Saint Padre and his Miracles
There are literally thousands of stories of Padre Pio, with regard to the many spiritual gifts he received.
Many of these have been documented, while others are legend, having been woven out of a sincere love people have had for him and a desire to make him bigger than life. But as Fr. Joseph Pio once said to us as we were writing the biography of Padre Pio,
"The truth is actually more fascinating than fiction."
And so the Miracles we will share with you in this chapter have been documented by the Capuchins in San Giovanni Rotondo.
The Miracle of the Crucified Christ
One of the Miracles of the Cross dealing with Padre Pio has to do with the experience the Lord gave him almost daily as he prepared for and experienced the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Eyewitnesses, such as Fr. Alessio Parente and Fr. Joseph Pio have shared with us that when Padre Pio would begin preparations for the Sacrifice of the Mass, and this could have been more than an hour before he actually began the Mass, they could see his knees begin to buckle and his body become bent under a tremendous invisible weight as he got closer and closer to entering the church and the altar.
He told them he was carrying the weight of the Cross on his shoulders, and as we know, the Cross held the weight of all the sins Jesus was dying for.
To those closest to Padre Pio, and actually many of those who waited for hours in the bitter cold outside the Church in the middle of the night to take part in the 5:30 a.m. Mass with him, they could actually see him being transformed into the Crucified Christ before their eyes during those times.
The Miracle of the Cross in the body of Padre Pio
Shortly after he was ordained, Padre Pio began to notice what he termed
"red patches, about the size of a cent, accompanied by acute pain."
This is from a letter he sent Padre Benedetto on the Birthday of Mary, September 8, 1911.
He went on to say,
"The pain was much more acute in the left hand and it still persists. I also feel some pain in the soles of my feet."
He told his superior that this had been happening, on and off, for almost a year. So from the time of his ordination, at twenty three years old, he began to feel in his body, the wounds of the Passion of Christ.
He prayed that the wounds would not show. The Lord answered his prayers for nine years, and so while the physical signs disappeared, the pain continued.
The Transverberation of the Heart
As if in anticipation of the great miracle he was to be given very shortly, the Lord granted Padre Pio a very special gift, one that would give him joy mixed with pain all his life, agony and ecstasy.
On August 5, 1918, he received the gift of Transverberation of the Heart. Padre Pio wrote of this experience,
"While I was hearing the confessions of our boys on the evening of the 5th (August), I was suddenly filled with extreme terror at the sight of a celestial being whom I saw with my mind's eye. He held a kind of weapon in his hand, similar to a steel sword with a sharp, flaming point. At the very instant I saw all this, I saw the person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. It was all done in a split second. I was hardly able to cry out and felt as if I were dying. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my insides were torn and ruptured by that weapon, everything lashed by fire and steel. From that day on, I was wounded to death. In the depths of my soul, I feel an open wound which causes me to suffer continual agony."