15 Purgatory, Heaven, Two years reprieve, hell, Angels, devils



Cleonice Morcaldi talking to Padre Pio

Cleonice Morcaldi: “There has been no other saint who, every time he was asked, would tell if a soul had been saved, if had gone to Paradise or Purgatory, and say the day and hour of the liberation.”[1] Padre Pio has revolutionized the Purgatory. He often said: “Let’s empty Purgatory”.[2]


Padre Romolo da San Marco in Lamis: I asked Padre Pio if my grandmother, who had died suddenly, was saved. He answered: “The account is settled.” Before he said that, he had turned away, whispering in a very low voice, as if he was talking to another person.[3]



Padre Paolo Covino

Padre Paolo Covino on October 18, 1968 asked Padre Pio: “Are my parents saved?” Padre Pio answered: “Yes, they are.”[4]



Padre Pio was asked if he suffered like the souls in Purgatory. He replied: “Yes. The souls in Purgatory don’t suffer more than I do. I am sure that I am not wrong on this.”[5]



Gerardo De Caro

Gerardo De Caro had long conversations with Padre Pio in 1943. In his written notes, he testifies: "Padre Pio had an exact knowledge of the state of the souls after death, including the duration of the pain until they reached total purification."[6]


To Gerardo De Caro: “We need to pray for the souls in Purgatory. We can’t believe how much they can do for us, through the gratitude they have for those who pay for them!”[7]




 Padre Alessio

To Padre Alessio: “The prayers of the souls in Purgatory are much more efficacious before God, because they pray while suffering.”[8]


To Padre Alessio: “You will be surprised to find in Paradise souls that you’d never expected to be there.”[9]




Padre Benedetto

November 29, 1910 to Padre Benedetto: “I am asking your permission to offer myself to the Lord as a victim for the poor sinners and the souls in Purgatory.”[10]



Bill Martin before becoming Padre Joseph Pius from New York

To Padre Joseph Pius: “More souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.”[11] [12] [13]




Padre Pio Capuano showing the use of the box

Every time that Padre Pio passed by the box on top of the stairs he used to pick the number, than consult the list on the wall, and pray for the corresponding intention for a soul in Purgatory.[14] [15]




During a relaxed conversation with friars and friends, Dr. Gasdia said jokingly: “Padre Pio will not go to Purgatory. He will go straight to Heaven.”  Padre Pio smiling replied: “Lets shake hands”, and shook his hand very warmly.[16] [17]




"The souls in Purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours, because they are accompanied by their suffering. So, let's pray for them, and let's pray them to pray for us." "The souls in Purgatory repay the prayers that we say for them." "When we pray for the souls in Purgatory we will always get something back." [18]



Don Pierino

Don Pierino Galeone

Don Pierino Galeone: “Padre Pio was able to see were exactly were the dead souls. Of the living, he knew exactly the length of life, the day of the death, for how long they would stay in Purgatory, and when they would enter Paradise.”[19]


Souls from Purgatory

In 1922 Bishop Alberto Costa asked Padre Pio if he had ever seen a soul in Purgatory. Padre Pio: "I have seen so many of them that they don't scare me anymore."[20]



Annita Lodi’s parents

Annita Lodi testified that she told Padre Pio after confession: “Tomorrow is the feast if St. Francis. Please ask him to go to Purgatory and free the souls of my parents.” Padre Pio replied: “I can do it myself.”[21]



A friar in Purgatory

Padre Francesco Napolitano reported that in 1945 Fra' Pietro, entering his cell at night, saw a young friar sitting on his desk, with the head down like he was meditating. He asked who he was, but he disappeared. He was terrorized, and run to Padre Pio. Padre Pio accompanied him back to his cell and said: "That young friar is a poor novice who is serving his Purgatory in this cell. But don't worry he will not bother you again, and you will never see him again."[22]


Julius Fine

Florence Fine Herman in 1965 asked Padre Pio to pray for her father who had terminal ALS. He promised to take him under his protection. He was a devout Jew. Two years later he died. She was told by friends that without baptism one cannot be saved. She went back to Padre Pio with a heavy heart. She took the courage to ask: “Where is my father?” Padre Pio replied: “Julius Fine is saved. But we need to pray a lot for him.”[23]



2 friars from Purgatory

Padre Francesco Napolitano reported what he had heard from Grazio, Padre Pio's father.  Grazio went to spend some few days with his son in 1926. He was assigned the cell #10. When he tried to enter the cell, two friars stood in front of the door, not letting him in. He explained who he was, to no avail. When he made a step to force himself in, they disappeared. He was terrorized, and went to Padre Pio. "Dad, don't get agitated, those are two poor friars in Purgatory. They have to serve their Purgatory in the spot where they disobeyed the rule of St. Francis."[24]



Viva Padre Pio

  Fra' Gerardo with Padre Pio    On duty in the kitchen


One night in 1944 the friars heard loud voices coming from downstairs saying "Viva Padre Pio". The superior Padre Raffaele da S. Elia a Pianisi told the doorkeeper Fra Gerardo da Deliceto to let those people out and lock the door properly. Fra Gerardo went downstairs, didn't find anybody, and the door was double locked as it was supposed to. He went back to report. Padre Raffaele was puzzled and went straight to Padre Pio asking if he knew something.[25]

"Oh! Those were soldiers who had died on the battleground, and came to thank me for my prayers for their salvation."[26]  And he added: “There are more souls of the dead coming up that road to ask for my prayers than souls of the living.”[27]



The flames of Purgatory

Fra' Modestino with Padre Pio

In 1945 Fra' Modestino asked Padre Pio a comparison between a fire on hearth and the flames of Purgatory. "They compare like fresh water and boiling water."[28]



The ancestor

One day Padre told his doctor: "I'm praying for the good death of my great-great grandfather". “But he died more than one hundred years ago!" replied the doctor. Padre Pio: "Remember that for God there is no past and no future, and everything is present. So God made use at that time of the prayers I'm saying now."[29]



