padre Damaso da Sant’Elia a Pianisi gave a similar testimony.[87] Padre Antonio da San Giovanni Rotondo,

 

reported the same, and when he asked Brother Pio why he was crying, the answer was: “I cry for my sins and

 

those of mankind.”[88]

 

 

Padre Placido did the novitiate with Padre Pio in 1902. All the novices had an assigns stall for meditation. They noticed that while meditating, fra’ Pio cried abundantly. One day he and the other novices jokingly asked future Padre Pio: “Why is your place in the choir always wet and ours dry?” Padre Placido reported that from that day on fra’ Pio spread out his large handkerchief on the floor in front to him and it was always soaked with tears.[89]

 

Dr. Franco Lotti found Padre Pio crying in his room. He asked why he was shedding those tears. “I am crying at the thought of when I will have to be in God’s presence.”[90]

 

He used to say: "Good works are the fruit of many tears and of a lot of suffering."

Francesco Napolitano: “Padre Pio never failed to cry when he celebrated the Divine Sacrifice.”[91]

 

“I have committed so many sins! Think that from birth, on May 25, 1887  until vestition, on January 23 1903, I never thanked the Lord for having been baptized so soon, just fourteen hours after birth, at 8:00 AM of May 26. I am an ungrateful wretch.

“And he continued crying.[92]

 

Eating

       

 

To eat very little was a constant in Padre Pio’s life.[93]

 

Padre Roberto da Nove: Padre Pio eats nothing for breakfast or dinner. Lunch: boiled vegetables, fruit of season, sometimes an egg.[94] Sometimes he has a hot chocolate for dinner.[95]  There are periods when he can’t keep anything down: moments when he takes to some food, which later he cannot tolerate.[96]

Many evenings he doesn’t eat anything at all.[97]

 

Padre Romolo da San Marco in Lamis: “He doesn’t eat much. He eats rather sparingly. He eats just a little bit of everything. He eats more or less a third of what I eat.”[98] [99]

 

Padre Pio to his nephew Mario Pennelli: “In forty years I have not been able to eat even half of a loaf of bread.”[100] [101]

 

Padre Alberto: “Padre Pio had some very hard biscuits and roasted chick peas in the pantry drawer. Instead of the food brought to him he would put one of those in his mouth, and chew very slowly, giving everyone the impression that he was eating.”

It was truly amazing how he could bear up in the confessional for so many hours without adequate nourishment.”[102] [103]

 

Dr. Pavone. “Padre Pio ate very little. He used to go once a day to the refectory under obedience. In medical terms the nourishment of Padre Pio was absolutely insufficient. These things are against the natural law; against everything. But they happened.”[104]

 

Fra’ Modestino: “Padre Pio ate very little. Some days he ate nothing at all.

On a Christmas day he took an espresso coffee. He said: “It’s Christmas and it’s time to celebrate. Once in a while he enjoyed a slice of pork liver, or artichokes or turnips sent from Pietrelcina”[105]

 

One day Padre Pio told Fra’ Modestino: “The greatest favor I could get from the superior would be to dispense me from eating.”[106] [107]

 

Padre Dominic Meyer: “He also ate macaroni, cheese, peas, beans, fruit, liver, fried sausage, dried ham, and as all good Italians, he drank a glass of wine. But everything was eaten in minute quantities. Frequently he handed much of the food that was served to him to the friar next to him.[108]

 

Every doctor who observed him eating stated that what he ate was insufficient to keep an adult alive.[109]

 

Padre Pio said that he was nourished by the sole Eucharist: “It is the Lord who does this and not I. It is the Lord

who is working in me.”[110]

 

Padre Nazareno d’Arpaise: “In Foggia Padre Pio was prepared  special meals. He would just taste the food and then pass it to other friars. I asked him: “Piuccio haven’t you tuberculosis?” “Yes?” “Why then you give your food to other friars? Don’t you know that your disease is highly contagious? ““Yes, but my disease, by special disposition of the Lord, is not contagious.”[111] [112]

      It seems that Padre Pio's favorite food was broccoli rabe, but he had very few opportunities to eat them.

 

Sleeping

Padre Pio slept with just a sheet and a light plaid, as he couldn’t stand heavy blankets.[113]

 

Padre Pio asked a young man how long he had slept the previous night. “Six or seven.” Padre Pio replied:

“That’s as much I sleep in one year.”[114]

 

Padre Pio: “I have great distress in meeting the daily needs of eating, drinking, and sleeping. I do it only because the Lord wants it.”[115]

Padre Raffaele: “In his early priestly life he would get up at 3:00 in the morning.  In his later years, generally he would not go to bed at all. When he would go to bed he would put the alarm at three o’ clock. He would only sleep for about three hours at most.”[116]

 

Padre Eusebio: “He would get up very early in the morning, clean his wounds and start to say the rosary and pray and meditate.”[117]

 

 

Typical day of Padre Pio:

 

