Middle and high school in Sant'Elia a Pianisi

1904   On January 25, 1904 the future Padre Pio moved to the convent of Sant’Elia a Pianisi, and stayed there for almost four years, until October 1907, for middle and high school studies. Sant'Elia is a mountaintop village of 2000.
  In Sant’Elia, on January 18, 1905 brother Pio experiences the first bilocation.
Padre Pio noted in a letter to his spiritual director:
"I found myself in Udine, were a father was dying and a child was being born." The Virgin Mary told me: 'I'm entrusting this child to you.' "   He was 16 years old.
   The child being born was marchioness Giovanna Rizzani Boschi. She is one of 6 witnesses who testified at the Process of beatification of Padre Pio. Her life was full of coincidences that don't have a rational explanation. She was born January 18, 1905.  

 Giovanna, while living in Rome in the summer 1922, in St. Peter’s basilica she asked a friar to confess her, and he did.

In 1923 she heard about Padre Pio and went to see him. He told her: "Giovanna I have been waiting for you. The Virgin Mary took me to Udine when you were born to be present at your father's death. Also last year in St. Peter's I was the capuchin priest who confessed you." And: "One day you will be present at my death." Later she described the vision she had of Padre Pio's cell the night he died. She reported every detail of what happened, and described every person that was in the room.


    In the summer of 1905,  brother Pio saw the devil coming in his cell. He reported in a letter to his spiritual director: “He was in the form of an enormous dog, with a lot of smoke coming out of his mouth, and the dog talked and said: ‘It’s him, it’s him.’ He had a strong smell of sulphur. The horrible animal leaped out of the window, jumped on the roof of the nearby building, and disappeared.”
  In October 1905 the convent of Sant’Elia had to be temporarily abandoned to allow a substantial remodeling of the church and the convent. Everybody moved to San Marco La Catola.
In April 1906, brother Pio returned to Sant’Elia a Pianisi, since the remodeling had been completed.
On Sunday January 27, 1907 Padre Pio made the solemn profession of wows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
           The church in Sant'Elia a Pianisi.



1905 The future Padre Pio went to Campobasso from Sant'Elia a Pianisi in 1905, with fellow students, for few days, to help with the sacred liturgies.
          The convent of Santa Maria al Monte sits high over the city of Campobasso.
  The convent on a mountaint top with the Monforte castle.
    Padre Pellegrino da Sant'Elia a Pianisi, who had been at the side of Padre Pio during his last hours of life, reported that Padre Pio had told him that the "Madonna di Santa Maria a Monte" had appeared to him several times. Padre Pellegrino then asked the artist Amadeo Trivisonno to put in painting what Padre Pio had described to him. Trivisonno made the painting in 1972.
    Padre Pio also was sent briefly to Campobasso in October 1909 to improve his health with "mountain air".


San Marco La Catola

1905-6     Padre Pio went to San Marco la Catola towards the end of October in 1905. There he remained until April 1906 studying philosophy.  He met Padre Benedetto who would become his spiritual director until 1922
Padre Pio Capuano, extremely kind, patient, and knowledgeable Capuchin friar.
Padre Pio returned to San Marco La Catola as a priest, in 1918, for a month, to get guidance from Padre Benedetto.



Theology in Serracapriola

      Serracapriola is a mountaintop village of about 5000.
The church, the convent and the chapel in the garden were Padre Pio used to retire in prayer in 1907.
           The future Padre Pio went to Serracapriola convent in October 1907 to study theology under the guidance of Padre Benedetto di San Marco in Lamis .
         Padre Pio's room in Serracapriola. The future Padre Pio left Serracapriola in November 1908, for Montefusco.
Padre Pio's words in stone, books used, original centuries old stairs to his room, garden.
                  The pictures remind of an episode in the fall of 1907 when Padre Pio was student in Serracapriola. The friars were stomping on the fermenting grapes and the fumes were inadvertently inhaled by the future Padre Pio  and he got inebriated. Later he used to say that he got drunk without drinking a single drop of wine.
               Padre Antonio Belpiede extremely kind, patient, and knowledgeable Capuchin friar.             