Pietro Di Mauro


Padre Pio was in the common fireplace room at the convent in 1917 when he saw an old man sitting near him. The man said: "I am Pietro Di Mauro, nicknamed Precoco. I died on September 18, 1886, in this friary in cell #4, in a fire. The Lord let me come to you from Purgatory. If tomorrow you say the Mass for me, I will go to Paradise." [30] [31] [32]


Padre Paolino da Casacalenda


Padre Pio reported: "I was agitated. I told the superior Father Paolino da Casacalenda what had happened and asked to celebrate the Mass for Pietro." Father Paolino gave the permission and later went to consult the registry at City Hall. In that date in 1886, when the convent had been expropriated by the government and was a nursing home, a disabled man with that name had died in a fire suffocated by smoke.[33] [34] [35] [36]



Capuchin novice

One evening Padre Pio was praying alone in church. He heard a crash like candles falling to the ground. He got up and went to the communion rail. There was a young friar he had never seen before. The friar said: “I am a Capuchin novice, and I am from Purgatory, doing penance for lack of diligence in my work in the church.” Padre Pio said: “Tomorrow my Mass will be for you. Now go away and never come back.” Padre Emanuele happened to pass by. He and Padre Pio went to give a closer look. They found behind the altar many large candles on the floor, all broken.[37] [38] [39] [40]



He is saved

A woman went to Padre Pio to know about her brother, who had committed suicide after a financial difficulty. She went to his Mass but was unable to talk to him. She sat in church, crying and praying, while Padre Pio was confessing. At a certain moment she got a nudge and was told: “Padre Pio is calling you.” She turned towards the confessional. Padre Pio was making a sign to her with the hand, to approach the confessional. She did, and kneeled in front of him, and Padre Pio said: “Don’t worry, stay calm, he is saved.”[41]




Don Pierino Galeone (left)

Don Pierino Galeone asked Padre Pio if a local friend, who had just died, was saved. Padre Pio: “Yes, he is saved, but he will have to spend long time in Purgatory. Let’s pray a lot for him.”[42]


In 1947 a mom asked Padre Pio, through Don Pierino, if her son, MIA in Russia,  was alive. Padre Pio said to Don Pierino: “Tell that mom that I myself accompanied her child to Heaven.”[43]





Don Pierino: “A young mother just died suddenly. Is she saved?” Padre Pio: “Did she go to Mass?” The answer was no. “So, how could she have been saved?” [44]



Grandparents on mom’s side

Don Pierino Galeone

Don Pierino: “My mom wants to know where her parents are.” Padre Pio: “Tell your mom that they are in Heaven.”[45]



Grandparents on dad’s side

Don Pierino some few months later: “My father too wants to know where his parents are.” Padre Pio: “They are in Heaven too. And now let’s try ourselves to make it to Heaven!”[46]




In Heaven

A man asked Padre Pio if his sister was saved. Padre Pio replied that she was in Purgatory and would have to stay there a little longer. A year later he went with Don Pierino to see Padre Pio, and asked again about his sister. The answer: “She is already in heaven.” [47]




Salvatore D’Apolito

Padre Alberto D'Apolito with Padre Pio

Salvatore D’Apolito in 1938 returned to San Giovanni Rotondo with his daughter Nunzia after 22 years in the United States. They visited with Padre Pio and with Padre Alberto D’Apolito, son of Salvatore. Few months later, in February 1939 Salvatore got pneumonia and died within few hours. Padre Pio told Padre Alberto: “Have courage, be tranquil, your father is saved.”[48]


Elena Bandini


Elena Bandini (center)

Elena Bandini had been helping for many years the church, the monastery, and the local people of San Giovanni Rotondo. She played the organ and directed the choir in the church of St. Mary of the Graces. She suffered from stomac cancer, which eventually took her to death. "She asked for no cure. She wanted to unite her sufferings to those of Padre Pio and offer them for his intentions." When she died, John McCaffery told Padre Pio: “She certainly went without any stop from here to Paradise”. Padre Pio with two great tears rolling down his cheeks: “Oh! Without stop at all!”[49]


Elena Bandini, from Borgo San Lorenzo in the province of Florence, had been very active in the Franciscan apostolate in the Mugello area. Padre Pio wrote to her twenty four letters. She moved permanently to San Giovanni Rotondo in 1936, and died in 1955.[50]






Padre Costantino Capobianco to Padre Pio: “I want to die before you do so you can assist me.” Padre Pio: “Do you think I cannot come from Heaven?”[51]


Padre Giuseppantonio in Heaven


Padre Giuseppantonio

Padre Giuseppantonio da San Marco in Lamis was ill in the Foggia convent. On December 29, 1936 Padre Pio was asked by Padre Giacinto da Sant’Elia a Pianisi to pray for him because his health was deteriorating. That night, at about 2:00 AM on December 30, somebody knocked at Padre Pio's door. Padre Giuseppe entered in the room. Padre Pio told him: "How are you doing? They told me that you were gravely ill and now I see you here." Padre Giuseppantonio: "I'm well. All my suffering has ended, and I came to thank you for your prayers." Then he disappeared. In the morning Padre Pio told Padre Bernardo da Alpicella what had happened. Nobody knew yet that Padre Giuseppe had died. Later they found out that he had died at the same time that he had visited Padre Pio.[52] [53] [54] [55]


From Purgatory to Paradise

In the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo one evening the friars heard music and a choir singing. Nobody that they knew could be performing at that time of the day. They went to Padre Pio, who was absorbed in prayer, and asked him about it. “So, what? Why are you marveling? Those are the voices of the angel taking the souls from Purgatory to Paradise!”[56]