Padre Roberto da Nove, testified in 1920: “Padre Pio gets up at the same time of the community 5:30 AM. He hears confessions until 10:00 AM, when he celebrates Holy Mass. After Mass, he returns to his cell for the thanksgiving prayer. He then goes down to the sacristy to listen to all those who wish to talk to him and be blessed. They are many and come from all the regions of Italy and from abroad. It takes great patience to listen to so many miseries and to welcome so many sick and desperate souls, who ask for help, confidence, faith, peace.  At noon he has lunch in the refectory of the small minor seminary of which he is the spiritual director. His menu consists of boiled vegetables, fruit (when in season), with sometimes an egg. And this is all he eats in one day, since neither in the morning nor in the evening does he take anything else. In the evening he stays a while to converse with the community.”[118]

 

Padre Raffaele: In his early priestly life he would get up at 3:00 in the morning. He would celebrate Mass whenever his superiors would tell him. Many times his superior had to call him out of the confessional to go to the refectory. Otherwise he would be hearing confessions all the time. He ate only a little. He would just take a nibble. Then, he would hear confessions until the Angelus at 6:00 pm. He never came to supper in the evening. In his later years, generally he would not go to bed at all. After the earthquake of 1939 he slept in an ambulance parked in the friary garden for almost a month. [119]

 

Discipline

 

When he was ten years old Francesco started scourging himself with an iron chain , "to imitate Jesus, who had been beaten by the Jews." [120]

Druing the year of novitiate in Morcone, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the community took the discipline. The friars and novices went to the choir, pulled the habit from their backs and struck themselves on the bare flesh with a chain. During the discipline they were to think of the Passion of Jesus. [121]  There was always blood on the floor after these religious exercises.[122]

 

In Pietrelcina Padre Pio continued to observe the “discipline” on the customary days, striking himself with a metal chain until the blood run.[123]

 One evening Don Giuseppe Orlando noted that Padre Pio has difficulty sitting still, like he was hurting from something. Don Giuseppe asked why. Padre Pio: “You know Peppino, today is Friday. We friars on Friday evenings have the discipline. I must have given a blow too many to this old back.”[124]

 

 

Gloves, bloody shirts, and special shoes

     

Padre Pio used brown fingerless gloves over the wounds of the hands during the day  At night he used white gloves

 

Ecce Homo!

Bloody undershirt from scourging

                           

Cleonice Morcaldi wrote: “It was summertime and Padre Pio, all dressed in wool, was suffering terribly the heat. I sent him a white light linen undershirt to be used instead of the woolen one. I was pretty sure the he would refuse it. Instead, a got it back after three days; it was all bloody. Literally speaking, there was no space in between the stains of blood. In several areas, especially over the shoulders, there were stain over stain. I had also sent a pair of white sox. They too had big stains over the area of the wound. A Franciscan friar took these sacred relics to be kept in the archives. A priest took a picture. He then passed it to a journalist without my permission. God allowed it, because it did so much good to those who saw it.”[108]

 

                                       

 

 

On January 17, 1969, the superior of the convent, Padre Pellegrino, gave to Fra’ Modestino the assignment to do the inventory of the items related to Padre Pio. He reported: “I found an enormous quantity of cloths used for the side wound. Each of them had a date on it. Among many other things I found an undershirt full of blood stains. There was a statement attached, naming it “the undershirts of the scourging on Good Friday 1921. It was a knee length undershirt. Now I understood the terrifying sufferings that Padre Pio had been going through. And the scourging happened almost every week.”[67]

side cloth used in 1960        

  Undershirt removed on January 1943 

Cloths wiping bloody front sweat in March of 1941    

   Night socks from 1941

 

Bloody right shoulder

 

           

Padre Pio's undershirt with blood in the right shoulder area found and certified by Fra' Modestino.

Before, little was known about the shoulder wound, related to Jesus carrying the Cross to the Calvary, in the Passion.

 

 

Fra' Modestino: “On February 4, 1971, observing again a woolen undershirt, I noted to my great surprise, a stain of blood, of about four inches, over the right shoulder. Jesus had been carrying a heavy cross. I had to find this out. Before going to bed I prayed Padre Pio asking if he really had a sore on the right shoulder. I woke up around 1:00 AM and felt a terrible pain on my right shoulder at it had been penetrated by a knife. At the same time I smelled a strong perfume, and heard a voice: “that’s the way I have suffered!” Now I had understood!”[68]

 

       

Fra’ Modestino died on August 14, 2011. His body rests in the church of Holy Family and Padre Pio in Pietrelcina.

 

 

Permanently swollen feet

     

Bill Martin Joseph Pius

Father Joseph Pius, Brooklyn born Bill Martin, helped Padre Pio for several years. He stated: "His feet were always swolle, very swollen. They were like melons under his socks." (Sch87, 63)

       Helped by Padre Alessio and Mr. Zeni    Basin used by Padre Pio for his feet

 

      

    

Sandals for painfully swollen feet. Note the swollen feet, even with special custom sandals.