Theology in Montefusco

  Montefusco is a mountaintop village of about 2000 people in the Avellino province.
           The Capuchin convent and the church in Montefusco.

Padre Pio arrived in Montefusco at the end of November 1908, to continue studying in preparation for the ordination to priesthood.  

He stayed there only few months, until May 1909.

      One special episode  occurred while Padre Pio was in Montefusco in 1908. One day he gathered chestnuts growing in a nearby forest into a bag and sent the bag to Pietrelcina to his aunt Daria. She always had a great affection for him. The woman received and ate the chestnuts. She saved the bag as a souvenir. A few days later she was looking for something in a drawer where her husband usually kept the gun powder. It was in the evening so she used a candle to light up the room when suddenly the drawer caught on fire, and aunt Daria’s face got burned. After a moment, she took the bag father Pio sent and put it on her face. Immediately, her pain disappeared and no wound or burn mark remained on her face.

 Because of poor health brother Pio left the convent of Montefusco for his home Pietrelcina in May 1909, accompanied by Padre Agostino in the hope that in Pietrelcina he would recover. 

During that time Don Salvatore Pannullo thought him liturgical ceremonies, and Don Giuseppe Orlando, the pastor of the parish, thought him dogmatic theology to prepare him for ordination. He stayed home almost seven years. He returned to Montefusco few months later.

     In 1923, when Padre Pio was about to be transferred fro San Giovanni Rotondo he wrote to his superiors: "If I have to be transferred in another convent I'd like to be transferred to the convent in Montefusco.



Theology in Gesualdo

  Gesualdo is a mountaintop village of about 4000 people in the province of Avellino.
    Between the months of November and December 1909 the future Padre Pio spent few weeks in the convent of Gesualdo where he studied moral theology.
     In Gesualdo the devil appeared to Padre Pio in the form of Padre Agostino and tried to discourage him from continuing the religious life. Padre Pio was disconcerted, and at the moment he started to understand he said: “Whoever you are repeat after me ‘Long live Jesus’. The visitor disappeared in a cloud of smoke living behind a disgusting stench.



Minor orders and sub deaconate in Benevento; deaconate in Morcone


On December 19, 1908 Padre Pio received in the cathedral of Benevento, by the Archbishop Benedetto Bonazzi, the four minor orders of Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist, and Acolyte. Two days later, on December 21, 1908in the same cathedral of Benevento, Mons. Paolo Schinosi, archbishop titular of Marcianopolis, conferred him the Sub deaconate.

     On July 18, 1909 the future Padre Pio was ordained 'deacon' in Morcone.



Ordained priest in The Cathedral of Benevento


The minimal canonical age to be ordained priest by Canon Law is to have completed 24 years. Padre Pio was 23 years and 3 months old, in poor health and fearful he could die soon. So he asked for dispensation to be ordained at 23. On January 22, 1910, he wrote a letter to Padre Benedetto, provincial minister, begging him to petition the Holy See and recommend favorably for the dispensation: “…explaining the current status of my health … so that if God has decided to abbreviate my exile on earth, I will die very happy.”

 On July 6, 1910 Padre Benedetto informed Padre Pio that the Holy See had granted the dispensation.

    On August 10, 1910, age 23, Padre Po was ordained priest.
  The ordination to priesthood took place in the Cathedral of Benevento.
  This is the spot were Padre Pio lay prostrated to be ordained.
       Padre Pio was ordained by Mons. Paolo Schinosi, titular archbishop of Marcianopolis.
1910    This is the certificate of Ordination.

Padre Pio wrote on the souvenir prayer card:

 "O Jesus, may I be with you the way, the truth and life for the world".

 "O Jesus may I be with you a perfect victim".


The picture shows the handwritten statement by Padre Pio.


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