Thanks from the souls

A friar testified: “We were all in the dining room when Padre Pio got suddenly up and walked at steady pace to the door of the convent. He opened it and started having a conversation. The two friars that went with him didn't see anybody and started thinking that something might be wrong with Padre Pio. On the way back to the dining area Padre Pio explained. "Don't worry. I was talking to some souls on their way from Purgatory to Paradise. They came to thank me that I remembered them today in the Mass."[57]



The soul of Padre Vittore da Canosa

Carmela Marocchino

Carmela Marocchino's brother Padre Vittore da Canosa died suddenly on January 29, 1958. Carmela asked Padre Pio why the sudden death. "Do you know what Jesus did of your brother? Jesus went into the garden, and there were many flowers, and one was more beautiful than the others. He leaned on the most beautiful and picked it." Is he saved?" Yes, but we need to pray." On July 29 she asked again if he was saved. "My daughter, we priests are more responsible in front of God. Let's continue praying." On December 29, 1958 she asked again were her brother was. "He is in Paradise."[58]


Pasqualino Campanile

Nina Campanilès brother Pasqualino died in combat on September 26, 1916. Her mom sent Nina with her teacher Vittorina Ventrella to ask Padre Pio if Pasqualino was saved. “Yes he is saved, but he needs your prayers." She asked again on Christmas 1918. Padre Pio said: "He is up there!"[59]




Two years reprieves

“Two-year reprieves”

With Padre Pio, at times a grave physical illness disappeared for a period of two or three years, sometimes longer. People called it “The two years reprieve”. They were given time to organize their life and prepare for the final journey.[60]



Dr. Francesco Ricciardi from San Giovanni Rotondo, outspoken atheist and supporter of attacks on Padre Pio, in the fall of 1928 was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. His condition was deemed hopeless, and by December he was near death. Padre Pio went to visit him, and spent some time alone with him. No one knows what occurred between the two men, except that Ricciardi confessed and received Holy Communion. When the family was readmitted in the room, Padre Pio told the doctor: “Your soul is healed, and soon your body will be healed as well.” Within three days all signs of cancer had disappeared. Dr. Ricciardi lived nearly four more years, and died a practicing catholic.[61] [62] [63]




Playwright Luigi Antonelli had cancer of the face, neck, and jaw. The doctors told him that he would die within three months. He confessed to Padre Pio. Back home he refused surgery, felt “miraculously cured”, and worked intensely on several literary projects until his death, three years later.[64]  [65]




Giuseppe Scatigna

Giuseppe Scatigna of Palermo was being treated at Casa Sollievo in 1968, just before the death of Padre Pio. He had terminal cancer with metastatic lymph-glandular melano-sarcoma. The cancer was so advanced that he was told that he was unlikely to live for more than 48 hours. The wife got from the friars a piece of a linen clot that had been used by Padre Pio on his side wound. The two of them prayed that he might have five more years of life so that he might help grow the adopted daughter. He had a dream of Padre Pio trying to lift an enormous stone while young people stood around laughing at him. He felt immediately better. The morning after the doctor making round asked him how he was feeling. He said: I feel perfectly well.” He looked normal to the doctor. All the analyses and tests performed were negative. X rays revealed no trace of cancer. He was discharged, completely healed. It was November 23, 1968, thirty days after Padre Pio’s death. He went back to Sicily and was in good health for almost ten years. Before he died he said: “I wanted five years so that our daughter could grow up. Padre Pio obtained nine. So I am grateful.” He died a happy death.[66]




John and Elle Lynch lived in Canterbury, England. In 1981 they were expected to die in a matter of days.  John had terminal congestive heart failure, and Ellen had advanced pancreatic cancer. Padre Pio appeared to John and both husband and wife recovered almost instantaneously. The doctors were amazed and begun to doubt their diagnoses, but they had documentation of the tests done for John, and the exploratory surgery for Ellen. For next two years they lived extremely well and united to the Roman Catholic Church. Than the original diseases recurred, and they died grateful that they had been given time to sort out their lives.[67]



Throat cancer

Padre Marcellino Iasenzaniro

Padre Marcellino Iasenzaniro was chaplain at a hospital in Milan. He used to bring Communion to a hospitalized man who was told by the doctor that he had terminal throat cancer and they needed to operate. The man left the hospital and went to Padre Pio for advice. He had been to Padre Pio in the past, but Padre Pio he had been harsh with him. This time Padre Pio said: “You must not have the operation. You must not be touched.” The man lived eight years more. He used to say: “I have received two miracles from Padre Pio. The second one is that I have lived for more years, but the first miracle that I received from him was my conversion.”[68]



Terminal cancer

In November 1972 a man in Rome was suffering day and night from terminal cancer. One day, with various family members around him, he began to shout: “Sent that friar away. Don’t you see him? He is a Capuchin friar with a white beard. He is telling me to go with him. I do not want to go. He told me that he will come for me on then fifth of February. He is leaving now.” The family members thought that the illness and the medications had made him to hallucinate. But he soon recovered. He recognized in a picture of Padre Pio the friar that he had seen. He went to church every day and spent all his time praying. At the beginning of February 1973 he had a relapse and on the 5th he died serenely, with the name of Jesus on his lips.[69]



Brian John

Brian John, a young child from Liverpool, was dying of leukemia. The parents were non practicing members of the Church of England. They wanted to pray and asked a Roman Catholic friend for help. “Pray to Padre Pio.” “Who is Padre Pio?” “Just pray.” They prayed to Padre Pio about whom they knew nothing. Two weeks later Brian asked his mom: “Did you see the man who came to see me last night?” Brian was visited for several nights. He told his parents: “He said that his name is Padre Pio. He has a long brown dress on, and he has holes in his hands and feet. Those holes don’t hurt him anymore.” When Brian was talking, his parents smelled a wonderful fragrance that permeated the entire house. One evening the child told his mom: “You have to ask God for another little boy. Padre Pio has told me that he is coming very soon to take me to my Lady.” Few days later the child deteriorated and was taken to the hospital, where he died peacefully.[70]




    Dr. Karl Kisvarday


  Dr. Kisvarday (sitting at the left of Padre Pio)

  The nurse Margherita Cassano

Dr. Karl Kisvarday, administrator of Casa Sollievo reported that Padre Pio told him: “Carletto, the Lord has already established the date or our death, but I’m saying a special prayer to add one more year to the time allotted to you.”