 

Matteo Biancofiore, shoemaker

Matteo Biancofiore was the shoemaker who made the sandals for Padre Pio. Born in Foggia, moved to San Giovanni Rotondo. His excellent skills made padre Pio's walking less painful. The idea of making custom sandals for Padre Pio was suggested to Matteo by Mons. Salvatore Novelli, an uncle on maternal side. A tender friendship developed between Padre Pio and Matteo Biancofiore. Padre Pio administered the First Communion to all of Matteo's eight children. Matteo died in 1998 at the age of 103.

 

 

 

Grooming

 

     Haircut by Vincenzo Miniscalchi.

Padre Alessio tinkering with Padre Pio's beard. 

            Final touch before the evening function in church.

 

 

   Return to front page       23. Poetry, humor    

 

 

Bibliography

Alberto, D'Apolito (2007). Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Memories. Experiences. Testimonials. San Giovanni Rotondo: Edizioni Padre Pio. Alb07

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Castelli, F. (2011). Padre Pio under investigation. The secret Vatican files. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. Cas11

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Chiron, Y. (1999). Padre Pio. Una strada di misericordia. Milano: Figlie di San Paolo. Chi99

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DeLiso, O. (1962). Padre Pio. New York: All Saints Press. DeL62

Duchess Suzanne, o. S. (1983). Magic of a Mistic. Stories of Padre Pio. New York: Clarkson N. Potter. Duc83

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Gaudiose, D. M. (1974). Prophet of the people. A biography of Padre Pio. New York: Alba House. Gau74

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[1] Cas11, 192

[2] Cas11, 91

[3] Cas11, 174

[4] SCH87, 122

[5] Par011, 127

[6] For99, 11

[7] Sch87, 118-122

[8] Ale12, 5

[9] Par11, 37

[10] Bru70, 224

[11] Win88, 57

[12] Win88, 178

[13] Bru70, 226

[14] Cas11, 132

[15] Cas11, 95

[16] Ing78, xiii

[17] Ing78, 41

[18] Mor73, xvii Introduction

[19] Dun99, 12

[20] Ing78, 104

[21] Gau73, X

[22] Del62, 78

[23] Win03, 153

[24] Ing78, 146

[25] Sch87, 35

[26] Cas11, 151

[27] Scg87, 74

[28] Sch87, 79

[29] Ruf91, 262-3

[30] Nap76, 51

[31] Cas11, 152

[32] Ruf91, 293

[33] Ruf91, 293

[34] Duc83, ix

[35] Duc83, 163

[36] Ale11, 30

[37] McC78, 28

[38] Cas11, 168

[39] Ale11, 34

[40] Sch87, 143

[41] Sch87, 49

[42] Cas11, 170

[43] Ias07, 605

[44] Ias07, 605

[45] Mul09, 118

[46] Cas11, 198

[47] Ias07, 592

[48] Ias07, 594

[49] Cas11, 185

[50] Cas11, 158

[51] Cas11, 63-4

[52] Ale010, 362

[53] Cam11, 56

[54] Ger95, 129

[55] Gal 95, 228

[56] Per02, 542

[57] Nap76, 99

[58] Ruf91, 71 ss.

[59] Cas11,10

[60] Cas11, 172

[61] Cas11, 176

[62] Chi67, I, 84-90

[63] Gia12, 97

[64] Chi99, 89-90

[65] Mor06, 243-4

[66] Mal99, 49

[67] Cas11, 127

[68] Cas11, 127

[69] Cas11, 127

[70] Pas91, 29

[71] Gal95, 73

[72] All00, 178-84

[73] Cap12, 168

[74] Alb07, 69

[75] Cas11, 126-7

[76] Cas11, 153

[77] Epist I, 866

[78] Ruf91, 134

[79] Pao78, 86

[80] Chi99, 100

[81] Ias06, 43

[82] Ias06, 44

[83] Ale74, 32

[84] Win88, 134-5

[85] Ing75, 24

[86] Positio III/1, 50

[87] Ale10, 33

[88] Ale10, 33

[89] Cap06, 136-7

[90] Ias06, 42

[91] Nap76, 53

[92] Win 88, 174

[93] Cas11, 69

[94] Cas11, 69

[95] Cas11, 88

[96] Cas11, 89

[97] Cas11, 175

[98] Cas11, 88

[99] Cas11, 182

[100] Cas11, 69

[101] Gal09, 46

[102] Cas11, 88

[103] Alb07, 100

[104] Sch87, 34-5

[105] Mod01, 29-30, 32 , 50-1

[106] Mod01, 30

[107] Positio II, 147

[108] Ruf91, 289

[109] Ruf91, 289

[110] Ruf91, 290

[111] Gia12, 97

[112] Chi99, 89

[113] Ias06, 323

[114] Sch87, 35

[115] Epist. I, 107

[116] Sch87, 98

[117] Sch87, 120

[118] Cas11, 68-9

[119] Sch87, 97-100

[120] Positio I,1, 606

[121] Ruf91, 51

[122] Duc83, 36

[123] Ruf91, 97

[124] Flu95, 136

   Return to front page       23. Poetry, humor