One day in 1959 Dr. Kisvarday  was brought in a coma in the intensive care ward. He remained unconscious for three days, assisted by his housekeeper Paola Novak. One night Paola had gone home exhausted. At the doctor’s bedside were the nurse Margherita and a young nun. The nurse and the nun stepped out of the room for less than a minute. On their way back they saw a monk leaving the room and walk away. They went in together. All at once the patient exclaimed: “Oh., what a beautiful perfume!” “It’s the alcohol, doctor” said Margherita, who was preparing the hypodermic for an injection. “No, no, it’s the perfume of Padre Pio. He came. We talked. And he left.”

A little less than a year after this, Dr. Kisvarday died. But he had his extra year of perfect health.[71]




Don Pierino

Don Pierino Galeone told Padre Pio: “A woman from Martina Franca has a tumor and few days to leave. She asks you to pray for her.” Padre Pio:”Ok! The Lord gives her a reprieve.”

Nine years later, Don Pierino said the same words. Padre Pio: “I gave her a reprieve, not a permanent healing.”

The woman died few days later.[72]



Padre Dionisio

Padre Dionisio da Palazzo san Gervasio asked Padre Pio for prayers. Padre Pio at first fell silent (evidently trying to get a reprieve for him), than in a heartbreaking voice he said: “You rather prepare to die.” Padre Dionisio died seven days thereafter.[73]



Angelo Cantarelli

Angelo Cantarelli from Parma used to make trips by train to San Giovanni Rotondo to bring offerings for Casa Sollievo.

Once, in the way back he had a stroke, and the train made an emergency stop, and he was recovered in the clinica Villa dei Pini, near Civitanova Marche.

He was in a coma, and Padre Pio sent Enzo Bertani, from the Board of Casa Sollievo, to assess the situation.

Bertani: “Padre, you must obtain the grace of fully recovery for him. In Parma they are saying that he went to take offerings to Padre Pio, and got a thrombosis.”

Padre Pio: “Tell the family to be calm. I have asked the Lord to let him have ten more years of life.” Angelo recovered, returned home, and was fully involved in his business. He died ten years later.[74]










John McCaffery with Padre Pio

John wrote "Tales of Padre Pio"


To John McCaffery: "I believe that not a great number of souls go to hell. God loves us so much. He formed us at his image. God loves us beyond understanding. And it is my belief that when we have passed from the consciousness of the world, when we appear to be dead, God, before He judges us, will give us a chance to see and understand what sin really is. And if we understand it properly, how could we fail to repent?"[75]





Cleonice Morcaldi

Cleonice wrote "My life near Padre Pio"

To Cleonice Morcaldi: “I have been down to Hell with those miserable, and God made me experience the sufferings of the damned.”[76]







Padre Ludovico testified: “When he speaks, it seems that besides the person to whom he is speaking, there might be another one whom he might be addressing. It is commonly said that he speaks with his guardian angel.”[77]


Padre Pio called the guardian angel: “The companion of my infancy.”[78] “The little companion of my infancy.” [79]


To Raffaelina Cerase: “Oh! What a consolation is to be under the protection of a celestial being who never leaves us, not even when we are disgusting God!”[80]   “Take on the good habit of always thinking about him.”[81]  “This celestial spirit never leaves us alone, from cradle to grave.”[82] “He guides and protects us, especially in sad times.”[83] “Oh! If people could appreciate this great gift from God!”[84] “At the moment of death, the soul will see this sweet companion.”[85]


To Cleonice Morcaldi: "The Angels are jealous of us because they can't suffer for God."[86] “The Guardian angel never lives us. He guides us; he gives us good inspirations and protects us from the enemies.”[87]


To a person badly suffering for a life event: “Your tears have been collected by the angels in a golden cup. You will find them when present yourself to God.”[88]



Send me your Guardian Angel

“Send me your guardian angel”.[89] [90] “If you can’t reach me, send me your guardian angel to bring your message to me. I will help you for what I can” [91] “You may send me your guardian angel at any time, day or night, and I will be always happy to receive him.”[92]


Cecil Humphrey-Smith told Padre Pio that back home he would write to him. Padre Pio: “Son, what do I want with more letters? I get so many already. Send me you Guardian Angel instead.”[93]



Helped by the angels

In 1912 Padre Agostino on a trip passed by Pio’s house in Pietrelcina at three in the morning. At that time Padre Pio was living there. Padre Agostino marveled that the door was open. So he decided to get in. Padre Pio was in bed but not asleep. “Why do you leave the door unlocked?” “I am not scared. I have the guardian angels keeping watch through the night.”[94]



Little Angel


Padre Agostino wrote "Diary"

December 13, 1912 to Padre Agostino: “Your letter could be read with the help of the little angel. He had suggested me to sprinkle your letters with holy water before I opened them. That’s what I did with your most recent letter.”[95]




Barbara Ward


Barbara Ward  was about to have surgery for multiple ovarian cysts, in St. George’s Hospital in London. Bernardo Patrizi left the hospital to go to the post office, from where he sent a telegram to Padre Pio: “Barbara sick. Urgently requires your prayers.” When he returned to the Hospital the receptionist asked him to take to Barbara the flowers and the telegram that had just arrived. The telegram said: “Sorry to hear of your illness. Be assured of my prayers.” Next time that Bernardo was in San Giovanni Rotondo he told Padre Pio that Barbara had recovered and thanked him for the flowers and telegram. Padre Pio: “Huh! Telegrams! Guardian Angels are quicker, and cheaper.”[96]





One afternoon Padre Alessio was sitting with Padre Pio on the veranda. Padre Alessio started asking something. Padre Pio interrupted him: “Boy, don’t you see that I am busy? Later: “Didn’t you see all those guardian angels going back and forth to my spiritual children, bringing me their messages?” [97]




Tell her, tell him

Padre Alessio, sitting with Padre Pio while he was praying the rosary heard “very often” Padre Pio saying things that seemed unrelated to the rosary, such as: “Tell her that I will pray for her.” “Tell him that I will knock at the Heart of Jesus to implore that grace.” “Tell him that he will be present to my mass.” “Tell her that the Virgin will not refuse this grace.” Padre Alessio wrote that only years later he understood what had been going on between Padre Pio and the angels.[98]

Padre Alessio Parente was Padre Pio’s assistant in 1959-1961, and in 1965-8.[99]



Shaken vigorously

Padre Paolino

Padre Paolino da Casacalenda told Padre Pio that if he needed help at night he could send his guardian angel. One night he woke up like he had been shaken vigorously. He felt completely awake. He remembered about Padre Pio and run to his cell, asking if he needed something. Padre Pio: “Yes. I am dripping with sweat, and I need to change. I can’t do it by myself. Please help me.”[100]




Padre Alessio

Padre Alessio and another priest were distributing the Communion to a very large number of faithful. Padre Alessio's pix emptied sooner and he went back to the altar for the purification of the pix. He had just completed the rite when, looking at his immediate right he saw a host standing in midair. The Host moved towards the pix and fell into the pix with an audible click sound. Padre Alessio was devastated by what he had seen. He hadn't seen anybody holding the Host. Later in the day Padre Alessio reported his experience to Padre Pio. Padre Pio: "Boy, be more careful and do not distribute the communion too fast. Tank your guardian Angel for not letting the Host fall to the ground."[101]



Cecil Humphrey-Smith reported major lesions in a car accident in 1955. His friend Marquis Sacchetti after visiting him in the hospital decided to go to the post office to send a telegram to Padre Pio asking for prayers. Both of them were spiritual children.  At the post office Marquis Sacchetti filled the form for the telegram and gave it to the postal employee. The postman read the names of the sender and of the addressed, than gave him a telegram that had just arrived. It was from Padre Pio, promising prayers for a prompt and complete recovery. Sometime later, they went to Padre Pio to thank him for his prayers. They did, and when they told him of the coincidence of the telegrams Padre Pio said: "Do you think that the angels are slow as the airplanes?"[102] [103] [104]



Padre Mariano Paladino

Padre Mariano Paladino stayed many years at the convent. From 1950 to1960, and from 1965 to1969. He was the first chaplain of the Home for the Relief of Suffering. He wrote an unpublished manuscript of Memories, recalling his years with Padre Pio. One day while he was in Lourdes he prayed his guardian angel to go to Padre Pio and ask him to pray for a special grace. After a little while he smelled the intense perfume of Padre Pio. Back in the convent, Padre Pio told him: "The angel came right away. He is not disobedient like me and you.  And the perfume meant that I love you."[105]


One, two, one two.

Margherita Cassano

Margherita Cassano in 1947 was living in one little room at the beginning of Viale Cappuccini, quite distant from the convent. In those days there was no illumination of the street, and the road unsafe, full of stones. She got up every morning at three to get in the church on time for Padre Pio’s Mass. She reported than several times, in the pitch dark, walking towards the convent she heard a male voice going: “One, two, one two.” She was terrorized. And again: “One, two, one two.” She finally reached the church. When she had a chance she told Padre Pio that she was going mad. Padre Pio: “It’s your angel counting your footsteps to keep you company. It is just to let you know he is there, watching over you on your way.”[106] [107]



Piergiorgio Biavati

Piergiorgio Biavati was driving from Florence to San Giovanni Rotondo in 1960. When he reached Napoli he felt very tired and sleepy. He stopped at a rest area for coffee. There were three more hours of driving. He testified: “I remember only that I started the engine and put my hands on the wheel. I don’t remember any second of the drive. When I reached the square in front of the friary someone shook me by the shoulders and said: “Come on now, take over.” When Biavati told Padre Pio of the episode, Padre Pio said: “You were right. You were sleeping all the way and my guardian angel was driving for you.”[108]  [109]



Guardian angels

One night a group of spiritual children had just arrived to San Giovanni Rotondo. It was late, and they started discussing what they would ask Padre Pio the day after, and prayed their guardian angels to tell him as soon as possible. The day after, Padre Pio: “Naughty kids, you don’t leave me alone, not even at night.”[110]




Maria Cassano to Padre Pio: “I have been told that the prayers in group are more worthy then the prayers said alone. I can say the rosary only when I am on the road or at home alone.” Padre Pio: “Say the rosary with your Guardian Angel. Give him the Hail Mary and keep the Holy Mary for yourself. In the Annunciation the angel said the Hail Mary; so it is a beautiful thing that our Guardian Angels say it too.”[111]



Don Giorgio

Don Giorgio Ranotto was in church looking at Padre Pio who was praying on the balcony. He was thinking that Padre Pio always said to make use of our Guardian Angel. So he asked his Angel to go to Padre Pio and kiss his hand for him. “After a second I saw Padre Pio nod his head, and lift his hand from the border of the kneeler, as it to hold it to someone.”[112]



No telephones yet

Don Raffaele Bove said goodbye to Padre Pio. He had been staying in the convent with his brother Padre Gabriele. He said he had to leave because he had to tell the engineer to start work on his church. Padre Pio: “Stay a little longer. You don’t need to go just to say that. Send your guardian angel to do the job for you.” In the morning Don Raffaele was saying Mass before leaving, and he remembered about the Angel, He sent him to the engineer. He didn’t leave, and stayed few days longer at the convent. Upon his return, to his amazement, work had started. He asked the engineer about it. The engineer: “The other day, as usual I left my house at 8:15 AM. At that time a compelling though came to my mind that I had to star work. And I did.” It was the exact time Don Raffaele had sent the Angel.

Next time that he went to the convent, Padre Pio asked him: “Have you seen how your Guardian Angel helps you?”[113]


A cushion

Zi' Orazio sitting, Mary Pyle standing. The nun is Padre Pio's sister.

Zi’ Orazio one day fell down the stairs at Mary Pyle’s home. He found himself at the bottomn with no injuries. Padre Pio: “Dad, the angels put a cushion on every step.”[114]


Pia Forgione

Pia Forgione Pennelli

Pia Forgione, Padre Pio’s niece: “With all the children I have, I can’t easily come to the convent to talk to you.” Padre Pio: “Send me your guardian ange, and then the first thought that comes to your mind will be the right one.”


Attilio De Sanctis

An attorney from Fano was driving back home to Bologna with wife and children. During the trip he fell asleep at the wheel. He woke up few miles from home. He said "Who drove my car?" The wife said: "You were still, and didn't answer to us, and you avoided several collisions at last second. Your driving was different from usual." Two months later he visited Padre Pio, who told him from afar: "You were asleep and your Guardian Angel drove your car." The mystery was solved. [115]



Obedient angel

Padre Lino Barbati sent his Guardian Angel to ask Padre Pio for the healing of a person. That person was not getting better. He asked Padre Pio: “Could it be that at times the Guardian Angel doesn't do what we ask him to do?” Padre Pio: "What? Are you thinking that he is disobedient like me and you?"[116]



Letter in Greek

The letter written in Greek


On September 7, 1912 Padre Agostino wrote a letter to Padre Pio in Greek.[117]

He knew that Padre Pio didn’t know Greek. Don Salvatore Pannullo was present when Padre Pio opened the letter. At the bottom of the letter he later wrote this testimony: “Under the sanctity of oath, I testify that Padre Pio opened this letter and explained to me word by word the content. I asked him how could he read and explain the content without even knowing the Greek alphabet, he answered: “You know! The Guardian Angel explained me everything.”[118]

 Padre Agostino wrote in his diary :”Padre Pio didn’t know Greek or French. It was his guardian angel who explained things to him, and he answered to the point.[120]



Padre Pio: “When we sin, we put God out of our soul. He respects our freedom, and moves away, but commands our Guardian Angel to stay near us. Only if in the last moment of our life we refuse Our Creator, he leaves permanently and returns to Heaven.”[119]








Padre Pio fighting the devil

From Padre Pio’s letters 1910-12:

August 17, 1910 to Padre Benedetto: “The devil tries me by frequent temptations against holy purity which he arouses in my imagination.”[121]

October 22, 1910: “Temptations are more than ever greatly distressing me, because of their ugliness. There are moments were I am on the brink of the precipice.”[122]

December 20, 1910: “I am in the hands of the devil. He tries to snatch me from the arms of Jesus.”[123]

January 10, 1911: “The devil has waged war against me more than ever. The devil wants me for him at any price.”[124]

April 9, 1911: “The enemy is making every effort to introduce into my mind impure thoughts and ideas of despair.”[125]

January 18, 1912: “It has been for several days that Barbablu’ comes with his satellites, in their own form of devils, and they beat me with clubs and iron devices, throwing me out of bed and dragging me around the room.[126]

End of January, 1912: “Barbablu’, with many of his peers, doesn’t stop beating me almost to death.”[127]


Padre Pio’s statements

“Never has the devil found such fertile territory as in this era when his very existence is denied by so many.”[128]   

“The enemy plays strong with the weak, but he is a coward when is faced with the weapon in hand.”[129] 

"The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone.

And you: keep at a distance.  If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught."[130] [131] [132] 

“Satan is like a chained dog. He cannot go farther than the chain. But if you go near him he will bit you.”[133]

"The human soul is the battlefield between God and Satan."[134]

“If all the devils would take bodily form they would blot out the light of the sun."[135] [136]

"The devil enters a soul only through one door: our will power. There are no secret doors."[137] [138]

"If the devil is making uproar, it is an excellent sign:  what is terrifying is his peace and concord with a man’s soul.”[139] “Evil is not won by doing evil, but by doing good, that has supernatural strength.”[140]




Padre Pio’s statements about temptation and sin


Padre Pio and the devil. Mosaic in St. Pio's crypt.

"The thought doesn't make the sin, but consenting to the thoughts does it."[141]

"Temptation is like the soap. It seems to soil but in reality cleans."[142]

"Temptations against faith and purity are the merchandise offered by the enemy."[143]

"When the enemy roars around you, it shows that he is not inside you."[144] [145]

“For only one deliberate sin of thought was the great angel Lucifer cast out of heaven.”[146]



Devil disguising as Angel

On December 13, 1912 Padre Pio wrote to Padre Agostino: “The other night a friar came in and told me that by order of the Provincial Father I was not allowed to write anymore to you. I cried bitterly. I believed it. The angel had hard time to convince me that it was all a deception, a trick of barbablu.”[147]



Terrifying destruction

Padre Emilio da Matrice reported that in 1917 he was one of the about sixteen students at the seraphic college in the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo. Padre Pio was the spiritual director, and slept in the dormitory, in a corner bed hidden by curtains. The curtains were held by sturdy iron bars planted in the wall, and one strong upright bar. “One night we all heard iron bars banging and echoing, and producing frightening sounds. We were paralyzed and hid under the blankets. In the morning the bars were on the floor twisted and bent in a terrifying manner. Only a giant could have done that. We asked Padre Pio what had happened. He said: “Let’s go to the choir and pray because our dear Lord is so good. “ Few days later Padre Pio told us that the devil had beaten him and twisted the bars, because he was praying for one of us student friars going through a temptation against purity.”[148]


Infernal noises

Padre Alberto D'Apolito

Padre Alberto D’Apolito was a student at the seraphic college in 1921 and remembers Padre Pio promising the students they would no longer hear infernal noises during the night. One of the students said: “Padre Pio , I am not afraid of the devil; send him to me and I will fight him.” Padre Pio answered: “You don’t know what you are saying. If you saw the devil you would die of scare.”[149]




August 9, 1912, in a letter to Padre Agostino: 'Barbablu' prevents me from writing to you. Every time I try, I get a terrible headache, and the right arm is paralyzed and I can't hold the pen in my hand."[150]



Blank letter

December 3, 1912, in a letter to Padre Agostino: "I received you letter on November 29. It was opened when the archpriest was with me. What did we find? Just a blank piece of paper. If I didn’t know the strange war of the 'cosaccio', I would ask you if there was any mistake on your side.”[151]  [152] [153]  The blank letter has not been preserved but was seen by Padre Agostino, as he wrote in his diary.[154]


Stained letter


On November 6, 1912, Padre Agostino sent a letter to Padre Pio on two sides, written in French. The letter was all stained, and couldn’t be read. The archpriest Salvatore Pannullo wrote on August 5, 1919, in a sworn testimony: “I was present when this letter was opened. It was so stained that it couldn’t be read at all.  A Crucifix was put on the letter; it was also sprinkled with holy water and the exorcisms were recited. Afterwards the letter could be read the way it is now. I called my niece Grazia Pannullo and she read the letter to me and to Padre Pio. She didn’t know what we had done before calling her.”[155]


Sant’Elia a Pianisi

While in Sant’Elia a Pianisi Brother Pio saw the devil coming in his cell. He reported in a letter: “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.”[156] [157]




In Gesualdo, in 1909, 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.[158] [159]



In Venafro, in 1911, from Padre Agostino's diary: “Starting in November 1911, I was present with Padre Evangelista, the superior of the monastery, for a considerable number of ecstasies, and many instances of demonic oppression."[160]




Padre Agostino, superior of the convent celebrating Easter Mass. Padre Pio is deacon.


Padre Agostino: "Satan would appear as a nude woman dancing lewdly, as is spiritual father, as his superior, pope Pius X, his guardian angel, St. Francis, the Virgin Mary, and also as the horrible self, with an army of demonic spirits. At times there were no apparitions but he was beaten until he bled, tormented with deafening noises, covered with spit. He was able to free himself from the torments by calling on the name of Jesus."[161]




Padre Pio in a letter to Padre Agostino on January 18, 1913:”It was late at night, and the devils assaulted me with a terrible fracas, and jumped on me, and threw me to the floor, and beat me very hard, and scattered pillows, books, chairs, while pronouncing very dirty words.”[162]




Padre Paolino da Casacalenda reported that, while in Foggia, Padre Pio usually did not join the friars for dinner. One evening the friars heard a terrible noise coming from Padre Pio’s room. They run to him and found him beaten and prostrated. He was sweating so profusely that the undershirt looked like it had just been removed from a basin full of water. [163]



Mons. D’Agostino

Padre Paolino reported that when Padre Pio was in the convent of Foggia, one evening Mons. Andrea D’Agostino, Bishop of Ariano Irpino was staying overnight at the friary. After dinner with the friars he heard “an infernal fracas” coming from Padre Pio’s room. He was so scared that left the convent on the spot.[164]




Padre Pio told Padre Tarcisio da Cervinara: “One morning a well-dressed polite man came to confess. He enumerated the most horrible, disgusting, abominable sins. He justified every one of them with subtle argumentations. I thought: “Who is this? Where does he come from?” I was very perplexed until a vivid interior light made me understand who was in front of me. At that point I said firmly: “Say long live Jesus.” As soon as I said those words satan disappeared in a flicker of fire, leaving after him an unsupportable stench.”[165]



Badly beaten

On the late evening of Sunday July 5, 1964 Padre Pio was in his room when he cried: “My brothers help me.” When the friars came they found Padre Pio lying on the floor bleeding from the nose and the forehead, and with a number of wounds above his right eyebrow. He had been badly beaten by the devils.[166]  [167]  [168]  [169] 

Bill Martin: “We had to call the doctor in at ten o’ clock that night to put stitches in the wound. It was so deep he couldn’t open his eyes.” Padre Pio: “The devils tried to scratch my eyes out.”[170]

Padre Eusebio: “It was Sunday evening. Padre Pio fell in his room. He called: “Brothers, brothers.” We run to his room. He was on the floor in a pool of blood. He had a cut on the right eyebrow. Dr. Sala took care of him.”[171]




Padre Paolino da Casacalenda


Padre Paolino da Casacalenda was about to leave Padre Pio's cell, in the Foggia convent, after a conversation with him. Padre Pio asked: "Don't leave; otherwise the devils (cosacci) will come." He stayed a little longer and then left. But just a few steps away he heard a terrible noise, and run back. Padre Pio had been assaulted. He was pale and sweating profusely.[172]



One evening Padre Pio called several times Padre Alessio to go to his cell. “Every time that I went to his room he would just smile.” Padre Alessio asked why he was calling him so many times without needing anything. Padre Pio finally said: “Please, son, sit there in the easy chair and stay here with me, because as soon as I am by myself the devils don’t leave me alone for a second.”[173]



A kick to barbablu’

In 1946 a woman from Bottegone had pains and swelling in the knees and legs, and abdominal swelling. The doctors could offer no remedy. She went to Padre Pio for help. When she was at the confessional her body started to swell and she began yelling and screaming. Padre Pio went up to her and kicked her saying: “Go! Satan!” The woman fainted. When she recovered she realized that she was healthy and had been delivered from the devil.[174]


A boy in Milan was perfectly normal. Suddenly at age six he stopped speaking. Any kind of therapies was unsuccessful. At age twelve he was brought to Padre Pio. Padre Pio said:” This is not a thing for medicine.” He made the sign of the cross over the boy, and the boy immediately began to speak.[175]




One night the friar heard a loud screaming coming from Padre Pio’s cell. Padre Pio: “Nothing important. It was a snake on my back. I invoked the Virgin Mary, but it didn’t want to leave. Finally it run away.”[176]





Maria Palma Carboni a fifteen years old girl was victim of frightening severe diabolic possessions. No blessings could deliver her from the terrifying torment. On June 19, 1952, she was brought to Padre Pio who rested his hands upon her head. At the contact the girl fell into a swoon. After few minutes she revived, free of diabolic possession.[177]





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Cataneo, P. (1991). Padre Pio gleanings. Editions Paulines Quebec. Cat91

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     Return to front page                                       16 Mass, 11 altars; Confession    


[1] Cle97, 180

[2] Cle97, 104 and 181

[3] Cas11, 180

[4] Cov07, 193-4

[5] Par01, 259

[6] Par011, 108-9

[7] Par011, 109-10

[8] Par011, 110

[9] Par011, 110-1

[10] Epist. I, 206

[11] Scg87, 77

[12] Mul09, 173

[13] Par011, 209

[14] Con01, 165

[15] Cov07, 65

[16] Par011, 264-5

[17] Cap06, 224

[18] Par011, 110

[19] Gal09, 80

[20] Par011, 129

[21] Par011, 231

[22] Par011, 169-72

[23] Par011, 159-61

[24] Par011, 165-7

[25] Cap12, 296

[26] Par011, 56

[27] Duc83, 75

[28] Par011, 95-6

[29] Par011, 103-4

[30] Mul09, 172

[31] Con01, 162

[32] Par011, 129-34

[33] Cap12, 294-6

[34] Cat91, 149-51

[35] Alb07, 88-90

[36] Ale10, 256-7

[37] Sch87, 103-4

[38] Cat91, 151

[39] Par01, 143-9

[40] Cov07, 41-2

[41] Win88, 197-9

[42] Gal09, 79-80

[43] Gal09, 78-9

[44] Gal09, 79

[45] Gal09, 78

[46] Gal09, 77-8

[47] Gal09, 79

[48] Alb07, 105-7

[49] McC78, 74-6

[50] Epist. III, 1047-74

[51] Cap06, 206-7

[52] Ruf91,, 241-2

[53] Par011, 177-9


[55] Ago12, 132 note

[56] Par94, 56

[57] Mul09, 172

[58] Par011, 156-8

[59] Par011, 151-6

[60] Ruf91, 340

[61] Cat91, 126

[62] Nap76, 142-4

[63] Ruf91, 224-5

[64] Cat91, 135-6

[65] Ruf91, 242-3

[66] Sch87, 7-13

[67] Ruf91, 341-2

[68] Ias07, 146-7

[69] Ruf91, 380

[70] Ruf91, 380-1

[71] Duc83, 120-1

[72] Gal09, 81

[73] Positio I, 2, 1278

[74] Ias06, 101-3

[75] McC78, 67

[76] Cle97, 181

[77] Cas11, 191

[78] Epist. I, 321

[79] Epist. I, 308

[80] Epist. II, 403

[81] Epist. II, 404

[82] Epist. II, 404

[83] Epist. II, 404

[84] Epist. II , 404

[85] Epist. II , 404

[86] Pio10, 57

[87] Cle88, 190

[88] Spa71, 28

[89] Ale11, 111

[90] Par011, 30

[91] Ale11, 111-2

[92] Ale11, 156

[93] Gal95, 164

[94] Ago12, 292

[95] Epist. I, 321

[96] Gal95, 165

[97] Ale11, 113-4

[98] Ale11, 114-6

[99] Ale11, 120

[100] Pao78 100-4

[101] Ale11, 108-110

[102] Ale11, 143-4

[103] Gal95, 155-66

[104] Ruf91, 314

[105] Ale11, 149-50

[106] Duc83, 117-8

[107] Mal97, 198-9

[108] Ale11, 195-6

[109] Ruf91, 314-5

[110] Win88, 107-8

[111] Ias07, 534-5

[112] Ias07, 532

[113] Ias07, 535-7

[114] Ias07, 538

[115] Bru70, 148

[116] Ale11, 145-6

[117] Epist. I, 302

[118] Epist. I, 302

[119] Ias07, 539

[120] Ago12, 288

[121] Epist. I, 196

[122] Epist. I,202-3

[123] Epist. I, 209

[124] Epist. I, 212-3

[125] Epist. I, 219

[126] Epist. I, 252

[127] Epist. I, 255

[128] Bru70, 150

[129] Epist. II, 77

[130] Bru70, 157

[131] Del50, 562

[132] DeL62, 45

[133] Iase06, 120

[134] Pio10,99

[135] Ing78, 116

[136] Cle97, 35

[137] Del50, 549

[138] Del62, 45

[139] Bru70, 157

[140] Cle17,37

[141] Pio10, 65

[142] Pio10, 76

[143] Pio10, 67

[144] Bru70, 157

[145] Pio10, 68

[146] Bru70, 144

[147] Epist. I, 321

[148] Bru70, 151-3

[149] Alb07, 79

[150] Epist. I, 297

[151] Epist. I, 317-8

[152] Cat91, 168-9

[153] Del62, 44

[154] Epist. I, Note 318

[155] Epist. I, Note 314

[156] Pre00, 54-5

[157] Cat91, 163-5

[158] Ale11, 72

[159] Cat91, 165-6

[160] Ago12, 275

[161] Ago12, 51

[162] Epist. I, 330

[163] Cat91, 166-7

[164] Pao78, 54-57

[165] Tar93, 47-8

[166] Sch87, 72-3

[167] Ing78, 114-5

[168] Cat91, 170-2

[169] Alb07, 80-4

[170] Duc68, 8

[171] Ger95, 129-30

[172] Con01, 144

[173] Ale11, 73-4

[174] Cat91, 172

[175] Sch87, 75

[176] Mor13, 75-6

[177] Mor73, 2257